Patrice Bergeron scored the only goal of the shootout. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty)
With 42 seconds remaining in regulation, the Bruins saw Maxim Afinogenov beat Tuukka Rask with an off-wing wrister to tie the game at 3-3. But Rask remained calm, stopped three shots in overtime, and turned aside three more in the shootout.
At the other end, Patrice Bergeron scored the only goal on Ondrej Pavelec to give the Bruins a 4-3 shootout win.
“We knew we had to start tonight off good with four games on the road,” said Michael Ryder (two goals, first multi-goal game of the year). “It was a good win. We played well. We knew we had to turn the light on somehow. It was just a matter of us putting it together.”
* The penalty kill came up big in the third period, when the Bruins were whistled for five penalties. Claude Julien acknowledged his team took too many penalties, but thought there were a few that were iffy calls.
* Julien reiterated that Tim Thomas has a minor undisclosed injury. Julien said it’s a short-term injury. He didn’t rule out Thomas for tomorrow’s game against Buffalo.
* Milan Lucic reported no issues with his finger after the game. Lucic had two shots and one hit in 14:01 of ice time.
STICK SALUTE: Dennis Wideman. Two assists in a team-high 28:03 TOI. Was put back together with Andrew Ference tonight because the Bruins felt he’d be more free to roam up the ice. Wideman responded with one of his best games of the year.
SIN BIN: Ondrej Pavelec. Turned in a 39-save effort, but still has to stop Ryder’s third-period PPG.
All done in Atlanta. Bruins in the shootout, 4-3. Patrice Bergeron with the only goal of the shootout. Tuukka Rask turns aside Rich Peverley, Slava Kozlov, and Ilya Kovalchuk.
End of overtime
After 65 minutes, tied at 3-3. Atlanta with the better chances in OT. Shootout time.
End of regulation
After 60 minutes, tied at 3-3. Backbreaker of a goal by Maxim Afinogenov in the final minute.
19:56 (3). Quality chance for David Krejci in the crease. Good save by Ondrej Pavelec.
19:18 (3). Tied, 3-3. Maxim Afinogenov with the game-tying goal.
19:07 (3). Atlanta timeout.
17:00 (3). Soft shot by Evander Kane, but Marty Reasoner in front sniffing for a rebound.
13:31 (3). Glove save by Tuukka Rask on Rich Peverley. Bruins 16 seconds away from killing penalty.
11:30 (3). Ondrej Pavelec stacks the pads to rob Michael Ryder.
6:16 (3). Bruins survive the five-on-three Atlanta PP. No good looks for Kovy.
4:19 (3). Hooking on Michael Ryder. Had to take it to stop Tobias Enstrom.
3:16 (3). Great down-low chance for Dennis Wideman. Nice save by Ondrej Pavelec.
0:00 (3). Atlanta’s first goal now credited to Nik Antropov instead of Tobias Enstrom. Antropov tipped Enstrom’s point shot. Surprisingly, that’s Antropov’s first goal of the year.
After 40 minutes, Bruins with a 3-2 lead.
* Scary sight to see your partner caught up ice and have Ilya Kovalchuk and Maxim Afinogenov steaming your way. But Derek Morris, with Zdeno Chara nabbed pinching, held his ground and blocked Kovalchuk’s cross-crease pass to break up the odd-man rush. Good positioning and even better anticipation by Morris.
* Not sure why Ondrej Pavelec was so deep on Michael Ryder’s goal. Pavelec has to be out and challenging Ryder instead of sagging back and giving him multiple holes.
* Dennis Wideman looks far more comfortable with Andrew Ference as his partner.
17:25 (2). Great play by Derek Morris to bust up Ilya Kovalchuk and Maxim Afinogenov’s two-on-one.
16:45 (2). Bruins, 3-2. Michael Ryder with a bad-angle PPG. Ondrej Pavelec has to stop that one.
14:23 (2). Tied, 2-2. Ilya Kovalchuk takes a feed from Tobias Enstrom and wings a PP one-timer from the point past Tuukka Rask. Sick stuff from Kovy. What a shot. Bruins PK streak ends at 26 straight.
12:13 (2). Christoph Schubert with a late hit on Vladimir Sobotka. Nothing new for Schubert.
9:20 (2). Bruins, 2-1. Ilya Kovalchuk drops a pass to Tobias Enstrom, who pumps a long-distance bomb past Tuukka Rask. Might have hit a stick on the way in.
4:25 (2). Milan Lucic with a good chance in front but goes wide. Lucic slams his stick on the ice in frustration.
0:25 (2). Sparkling kick save by Tuukka Rask to rob Rich Peverley on the one-timer.
After 20 minutes, Bruins with a 2-0 lead. Bruins have a 13-7 shot advantage.
* Appropriate that Marco Sturm and Michael Ryder, the two wings who’ve been struggling to score the most, found the back of the net. The Bruins need these two to get their games in gear. Sturm had several scoring chances, including one he passed up, while Ryder was in good position in front of the net to tip Blake Wheeler’s shot. Ryder also had a heavy hit earlier in the first. Ryder needs to skate and be physically engaged to be successful.
* Plays like Dennis Wideman made on Ryder’s goal are ones the defenseman needs to make more consistently. Good vision by Wideman to notice Wheeler open in the slot instead of firing a puck on goal.
* Solid first from Milan Lucic. Legs look OK.
18:11 (1). Bruins, 2-0. Michael Ryder deflects Blake Wheeler’s shot. Play starts with Dennis Wideman holding the right point, faking a shot, and finding Wheeler open in the slot. Slick tip by Ryder.
17:00 (1). Vladimir Sobotka goes wide on the backhand after a Shawn Thornton shot.
14:42 (1). Another good scoring chance for Marco Sturm, who slips behind Zach Bogosian. Ondrej Pavelec gets a glove on Sturm’s attempt.
12:08 (1). Good work by the Bruins PK. They continue on their torrid pace.
9:32 (1). Silly delay of game penalty by Zdeno Chara. Floats it over the boards instead of reversing the puck.
9:25 (1). Heavy forechecking pressure by the Thrashers. Tuukka Rask forced to cover the puck to settle things down.
6:40 (1). Another chance for Marco Sturm after a Mark Recchi feed. Sturm tries to go back to Recchi instead of shooting.
5:59 (1). Bruins, 1-0. Mark Recchi comes off the bench and feeds Marco Sturm in front. Nice play on both ends.
2:55 (1). Lightning-quick transition from defense to offense for Atlanta. Started with Ilya Kovalchuk through the NZ.
0:00 (1). Johnny Boychuk, Brad Marchand, and Trent Whitfield are the healthy scratches.