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Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron among players sitting out Bruins practice Tuesday

04.01.14 at 11:40 am ET
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WILMINGTON – Claude Julien said he’s going to start resting players leading into the playoffs, and that started with Tuesday’s practice.

David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla were all kept off the ice Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena. Julien also sat out the skate.

After the practice, Julien said that all healthy players will travel to Detroit and Toronto for the team’s upcoming two-game road trip. Carl Soderberg may have to leave at some point, as he and his wife are expecting a child within the coming days.

Ryan Spooner, who was recalled on an emergency basis earlier in the day, was on the ice. He wore a gold second-line sweater with normal second-liners Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith. Milan Lucic, who was the only first-liner practicing Tuesday, wore gold as well.

With Eriksson out, Jordan Caron wore a grey sweater with third-liners Soderberg and Chris Kelly. The Merlot Line was the only trio with all three members present.

Bruins recall Ryan Spooner

04.01.14 at 11:16 am ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins recalled forward Ryan Spooner from Providence Tuesday morning, suggesting the team will start giving their regular forwards rest from games as soon as Wednesday against the Red Wings.

Spooner has played 22 games for the Bruins this season, most of which were spent playing on the third line when Chris Kelly was injured in December. In his 22 games, Spooner had zero goals and 11 assists for 11 points with a minus-1 rating.

In 42 games for Providence, Spooner has 10 goals and 30 assists for 40 points and a plus-11.

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Patrice Bergeron named NHL Second Star of Week

03.31.14 at 7:57 pm ET
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Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron was named the NHL‘s Second Star of the Week for the week ending on March 30.

Bergeron had five goals and one assist for six points in four games during the week. He is currently on a seven-game goal-scoring streak and has 27 goals and 29 assists this season for 56 points.

The honor marked the second consecutive week in which a Bruins player was one of three stars, as Jarome Iginla was the Third Star in the previous week.

Ottawa forward Kyle Turris was the First Star of the Week, while Blues forward T.J. Oshie was the Third Star.

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Bruins beat Flyers in shootout to extend road win streak to nine games

03.30.14 at 3:22 pm ET
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The Bruins won their ninth straight road game and increased their point streak to 16 games Sunday with a 4-3 shootout win over the Flyers.

Reilly Smith scored the winning goal in the shootout after the Flyers had come back to tie the game late in the third period.

Vincent Lecavalier scored with 25 seconds left in regulation to even the score. With Flyer goalie Steve Mason pulled, Johnny Boychuk missed on a clearing attempt in front of Tuukka Rask, with Rask going after the puck and Jakub Voracek sending it across to Lecavlier, who sent it into the open net. The play came after Loui Eriksson had failed to get the puck out of the offensive zone.

Lecavalier scored the game’s first goal on a wrist shot that sunk and fooled Tuukka Rask, but former Flyer Andrej Meszaros scored against his former club to tie it at 10:43 of the first. Meszaros was in the lineup in place of Torey Krug, who was a healthy scratch.

Philadelphia regained the lead late in the first period on a goal from Kimmo Timonen, but second-period goals from Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron gave the B’s a 3-2 lead that they would hold until Lecavalier’s goal.

Rask made a career-high 49 saves between regulation and overtime.

The Bruins will next play Wednesday in Detroit. They have seven games remaining in their regular-season schedule.


- Bergeron now has goals in seven straight games and is creeping up on his second career 30-goal season. He may not be this season’s Hart winner, but he’s going to get votes.

- When Chara cleared the puck over the glass from the defensive zone early on in a third-period Dougie Hamilton penalty, the Bruins were forced to kill a 1:47 5-on-3. The B’s used Kevan Miller and Johnny Boychuk the entire time, with Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly taking turns as the third man. Miller and Boychuk held their own as they prevented the Flyers from tying the game.

- Rask came up with a big save on Scott Hartnell on a third period breakaway. With the game 3-2, the Flyers had taken advantage of a Bruins turnover in the offensive zone turnover and had Hartnell on a break, but his backhand bid was stopped by Rask with Dougie Hamilton giving chase. He also stopped Luke Schenn on a partial break in overtime.

- Chara’s goal was his 10th power-play goal of the season, which trails only Shea Weber for tops among NHL defensemen. The tally was also his 17th of the season, which gives him a shot at tying or surpassing his career-high of 19 goals, which he scored in 2008-09 with the B’s.


- The Flyers’ game-tying goal would have never been scored were it not for a bad hand-pass call against the B’s moments earlier. Had there been no whistle, David Krejci would have scored an empty-netter.

- Brad Marchand hustles like no other, so Timonen beating him up the ice and sneaking past him wasn’t something you’ll see every day. Marchand appeared furious with himself on the bench after the goal, slamming the door on the bench and letting a word he usually saves for opponents fly.

- The Bruins are in the business of fighting players over clean hits, and that isn’t a smart move with not much more to be accomplished in the regular season. Jarome Iginla didn’t like a hit Zac Rinaldo threw on him in the first period, and the ensuing fight saw Rinaldo pound Iginla in the head multiple times. There’s nothing to be gained there, which the Bruins learned last year when Nathan Horton fought Iginla late in the season and suffered a shoulder injury that hurt him throughout the playoffs.

Bruins clinch Atlantic Division as Jarome Iginla hits 30 goals

03.29.14 at 3:07 pm ET
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The Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division Saturday with a 4-2 win over the Capitals at the Verizon Center.

