WILMINGTON — Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly split center duties on Boston’s third line, but Soderberg showed Thursday night that he can win a key draw.
Kelly has taken most of Soderberg’s faceoffs this season, particularly in the defensive zone. On Friday, Soderberg and Claude Julien revealed that was partially due to a wrist injury that made it difficult for Soderberg to take draws. Additionally, Kelly, technically the line’s left wing, has done the center’s job of providing support down low in the defensive zone.
Yet with Julien juggling his lines for Thursday’s game against the Sabres, Soderberg had no such help and proved he didn’t need it on one play. With under six minutes to play and the Bruins trailing by a goal, Soderberg drew the puck back to Dennis Seidenberg to begin the sequence that resulted in Brad Marchand‘s game-tying goal.
“It felt pretty good,” Soderberg said Friday. “I like taking faceoffs.”
Through 12 games, Soderberg has taken just 53 draws, but over a fifth of them came Thursday night in his first game of the season without Kelly as his linemate. Soderberg went 5-for-11 at the dot (45 percent), but lost all three defensive zone draws he took.
That’s where Julien says the Bruins value having Kelly on Soderberg’s line. Kelly, who has taken 133 draws this season, is a better faceoff man than Soderberg anyway, but the B’s also like to have Kelly take defensive zone faceoffs because he’ll already be low in the zone in the event that he loses the draw.
“It is a luxury when Kells is on that line that they can have two guys taking draws,” Julien said. “Sometimes Kells will take them in the D zone just for the reason that if we don’t win the draw, he’s working down low. Kells is by the far the best, as far as working down low.”
It’s expected that Kelly will return to Soderberg’s line Saturday against the Senators after playing on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in Thursday’s win over the Sabres. With Soderberg saying his wrist is feeling better, perhaps there will be a more even split on faceoffs going forward. Julien highly values having two centers on the same line, something he had on the third line for years with Kelly and Rich Peverley.
Soderberg has said in the past that he doesn’t mind when Kelly takes faceoffs for him, but he said Friday that every center on the team should strive to become as good on draws as Patrice Bergeron, arguably the best faceoff man in the league.
Back in Sweden, Soderberg said he was good at the dot, generally winning 53 or 54 percent of his faceoffs.
“But people aren’t as good as here on faceoffs,” he added. “There’s more pride here to take them, so I’m going to do my very best get over 50 percent at the end of the season.”]]>
WILMINGTON — David Krejci was absent from Friday’s Bruins practice at Ristuccia Arena. Krejci did not appear to suffer any sort of injury in Thursday’s 3-2 win over the Sabres, as he took regular shifts in regulation and overtime.
Asked after the practice if Krejci was being a ghost for Halloween, Claude Julien indicated that Krejci would be in lineup, saying, “Yes he is, but he won’t be a ghost tomorrow, if that’s what you want to know.”
With Krejci absent, Chris Kelly slotted into his place with Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith. Matt Fraser, who has been serving as the team’s extra forward, skated in Kelly’s usual spot with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson.
The other two lines were reverted to their usual incarnations after Claude Julien had juggled his forwards to begin Thursday’s game. The team’s game-winning goal came with Bergeron’s line reunited.
The lines in Friday’s practice were as follows:
Lucic – Kelly – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne
There were no unexpected absences among the Bruins defensemen. Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg, Joe Morrow, Adam McQuaid, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky and Matt Bartkowski were all present.]]>
It shouldn’t take messages from Claude Julien to his players to beat the Sabres and it shouldn’t take overtime to beat the Sabres, but the Bruins were able to breathe a sigh of relief Thursday night thanks to both.
Reilly Smith and Brad Marchand, both of whom were moved off of Patrice Bergeron‘s line to begin the game, connected for the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win in Buffalo (box score) to improve to 6-6-0 on the season.
Maybe the old lines would have gotten the job done just as well against the lowly Sabres, but the Bruins found a way to hold possession throughout the night come back in the third period from what appeared to be the very real possibility of a regulation loss to one of the worst teams in the NHL.
