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Canadiens hand Bruins their latest loss

10.16.14 at 10:32 pm ET
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MONTREAL — The Canadiens put five goals past Tuukka Rask, chasing the reigning Vezina winner as they took a 6-4 win over the Bruins in their home opener at the Bell Centre.

David Krejci‘€™s blast from the point during a first-period power play grazed Zdeno Chara in front and sailed past Carey Price to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead on Chara’€™s first goal of the season. After Dennis Seidenberg was penalized for holding David Desharnais’€™ stick, Max Pacioretty scored a power play goal to tie the game.

Brendan Gallagher scored 7:43 into the second to give Montreal its first lead of the night, but the Bruins’€™ third line gave the B’€™s the lead again with goals from Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, the latter of which came off a Torey Krug pass that hit the wing in front and ricocheted in.

Jiri Sekac scored his first career goal, getting to the front of the net and burying a puck past a falling Rask as Dennis Seidenberg and Rene Bourque battled. The goal came amidst some shoddy coverage from Boston’€™s fourth line, which had Gregory Campbell for the first time this season.

P.A. Parenteau scored his first goal as a Canadien late in the second period to make it 4-3, while Gallagher’€™s second of the night chased Rask 7:17 into the third.

The Bruins’€™ chances of a comeback were killed in the final minutes when Milan Lucic took a boarding penalty for a hit on Alexei Emelin with less than a minute and a half to play. A Parenteau empty-netter — his second goal of the game — sealed the win for Montreal.

Simon Gagne brought the Bruins within one with less than six minutes to play after being moved from the fourth line to David Krejci‘€™s line. The goal was Gagne’€™s first goal of the season, as he made his Bruins debut Wednesday.

The loss dropped the Bruins to 2-4-0 this season, while the Habs improved to 4-1-0.

Here are some observations from the game.

– The Bruins rarely allow 5-on-5 goals when Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron are on the ice, which is one of the things that annually makes the Bruins among the best 5-on-5 teams in the league. For a frame of reference, they allowed just one such goal in the lockout-shortened season.

On Thursday, the B’€™s allowed one such goal, as Gallagher’s second goal came against Bergeron and Chara. Gallagher’€™s second goal of the night marked the second time the B’€™s have given up a 5-on-5 goal with both stars on the ice, as Alexander Ovechkin accomplished the feat last week.

– Carl Soderberg’€™s line with Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly is too good to break up. Though it’€™s technically Boston’€™s third line, it has played against higher competition all season and has enjoyed long stays in the offensive zone. Eriksson has obviously been a candidate to potentially play right wing on Krejci’€™s line, but Claude Julien would be wise to keep the trio together at this point.

Soderberg’€™s goal came off a pair of rebounds, as Eriksson jumped on a rebound in front, with Kelly’€™s shot off that rebound yielding the rebound on which Soderberg would score.

Additionally, Soderberg’€™s line was the Bruins’€™ only trio to not surrender a goal in the game.

– Thursday marked the first time this season that the Bruins scored more than two goals in a game.

Dennis Seidenberg‘€™s season is off to a rough start. He took a holding the stick penalty in the first period that led to Pacioretty’€™s goal and had a turnover about seven minutes into the third in the defensive zone that led to a Montreal scoring chance.

– Campbell and his line had its struggles against Montreal’€™s bottom-six forwards, allowing lengthy Habs possessions and being passive in front of the net on Sekac’€™s goal. Campbell missed all of training camp and is a work in progress.

– P.K. Subban was the latest victim of embellishment calls, as he was given a penalty for appropriately reacting to getting speared by Brad Marchand. The NHL is giving out warnings for embellishing before fining players and coaches, but the video is first reviewed. It would be foolish if Subban received a warning, just as it would have been for Marchand to get one last week when he was wrongfully penalized against the Red Wings.

– Some goofball was shining a thick green laser on the ice during a game. The green dot was aimed at Tuukka Rask, among other spots on the ice.

The lineup was as follows:

Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Gagne – Campbell – Paille

Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – McQuaid
Krug – Miller


Gregory Campbell a game-time decision for Bruins Thursday

10.16.14 at 6:36 pm ET
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MONTREAL — Gregory Campbell is a game-time decision for Thursday night’s game against the Canadiens, Claude Julien said shortly before the game.

Campbell missed all of training camp and the Bruins’ first five games with a core injury. In his place, the Bruins used Craig Cunningham at center for the Bruins’ first three games and Ryan Spooner for the last two. The Bruins clearly haven’t been satisfy with their play in that spot, as Spooner was given just 4:22 of ice time in Wednesday’s game, which also featured a five-minute overtime.

