BOSTON, MA – After missing a golden opportunity to clinch the Northeast Division title on Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins capitalized on Saturday, as they defeated the Atlanta Thrashers, 3-2, as well as won their division.
“Its what a lot of teams obviously battle for, so I’m glad that that’s out of the way. Again we just got to keep playing and playing to win our next games and see where we end up,” said Bruins coach Claude Juilen.
Bruins rookie center Brad Marchand, who was awarded the 7th Player of the Year Award prior to face-off, showed off his physical and smart play during the opening minutes of the first period when he assisted Mark Recchi for an early goal.
After scoring the first goal of the game, the Bruins then dictated the pace of the game, as well as limited Atlanta’s offensive surges and chances in their own zone.
The Thrashers would eventually tie the game on a power play, as Dustin Burmistrov pushed the puck past Tuukka Rask for Atlanta’s first goal of the game.
After a quick Thrashers score, the Bruins then began to play somewhat sloppy and eventually watched Rask give up his second goal of the contest to Evander Kane, which gave Atlanta their own lead of the game. Yet, the Bruins eventually rebounded from their horrendous play when Daniel Paille scored on a shorthanded goal in the second period, which tied the game, 2-2.
“I just wanted to get in the play,” said Paille. “I felt that it wasn’t high enough so I just thought to get a jump on there and I noticed they were just trying to pass around me.”
Boston would finally take the lead for good when Michael Ryder scored eight minutes into the third period, which propelled the Bruins to their 44th win of the season, as well as the Northeast Division crown.
The Bruins will return to the ice next on Monday, when they travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers.