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Monday, December 29, 2008

Plenty of room left on this bandwagon folks

As my friends and I watched the Patriots' playoff chances go down the tubes yesterday afternoon, one thing brought us the most temporary relief: the Boston Bruins, who won their eighth game in a row.

Playing less than 24 hours after their last game, the B's (27-5-4) survived in Atlanta (12-20-4) and came away with an exciting 2-1 win.

One of the greatest ongoing storylines of this wonderful season has been the outstanding play of goalie Manny Fernandez. Mocked by many (myself included), he has quickly found his game as the Bruins have established the best 1-1A goaltending duo in the NHL.

The numbers just keep getting better for Boston too; they lead the NHL in goals and have the fewest goals allowed. They are also tied with San Jose for the most points in the league.

It's heady stuff and none of it would be possible without Fernandez, who made 32 saves (including 12 in the third) to up his record 12-2-1.

A neutral zone turnover late in the first period allowed the Thrashers to skate in and score when Bryan Little threw a centering pass of Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick and past Fernandez with 15 seconds left.

It didn't take Boston long to tie it as Phil Kessel scored his team-high 22nd goal of the season at 1:43 in the second period from Marc Savard and Dennis Wideman.

Atlanta dominated the third but the B's made the most of their one real scoring opportunity.

David Krejci (from Blake Wheeler) found Michael Ryder right on the doorstep for a redirection goal at 13:56. Ryder has really played well lately as he potted his 14th goal of the season.

The B's wrap up their road trip with a visit to Mellon Arena to see Sidney Crosby and the overrated Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night.

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