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Bruins Make Playoff Case At Atlanta’s Expense

Tuukka Rask was instrumental in the Bruins' total victory. (AP Photo / John Bazemore)

In a game that could have forced them out of the playoff brackets, the Bruins stepped up, swatting the Thrashers in Atlanta 4-0. The teams fought a largely back and forth battle, until the Bruins struck first blood at 9:25 into the 1st thanks to David Krejci. That didn’t sit well with the Thrashers, as Eric Boulton picked a fight with Shawn Thornton 1:35 later. It was a big mistake; Boulton fell like a skydiver without a parachute.

Milan Lucic gave the Bruins a rare multiple-goal lead 7:59 into the 2nd after an unsuccessful power play. The game remained a chess match until 3:05 left in the 2nd. Atlanta was on a breakaway when the Bruins caught up to them at the last moment, but because of the stick positioning, a penalty shot was called. You’d think such jerky movements would make it interesting, but Tuukka Rask swatted away Armstrong’s effort with minimal movement.

Then, just when Atlanta thought things couldn’t get any worse, the Bruins’ resident dynamo Miroslav Satan charged forward snuck a wrist shot past Johan Hedberg with four seconds left in the period. You could see patches of empty seats get bigger and bigger at that point. Steve Begin added another goal for the Bruins 1:46 into the 3rd to make it 4-0, and that’s where it would end. Some power plays for each side arose and faded away without incident, but it was more of the same otherwise.

B’s Stud of the Game: Tuukka Rask

Rask earned a shutout, which is hard enough. He had to make many acrobatic saves amongst his 27 stops, too. Not to mention the penalty shot he had to stop.

B’s Dud of the Game: Shawn Thornton

In his smackdown, Thornton’s adversary at one point found his punching arm stuck in his sleeve, rendering him helpless for probably 10 seconds or so as he tried to free himself. Not once during this time did Thornton do a thing. Matt Cooke would have.

JERRY!! JERRY!! Moment of the Game:

Despite Thornton’s shortcoming in his fight, Boulton never stood a chance. He lost his helmet, got his arm stuck, was knocked down, and had his jersey pulled over his head. They should’ve had the “Street Fighter” voice-over guy telling Thornton to “finish him.” If there was one thing to hate about that fight, there’s nothing that’ll kill adrenaline faster than another guy in a zebra shirt hugging you as tightly as he can.

That’s What He Said:

“We just pushed pushed pushed, and stuffed the puck in their end.” – Tuukka Rask discussing the game with NESN’s Naoko Funayama.

Game Notes:

  • Boston now holds a three-point lead over Atlanta for the East’s last playoff spot; they also have a win and a game in hand.
  • Boston has won the season series 4-0-0, including an 18-7 edge in goals. Atlanta managed one point out of the Bruins this season.
  • The Bruins ended the season 5/14 (0/2 Tuesday) on the power play against Atlanta.
  • Tuukka Rask recorded his fifth career shutout, fourth this season, and second against Atlanta this season.

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