for this game

Krejci helps Bruins outlast Avalanche

Oct 10, 2008 - 6:18 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- David Krejci made the Boston Bruins' first visit to Colorado in over two seasons a successful one.

Krejci snapped a tie with 2:36 remaining in the third period and the Bruins hung on to post a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in the season opener for both teams on Thursday.

Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler, Marc Savard and Michael Ryder also tallied for the Bruins, who improved to 7-20-5 in season openers on the road. Boston was visiting Colorado for the first time since December 7, 2005.

Patrice Bergeron - who was playing for the first time since last October 27 due to a concussion - and Chuck Kobasew each notched a pair of assists while Tim Thomas made 35 saves for Boston, which halted a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) in season-opening games.

"We found a way to win," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We scored some goals. There are certain areas of our game that maybe we're not as pleased, but we managed to score five goals, and that was something that was a bit of a struggle for us last year."

Milan Hejduk, Wojtek Wolski, Cody McLeod and defenseman Jordan Leopold netted goals for the Avalanche, who lost a home opener at the Pepsi Center for the first time (6-1-2).

With neither team able to gain a two-goal advantage and the contest appearing destined for a shootout, Krejci gave Boston its fourth and final lead of the night late in the third, sweeping the puck past goaltender Peter Budaj from the left side of the net.

"We just battled in the corner," Krejci said. "We got the puck behind the net and I set up Chuck in the slot. He made a nice pass to me. I just shot it and hoped it would go through."

The Bruins were forced to hold on for dear life as the Avalanche received a power play with 1:41 remaining. But even with Budaj pulled for an extra attacker, Colorado was unable to get the equalizer, registering just two shots during the two-man advantage.

"When we score five goals and we keep battling back, it makes me want to keep trying harder, especially after the fourth goal (by Colorado), which was a bad rebound on my part," Thomas said. "I was really happy when we got that fifth goal, and I wanted to close it out."

"It was nice to be able to get a win," Julien said. "That was the important thing. Hopefully by game 82, we'll forget how we won this one."

Budaj, who finished with 15 saves, was disappointed with both the winning goal and the loss.

"It was a tough bounce for us, a good bounce for them," the Slovakian said. "That's the way it goes. ... It was a tough loss. Sometimes you win the games you should have lost and lose the games you should have won."

Signed as a free agent over the summer, Ryder scored his 100th career goal 5:36 into the third period to give Boston a 4-3 lead. After Savard beat defenseman John-Michael Liles to the puck on a dump-in, he made a backhand pass to Ryder, who beat Budaj from the bottom of the right faceoff circle.

But Leopold knotted the game with 9:43 left, grabbing a rebound in the slot and beating Thomas to the glove side.

Kessel opened the scoring 6:21 into the contest, when he beat Budaj to the glove side with a wrist shot from the slot following a turnover along the left wing boards. After Budaj denied Bergeron's breakaway chance, Hejduk tapped in a pass from behind the net by Paul Stastny during a power play at 10:02 to even the game.

Making his NHL debut, Wheeler answered 49 seconds later with a wrister from the slot off a feed from Kobasew. The 22-year-old, who was drafted fifth overall by Phoenix in 2004, signed with Boston as a free agent on July 1.

"It was a dream-come-true night for me. You couldn't have wrote it any better," Wheeler said. "Chuck and Krejci made unbelievable plays on that goal. Krejci held onto it, froze the goalie and gave it right back to me. I knew the goalie was sliding, so I threw it at his feet and found a hole.

"Those two guys made the play happen. I just kind of got in the right spot."

Thomas robbed Joe Sakic with a right pad save with eight minutes to go and the Bruins successfully killed a 5-on-3 disadvantage that lasted 1 minute, 56 seconds. But the Avalanche managed to knot the contest at 2-2 with 5:08 left in the first, when Wolski poked in a loose puck from the right side just seven seconds after the power play expired.

Colorado took its first lead at 3-2 just over 6 1/2 minutes into the middle session. After Thomas stopped a shot by Sakic, McLeod put the rebound between the netminder's pads from the left side.

Starting his 20th season in the NHL, all with the Colorado franchise, Sakic notched an assist for his 27th career point in season openers - tying Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky for third place on the all-time list. Former Bruin great Ray Bourque and Jaromir Jagr each recorded 30 points in season-opening games.

