Yesterday, the Bruins played the final game of the season series against the Sabres in the last game of the regular season for both. After the Sabres went up 3-1 almost halfway through the third period, the Bruins rallied to come back and tie it. It eventually went to what would be the last shootout of the year (they don’t do shootouts in the playoffs). Patrice Bergeron, who has greatly improved in shootouts, scored the game winning goal. It was also the only goal in the shootout thanks to the big performance of goalie Tim Thomas. We won 4-3.
Even though this game didn’t matter for either team, the bad blood between them didn’t allow them hold back completely. It was essentially an exhibition game, but they each still had something to prove. Shawn Thornton is too badass to not be at the top of the list for most major fighting penalties, so when Robyn Regehr got a bit too rough with him, Thornton whooped his ass in a quick and very one-sided fight.
We played consistently well throughout the game, further decreasing the number of defensive breakdowns we have. However, the Sabres weren’t going to lay down and in the third period they went up by two goals. So the Bruins stepped up and once again showed that when they are behind, they can still come back. They also had a lot of help from Tim Thomas, who is definitely in his end of the year groove and looking good.
Even though it didn’t matter, we played hard and got a win. It’s a great way to finish the season.. with two wins in games where we had backup players on the ice and weren’t really going full throttle.. and great performances by all. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the matchup that we wanted for the first round of the playoffs.. It would’ve been great to get the Senators as we’ve done really well against them this season, plus we have a pretty violent rivalry with them, which would’ve been fun to watch. But, we ended up with the Capitals, which we haven’t done as well against.. but in our more recent games against them, we were much improved. So, with all of our players performing well, I’m still confident in the Bruins heading into the playoffs.
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…
-14 seconds in, Tim Thomas makes a good save.
-2.5 mins, Thomas robs Jason Pominville with a great save.
-4 mins in, we get a short offensive stand with a couple of good shots.
-Almost 8 mins in, we get a good offensive stand with a few nice shots.
-Then going back the other way, Thomas makes some big saves.
-8.5 mins in, Shawn Thornton fights Robyn Regehr and takes him down with a big punch. Thornton is now tied for the league lead with 20 major penalties for fighting.
-14 mins in, Mike Weber gets a high-sticking penalty.
-On the power play:
–For almost a minute, we do some good work in their end.
–The Sabres kill off the rest of it.
-17 mins in, Thomas makes a couple of nice saves.
-A minute later, we’re doing some work in their end, then Drew Stafford gets a penalty for tripping Tyler Seguin.
-On the power play:
–We start with a good stand for half a minute, then they clear the puck
–We then get another nice stand, but they kill it off.
-The period ends tied 0-0.
-Shots on goal are 12 for both teams.
-We’re 17-8-3 when tied after the first period this season.
-Chara looked a bit rusty – just a bit – as he’s been rested. However, Thomas, who has also been resting, looked really sharp.
-A minute in, we had a great chance, Milan Lucic to Rich Peverley, but rushed it a bit.. then he jammed at it but it wouldn’t go in.
-3 mins in, Patrice Bergeron makes a great defensive steal on Pominville rushing in, takes it in, pass to Seguin.. he scores his 28th goal of the season!! Bergeron really, really, really deserves the Selke Trophy this year (given to the best defensive forward).
-We’ve won 31 of the 36 times that we’ve scored first this season.
-Then Thomas makes a nice save, we go the other way and Zdeno Chara takes a nice shot.
-8 mins in, Mike Mottau with some great defensive work and moves.
-Then we get a nice 3-on-2 break for a good chance.
-Then halfway through, the Sabres get a stand.. We defend well and Thomas makes some good saves.
-Then Weber gets an interference penalty.
-On the power play we can’t get much going and they kill it off.
-Soon after we do some good work and get some nice chances, one of which was a nice pass from Daniel Paille to Thornton in crashing the net.. he hits the crossbar.
-Almost 16 mins in, we had some nice offensive zone work, then Lucic fanned on a pass and the Sabres took it and got a rush.. Thomas makes a couple saves, but then Brad Boyes scores his 7th goal of the season.
-Almost 19 mins in, Seguin with a great pass to Chara who brings it in on net like a forward and takes a good shot.
-Then Chara puts a big hit on Patrick Kaleta and throws him down in front of our net and gets a penalty.
-On the penalty kill:
–To start off, Greg Zanon makes a steal on the Sabres rushing in, Peverley takes it and gets a shorthanded breakaway, dekes, takes a nice shot, but Jhonas Enroth makes a big kick save. Then Paille makes another steal and almost gets a breakaway as the period ends.
-The period ends tied 1-1.
-We lead in shots on goal at 23-17, and in scoring chances at 10-6.
-We’re 9-7-2 when tied after two periods this season.
-To start, we finish killing off the Chara penalty.. near the end of which, Bergeron made a defensive steal and got a breakaway with a nice shot.
