Bruins Earn Bittersweet Victory
TD Garden — It was not the comeback win that everyone was talking about after the Bruins game on Saturday night, nor was there any talk about the fact that the game was a race for first place. Instead, the focus of the Bruin’s 3-2 win over the Penguins was pushed aside and the chaotic first period was the only thing on everyone’s mind.
From the star, it was a physical game and it was clear it was going to quickly get out of hand. After a ricochet goal scored by Chris Kunitz, Milan Lucic decided to jump start his team with a fight against Deryk Engelland.
After the game-tying goal scored by Bruin’s forward Reilly Smith, the game went to a point of no return. It started when James Neal skated by Brad Marchand and kneed him in the head while he was down on all fours.
“I mean, what do you want me to say? That I was trying to hit him? No I’m going by him, I don’t get out of the way like I said.” Neal commented on kneeing Marchand. “I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but I’m not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that.”
Right after the play, a scrum then broke out between the two teams. Shawn Thornton grabbed Brooks Orpik and threw him down to the ice. While Orpik was down, Thornton hit him, knocking him out. Orpik was taken out on a stretcher and Thornton was given a match penalty.
The incident occurred after Orpik ended Loui Eriksson’s night with an open-ice-hit in the opening seconds of the game. That caught the eye of Thornton, who unsuccessfully tried to drop the gloves with the Penguins defenseman earlier in the period.
“I feel awful. It wasn’t my intention for that outcome. I know Brooksy [Brooks Orpik]. ” Shawn Thornton said postgame about the incident. “I’ve texted him a couple times. I feel awful. It definitely was not what I wanted to see or anybody wanted to see.”
“I’ve prided myself for a long time to stay within the lines,” said the 36-year-old enforcer, who has never been suspended for an illegal hit. “It’s hard for me to talk about it right now. I can’t say I’m sorry enough.”
Zdeno Chara, The Hero
After David Krejci tied the game at 2-2 with Tuukka Rask pulled from goal, Chara put the Bruins up 3-2 with only 13 seconds left in the game with a shot from the slot.
“We were behind the whole game. We were just fighting for that tying goal and eventually we got it.” Chara said about the win. “Then we carried that momentum into basically the end of the game and we were able to score a goal with very little time left in the game so it was a good game to win for us.”
Chara now has 5 points in his last seven games.
Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser Get the Call
After leaving Saturday night’s contest, Loui Eriksson was diagnosed with a concussion, his second of the young season. Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien announced that he and Chris Kelly, who suffered a broken ankle in the third period after receiving a slash from Pascal Dupuis, would not travel to Toronto. Kelly has been placed on the long-tern injury reserve, per Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli
The Bruins have recalled forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser from the Providence Bruins to help fill the gaps left by Eriksson and Kelly.
Shawn Thornton will also not be traveling with the team on their road trip due to a hearing that is taking place on Sunday. Jordan Caron will most likely fill one of the empty spots.
Streak Is Extended
The Bruins are on a 12 game winning streak at home (10-0-2) after tonight’s win. With the win, the Bruins move to 19-8-2, and are trailing the Montreal Canadiens by one point in the Atlantic Division.
The Bruins will now take to the road for a four-game road trip that starts tonight in Toronto.
Stay tuned to The Suffolk Voice for Bruins recaps and analysis.