Somewhere in Greater Boston last night Bob Lobel was screaming at his television "why can't we get players like that?". A goal from former Bruin Vladimir Sobotka, a shootout-winner from old friend Brad Boyes, and a few bad bounces proved to be the difference as the Bruins fell to the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday night at TD Garden.
Vladimir Sobotka gave the Blues a 1-0 lead with 3:20 left in the opening period. Alex Steen picked off Dennis Seidenberg's attempted clearing pass and fed a backhand pass to Sobotka in the slot. Tuukka Rask never got a clean look at the shot as all could see was the #48 in his face with Matt Hunwick stationed at the top of the crease screening his own goaltender.
After a several near-misses, including two shots by Nathan Horton that teetered on the goal line, the Bruins finally got on the board and tied the game up with 7:00 left in the third period on a goal from Greg Campbell. A blocked shot in the slot by Andrew Ference created an odd man rush. Brad Marchand picked up the carom off of Ference and moved the puck to Michael Ryder. Ryder carried the puck in the attacking zone along the left wing boards and sent a centering pass from the half wall to Greg Campbell, who was charging toward the net in the slot. Campbell one-timed the pass and got off a low, off-speed shot that beat Jaroslav Halak for Campbell's first goal of the season and first as a Bruin.
With the game tied after 60 minutes of play, it was off to overtime. In the overtime session, T.J. Oshie laid a big high hit on David Krejci. Krejci head slammed on the ice and the centerman was forced to leave the game. There has been no official word on Krejci's condition, but according Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston, team sources have told him that Krejci suffered a minor concussion and the severity of the condition is "not bad".
The additional five minutes of 4-on-4 hockey was not enough to settled this one and the game headed for the shootout. Patrice Bergeron opened up the shootout by ringing a wrister off the post. T.J. Oshie got the Blues on the board first when his backhand attempt somehow slid under the pad of Tuukka Rask. Oshie looked like he was try to elevate the puck over Rask's outstretched pad, but mishit the puck and poked it under Tuukka's right pad. Tyler Seguin knotted the shootout at 1-1 by pulling off what Oshie had attempted to do by roofing a backhander past Halak. Brad Boyes pulled off an absolutely filthy move to beat Rask and make it 2-1 Blues in the shootout. Boyes looked like his was going backhand, got Rask to commit to the backhand, quickly pulled the puck to the forehand, and tucked it past Rask. With the Bruins down by one in the third round of the shootout, Claude Julien sent Michael Ryder out to face Halak. Ryder skated in and fired a quick wrist shot from the slot that hit the post and sealed the victory for St. Louis.
- Albert Einstein once said that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Well, Michael Ryder and Claude Julien must be Froot Loops. Everyone in that building knew Ryder was going to shoot a forehand wrister in the shootout including Jaroslav Halak. To Ryder's credit he did get a good shot off that hit the post, but c'mon man try something new.
- Andrew Ference showed some grit last night. David Backes laid a big open ice hit on Mark Recchi and Ference quickly came to the aid of the old man. Ference spirited over to Backes, gave him a slash on the elbow and quickly threw down the gloves. Ference started throwing haymakers, before Backes got in a few shots (including a few limp-wristed blows to the top of the head). This move only angered Ference more and he reached back for a few bombs before scoring the takedown. I'm not a fan of guys having to answer the bell for clean hits (which this appeared to be), but Ference saw an opportune team provide a spark.
- Sobotka was an impressive 13 for 16 at the dot.
- The Blues outshot the Bruins 35-34.
- Tuukka Rask made 34 saves and looked calm, cool, and collected in the crease for the Bruins all night.
- Zdeno Chara logged a game-high 29:15 of ice time.
- Nathan Horton, who looked snake-bitten tonight, fired a game-high 8 shots on net.
- For more on last night's game, check out St. Louis Game Time
- The Bruins are off until Wednesday when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at their new barn, the Consol Energy Center.