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Sturm, Auld Save Bruins

Friday, 02.22.2008 / 2:15 AM / Features
By Angela Stefano  - BostonBruins.com
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Sturm, Auld Save Bruins
As Seen on NESN – A change in goal and a hard-fought battle during the third period led to a 5-4 shootout victory for the Bruins against the Florida Panthers, earning the team seven of eight possible points during the first four games of this five-game roadtrip.

“We knew that [the Panthers] had blown two-goal leads [in the third period] in the past few games, and they might be a little fragile in that area,” head coach Claude Julien told NESN after the game, “so we came out with lots of confidence, worked on that first goal, and took it from there.

Third-period goals from Zdeno Chara and Phil Kessel led the game to overtime, and Marco Sturm secured the win for the B’s with the only goal of the shootout.

“I didn’t like [shootouts] this morning,” joked Sturm, who had missed in a shootout on Monday morning.  “I’m glad it finally went in.”

Alex Auld, who replaced goalie Tim Thomas at the start of the third period, said he thought playing with the Panthers last season helped him block their shootout attempts.

“[Steve Montador, Nathan Horton and Olli Jokinen] are three guys that I know pretty well from playing…with these guys,” said Auld.  “Last year, I stayed out a lot after with these guys.”

Staying calm in the heat of the moment is also a key to winning a shootout, Auld said.

“Patience is huge; try not to make that first move,” he explained.  “The first one almost sunk in, but it just stayed out.”

Coach Julien acknowledged the netminder’s role in turning the game around during the final 20 minutes of regular play.

“[Auld] played a big role for us in the third period when we needed some good goaltending,” Coach Julien said.  “It’s never easy to come into those situations, but I’m glad that the guys fought back.”

Even when they were down by two goals, the Black & Gold didn’t give up.

“Obviously we weren’t getting the results we wanted through the first 40 minutes, but we stayed with it and got some huge goals,” Auld said, adding that the entire team played a good game.

The team had a positive outlook despite the not-so-positive scoreboard, said Sturm.

“We knew we were the better team,” he said, “and even after the second, we kept going and going.”

“We battled back tonight, and the guys did a good job getting a gutsy win, pulling it out there,” said Shawn Thornton.

A simple, by-the-book style of play seemed to help.  The team “stuck to the system,” said Thornton.  “We stuck to the forecheck and held on to the puck when we had it.”

The past few games for the Bruins have been nail-biting, last-minute wins – or near-wins, in the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs game on Saturday – but they’re still racking up the points, and that’s what matters.

“So far, so good for us,” Thornton said.  “A win’s a win, and I’ll take that.”

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