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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lucic impresses with the Gordie Howe hat trick

When do the Stanley Cup finals tickets go on sale? And when is the rolling rally with the Duck boats for the Bruins?

Haha, just kidding. I realize that we're not even a few weeks into the 2010-2011 NHL season but you have to admit that your Boston Bruins are off to a great start.

In their last game of a four-game road trip that has spanned the globe, the B's (3-1-0) went to DC and snapped the Capitals (4-2-0) four-game win streak with a 3-1 victory last night at the Verizon Center.

Tim Thomas got his third straight start between the pipes for Boston and once again, he didn't disappoint. He made 35 saves to improve to 3-0-0 on the young season.

Milan Lucic scored a goal, had an assist and got into a heavyweight fight, adding up to the Gordie Howe hat trick. David Krejci had a goal and an assist, Matt Hunwick coughed up the puck which led to Washington's only goal but he made up for it with his first goal of the season. Finally, Greg Campbell got into his second fight of the season.

What's not to like about this team? Especially since they have the dominant first line (Lucic, Krejci and Nathan Horton) that they lacked all last season. That trio has the right combination of brawn, skill and scoring ability to ensure it should be around for a while.

Boston jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period as Krejci scored at 9:12 off a beautiful centering pass from Horton. Lucic started the sequence with a key chip into the Caps' zone.

In less than three minutes, Lucic was on the board with a rebound goal after some hard work in front of the net (ie. taking a beating but standing up to it). Johnny Boychuk's shot deflected in front and Looch was able to work for and tap it in. Krejci originally found Boychuk with a cross ice pass so he also had an assist.

At that point Capitals goaltender Michael Neuvirth (5 saves) skated to the dressing room done for the night with a nasty bout of the flu. He was replaced by Simeon Varlamov (13 saves).

Marcus Johansson got Washington back to 2-1 with a lucky bounce at 7:42 in the second period. Jason Chimera and Matt Hendricks assisted.

At 2:08 as I said, Hunwick scored on a long screened shot from Dennis Seidenberg and Blake Wheeler.

Thomas stood up to 18 Washington shots in the third period and the B's held Alexander Ovechkin scoreless for the first time this season (not an easy task by any means).

The two teams meet again tomorrow night at the TD Garden for the Bruins' home opener. I expect to see Tuukka Rask in net since he hasn't started in over a week now and they don't want to let him get too rusty.


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