Phil Kessel, a 19-year-old winger, picked a perfect night to break out – mainly because the Bruins, coming off Monday's 6-1 loss at Montreal and with only a single goal in their two previous games, were desperate for offense.

Speaking chronologically, it had only been four days between goals for Phil Kessel. He was the only scorer last Saturday in a shootout, which gave the Bruins a 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers.
The NHL doesn't include shootout tallies in a player's goal total, though, so Kessel actually hadn't scored since Oct. 12, when his hat trick sparked Boston's 8-6 decision at Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger picked a perfect night to break out – mainly because the Bruins, coming off Monday's 6-1 loss at Montreal and with only a single goal in their two previous games, were desperate for offense.
Thursday, however, was also the night the Bruins recognized the NHL's Hockey Fights Cancer initiative, and Kessel - who overcame the disease last season - was keenly aware he was playing in front of many fellow survivors at TD Banknorth Garden.
"Oh, yeah, I knew about it," Kessel said after his two goals led the Bruins' 3-1 victory over Chicago. "I wore a pink tie to the game. It's a good cause."
Coaches and broadcasters also wore pink neckties to call attention to the cause, while each player wore a pink HFC sticker on the back of his helmet.

The Bruins donated $5 from each $30 seat sold to the American Cancer Society, which also received the proceeds of the team's nightly 50/50 raffle.

Full house
Ex-Bruin Martin Lapointe offered to reprise the Big Brother role he played for Patrice Bergeron in 2003-2004, but 19-year-old Blackhawks rookie Jonathan Toews felt - literally - like a fifth wheel. So he didn't move in with Lapointe and his family.
"Jonathan was going to live with us," said Lapointe, who took Bergeron in as an 18-year-old rookie, "but we've got four kids now. (Toews) felt bad, and didn't end up moving in."
Bergeron remains grateful that Lapointe showed him the ropes, the routes, and the path to success at the pro level after Bergeron unexpectedly made it to the NHL on his first attempt. Especially helpful were the leadership lessons Bergeron, now in his second year as an alternate captain, learned from Lapointe, who also wore an 'A' as a Bruin.
"(Lapointe's) leadership is something that pretty much all the guys were feeding off," Bergeron said. "He was an older guy (Lapointe's 34, Bergeron is 22), so he had more experience, but I'm trying to bring in some of the stuff he was doing, in my own way."
Bergeron won't even try to convey a message as Lapointe could.
"He had that mean look to him," Bergeron said. "If something needed to be said, the guys were definitely listening to him."
Lapointe isn't surprised to hear that Bergeron doesn't get into teammates' faces but doesn't doubt that his former houseguest is leadership material.
"A leader's not always a rah-rah type of guy," Lapointe said. "You've just got to make sure you work hard, bring everything you've got to practice and games, and be good with the people around you. I'm sure that's what he's been doing."

Around the boards
Bruins coach Claude Julien said he planned to discuss the future of 19-year-old rookie Milan Lucic today.

Lucic played his ninth game on Thursday night. If he plays another, he'll be credited with a year's worth of NHL service. If the B's elect to return him to his junior team in Vancouver at any point this season, he can't return to Boston until Vancouver's season is finished.


Ex-Bruin Sergei Samsonov, traded to the 'Hawks after a disappointing, nine-goal season with Montreal, remained goal-less through his first 10 games with Chicago.

"It's been a different story here," said Samsonov, who has been supported by 'Hawks coach Denis Savard, "and I appreciate that, but at the same time, I realize I need to
start producing."


Next up is Philadelphia's visit to the Garden on Saturday, which has been pushed up to a 4 p.m. start to avoid conflict with Game 3 of the World Series.

-- The Patriot Ledger