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Ferraro makes final bid
Free agent's goal lifts B's to victory
(Worcester Telegram & Gazette)
|HARTFORD, CONN. HARTFORD, Conn. - If there's
such a thing as a springboard into the regular season, maybe this is it for the Bruins.
Certainly it's a lot better than going in the direction they were headed before yesterday.
Free-agent winger Peter Ferraro scored with 2:35 remaining as the B's survived a wild and
crazy finish, escaping with a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in their preseason finale
yesterday before a crowd of 8,923 at the Hartford Civic Center.
The goal enabled the Bruins to end a five-game winless spell (0-4-1) and a three-game losing streak. It also probably cemented a spot on the Boston roster for Ferraro, a 25-year-old who played last season for the Pittsburgh Penguins and these very same Rangers whom he chopped down yesterday with the winning goal and an assist.
"He's played well," coach Pat Burns said of Ferraro, who finished as the Bruins' top preseason scorer with three goals and four assists. "We've got some decisions to make. I can't say anything definite about anybody at this point.
"I have to meet with management and we have to make some decisions - see who's coming, who's going."
The uncertainty, of course, surrounds the holdouts of defenseman Kyle McLaren and winger Anson Carter. Whether or not they're on board for the start of the regular season Saturday will have a lot to do with who makes this team and who doesn't.
"I feel like I fit in well," said a shy and subdued Ferraro after the game. "I still have some work to do, but the opening of the season's coming up and hopefully I'm a part of it."
Rob DiMaio and Steve Heinze had the other Bruins goals, both in the second period, as the B's took a 2-0 lead into the third.
Goalie Rob Tallas steered aside 28 shots and appeared headed for a shutout with about 8 minutes left in the game - until the Rangers struck for a pair of goals just 1:27 apart.
Harry York, the one-time Worcester IceCat, scored on a deflection right in front of Tallas at 12:14 to make it 2-1. Esa Tikkanen then tied it up at 13:41 with his fifth preseason goal and his second in two nights against Boston.
It stayed 2-2 until Ferraro bagged his winning goal at 17:25 from the right circle, right after Rangers goalie Mike Richter (15 saves) had stopped Boston's Peter Nordstrom on a rush right to the net from the left side.
But it still wasn't over. The Rangers pulled Richter with 55 seconds left to gain an extra skater, and appeared to score with 18.5 seconds left when Wayne Gretzky pounced on a loose puck just to the right of Tallas and flipped it into the net. But referee Richard Trottier waved it off, saying it came after he blew his whistle because he had lost sight of the puck.
The Rangers also had an apparent goal waved off in the first period by Trottier, who said that one also came after his whistle.
The victory continued the Bruins' strange pattern of winning when they are outshot, and losing when they have an edge in shots. They were outshot yesterday, 30-18. In Saturday's 3-1 loss, they enjoyed a whopping 35-19 edge in shots. It was eerily similar all last season for the B's.
After a hypnotically dull scoreless first period, Heinze drew first blood just 1:25 into the second period when, while cruising just in front of the New York net, he deflected Ted Donato's pass from the right point past Richter. It was Heinze's second preseason goal, and Donato's first assist in his first game back since ending his holdout last Thursday.
Then, while they were killing off a high-sticking call on Dennis Vaske, the Bruins scored again. DiMaio and Ferraro started a 2-on-1 rush from the neutral zone with Brian Leetch back alone for the Rangers. Ferraro, on the left side, fed it over to DiMaio, who wristed a shot from the right circle just over Richter's glove hand for a short-handed goal at 14:27.
WHAT'S BRUIN - The B's (who finished the preseason 3-5-1) went last night without Joe Thornton (shoulder), Dmitri Khristich (shoulder) and Sergei Samsonov (flu). Tim Taylor, who suffered a clunk on the head in Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Rangers in Boston, didn't suit up. He was scheduled to be a healthy scratch last night anyway, along with Ray Bourque, Jonathan Girard and Jim Carey. ... Cameron Mann, Landon Wlson, Andre Savage and Shawn Bates - all of whom were sent down to Providence on Thursday - played yesterday for the P-Bruins in a 3-2 exhibition loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack. Mann had one of the Providence goals and Bates assisted on the other. The game was played yesterday afternoon at the Civic Center, preceding the Bruins-Rangers game. ... The Bruins' regular-season opener will be Saturday night at the FleetCenter against the St. Louis Blues and their Central Mass. contingent of Jim Campbell (Westboro) and Scott Young (Clinton).
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