NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Boston
(Saturday, December 13th)
Final Score: Boston 4, Atlanta 2
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Phil Kessel extended his point streak with a goal and an assist as the Boston Bruins downed the Atlanta Thrashers, 4-2, in the back end of a home-and-home set at TD Banknorth Garden.
Kessel is riding a 15-game point streak and has 12 goals and 10 assists during that run.
"The key word has always been confidence and he's got that now and he's scoring goals," said Boston coach Claude Julien. "He's been hot with the stick and definitely something we've been looking for for a long time."
Michael Ryder scored twice while Dennis Wideman lit the lamp for Boston, which has won seven of its last eight games. Manny Fernandez made 20 saves in the win.
"It's great racking up wins and establishing a reputation for being hard to beat at home," said Julien about the team's 11-game winning streak at home.
Nathan Oystrick had a goal and an assist while Marty Reasoner also scored for the Thrashers, who have dropped three straight and eight of nine. Johan Hedberg made 25 saves in the loss.
"I don't think we played a good defensive game today," said Atlanta defenseman Niclas Havelid. "They took advantage of their (power play) today and we have to look at our (penalty kill) and clean that area up. We have to work on all areas of our game, that's for sure."
Boston defeated Atlanta, 7-3, on Friday in Atlanta.
Boston drew first blood in the game with a power-play goal. David Krejci had the puck at the right side and flung it over to Kessel at the low left circle. Kessel's first shot was stopped, but he slammed home the rebound for a 1-0 lead six minutes in.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead later in the frame as Blake Wheeler left a drop pass at the right circle for Ryder, who cut into the slot to get around the defender and flipped a backhand into the net with 6:17 left in the first.
Atlanta, though, made it a one-goal game with just 38 seconds left in the first as Oystrick's slap shot from the top of the left circle found the back of the net.
The Bruins got the two-goal edge back on the power play in the second period as Matt Hunwick used a one-touch pass at the right point to get it to the left point for Wideman, who blasted a one-timer past Hedberg with 1:44 left in the frame.
Fernandez only faced five shots in the second period and stopped all of them.
Ryder notched his second goal of the game with 4:12 left in the third as he skated down the left wing, fought off a checker along the boards, cut out front and got past another defender before lifting the puck into the net.
Reasoner's wrister from the slot with 2:20 to play accounted for the final score.
Boston has off until Thursday when it will host Toronto...The Thrashers play in Ottawa on Tuesday...Boston has won five straight in the series...Boston went 2-for-5 on the power play while Atlanta failed to score on either of its two chances...Krejci had three assists.
12/13 22:47:09 ET