I took a quick shower because I had 20 minutes to spare and after cooking deviled eggs, chocolate/peanut butter brownies, and dinner (mac & cheese), I needed a break that didn’t involve the kitchen or washing dishes. I am in my pajamas at 7 o’clock, and I beat my grandmother for once. (Before anybody asks, they’re comfy flannel pants and the most comfortable XL t-shirt in the world.)
Pre-Game Show: I didn’t miss a second of the pre-game show and saw Malkin walking in with Gonchar. Then they showed the Bruins coming off the bus, one of my favorite parts, with Chara, Stastny, Alberts and Boyes. King Kessel will be interviewed in his first pre-game interview of the season, and probably his career. Axelsson will decide if he can go. Tom Fitzgerald is solo tonight with Eric Frede.
I will be doing some serious live-blogging tonight. Period recaps posted after each period, so let’s get the game started already!
Starters: Finley, Savard, Axelsson, Murray, Chara, Alberts. Axelsson is a go with an extra piece of protection on the skate. Scratches are Jurcina and Stastny. They showed Crosby standing for the anthem. Fleury is in net for the Penguins.
I have to remember there are two Stuarts playing for the Bruins tonight. I have to specify which one it is.
First Period: Brad Stuart received a big hit on his first shift of the game. Penguins had their first couple of shots on net, and Finley made the saves. Brad Stuart had a hit. Mark Stuart has his first shift less than 3 minutes into the game. Chistov picks up a penalty at 2:11 for delay of game (shooting puck into the stands). Not a great way to start the game. Chara had a couple of hits on the penalty killing shift. Alberts made a nice play to knock the puck away from a Penguins player in mid-air, and Chara cleared the puck out of the zone. Brad Stuart blocked a shot. Finley covered the puck after it bounced off of a couple of Bruins and into the crease. Savard blocked a shot, and the penalty is up. Sturm had a bit of bad luck when his stick broke at the butt-end when he was handling the puck. The Donovan-Mowers-Primeau line spent the most amount of time in the offensive zone. Dempsey and Mark Stuart need a little bit better communication because there have been a couple of times when Dempsey will reverse the puck, and Mark isn’t there. Finley with a nice pad save on a Penguins shot. Bruins get a too many men on the ice penalty (shocker) at 9:59, and Kessel is in the box serving the penalty. Christensen got a penalty for diving at 10:33 to even things up for some 4-on-4 hockey. Bruins had some nice chances on their abbreviated power play, with Chara and Alberts (seriously) at the points. Alberts had a shot, and Murray was there for the rebound but couldn’t get the puck by Fleury, despite my screaming, “Get it in!” Christensen had a breakaway coming out of the box, and Mark Stuart got a tripping penalty on the play at 12:42. Bruins killed off the penalty. Chara had a giveaway in the defensive zone, but the forwards back-checked and had a 2-on-1 going the other way, where nothing happened. Recchi scores on an innocent play and shot, and the puck beat Finley glove-side. (-1 Dempsey, M. Stuart, Primeau, Donovan, Mowers.) Mara picks up a penalty for delay of game at 19:10. Penguins have 1:10 of power play time to start the second period. Penguins have the 1-0 lead after one. Bruins had 11 shots while the Penguins had 7.
Stats/Thoughts: According to the scoresheet, Alberts had two hits and leads the Bruins right now. I swear I saw Brad Stuart with at least two hits. Murray is leading the team in shots with 3. Chara played 9:50. Mowers, Chara and Alberts each blocked two shots. Even Tom Fitzgerald knew what to do on that Penguins goal. He probably could have defended better than Dempsey, who was playing it like a 2-on-1. I’m still looking for where Mark Stuart tripped Christensen.
Second Period: Well, Finley is out of the game now (most likely injury as he spoke with the trainer), and Thomas is now in net. Penguins thought they had a power play goal, but the referee blew the whistle before the puck went in the net. The Bruins looked like they were killing a penalty while it was 5-on-5. I actually had to count the Bruins on the ice to make sure I didn’t miss a penalty when I was on the phone. (I have a Cam Neely story to be posted later.) Thomas got a delay of game penalty for touching the puck outside of the trapezoid. Are you kidding me, Bruins? They go from hooking players to taking foolish penalties. The arena announcers said it was Finley. They didn’t realize there was a new goalie in net. Boyes served the penalty. While on the penalty kill, I heard Jack Edwards say something about Alberts getting hit and his neck snapping back. Hopefully it’s nothing, but it looked like he was hurting a bit after. Bruins killed off the penalty. Bruins get a power play after Savard was tripped up, but Petrovicky got a hooking penalty. Savard makes a perfect pass to Chistov who was camped out at the side of the net, and Chistov slips the puck past Fleury at 10:20. A power play goal scored by Chistov, with assists going to Savard and Mara. After a brief blackout by NESN, Sturm scored off a nice pass from Bergeron, and Boyes picks up the other assist. (+1 Sturm, Bergeron, Boyes, Alberts, Chara.) Ruutu picks up a double-minor (roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct) for picking on Donovan at 13:18. Donovan’s jersey got some major rips near the collar, which would be a great game-worn jersey to own. Bruins get a four minute power play and can do some damage. Which Chara does with a goal at 14:24, puck hit the inside of the post. The assists went to Bergeron and Savard. Power play goal, and they have another power play left. NESN had me and everybody else going “What the hell!” when Savard had the puck in front of the net because the picture froze. You cannot do that NESN. It’s not nice! (My mother said it kept doing this on Monday night.) So NESN viewers missed the rest of the power play. And Brad Stuart picked up a boarding penalty at 16:25. Thomas made a glove save on Malkin on the penalty kill. Bruins killed off the Stuart penalty and have a Chara penalty (elbowing) to kill off next at 18:45. Penguins go offside on the power play. Bruins have the lead 3-1 after two periods.
