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In a meeting between two of the Original Six teams, the Chicago Blackhawks beat out the Boston Bruins 2-0 in a shootout to get the 5-4 victory Friday night. The Bruins had a tough night as they had to play catch-up for most of the contest. With the loss the Bruins fell to 16-10-7 on the season, and the Blackhawks improved to 22-8-3 and an NHL-best 15-3-1 at home. The Bruins knew that the game wasn’t going to be easy, but the team still played hard and managed to get a point out of it before falling in the shootout.
For the Bruins, Tim Thomas stopped 40 of 44 shots on goal but saw his record fall to 7-8-5 on the year. Thomas has now lost his last four starts in goal, two of them being in overtime.
In the other net for the Blackhawks was Antti Niemi who stopped 25 of 29 shots on goal and ended up with his seventh victory of the year (7-1-1). The goalie hasn’t lost a game since the beginning of November, a span of four starts for Chicago’s backup.
In the first period the Bruins got things going with a goal from David Krejci assisted by Blake Wheeler and Derek Morris. It was Krejci’s sixth goal of the season. The Blackhawks were unable to score in the first and the period ended with Boston up 1-0.
Chicago quickly responded at the start of the second with a goal from Kris Versteeg less than two minutes into the period. It was Versteeg’s 10th goal of the season and was unassisted. Mid-way through the period Patrick Sharp gave the Blackhawks the lead on his 10th goal of the season. The Bruins weren’t done though, as Daniel Paille scored his third goal of the season to tie things up at two apiece. He was assisted by Mark Recchi.
Three minutes later Jonathan Toews took back the lead for Chicago on his 10thgoal of the season with only 27 seconds left in the period. The Blackhwaks led 3-2 at the end of the period.
It took six minutes into the third period for the Bruins to fight back and tie the game on Johnny Boychuk’s second goal of the season with assists given to Paille and Patrice Bergeron. Chicago’s Andrew Ladd scored his fifth goal of the year less than two minutes later to regain the lead. With less than three minutes left in the game, Krejci scored his second goal of the night and seventh of the season to tie up the game once again. He was assisted by Bergeron and Recchi. At the end of regulation the scored stood at 4-4 and would stay that way through overtime and into the shootout.
Bergeron went first for the Bruins and missed his shot as he tried to go underneath Niemi with the wrist-shot. Toews continued his scoring by netting Chicago’s first shootout goal on a wrist-shot from 14 feet. Wheeler was up next for Boston and failed to get his wristshot by Niemi with a deflection off the post. Then Patrick Kane was able to get his backhand shot in from 11 feet to earn the victory.
The Bruins just couldn’t control most of the game as they only had 29 shots-on-goal compared to the Blackhawks 44. Chicago also outhit Boston 32-20 as they proved to be a more physical team. Neither team succeeded on the power play as the Bruins went 0-for-1 and the Blackhawks went 0-for-2.
The Bruins won’t have much time to think about Friday night’s loss as they head up to Toronto to face Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs once again on Saturday. The last time the two teams met it was a 5-2 victory for the Bruins. The time before that, they beat them 7-2. So to say the least, the Bruins have had the Maple Leafs number and will hopefully rebound from Friday’s loss and come away with the victory.