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P.K. Subban apologized to Shawn Thornton for ducking

05.03.14 at 5:18 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton left the game in the third period after hurting his right knee on a collision with P.K. Subban in the neutral zone. Thornton was going for a hit on Subban, who lowered himself as he sent the puck into the Bruins zone. Thornton ended up returning to the game, but he said after the game that he didn’t like the position Subban put him in and that the Canadiens defenseman apologized to him for the play.

“I don’€™t like people ducking. I think [Brad Marchand] got about five games for it once,” Thornton said. “I will say, off the draw he apologized afterwards, so there’€™s that. I think it’€™s a dangerous play, personally. But it’€™s playoffs, it’€™s hockey, I’€™m fine, so we’€™re OK.”

The suspension to which Thornton referred was Marchand’s ban in the 2011-12 season for a low-bridge hit on Sami Salo. Marchand’s offense was far more egregious than Subban’s, and no penalty was called on Saturday’s incident.

“I don’€™t know what happened,” Subban said of the play. “I just tried to shoot the puck around the zone and I sort of lost my footing there. Obviously you don’€™t want to see anybody go off hurt, but he came back. I don’t know if he stayed in the game, but [I was] happy to see that.”

When Thornton got back on the bench, the Bruins were still trailing by a pair of goals in the third period. He delivered them a message on the bench midway through the period: one goal every five minutes.

“I’€™m not psychic. It’€™s a pretty standard statement depending on the time and the score,” Thornton said. “I think I said two goals, but we’€™re a resilient crew here. We have been all year, so I knew the character would be there’€”I was just hoping the pucks would go in.”

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P.K. Subban on racist tweets: ‘Completely unfair’ to point finger at Bruins or their fans

05.03.14 at 4:54 pm ET
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Moments after his team blew a 3-1 third period lead to the Bruins in Game 2 of their series, P.K. Subban stood in the Canadiens dressing room and addressed the racist tweets directed at him after his game-winning goal in double-overtime Thursday night in Game 1.

What he made extremely clear is that he, in no way, holds the Bruins or their fan base accountable for the hate comments in social media. As a matter of fact, he took the occasion to compliment Bruins fans for their passion.

“You know what, this is the first time and probably the last time I’€™ll comment on it,” Subban said. “First things first, the Boston Bruins are an Original Six franchise, they have been around for a very long time, they are respected. It’€™s completely unfair for anybody to point the finger at the organization or the fan base. They have passionate fans here, great fan base and since I’€™ve been in the league it’€™s been awesome. I’€™ve come to Boston many times, my family has come here, and it’€™s been great. What people may say on Twitter or social media is not a reflection by any means of the league or the Boston Bruins. So, whoever that is, they’€™ll get dealt with, but it’€™s completely separate from this league or the Boston Bruins organization.”

Subban said he felt badly that the comments have taken some focus away from two classic games to open what figures to be an other epic playoff meeting between the two longtime rivals.

“I know some of those players personally on that team, like I said, the fan base has been awesome, they are a great bunch of fans,” Subban said. “It’€™s unfortunate when things take away from the great hockey that was played two days ago. It was a fantastic game, great for the league, great for hockey and that’€™s what we are going to talk about. So I’€™m happy now that we can just move on. You know what the funny thing is, is that we get stronger as a league, you see how people come together and it’€™s great. And it’€™s not just about me, the NHL has tons of players from different backgrounds, from different places around the world and that’€™s what makes this league so special and that’€™s what makes sports so special, it brings everybody together. Another great hockey game today, I’€™m sure everybody enjoyed it and I look forward to the rest of the series and everybody else should, too.”

Claude Julien: Bruins beat Canadiens in Game 2 despite ‘a lot of crap that we put up with’

05.03.14 at 4:26 pm ET
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Claude Julien was proud of his team for overcoming a two-goal deficit in the third period to take a 5-3 win over the Canadiens in Game 2 Saturday, and he hinted that his team did it in spite of the officials.

The Canadiens had six power plays and scored on two of them. One of the Bruins’ penalties was a bench minor on Julien.

“We had the tough second period, and at the start of the third [they] got that other power-play goal, but the way that we just battled back from, I felt, a lot of crap that we put up with today was pretty indicative of what our team is all about,” Julien said. “It just shows that if you focus on the things you need to focus on, this is a pretty good team that can accomplish a lot.”

Julien wouldn’t specify what the “crap” was, saying that “anybody that watched the game knows what was going on there,” and adding that it was a “tough game.”

He did have a pretty hilarious explanation for his bench minor, which occurred late in the second period.