-As it ends, we rush in and Derek Roy trips the Bruins rushing in, his stick breaks, and he doesn’t get a penalty.. he also carried the pieces of the stick with him, which you’re not supposed to do.
-Over the next several minutes, we dominate with some nice offensive work, spending most of the time in their end.
-7 mins in, Thomas makes a nice save on Roy but is left on one side of the net as Boyes gets the rebound on the other side and scores his 8th goal on the open net.
-Soon after, they’re in our end, lots of shoving around the net.. then Pominville gets his 30th goal of the season with a deflected shot.
-9 mins in, Andrej Sekera gets penalty for tripping Joe Corvo rushing in.
-On the power play:
–To start, Seguin shoots it off the post, then shoots the rebound and Enroth robs him.
–Halfway through, Bergeron pass to Seguin for a one-timer.. he scores his 29th goal of the season and 2nd of the game with a bullet of a shot!
-12 mins in, Bergeron makes a steal in their end and gets a nice shot. The Sabres recover, but then he steals it again, quick pass to Brad Marchand.. he scores his 28th goal of the season! As I said, Bergeron, hands down, should be this year’s Selke Trophy winner!
-Soon after the “we want cup” chant breaks out as it did at the end of last year.
-With under 3 mins to go, Dennis Seidenberg does a great job to keep the puck in their end, then we get a couple of nice shots.
-With 2 mins left, the Sabres get a 2-on-1 break and Thomas makes a great save, aggressively far out of his net.
-At the end of the game we get a nice rush and Seguin takes a good shot.
-Regulation time ends tied 3-3 and they go to overtime.
-In the first minute, we get a couple of good chances.
-In the third minute, we get a good offensive stand with some great effort.
-3 mins in, Chris Kelly takes the puck in our end, brings it ahead, gives a drop pass to Benoit Pouliot for a nice shot.
-Then Paille passes to Gregory Campbell in front of the net and the puck dribbles just past the post.
-With a minute left, we have a great offensive stand and Marchand gets a nice shot.
-It ends wit nobody scoring, so they go to a shootout.. the last of the season as they don’t do them in the playoffs.
-The Bruins outshot the Sabres 5-0 in overtime.
-In total, we led shots on goal at 40-28, and scoring chances at 17-15.
-David Krejci goes.. Jhonas Enroth makes a glove save.
-Tyler Ennis goes.. does multiple dekes.. nice kick save by Tim Thomas.
-Tyler Seguin goes.. does a bunch of dekes, almost squeaks it just inside the post, but Enroth gets his foot on it.
-Brad Boyes goes.. dekes.. nice save by Thomas.
-Patrice Bergeron goes.. fakes the shot.. scores 5-hole!
-Jason Pominville goes.. fakes.. Thomas makes the save to end the season with a win!
-The Bruins were 9-3 and Thomas was 7-1 in shootouts this season.
Final Thoughts / Notes
-Brian Rolston was rested for this game.
-In our last game against the Sabres, Tim Thomas only needed to make 19 saves and we won 3-1 with goals from Johnny Boychuk, Gregory Campbell and David Krejci.
-Tim Thomas started in net for the Bruins. In his last 7 games before this one, his record was 5-1-1 with a shutout and a 1.54 GAA, not allowing more than 2 goals in a game.
-In their net, Jhonas Enroth started. In his last 10 games before this one, he was 0-8-2 with a 3.25 GAA. He hasn’t won a game since November 26, 2011.
-Chris Kelly is the only Bruin that played in all 82 regular season games.
-Patrice Bergeron had an amazing game with 3 assists and the game-winning shootout goal. He has been great and consistent both offensively and defensively. In the 81 games he played this season, he had 22 goals, 42 assists, a +/- rating of +36, and 973 faceoff wins.. I think he led the league in faceoff win percentage.
-Tyler Seguin scored his 28th and 29th goals of the season in this game and finished the regular season with 67 points.
-We won the season series against the Sabres at 4-2.
-With this win, the Bruins now have a 24-14-3 record at home.
-The Bruins are the only team in NHL with a perfect record when leading after 2 periods this season and when leading by two, we were 38-0-0! They have also won 9 of their last 12 games.
-The Bruins have been the Northeast Division champions in 3 out of the last 4 years, with 2 in a row.
Here’s NESN’s game preview (with Bruins/Sabres history & build-up):
Here’s a video of Shawn Thornton fighting and taking down Robyn Regehr:
Here’s a video of Tyler Seguin’s goal assisted by Patrice Bergeron with a steal:
Here’s a video of Tyler Seguin’s 2nd goal of the game (29th of the season):
Here’s a video of Brad Marchand’s goal to tie the game (28th of the season):
Here’s a video recap of the goals and big saves in the game:
Here’s another video recap that shows more, but is low quality:
Here’s a video of the shootout:
Here’s the NHL’s video recap of the game:
Here’s the NHL’s page of video clips of the goals and some saves and hits:
Here’s the NHL’s photos from the game:
Thanks for reading,