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5 things we learned as Bruins blow out Blackhawks to end losing streak

02.22.15 at 6:15 pm ET
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The Bruins finished a horrid five-game road trip with their only victory of the stretch, but at least it was a blowout.

Playing in their first game since David Krejci suffered an undisclosed injury Friday, the Bruins scored half a dozen goals — the fourth of which chased Corey Crawford — as they earned a 6-2 victory over the Blackhawks (box). The win gave the Bruins just four points of a possible 10 in the five-game trip (1-2-2). It also snapped a six-game losing streak (0-4-2).

Boston got goals from Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Milan Lucic, Gregory Campbell, Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith. Bergeron’s first period goal put him in a tie with linemate Brad Marchand for the team lead.

The victory keeps the Bruins (28-21-9) three points ahead of the Panthers (26-20-12) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Here are four more things we learned Sunday.

BRUINS (FORCED TO) SHOW FAITH IN SPOONER

Claude Julien gave Ryan Spooner a lot of responsibility and displayed a lot of patience with the center in Spooner’s first NHL game since October.

Julien skated Spooner with Krejci’s usual linemates in Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak and put him in Krejci’s place on Boston’s first power play unit. Spooner had a brutal turnover on a first-period power play when he entered the zone, pulled up and sent a pass intended for Torey Krug into the neutral zone that Versteeg took for a breakaway that Rask stopped. Spooner responded by facilitating a Loui Eriksson goal moments later and added an assist on Milan Lucic‘s second period goal for his first assist of the season.

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Sunday Skate Live Chat

02.22.15 at 6:50 am ET
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Have the Bruins’ recent injuries done them in? Are Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien‘s jobs in danger? Discuss all things Bruins with Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean and Joe McDonald during the Sunday Skate live chat. To listen to the show, click here.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat
 

5 things we learned: David Krejci injured, Malcolm Subban pulled and Bruins could be toast

02.20.15 at 10:37 pm ET
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Both Malcolm Subban and David Krejci left Friday’€™s game in the second period. Subban’€™s night was disappointing. Krejci’€™s could end up being the final nail in the coffin for the 2014-15 Bruins.

Krejci left the ice and needed help down the tunnel after colliding with Alexander Steen at the blue line in the second period. He did not return to the game. His injury appeared to be of the lower-body variety.

The injury came amidst a three-goal stretch for St. Louis to open the period and chase Subban, who was making his NHL debut, from the game. Subban was brought back into the game in the final minutes of the third period with the Blues holding a 5-1 lead, which would stand as the game’€™s final score (box).

Should Krejci’€™s injury cost him significant time, this season is toast for the Bruins. If it costs him any time, Boston’€™s chances of piecing things together and holding down a playoff spot (they have just a one-point lead over the Panthers for the last Wild Card spot; Florida has a game in hand) still take a big hit.

In losing Friday’€™s game, the Bruins have lost the first four games of their current road trip. They have lost six straight games (0-2-4).

Here are four more things we learned Friday.

SUBBAN’€™S GLOVE DOESN’€™T CUT IT

Subban faced only three shots in the first period. He let the next three in.

Whether as a result of rookie jitters, the fact that he was a 21-year-old goalie playing in an NHL game or anything else, Subban struggled mightily with his glove. Petteri Lindbohm’€™s slapshot in the first minute of the second period went off Subban’€™s glove and in, while Alex Pietrangelo’€™s shot from the left circle snuck under the netminder’€™s glove. T.J. Oshie beat Subban glove-side high from a tough angle less than a minute after Pietrangelo’€™s goal, giving the Blue three goals on three shots in 4:21.

Subban was not happy as he left the game, slamming his stick down as he reached the bench.

NO REST FOR RASK

Tuukka Rask didn’€™t look much happier as he got ready to take the ice following St. Louis’€™ third goal. Rask tossed a chair down the tunnel, looking more dejected than angry as he did so.

With Friday’€™s game, Rask has now played in 16 straight games and 25 of the Bruins’€™ last 26. He allowed a pair of goals, the first of which was on a St. Louis power play and the second of which came on a 2-on-1.

This is not good for the Bruins. It would be one thing if the Bruins had to ride Rask to victories while they worked things out solidified their postseason position. Yet by playing Rask and playing as poorly in front of him as they have, they’€™re both wearing down their No. 1 goalie and making the possibility of missing the playoffs very realistic.

FIRST PERIOD NOT ENOUGH

The Bruins played a strong first period, which despite their struggles this season shouldn’€™t have come as a huge surprise given that they’€™ve played well against the Blues in recent seasons.

Part of that was probably the fact that Subban was in net. When a team knows that it doesn’€™t have a sure thing like Rask behind them, it naturally tends to tighten up and limit chances. That was the case when they held St. Louis without a shot until 12:14 into the period. The B’s took a 1-0 lead into the intermission thanks to a Brad Marchand goal, but things unraveled quickly.

CHARA BACK TO POINT

The Bruins only got one power play in Wednesday’€™s loss and they scored on it. A new-look first unit played about a minute and a half and scored, so the second unit was not revealed.

That finally happened Friday, and the changes included Zdeno Chara moving back to the point after playing in front of the net since the beginning of last season. Chara and Reilly Smith manned the points on the second unit, with Milan Lucic, David Pastrnak and Carl Soderberg up front.

The first unit remained Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton, Patrice Bergeron, Krejci and Loui Eriksson.

