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TD Bank

B’s Feeling Minnesota, 2-1

Thursday, 03.08.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
By John Bishop  -
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B’s Feeling Minnesota, 2-1\r\n
Podcast: BruinsCast

Boston - The Boston Bruins suffered another setback in their quest for a postseason berth, this time to the Minnesota Wild, 2-1, Thursday night in the TD Banknorth Garden. Boston's Brandon Bochenski scored his 11th goal of the season in the loss.

"We had some great (scoring) opportunities that missed the net," said Bruins head coach Dave Lewis. "We can't 'fine tune' (our shots). We have to get the goalie to make a save.

"And that's from trying to hard."

You can't blame the Bruins for pressing. Every remaining contest on their schedule is a "big game."

On this night, the Wild had traveled to Boston with a record of 36-24-7 and hoped to solidify their eighth place standing in the Western Conference in a rare visit to Massachusetts.

Their opponents, the homestanding Boston Bruins, came in at 32-29-5 and four points out of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. But having already lost veteran sniper Glen Murray to a lower body injury for an indefinite period, before the game, the Black & Gold learned that they would be without defensive specialist P.J. Axelsson for three to four weeks with a wrist injury.

Perhaps due to the new faces and placements in the Boston lineup, and the unfamiliarity between the teams, both clubs were a little tentative in their first meeting in the TD Banknorth Garden since March 18, 2004.

As such, there was no scoring and there were only three penalties handed out in the first period. But, per usual in the new era NHL, the goalies were busy and Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom made 12 saves in the first, while Boston's Tim Thomas made eight.

To the chagrin of the home fans, the Minnesota Wild took control of the game in the second period. Brian Rolston scored his 27th goal of the season at 3:59, with an assist going to Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Bouchard then scored his 18th of the year at 13:00 to put the Wild up 2-0 going into the second break.

"(Rolston) made a really good shot, high glove," said Thomas, who tipped his cap to the forward, and seemed as if he wanted the goal back. "He had his head buried (and) I didn't think he'd be able to pick a corner, like that. I thought he was just going to try and rifle it somewhere because he never looked up to see where the net was.

"And on the second goal…he was able to cut so far over on the blocker side that I had to open up to move a little bit to move over to take (that side of the) net back over when he goes that way. And he put it in a pretty good spot -- five hole."

Backstrom, Minnesota's goalie, continued to stymie the Bruins despite their being able to pour another dozen shots on the Wild goal in the period. Minnesota threw 15 shots at Thomas in the stanza.

Brandon Bochenski tipped a shot from Dennis Wideman and scored a late goal for the Bruins to make the score 2-1 at 18:24.

"(Bergeron) had a great battle on the wall…and made a great play," said Wideman of the genesis of the play. "He backhanded it out to me and I just threw it at the net."

"The puck wasn't moving too quick so I tried to get a deflection on it," said Bochenski of Wideman's shot. "I tipped it down as it was going high."

The late Boston surge was unable to overtake the Wild, however, as Backstrom finished with 29 saves and Minnesota held on for the win.

"We were really applying pressure there in the third," said Thomas, who finished the game with 30 saves. "We had some bounces go our way…we did the right things to give ourselves…a chance."

Lewis insisted that his squad would not throw in the towel.

"I am going to use a Winston Churchill phrase, 'Never surrender.' That's how we have to play. That's what I told the guys at the end of the game."
Coors Light - To the Black, The Gold, and The Cold




1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
3 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
6 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
7 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
8 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43


P. Bergeron 61 18 26 4 44
L. Eriksson 61 14 21 2 35
R. Smith 62 12 23 11 35
B. Marchand 57 18 16 8 34
M. Lucic 61 13 21 11 34
D. Hamilton 62 10 24 0 34
C. Soderberg 62 10 24 6 34
T. Krug 58 11 20 6 31
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
C. Kelly 60 7 19 8 26
T. Rask 25 16 9 .920 2.34
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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