The Boston Bruins played the Carolina Hurricanes last night for the first time since the Canes knocked them out of the playoffs last year. While this game didn't have the same intensity as the last time these two played against each other there was still plenty of anticipation.
Both were coming off disappointing first game losses and looking to rebound. This game also featured many former Bruins now wearing red and white. Sergei Samsonov, Stephane Yelle, and Aaron Ward are all former Bruins now playing for the Hurricanes.
Right from the drop of the puck the B's came out flying. They had their fore checking game working much better than their first game and it payed off. Just four minutes into the game Marc Savard scooped up a rebound and put it past Cam Ward to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins kept the pressure up and eight minutes later scored again after Zdeno Chara took a shot from the point that Cam Ward kicked out and was put right back in by Michael Ryder making it 2-0 Bruins. It would take just 38 seconds for the Bruins to put in another one as Black Wheeler deflected one past Ward. The play would be reviewed and it showed that the puck did go off Wheeler's skate, but he had not kicked it so the goal stood.
The second period started out just like the first with the Bruins keeping the pressure on, but Carolina also got some of their own pressure. Then with a little less than ten minutes gone in the period Marco Sturm got his first of the year and his first since returning from an injury that kept him out of almost all of last year.
Just two minutes later the Bruins scored again. This time it was Dennis Wideman making it 5-0 and the third pp goal of the game for the B's. With the Bruins in total control they seemed to get off their game a bit and Carolina got their first goal of the game as Scott Walker deflected a shot pat Thomas which was eerily similar to his game winner in last year's Game 7.
That goal seemed to spark the Bruins who once again got the pressure back on Carolina and scored again as Shawn Thornton put a quick one past Michael Leighton who had replaced Cam Ward.
With the game well in hand you knew things were going to get out of hand very soon. Then it happened. With under a minute left in the period Milan Lucic checked Jay Harrison into the boards and Harrison decided he wanted to go with Lucic. It was a great fight with both landing punches, but Lucic landed the better as he opened Harrison up pretty good.
The very next play Andrew Alberts hit Marco Sturm into the boards up a little high where Sturm had sustained an injury before and Savard took offense to this as he went right over to Alberts and started to throw a few punches although Savard still had his gloves on. Then everyone jumped in and pretty soon there was four guys in each penalty box.
The third period began with a surprise as Eric Staal was back out on the ice after taking a puck right off the side of the face and getting 25 stitches. This just goes to show that hockey players are by far the toughest in all of sports. Staal made his return even more impressive as he took a pass and put a shot right past Tim Thomas.
The Bruins would get the final goal of the game as Matt Hunwick got his first of the season making it 7-2. The game had one more flurry as Shawn Thornton fought Andrew Alberts with Thornton getting the best of the punches in.
This was a vast improvement for the Bruins compared to their first game and just what we expect to see out of this team for the whole year. If they continue to play like this they will be a scary team to have to play against.