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Friday, November 20, 2009
Welcome to the party Michael Ryder, don't know where you've been for the past month and a half but that doesn't matter, you're here now and that's all that counts.
Ryder scored two goals last night for the Bruins as they coughed up a 2-0 lead and late 3-2 lead but won in the shootout 4-3, a forum where the B's are usually allergic to goals and victories.
Another Boston (9-8-4) player who had been invisible this season was Marco Sturm and he emerged last night with a tip-in goal (his 5th) after a Mark Recchi shot in the first period. Andrew Ference also assisted on the goal.
Ryder also scored on a tip-in with 1:49 left in the first period. It was also his fifth of the season, from Blake Wheeler and Dennis Wideman (remember him), other members of Boston's ghost squad.
Nobody is at the games but the Thrashers (10-6-2) can score some goals and they tied it up quickly with two in the second. Nik Antropov scored his first of the season (to go along with 16 assists) before superstud Ilya Kovalchuk tied it up with a power play goal with 5:37 left in the second.
Ryder put his team back ahead with a power play goal, something nearly unheard of for the Bruins, just a few minutes after Kovalchuk's goal. David Krejci and Wideman assisted on that tally.
Boston looked about to seize the two points in regulation when Maxim Afinogenov sent it to overtime with a strike with 42 seconds remaining.
Tukka Rask (32 saves), a last-minute sub for Tim Thomas, played well the entire game and stoned all three Atlanta shooters in the shootout. Patrice Bergeron was Boston's first shooter and fittingly he had the only goal.
It wasn't pretty but it was two points in a manner that this team hasn't excelled at by any means. Milan Lucic returned to the lineup and Marc Savard is due back most likely next week.
They'll look to keep the momentum going as they travel to Buffalo tonight to face red-hot Ryan Miller and the Sabres.