Either way, a new-look third line of Carl Soderberg between Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson tied the game with 5:30 remaining when Soderberg, whose faceoffs are usually taken by Chris Kelly, won a draw back to Dennis Seidenberg, who sent the puck up to Eriksson. The veteran right winger’s shot went off Marchand’s glove and in to both tie the game and save the B’s some real embarrassment.
The lines began as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Kelly – Bergeron – Gagne
Marchand – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Smith
Smith moved back up to Bergeron’s line in the second period, with Gagne returning to Campbell’s line. Kelly skating on the other wing of that Bergeron line meant that Soderberg had to assume all center responsibilities on his line, including taking faceoffs. That didn’t end up being a problem, especially on the game-tying goal.
Bergeron, Marchand and Smith were all reunited in overtime, with Smith feeding Marchand in the slot to set up Marchand’s second goal of the night.
Here are four other things we learned Thursday night.
Matt Bartkowski heads to the press box
Despite the Bruins being borderline desperate for healthy defensemen, the 26-year-old seemed destined for a healthy scratch with the way he’d been playing this season. On Thursday, the struggling defenseman finally got pulled from the lineup in favor of Joe Morrow.
It wasn’t simply that Bartkowski had a bad game with Tuesday’s performance. Unfortunately for Bartkowski, Tuesday was just another bad performance in what’s been a frustrating go of it. Despite having only played five games this season, Bartkowski has a Bruins-worst minus-4 rating, with many of those goals against easily traceable back to his mistakes.
Making his NHL debut, Morrow got 17:51 of ice time on the night and was on the penalty kill unit that allowed Stafford’s second-period power play tally. It’s worth noting that Julien had him on the ice with less than two minutes to play and the game tied, which is a good vote of confidence for the 2011 first-round pick. Morrow also started overtime alongside Dougie Hamilton.
Warsofsky has up and down start
Thursday marked Warsofsky’s first NHL game this season after dressing in six contests for the B’s last season. His biggest moment of the night won’t be seen on highlight reels any time soon, as a poor idea to pinch led to a Sabres goal.
Upon the expiration of a Torrey Mitchell cross-checking penalty, Warsofsky briefly thought to pinch in the offensive zone, and though he retreated quickly, it wasn’t before Drew Stafford had sent the puck up to Mitchell, who had left the zone behind Warsofsky. That led to a 2-on-1 with Mitchell and Tyler Ennis against Dennis Seidenberg. Mitchell slid the puck across to Ennis, who beat Niklas Svedberg to give the Sabres the 2-1 lead.
Milan Lucic‘s wrist must be feeling better
Lucic has said repeatedly that he’s thinking about his surgically repaired wrist less and less while he’s on the ice, and he proved that Thursday by taking part in his first fight of the season.
The 26-year-old left wing dropped the gloves with Chris Stewart on his first shift of the game in a bout that saw both participants land ample blows.
Svedberg gets all the easy ones
For the second time in as many games against the Sabres this season, Julien gave Svedberg the start. Unlike earlier in the month when he had a 32-save shutout, Svedberg had a bit tougher of a night Thursday.
The Bruins allowed only three shots on goal in the second period, but two of them went in and the other was a shorthanded chance for Sabres winger Marcus Foligno. Svedberg ended up facing only 14 shots in regulation.
Though no games will be easy for the banged-up B’s, the team is in the midst of a relatively light part of their schedule. As such, the B’s could get Svedberg into a contest against one of their upcoming contests after Saturday, whether against the Panthers, Oilers, Senators or Maple Leafs.]]>
“I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Mayor Menino and on behalf of the Jacobs Family I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family,” Jacobs said. “My family and I witnessed first hand how Mayor Menino’s vision and leadership helped transform Boston into one of the greatest cities in the world. Today we join all Bostonians in mourning our loss and celebrating Mayor Menino’s enduring legacy.”
Neely has played or worked in Boston for much of Menino’s tenure, which ran from 1993 through earlier this year.
