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Struggling Bruins return to practice without Patrice Bergeron

01.05.15 at 11:24 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Patrice Bergeron was the lone Bruin absent from Monday’€™s practice at Ristuccia Arena, which began half an hour later than scheduled.

Coming off perhaps their lowest point of the season in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Hurricanes that saw most of their forwards go without a shot on goal, the B’€™s were scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. skate in Wilmington, but the ice remained vacant until Dennis Seidenberg stepped on 28 minutes later, with teammates trickling out shortly after.

Bergeron missed last Monday’€™s game against the Red Wings with an undisclosed injury but has played in three games since. Claude Julien said after the practice that Monday was a maintenance day for Bergeron.

With Bergeron absent, Boston’€™s lines were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Marchand – Cunningham – Griffith
Paille – Campbell – Caron

All seven defensemen and both goaltenders participated in practice.

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

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Bruins fall in shootout to Hurricanes

01.04.15 at 3:57 pm ET
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You’€™ll never guess what the Bruins did Sunday.

Looking for their first win in three games, the Bruins, behind two nonexistent periods, lost in a shootout to the second-worst team in the league as the Hurricanes took a 2-1 victory over the struggling B’€™s in Carolina. With the loss, the Bruins fell to 19-15-6 on the season.

Though the Bruins have actually gotten points in four straight (1-0-3), Sunday’€™s loss is the latest low point of the season for Boston. The Bruins are now 0-1-3 this season in games in which they have a healthy lineup.

The Bruins didn’€™t land a shot on goal until 16:55 of the first period and managed to get just two pucks on net in the first period altogether. For the second straight game, Claude Julien changed up his top-six wingers during the game, as he switched right wings Seth Griffith and Reilly Smith a day after switching first-and-second-line left wings Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.

Patrick Dwyer scored for Carolina in the final minute of the first period, with Patrice Bergeron getting the Bruins on the board with a one-timer off a feed from Marchand at 14:35 of the second period. Bergeron nearly netted the game-winner in overtime, but Nathan Gerbe got a stick on the puck to break up Bergeron’€™s backhand bid.

The B’€™s managed just two shots on goal in the third period, with seven B’€™s forwards going the whole 65-minute contest without a shot on goal (David Krejci, Griffith, Marchand, Loui Eriksson, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, Craig Cunningham).

Tuukka Rask stopped 35 of the 36 shots he faced during game action and surrendered the lone goal of the shootout to Eric Staal. The Bruins are now 1-1-3 in the last five games in which Rask has allowed two goals or less.

The Bruins will next play Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

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

Read More: Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask,

5 things we learned as Bruins fall in overtime to Senators

01.03.15 at 3:38 pm ET
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The Bruins began this week with what looked like a tide-turning win over the Red Wings. They followed it with a shootout loss and an overtime loss. The week was a perfect microcosm of the 2014-15 Bruins.

Boston relinquished a 2-1 lead in the third period Saturday as Ottawa forced overtime and eventually took two points on Bobby Ryan’s game-winner. The B’s are now 19-15-5.

Here are five things we learned Saturday:

JULIEN FLIPS LEFT WINGS

Claude Julien has had to mix up his lines more often than usual this season. That generally happens when you’€™re coaching a team that’€™s been bad offensively.

It worked Saturday, as he flipped Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand in an effort to wake up his top two lines in the third period of a tied game. Lucic and Krejci were among six Bruins forwards who did not have a shot on goal through the first two periods, so Julien assigned Lucic to Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line and Marchand to Krejci’€™s.

It paid off when Krejci fed Marchand in front and then went to the net to provide traffic as Marchand ripped a shot from the left circle past Craig Anderson. The change woke up Lucic as well, as he hustled back to break up a Senators rush early in the period.

MCQUAID RETURNS, BRUINS FINALLY HEALTHY

Adam McQuaid returned to the lineup from his thumb injury, giving the Bruins an injury-free roster for just the third time this season.

With McQuaid back, the Bruins scratched Matt Bartkowski and played McQuaid on the right side of their second pairing with Dennis Seidenberg. That’€™s probably the Bruins’€™ best bet for their second pairing given the guys that they have on the roster right now.

McQuaid took two penalties, drew one and was on the ice for a goal against in the second period.

