Stars 4, Bruins 2: Michael Ryder, Dallas Snap Boston Winning Streak At Seven

Michael Ryder and the Dallas Stars cruised to a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins on New Year's Eve. Ryder scored one goal and now has a team-high 15 goals on the season. Boston had its seven-game winning streak snapped with the loss.

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Stars 4, Bruins 2: Boston Closes Out The Year With Loss In Dallas

It had been 23 days since the Bruins last lost a game, so you had to figure they had a stinker in them. And they got it out of their system with a deflating 4-2 loss at Dallas in a game filled with sloppy play and bad penalties from Boston.

The Stars came out fast and spent most of the game skating around a Boston team that seemed like it had better places to be, committing delay of game and too many men on the ice penalties in the first 40 minutes.

Tim Thomas looked like a goaltender who hadn’t played in almost two weeks, letting in four goals – more than he’d allowed in a game all season – in the first two periods of the game. Two of those goals game on Dallas power plays; Loui Eriksson opened the scoring with a 5-on-3 goal and former Bruin Michael Ryder got his 15th goal of the year on a power play when Thomas came far out of the net to play his forehand.

Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic had the goals for Boston.


Stars Piling On, Lead Bruins 4-1 After 2

The first period saw a bunch of excitement, but the second period between Boston and Dallas saw the parade to the penalty box continue and the Stars continue to maintain the upper hand.

Although there were moments where the Bruins looked like they were ready to tilt the ice in their favor, they never seemed to be able to string multiple good shifts together, with penalties keeping Boston from developing any flow as the game wore past the halfway mark.

Tired of all the skating around that interrupted the annual Bruins-Stars exchanging of pleasantries, Gregory Campbell and Jake Dowell dropped the gloves with minutes to play in the period, but neither managed to land a good punch before they both fell to the ice swinging.

Neither team seemed to get much of a lift from the fight, but Tom Wandell finished a 2-on-1 for the Stars with less than a minute remaining to give Dallas a 4-1 lead heading into the intermission.


Poor Play Leaves Bruins Trailing Dallas 3-1 After 20 Minutes

Tyler Seguin returned to life and grabbed the team lead in goals back from Brad Marchand with his strongest period in recent memory, but Tim Thomas looked a bit rusty after taking 11 days off and Dallas won the first 20 minutes of the New Year's Eve battle, 2-1.

Seguin's team-leading 15th goal came while the Bruins were between lines. David Krejci threaded a pass that Seguin finished, but it was downhill from there for Boston.

The Bruins, who hadn't trailed in a game since December 10th, found themselves unable to control their emotions, giving Dallas an early extended 5-on-3 power play, which Loui Eriksson converted on, beating Thomas high on the glove side.

Later in the period, a fortunate bounce off a Trevor Daley shot made it over Thomas and into the Boston net, giving Dallas their intermission lead. Braden Morrow got Zdeno Chara's attention and the Boston captain found himself in the box. Just a minute later, Michael Ryder converted the team's second power-play goal of the year when he got Thomas out of position and neatly deposited the puck into the net.


Bruins Vs. Stars Preview: TV/Radio Info, Time, Location And More

Event: Boston Bruins vs. Dallas Stars
Date/Time: Saturday, December 31, 2011 - 8 p.m. EDT.
Location: American Airlines Center (Capacity: 18,532), Dallas, TX.
Broadcast Info: Saturday's game between the Bruins and the Stars will be broadcast live on NESN. The game can also be heard on the 98.5 the Sports Hub Radio Network, with Dave Goucher providing play-by-play, and Bob Beers providing analysis.

Last Time Out: The Bruins found themselves in one of their closer games on Wednesday, after taking an eventual 2-1 win in overtime against the Phoenix Coyotes. David Krejci scored just 47 seconds into the first period, while defenseman Dennis Seidenberg finished them off 58 seconds into overtime.

Tuukka Rask was in net for the B’s and recorded 21 saves off 22 shots for his fourth straight win. He is currently first place in the league in both save percentage (.945) and goals against (1.61).

The Dallas Stars fell to the Blue Jackets their last time out after scoring less than nine minutes into the first period. Columbus put up three unanswered goals to put Dallas out 4-1. The Stars still managed to outshoot them 37-29, including a 19-9 advantage in the first period alone. However, goaltender Kari Lehtonen was unable to keep the puck out for much longer, despite his efforts from his first game back from a groin injury.

Columbus improved to just 10-22-5 against a Dallas team that sits over .500 (20-15-1).

Storyline: It’s impossible to talk about these two teams and not bring up last year’s memorable matchup back in Boston. Just four seconds into the game and the record books already racked up three fights without so much as noting a faceoff win.

Bruins also recall netting two goals in the first 1:20 of the game as well, courtesy of Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron.

Though the B’s ended up winning that game 6-3, tonight’s game could prove to be a bit more of a challenge for both teams. For one, the Bruins will be playing against former teammate and Stanley Cup Champion Michael Ryder.

"It’s going to be different," Lucic said. "He’s been here for the last three years and I know him as a Bruin in my career more than anything."

Ryder has 14 goals and 11 assists for the Stars this season, and at 31-years old is considered one of the veterans on the team.
This is the 14th time the Stars will have played on New Years Eve at home since they moved to Dallas in 1993 and they are 8-4-2 in that span.

Players To Watch: The first line is starting to take shape again for the Bruins, despite their numbers being down. David Krejci scored in his last game, and the others are spending the majority of their time in the offensive zone.

Also, it shouldn’t be a surprise, but anything can happen in a Bruins and Stars matchup. The three catalysts of last year’s game, Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Adam McQuaid are all in the lineup again tonight.

Prediction: In the final game of 2011, I think the Bruins will be able to take out Dallas before heading back to the East Coast. Tim Thomas should be in net tonight, and his last loss came on December 8 against the Florida Panthers. He currently holds second place in the league with a .943 save percentage. Final Score: Bruins 4, Stars 2.


Bruins Vs. Stars: Tim Thomas, Rich Peverley Return To Action

According to Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sportsnet New England, goalie Tim Thomas and forward Rich Peverley will play for the Bruins in tonight's New Year's Eve game against the Dallas Stars.

Saturday will mark Thomas's first start in the goal since December 19, when the Bruins defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2. Since then, Bruins head coach Claude Julien has instead used Tuukka Rask in net against the Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes. Even though Rask was able to win both games for the B's, Julien is instead going to his number one goal tender on New Year's Eve. Thomas is 16-5-0 in 23 games played this season.

As for Peverley, he will be back in action for the first time since he went down with an undisclosed injury against Montreal. The Canadian forward will join Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouiliot on the Bruins' third offensive line. In his place on the third line was Zach Hamill, who will either take a spot on the Bruins bench or be sent down to Providence.


Bruins Vs. Stars: B's Count Their Stars Heading Into Tonight's Game

After taking a 2-1 OT victory over in Phoenix, the Bruins head over to Dallas to faceoff against former teammate Michael Ryder as they try for their eighth straight win in their last game of 2011--the year of the Stanley Cup.

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