Nine observations: B's 5, Jackets 3
December, 10, 2011
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com
The Bruins snapped their two-game skid with a 5-3 win over the Blue Jackets at Columbus.
Defenseman Joe Corvo scored his first two goals as a Bruin, the second a power-play tally that proved to be the game winner. The Bruins also got goals from Nathan Horton, Zdeno Chara and Chris Kelly, and Milan Lucic (three assists) and David Krejci (two assists) lent a helping hand as well.
Tim Thomas had his first bad game of the season, allowing three goals on 25 shots before being pulled in favor of Tuukka Rask, who made eleven saves in the final period.
The Blue Jackets got goals from Rick Nash, R.J. Umberger and Jeff Carter. Curtis Sanford allowed five goals on 29 shots.
Corvo finally finds the twine ... twice! There has been plenty of criticism lately of Corvo, and even Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli for signing the puck-moving blueliner in the offseason. Corvo has struggled plenty in his own end and hadn't exactly come as advertised, with just 10 points and no goals in the first 27 games. On Saturday, Corvo answered the critics with his first two goals as a Bruin and looked a lot more comfortable in the defensive zone. His second goal put the Bruins up 4-3 6:44 into the third period and proved to be the game winner. If he can keep his confidence up and stay consistent, Corvo could be a valuable piece to this lineup. He has the skills, and it just seems to be more a case of a lack of confidence.
Chara injured in second and does not return: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara gave his team a 3-2 lead 58 seconds into the second period, but the period did not end well for the big defenseman. He collided with Blue Jackets defenseman Antoine Vermette late in the second and did not return after missing the final five minutes of the period. The Bruins did not say what the injury was.
Thomas pulled For the first time this season, Tim Thomas was pulled. Having entered the game as a leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy with a 13-5-0 record, 1.83 GAA and .941 save percentage, Thomas finally looked human Saturday, allowing three goals on 25 shots. He was pulled after the second period in favor of Rask.
Quick strikes get Bruins going: After falling behind 2-0 early in the first period, the Bruins finally woke up late in the period with two goals in 45 seconds from Corvo and Nathan Horton. They then took the lead 58 ticks into the third and never trailed after that.
Power play finds some power: For the first time since their 3-1 win at Pittsburgh last Monday, the Bruins scored two power-play goals. The Bruins were 3-for-6 on the power play Saturday night with Chara, Chris Kelly and Corvo all scoring on the man advantage.
Jamie Sabau/Getty ImagesShawn Thornton, left, got his revenge against Jared Boll on Saturday.
Lucic redeems himself: After taking three penalties -- one of which led to the second Blue Jackets goal -- in the first period, Lucic almost immediately redeemed himself. He helped set up two goals in 45 seconds late in the first period to help the Bruins erase a two-goal deficit, and then assisted on Chara's second-period goal. That was also his 100th assist of his career. Lucic picked up his physical play after that with some booming hits.
Marchand responds to Julien's message: Bruins coach Claude Julien has never been afraid to send messages to his players if he thinks they need to improve or clean up their act. That has especially been true with winger Brad Marchand, who is constantly walking the line with his play in terms of discipline. Marchand has been struggling offensively as well, with no points in his last three games coming into Saturday. That may be why Julien decided to reward Benoit Pouliot -- who he termed "one of our best players Thursday" after practice Friday -- with more power-play time, giving less to Marchand. Pouliot was skating on the wing in Marchand's place with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin on the power play. But just as he has in the past, Marchand got the message and drew a power play for his team with 1:34 left in regulation, leaving Columbus short-handed while trailing by one. He was then back on the power play and assisted on Kelly's goal.
Thornton gets his revenge on Boll: In the Bruins' 2-1 shootout win over Columbus on Nov. 17, Bruins winger and Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll had a passionate fight. But as the fight was being broken up by the referees, Boll got in a few extra shots and Thornton was heated after trying to break loose and get at Boll again. Following that game, Thornton was sporting a nice gash on his face and was not happy. On Saturday, he got his revenge with a decisive win over Boll 2:57 into regulation.
Caron in for Paille: With Daniel Paille out with a mild concussion, Jordan Caron -- a regular healthy scratch -- found himself in the lineup for the second time in the last three games. Caron had a solid game and played well on the penalty kill. Here's the rest of the lineup:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Jordan Caron-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid