SUNRISE, Fla. -- Mark Recchi added to his offensive repertoire Saturday night to make sure the Bruins didn’t go into the Olympic hiatus on a losing note.
To tie the game, Recchi did what he does best when he tipped home a Dennis Wideman wrist shot with 8:16 left in regulation. Then in the eighth round of a shootout, Recchi reversed his career-long slump by roofing a shot past Florida Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun to clinch a 3-2 win at the BankAtlantic Center.
Recchi had been 0-for-3 this season and 1-for-13 career in shootouts since the NHL adopted the gimmick to decide games in 2005.
“I worked on something. [Assistant coach] Geoff Ward talked to me the other day about something in practice. So I did it on Timmy and I just about threw Timmy in the corner, so I thought I’d try it again,” said Recchi after the Bruins ran their winning streak to four. “So hopefully I found a little key because I haven’t been very successful. I used to be, when I was younger, when I was in the IHL, I used to score all the time. I don’t know what happened; you get old I guess.”
The Bruins sleepwalked through the first 40 minutes and trailed 2-1 after two periods. They turned it up a notch in the third, but the play from both clubs was pretty stale.
“They didn’t want it either, it seemed. We seemed to want to let them have it, and they didn’t want to take it,” said Recchi. “In the third, we finally decided to play the way we played and outshoot them pretty badly then. And get a big goal, which is huge for us, and Tuukka made some big saves for us as well.”
A penalty Michael Ryder had drawn on Stephen Weiss had just expired when Recchi tipped the tying goal home with his back to the crease. Andrew Ference made a great play at the left point to keep the puck in the zone and then he moved it to Wideman, who knew just what to do with Recchi parked in his “Rec room” (more commonly known as the slot).
“I didn’t really have a shot, so I thought I saw ‘Rex’ through there. He’s one of the best tippers in the league, so I just threw the puck at him and hoped for the best,” Wideman said.
Completing their pre-Olympic schedule with a win will obviously make life more enjoyable for the Bruins before they return to practice Feb. 24. All season long, it’s been pointed out that the 42-year-old Recchi, who now has 12 goals on the season and hasn’t missed a game, might benefit most from the respite.
While he’s planning on recharging a bit, he’s also going to use the time to make sure he’s strong and ready for the brutal post-break stretch that the Bruins hope they’ll conquer on their way to the playoffs.
“I’m really looking forward to it. To be honest, it’s a good time to really get some good workouts in as well, get a couple days of rest and then have some really good off-ice workouts for seven, eight, nine days -- which you never get these days,” he said. “So I’m going to take advantage of it. Obviously I’ll rest for a couple days, but then I’ll work out and have some really good things to get that energy back, get your conditioning for the last 22 games. I don’t think we’re going to practice a whole lot the last couple months.”