Phil Kessel scores the deciding goal in the shootout. The puck is in the net next to water bottle.
Boston Bruins' Marc Savard (91) takes a shot on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, of Sweden, as Peter Schaefer (72) looks for the rebound in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Boston, MA -- The Boston Bruins defeated the New York Rangers 1-0 in a shootout Saturday afternoon at the TD Banknorth Garden. Boston's Phil Kessel scored the deciding goal in the penalty shot contest and goalie Manny Fernandez stopped 26 shots and everything he saw in the shootout to earn his second victory. Henrik Lunqvist was only beaten by Kessel and finished with 19 saves.
"That was a pretty good hockey team (that came) into our building," said Boston head coach Claude Julien of the Rangers. "They may not have the wins that they would like to have, but on paper that’s a team that’s extremely good and talented.
"I thought they came ready to play and for us I thought we were ready to counter that," he said.
The Bruins hosted the Rangers Saturday afternoon in the first of four games between these teams this season and the first of two games of this season's series at TD Banknorth Garden. Prior to the game, Travis Roy, who was accompanied by Boston University hockey coach Jack Parker, performed the ceremonial puck drop.
Roy's foundation has begun a $1.1 million campaign to help empower those afflicted with spinal injuries. Roy himself was injured when, after 11-seconds of his first college hockey shift at Boston U., he suffered a severe neck injury when he fell into the boards at BU's Walter Brown Arena -- 11 years ago, today.
Chris Drury, his linemate on that day, took the ceremonial face off for New York against Boston's Zdeno Chara and at the conclusion of the puck drop, the Boston Bruins Foundation donated $100,000 to the Travis Roy Foundation.
Despite the moving ceremony, the first half of the first period would best be described as sleepy -- perhaps justifiably due to the movement of the game's start time from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m.
"There are still some things we’d like to improve," said Julien, "like creating more shots and scoring chances. But I think you learn to win even more in those kind of tight games."
Jack Parker, Cam Neely, Travis Roy, Bob Sweeney, Charlie Jacobs with Check for the Travis Roy Foundation.
The entire building woke up with 5:13 on the clock when Lundqvist, the Rangers goalie, made a point-blank, highlight-reel glove save on Boston's Marc Savard. It was a spectacular stop that left Savard flat on his back, looking up at the banners, surely wondering what he might have to do to score on New York's goalie as the crowd "awwwwing" at the replay.
Because of several New York penalties, Boston held sway in the shooting department and finished the frame with nine shots to New York's four, but the score remained tied, 0-0.
Manny Fernandez made his own goal saving play when he stopped a Brendan Shanahan shorthanded breakaway 1:32 of the second period. The Bruins goaltender continued to be a big factor for Boston as the period progressed and the Rangers pulled even in shots (14-14).
"I think tonight was a step in the right direction," said Fernandez after the game. "It’s a confidence builder."
Manny vs. Jaromir
Neither team was able to capitalize on numerous power play chances and the game remained, 0-0.
The fine goaltending on the day continued into the third period as the teams traded scoring chances and the masked men traded saves. That trend continued late into the third even as the Rangers gained an edge in shots (25 -18 at the end of 3 periods).
Fernandez continued his brilliance, but in most instances needed only to make the first save before Boston defenders took over. As such, the scoreboard did not change and the game went to 4-on-4 overtime.
"We went out there in the third and it’s not like we sat back," said the Bruins head coach. "We just played the game and avoided the mistake that was going to cost us.
"And we ended up getting rewarded at the end."
Boston Bruins' Milan Lucic (62) and Glen Murray, second from left, skate in to celebrate after Philip Kessel, right, scored the winning goal in a sudden-death shootout against the New York Rangers during an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007, in Boston. The Bruins won, 1-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The overtime was predictably back and forth, and both clubs had sincere chaces to put the game away. Neither team took advantage of their chances and the game went to a penalty shot contest.
Super soph Kessel scored the game winner, in that shootout, and gave the B's a 1-0 victory.
"I just went down there and got lucky," said the overly-humble Kessel. "I was just fortunate."
"Phil is a gifted hockey player when it comes to those kinds of things so it was nice to see him score that goal," said Julien. "(As far as Fernandez), we definitely know that he’s capable of that kind of game and it’s certainly good for his confidence."