Backup Bruins Beat Senators in Possible Playoff Preview

Anton Khudobin makes a save against Colin Greening (4/5/12)

In his first start for the Bruins, goalie Anton Khudobin (called up from the minors) makes a save against Colin Greening. He had an outstanding performance with a career-high 44 saves on 45 shots.

4/5/12: Bruins at Senators - Final Score (3-1 Bruins)

Last night the Bruins played the Senators, with their top players sitting out in preparation for the playoffs, and the rest of the team rose to the occasion.  In what was pretty much an exhibition game, some of the Bruins were outstanding.  They got the win to close our season series record against them at 5-1-0, outscoring them 22-13.  They also did what they could to ensure that we face them in the first round of the playoffs.. preventing them from overtaking the Panthers in Southeast Division and moving from 7th to 3rd in the standings.

We called up goalie Anton Khudobin from the minors for his first NHL start as Bruin and he was amazing.  With a career-high and crazy 44 saves on 45 shots, and some great athletic moves, some have said he looks like the next Tim Thomas.  After only one game we can’t really conclude anything, but his performance surely did a lot to ensure his spot in Boston.  Defenseman Torey Krug was also called up, and he too did some great work.  He got his first NHL assist with a great pass ahead leading to Milan Lucic’s goal.  Jordan Caron (also called up, but he has been playing with us recently) made a great defensive play, then made a similar perfect pass ahead leading to a 2-on-1 rush.  That rush was by Brian Rolston and Benoit Pouliot, who did some great work to get Pouliot his career-high 16th goal of the season.  Greg Zanon continued to perform well and got a goal too.  So ya, the Bruins system is functioning well.. with everyone contributing.

This weekend, every team will play its last game of the regular season.  Hopefully, for the teams who’ve earned a postseason spot, they will play out to the odds and the standings will remain the same.. because it would be really fun getting to crush them in the first round of the playoffs to kick off our quest for consecutive Stanley Cups.

My Highlights/Rants

This section is where I put my notes from the game, with the plays that I felt were worth highlighting and ranting about.  This is basically my version of a game recap, intended for those who would like to read one that tells more than just what happened on paper.  So, if you just want a summarization and my thoughts on what the game means for the Bruins, just read the section above and the “Final Thoughts/Notes” section near the bottom.  Following this section are some videos and links…

1st Period
-We start off with some good offensive work.
-2 mins in, David Krejci with a nice shot, then Adam McQuaid.
-A minute later, Brian Rolston with a nice shot.
-4 mins in, Anton Khudobin makes a few nice saves.
-6 mins in, nice kick save by Khudobin.
-7 mins in, Joe Corvo makes a nice defensive move to knock the puck away from the Senators rushing in.. then we get a 2-on-1 break for a good chance.
-Halfway through, great work by Jordan Caron to handle the puck in our end and with a perfect pass, gets it ahead to Benoit Pouliot, rushing in with Brian Rolston, 2-on-1.. passes to Rolston, it hits his skates but he grabs it and at the last second he gets it back to Pouliot on the open side of the net.. he scores his career-high 16th goal!!
-A minute later, Khudobin makes a great save.. he makes some more a few minutes later.
-14.5 mins in, Rolston gets a slashing penalty for barely tapping Jason Spezza, but Spezza sold it.
-On the penalty kill:
–In the first minute, we defend well and Khudobin makes a couple of nice saves.
–Then we get a shorthanded rush and Gregory Campbell bring the puck to the corner, then whips around a shot on goal that caught their goalie, Ben Bishop, a bit off guard.
–In the end, Khudobin makes some more good saves then Chris Neil starts shoving, but the refs step in.  We kill it off.
-We finish the period with some good work, both offensively and defensively.
-The period ends 1-0 Bruins.
-We’re 22-2-0 when leading after the first period this season.
-Khudobin had 17 saves and is looking a bit like the next Tim Thomas.
-In favor of the Senators, the shots on goal were 17-7, scoring chances 3-2.  Bruins lead in faceoff wins at 12-8.

2nd Period
-We start off with some good work and a nice shot by Daniel Paille almost 2 mins in.
-Right after, we have a nice offensive stand with a good one-timer by Corvo.
-Soon after, Khudobin makes a nice saves.
-4 mins in, Rich Peverley in the slot screens a shot by Greg Zanon, who gets his 3rd goal of the season!
-6.5 mins in, great save by Khudobin.
-8 mins in, Khudobin makes a huge save on a redirected shot by Nick Foligno.  Then he makes a great kick save and Corvo kicks it away from the open net.. then a great blocker save while doing a split.
-Halfway through, Milan Lucic with a big hit, then Krejci with a nice shot.
-Krejci gets a holding penalty.. He did sort of hold him, but then Kyle Turris was holding his stick to draw the penalty.
-On the penalty kill, we defend well, Khudobin makes a few nice saves.. we kill it off.
-14 mins in, Spezza rushes in and shoots.. it deflects off of Andrew Ference’s leg, goes off the post, off Khudobin’s back and in for his 34th goal of the season.  Khudobin had made 28 saves in the 34 minutes before that.
-Then Turris gets a holding penalty.
-On the power play:
–The Senators start with a shorthanded chance.. nice save by Khudobin.
–Then we get a good offensive stand to finish the first minute.
–Then Dennis Seidenberg with a nice shot that Bishop got just enough glove on to deflect away.
–Then some good work and a good chance with a shot by Tyler Seguin, redirected by Brad Marchand.
–It ends with us.
-18 mins in, Khudobin robs Foligno for the at least the third time tonight.. then he makes another big save.
-Then Torey Krug with a great pass ahead to Paille.. to Shawn Thornton.. he takes a great shot that Bishop barely saves.
-Then Marchand with a big hit on Turris.. he gets hit right after.
-The period ends 2-1 Bruins.
-Once again we lead faceoff wins at 25-23, they lead both shots on goal at 34-19 and scoring chances at 11-5.
-We’re 31-0-0 when leading after two periods this season.

