for this game

Kessel, Stuart star as Bruins thump Thrashers

Dec 13, 2008 - 5:30 AM
By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Boston Bruins scored early and often to make quick work of the woeful Atlanta Thrashers.

Phil Kessel extended his points streak to 14 games with a goal and two assists and defenseman Mark Stuart posted the first two-goal performance of his career as the Bruins cruised to a 7-3 triumph over the Thrashers in Friday's opener of a home-and-home series.

Milan Lucic and Michael Ryder recorded a goal and an assist apiece while David Krejci, Marc Savard and blue-liner Matt Hunwick each set up a pair of tallies for Boston, which scored on four of its first five shots en route to improving to 15-2-1 in its last 18 games.

"We got a couple early," Kessel said. "When you get a lead like that, you have to build on it."

Stephane Yelle and captain Zdeno Chara also scored and Tim Thomas made 30 saves for the Bruins, who have won four straight meetings with the Thrashers.

"Atlanta tried to catch us off-guard and slow down the momentum," Boston coach Claude Julien said, referring to a pair of fights early in the first period. "We made sure they didn't get behind us and capitalized on their turnovers."

Todd White notched a goal and an assist and Ilya Kovalchuk and Vyacheslav Kozlov also scored for Atlanta, which fell to 0-4-2 in its last six at home and 2-8-2 in its last 12 overall.

"I don't think any group can be thrilled with what happened, from forwards to D to goalies," Thrashers blue-liner Ron Hainsey said. "I don't think anybody is pleased. We all shared in the mistakes that cost us goals. Other than the power play, I don't think there's anything to feel great about."

After the Thrashers registered the first six shots of the game, the Bruins took over. Just 3 1/2 minutes into the contest, Krejci carried the puck down the right wing before dishing to Stuart, who beat goaltender Ondrej Pavelec from the right hash marks for his second goal of the season.

"I thought the first four minutes were really good," Hainsey said. "But then we had a breakdown and got beat up the ice on a 3-on-2 and it's in our net, and it just went on from there."

Yelle doubled the advantage 37 seconds later on Boston's next shot, deflecting Petteri Nokelainen's wrister from the left point past a frazzled Pavelec. Just 57 seconds after the Czech netminder made his only save of the period on Nokelainen at 7:44, Chara received a pass in the right faceoff circle, skated around the net and backhanded the puck inside the left goalpost for his sixth tally and a 3-0 bulge.

"It was one of those games where I wouldn't have stopped a beach ball," Pavelec said. "If I want to play in the NHL, I have to be better than that. The guys played hard. I feel bad for our guys."

Johan Hedberg replaced Pavelec but fared no better as Ryder scored on the Bruins' next shot to increase the lead to four. During a power play, Ryder snapped a shot into the top right corner of the net with 8:04 remaining in the first for his eighth of the season.

The Swedish Hedberg drew mock cheers from the crowd when he stopped Boston's next shot less than two minutes later. But after failing to convert any of their 11 second-period shots, the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins continued the onslaught in the third.

"It was just one of those nights," Thrashers coach John Anderson said. "I'm not sure we can afford to have one of those nights, but they happen."

Kessel got the last laugh after rookie Joey Crabb drew a five-minute boarding penalty late in the middle session for hitting the 21-year-old from behind. Just 75 seconds into the third, Kessel put a wrister from the left circle into the top right corner of the net for his team-leading 18th goal of the campaign and a 5-1 cushion.

Kessel has collected 11 tallies and nine assists during his points streak.

"I'm just trying to play hard," Kessel said. "When you go out in the third and it's 4-1, you need to stay focused. You'd rather it would be 5-1 than 4-2."

After Valabik helped set up Kovalchuk's goal that cut the deficit to three 1:59 later, he helped restore Boston's four-goal lead at the other end of the rink.

The rookie blue-liner slid across the ice as Lucic misfired on a shot. The puck bounced off of Valabik's chest and past a dejected Hedberg at 7:19, giving the Bruins a 6-2 advantage.

