On February 11, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins outplayed the Nashville Predators in regulation, but needed a shootout to earn a 4-3 win. The Bruins outshot the Predators 41 to 22, but Pekka Rinne saved 38 to earn his team a point. Milan Lucic netted a late goal to force overtime and Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron each scored in the shootout to improve the Bruins to 34-17-2.
The Bruins shot out with a ferocious attack and sent four shots on goal in the first minute of action. They kept the pressure on and couldn't break through on a pair of power plays midway through the period, but went on top with a shorthanded goal at the 16:00 mark. Brad Marchand's hard work set up Bergeron who sniped his 16th goal of the year. The Bruins dominated the opening period and outshot the Predators 16 to six to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Boston started the second period with the same intensity that won them the first period. The Bruins placed the first six shots on goal, but the Predators tied the game on a power play at 7:32 with Shea Weber's 11th goal. Midway through the second, the Bruins held a 16 to five edge in scoring chances, but Pekka Rinne's 23 saves kept Nashville in the game. The Bruins continued to double the Predators in shots on goal, 26 to 13, but went into the third period tied 1-1.
After another strong start to the third period, Daniel Paille put the Bruins ahead 2-1 at 2:55. Shawn Thornton set up Paille at the crease to bury his ninth goal of the season. Again, the Bruins put seven shots on goal before the Predators got their first. The Predators tied the game at 2-2 with a transition goal by Patric Hornqvist, his 17th, at 9:33. They twice rang posts in the third period as Tim Thomas was not on his game. Mike Fisher beat Thomas five-hole at 16:28 to give Nashville its first lead of the game. Lucic averted disaster and capped his strong day with the game-tying power play goal at 18:53; with the goal, he became the second Bruin to reach 20 on the season, tying Seguin for the team lead. The Bruins went into overtime with a 40 to 20 shots on goal advantage.
The Predators got the better scoring chances in overtime. Marchand had the last chance, but his shot rifled just over the crossbar. After each goalie registered saves in round one, Seguin backhanded the first goal of the shootout. Thomas stopped Martin Erat's round two shot and Bergeron sealed the win with the goal in round three.
The Bruins play one more home game before hitting the road for six straight away from Boston. They face the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers at TD Garden on Tuesday, February 14.
Nashville at Boston, Saturday, February 11, 2012, NHL--Yahoo! Sports
William Menna is a native New Englander and longtime Boston sports fan.
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