The Avalanche's lead did not last long, however, as Savard deflected captain Zdeno Chara's slap shot from the top of the slot past Budaj for a power-play goal at 10:43.

Liles registered two assists for Colorado, which outshot Boston, 20-5, in the first period.

"That first period, I thought we played real well," Sakic said. "Thomas made some big saves. ... I thought Thomas was the first star out there. He was pretty good."

"You have to give (Thomas) credit," Leopold added. "He played well and they did what they had to do."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 2 1 2 5
    COLORADO 2 1 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 1 (PATRICE BERGERON, ANDREW FERENCE) 6:21
    COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 1 (PAUL STASTNY, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    10:02
    BOS - BLAKE WHEELER 1 (CHUCK KOBASEW, DAVID KREJCI) 10:51
    COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 1 (MAREK SVA

    Oct 10 12:47 AM
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    Bruins 5, Avalanche 4  3rd - 1:00Oct 10 12:44 AM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 5
    COLORADO 4
    3RD PRD: BOS - DAVID KREJCI 1 (CHUCK KOBASEW, MILAN LUCIC) 17:24

    Bruins 5, Avalanche 4  3rd - 2:36Oct 10 12:40 AM
  • 50
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    RUWTbot Took away 59 roots (Close Finish)

    Bruins 5, Avalanche 4  3rd - 2:36Oct 10 12:40 AM
  • 109
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    Bruins 4, Avalanche 4  3rd - 4:21Oct 10 12:36 AM
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    Bruins 4, Avalanche 4  3rd - 5:37Oct 10 12:32 AM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 4
    COLORADO 4
    3RD PRD: COL - JORDAN LEOPOLD 1 (MILAN HEJDUK, RUSLAN SALEI) 10:17

    Bruins 4, Avalanche 4  3rd - 9:43Oct 10 12:28 AM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 4
    COLORADO 3
    3RD PRD: BOS - MICHAEL RYDER 1 (MARC SAVARD, P.J. AXELSSON) 5:36

    Bruins 4, Avalanche 3  3rd - 14:24Oct 10 12:20 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 2 1 3
    COLORADO 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 1 (PATRICE BERGERON, ANDREW FERENCE) 6:21
    COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 1 (PAUL STASTNY, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    10:02
    BOS - BLAKE WHEELER 1 (CHUCK KOBASEW, DAVID KREJCI) 10:51
    COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI

    Oct 10 12:10 AM
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    Bruins 3, Avalanche 3  2nd - 2:47Oct 10 12:05 AM
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    Bruins 3, Avalanche 3  2nd - 2:47Oct 10 12:03 AM
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    Bruins 3, Avalanche 3  2nd - DelayedOct 9 11:49 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 3
    COLORADO 3
    2ND PRD: BOS - (PP) MARC SAVARD 1 (ZDENO CHARA) 10:43

    Bruins 3, Avalanche 3  2nd - 9:17Oct 9 11:35 PM
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    Bruins 3, Avalanche 3  2nd - 9:17Oct 9 11:35 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    COLORADO 3
    2ND PRD: COL - CODY MCLEOD 1 (JOE SAKIC, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES) 6:34

    Bruins 2, Avalanche 3  2nd - 13:26Oct 9 11:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 2 2
    COLORADO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 1 (PATRICE BERGERON) 6:21
    COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 1 (PAUL STASTNY, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    10:02
    BOS - BLAKE WHEELER 1 (DAVID KREJCI, CHUCK KOBASEW) 10:51
    COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 1 (MAREK SVATOS

    Oct 9 10:58 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    COLORADO 2
    1ST PRD: COL - WOJTEK WOLSKI 1 (MAREK SVATOS, DARCY TUCKER) 14:52

    Bruins 2, Avalanche 2  1st - 5:08Oct 9 10:49 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: BOS - BLAKE WHEELER 1 (DAVID KREJCI, CHUCK KOBASEW) 10:51

    Bruins 2, Avalanche 1  1st - 9:09Oct 9 10:40 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 1 (PAUL STASTNY, JOHN-MICHAEL LILES)
    10:02

    Bruins 1, Avalanche 1  1st - 9:58Oct 9 10:39 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 1 (PATRICE BERGERON) 6:21

    Bruins 1, Avalanche 0  1st - 13:39Oct 9 10:33 PM
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    Bruins vs. AvalancheOct 9 10:45 AM