On Thursday, the Bruins won a game against Ottawa but lost starting goaltender Hannu Toivonen to an injury. Last night, they beat the Tampa Bay Lightning at the TD Banknorth Garden, 6-3, but lost veteran center Alexei Zhamnov to a broken left ankle at 17:14 of the second period and goalie Andrew Raycroft was forced to the dressing room with 42.5 seconds remaining in the game after tweaking the area below his right knee.
Coach Mike Sullivan said he doesn't believe Zhamnov will need surgery but he'll be out for the foreseeable future. Raycroft, on the other hand, said he's fine and just left for precautionary reasons because the game's outcome was decided.
Thus continues the good news, bad news pattern of Boston's 2005-06 campaign as the Bruins reached the halfway point.
Adding to the positives yesterday, rookie defenseman Milan Jurcina, playing in his 20th career game, tallied his first two NHL goals. And it was just the fourth time this season the Bruins have been able to win two contests in a row, the first time since Dec. 1 and Dec. 3, when they knocked off Ottawa and Edmonton.
But then there was Zhamnov, who was finally getting his game going after a rough beginning. He attempted to check Lightning forward Evgeny Artyukhin into the boards in the second period, but when he backed into him, his left skate got caught against the boards.
The Bruins started poorly but finished strong, scoring five unanswered goals, three in a span of 4 minutes 50 seconds in the middle period.
The Lightning began by scoring a pair of goals on just five shots against Raycroft. The first came 39 seconds into the action when Fredrik Modin beat Raycroft from atop the right circle to the far side.
It was Artyukhin who capitalized when the Bruins' defense broke down less than four minutes later. With the Lightning skating down on Raycroft in what was essentially a three-on-none break, Artyukhin took a pass from Vaclav Prospal and scored from the inside edge of the right circle to make it 2-0 at 4:26.
The Bruins cut the lead in half at 17:15 when Marco Sturm fired a shot from the left circle that glanced off the skate of Tampa Bay defenseman Cory Sarich and beat goalie John Grahame over the left shoulder. It was Sturm's 13th tally of the season.
Vincent Lecavalier potted the Lightning's final goal of the night at 1:54 of the second when he took a centering pass from Prospal and had all day in the left circle. He fired a pinpoint shot that beat Raycroft under his right arm to make it 3-1.
But the Bruins came roaring back, with all of their goals scored at even strength. At 9:18, Jurcina corraled a backhanded centering pass from Brad Boyes and beat Grahame from the high slot to the stick side.
It was Jurcina again at 13:33 when he took a pass from Zhamnov and fired a slapper from the right point that also eluded Grahame to the stick side and it was a tie game.
''I feel more comfortable," said Jurcina, who was recalled from Providence Dec. 2. ''After practice, I work on my shots on the net."
Patrice Bergeron put Boston up for good at 14:08. Sturm took the initial shot from the left point but Grahame kicked it out. Bergeron charged to the net for the rebound and as he was being hooked to his knees by Sarich, he got a stick on the puck and swept it past Grahame for his 12th strike of the year.
In the third, the Bruins added two more. P.J. Axelsson was sprung on a partial breakaway by Travis Green. He beat Grahame from the left circle at 8:35 and Lightning coach John Tortorella pulled Grahame in favor of Sean Burke.
Burke didn't surrender any goals but Boston sealed the victory with 42.5 seconds left when Pat Leahy took a pass from defenseman Brian Leetch and scored into an empty net.
''We're starting to get a bit of resilience, which is good," said defenseman David Tanabe. ''We came out a little slow in the first seven minutes and they capitalized on it, but we battled back. We need 20 guys to contribute. Milan had a great game tonight. For our team, the game we've been playing now for the last month, it's good to see guys get rewarded for their hard work."