According to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, Spooner will be sent to Providence to play wing once Campbell is ready to play.

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P.K. Subban: Canadiens ‘don’t care about the fireworks’

10.16.14 at 12:23 pm ET
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P.K. Subban

P.K. Subban

BROSSARD, Quebec — P.K. Subban had enough fun last postseason against the Bruins, but that’s probably because his team won.

So as he looks forward to the Canadiens’ home opener against the Bruins Thursday night, he says he isn’t thinking about how the scoreboard looks at the end of the game.

“I’m sure you guys want me to say that there’s going to be fireworks, and I don’t know. Our focus is winning the game,” Subban said after Thursday’s morning skate at Bell Sports Complex. “We don’t care about the fireworks, the dance, the crowd. No. We’ve got to focus on what we can control, and that’s how we play. The final result’s the most important thing.”

Subban had seven points (four goals, three assists) in Montreal’s second-round victory against Boston last postseason. Preseason aside, Thursday will mark the first time the teams play at Bell Centre since Montreal forced a Game 7 last May with a 4-0 win in Game 6.

Subban says the biggest factor Thursday will be the fact that the Habs are in front of their home crowd for the first time this season.

“I think you do get hyped up for it,” he said. “You get hyped up for a home opening game. Everybody does. That’s why they’re so tough to play on the road. So tough to play in home openers because home teams get so hyped up for them. We’ll be ready to go.”

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Dale Weise says he didn’t lose respect for Milan Lucic, but would have if he shook his hand

10.16.14 at 12:04 pm ET
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Dale Weise drew the ire of Bruins forward Milan Lucic during last season's Eastern Conference semifinals. (Francois Laplante/Getty Images)

Dale Weise drew the ire of Bruins forward Milan Lucic during last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals. (Francois Laplante/Getty Images)

BROSSARD, Quebec –” The handshake line plot thickens.

On Thursday morning, the Canadiens downplayed the significance of their upcoming grudge match with the Bruins, which will serve as the teams’€™ first regular-season meeting since the second round of last season ended with a Canadiens win and plenty of unused hatred.

Dale Weise was a big part of that. He scored the first goal of Game 7 as the Habs took a 3-1 win to advance to play the Rangers. After that game, he told reporters that Lucic “œhad a few things to say to a couple of guys” in the handshake line, essentially directing folks to the tape, where one could see that Lucic told Weise he was going to “[expletive] kill” him the next time they played. He noted that Shawn Thornton took the loss with class and called Lucic’s actions “a poor way to lose.” Lucic responded by calling Weise a baby.

On Thursday, Weise had nothing bad to say about Lucic, calling him “a hard guy to play against.” Asked if he had lost any respect for Lucic the season before, Weise gave an interesting answer.

“No, no. He’€™s an emotional guy,” Weise said. “œIf he were to have shook my hand and been happy about losing, I would have lost respect for him.”

Weise has been a healthy scratch in one of the Habs’€™ four games thus far, and neither he nor coach Michel Therrien would say whether he was in the lineup for Montreal’s home opener against Boston.

If he does play, such a setting could be familiar for Weise. Though he was not a member of the 2010-11 Canucks (he spent that season in the Rangers organization), Weise was on the Canucks the next season and was a big part of the Bruins-Canucks grudge match in January 2012. Weise says that though there is “similar hatred” between the B’€™s and Habs after last postseason, he doesn’t expect as crazy a game as that 2012 contest.

“I think both teams are trying to get wins here. It’€™s early in the season. Last year’€™s kind of forgotten about,” Weise said. “œBoth teams are focusing on this year. They’€™re probably not happy with the start they got off to. They got a big win last night so they’€™re going to try to keep that going tonight.”

Read More: Dale Weise, Milan Lucic,

David Krejci, Reilly Smith provide offense as Bruins beat Red Wings, end losing streak

10.15.14 at 11:02 pm ET
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David Krejci and Reilly Smith each scored in regulation, and then they each scored in the shootout as the Bruins beat the Red Wings, 3-2, Wednesday night to end their three-game losing streak.

Krejci opened the scoring 5:12 into the game with his first goal of the season after Chris Kelly forced a neutral-zone turnover and sprung Krejci up the middle of the ice. The Red Wings answered a few minutes later when Tomas Tatar took advantage of some sloppy defensive play and ripped a shot under the crossbar.

The Bruins regained the lead with 6:29 left in the second. Brad Marchand retrieved a dump-in deep in the offensive zone and calmly moved the puck to Patrice Bergeron, who then tried a wraparound that led to a juicy rebound for Smith to bury.

