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Claude Julien: Bruins need to freshen up

11.11.10 at 11:56 pm ET
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Bruins head coach Claude Julien admitted that his team didn’t have fresh legs against Montreal, one night after scoring five goals in the third period of a 7-4 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

Former Boston College and New Jersey Devils star Brian Gionta scored the go-ahead goal on the power play just 29 seconds into the third period as the Canadiens beat Tuukka Rask and the Bruins, 3-1, Thursday night at TD Garden. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara took an interference penalty in the final eight seconds of the second period to give the Canadiens the man-advantage to start the third.

On Wednesday in Pittsburgh, the Bruins trailed, 4-2, heading into the final period. This night, the Bruins were tied but had no jump in the final 20 minutes and it showed.

“Probably the first half of the first period, we were fine,” Julien said. “I think what happened tonight was totally different. We just, we ran out of legs. We just didn’€™t have the legs and progressively our game got worse. We looked more and more tired and got a fresh team waiting for you here at home in a divisional game.

“It’€™s a big game, they’€™re ready for us,” Julien said of the Canadiens. “I’€™m going to stand here and say our guys really wanted it bad enough, but when you don’€™t have your legs, the rest of your game kind of falls apart as well. A big part of your game looked bad. That’€™s what it is. You can try and push your players all you want, but if they don’€™t have the legs, they don’€™t have the legs. So that, to me, is what I saw happening tonight. You got a couple of tough penalties that we took, put us in trouble as well. And you know, sometimes when you’€™re tired, not only your legs, but your mind maybe doesn’€™t work as well.”

The Canadiens scored their first two goals on the power play and got an insurance tally from Scott Gomez midway through the third as the visitors peppered Rask with 41 shots on the night. Chara took a perfect pass from Milan Lucic and scored the only goal for the Bruins at 15:49 of the first to tie the game. It was his fourth of the season.

Rask, who was making his fourth start, remains winless this season with a record of 0-4-1. The win gave the Canadiens 21 points, four more than the second-place Bruins in the Northeast Division.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Claude Julien, Montreal Canadiens, NHL

Bruins fall to Canadiens, 3-1

11.11.10 at 9:37 pm ET
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The Bruins had plenty of momentum entering Thursday’s tilt with the rival Canadiens, but it wasn’t enough to propel them past the Habs in a 3-1 loss.

Carey Price was sensational for Montreal, allowing just a first-period goal to Zdeno Chara and stopping the rest of the 35 shots he faced. Tuukka Rask allowed three goals on 41 shots, including former Boston College star and current Canadiens captain Brian Gionta’s third of the year.

The two teams entreated the third period tied at one goal apiece, but the B’s were unable to flash the type of offense that yielded them five goals in the third a night before in Pittsburgh.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Given the rivalry, it was expected to be a physical game, but the Bruins generally seemed to get the short end of the stick when the penalties were handed out.

Tyler Seguin was called for a phantom trip in the first period on a play in which Travis Moen’s dive appeared to be rather apparent. In the second period, a scrum featuring multiple members of each squad yielded roughing calls for Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell, while Andrei Markov was the only one to head to the bin for the Habs.

The good news regarding penalties is that the Canadiens, who have been able to draw some iffy penalties in their time against the B’s, saw the other shoe drop when Maxim Lapierre was called for a dive in the second period.

- The best penalty kill in the league going against the worst power play in the league should generally achieve better results than the Bruins did on Thursday.

The Habs entered the contest with just four power play goals, and the B’s had killed off 90.9 of their penalties. That changed rather quickie, as Montreal was able to go 2-for-5 on the power play. It was the first game in which the B’s allowed multiple power play goals.

- Though they weren’t as heavily penalized as the Habs, the Bruins still had their chances on the power play. A night after going 1-for-3 on the man advantage in their come-from-behind victory over the Penguins, the B’s went 0-for-4 on the power play.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins, for the second straight night, were able to answer in the first period after falling behind, 1-0. Following a power play goal by P.K. Subban, Zdeno Chara notched the equalizer for the B’s at 15:49 of the first.

- Milan Lucic picked up an assist on Chara’s goal and now has six points in his last seven games and 12 points this season. If healthy, he appears a safe bet to surpass his career 45 points in the 2008-09 season.

- Patrice Bergeron is continuing to produce following a bit of a slow start to the season. He has been a point-a-night player over the last seven games and has nine on the season.

Bruins, Canadiens remain tied at 1 after two periods

11.11.10 at 8:47 pm ET
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The Bruins couldn’t beat Carey Price in the second, so those on hand at the Garden had to put their positive energy towards celebrating a no-goal call against the Canadiens.

Jeff Halpern put a Benoit Pouliot rebound past Tuukka Rask, but replay confirmed that there was a kicking motion on the play, as the puck did not touch Halpern’s stick and only went off his skate.

After two periods, the shots are tied at 26 apiece.
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The calls kept coming in the second period. Four seconds after jumping out of the box for roughing, Shawn Thornton was back in the bin for interference, as he held up Roman Hamerlik at the blue line. The penalty negated an abbreviated power play for the B’s, as Andrei Kostitsyn had gone off for an elbow on Mark Stuart. Gregory Campbell (roughing, 7:38) and Zdeno Chara (interference, 19:52) also went off in the second.

Bruins, Canadiens tied after one

11.11.10 at 7:50 pm ET
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When it seemed the Bruins were served a dose of injustice, it was the captain who helped right the ship in Boston.

Tyler Seguin was slapped with a tripping minor at 5:00 after he lost his stick in the corner and Travis Moen achieved terrible but productive acting by channeling his inner Emile Hirsch. Nineteen seconds into the Habs’ power play, P.K. Subban picked up his first career goal by beating Tuukka Rask.

Zdeno Chara evened it up for the B’s, beating Carey Price from the top of the circle on a play orchestrated by Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron.

The Habs outshot the Bruins, 16-13, in the period.

Bruins/Canadiens Preview, 11/11

11.11.10 at 11:33 am ET
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The Bruins likely have a ton of positive energy following a five-goal third period that propelled them to a 7-4 come-from-behind victory over the Penguins in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. They return home to face the Canadiens for the first time this season on Thursday.

UPDATE [6:04 p.m.]: It appears that Claude Julien said during his session with French-speaking reporters that Tuukka Rask will be in net for the B’s.

Here’s everything you need to know going in.

WHERE IT’S AT

- The Bruins are a modest 2-2-1 as the home team this season (they were the home team in the season-opening 5-2 loss against the Coyotes in Prague).

The Habs are 5-2-0 on the road, with their most recent road loss coming last Tuesday, a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Blue Jackets in Columbus.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

- After scoring in the third period of the Bruins’ victory in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, Nathan Horton now has 149 career goals. He can go for No. 150 against the Habs on Thursday night in front of the home crowd.

- The Bruins have averaged 2.2 goals this season in the third period when entering the period trailing.

- The Canadiens have the worst power play in the league, scoring on just 7.8 percent of their power plays.

- The Bruins have had back-to-back games just twice this season. They are 1-0-1, beating the Coyotes on Oct. 10 in Prague and losing in a shootout to the Blues on Saturday.

- After playing a career-high 17:22 giants the Sabres last Wednesday, Tyler Seguin has played 12:21, 9:49, and 12:32 in three games since. He is averaging 13:06 of ice time each night, and after assisting Mark Recchis goal, he has six points on the season (3 G, 3A). Seguin is on pace for a 21-goal, 21-assist campaign.

- While we’re extrapolating stats, seven Bruins are on pace to score at least 20 goals this season: Horton, Milan Lucic, Michael Ryder, Zdeno Chara, Shawn Thornton (!), Jordan Caron, and Seguin. Remember, Marco Sturm was the only Bruin to score 20 last year, as he led the B’s with 22.

STORYLINES GOING IN

- Former Boston College star and current Canadiens captain Brian Gionta has had a rough start to the season, but things are starting to look up. After having just three points through the team’s first 12 games, Gionta has a goal and an assist over the last two games.

- Carey Price has been a rock in net for the Habs, softening the blow of just how good Jaroslav Halak has been (1.79 GAA, .932 save percentage). In 14 starts, Price has gone 8-5-1 with a 2.28 GAA and a .918 save percentage.

Price is coming off a shutout against the Canucks on Tuesday, but has allowed three goals in three of his last five starts, all three of which the Habs lost.

