It is only fitting that this game would feature plenty of "feats of strength" on Festivus. Right from the opening face-off to a big brawl in the last five minutes of the game, this game had an old-time hockey feel to it. It is only fitting that Shawn Thornton was the guy that led the way for the Bruins as they downed the Atlanta Thrashers 4-1 at TD Garden.
Shawn Thornton and Eric Boulton did not want to waste anytime with the airing of grievances and skipped right ahead to the feats of strength. Both players dropped the gloves immediately off the game's opening face-off. The lengthy bout ended in a draw with both tough guys still on their skates.
The Bruins jumped out to a 1-0 lead 3 minutes into the game on a shorthanded goal by Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron broke in all alone, put a deke on Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec, and tucked the puck around the left pad of Pavelec for his 7th goal of the season and 300th NHL point.
Michael Ryder's snap shot form the right circle on the power play gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead 4:04 into the second period. The goal was his 10th of the season. Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Seidenberg picked up assists on the goal.
56 second later, Shawn Thornton made it 3-0 on a one-timer from the right circle. Adam McQuaid and Daniel Paille recorded the helpers on Thornton's 6th goal of the season.
Dustin Byfuglien's backhander from the top of the crease at 8:40 of the second period cut the Bruins' lead to 3-1.
Shawn Thornton's second goal of the game made it 4-1 Bruins 4:54 into the third period. Daniel Paille's centering passing from the left wing found Thornton in the slot. Thornton faked a shot on the forehand before going to the backhand to beat Pavelec for his second tally of the night.
With just over 4 minutes left in the third period, former BU Terrier Freddy Meyer's high hit on Milan Lucic sparked an all-out 5-on-5 brawl. Andrew Ference quickly came to Lucic's aid and jumped Meyer. In the scrum, Milan Lucic threw a punch while being held back and was quickly shown the exit. The marque bout of the brawl was Nathan Horton and Evander Kane. Horton laid a pounding on Kane and actually pulled him up off the ice to continue the beat down. Marc Savard also paired off with Bryan Little. All total there were 96 penalty minutes handed out after the brawl (39 for the Thrashers and 57 for the Bruins). Bryan Little, Anthony Stewart, Milan Lucic, Andrew Ference, and Marc Savard were all given game misconduct. Lucic was also given a match penalty, presumably for the punch in the middle of the scrum.
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- Anthem singer Rene Rancourt was signing holiday songs for the fans in attendance. They also set up "Rene's Village" for fans to have their photo taken with Rancourt.
- Did anyone see Craig Ramsey's outfit?: beige suit, royal blue shirt, and pink and blue Hawaiian floral pattern tie. Come on bro, your an NHL bench boss now. Step your game up.
- The Bruins sold out every regular season and playoff game in the 2010 calender. The last time they accomplished that feat was 1972.
- 7 goals in a season is a career-high for Shawn Thornton.
- Thornton had a great opportunity to score a hat trick with less than a minute left in the game, but his shot ran off the net.
- With a match penalty and a game misconduct for his actions during the fight, Milan Lucic could be looking at a suspension or fine.
- The Bruins are off until Monday when the travel to Florida to take on the Florida Panthers.
Happy Festivus and Merry Christmas from Stanley Cup of Chowder!