The Red Wings answered again, though, when Gustav Nyquist fired a laser shot past Tuukka Rask for a power-play goal 2:56 into the third. The Bruins failed to capitalize on two power plays of their own in the third period, and Jimmy Howard made several big saves in the final minute — most notably on a Simon Gagne rebound bid — to force overtime.

The Bruins were the better team in overtime, but couldn’t finish their chances. The best opportunity came on a 3-on-1 a minute and a half in, but Smith tried to force a pass that was easily broken up. The B’s had to kill a 41-second Wings power play to end the overtime after Brendan Smith drew a call on Bergeron with a pretty blatant embellishment.

Here are some other observations from the game:

-For the second time in as many games against Detroit, the Bruins suffered a Patrice Bergeron injury scare. Last week Bergeron missed most of the second period after crashing awkwardly into the boards. On Wednesday he limped off the ice late in the second after blocking a Danny DeKeyser slap shot. Fortunately for the Bruins, Bergeron was back on the ice for the start of the third period. As he so often is, Bergeron was the Bruins’€™ best forward Wednesday night. He went 17-for-24 on faceoffs and posted a .740 Corsi, and his line registered 12 shots on goal to go along with Smith’€™s second-period tally.

-This is partially tied into Bergeron since they played with that line a lot, but Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton were great, as they usually are. They had Corsis of 78 percent and 79 percent, respectively, which is very good. Hamilton was also a force in overtime, as he jumped into the offense several times and helped create scoring chances.

-The Bruins absolutely dominated the first period, outshooting the Red Wings 14-4 in the opening 20 minutes. They spent entire shifts in the offensive zone and won the majority of 1-on-1 battles. The scoreboard didn’€™t reflect that dominance, though, as the two teams entered the intermission tied at 1-1. Even on the Red Wings’€™ goal, they hadn’€™t really established any sort of possession in the Bruins’€™ zone, as it came off a turnover that led to a bouncing puck around the net.

-It was a particularly interesting first period for Chris Kelly. He made a great play to set up Krejci’€™s goal, as he forced a turnover in the neutral zone and then made a nice pass through the seam to spring Krejci. Just a few minutes later, though, it was a turnover of his own that led to Tatar’€™s goal, as Kelly failed to handle a pass up the boards from Dennis Seidenberg. On the whole, though, it was another good game for Kelly and linemates Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. Kelly’€™s five shots on goal were tied for the team lead.

-The Bruins’€™ penalty kill had been very good until Nyquist’€™s power-play goal in the third period. Before that, the B’€™s had allowed just two shots on goal on the Red Wings’€™ first three power plays and made it tough for the Wings to get set up. On the fourth, though, they gave the dangerous Nyquist too much room to operate and he made them pay by walking in and snapping a shot past Rask.

-Considering it was his first game since April 2013, Simon Gagne looked pretty good. He played 12:13 and recorded four shot attempts and two shots on goal, one of which nearly won the game in the final minute of regulation. He started the game on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Ryan Spooner, but wound up seeing some time with Krejci and Milan Lucic as the game went on.

Read More: Chris Kelly, David Krejci, Dougie Hamilton, Patrice Bergeron

Simon Gagne on fourth line in Bruins practice

10.14.14 at 12:07 pm ET
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WILMINGTON ‘€” Simon Gagne skated on the fourth line Tuesday after signing a one-year contract with the Bruins earlier in the day.

Gagne as joined on the fourth line by Ryan Spooner and Daniel Paille. Seth Griffith was again with David Krejci and Milan Lucic after playing on their line Monday. The forward lines were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Spooner – Gagne

Extras: Matt Fraser, Gregory Campbell (core)

Bruins sign Simon Gagne to 1-year contract

10.14.14 at 11:09 am ET
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The Bruins signed veteran forward Simon Gagne to a one-year, $600,000 contract Tuesday. In corresponding moves, the team sent Jordan Caron to Providence and put Bobby Robins on waivers with the intentions of sending him to Providence.

Gagne, 34, did not play last season and was brought into camp on a tryout by the Bruins. In 38 games in the lockout-shortened 2013 season, he had five goals and six assists for 11 points.

The Bruins have a few options with where they can play Gagne. The team’s fourth-line is far from solidified, as Tuesday’s moves make it three players who have played on the fourth line this season and have been sent down (Caron, Robins and Craig Cunningham). The left-shooting Gagne could serve as either a left or right wing on the line.

In Tuesday’s practice, Gagne was on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Ryan Spooner.

Depending on how the Bruins feel about their other options, they could also play him on David Krejci‘s line with Milan Lucic. Seth Griffith played right wing with the pair on Monday. The team could also try Gagne, a former 40-goal-scorer who hasn’t scored more than 17 goals in a season since 2009-10, on one of their power play units.

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