Bruins Notebook

Murray knocked out in the second

Email|Print| Text size + By Fluto Shinzawa
Globe Staff / December 21, 2007

On Wednesday, Glen Murray sat out practice at Ristuccia Arena with what coach Claude Julien termed a minor injury.

In the second period of last night's 5-4 shootout loss to the Penguins at TD Banknorth Garden, Murray suffered an injury serious enough to knock him out for the rest of the game.

Murray, on the ice for all three of Pittsburgh's first-period goals, skated 10 shifts for 6:04 of ice time in the first 20 minutes. But in the second period, after only two shifts, Murray went to the dressing room and didn't return. He suffered what the Bruins termed a middle-body injury. Julien said he would likely know more about Murray's condition today.

Murray is one of eight Bruins to have played in all 34 games this season. He missed 23 games last season, including the last 16, with a groin injury.

Partly because of Murray's injury, Julien shuffled his lines in the second and third periods. Murray, usually the right wing on the No. 1 line, was replaced by Phil Kessel, who skated with Marc Savard and Marco Sturm.

Julien slotted Milan Lucic in Murray's spot on the top power-play unit. The first-year left wing helped set up Dennis Wideman's tying man-advantage strike at 17:05 of the third period. Sturm had the puck deep in the right corner and Lucic drove to the far post, drawing two defenders.

Wideman took Sturm's pass and fired a one-timer past goalie Ty Conklin to make it 4-4.

"Looch definitely opened up the lane," said Wideman. "He was in front and Sturmy showed good patience. He kind of looked at Looch at first when Looch jumped to the back door. I saw Looch go to the back door and I just jumped into that hole that he had left there."

Into the fire

Tim Thomas, making his first start since suffering a groin pull Dec. 5, couldn't ease into the game. The puck quickly found the stick of sniper Evgeni Malkin, who scored his 12th goal of the season on Pittsburgh's first shot.

By the end of the first period, three of Pittsburgh's 14 shots had beaten Thomas.

"I wouldn't call it rusty," Thomas said. "They just made some pretty nice plays."

While Thomas allowed four goals and saw both of Pittsburgh's shootout triggermen cash in, the netminder helped his club gain a point with some big saves. In the second period with the score 4-0, the Penguins snapped the puck around until it landed on Malkin's stick for a goalmouth bid. But Thomas covered the puck at 13:09.

In the third period, after taking a feed from forward Jordan Staal, Malkin teed up a slapper from the slot. But Thomas read the play and sprinted out of his crease to cut down the angle and stop Malkin's shot, keeping it 4-3.

"There were two guys in the slot," said Thomas. "I first went to the other guy. I think it was [Colby] Armstrong. They were both winding up, so I had to switch over. And [Zdeno Chara] was coming out to block it, too, so I had to make the stop while being tangled up with Z."

Alberts improving

Andrew Alberts, who missed his second straight game with a head injury, was at the Garden yesterday morning for treatment and said his headaches are improving.

However, Alberts has not been cleared for off-ice workouts, indicating he might not be ready for tomorrow's home matinee against St. Louis. Alberts reiterated he was never diagnosed with a concussion after he was hit by Philadelphia forward Scott Hartnell Nov. 26.

"This morning he was feeling a lot better, so those are all positive signs," said Julien, who termed Alberts day to day. "Certainly there is some progress in his situation."

His presence felt

Pittsburgh lost defenseman Mark Eaton at 18:43 of the third period when he suffered an apparent injury to his right shoulder after absorbing a heavy hit from Vladimir Sobotka. Julien had bumped Sobotka up to center the third line. The rookie skated 17 shifts for 8:57 of ice time, registering a game-high four hits . . . Wideman has registered a point in 10 of his last 12 games (3-7 -10) . . . The Bruins recorded a season-high 41 shots, led by Savard and P.J. Axelsson (six each) . . . The Bruins wiped out a 4-0 deficit for the first time since April 20, 1995, when they earned a 6-5 victory over Ottawa.

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