The lineup with McQuaid back was as follows:

Lucic -€“ Krejci -€“ Griffith
Marchand -“ Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Cunningham – Campbell – Paille

Chara -€“ Hamilton
Seidenberg – McQuaid
Krug -€“ Miller

Rask

DUPLICATING JOBS COSTS BRUINS AGAIN

After Wednesday’€™s overtime loss, Tuukka Rask said that the Bruins have found themselves ‘€œduplicating jobs’€ this season, which has created opportunities for opponents in Boston’€™s zone.

That happened again in the second period Saturday when Adam McQuaid, Dennis Seidenberg and Daniel Paille chased a puck into the corner, leaving Kyle Turris alone to walk in on Rask and score after McQuiad was unable to secure the puck behind the net. Bobby Ryan was also left open on the other side of the net, so the B’€™s were asking for trouble either way.

B’€™S SURVIVE 5-ON-3s, CASH IN ON PP

The Bruins had to kill off a 1:42 five-on-three when Brad Marchand was sent off for tripping Erik Karlsson behind the Ottawa net 18 seconds after Adam McQuaid was called for a roughing minor in the second period.

Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg killed the whole thing, with Patrice Bergeron and then Chris Kelly sharing forward duties. Most important of all was Tuukka Rask, who robbed Bobby Ryan on a second-chance opportunity and later stopping Turris in front.

The’s also killed off a five-on-three for 1:33 in the third period.

Later in the period, Torey Krug tied the game on the power play with a slapper that beat Anderon for Krug’€™s eighth goal of the season. The B’€™s were unable to cash in on a power play late in regulation.

RASK BRUINS’€™ BEST PENALTY KILLER

Rask followed up his strong showing on the first five-on-three by doing it again the next period.

With Bergeron off for hooking and McQuaid in the box for a delay of game penalty, Rask came across his net to rob Mika Zibanejad on a one-timer with less than six minutes to play in a one-goal game.

Rask would run into some bad luck soon thereafter, however, as the Senators managed to tie the game on a point shot that was going wide before bouncing off a body and in.

Bruins assign Zach Trotman, Matt Lindblad to Providence

01.01.15 at 2:39 pm ET
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Zach Trotman

Zach Trotman

The Bruins returned Matt Lindblad and Zach Trotman to Providence Thursday.

Lindblad had been recalled prior to Monday’€™s game on an emergency basis after the B’€™s lost Matt Fraser on waivers to the Oilers. He skated on a line with Craig Cunningham and Seth Griffith in Boston’€™s win over Detroit, but served as a healthy scratch Wednesday when both Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron returned to the lineup.

In two NHL games this season, Lindblad has no points, three shots on goal and an average time on ice of 7:46.

Trotman has skated in 17 games for the Bruins, averaging 17:16 of ice time, but was a healthy scratch in Boston’s last six games. His assignment to Providence leaves the Bruins with seven defensemen and suggests Adam McQuaid (thumb) could be nearing a return.

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

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Tuukka Rask almost gets in goalie fight, almost makes sense explaining it

01.01.15 at 2:59 am ET
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Tuukka Rask looked like he wanted to fight someone at the end of the second period Wednesday.

Rask was barking at Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson as the period ended, and as he skated off the ice, he stopped at the blue line to have words with fellow goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Both netminders appeared interested in dropping their mitts and blockers, but officials intervened and nothing came of it.

Asked about it after the game, Rask gave an odd answer, downplaying it and basically said he was kidding for the sake of getting fans into the game.

“No, no, no. I felt like I needed to get the crowd going a little bit. That was nothing,” Rask said. “It was just a chirp. Every time I chirp, it’€™s a big deal. It’€™s just good fun. It’€™s part of the game. I gave that guy a little check in the kneepads and he punched me and I said if he wants to eat my blocker… I try to have fun out there too sometimes. It’€™s fun to chirp. Definitely can’€™t go unnoticed with that stuff.”

Rask has never been in a fight in his career. He’s been known to lose his cool, however, highlighted by his Providence milk-crate tossing incident in March of 2009. He and Carl Soderberg had to be separated last month during a morning skate disagreement.

Read More: Jonathan Bernier, Tuukka Rask,

Milan Lucic says injury was nagging issue, not suffered in Dalton Prout fight

12.31.14 at 10:58 pm ET
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Milan Lucic said after Wednesday’€™s shootout loss to the Maple Leafs that the injury that forced him to miss Monday’€™s game was not suffered in last Saturday’€™s fight against Dalton Prout.