Stats/Thoughts: It was definitely Chistov I saw yesterday and not Mark Stuart because Chistov has a lot more hair. I want to type less during the next period, which means less penalties, please. Chara has played 18:29. Mark Stuart now has 2 hits to tie Alberts’s 2 hits. Murray is still leading the team in shots with 4 now. Mowers and Alberts lead the team in blocked shots with 3 apiece.
Third Period: Bruins killed off the remaining time on Chara’s penalty. Axelsson showed off his good hockey sense when he read a defensive play perfectly and proceeded to break it up. Thomas made a couple of saves so far. Bruins go offside when Mowers took his time tagging up. Crosby is hanging out with some kids, which pretty much fits. Some play going on in the Bruins defensive zone after a few attempts to clear the puck failed. Malkin picked up a penalty in the offensive zone when he wrapped both arms around Alberts, getting a holding penalty at 7:56. Fleury made an awesome save on Murray after he was set up from Savard. Murray had another chance that looked like it was on the goal line, but ended up hitting both posts. Going back the other way, Malkin scores after he comes out of the penalty box at 10:02. The power play unit was still on the ice. (-1 B. Stuart, Savard, Murray, Axelsson, Bergeron.) Bruins still up 3-2 with less than 9 minutes left now. Edwards is calling Mara “Chara” because there’s a 3 in the number. Huge saves by Thomas on Malkin and Recchi. Donovan could have made it a two-goal lead again when he had Fleury lying in the crease, but Fleury got his blocker hand on the puck. Primeau and Mowers had a 2-on-1, but couldn’t cash in. Mark Stuart gets a penalty for roughing at 13:26. Axelsson made a great shorthanded play and got a shot on net, and a face-off in the Penguins zone. Bruins killed off the penalty, which was a huge kill for the Bruins. Then the Bruins had a 3-on-1 going down to the Penguins zone, with Mark Stuart carrying the puck. Mark Stuart took the shot, and there was a rebound, but no Bruin could get it. Penguins got a too many men on the ice penalty. The Bruins are using two defensemen at the points, which is wise because the Penguins are pretty good shorthanded and there is less than four minutes left in the game. Chara lost an edge while the unit was changing and almost had a turnover in the defensive zone. Brad Stuart and Mara are on the points for the second unit. Penguins killed off the penalty. What looked like a great defensive play by Alberts on Malkin got Alberts a hooking penalty at 17:56. Alberts didn’t even touch him, let alone get his stick in there for a hooking penalty. That’s despicable. Gonchar could have gotten an interference penalty when he interfered with Bergeron at the blue line, but the refs ignored that. Recchi scores while the Penguins have an extra attacker out for the power play with 30 seconds left.
Overtime: Murray had the first shot in overtime. Bruins are going with three forwards and one defenseman in overtime. Thomas made a huge save with less than two minutes left in overtime. After Chara coughs up the puck in the defensive zone, Thomas made an even bigger save on Malkin. Bruins take a timeout. 1:35 left in overtime. Brad Stuart and Chara out there now. Now it’s only Mara and three forwards. Mara had a shot and Fleury made the save.
Shootout: So much for a nice relaxing game in my pajamas. Rally helmets!!! Let’s go Bruins! Boyes was having a little trouble with his rally helmet because of the visor. Kessel wears his like a pro. Bergeron has his rally helmet on, so Boyes shouldn’t have a problem. Penguins are shooting first. Ouellett is up first, and he missed the net. Sturm shooting first for the Bruins, scores five hole!! Malkin next, save by Thomas! Bergeron next, save by Fleury. Gonchar next, save by Thomas!! Rally helmets work again! Bruins win 4-3.
Post-Game: Tom Fitzgerald had me laughing like a fool when he was describing Malkin’s penalty for holding Alberts, paraphrasing would be “maybe he likes Alberts.” I also had a comment in my head regarding the penalty when it happened, but I can’t type it. Murray led the Bruins with 6 shots on net. Alberts and Mark Stuart still hold the lead in hits with 2 apiece. Alberts led the team in blocked shots with 4. Primeau won 70% of his face-offs. Thomas had 16 saves in the win. Bruins had 31 shots on net. Thomas says the rally helmets are the key to the shootout. Fitzgerald just called Finley a “bugger” because of his bad luck with injuries. Finley's injury is being described as a lower body injury.
Bruins will have a late skate tomorrow and a short one and then can go do their Thanksgiving plans. My house will have a 17½ pound turkey for dinner, so if anybody doesn’t have a place to go, consider that your open invitation.