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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chris Bourque Starts To Earn His Keep In Boston

After being humbled 7-4 on Thursday by the Sabres at the Garden, the Bruins (6-1-1) bounced back like the great team they are with a road win 1-0 tonight at Air Canada Centre against the Maple Leafs (4-4-0). Tuukka Rask (5-1-1) made 21 saves for his first shutout of the season and Chris Bourque scored his first goal as a Bruin for the game's lone strike.

Bourque's goal, his second in the NHL and first since December 30, 2008, came at 8:54 of the first period. It was the result of some fine work by the third line. Rich Peverley passed to Chris Kelly who backhanded the puck across the crease where Bourque was able to redirect it past Toronto goaltender James Reimer (33 saves) before knocking the net off its moorings. He did his dad's signature low fist pump celebration which was cool to see since of course that goal meant a lot to him in his career. If nothing else, it should shut up the haters for a few days.

Befitting of a 1-0 game that wasn't in the playoffs, it lacked much noteworthy action. Lane MacDermid and Mark Fraser fought twice-in the first and second period-something that rarely happens and Brad Marchand left in the second period after running into the boards awkwardly. He never returned, it looked like he hurt his shoulder/arm but we'll have to see. Patrice Bergeron did the same thing against Buffalo but he came back later in the game so hopefully Marchand's isn't too serious either.

We have three days to mentally prepare ourselves for the first installment of Bruins-Canadiens. So watch the Super Bowl tomorrow, the Beanpot on Monday and something else on Tuesday before you get ready to go crazy on Wednesday (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Network) when Boston visits Montreal (5-2-0, 3rd Northeast Division). All the jokers will have the Bell Centre rocking, it doesn't get much better than B's vs. Habs.

UPDATE 2/4: The Bruins recalled forward Ryan Spooner on an emergency basis, in case Marchand can't play on Wednesday in Montreal. A second-round pick by Boston in 2010, Spooner has been playing well in Providence with nine goals and 21 assists in 35 games this season.

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