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5 things we learned: Jonas Gustavsson shuts out Lightning in huge overtime win for Bruins

03.08.16 at 10:15 pm ET
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Jonas Gustavsson

Jonas Gustavsson

They needed overtime once again, but the Bruins completed a perfect Florida back-to-back with a 1-0 overtime win over the Lightning Tuesday at Amalie Arena.

After the teams played a frenetic 60 minutes of scoreless regulation, Brad Marchand took a feed from Patrice Bergeron off the rush 10 seconds into overtime and beat Ben Bishop to give Boston the win. The goal was Marchand’s 34th of the season.

In assisting the goal, Bergeron continued his recent hot streak, as he now has seven points (five goals, two assists) over his last five games. Furthermore, the Bruins are now 4-0-1 in five games since the trade trade deadline, a stretch that has seen them defeat three of the four playoff teams they faced.

The victory pulled the Bruins even with the Atlantic-leading Lightning with 83 points, though Tampa remains ahead of Boston in the division due to a game in hand. Tampa has 15 games remaining to Boston’s 14.

The Bruins will return to Boston to host the Hurricanes on Thursday. Because Tampa does not play until Friday, the Bruins can overtake first place for the first time all season if they are to secure a victory against Carolina.

Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:

GUSTAVSSON SHINES

Because we haven’t watched every game of Jonas Gustavsson’s career, we can’t say that Tuesday’s performance was the best of the veteran netminder’s NHL tenure. At the very least, it’s safe to say he played his best game as a Bruin.

Gustavsson made a career-high 42 saves, surpassing his previous best of 40. While Tampa pretty much threw the puck on net every time they got it, Gustsavsson also had to rob the likes of Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov at various points to keep the game scoreless.

The move to not start Rask in back-to-backs proved to be the wise one for the Bruins, as Rask had played in seven straight games for Boston. No rust showed for Gustavsson, however, and his shutout performance allowed the Bruins to get two huge points while being able to play Rask against the Hurricanes and Islanders in the coming days before the B’s head out west for a three-game road trip.

PUCKS GALORE

Of course, the Bruins probably shouldn’t get into the habit of giving up shots like they have of late. Tuukka Rask had to face 51 shots Monday against the Panthers before the Lightning put 42 pucks on Gustavsson.  Read the rest of this entry »

5 things we learned: Bruins blow 3-goal lead, Lee Stempniak plays overtime hero as Claude Julien overtakes 1st place on Bruins’ win list

03.07.16 at 10:46 pm ET
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Claude Julien

Claude Julien

Lee Stempniak’s first goal as a Bruin was a biggie, and Claude Julien’s record-breaking was exhausting.

After the Bruins blew a three-goal lead, Stempniak scored in overtime to give the Bruins a 5-4 victory over the Panthers. The win was Claude Julien’s 388th with the Bruins, the most for a coach in Bruins history.

After taking a 4-1 lead in the first period and chasing Roberto Luongo in the process, the Bruins allowed a pair of goals in the second period as the Panthers dominated the middle 20. Though the B’s killed off a David Krejci high-sticking double-minor that spanned across the final minute of the second and first three of three of the third period, they eventually surrendered the equalizer when Jiri Hudler scored his second of the game with 4:43 left in regulation.

With the victory, the Bruins now have as many points (81) as Florida, though Boston has played 67 games to Florida’s 66. Because the Atlantic-leading Lightning lost to the Flyers Monday, the Bruins now sit one point behind them and can overtake first place with a win over the Bolts on Tuesday.

Here are four more things we learned Monday:

BERGERON STAYS HOT

Patrice Bergreon scored twice in the first period, including a tally 34 seconds into the game that marked the third time in as many games that Bergeron scored the game’s first goal.

With Bergeron’s goals, his 27th and 28th of the season, Bergeron now has six goals in his last five games.

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Kevan Miller day-to-day with upper-body injury

03.07.16 at 1:59 pm ET
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Kevan Miller did not travel with the Bruins for the team’s two-game road trip to Florida, with coach Claude Julien telling reporters in Sunrise Monday morning that the defenseman was day-to-day with an uper-body injury.

Miller suffered the injury in the second period of Saturday’s overtime loss to the Capitals on a hit from Alexander Ovechkin. The 28-year-old defenseman did not return to the game after seeming to favor his right shoulder as he left the ice. Following the game, Julien noted that Miller had been taken to the hospital.

With Miller out on Monday, Zach Trotman is expected to re-enter the lineup against the Panthers.

Update: Zac Rinaldo suspended 5 games in AHL

03.07.16 at 1:24 am ET
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If and when Zac Rinaldo makes it back up to the NHL, he will begin by serving his five games due to his hit on Cedric Paquette. In the meantime, he’s still in the AHL.

And also suspended.

Playing in his first game for Providence on Friday, Rinaldo was given a match penalty for intent to injure on a hit on Bridgeport defenseman Kane Lafranchise in a P-Bruins’ 4-3 loss. That carries with it an automatic indefinite suspension pending league review, and the league announced Monday that Rinaldo would be given a five-game ban. Joe McDonald of ESPN was the first to report Rinaldo’s AHL suspension.

