He’s riding a hot streak
BUFFALO — There is no debate about Michael Ryder’s underwhelming regular season, in which he netted 18 goals in 82 games. But there is also no debate about how he performed in the Bruins’ 5-3 win yesterday.
Ryder, owner of just one goal in 22 games until a two-strike outburst in the regular-season finale against Washington, scored twice yesterday to give the Bruins the offensive presence they missed for most of 2009-10.
“Certainly, that last game in Washington was good for him,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “He’s one of those guys who’s also been disappointed in his overall season. But we had him score some big goals for us tonight.’’
In the second period, after a Vladimir Sobotka shot thudded off Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller and popped over his head, Ryder, having gained position, whacked the puck over the line before the netminder could recover.
In the third, Ryder started a four-on-two rush, played give-and-go with Blake Wheeler, and potted the tying goal at 5:23.
“I think we protected the puck well in the offensive zone,’’ said Ryder (two goals on three shots in 11:48 of ice time). “We had good cycle. When we’re strong on the puck, it makes things a lot easier for each other.
“That’s what we did well. We never gave up the puck and we used it to our advantage. We just tried to throw as many pucks as we could at Miller.’’
Ryder was credited with three hits, although not his biggest — a third-period thump of teammate Andrew Ference at the offensive blue line.
“Don’t know what happened,’’ Ryder said. “I had to jump back, then all of a sudden, I saw Andy. Pretty good collision.’’
Ference took the worst of the hit, taking a moment to get back to his skates. On their next shift together, Ference provided the middle drive that opened up Ryder for the back-door goal.
“Right after Rydes rocked me,’’ Ference said with a smile, “the puck was in front. I think I saw four of them.’’
“Whatever I do, just take a minute to look around and see what’s coming,’’ Boychuk said of his approach during the six-on-five situation. “Whenever I get the puck, it has to be a hard play.’’
With approximately 30 seconds remaining, Boychuk gained control deep in the zone. Boychuk sent a hard rim around the boards to clear the zone. Buffalo’s Toni Lydman settled the puck in neutral ice, but Mark Recchi stripped the defenseman and scored an empty-net goal.
“Didn’t want to end up muffing it, not getting it out, then having them come back and score,’’ said Boychuk (six hits, two shots, 22:25 of ice time).