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Source: Bruins’ Kevan Miller to have season-ending shoulder surgery

02.20.15 at 5:16 pm ET
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Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller

Kevan Miller will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery, a source confirmed to WEEI.com Friday. The news was first reported by Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.

Miller re-injured his right shoulder in Monday’€™s loss to the Flames. The shoulder was originally injured in a fight against Sabres forward Nicolas Deslauriers on Oct. 18. He missed 13 games before returning on Nov. 21.

Earlier this month, Miller admitted that he had been advised against fighting again this season by doctors. He also said he expected to have surgery in the offseason.

The Bruins had been using Miller as a third-pairing defenseman, and his loss further weakens a blue line that has seen Zdeno Chara return from a torn PCL injury and Dennis Seidenberg struggle in top-four minutes.

In 41 games this season, Miller had two goals and five assists for seven points and a team-leading plus-20 rating.

The Bruins have not recalled a defenseman and currently have six healthy blueliners. Zach Trotman is the most likely candidate to replace Miller given that he is a right shot, but Joe Morrow, currently working his way back from a knee injury, could be brought up when healthy if the B’s play their versatile left-shot defensemen (Seidenberg, Torey Krug) on the right side.

Miller’s injury could also accelerate a potential trade for a defenseman. The trade deadline is March 2.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Malcolm Subban, Brian Ferlin to make NHL debuts, Daniel Paille to sit amidst Bruins’ lineup shuffle

02.20.15 at 1:27 pm ET
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Malcolm Subban

Malcolm Subban

Malcolm Subban reportedly was the first goaltender off the ice in Friday’€™s morning skate, indicating the 2012 first-round pick will make his NHL debut against the Blues. Right wing Brian Ferlin also will make his NHL debut.

Subban, who is in his second recall of the season, spent a four-game stretch with the B’€™s earlier this month but did not play. He was recalled again this week, with the B’€™s opting against starting him Wednesday against the Oilers. Despite starting Tuukka Rask in the game, the B’€™s still lost to Edmonton in a shootout.

Should Subban play the entire game Friday, it will break up a stretch of 15 straight games played for Rask, who has also played in 24 of the Bruins’€™ last 25 games.

Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters that both Ferlin and Jordan Caron will play Friday. Both players took line rushes with Gregory Campbell on the fourth line in morning skate, according to the Boston Herald. As such, Daniel Paille and Craig Cunningham will be healthy scratches.

According to Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald, the lines in morning skate were as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Pastrnak
Marchand-Bergeron-Smith
Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson
Caron-Campbell-Ferlin

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins place Kevan Miller on IR, recall Brian Ferlin from Providence

02.19.15 at 6:54 pm ET
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The Bruins recalled forward forward Brian Ferlin from Providence and placed defenseman Kevan Miller on injured reserve.

The news of Miller being on injured reserve should come as no surprise, as the team said this week that he would not play the rest of the Bruins’€™ current road trip after re-injuring his right shoulder on Monday night. The Bruins’€™ next game after the road trip is Tuesday against Vancouver, so if Miller is healthy by then he would be eligible to come off IR, which lasts a minimum of seven days from the injury.

Though he began the season technically on the roster so the Bruins could maximize potential cap space going forward, this is the first actual recall of Ferlin’€™s career. A two-way forward from Jacksonville who played his college hockey at Cornell, the 22-year-old has nine goals and seven assists for 16 points in 46 games this season.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Pierre McGuire on MFB: ‘Pressure is just amped up unbelievable’ with Bruins right now

02.19.15 at 2:11 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire made his weekly appearance Thursday on Middays with MFB to talk about the struggling Bruins. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Bruins lost in a shootout to the Oilers on Wednesday night, which was their fifth straight loss overall, and sixth in their last seven games. McGuire noted the loss to the struggling Oilers was a bad loss, and the pressure has been raised a great deal with the team as the trade deadline approaches.

“I am not going to change because I really like this team. I like major components of this team, but there were a few things last night,” McGuire said. “No. 1, they did all the changes they needed to change in order to try and be competitive in that game. Secondly, they had a terrible start, which doesn’t speak well to some of the commitment of some of the players on that team. And the third thing is they did go with their perceived best goalie and probably is their best goalie in Tuukka Rask and weren’t able to get the job done.

“That is a huge point in the standings. It’s a huge, huge point. If you look at the rest of the road trip — they are in St. Louis and they are in Chicago — two very difficult places to play. This has a chance to be 0-5 on the trip. That is not where you wanted to be, especially with their run through Alberta. This is going to be really interesting to watch the Bruins because I got to believe the pressure is just amped up unbelievable.”

With the way things are in the standings, currently sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, there is no wiggle room for the Bruins.

“They are up against it, no question,” said McGuire. “I think this is going to be, especially when you consider Cam Neely’s words to Kevin Paul DuPont. Those were strong words. Those were coming from ownership. Those were coming from a man that is fully vested in the team and helped put the team together. You have to think this is a real difficult situation for Peter Chiarelli and for the Bruins hierarchy to figure out because the cap wise they are in trouble. That is the reason why they traded Johnny Boychuk this year. Now some people could say revision is history.

“‘Hey, they should have kept Boychuk and just played it out at the end of the year, and why didn’t they keep Jarome Iginla and his 30 goals?’ There are going to be a lot of second guessers here. I still think the team is good enough to make the playoffs and have a run, but I do think they need to do something before they get to the trade deadline on March 2. What that is, I don’t know. I don’t know how they are going to pull it off.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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