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Flyers’ Radko Gudas suspended 6 games for hit on Bruins’ Austin Czarnik

10.10.16 at 6:08 pm ET
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Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas has been suspended six games by the NHL Department of Player Safety for a “high, forceful hit that [made] significant head contact” to Boston forward Austin Czarnik during Saturday’s preseason finale at TD Garden.

Gudas’ six-game ban will cost him $245,122 according to Gudas is a repeat offender under terms of the CBA for an illegal hit in December of 2015 against Ottawa’s Mike Zibanejad (a three-game suspension).

Czarnik, 23, was trending towards beginning the season for Boston as the third-line center between Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes, but a concussion suffered on the hit leaves his season start date in doubt. Last year with Providence in the AHL, Czarnik tallied 41 assists and 61 points, good for third-best on the team in both categories.

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5 Bruins questions as 2016-17 preseason ends

10.08.16 at 11:50 pm ET
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David Backes is entering his first season with the Bruins. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

David Backes is entering his first season with the Bruins. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins wrapped up their exhibition slate Saturday night at TD Garden with a 1-0, overtime win over Philadelphia.

While final 23-man rosters likely won’t be announced before Monday’s 5 p.m. league deadline, here’s a look at five pressing questions facing the team as the B’s look to snap a two-season skid of missing the postseason.

How much impact will David Backes make on David Krejci’s wing?

When Bruins GM Don Sweeney decided in July to spend his $6 million AAV chip on the 32-year-old Backes instead of the now-departed 31-year-old Loui Eriksson, it was a given that Backes’ performance in 2016-17 would be in the spotlight.

Now that it appears Backes been given the task of jump starting centerman David Krejci from the right wing while grooming young left wing Ryan Spooner, perhaps Backes has even more pressure on him.

The Krejci line needs to produce for Boston to succeed. And while Backes has shed the pressure of the captaincy in St. Louis, he’s added the the weight of being Boston’s marquee addition and now second-line glue guy, all while leaving his natural center position (at least for now) for an ‘all-center’ line of Spooner – Krejci- Backes as the season approaches.

“He’s been great on the ice, but he’s also been great off the ice,” head coach Claude Julien said when asked about Backes’ early impact on the team. “He’s talking to the young kids, helping them out. I hear him on the bench, making sure he’s talking to his linemates all the time and letting them know what’s expected. He’s a real positive influence in our dressing room.”

Backes admitted the newly formed line has potential, but also is dealing with some growing pains.

“Krejci’s so creative and smooth with the puck at times I think I crowd his area,” said Backes. “I need to get away from him and let him make a play through space. We’re learning each other, adapting to positional play. We need to talk more, talk every time we get off the ice, ‘where can I go, where can I help you out?’ [Spooner] has the assets of great speed and skill, I can use my size and Krejci has creativity and ability to distribute. We just all need to get on the same page.”

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Report: Bruins place Zac Rinaldo on waivers

10.07.16 at 2:07 pm ET
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Zac Rinaldo

Zac Rinaldo

BRIGHTON — Bruins forward Zac Rinaldo was placed on waivers, Friday according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnson. The move was certainly an expected one, as the forward was not expected to make Boston’s roster out of training camp.

Rinaldo has one more year remaining on his contract, but if he is to end up on an NHL roster, he’ll serve a five-game suspension carried over from last season. It’s unlikely he’ll be claimed, however, so he’ll probably be assigned to Providence, where he finished last season.

The Bruins were criticized for trading a 2017 third-round pick to the Flyers for Rinaldo, a fourth-line player who’s made minimal impact at the NHL level outside of suspensions. He played in 52 games for the B’s last season, getting suspended for a hit on Cedric Paquette on the same day he was waived. Upon getting to Providence, he earned a suspension in his first game with the Baby B’s.

Rinaldo would not speak to the media during training camp, but his agent expressed optimism that his situation could be better this season.

“I guess ultimately you could speculate to what might happen — there’s a number of different scenarios that could unfold — but any time that I’ve spoken to B’s management, it’s been, ‘We expect him to be here. Have a good summer, come back in here and be an important part of this club,’” Rinaldo’s agent, Todd Reynolds, told late in the summer. “That’s why they acquired him, for those reasons. It didn’t end great last year, obviously, but their hope is that that’s just a moment in time.”

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Kevan Miller returns to Bruins practice, Adam McQuaid day-to-day

10.07.16 at 12:31 pm ET
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Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller

BRIGHTON — Kevan Miller was back on the ice for the Bruins for Friday’s practice, another positive step for the defenseman after the team learned that Tuesday’s lower-body injury was just a bruise.

While Miller was on the ice, there were several absences in Seth Griffith, Jake DeBrusk, Tim Schaller, Tyler Randell, Sean Kuraly, Zac Rinaldo, Joe Morrow and Adam McQuaid.

Following practice, Claude Julien said that McQuaid is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

The lines and D pairs in practice were as follows, with all three goalies on the ice:


Ehrhoff-K. Miller
Liles-C. Miller

The Bruins will play their final preseason game Saturday against the Blue Jackets.

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Bruins pick up exhibition win over Blue Jackets

10.06.16 at 11:54 pm ET
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Matt Beleskey and Seth Griffith scored their first goals of the preseason as the Bruins picked up a 2-1 exhibition over the Blue Jackets Thursday night.

Anton Khudobin got the start for the Bruins, stopping all 11 shots he saw over a period and a half before giving way to Malcolm Subban midway through the second period. Subban made 16 saves on 17 shots, allowing just a third-period goal to Brandon Saad.

The B’s are now 3-2-1 in the preseason heading into Saturday’s finale against the Flyers. The regular season will begin next Thursday in Columbus.

Video: Anton Khudobin has a color-changing goalie mask

10.06.16 at 11:45 am ET
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BRIGHTON — Anton Khudobin didn’t recycle his old mask from 2013 when he came back to the Bruins this offseason. That’s good, because I’m 99 percent sure the last one didn’t change color depending on temperature.

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Kevan Miller being evaluated for lower-body injury

10.05.16 at 1:42 pm ET
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BRIGHTON — Kevan Miller is being evaluated by team doctors after exiting Tuesday night’s preseason game with a lower-body injury.

Miller appeared to get hit in the knee with a shot in the first period Tuesday night against the Canadiens and limped down the tunnel after exiting the ice.

The B’s kept him off the ice for Wednesday’s practice. Claude Julien stressed that the Bruins aren’t concerned that it’s a major injury, but that the team is being careful.

“Right now I would say there’s no reason to think it’s bad,” Julien said, “but again, who knows nowadays? We’re just being sure he’s evaluated. Probably by [Thursday] we’ll have a better indication on that. We’re hoping it’s minor and we’re just being extremely cautious.”

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