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Ryder’s penalty shot goal lifts Bruins over Thrashers 3-2, Bruins lock up NE

April 2, 2011

Michael Ryder‘s penalty shot goal with under eight minutes left in regulation pushed the Bruins over the Thrashers by a score of 3-2. The goal was the first Bruins home penalty shot since 1994 and it helped the Bruins wrap up the Northeast Division and eliminate the Thrashers from the playoffs. Daniel Paille scored a big shorthanded goal in the second period and Tuukka Rask

They kind of look alike in this picture. (AP)

bounced back from a bad first goal to make 28 saves in a strong effort.

The Bruins started off with a flurry in the first few minutes. Nathan Horton nearly scored on his first shift when a shot from the slot deflected out front and changed direction on Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec was able to reach back with his pad and snuff out the bid.

The Bruins would score less than five minutes in when Mark Recchi jumped on a puck in the crease and put it in the empty net. Zach Bogosian misplayed the puck in front of his goalie and then kicked it underneath Pavelec. The puck was then hammered home by Recchi who was uncovered in the crease. The goal seemed to be indicative of how the Thrashers season had gone wrong, too loose in the defensive zone and not physical enough.

The Bruins dominance in the beginning of the game was none more evident than the fact that it took six minutes for the Thrashers to register a shot. It seemed like the the entire first six minutes where played in Atlanta’s half of the ice.

The Thrashers would get the first power-play of the game when Tuukka Rask played the puck outside of the trapezoid. Dustin Byfuglien would score immediately after the ensuing power-play when he unleashed a slap shot on net. The shot was easily stopped by Rask but the rebound ended up bouncing over Rask and trickled into the net, showing how heavy Byfuglien’s shot can be. Rask had nobody to blame but himself, first for the penalty, than for the goal which should have been handled.

The Bruins would go on the penalty-kill shortly after when Michael Ryder was called for tripping. The Bruins did a much better job, holding the Thrashers to zero shots and giving them fits along the boards during the power-play. Alex Burmistrov would give the Bruins their first power-play of the game when he was sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct after firing a shot on net well after a whistle, the second time he’d done so in the game. The Bruins power-play didn’t do much of anything, looking out of sync the entire time and creating turnovers.

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The Bruins sleepy play came back to hurt them at the beginning of the period when Evander Kane gave the Thrashers the lead. Initially, Nik Antropov had a good look in the slot, held and skated left, getting two Bruins to leave their feet and Rask to get tangled up with them. His shot was blocked down but the rebound went to Kane who potted an easy one.

Shane Hnidy was called for delay of game six minutes in and with the Thrashers gaining momentum at the time, it came at an important time. Daniel Paille would score a short-handed goal on a great individual effort. Paille intercepted a pass deep in the Atlanta zone and immediately fired from the right side, beating Pavelec high short side in a rare display of sniping.

The intensity ratcheted up towards the end of the period with the Bruins possessing the puck most of the time but the two teams trading chances at a pretty equal clip. Neither team would score during the tense end of the period, bring a 2-2 tie into the locker room.

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Neither team could break through for a go-ahead goal in the first half of the period but the Bruins came the closets. Chris Kelly threw a puck into the crease from behind the goal. The pass was intended for Tyler Seguin, who would have had a great look, but it was pushed away by Byfuglien in front.

Michael Ryder had the second great bid when he jumped on a turnover at the center line, raced in and was hooked down on a breakaway, giving him a penalty shot. Ryder weaved in and then unleashed a wrister on net, beating Pavelec off the post and in glove side high to give the Bruins the lead with under eight minutes left in the game.

The Thrashers would fight back after the goal, seemingly determined to fend off elimination one more day. They created a lot of chaos in front of Rask but Tuukka was able to stay square most of the time to eliminate angles.

The Thrashers took a timeout with 1:43 left in the game and pulled their goalie. The Bruins did a great job along the boards to keep Tuukka safe. Pavelec had to go back into his net with 22 seconds left due to icing. The Bruins won the draw and killed off 10 seconds before Pavelec could leave again and the Bruins killed off the clock and got the win. The win locked up the Northeast Division.

The Bruins travel to New York to play the Rangers on Monday.

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