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Bruins activate Loui Eriksson, send Justin Florek to Providence

01.11.14 at 9:50 pm ET
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The Bruins activated Loui Eriksson from injured reserve and sent forward Justin Florek to Providence Saturday.

The move allows Eriksson to return to the lineup after missing the last 15 games with his second concussion of the season.

Florek, who was recalled last week to play in place of Jordan Caron, played very well on the fourth line for the B’s over the last three games. The 6-foot-4 winger provided a screen on a Torey Krug goal, assisted a Daniel Paille goal over the first two games of his callup and scored his first NHL goal Thursday against the Kings.

Florek will likely be replaced by Shawn Thornton against the Sharks as Thornton returns from a 15-game suspension.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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In case you missed it, Dougie Hamilton took a strange penalty

01.10.14 at 2:42 pm ET
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If you were asleep by the second period of Thursday’s game between the Bruins and Kings, you likely missed Dougie Hamilton take an unusual and ill-advised penalty.

At the expiration of a tripping penalty he had taken late in the first period, Hamilton played the puck as it was going by the penalty box. The issue was that both of Hamilton’s feet were still in the box. They remained there on an interference call until Justin Williams scored a power play goal.

Our pal Greg Wyshynski at PuckDaddy has a rather amusing blog on Hamilton’s infraction, in which he calls it the “dumbest penalty of the season” and sites Rule 56.2, which one would figure should be common sense:

A minor penalty shall be imposed on any identifiable player on the players’€™ bench or penalty bench who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play. In addition, should a player about to come onto the ice, play the puck while one or both skates are still on the players’€™ or penalty bench, a minor penalty for interference shall be assessed.

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Tuukka Rask pulled as Kings best Bruins

01.10.14 at 1:12 am ET
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Tuukka Rask was pulled for the third time in his last 10 starts as the Bruins fell to the Kings, 4-2, Thursday in Los Angeles.

The loss was the Bruins’ second of their three-game west coast road trip, and they’ll look to salvage something from the trip when they close it out Saturday in San Jose. The B’s have now lost five of their last six games on the road.

Jeff Carter scored the only goal of the first period, but two goals in the first 1:45 of the second from Justin Williams (on the power play) and Alec Martinez, respectively, led to Chad Johnson being called upon in relief of Rask. Johnson would allow one goal in a little less than two periods of play.

The Bruins got all of their scoring from their bottom six, as Matt Fraser one-timed a feed from Carl Soderberg past Jonathan Quick at 9:55 of the second to make it 3-1. After Dustin Brown made it 4-1 at 12:22 of the third, Justin Florek scored his first career NHL goal to bring the B’s back within two.

The game was the last of Shawn Thornton‘s 15-game suspension, meaning he will be eligible to return for Saturday’s game.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Though the results aren’t exclusively tied to the injury, Tuukka Rask has had a rough go of it since the Bruins lost Seidenberg for the season. In five starts since Seidenberg went down, Rask has been pulled twice in the second period after allowing three goals and has given up five goals in two others. Those aren’t the kind of numbers the Vezina favorite got used to putting up in the first half of the season.

- Patrice Bergeron is the best faceoff man in the NHL, so it isn’t often that you see him lose a faceoff cleanly in his own zone to lead to an opponent’s goal. That happened in the second period when Mike Richards beat him at the dot and drew the puck back to Regehr to set up Martinez’ goal.

- Here’s something you don’t see every day: Hamilton was called for playing the puck in the penalty box, as he began playing the puck as he got up at the expiration of a tripping penalty, but since his feet were still in the box, he was whistled for interference. Williams scored on the ensuing power play.

- Quick moved across his crease in speedy fashion to rob Soderberg with a blocker save in the opening minutes of the third period. It would have been a one-goal game had the Grade A opportunity gone in for the B’s. Quick also stopped Brad Marchand on a shorthanded breakaway with just under seven minutes to play.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Hamilton turned in some impressive work in the neutral zone to start the play that led to Fraser’s goal. The second-year defenseman broke up a pass and then poked the puck through Martinez’ legs. From there, Soderberg carried the puck into the zone to feed Fraser, who fired off a strong one-timer to get the Bruins on the board.

- Milan Lucic returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with food poisoning. It wasn’t the prettiest return to the lineup, however, as his line was a minus-2 on the night.

- Florek’s been able to make an impact in his limited time in the Bruins’ lineup. So far he’s provided a screen on a Torey Krug goal, assisted a Daniel Paille tally and scored a goal of his own. The 6-foot-4 forward appears to be capable of playing as a fourth-liner in the NHL.

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Ryan Spooner named AHL All-Star

01.09.14 at 4:23 pm ET
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Bruins forward Ryan Spooner was named an AHL All-Star Thursday. Spooner is currently playing in the NHL with the Bruins.

In 21 AHL games this season, Spooner has five goals and 18 assists for 23 points He has nine points (all assists) in 16 games for the Bruins this season. The Bruins have been using him to center the team’s third line since Chris Kelly went down with a broken fibula on Dec. 7.

This is the first AHL All-Star selection for Spooner, who was a second-round pick of the Bruins in the 2010 draft. The All-Star game will take place during the Olympic break on Feb. 12.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Loui Eriksson cleared for contact

01.08.14 at 9:19 pm ET
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Bruins forward Loui Eriksson has been cleared for contact, Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Wednesday. Eriksson took contact in Wednesday’s practice after returning to the ice last week.