“The Boston Bruins organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Mayor Menino and we would like to express our deepest condolences to his family,” Neely said. “Mayor Menino was synonymous with the City of Boston and the professional sports teams that represented it. His passion was always evident and his support unwavering. He will be deeply missed.”]]>
NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB in advance of Thursday night’s Bruins game with the Sabres and to talk about the injuries the Bruins have been forced to deal with. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Bruins have lost two of their last three games, including two, one-goal games at home — the latest a 4-3 loss to the Wild where they blew a two-goal lead in the third period. McGuire stressed even if the Bruins were to lose to Buffalo Thursday night, it would not be a time to panic.
“It’s an 82-game schedule,” McGuire said. “This isn’t football, it’s not every week being a Super Bowl game. You have to understand there are ebbs and flows in every season and there’s huge peaks and gigantic valleys that you have to climb out of. This reminds me so much of what Detroit went through last year without [Henrik] Zetterberg and [Pavel] Datsyuk — they had so many key injuries. Jimmy Howard was not doing well due to injury and illness. Everyone said they wouldn’t make the playoffs – 22 years in a row they made it, 23 won’t happen — but, guess what? They found a way.
“I believe this Boston Bruins team will find a way and a lot of those young players are getting an opportunity to play now, they are going to be the beneficiaries in this.”
Added McGuire: “I’m bullish on the Bruins, I really am. There’s no substitute for grit and there’s no substitute for maturity and this is a mature leadership kind of team that has a tremendous amount of grit.”
The Bruins have had a number of injuries to their defensive group, including Zdeno Chara (ligament tear in knee), Torey Krug (broken finger), Kevan Miller (upper-body) on top of the trade of Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders before the season. McGuire says this is a time for three other Bruins defensemen to step up, as well as an important stretch for assistant coach Doug Houda.
“The biggest thing is – limited ice time — this is where Doug Houda, who is not a real big-name on the Bruins, but he’s the assistant coach that changes the defense, he’s got to really pay attention to matchups,” said McGuire. “This is where [Dennis] Seidenberg has to play like he played in Toronto the other night — almost 26 minutes, he was really good. Dougie Hamilton obviously was fantastic in that game. He’s going to have to be good. This is where you need Adam McQuaid to be a little bit more stable and better with the puck. Those three guys are going to have to be a lot better, especially when you consider not having Chara, Krug and the trading of Boychuk.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On why Claude Julien could be mixing lines: “I think it’s about stabilizing and sending a message,” McGuire said. “A little bit like [Bill Belichick] would do with moving guys around or taking routes away from different guys, trying to get their attention. I’ll use Toronto as an example, after the Bruins throttled them on Saturday, they played on Monday night against Buffalo. They held Buffalo to 10 shots on goal. … [Mixing lines] ignited their team, really got their attention. It was a really good coaching move by Randy Carlyle. I think what Claude Julien is trying to do is get the attention of his players and he understands the constants of his team and that is why he would break things up.”
On defenseman Joe Morrow: “Joe Morrow has all world offensive-ability and very limited decision making capability and very limited defensive posture positioning. It’s not a great combination. That is one of the reasons why he was moved down now. To be fair, he does have unbelievable offensive instincts. It’s just his defensive part of the game that will frustrate you. I’ll tell you if I can use one comparable, Joe Morrow reminds me so much of Jake Gardiner who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs. One night they love him in Toronto and the next night they don’t and he’s a healthy scratch. It’s because his decision making and defensive positioning really frustrates the coaches.”]]>
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB to discuss the Bruins’ disappointing start to the season. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
The Bruins blew a two-goal lead and dropped a 4-3 decision to the Wild on Tuesday night, putting their record at 5-6 on the young season. Brickley said the team is “treading water,” evidenced by Tuesday’s performance.
“It was 3-1 after two periods, but the Bruins were not playing all that well,” Brickley said. “That score did not indicate that the Bruins were the better team through 40 minutes. There were just too many mistakes, lack of focus, poor decision-making, getting beat on the backcheck, the defense for Minnesota was jumping into the play. And every line was guilty, none more so than the [Patrice] Bergeron line.”
Brickley said coach Claude Julien might have to resort to mixing up lines in an attempt to jump-start the team.
“It’s that one step forward, one step back that has plagued this team this year, and that’s that lack of focus and the lack of compete and consistency, just not there. It’s really hard to understand, because the core group is together and should be well schooled in all these areas and understand what they have in front of them in terms of not wanting to chase it the first two months of the season and get too far behind in the standings.
