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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bruins begin road trip with a bang: completely blowout the Avalanche

The Boston Bruins begin their strange two-game West Coast trip with an even more bizarre game: a Saturday afternoon contest in Colorado vs. the Avalanche.

Luckily, the Bs (27-14-7) didn't need to use the standard crutches of a long flight, thin air of Denver, etc. as they blasted the Avs (24-18-6) 6-2 yesterday at the Pepsi Center.

Five players had two or more points for Boston led by Brad Marchand (2 goals, 2 assists). Milan Lucic (2 goals), Mark Recchi (1 goal, 2 assists), David Krejci (2 assists) and Patrice Bergeron (1 goal, 1 assist) were the others to rack up the fantasy points.

The underplayed storyline of the season thus far with the Bruins is their scoring punch that was completely absent all last season. Since the team is pretty much the same with the additions of Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, Gregory Campbell and Marchand, it's hard to explain how it's been this much better. Particularly when Marc Savard seemingly gets hurt every other game and has to leave.

Yesterday, he was slammed into the glass by former Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick and didn't return. It looked like he cut his forehead but who knows with all his concussion issues. Poor guy.

Tim Thomas (23-4-6) made 32 saves as he outlasted Colorado goaltender Craig Anderson (24 saves), who got pulled after two periods.

Paul Stasny from Kevin Shattenkirk and Chris Stewart gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead two minutes into the game and you had to think as a Bs fan, here we go. It was a fluky goal that Thomas despite all his greatness is prone to give up from time to time.

Boston roared back with two goals of their own later in the first period. Marchand scored (his 11th) at 9:20 from Recchi and Bergeron and Lucic tied his career-high at 12:00 with his 18th of the season from Krejci and Recchi on the power play.

The Bruins seemed to gain some steam from Campbell's fight with Cody McLeod shortly after Stasny's goal. Campbell can't do anything wrong these days, the guy that was just a throw in for the Horton deal is playing the best hockey of his life (and outperforming Horton).

Two late goals in the second period gave the Bs control. Recchi became the eighth Bruin with 10+ goals at 14:44 from Marchand and Lucic set his career-high at 19:04 from Krejci and Bergeron.

BU alum Shattenkirk cut it to 4-2 early in the third period from Milan Hejduk and despite plenty of running around in their own end, Thomas made some big stops to settle his team down.

Bergeron scored at 9:56 (his 16th) from one knee (from Marchand and Johnny Boychuk) and Marchand took over the short-handed goal lead in the NHL with his fourth, an empty-netter at 18:25 (from Campbell and Andrew Ference).

The Bruins wrap up this bite size trip tomorrow night against the reeling Los Angeles Kings.

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