Even the most die-hard B's fans had to be concerned about this game. The Bruins headed into last night's game against the league-leading San Jose Sharks while missing their top three centers and two of their top six defensemen. On top of all the injuries, they were playing on back-to-back tonight as part of their three game road trip to the left coast. On paper, this one looked like a recipe for disaster, but the Bruins stepped up and battled for a 2-1 shootout win. Zdeno Chara scored the game-winner for the B's in the shootout, while Tim Thomas (41 saves) shutdown the Sharks' potent attack.
The Bruins got on the board first 2:50 into the second period. Daniel Paille's aggressive forecheck forced the Sharks to turnover the puck in their defensive zone. Shawn Thornton picked off a pass from Sharks defenseman Douglas Murrary along the right wing boards out near the blue line and slid the puck to Paille in the slot. Paille shot was stopped by Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov, but the rebound deflected off San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle's stick and in for the 1-0 Boston lead. The goal was credited to Daniel Paille.
Old friend Joe Thornton tied it up at 1-1 at 9:56 of the second period when he hammered home a rebound on the door step from Dan Boyle's slapper from the right circle. The goal was Thornton 12th goal and 61st point of the season.
With nothing settled after 60 minutes of regulation and a 5 minute overtime session, the teams headed to the shootout. After 6 shooters failed to find the back of the net in the shootout (Michael Ryder, Miroslav Satan, and Mark Recchi for the Bruins), Claude Julien sent Captain Zdeno Chara out as the 4th Boston shooter. Chara skated to between the circles and fired a slap shot from point blank range that beat a stunned Evgeni Nabokov. Patrick Marleau had a chance to extend the shootout for the Sharks, but Tim Thomas stopped his backhand attempt to seal the win for the Bruins.
- David Krejci missed the game with an undisclosed injury.
- This game has to be a big confidence booster for the Bruins, who has lost 3 straight heading into last night's game.
- The Bruins will take a much-needed day-off before traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Kings tomorrow afternoon.
- As expected with their three top centers out of the lineup, the Bruins struggled again at the dot. They won only 35% of the draws last night.
- With the win, Claude Julien tied Lynn Patrick for 8th place on the Bruins' all-time wins list with 117 victories.
- Derek Morris had 5 give-aways last night, but he also blocked 5 shots.
- Joe Thornton won 20 of the 26 face-offs he took (77%).
- Tim Thomas looked sharp all night, stopping 41 of the 42 shots he faced. He also did not give up a goal in the shootout on 4 attempts.