It has not been a good week-plus for Rinaldo, who was placed on waivers last Sunday, committed his suspendable hit against the Lightning later that night and was sent to Providence Monday, the same day that his five-game ban was given by the league.

It is unclear whether Rinaldo will regain his spot on Boston’s roster this season. For the time being, it appears the Bruins are set on a fourth line of Noel Acciari between Landon Ferraro and Brett Connolly. Tyler Randell is the team’s extra forward.

The Bruins sent a 2017 third-round pick to Philadelphia this summer in what was considered a head-scratcher of a deal at the time. In 52 games for Boston this season, Rinaldo has one goal and two assists for three points and 83 penalty minutes.

Here is video of the hit on Lafranchise, per Weekend at Bergy’s:

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Sunday Skate Live Chat: Stanley Cup or Bust edition

03.06.16 at 6:04 am ET
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Did you like what the Bruins did at the trade deadline? Are you a believer after getting three points from the Blackhawks and Capitals? Discuss these things and whatever else on Sunday Skate from 7-9 a.m. Click here to listen live and join in the chat below.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat: Cup or Bust edition
 

Torey Krug’s goalless streak continues after questionable offsides call overturns goal

03.05.16 at 11:35 pm ET
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While Alex Ovechkin’s hit from behind on Kevan Miller may grab the most headlines from Saturday’s game, the controversial play that actually had the biggest impact on the game was Torey Krug’s overturned goal early in the second period.

David Pastrnak carried into the offensive zone and fired a shot that led to a juicy rebound. Krug picked up the loose puck, cut to the middle and beat Philipp Grubauer for what appeared to be his first goal in 40 games.

However, the goal wound up being waved off after a video review determined that Loui Eriksson was offsides on Pastrnak’s zone entry.

The question, of course, is whether the video evidence was actually definitive. Eriksson clearly made an effort to drag one skate behind him to try to stay onsides, but the skate eventually lifted off the ice. On the replays shown on TV, it was hard to tell whether the skate lifted before or after the puck entered the zone.

The goal would’ve given the Bruins a 2-0 lead, and possibly a second straight win over a top team. Instead the Capitals tied the game at one later in the second period and eventually won in overtime.

Krug, for his part, downplayed the no-goal ruling after the game.

“If it’s offside, it’s not a goal,” Krug said. “I mean, it’s frustrating. I haven’t scored in a while, but that’s a good test for your character and trying to respond and still having faith. It’s, like I said, right time, right place, it’ll happen.”

The Bruins, to their credit, didn’t seem to get too deflated by the call. They controlled play for the majority of the second period and outshot the Capitals 20-7 in the frame. Unfortunately they couldn’t find the back of the net again, while the Capitals eventually did.

“We did OK,” Krug said. “I think this year we’ve done a really good job of responding to calls that haven’t gone our way. Unfortunately they got the next goal, so it’s not clearly indicative of how we responded, but we did an alright job.”

Claude Julien didn’t say much about this specific call, but acknowledged that he doesn’t always agree with video reviews — understandable considering Saturday’s wasn’t the first to go against the Bruins this season.

“You guys keep asking coaches. We’re not all, I guess, 100 percent on board with some of that stuff, but you’ve got to live with it” Julien said. “You live with it, because we always compare it to other calls that we’ve had, whether it’s with other games and stuff like that. I guess we don’t always see consistency.”

Dennis Seidenberg played the voice of reason, offering up an idea that could clear up situations like Saturday’s.

“You have to see something in the future, I guess, on the level of the ice where you can actually see the skate coming up – like a camera on the blue line,” Seidenberg said. “But it’s tough to see. I didn’t see it and it’s really tough for me to judge because I don’t know.”

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Claude Julien wonders whether Alex Ovechkin got star treatment after hit on Kevan Miller

03.05.16 at 10:47 pm ET
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Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller

Bruins fans might not have Kevan Miller to blame for awhile.

Alexander Ovechkin’s boarding penalty at 5:36 of the second period on Saturday night sent Miller to the ice in obvious pain and down the runway shortly thereafter clutching his right shoulder.

Boston coach Claude Julien acknowledged that Miller left TD Garden for medical treatment while the game was still going on. Because the play was not called a check from behind and instead boarding, Ovechkin wouldn’t have been ejected unless Miller suffered a head or face injury. Julien wondered if Ovechkin’s star status factored into the call, asking, “If it’s somebody else, is it a game?”

Ovechkin denied any malicious intent on the hit.

“It’s just a hockey play,” said Ovechkin. “I tried to pin him, like … I don’t try to hit him. I didn’t see the replay but my emotion was not, like, try to hit. I tried to just play the puck. He’s kind of turned and that’s what I [told] the referee, ‘I don’t try to go through him or something, I just tried to pin him.’”

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