Jarome Iginla had two goals in the win, making him the Bruins’ first free agent signing to ever score 30 goals in a season.

Iginla first got the B’s on the board when Carl Soderberg exited the penalty box in the second period and sent a pass ahead to Iginla, who beat Braden Holtby to make it 1-0. Later in the period, Soderberg scored his 15th goal of the season when he tipped a Patrice Bergeron shot on the power play past Holtby. Forty-one seconds later, Iginla made it 3-0.

The Capitals got a goal back in the form of a Jason Chimera tally with 10 seconds left in the second period, but Bergeron made it a three-goal lead for the Bruins again with a power-play goal in the third period. Washington scored again in the final minute, but Boston was able to hold on.

Bergeron’s extended his streak to six games with a goal and left open the possibility that he could hit 30 himself this season. Bergeron’s current total makes for the second-most he’s had in a single season, as he scored 31 goals in the 2005-06 season.

Chad Johnson picked up the win for the B’s, making 31 saves in the victory.

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Adam McQuaid isn’t skating and Claude Julien isn’t set on Bruins’ playoff defensemen

03.28.14 at 1:26 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid is still not skating, and it’s unclear when the defenseman, who was shut down three and a half weeks ago to rehab a quad strain, will be an option for the Bruins this season.

B’s coach Claude Julien said Friday that though McQuaid remains off the ice, he is doing more and more in his workouts.

“He’s being ramped up right now off-ice. He’s going in the right direction as we speak,” Julien said. “I don’t know exactly when we’re going to see him on the ice, but right now things are going well for him.”

Asked then whether he would expect to see McQuaid back on the ice before the end of the regular season (McQuaid was supposed to get back on the ice after two-to-three weeks), Julien said he didn’t know.

“I don’t know. I just change lines and I put my lineup together,” he said with a grin. “When those guys are injured they belong to somebody else. Until they tell me he’s going on the ice, I really can’t answer that.

“All I know is they’ve told me he’s doing well off the ice, and at one point they’re going to tell me ‘within a few days we’re probably going to put him on the ice.’ I’m certainly not going to hold that back. When I find out that [he's] going to go on the ice soon, I’ll certainly let you guy know.”

So, with the playoffs nearing and McQuaid still not in the picture, it becomes increasingly likely that Kevan Miller or Andrej Meszaros will stick in the lineup for the Bruins to begin the postseason. The B’s currently have eight healthy defensemen, but with all due respect to Corey Potter, there are seven players legitimately contending for spots. That number will increase to eight once McQuaid is healthy.

The B’s have rotated players in and out of their blue line since acquiring Meszaros, with Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Meszaros seeing time in the press box. Julien said his opinion of who will be in and who will be out come playoff time has yet to fully form.

“I’m not there yet. I don’t like to look too far ahead,” Julien said. “Right now I’m looking at whatever we have left in the regular [season] schedule. We’ll deal with that stuff. We always do it that way. As time comes along, you hear, you find out more things and you just deal with the situation as it comes, because you never know. You may not even have to deal with it, so I’m not going to waste time dealing with it right now.”

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Patrice Bergeron again showing he’s best two-way player in hockey

03.28.14 at 8:06 am ET
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The last time Patrice Bergeron scored 25 goals in a season, he was a 21-year-old sensation out of Quebec Junior hockey, with lots of speed, playing for a Bruins team out of the playoffs. It was the 2005-06 season and the Bruins under Mike Sullivan finished 29-37-16.

A lot has changed and evolved since.

The 28-year-old won two Olympic gold medals, one Stanley Cup, reached another Stanley Cup final, won the Selke trophy as the best defensive forward in the game.

After watching him put on a two-goal display Thursday night against the team he faced in the finals last season, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that he is in line to win another Selke Trophy this season. He finished second in the race last season and has finished in the top-5 in voting for the award in each of the last four seasons. This will be the fifth straight. As DJ Bean points out, it will be a race between Bergeron and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, who was a minus-1 in Thursday’s 3-0 Bruins win at TD Garden.

Not only did Bergeron score twice, he won 15 of 21 face-offs and helped lead a defense that shutout the highest-scoring team in the NHL for just the third time this season. He has an NHL-best plus-38, two better than when he won the Selke in 2012. The Bruins have given up just nine goals in their last nine games.

“It’€™s not something you really are always thinking about,” Bergeron said. “It is something that is part of our game as a team as a whole. We are a defense type of team and we get some offense with playing defensively sound and stuff like that. So I think we have to keep that going.”

Listen to Bergeron and you get a glimpse of what makes him so special – a two-way player who doesn’t take a shift off.

“Every shift is important,” he said. “You can’€™t really sit back or take a breather because obviously they’€™re going to turn it up against you. They’re a team that relies a lot on speed I think and their transition as well. I thought once we played a little tighter in the neutral zone and also in our fore check, it gave us some success.”

All of the above was great before but now he’s scoring at a Sidney Crosby pace, at least for the last five games, in which he has six goals, at least one goal in five straight.

“The puck’€™s going in I guess,” Bergeron said, showing his typical humility. “There’€™s not much to say about it. It’€™s just you get those chances sometimes during the year and it doesn’€™t go in and now it is. Obviously it’€™s great any time I can chip in offensively and keep my two way game, I’€™m happy with it.”

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