for this game

Chara helps Bruins topple Canadiens

Jan 14, 2009 - 4:17 AM
By Mike Petraglia PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- With the team's top scorer out with an illness for at least three weeks, captain Zdeno Chara picked up the slack for the Boston Bruins.

The All-Star defenseman netted a pair of power-play goals, David Krejci also tallied and All-Star Tim Thomas made 34 saves as the Bruins beat their arch-rival Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, Tuesday night at TD Banknorth Garden.

"That was an exciting game to play," Chara said. "Right from the get-go, we tried to set a tone, play hard and really physical and it paid off.

"Eventually, we had our power-play chances and finally we capitalized. It was a good team effort."

The Bruins and Canadiens engaged in a classic first-round playoff series last season, with Montreal besting its "Original Six" foe in seven games.

"I talked a lot before the game this morning and (Monday) about how we need to approach it just like any other game," Thomas said. "But when the crowd gets into it like that and the teams play with that much energy, it felt like the playoffs last year."

"There was no doubt to me, he set the tone tonight," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, who played Chara nearly 32 of the 60 minutes. "The amount of ice (time) he had and he handled it well."

Boston played its first game without leading scorer, Phil Kessel, who is expected to miss up to a month with mononucleosis. Kessel, who has 24 goals this season, had his consecutive games streak snapped at 167.

Additionally, the Bruins got word earlier in the day that left wing Marco Sturm, their leading scorer from last season, is out indefinitely after ACL surgery on Tuesday.

"It was about sucking it up," Julien said. "We had gone down to five. We just held the fort."

The Bruins finished their season-long six-game homestand with a 4-2-0 mark and improved to 32-7-4 on the season. Montreal (25-11-6) saw its four-game winning streak come to an end.

The Canadiens controlled play in the first period, outshooting Boston, 17-9. But the Bruins had the best scoring chance when Chara ripped a slap shot that Jaroslav Halak gloved with 4:30 remaining in the first. Halak stopped 26 shots in the loss.

After the scoreless opening period, the two teams took turns getting on the board via the power play.

With former Canadien Michael Ryder in the penalty box serving a minor for hooking, Andrei Kostitsyn, from his knees, put his own rebound past Thomas for his 14th goal of the season.

Kostitsyn's brother, Sergei, set up the goal when he fired a shot on Thomas from the top of the right circle.

After killing off another Montreal power play, the Bruins converted their first man-advantage chance when Chara collected a loose puck to the right of Halak and slid it by the Montreal netminder for his eighth goal of the season.

"It's unfortunate because I thought we had a lot of chances," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We found a way to get four, five pucks behind him, but they didn't cross the red line."

The intensity exploded with 5:30 remaining in the second when Andrei Kostitsyn was whistled for a five-minute major for boarding on defenseman Aaron Ward. Thomas retaliated by coming out of his crease and leveling Kostitsyn, drawing a roughing penalty.

"It just shows solidarity," Julien said. "Those are things people are start seeing from our guys."

"That's the core of this hockey team," Chara added. "We support each other, we back up each other, we play for each other. We know what this team is all about."

The Bruins went on a two-man advantage for a full two minutes when defenseman Roman Hamrlik was called for cross-checking in front of the Montreal net with 2:59 remaining in the period. Chara made the visitors pay when his shot from the right point was deflected by All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov, sailing past Halak for a 2-1 Boston lead.

"He was at the top of his game," Julien said of his captain. "We needed that type of performance to win and he gave it to us."

Thomas made the save of the game on Andrei Kostitsyn when he gloved a shot from the middle of the right circle with 2:16 remaining in the third.

"The first pass had me beat but at that point it was just reflex and getting over," Thomas said. "Fortunately I was in a position to get my glove up and he's burned me before so I don't feel too bad about stopping him."

"He's always that type of goalie that works hard," Carbonneau said. "It's funny. He's supposed to be a backup and the last two years he's been one the best in the league save percentage."






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    Canadiens 1, Bruins 3  FinalJan 13 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 1 0 1
    BOSTON 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 14 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, ANDREI
    MARKOV) 3:24
    BOS - (PP) ZDENO CHARA 8 (CHUCK KOBASEW, AARON WARD) 8:23
    BOS - (PP) ZDENO CHARA 9 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DAVID KREJCI)
    18:24
    3RD PRD: BO

    Jan 13 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    BOSTON 3
    3RD PRD: BOS - DAVID KREJCI 17 (MICHAEL RYDER, BLAKE WHEELER) 18:49

    Canadiens 1, Bruins 3  3rd - 1:11Jan 13 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 1 1
    BOSTON 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 14 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, ANDREI
    MARKOV) 3:24
    BOS - (PP) ZDENO CHARA 8 (CHUCK KOBASEW, AARON WARD) 8:23
    BOS - (PP) ZDENO CHARA 9 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DAVID KREJCI)
    18:2

    Jan 13 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    BOSTON 2
    2ND PRD: BOS - (PP) ZDENO CHARA 9 (DENNIS WIDEMAN, DAVID KREJCI) 18:24
    (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Canadiens 1, Bruins 2  2nd - 1:36Jan 13 8:39 PM
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    Canadiens 1, Bruins 2  2nd - 1:36Jan 13 8:39 PM
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    Canadiens 1, Bruins 1  2nd - 9:20Jan 13 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    BOSTON 1
    2ND PRD: BOS - ZDENO CHARA 8 (CHUCK KOBASEW, AARON WARD) 8:23

    Canadiens 1, Bruins 1  2nd - 11:37Jan 13 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    BOSTON 0
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 14 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, ANDREI
    MARKOV) 3:24

    Canadiens 1, Bruins 0  2nd - 16:36Jan 13 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 0
    BOSTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MON 17 17
    BOS 9 9
    GOALIES: MON - JAROSLAV HALAK
    BOS - TIM THOMAS

    Jan 13 7:46 PM
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    Canadiens vs. BruinsJan 13 11:03 AM