“As a coach in these situations you try to emphasize the positive things when you think that’s the right approach. Sometimes you’ve got to call guys out — not in public, but certainly within the room. Claude right now is very frustrated on what he needs to do to get this team to play better. You may even have to see some line juggling. Maybe you keep that [Carl] Soderberg line together to give you the one constant. The way the [David] Krejci line produced last night, maybe you keep them together. But I don’t know, maybe the Bergeron line needs a little change of scenery because it’s not working right now.
“You could appeal to players’ sense of, you know, ‘We’ve got to win some hockey games here, boys, and we’ve got to play better and we’ve got to do the little things that make us a good team, and we’ve got to work together as five-man units,’ because they’re just not getting the results. It’s hard to explain, it’s hard to get your hands around. And that’s the challenge for the coaching staff right now.”
Defenseman Matt Bartkowski has struggled out of the gate.
“I expect a lot more from a guy like Bartkowski,” Brickley said. “He’s had enough experience, he’s had good games, he’s got opportunity, but it’s just poor decisions and it’s poor execution, it’s lack of confidence. You can’t play this game at this level with those three elements in play.
“He’s a guy that they need. Because now you’re reaching down into your ninth, 10th, 11th defenseman in the organization that they’re going to have to come up and play important games. They need Bartkowski right now. If he’s going to be an NHL player — and even if he’s an asset, even if he’s going to have value and you’re thinking about making a move, making a deal, you want to deal from a position of strength, and he’s not affording you that right now.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
On the struggles of the Bergeron line: “The decision-making, again — and that’s a phrase I use a lot — they’re in the wrong spot, they’re on the wrong side of the puck, they’re chasing the play instead of being in position and keeping things to the outside. I single that line out because they’ve been so good for such a long period of time. … [Reilly Smith's] game has tailed off significantly. And [Brad] Marchand is just not himself. One thing he can certainly improve on is when he drives wide and he brings that explosive speed to the outside then he pulls up, looks for his trailer coming late, he’s not getting the separation. He’s not playing with that explosive skating ability that really is what allows him to the be player he can be at the NHL level. When three players are playing subpar, you’re not going to get results. And that’s what happened with that line right now.”
On Seth Griffith, who had a big game Tuesday: “He’s certainly a gifted player from the blue line in, he’s going to make some really good plays, he’s got a great shot, he’s got good offensive instincts and he can definitely thrive in those situations. What we try to point out in the broadcast is a young player that’s learning to play in the National Hockey League, it’s that board work. Pucks come around that wall, if you don’t get it out, you certainly can’t lose possession and turn it over. When you have an opportunity to jump on a loose puck in the offensive zone and create an offensive play, there needs to be a stronger stick on the puck. You’ve got to learn the leverage. And those are the things that you learn when you watch other people play that are very good at it — again, like a Bergeron. If he’s not setting the example, then it’s a little bit lost on a young player. So as much as we like what Seth Griffith has done — three points last night was impressive — but he’s on a learning curve. And if you’re looking to pull yourself out of a .500 funk or less than that, you can’t look to Seth Griffith to be the guy. You’ve got to go to your core guys, you’ve got to your leaders. Those are the guys that are letting the team down right now.”
On the loss of Torey Krug to a broken finger: “Their top four right now is [Dennis] Seidenberg and [Dougie] Hamilton, and it was Krug and it was [Adam] McQuaid. That’s not deep enough to be an elite team in the National Hockey League, and it’s not enough to be an elite team in the Eastern Conference. And that’s what you’re seeing right now. So with Krug going down, that’s a big blow, given the fact that [Zdeno] Chara is already out of the lineup, the fact that [Kevan] Miller is already out of the lineup, the fact that [Johnny] Boychuk is gone. For [Joe] Morrow to come up, they’ll try to put him in situations where his offensive skill set and his willingness to take chances offensively and his hockey creativity on a power play will be a benefit. But he’s also going to have to play a ton of minutes five-on-five given their situation. And that becomes a little daunting.”]]>
WILMINGTON — The Bruins reshuffled their lines in Wednesday’s practice, with both Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith being moved off Patrice Bergeron‘s line. Marchand left the ice during practice, with Claude Julien saying afterwards that the left wing “tweaked something.” Marchand’s status for Thursday’s game in Buffalo is unknown.