Read More: Carey Price, Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin,

Tyler Seguin announced as new Dunkin Donuts spokesperson

11.11.10 at 10:30 am ET
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If you enjoy Tyler Seguin introducing the Dunkin’ Donuts high energy play of the game each night, the news has only gotten better.

Dunkin’ Donuts announced on Thursday that it has signed Seguin as a company spokesperson. Seguin will continue to star in “Caught Cold” commercials, in which he surprises people drinking iced coffee with B’s tickets, merchandise, and Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards.

‘€œWe’€™re excited to have a rising young star like Tyler represent our brand,’€ said Tom Manchester, Dunkin’€™ Donuts director of sports marketing. ‘€œWe’€™ve had a great, long-term partnership with the Bruins, and Tyler will be a great addition to that relationship, and play a significant role in helping us reward our loyal customers with the opportunity to experience Boston Bruins hockey through the ‘€˜Caught Cold’€™ campaign.’€

Dunkin’ Donuts had also recently signed Ray Allen of the Celtics in the same role, as he will also star in the commercials.

Bruins score five unanswered goals in win over Penguins

11.10.10 at 9:36 pm ET
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The Bruins scored five unanswered goals in the third period, propelling them to an impressive 7-4 road victory over the Penguins on Wednesday.

With the Bruins trailing, 4-2, after two periods, Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara scored within 15 seconds of one another. Shawn Thornton, who had just one goal last season, scored his third of the year to give the B’s their first lead of the game, and Blake Wheeler scored one of the more impressive goals of the season, taking a Mark Recchi pass in front of the net and beating Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson as he was losing his balance. Milan Lucic added an empty netter.

Tim Thomas allowed four goals on the night, the most he has allowed on the season. With the victory, he improved to 8-0-0 on the season, the best start ever for a Bruins goalie.

It was the B’s first time visiting Pittsburgh since March 7, the day that Matt Cooke changed Marc Savard‘s career with his blindside hit to the center’s head. Though the Bruins didn’t muster much in their lone rematch with the Penguins last season, they seemingly sent a big message on Wednesday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- This section is going to be fourth-line heavy, so be prepared.

Start with Thornton, who has scored key third period goals in two of the B’s last three games. For a guy who totaled one goal a season ago, it’s becoming less amusing and more remarkable that the fourth-line winger, whom many assumed did his work for the night by fighting Eric Godard in the first period, could play as big a role as he has.

- Who had Brad Marchand having one point less than Tyler Seguin (in a good way) through 12 games? Anyone? Annoying Bueller cliche?

Marchand now has six points — a pair of goals and four assists — on the season, with his top-shelf wrist-shot goal in the first period bringing him his latest point. It was also the latest example that the line behind the third line on the depth chart had best not be referred to as a fourth line, as Claude Julien and the three players will tell you.

- Everything came in waves on Wednesday night. First, fights (two in two seconds in the first periods) and then goals. Chara tied up the game in the third just 15 seconds after Horton’s goal, quickly bringing the Bruins from crawling their way back to overcoming their second multi-goal deficit in the third period in three games.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- You’ve got to think the streak of dominance is over for one Tim Thomas… for now. After allowing multiple goals just once in his first seven games (7-0-0), Thomas has allowed at least three goals in each of his last two starts.

Thomas did come up big when Tyler Kennedy and Cooke came in on a 2-on-1 on Dennis Seidenberg. Kennedy helped Thomas’ cause by sticking it right in the chest of the B’s netminder, but that’s neither here nor there.

Given that Thomas has come back to Earth, combined with the fact that the Bruins have games on Thursday and Saturday, it wouldn’t be outrageous to think that a double-dose of Tuukka Time could be in order for the B’s for the first time this season.

- Arron Asham was a thorn in the B’s side throughout the night. He scored Pittsburgh’s first goal, sent Milan Lucic into the Penguins’ bench, and helped ignite the Penguins’ second-period outburst, as the Penguins scored their third and fourth goals following the tussle.

- Sidney Crosby happened, all over the Bruins. His three points in the first two periods had a lot to do with why the B’s were trailing by a pair of goals entering the third period. His goal, which came late in the second, was actually a pass intended for Malkin that bounced off Thomas and in.

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