“The referee,” Julien said, “I kind of told him that I didn’t agree with his calls.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins come back in third period to tie series vs. Canadiens

05.03.14 at 3:23 pm ET
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The Bruins rallied from two goals down in the third period to tie the Eastern Conference semifinals at one game apiece with a 5-3 victory in Game 2 Saturday at TD Garden.

After the Habs increased their lead to 3-1 on Thomas Vanek’s second power play goal of the game, the B’s made their push in the final nine minutes of regulation. First, Dougie Hamilton took a feed from Brad Marchand and fired a shot past four players on its way past Carey Price at 10:56. Patrice Bergeron tied the game with a shot from the right half wall that went off Francis Bouillon and Reilly Smith gave the B’s the lead with 3:32 left by taking a feed from Torey Krug and beating Price from the right circle. Milan Lucic added an empty netter.

Daniel Paille gave the Bruins their first lead of the series when he took a pass from Carl Soderberg in the high slot and beat Carey Price at 13:02 of the first. The Canadiens answered back in the second when a frantic scrum in front of Rask ended with Mike Weaver blasting a shot past the Bruins goaltender, among others, from the right circle. Montreal’s possession on the play came off a Brad Marchand neutral zone turnover.

Vanek then scored his first goal of the series by tipping a P.K. Subban shot past Rask to make it 2-1 at 18:09 of the second. He added another with Dougie Hamilton in the box in the third. Hamilton brought the Bruins within one at 10:56 of the third, firing a slapshot from the top of the zone past four players on its way past Price off a feed from Marchand.

Game 3 will be played Tuesday at the Bell Centre.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Shawn Thornton left the game after an injury scare in the first but ended up returning to the game. He appeared to hyperextend his right knee while going for a hit on Subban early in the third period. Subban went down as Thornton was going for the hit, resulting in an awkward play that saw Thornton’s knee hit Subban’s rear end before Thornton went down. He remained on the ice for a few moments and was helped off the ice as he put little pressure on his leg.

Watching the play happen, the end result could have been a lot worse than it was.

- Patrice Bergeron now has points in six straight games.

- Tuukka Rask was better Saturday after a shaky outing in Game 1. Rask stopped 25 of the 28 shots he saw.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Boston had a one-minute 5-on-3 when Brandon Prust took a holding penalty while killing off a Dale Weise hooking penalty. The B’s are now 0-for-5 on the power play this series. They scored on the man advantage in every game but Game 1 of the first round against the Red Wings.

- For the second straight game, the Bruins were penalized as a result of a really bad dive by the Canadiens. People get carried away with the talk about the Canadiens embellishing, but Dale Weise went down in the first period of Game 1 when Matt Bartkowski’s stick brushed against his pants, while Alexei Emelin fell to the ice in a hurry with minimal contact from Jordan Caron’s stick to earn the Habs a power play in Game 2.

- The Canadiens continue to have success on the power play, as they’ve now struck four times on the man advantage after scoring just twice in their 36 power plays entering the series.

Vanek’s goal would not have occurred had Zdeno Chara successfully gotten the puck out of the zone on his clearing attempt. The Habs managed to keep it in, and that passing led to Subban firing the shot that Vanek tipped in.

- Milan Lucic had a couple of close calls in the second period but came up empty. He caught a pass from David Krejci that had gone off Max Pacioretty‘s stick and then dropped it into the net. The play was reviewed and called no-goal, and Price actually ended up robbing Lucic on a bid shortly after.

Matt Bartkowski, Justin Florek scratches for Bruins in Game 2 vs. Canadiens

05.03.14 at 11:32 am ET
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Matt Bartkowski was made a healthy scratch for Game 2 of the second round against the Canadiens after taking a pair of penalties in Game 1, both of which led to P.K. Subban power play goals. Andrej Meszaros is back in the lineup after missing the last three games as a healthy scratch.

Daniel Paille, who returned from a head injury in Game 1, looks to be skating on the third line, with Jordan Caron back playing on the left wing of Gregory Campbell‘s line. That makes Justin Florek the healthy scratch, while Caron returns to a line on which he played well in the first round.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien also made a lineup change Saturday morning and also shared some interesting thoughts on one of the best players in his lineup.

Therrien said that Michael Bournival would be in the lineup in place of Travis Moen for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Bruins. Bournival played each game of the first round for the Canadiens, contributing an assist in Game 4 as they swept the Lightning but sat in Game 1 as the team opted for Moen’s size and experience.

