Bruins leave six lumps of coal in net; rout Predators
'Twas the game before Christmas and all through the rink...
we'll leave Christmas Carol parodies to jolly folks like Weird Al and
Ron Borges, though the Boston Bruins certainly were in a giving mood -
particularly young Ryan Spooner, who delivered biscuits in front of the
basket Monday night in Nashville like they were presents under the
on three goals, one of three Bruins to enjoy a three point night and
one of ten that showed up on the scoresheet as the Bullies from Beantown
left a lump of coal in the Nashville Predators' metaphoric Christmas
stocking - actually a half dozen of them - routing the Predators by a
score of 6-2.
The match was essentially over midway
through the opening frame, Jarome Iginla, Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith
lighting the lamp in a frenzied scoring barrage so quick and and
unrelenting that Nashville starting goalie Carter Hutton was pulled in
favor of Marek Mazanek less than six minutes in.
not until Bruins' defenseman Adam McQuaid and Predators' left wing Eric
Nystrom exchanged early gifts with each other, tasteless as they were,
the knuckle sandwiches treating the fans to perhaps the most spirited
fight of the holiday season - Nystrom going to the box and McQuaid, who
had just returned from a nine game hiatus with groin issues, going to
the room to repair a leak above his right eye.
Both returned after the mandatory five-minute time out no worse for wear, and then the true beatings began.
gave up soft goals to Iginla - a tip in off of a Chara drive - and snap
shot in which he gave up a huge rebound that found Fraser in the high
slot for his first goal as a Bruin, then he stormed off the ice like
disgruntled child that got a sweater instead of a Skylander video game.
luck wasn't much better initially, allowing a tough-angle power play
wrister to Smith, but was much more alert than his predecessor and
stopped the bleeding after that, stopping 25 shots between Smith's goal
and when the skids fell off the sleigh in the third period.
lone scrooge for the Predators - besides Nystrom - was center Craig
Smith, who single-handedly made things interesting, slipping a few lumps
into Boston netminder Tuukka Rask's stocking, making the score 3-2 just
three minutes into the final frame before Iginla and Carl Soderberg
found twine 49 seconds apart to blow the game open...
Marchand sending the Nashville crowd home with a nasty
just-ate-some-of-grandma's-fruitcake taste in their mouths late in the
game with his eighth of the year to complete the blowout.
Bruins' 25th win of the season and the two points that came with it
were stocking stuffers - the big gift under the tree is the incredible
depth that the club is showing off in the face of injury and suspension,
players like Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser joining newcomer Reilly
Smith, combining with the solid veteran core to form as good a team as
there is in the National Hockey League.
The next chance
the Bruins have to show off their depth is not until after Santa
delivers his loot, beginning a home-and-home series Friday night in
Ottawa, the back end of the series at TD Garden in Boston the following