for this game

Savard, Wideman propel red-hot Bruins past Penguins

Dec 31, 2008 - 4:13 AM
By Chris Adamski PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- For the first time in almost 26 years, the Boston Bruins have a nine-game winning streak. And they have done it mostly while playing on the road.

Marc Savard and defenseman Dennis Wideman recorded a goal and two assists apiece as the Bruins posted their ninth straight win, a 5-2 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Defenseman Zdeno Chara had a goal and an assist, Phil Kessel and Martin St. Pierre also scored and P.J. Axelsson notched two assists for the Bruins, who are 23-2-1 in their past 26 and have their first nine-game winning streak since January 8-29, 1983.

"The stats and the history is one thing, but playing every game the best we can is another thing," Chara said. "We just want to win every game - and after each game, we want to look forward instead of back on whatever the record is."

Petr Sykora and Pascal Dupuis scored for the Penguins, who have lost three of their past four overall and four in a row at home - prompting the team to call a players-only meeting after the contest.

Captain Sidney Crosby wouldn't divulge what was said at the gathering, but coach Michel Therrien, who was obviously agitated with the team's play of late, was glad it occurred.

"It's about time they had a meeting," Therrien said. "You have to show some leadership. If I was a player, I would have called a meeting. I'm interested to see what comes of this."

Pittsburgh took an early lead on Sykora's 13th goal of the season - but only fourth while playing at even strength.

The play was set up when rookie Dustin Jeffrey wristed a shot on net from the left-wing corner. The rebound came out to Ruslan Fedotenko, who flipped another shot that bounced off Tim Thomas, this time to Sykora. He tapped it in at with exactly three minutes to play in the first, giving Jeffrey his first career point.

The Bruins netted two power-play goals during the first 9:30 of the second period.

First, Chara tallied his seventh of the season by redirecting a cross-ice pass from Axelsson. Axelsson had the puck along the right-wing boards and had three of the four Penguins trapped on his side of the right faceoff circle. This allowed a perfect opportunity for Chara to cheat in on the play and score an easy backdoor goal.

Less than five minutes later while Boston was on a 4-on-3 advantage, Savard scored on a nice feed from David Krejci over the sticks of two Pittsburgh players. Savard, who has a lefthanded shot, was standing just above the goal line to the left of Fleury when he ripped a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the net for his 12th of the season.

The assist allowed Krejci to extend his point streak to nine games.

"We've had a good run, but at the same time we have got to continue getting better," Axelsson said. "It's a long season, and there's really been nothing accomplished so far."

Dupuis briefly tied it with his ninth by ripping a slap shot while skating down the left wing off a pass from Crosby after a turnover by Chara with 4:47 to play in the second.

But 90 seconds later, Kessel gave the Bruins the lead for good with his 23rd of the season The tally resulted from the failure of the Penguins to get the puck out of their zone, leading Savard to feed Kessel with a pretty cross-crease pass that he merely tapped in.

"We kind of lost momentum as the game went on," Crosby said.

About 2 1/2 minutes after Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal was stopped on perfect set-up by Dupuis while shorthanded three minutes into the third, the Bruins converted a shorthanded opportunity of their own that gave them a 4-2 lead.

After Crosby's cross-ice pass was stolen, the Bruins went the other way and Savard set up St. Pierre during a 3-on-1, and he wristed it past Fleury for his second career goal - both at Mellon Arena.

"Getting two power play goals and obviously another shorthanded, to get that kind of special teams is great," Savard said.

Wideman added an insurance goal on a shot from the left point with 10:22 to play.

"Getting the goals made my job a lot easier," said Thomas, who stopped 32 of 34 shots to win for the seventh consecutive start.

"It was tight for most of the game but getting that fourth goal gives you a little breathing room and makes you able to relax as a goalie."

Boston has outscored opponents, 108-52, in its past 26 games but was coming off a 2-1 win at lowly Atlanta that players and coaches considered lackluster. The Bruins were pleased with how they bounced back against the reigning Eastern Conference champions.

"I thought we had a really good effort all around from start to finish," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I think we stuck with it. I didn't see that there were any soft moments or soft shifts."






  • 25
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Bruins 5, Penguins 2  FinalDec 31 6:27 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 3 2 5
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 13 (RUSLAN FEDOTENKO, DUSTIN JEFFREY)
    17:00
    2ND PRD: BOS - (PP) ZDENO CHARA 7 (P.J. AXELSSON, DENNIS WIDEMAN)
    4:46
    BOS - (PP) MARC SAVARD 12 (DAVID KREJCI, DENNIS WIDEMAN)
    9:30
    PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS

    Dec 30 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 5
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: BOS - DENNIS WIDEMAN 8 (ZDENO CHARA, P.J. AXELSSON) 9:38

    Bruins 5, Penguins 2  3rd - 10:22Dec 30 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 4
    PITTSBURGH 2
    3RD PRD: BOS - (SH) MARTIN ST. PIERRE 1 (MARC SAVARD) 5:28

    Bruins 4, Penguins 2  3rd - 14:32Dec 30 9:32 PM
  • 20
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Bruins 3, Penguins 2  3rd - 19:55Dec 30 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 3 3
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 13 (RUSLAN FEDOTENKO, DUSTIN JEFFREY)
    17:00
    2ND PRD: BOS - (PP) ZDENO CHARA 7 (P.J. AXELSSON, DENNIS WIDEMAN)
    4:46
    BOS - (PP) MARC SAVARD 12 (DAVID KREJCI, DENNIS WIDEMAN)
    9:30
    PIT -

    Dec 30 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 3
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: BOS - PHIL KESSEL 23 (MARC SAVARD) 16:43

    Bruins 3, Penguins 2  2nd - 3:17Dec 30 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 2
    2ND PRD: PIT - PASCAL DUPUIS 9 (SIDNEY CROSBY) 15:13

    Bruins 2, Penguins 2  2nd - 4:47Dec 30 8:57 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 2
    PITTSBURGH 1
    2ND PRD: BOS - (PP) MARC SAVARD 12 (DAVID KREJCI, DENNIS WIDEMAN) 9:30

    Bruins 2, Penguins 1  2nd - 10:30Dec 30 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 1
    PITTSBURGH 1
    2ND PRD: BOS - (PP) ZDENO CHARA 7 (P.J. AXELSSON, DENNIS WIDEMAN) 4:46

    Bruins 1, Penguins 1  2nd - 15:14Dec 30 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOSTON 0 0
    PITTSBURGH 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 13 (RUSLAN FEDOTENKO, DUSTIN JEFFREY)
    17:00
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BOS 16 16
    PIT 10 10
    GOALIES: BOS - TIM THOMAS

    Dec 30 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    BOSTON 0
    PITTSBURGH 1
    1ST PRD: PIT - PETR SYKORA 13 (RUSLAN FEDOTENKO, DUSTIN JEFFREY) 17:00

    Bruins 0, Penguins 1  1st - 3:00Dec 30 8:08 PM
  • 15
    roots
    Hellsage Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. PenguinsDec 30 6:33 PM
  • 10
    roots
    shopgirl Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. PenguinsDec 29 2:02 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Bruins vs. PenguinsNov 11 11:11 PM