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Claude Julien goes with Tim Thomas, revamped lines vs. Hurricanes

11.26.10 at 11:21 am ET
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In speaking with the media prior to Friday’s noon start, Bruins coach Claude Julien said that Tim Thomas will be between the pipes when the B’s take on the Hurricanes at TD Garden.

Thomas, 36, is 11-1-1 with a 1.46 goals against average in 14 starts. He leads the league with a .955 save percentage and is tied for the league lead with four shutouts. He most recently made 31 saves in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Panthers in Florida on Wednesday.

Julien also said the the lines “will be kind of the same” as they were in the third period of Wednesday’s game. With the team trailing, 1-0, in the third period, Julien reunited the Blake Wheeler - David Krejci - Michael Ryder line of years past, sticking Patrice Bergeron between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. Gregory Campbell centered Jordan Caron and Mark Recchi, while Tyler Seguin returned to center on a line with Brad Marchand and Shawn Thornton.

In warmups, however, it was Daniel Paille skating with Seguin and Thornton, with Marchand jumping up to Campbell’s line. Caron was not on the ice, an indication he could be a healthy scratch for the first time since the season-opener on Oct. 9 in Prague.

Read More: Jordan Caron, Tim Thomas, Tyler Seguin,

Bruins defeat Panthers with strong third period

11.24.10 at 10:00 pm ET
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Mark Recchi had a pair of goals and Tim Thomas picked up his 11th win on Wednesday in a 3-1 Bruins win over the Panthers in Florida.

It was yet another game in which the B’s had to fight back in the third period, as they entered the period trailing, 1-0, before they got a shorthanded tally from Brad Marchand and a two goals from Mark Recchi.

The Panthers got their lone goal from Steve Reinprecht in the second period. Aside from that, Thomas was sound once again, stopping the other 31 shots he saw. Tomas Vokoun allowed three goals on 35 shots.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Brad Marchand, sheikh of the shorthanded goal. After Vokoun misplayed a puck behind the net and sent it in front of an unoccupied goal, Brad Marchand raced to it and chipped it in, picking up his second shorthanded goal and third goal of his career.

– With Recchi’s second goal, the Bruins are now a — brace yourself — plus-17 in the third period, which is of course tops in the league (the Capitals, at plus-11 are second in the league). Something just happens to this Bruins team in the third period, especially when they’re trailing.

– Recchi reached yet another milestone as his goal was the 1500th point of his career. He’s 13th all-time.

– The third-period shaking up of the lines seemed to work, though Recchi’s first goal came from Krejci. Here’s how they looked after the changes:

Wheeler – Krejci – Ryder

Lucic – Bergeron – Horton

Caron – Campbell – Recchi

Marchand – Seguin – Thornton

– The Bruins were essentially handed the dagger to put in Florida’s heart when Radek Dvorak flipped the puck into the stands from his own end early on in a Michal Repik penalty. The result was a 5-on-3 on which Recchi scored his second goal.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

Dennis Wideman was instrumental in setting up the Panther’s first goal. The former Bruin faked out Jordan Caron at the point and slid it over to Michal Repek, whose shot’s rebound found its way to Reinprecht.

– Anyone with access to twitter, (or, at times, the Big Bad Blog) can see that Panthers fans are irate that their old dog in Nathan Horton came to Boston and became a star. Luckily for those Panther fans, they didn’t see Horton do much as their opponent on Wednesday night. Horton had two shots on goal, following up a dismal showing against Tampa by disappearing for most of the night at BankAtlantic Center.

Horton, like others, picked it up in the third period, but the Bruins have seen far better from him.

– It was the third consecutive game in which the Bruins were trailing entering the third period. They’re 1-1-1 in that span.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Mark Recchi, Tim Thomas,

Bruins trail Panthers after two

11.24.10 at 9:07 pm ET
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Steve Reinprecht has the Panthers leading the Bruins, 1-0, thanks to an even strength goal. The Panthers outshot the B’s. 14-8, in the period and now hold a 26-19 lead in the shots on goal category.

Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic both saw time in the bin for the Bruins’ with Lucic getting call for hooking with less than a minute remaining in the period. The Panthers will begin the third period with a one-minute man advantage.

Through two periods, Tyler Seguin, Michael Ryder, and Jordan Caron are the only Bruins forwards with two shots on goal.

Bruins, Panthers scoreless after one

11.24.10 at 8:13 pm ET
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The Panthers have outshot the Bruins, 12-11, but after a period the two teams are scoreless in Florida.

Tim Thomas came up big at 12:42, stopping Shawn Matthias on a 2-on-1 created by a Mark Stuart miscue. He later robbed Dennis Wideman on a one-timer from Mike Santorelli with over three minutes remaining.

– You could count the Bruins’ shots on Vokoun in their lone power play on zero hands, even though Nathan Horton seemed destined for his ninth goal of the season until his shot from the top of the circle went wide. The Bruins were on the power play thanks to an iffy tripping call on Wideman.

Blake Wheeler had the best opportunity of the period, stealing the puck from Dmitry Kulikov by the blue line in the offensive zone and setting up Michael Ryder. He also fed Ryder in the final two minutes, with Vokoun stopping Ryder’s slap shot. The plays didn’t result in any changes to the score, though they were further examples of Wheeler’s solid play of late.

