|03.07.16 at 10:46 pm ET|
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.
|03.07.16 at 1:59 pm ET|
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.
|03.07.16 at 1:24 am ET|
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:
|03.06.16 at 6:04 am ET|
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.
|03.05.16 at 11:35 pm ET|
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.”
|03.05.16 at 10:47 pm ET|
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.’”
|03.05.16 at 9:52 pm ET|
Getting points in both games of a treacherous two-game stretch against the Blackhawks and Capitals was an outcome the Bruins would have gladly taken. That doesn’t mean that the fashion in which they lost Saturday doesn’t sting.
Matt Niskanen beat Tuukka Rask 2:36 into overtime to give the Capitals a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the B’s at TD Garden. The game followed Boston’s impressive victory over the Blackhawks Thursday.
Though the B’s got on the board first Saturday with a first-period Patrice Bergeron tally, the second period suggested it might not be the Bruins’ night. What would have been Torey Krug’s first goal in 40 games was called back when the Capitals challenged that Loui Eriksson was offsides, the Bruins lost Kevan Miller to injury, they failed to score on a prolonged 5-on-3 (among other chances) and a rough period from Dennis Seidenberg eventually resulted in Washington tying the game at a goal apiece.
The teams skated to a scoreless third period before Niskanen sealed the victory for the Capitals in OT.
Here are four more things we learned Saturday:
Kevan Miller’s struggles this season have been well-documented, but the 28-year-old defenseman had turned a corner of late with perhaps his most encouraging play of the season. In the first period of Saturday’s game, Miller played a major factor in Patrice Bergeron’s goal by gloving the puck as it was about to leave the zone and passing it up to Lee Stempniak as he absorbed a hit from Alexander Ovechkin.
Yet it was a later hit from Ovechkin that changed the game, as the Capitals star forward hit Miller from behind in the Washington zone in the second period. Miller left the ice hunched over with what looked like a possible right shoulder injury, which wouldn’t be great considering his season ended prematurely last year due to surgery on that shoulder.
Ovechkin was given a boarding major but not ejected.
Here’s Ovechkin boarding (and injuring) Kevan Miller pic.twitter.com/uQMWkJIoWm
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) March 6, 2016
If Miller is to miss time, Zach Trotman will likely enter the lineup in his place. Read the rest of this entry »