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He's saved from blame

Beating wasn't Raycroft's fault

Few would argue that goaltender Andrew Raycroft has not been the Bruins' most valuable player to this point, so when the rookie gave up five goals on 10 shots against the Calgary Flames last night before being pulled for Felix Potvin at the start of the third, his teammates as well as his coach made the point of saying the young netminder was not to blame.


"Nobody helped him and that's what happens," said defenseman Nick Boynton, disgusted by the 5-0 beating at the FleetCenter. "He can only do so much."

Coach Mike Sullivan pulled Raycroft out of compassion rather than any dissatisfaction.

"It was a tough night for Razor," said Sullivan. "I felt for him in there."

Raycroft, who was yanked for the first time this season, said he couldn't help but feel responsible.

"They had some good chances but at the same time, I have to make a save somewhere along the line and just stop the bleeding," he said. "They got the first one off a play from behind the net. Even then, it really didn't feel that bad. Even down, 2-0, it didn't feel horrible. Then, we tried to press a little bit maybe and got out of our game plan and they made us pay. They took advantage of their chances."

When the team fell behind, 5-0, at 17:22 of the second, Raycroft said he was never thinking about whether he would be replaced.

"I was not looking at the bench at all, ever, ever," he said. "You lose, 5-0, the goalie is always going to feel responsible. That's my job and when guys break down, I'm the last line and I've got to make saves. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to do that tonight. Hopefully the sun will come up tomorrow and it will be a new day."

If the first two periods were painful, Raycroft said it was no less tough sitting for the final 20, even though he wasn't surprised his coach made the change.

"It seemed like a long third," he said. "I guess the first 40 felt pretty long, too. I was pretty glad when that final buzzer went."


Defenseman Sean O'Donnell more than doubled his penalty minutes for the season last night. He went into the game with 20 in the first 31 contests. Against Calgary, O'Donnell racked up 26 penalty minutes, including two fighting majors . . . The Bruins conclude their two-game homestand with a matinee against the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow at the FleetCenter. It will be the first meeting against the club since the 'Canes installed new coach Peter Laviolette, a Franklin native and former Bruins assistant coach. That game is Family Night, which means fans can purchase four tickets for $99, valid on $44 seats while supplies last. The final Bruins' appearance before Christmas is Dec. 23, when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. All fans are eligible for one half-price seat, valid on $54 and $44 seats while supplies last. That offer is also good for the Oct. 30 contest against the Ottawa Senators.

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