Gregory Campbell to donate pies to homeless on Thanksgiving

11.24.10 at 5:19 pm ET
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The Bruins announced on Wednesday that forward Gregory Campbell will spend Thanksgiving personally delivering $2000 worth of pies to homeless shelters across Boston. Campbell will purchase 400 pies from Mike’s Pastry in the North End and hit up the shelters from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Campbell, who prides himself on being an honest player on the ice, will stop at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, the St. Francis House, and the Pine Street Inn. He’ll also donate pies to the Boston Rescue Mission, Haley House, Boston Family Shelter, Home for Little Wonderers, Boston Ronald McDonald House, Temporary Home for Women and Children, Yawkey Family Inn, Rosie’s Place and Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Campbell came to the Bruins in the trade that brought Nathan Horton to Boston in June. He has two points and three assists, as well as an even rating in 19 games this season.

Read More: Gregory Campbell,

Mike Milbury on D&H: ‘It’s a wide-open league right now’

11.24.10 at 1:07 pm ET
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NESN and NBC Sports hockey analyst Mike Milbury made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday. The Bruins are coming off a loss to the Lightning on Monday in which they got off to a slow start and fell 3-1. “It’s a tough league, and if you’re not ready to play, you’re going to get beat,” he said. “And the Bruins clearly weren’t ready to play against Tampa. They looked as bad as they’ve looked all year.”

Added Milbury: “Maybe they’re looking ahead. It’s Florida, that’s one thing. Maybe they went golfing, maybe it was a nice day, maybe too many good-looking chicks on the street in Tampa. I don’t know. But it’s a constant challenge. It’s the art form of coaching, for me, to make sure that your team is read to go. And I think Claude Julien does by and large a real good job of that. But this time, for whatever combinations of reasons, it slipped.”

Milbury was asked if the Bruins are capable of winning the Stanley Cup this season. “It’s a wide-open league right now,” he said. “I think Chicago’s dismantling was an invitation to everybody that was close to pick it up a little, because it’s there. ‘€¦ I think it’s a pretty wide-open horse race. I think they do have the pieces.

“I’d like to see them add a defenseman,” Milbury continued. “I’d like to see them add a defenseman who can generate offense from the point, because they don’t have that right now, or the guys that they have aren’t giving that right now. And I’d also like to see them with a full roster for a little while before I make that assessment. But I think everybody would agree that when [Marco] Sturm comes back and [Marc] Savard comes back, they’re a better team for it. It’s going to cause some shuffling of lines and some disruption and that may take a little while to settle down. But when it’s all said and done, they’re two pretty good players. And any time you can put good players in the lineup, you’re going to get better. The goaltending has been outstanding.

“Yeah, I have to agree with Dale that they have the stuff to get there. I’m not calling them the odds-on favorite, but if it all comes together at the right time, they have a a chance. No question.”

Milbury reminisced about one-time Bruins coach Pat Burns, who died last week at the age of 58 after a lengthy battle with cancer, and said Burns should have been elected to the Hall of Fame this year.

“It was a shame that there wasn’t common sense going around in plenty at the meeting of the Hall of Fame selection committee,” he said. “Everybody knew Pat was not well and time was running short. ‘€¦ Wouldn’t somebody just stand up and say, ‘Come on, guys. He’s going in the Hall of Fame. He’s dying. Let’s get him in before he goes. Let’s have him has his day in the sun so he can really relish it.’ They missed the boat on that. And I don’t get it. I just don’t get why somebody who is that qualified to be in the Hall of Fame ‘€” and I think he is, and almost everybody I talk to feels the same way ‘€” and I just don’t get why they wouldn’t have honored him under these circumstances.”

Read More: Marc Savard, Marco Sturm, Mike Milbury, Pat Burns

Tim Thomas, Bruins to take on Panthers Wednesday night

11.24.10 at 12:37 pm ET
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Tim Thomas was the first to leave the ice at the Bruins’ morning skate on Wednesday, indicating he will likely be between the pipes when the B’s take on the Panthers in Florida on Wednesday night. The Panthers will counter with Tomas Vokoun.

The Panthers were in town last Friday, with the Bruins taking a 4-0 game behind a shutout from Tuukka Rask and a hat trick from Milan Lucic.

The Bruins are second in the Northeast Division with 24 points, the Panthers’ 18 points are fifth in the Southeast and third from worst in the conference.

WHERE IT’S AT

– The Bruins are 7-2-0 on the road this season, dropping their most recent away game on Monday in Tampa, 3-1, and splitting their last four away from TD Garden.

– The Panthers are 5-3-0 at BankAtlantic Center and have won three of their last four home games.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

– Three. That’s how many goals Lucic had against the Panthers last Friday and how many assists former Panther Nathan Horton had. It was Horton’s first regular-season game against his old club (for more on Horton and how he felt about playing for the Panthers, click here.)

– The Panthers have allowed nearly the same average of goals per game at home (2.50) as they have on the road (2.54).

– The Panthers are 17th in the league in goals per game with 2.7. Center Mike Santorelli leads them with six goals in 19 games. The Bruins, meanwhile, have scored 2.9 goals per game (15th in the league) and are led by Lucic with 10.

STORYLINES GOING IN

– Comparing how a team plays vs. the Lightning to how they fare against the Panthers won’t lead one to rock-solid conclusions, but it will be interesting to see if the team’s heavy practice on Tuesday got them in gear to play a full 60 minutes. It was the same old story on Monday, as they came out flat for two periods before turning it up in the third period (15 shots through two periods, 12 in the third).

– The Bruins score over a goal per game more in front of Thomas than they do in front of Tuukka Rask. They score a whopping 3.23 goals per game in front of Thomas, with Rask getting just 2.21 goals of support a night.

– It’s been a week since the Bruins allowed an opponent to score a power play goal, so here’s the reminder of how dominant the penalty kill has been. The B’s 90.3 penalty kill percentage is second only to Montreal’s 90.8.

Read More: Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Tim Thomas,
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