NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Boston
(Thursday, March 8th)
Final Score: Minnesota 2, Boston 1
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Pierre-Marc Bouchard tallied a goal and an assist to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden.
Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves for the Wild, who have earned at least a point in 17 of their last 21 games (13-4-4). Former Bruin Brian Rolston scored his 27th goal of the season for the Wild, who are in the midst of a tight playoff race in the Western Conference. Minnesota is locked in a three-way tie with Calgary and Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot but also trails the Vancouver Canucks by four points in the Northwest division.
"It was fun to come back here and play," said Rolston. "There were no bad memories here. The organization was always great to me."
Brandon Bochenski scored the only goal for Boston, which has dropped two straight games. Tim Thomas allowed two goals on 30 shots for Boston, which was nearly shut out for the second consecutive game following Tuesday's 2-0 loss versus Colorado.
The Bruins failed to gain any ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race and are among a group of teams hovering around the eighth playoff spot.
"We are still in this (playoff race)," said Boston forward Marc Savard. "We saw the scoreboard, and everyone ahead of us lost. We're believers and we're not going to quit until they kick us out."
Trailing 2-0 with time running out, the Bruins cut their deficit in half with 1:36 remaining in regulation.
Patrice Bergeron sent a backhand pass from along the right half-wall back to the centerpoint for a one-timer by Dennis Wideman. The shot was deflected by Bochenski in the slot and it flew past Backstrom. The play was reviewed to determine if Bochenski's tip was with a high stick, but the goal was allowed.
Thomas was then pulled in favor of the extra attacker, but the Wild held on for the one-goal victory.
Following a relatively uneventful and scoreless first period, the Wild moved ahead with goals in the second stanza.
First, at the 3:59 mark, Rolston ripped a slap shot over the right shoulder of Thomas. Boston tried to clear the defensive zone but the puck never made it out before Bouchard gained control and fed a soft drop pass to Rolston, who lit the lamp from inside the left circle.
"There was one small mistake, a bad bounce," said Boston's Aaron Ward. "It's an unfortunate situation, but that's the way it goes."
Bouchard then followed his assist with his 18th marker of the season for a two-goal edge with seven minutes remaining before the second intermission. The Bruins dumped the puck for a line change and Martin Skoula started the Wild breakout with a pass to Todd White, who gained control at his own blue line along the left half-wall.
White quickly sent a cross-ice pass that split defenders across the neutral zone and found the stick of Bouchard in stride along the right boards at the opposite blue line. Bouchard went in on a clear breakaway and beat Thomas.
Boston had a chance to get within a goal with 4:05 remaining in the second as Marco Sturm had a clear breakaway, but his wrist shot sailed wide left of the net.
Wild forward Mark Parrish, who had missed the last two games with an upper body injury, returned to the lineup but left in the second period due to an unrelated right knee injury and is considered day-to-day. Minnesota also lost forward Marian Gaborik during the game. He left with an apparent jaw injury after a hit by Boston's Andrew Ference and is also day-to-day...Boston head coach Dave Lewis said after the game that forward P.J. Axelsson, who has a broken left wrist, will miss about four weeks. Also for Boston, sniper Glen Murray is out indefinitely with a lower body injury...Boston fell to 17-15-3 at home this season will visit Philadelphia on Saturday...Minnesota has now won six of the seven all-time meetings with Boston in franchise history, including all four games in Beantown...The Wild were 0-for-6 on the power play and held the Bruins scoreless on their three chances with the extra skater...Attendance was 13,709.
03/09 00:28:44 ET