3rd Period
-We start off with a nice offensive stand.
-A bit later, we hit Matt Carkner into his bench as he was headed off the ice and he goes hunting for a ref to call something.
-4 mins in, Krug does nice work carrying the puck into their end.
-Soon after we get a good chance as Krejci whips the puck from the corner to Lucic in front of the net and it bounces around but not in.
-6.5 mins in, Thornton gets a delay of game penalty for hitting the puck over the glass.
-On the penalty kill:
–We defend well, Seidenberg makes a great steal to clear it, and Khudobin makes some big saves in the first minute an a half.  Then they come back and Khudobin makes another great love save.  He’s now at his career-high for saves and shots faced.
–It ends with Thornton taking the puck and rushing ahead.
-11 mins in, Caron with a big hit.
-Then Turris gets a high-sticking penalty.
-On the power play:
–It starts with two shorthanded shots by the Senators and two nice saves by Khudobin.
–Then we get short stand with a couple nice shots and some good work by Krug.  Then the Senators clear it. and we couldn’t get back in their end.
–It ends with a break for the Senators and an amazing save by Khudobin, knocking it out of the air with his stick.
-Almost 15 mins in, Krug takes a nice shot intended to be redirected.. and it was by Thornton for a good chance.
-Then Krug with a nice pass ahead to Lucic, who chips ahead to Krejci, he rushes in, quick pass to Lucic.. he scores!  Lucic gets his 26th goal and Krug gets his first NHL assist.
-16 mins in, another nice save by Khudobin.. wow, I’ve said that a lot.
-Then right after, we go the other way and get a nice shot.. then the two teams start shoving each other and Ference tries to fight Carkner, again taking on a bigger guy (like in the previous game).. he doesn’t care.. he’s a Bruin!  The refs end up breaking it up.
-With three minutes left, the Senators pull their goalie for an extra attack.  I’ve never seen a team pull their goalie with that much time left.. even down by two goals.. it shows how much they want to not have to face us in the first round of the playoffs (because if the win they would change spots in the standings to not be facing us).
-We defend well for the first two minutes of their  6-on-5 advantage.
-Then with a minute left, they get a penalty.  He gets a game misconduct.
-We don’t get anything going on the power play, but it’s alright.. it ends 3-1 Bruins.
-Khudobin had a career-high 44 saves!
-Shots on goal were 45-27 in favor of the Senators.

Final Thoughts / Notes
-Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron, and Zdeno Chara were rested for this game.
-Johnny Boychuk has a mild knee sprain and is day-to-day.  He did not travel to Ottawa with the team.  A couple of stats to show how important he is: he has a +/- rating of +27 and has blocked 135 shots (2nd on the team).
-Adam McQuaid is back.. but went to the locker room in the third period and didn’t come back.. hope he’s alright.
-Anton Khudobin got his first start as a Bruin, who has only played 5 NHL games before this.  In those games, he is 4-1-0 with a shutout, with a 1.40 GAA.  He’s now at his career-high for saves, at 44, and shots faced, at 45!
-Greg Zanon was a good acquisition to help our defense.. He has 2 goals, 5 assists, and 112 hits this season (he’s played 54 games).
-We’re now 5-1-0 against the Senators this season, outscoring them 22-13.

Here’s NESN’s game preview (with Bruins/Senators history & build-up):

Here’s a video of Benoit Pouliot’s goal:

Here’s another video of the above goal, breaking it down and explaining how our defense has improved:

Here’s a video of Greg Zanon’s goal:
http://video.bruins.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1207&event=OTT298&lang=en

Here’s a video of Milan Lucic’s goal (and Torey Krug’s first NHL assist):

Here’s a video recap of the goals and big saves in the game:

Here’s the NHL’s video recap of the game:
http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?hlg=20112012,2,1207

Here’s the NHL’s page of video clips of the goals and some saves and hits: http://bruins.nhl.com/club/gamevideo.htm?id=2011021207

Here’s the NHL’s photos from the game:
http://bruins.nhl.com/club/gallery.htm?id=29244&location=/photos&pg=1

Thanks for reading,
Matt

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About bost0nfire

Here in Boston, our pro sports teams won seven championships in a decade, with all teams accounted for. That means the Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, and yes the New England Patriots.. they did play in Boston at one time after all.. and they're still our team. So, I declare Boston to be the City of Champions. ... Check us out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/b0stonwins?ref=hl ... Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BostonWins_Blog ... **** READER DISCRETION ADVISED: Adult Language may be used.
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