The goal was Lucic's ninth of the season, four of which have come against Atlanta. The physical 20-year-old, who is in the midst of a three-game goal-scoring streak, notched his first career hat trick in a 5-4 victory over the Thrashers at TD Banknorth Garden on October 25.

Stuart capped his two-goal effort with a wrister from the slot that got past a screened Hedberg at 9:57.

Kozlov completed the scoring, netting a power-play goal - his team-leading 13th tally of the season - with seven minutes left in the contest.

Pavelec re-entered the game and stopped the only shot he faced, finishing with two saves on five shots. Hedberg made 16 saves while allowing four goals.

Anderson refused to reveal who would start Saturday's rematch in Boston.

"It's super secret," he said. "It's hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar under Funk & Wagnall's porch. I don't have to make that decision right now."






  • 15
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Bruins 7, Thrashers 3  FinalDec 13 6:21 AM
  • 5
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Bruins 7, Thrashers 3  FinalDec 13 2:40 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 4 0 3 7
    ATLANTA 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - MARK STUART 2 (DAVID KREJCI, MICHAEL RYDER) 3:31
    BOS - STEPHANE YELLE 4 (PETTERI NOKELAINEN, MATT HUNWICK)
    4:08
    BOS - ZDENO CHARA 6 (PHIL KESSEL, MILAN LUCIC) 8:41
    BOS - (PP) MICHAEL RYDER 8 (PATRICE BERGERON,

    Dec 12 10:13 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 7
    ATLANTA 3
    3RD PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 13 (TODD WHITE, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 13:00

    Bruins 7, Thrashers 3  3rd - 7:00Dec 12 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 7
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: BOS - MARK STUART 3 (BLAKE WHEELER) 9:57

    Bruins 7, Thrashers 2  3rd - 10:03Dec 12 9:48 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 6
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: BOS - MILAN LUCIC 9 (PHIL KESSEL, MARC SAVARD) 7:19

    Bruins 6, Thrashers 2  3rd - 12:41Dec 12 9:46 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 5
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - BORIS VALABIK 1 (UNASSISTED) 3:14

    Bruins 5, Thrashers 2  3rd - 16:46Dec 12 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 5
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: BOS - (PP) PHIL KESSEL 18 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, MATT HUNWICK) 1:15

    Bruins 5, Thrashers 1  3rd - 18:45Dec 12 9:33 PM


  • ------------------------------
    Boston
    4 0 --4
    Atlanta 1 0 --1
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    Boston 8 12 --20
    Atlanta 10 12 --22
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : Boston, Tim Thomas (22 shots, 21 saves). Atlanta, Ondrej
    Pavelec (4 shots, 1 saves), Johan Hedberg (11:19 of 1st per

    Dec 12 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 4 4
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - MARK STUART 2 (DAVID KREJCI, MICHAEL RYDER) 3:31
    BOS - STEPHANE YELLE 4 (PETTERI NOKELAINEN, MATT HUNWICK)
    4:08
    BOS - ZDENO CHARA 6 (PHIL KESSEL, MILAN LUCIC) 8:41
    BOS - (PP) MICHAEL RYDER 8 (PATRI

    Dec 12 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 4
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) TODD WHITE 8 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, RON HAINSEY) 16:16

    Bruins 4, Thrashers 1  1st - 3:44Dec 12 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 4
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - (PP) MICHAEL RYDER 8 (PATRICE BERGERON, MARC SAVARD)
    11:56

    Bruins 4, Thrashers 0  1st - 8:04Dec 12 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 3
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - ZDENO CHARA 6 (PHIL KESSEL) 8:41

    Bruins 3, Thrashers 0  1st - 11:19Dec 12 7:55 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - STEPHANE YELLE 4 (PETTERI NOKELAINEN, MATT HUNWICK)
    4:08

    Bruins 2, Thrashers 0  1st - 15:52Dec 12 7:49 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: BOS - MARK STUART 2 (DAVID KREJCI, MICHAEL RYDER) 3:31

    Bruins 1, Thrashers 0  1st - 16:29Dec 12 7:47 PM