Asked about Thomas Vanek, who was awfully quiet in Game 1 and was demoted to the fourth line, Therrien said that his players need to be passionate.

‘€œWork ethic is not negotiable, attitude is not negotiable and competing is not negotiable,” Therrien said.

Though he said he was not talking about one player in particular, you can put two and two together given that it was in response to a question about Vanek.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Jordan Caron, Justin Florek, Matt Bartkowski,

David Krejci, Bruins first-liners look to cash in on Carey Price in Game 2

05.02.14 at 2:16 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Missed opportunities were what separated the Bruins from winning and losing Game 1. Carey Price was beyond great for the Canadiens, but the B’s found themselves earning great scoring chances and somehow not finding the back of the net too often.

Though Carl Soderberg had the biggest heartbreaker of a failed bid in overtime when he sent a puck behind Price but across the crease, it was Boston’s first-liners in David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla who can play the “snakebitten” card the most as they prepare for Game 2.

Though the only even-strength goal Krejci was on the ice for was Francis Bouillon‘s third-period tally, the Krejci line turned in a borderline dominant performance after coming on strong late in the first round against the Red Wings. Yet Krejci missed the net on a second-period breakaway and was robbed by Price on a breakaway in overtime, Iginla missed the net on a rebound with plenty of space during a second-period power play and Lucic had a colossal fan in the third period just prior to Bouillon’s goal.

‘€œI thought we had so many chances, we could’€™ve scored like 10 goals yesterday,” Krejci said. “But we didn’€™t, so hopefully we are saving them for next game.’€

Had the Bruins buried even one or two of those chances, they’d have won. Lucic said Friday that he didn’t see the puck as it was coming from Krejci, as Krejci sent the puck through Brandon Gallagher‘s legs. The result was him missing the puck by a mile despite having half the net open.

“It was a split-second; I couldn’t see it until the last second,” Lucic said. “Unfortunately, my stick wasn’t in the right spot where it went off it and in, and I missed it. We’ve got to do the same sort of things tomorrow to create those chances, but get a few more and bury them.”

Krejci’s line generated very little offense in Game 1 against the Red Wings in the first round and was on for a goal against in Game 2 before Lucic scored in the second period. When the series shifted to Detroit, the line was quiet as it handled the task of keeping Pavel Datsyuk from scoring, but the trio had a very sluggish start to Game 4. The line came alive late with a Lucic goal in the third period and the overtime winner from Iginla.

From there, Boston’s top line has elevated its game to the point where it looked like a group ready to score by the handful in the opening game against the Habs.

“Our shots and the chances that we were able to create last night, I think that’s definitely a positive,” Lucic said. “Once we got our feet moving in the second period there when we were down, 2-0, we were able to control the pace of the game and create all those chances like I was talking about. Going into next game, I guess the main focus is you don’t want to grip your stick too tight and bury those opportunities when you get them.

“It sucks losing the way that we did, it was a tough loss to swallow, but you’ve got to have short-term memory and forget about it as quick as you can and focus on the next one because it’s coming soon with a 12:30 game tomorrow. We’re excited about it.”

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Bruins condemn racist tweets about P.K. Subban

05.02.14 at 1:19 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins issued a statement Friday regarding the racist tweets that were sent out by some fans following P.K. Subban‘s game-winning goal in double overtime in Game 1 of the second round.

It’s the second time Bruins fans have been accused of racism in recent years, as Joel Ward was the victim of hateful tweets after he had the overtime game-winner in Game 7 of the first round in 2012 against the Bruins.

“The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday’s game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization,” Cam Neely said in Friday’s statement.

The idea that the people who used racist language regarding Subban are Bruins fans might be a bit of a stretch. The team’s regular-season co-leader in goals, Jarome Iginla, is black, while Subban’s younger brother, Malcolm Subban, was a first-round pick of the B’s in 2012.

“Exactly,” Milan Lucic said. “Jarome is here and he’s been treated with nothing but respect in Boston since he’s been here. All the Celtics and Patriots and Red Sox and all those players that have been here have been treated with nothing but respect. If you’re going to make bad comments, stick to hockey comments, not to stuff that crosses the line.”

Lucic himself has dealt with some unnecessary hatred on the part of hockey fans. His church in Burnaby, British Columbia, was vandalized in 2012 by Canucks fans.

Claude Julien said he’s never heard racism on any benches or from any fans during games.

“There’€™s a lot of good fans out there, and that’€™s the sad part about it,” Julien said. “Your good fans get tarnished because of a couple of comments like that who don’€™t belong in that same group.’€

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