Upon Marchand leaving the ice, Matt Fraser switched jerseys and went from the fourth line to the third line, playing the left wing with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. It’s worth noting that Fraser was the best he’s been as a Bruin when he played in that spot last postseason while Chris Kelly was out with a back injury.
David Krejci‘s line remained the same after a strong showing in Tuesday’s loss to the Wild, but all of the other lines were changed. They were as follows:
Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Kelly – Bergeron – Gagne
Marchand/Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Smith/Fraser
Both Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky were on the ice after being recalled earlier in the day.]]>
WILMINGTON — The Bruins announced Wednesday that defenseman Torey Krug will miss 2-3 weeks with a broken finger. The injury was suffered on a third-period slash from Zach Parise in the Bruins’ 4-3 loss to the Wild Tuesday night.
The team also recalled defensemen Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky from Providence Wednesday. Both players were on the ice for Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Warsofsky figures to inherit some of Krug’s responsibilities, while Morrow could challenge Matt Bartkowski as the team’s third-pairing left defenseman.
Morrow, who was recalled Friday but sent back to Providence Sunday, has played five games for Providence this season, registering a goal and an assist for two points and a plus-4 rating. Warsofsky has no points and a minus-2 rating in seven games.
In 11 games this season, Krug has two goals and four assists for six points and a plus-2 rating. Usually a third-pairing player and power play asset, Krug was being used as a top-4 defenseman with Zdeno Chara out due to a PCL tear.
The injury is the latest to a depleted Bruins blue line. In addition to Chara’s injury, the B’s are without Kevan Miller, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in a fight on Oct. 18.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.]]>
No Stanley Cup was on the line Tuesday night at TD Garden, but Seth Griffith certain woke up the Gallery Gods echos when he made like Bobby Orr of May 10, 1970, and flew through the air to score what was, at the time, the go-ahead goal in the second period.
But the trouble with this airborne goal is that it wasn’t the final goal of the season. It wasn’t even in the final goal of the game.
The Bruins would score again, on a power-play tally from Milan Lucic, to go ahead 3-1 entering the third period. But the final 20 minutes featured a meltdown as the Wild outworked the Bruins and came away with a 4-3 win at TD Garden.
Still, the Griffith goal is what many Bruins fans will take with them out the door as the lone highlight. Gregory Campbell made it all possible when he rushed the net, drew a defender and left Griffith alone to come down the slot and finish it off. It was the rookie’s second goal of the night and third of the season. He also added an assist and was just a fight shy of the Gordie Howe hat trick.
“It’s kind of hard to be happy but two goals — obviously the win is more important,” Griffith said. “It’s too bad we didn’t have a very good third.”
“That’s probably the brightest thing of the night for us, was the fact that Seth really played a strong game,” coach Claude Julien said. “That line last year scored a lot of goals from guys driving the net and he did a great job of driving the net every time. He got rewarded for it and he also made a nice play there on Looch’s goal. If there’s somebody that should be walking out of here with his head up high, it’s him.”
Griffith’s first goal of the night was far less spectacular but just as effective as he put himself in perfect position to race to the backside of the rush, where David Krejci put a perfect pass on his stick from the left circle. All Griffith had to do was finish.
“It’s good to see him get two goals, especially goals like that that he drives the net so that’s what you want from your teammate, to drive the net,” Krejci said. “Looch did the same thing, so if some guy drives the net that means it opens up some room for our players, so I thought he played well. Hopefully he can build on this and play the same way the next game.
What exactly happened in the third?
“We weren’t making very good passes,” Griffith said, echoing the sentiment of his coach. “It didn’t seem like we could break out of our end very good. It came back to bite us in the end.”
Griffith feels confident that what happened in the third period is fixable by Thursday in Buffalo.
