for this game

Ryder helps Bruins edge Thrashers

Dec 29, 2008 - 2:14 AM
By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Michael Ryder and Manny Fernandez helped the Boston Bruins continue their winning ways.

Ryder scored with 6:04 remaining in the third period to snap a tie, enabling the Bruins to extend their winning streak to eight games with a 2-1 victory over the hapless Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday.

Phil Kessel netted his team-leading 22nd goal of the season and Fernandez turned aside 32 shots as the red-hot Bruins matched their longest winning streak since stringing together victories over the final eight games of the 1992-93 campaign.

They have also won 13 of their last 14.

"You don't think about it," Kessel said of the streak. "You go out there and play and try to do the little things right and get better every game."

Bryan Little scored for the sixth time in three contests for the Thrashers, who have one win in their last 11 games at home.

"It's frustrating," Little said. "We worked so hard all game and they scored in the last few minutes. We played good. We all had good chances, but they had good goaltending tonight."

Boston, which blew out Atlanta by a 16-9 margin in the first three games of the season series, was mired in a 1-1 game until the 28-year-old Ryder came through in the final session.

After David Krejci fed the Boston right wing a pass from just inside the blue line, Ryder slid the puck between the pads of Atlanta netminder Kari Lehtonen from the doorstep to give the Bruins yet another win.

"It as kind of like a 2-on-1 break," Ryder said. "If I went to the net, I knew Krejci would make the pass. I was just trying to chip it up over the goalie."

Boston, which started the season a disappointing 2-2-3, began its turnaround against Atlanta with a win on October 25. After suffering its only setback in December to the Washington Capitals on December 10, Boston began its most recent streak with a pair of wins over the Thrashers.

On Sunday, the Bruins achieved the trifecta, defeating Atlanta for the third time in 17 days and sweeping the season set for the first time in franchise history.

"We have to understand that we're no longer under the radar," Boston blue-liner Aaron Ward said. "We're not going to sneak up on anybody. Teams are well-prepared for us."

The Thrashers made things interesting in the game's final minute as Chuck Kobasew drew a tripping penalty with 1:57 remaining. But Fernandez shut the door, stopping Little's rebound attempt and two other shots with Atlanta's man advantage.

"There were a bunch of guys in front," Fernandez said. "I didn't see the first shot. I gave a bad rebound night on the doorstep and had to make a desperation save. Some nights you get those and some you don't. Tonight was a night that you did."

Boston coach Claude Julien thought that his goaltender was good, rather than lucky.

"I thought he was outstanding tonight," Julien said of Fernandez. "(He made) a couple of those key saves late in the game, and consecutive saves when he stuck with it. I thought he definitely made a big difference tonight in our win."

Despite 27 saves from Lehtonen, the horrid Thrashers fell short in "Blueland" once again, falling to 1-8-2 here since defeating the Carolina Hurricanes on November 14.

"I think in terms of wins and losses, it doesn't feel very good," Atlanta coach John Anderson said. "They scored late in the game. We had a chance to win or tie to break (their streak)."

For a bit, it looked like it might be Atlanta's night as Little got the Thrashers on the board with a little help from the Boston defense.

Little attempted to find Atlanta left wing Ilya Kovalchuk with a pass, but the puck bounced off of defenseman Matt Hunwick and past Fernandez to give the Thrashers a 1-0 lead with 15 seconds left in the first.

The lucky goal continued a torrid stretch for the Atlanta center, who notched his first career hat trick in Atlanta's 5-4 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

"As a team, we are getting a lot of chances," Little said. "The bounces are going for me, but not as a team. We were with (Boston) all game. Just a couple of mistakes and it's over."

But Kessel, Boston's 21-year-old sensation, drew the contest even 1:43 into the second.

Kessel blasted a wrister from the high slot over the glove of Lehtonen, tying the contest at 1-1. The Wisconsin-born Kessel notched his career-best 38th point on the tally.






  • 45
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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Bruins 2, Thrashers 1  FinalDec 29 5:17 AM


  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NHL
    BOSTON 2
    ATLANTA 1

    Dec 28 7:31 PM
  • 40
    roots
    thefanblog Added 5 roots

    Bruins 2, Thrashers 1  3rd - 6:04Dec 28 7:26 PM
  • 35
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    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Bruins 2, Thrashers 1  3rd - 6:04Dec 28 7:19 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: BOS - MICHAEL RYDER 14 (DAVID KREJCI, BLAKE WHEELER) 13:56

    Bruins 2, Thrashers 1  3rd - 6:04Dec 28 7:16 PM
  • 25
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    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Bruins 1, Thrashers 1  3rd - 7:25Dec 28 7:12 PM
  • 10
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    millsythekiwi Added 5 roots

    Bruins 1, Thrashers 1  3rd - 9:48Dec 28 7:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 1 1
    ATLANTA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - BRYAN LITTLE 18 (UNASSISTED) 19:45
    2ND PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 22 (MARC SAVARD, DENNIS WIDEMAN) 1:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOS 14 10 24
    ATL 1

    Dec 28 6:34 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 22 (MILAN LUCIC, DENNIS WIDEMAN) 1:43

    Bruins 1, Thrashers 1  2nd - 18:17Dec 28 6:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - BRYAN LITTLE 18 (UNASSISTED) 19:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOS 14 14
    ATL 10 10
    GOALIES: BOS - MANNY FERNANDEZ
    ATL - KARI LEHTO

    Dec 28 5:44 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - BRYAN LITTLE 18 (UNASSISTED) 19:45

    Bruins 0, Thrashers 1  1st - 0:15Dec 28 5:43 PM
  • 5
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    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. ThrashersDec 28 9:23 AM