Lucic, who did not practice Tuesday and sat out Monday returned to his normal spot Wednesday. He said afterwards that he felt “€œgood.”€

“The injury wasn’€™t a result of the fight,” he added. “€œIt was just something nagging that comes up in the middle of the season. Just a day-to-day type of thing. Just smart to sit out a couple days and get the rest. It really helped get me back in the lineup here today.”

Lucic played 18:53 Wednesday, his fifth-highest total of the season. He skated with David Krejci and Seth Griffith, playing a large role in Krejci’s second-period goal by going hard to the net.

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

Read More: dalton prout, Milan Lucic,

5 things we learned as Bruins close 2014 with shootout loss to Leafs

12.31.14 at 10:00 pm ET
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The Bruins ended an up-and-down calendar year with an up-and-down showing Wednesday and came out of it with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs.

Nazem Kadri scored the game-winner for Toronto in the fifth round of the shootout. Torey Krug scored Boston’€™s only shootout goal.

Boston struggled into the second period but received late goals in the frame from David Krejci and Krug, with the teams playing a scoreless third to set up overtime. The B’€™s outshot Toronto, 4-0, in the extra five-minute period.

The Bruins got both Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron back in the loss. The B’€™s have now dropped two of their last three games (1-1-1).

Here are four more things we learned Wednesday:

NET DRIVE DOES WONDERS

At times in the second period it appeared that the Bruins mistook the NHL for a point-per-reception fantasy football league. When they started going hard to the net and putting pucks on net, they started scoring.

Trailing by a pair of goals, Boston first got on the board when David Krejci sent a puck in front with Milan Lucic crashing the net. The puck never got to Lucic, as it went off Cody Franson and over Jonathan Bernier on its way in.

Just over two minutes later, Loui Eriksson opted against going to the net and passed to Torey Krug, but Krejci went hard to the net and Krug’€™s pass for him went off the skate of Leo Komarov and into the net to tie the game. Two net drives, two passes, two goals.

DOUGIE’€™S BIG NEW YEAR NOT SO FUN IN THE FIRST

Though everyone in the media decided prior to the season that this is Dougie’€™s Big Year, Dougie’€™s Big New Year wasn’€™t as fun for the Bruins.

Hamilton was the victim of a weak cross-checking call on a play in which Nazem Kadri lost an edge and fell to the ice. He was then faced with a tough judgment call as he exited the box.

The Leafs had the puck in the neutral zone as Hamilton’€™s penalty expired, and he opted for a change rather than going into the zone to defend. It’€™s hard to criticize his choice given that Toronto dumped the puck into the zone rather than skating it in, but the Leafs were putting the finishing touches on Leo Komarov’€™s fifth goal of the season by the time Hamilton got to the bench.

Hamilton would make up for it with less than six minutes to play in the first by breaking up a pass from Tyler Bozak to Phil Kessel on the doorstep to save a goal, but a turnover in the offensive zone on his next shift sprung Kessel for a breakaway on which Chara hooked Kessel to give Toronto a penalty shot.

LUCIC RETURNS TO KREJCI, BRINGS GRIFFITH WITH HIM

With Lucic and Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup, the Bruins went back to the usual Marchand-Bergeron-Smith line and played Seth Griffith on the right wing of Krejci and Lucic.

Griffith has been Krejci’€™s most common right wing this season, but Craig Cunningham had been skating on the other side of Krejci in recent games before Lucic’€™s absence Monday forced Julien to play Krejci with Marchand and Smith.

The rookie right wing winning the puck in the defensive zone and getting the puck out led to Krejci’€™s second-period goal.

In the final minute of the game, Claude Julien deployed Eriksson on the right with Lucic and Krejci. The B’€™s have been hesitant to play the trio together. Griffith was back with Lucic and Krejci in overtime and couldn’€™t finish off a play in front off a feed from Lucic.

RASK’€™S RAGE

Tuukka Rask has been known to lose his temper on the ice, and it looked for a moment like he could have had his first career fight Wednesday night.

Rask took issue with David Clarkson in front of the net in the final seconds of the second period. He had words with the veteran forward as Torey Krug defended the goalie, but as the teams skated off the ice, Rask and Bernier had words and had to be separated. Both goalies were nodding at one another, suggesting they were wiling to drop the gloves, but nothing came go it.

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