“That’s easy to fix, you just have to work hard,” Griffith said when asked about winning puck battles. “I think we’re going to come tomorrow and practice hard. Hopefully we’re ready for Buffalo. Every time we win one and then we lose one it’s always a step back. We want to be an above five hundred hockey team and tonight we took a step back.”]]>
The Bruins surrendered a two-goal lead in the third period to fall, 4-3, to the Wild Tuesday at TD Garden.
With the loss, the B’s fell to 5-6-0 on the season. The loss saw a three-point performance from Seth Griffith (one goal, two assists) go wasted.
The Wild took the lead at 4:51 of the first period after Thomas Vanek stole the puck from Matt Bartkowski behind the net and sent it in front for Nino Niederreiter to bury past Tuukka Rask. Boston tied it at 1:37 left in the period when David Krejci sent an impressive saucer pass from the half wall past two defenders to Griffith, who tipped it past Niklas Markstrom for his first of the night. In getting the secondary assist on the goal, Zach Trotman registered his first career NHL point.
The Bruins took the lead in the second period on a goal-of-the-year candidate from Griffith. With Milan Lucic sending the puck up to Gregory Campbell in the neutral zone, Griffith raced to the net from the defensive zone and, after Campbell patiently waited to make the pass in front, Griffith got his stick on the puck as trip attempts from Niederreiter and Nate Prosser sent him flying as he reached the net. The puck went in as Griffith toppled to the ice, with his gloves breaking his fall.
Milan Lucic added to the lead with a power play at 16:59 of the second period, redirecting a Torey Krug shot from in front of the net for his second goal of the season. Griffith picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
The Wild, who were playing their second game in as many nights, would answer back in the third period with goals from Zach Parise and Justin Fontaine. A Marco Scandella slapshot from the point that sailed past Tuukka Rask at 14:07 of the third capped the come-from-behind victory.
The Bruins will next head to Buffalo, where they will get a layup against the Sabres before hosting the Senators at the Garden Saturday.
Here are some observations from the game:
– With his assist, Krejci extended his point streak to seven games. He has three goals and six assists for nine points in that span, with his season debut on Oct. 13 remaining his only performance without a point this season.
Krejci’s line was the Bruins’ best Tuesday night. Even without the points, Lucic was a bear Tuesday, skating with purpose and wearing opponents down. His impressive shifts Tuesday included a play in which he outmuscled Ryan Suter along the wall to steal the puck from Minnesota’s workhorse defender. The ‘if he can keep his feet moving’ cliche is true, and it showed Tuesday.
– Dougie Hamilton played a ton of minutes, logging a career-high 28:32 of ice time. Hamilton’s time on ice was the most by a Bruins defenseman in a regular-season regulation game since Zdeno Chara played 29:50 last Dec. 5 in Montreal.
Hamilton’s previous career-high was 25:24, which he played last Oct. 31 against the Ducks. He played 26:11 in the Bruins’ double-overtime Game 1 loss last season against the Canadiens.
– The Bruins survived an injury scare to Adam McQuaid, who left the bench after falling down at the blue line during a first-period penalty kill. He would return to the game minutes later.
– Things aren’t getting any better for Bartkowski, who has been responsible for too many goals for someone who has only played five games this season. To give Bartkowski some credit, he did well in killing off Seidenberg’s penalty in the first period. Bartkowski and Trotman were also on the ice for Fontaine’s goal, with Bartkowski pushing his man away from the net unaware that the puck was not covered.
– The Wild presented something of a problem on paper considering that they have a lot of big forwards and Torey Krug is getting tougher assignments while Chara is out. Somewhat surprisingly, Claude Julien chose to match up Krug and Adam McQuaid against Charlie Coyle’s line, though the decision was likely made easier by the fact that 5-foot-10 Jason Zucker made the line lighter by skating in Thomas Vanek’s usual spot. Krug and McQuaid were out against the Koivu line on Minnesota’s game-winning goal.
– Griffith and Backstrom received matching penalties in the third period, with Griffith being called for goaltender interference and Backstrom for embellishment. Goalies selling calls is nothing new, but it wasn’t too egregious a sell-job and Griffith was pushed into the goalie by Justin Falk. The play was better off going unpenalized altogether.]]>