Eriksson is recovering from his second concussion of the season, which he suffered on Dec. 7 against the Penguins. The veteran winger has missed a total of 19 games this season between his two concussions. Julien told reporters that Eriksson is not expected to play Thursday against the Kings.

Both Milan Lucic (illness) and Jordan Caron (back) were reportedly back on the ice for Wednesday’s practice after missing Tuesday’s game against the Ducks.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Andy Brickley on M&M: Bruins ‘have to replace Dennis Seidenberg with a guy from outside the organization’

01.08.14 at 1:00 pm ET
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Andy Brickley

Andy Brickley

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday, following the Bruins’ 5-2 loss to the Ducks on Tuesday night in the first of three games on the West Coast this week. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“I was actually impressed with the way the Bruins played in the first period, when you talk about how good is Anaheim and how good in Boston,” Brickley said. “But their penalty-killing just totally let them down last night. It will be another stern test on Thursday [vs. the Kings], and probably even a tougher one on Saturday [vs. the Sharks].”

The Bruins appear to struggling to adjust since the loss of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on Dec. 27 to a torn MCL and ACL in his right knee.

“The biggest void on this team right now is clearly the loss of Dennis Seidenberg,” Brickley said. “They’re going to try in the short term to continue to win games and put some points on the board in his absence within the organization to make up for his loss. But long term, and if they think they have a chance to win another Stanley Cup or get to a Stanley Cup final, there’s no question they’re going to have to replace Dennis Seidenberg with a guy from outside the organization.”

The Bruins have had a dip defensively and most notably on the penalty kill since Seidenberg went down.

“I think [Seidenberg's absence] has a lot to do with it,” Brickley said. “I don’t know if it’s a one-to-one correlation with that kind of lack of getting the job done when it comes to killing penalties in his absence, but yeah, he’s one of those guys that’s got real good gaps, he’s able to hold that defensive blue line better than most defenseman, he wins way more than his share of one-on-one battles when the puck’s up for grabs, he’s a good decision-maker, when to be aggressive, when not to be, when to hold your position, he’s real good with stick position, he blocks a ton of shots when killing penalties, he gets to the loose puck so there’s no second and third opportunities when the rebound’s are there. So he does all the stuff that you need a quality penalty-killer on the defensive side [to do].

“In his absence, you still have other guys that can do the job, but he’s one of your premier penalty-killers. He’s just an awesome player in this system, with this group, in his role. When you lose a guy like that, you still have guys like [Johnny] Boychuck and [Adam] McQuaid that are pretty good in that area but not as good as a Dennis Seidenberg.”

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Bruins can’t sustain fast start in sloppy loss to Ducks

01.08.14 at 12:41 am ET
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The Bruins allowed three power play goals, a shorthanded goal and a 5-on-5 goal for good measure as they fell to the Ducks, 5-2, Tuesday night in Anaheim.

The Bruins turned in one of their best first periods of the season in outshooting the Ducks, 16-3, through the first 20 minutes, but Jonas Hiller kept the game scoreless. The Ducks got on the board in the second period with power-play goals from Mathieu Perreault and Corey Perry, respectively, with Daniel Winnik capitalizing on a Reilly Smith giveaway on a Bruins power play, leading to an Andrew Cogliano shorthanded goal.

Daniel Paille scored his seventh goal of the season (fourth in the last six games) at 19:44 of the second period, and Dougie Hamilton brought the Bruins within one in the third by picking up a loose puck in the high slot and sending it past Hiller. Nick Bonino would put the game back out of reach for the Bruins with 5:37 left and Brad Marchand in the box. Perreault made it 5-2 with 2:31 to play.

The Bruins were playing without Milan Lucic, who missed the game due to an illness. Jordan Caron missed his second straight game due to a back injury, leaving the Bruins with only 11 forwards for the first time all season. With Lucic out, Carl Soderberg and Paille took turns on David Krejci‘s line, while Marchand replaced Lucic on the Bruins’ first power play unit.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Tuesday’s game was the second in which the Bruins have allowed three power-play goals since losing Dennis Seidenberg for the season. In fact, all three of Anaheim’s second-period goals were scored on special teams.

- Speaking of Seidenberg, it’s safe to say Tuukka Rask misses him. Tuesday’s game was the second of Rask’s last three games in which he’s allowed five goals. It was the third time he’s allowed five all season.

- The second period has been something of a struggle for the Bruins this season, and after being outscored, 3-1, in the second period Tuesday, the Bruins have now allowed two more goals (37) than they’ve scored (35) in the middle period this season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Daniel Paille has been hot for the Bruins since missing eight games with a concussion. In six games back in the lineup, Paille has four goals and an assist for five points. He had only four points (two goals, two assists) in 30 games before going down with the injury last month.

- Justin Florek picked up his first career point in assisting Paille’s goal. Tuesday was Florek’s second career NHL game and the big 2010 fifth-round pick looks to be a viable fourth-line option for the Bruins.

-Patrice Bergeron‘s line led the way in the Bruins’ impressive but scoreless first period. Reilly Smith was stopped on a backhander in front, though Hiller’s biggest save of the period came in the form of a glove save on Marchand down low.

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