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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bruins Blow 2-Goal Lead In 3rd, Fall 4-3 to Wild

Boston allowed the first goal on Tuesday night at TD Garden to Minnesota but after that the B's rattled off three in a row to take a commanding 3-1 leading after two periods. Unfortunately for them, hockey games still consist of three periods and their third was a disaster. The Wild (5-3-0) scored three straight goals to take a 4-3 road win.

This was an unforgivable loss for the Bruins for a couple reasons: 1) Minnesota had played last night in New York (5-4 loss to Rangers); 2) Boston last competed on Saturday (if you can call it that vs. the hapless Maple Leafs); 3) two-goal leads for them, even without Zdeno Chara, should mean lights out.

Nino Niederreiter (great name) made it 1-0 just 4:51 into the contest as he one-timed a pass from Bruins killer Thomas Vanek. In 56 career games vs. Boston, Vanek now has 30 goals and 33 assists. Has Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli ever thought about signing him?

The only real bright spot for the B's was the improving play of Seth Griffith (2 goals, 1 assist). He tied it at 18:23 with his second goal of the season, redirecting David Krejci's sharp pass right by the net. Zach Trotman had the other assist for his first NHL point.

Griffith bagged his first multi-goal game with another redirection at 5:23 of the second period. This one was even sweeter than the first as he connected with Gregory Campbell's pass and then dove in the air after it went in the net, similar to Bobby Orr in the most famous play in Bruins history.

Milan Lucic's power play goal, yet another redirect, at 16:59 gave Boston that 3-1 advantage. Torey Krug and Griffith had the assists on Lucic's second goal of the season.

Boston completely shut down in the third period, they couldn't win any puck battles and were chasing it all frame as they were outshot 18-7 and outscored 3-0.

In most circumstances, we love Captain America Zach Parise but not tonight as he cut it to 3-2 at 4:21 with a redirection from Mikael Granlund and Jared Spurgeon. Only 2:13 after that, Minnesota had tied it up as Justin Fontaine put in a rebound from Ryan Carter and that scumbag Matt Cooke (yes he's still in the NHL and not behind bars).

The B's didn't deserve any good bounces so it was poetic that the game-winner was a shot by Marco Scandella (who?) from the point that went off Krejci's skate and in the net at 14:07. Boston had plenty of pressure after that but they couldn't beat Niklas Backstrom (25 saves) who improved to 5-0-1 all-time against the Bruins.

For the second time in five days, the Bruins have the honor of a cupcake matchup with the reeling Sabres (2-8) in Buffalo on Thursday (7, NESN). The Sabres were blanked 4-0 by the Maple Leafs tonight and Boston won 4-0 at First Niagara Center last Saturday. As far as we know, Buffalo is still an NHL (why, I couldn't tell you) so this meeting comes at the right time for a B's club still searching for consistency as they close out the first month of the season.

UPDATE 10/29: As if they needed another injury on defense, Krug broke a finger last night so he's out two to four weeks. Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky were recalled from Providence with thoughts of sitting Matt Bartkowski who is off to a predictably terrible start.

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