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Begin, Bitz and Sturm all out against Sens

01.18.10 at 12:46 pm ET
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The short-handed Bruins will be without forwards Steve Begin, Byron Bitz and Marco Sturm for their matinee clash with the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Both are out with undisclosed injuries.

The team, already without Marc Savard and Andrew Ference, could get a boost with the return of center Patrice Bergeron and defenseman Dennis Wideman.

Bergeron has been out for six games with a broken thumb while Wideman returns after an undisclosed injury.

“I think the doctors had a chat with him and he wants to give it a try,” head coach Claude Julien said pregame of Bergeron’s desire to return Monday. ”He’s been practicing now for a week.”

As for Bitz, Julien was a little more cryptic.

“Actually, it’s something new,” the coach said. “We’re a little banged up, but we’re grinding through and again, don’t make excuses.”

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Sturm won’t play against Kings

01.16.10 at 3:53 pm ET
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LOS ANGELES – Bruins leading goal scorer Marco Sturm will not play in this afternoon’s contest against the Kings. “He’s got a leg injury so he won’t be able to play,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “It’s a little bit of creeping up to the point that he’s not able to go today.” The leg injury is considered day-to-day.

The B’s are looking to have defenseman Mark Stuart and center David Krejci back for the contest. “[Stuart] is going to do the warm up, if everything goes well he should be in the lineup,” Julien said. “Krejci will also be in the warm up and if everything goes well there, he should be able to play.”

Tim Thomas will start in goal as Boston looks to close out a three-game road trip, building on a 2-1 victory in San Jose Thursday.

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Bruins rest, recover in LA

01.15.10 at 7:07 pm ET
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El SEGUNDO, Calif. – A weary Bruins squad caught up on some much needed rest Friday after a hard-fought 2-1 shootout win in San Jose Thursday. A handful of players did receive treatment and skate at the Kings practice facility.

Defenseman Mark Stuart remains hopeful to return to the lineup against the Kings Saturday after missing a month with a broken sternum.

Center David Krejci remains day-to-day with an undisclosed injury suffered Wednesday in Anaheim.

Fellow center Patrice Bergeron will not play Saturday, but he is making a steady recovery after breaking his thumb Jan. 4 in New York. Bergeron was set to be sidelined two weeks, and could be ready when the B’s return home to host Ottawa Monday afternoon.

“It’s looking good, it’s coming along a day at a time,”said Bergeron who is now able to work with the puck after initially being confined to simply skating. “It’s more of a [situation] of seeing how I feel, I’m pretty much able to do it, so it’s good.”

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Bruins shoot down Sharks

01.15.10 at 1:25 am ET
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Summary – Zdeno Chara blasted a slap shot past Evgeni Nabokov in the fourth round of a shootout, lifting the Bruins to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday (recap). Tim Thomas made 41 saves and stopped all four San Jose shooters in the shootout to help the B’s secure the victory and end a three-game losing streak. Daniel Paille scored in the second period to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead before Joe Thornton answered with a goal later in the second to draw San Jose even.

Three Stars

Tim Thomas – A rock-steady, 41-save performance by Thomas helped the Bruins pick up a big win.

Zdeno Chara – The captain went with his best mode of attack, an overpowering slap shot to score the only goal of the shootout.

Daniel Paille – With the Bruins lineup becoming more depleted by the day, the steady forward raised his game, scoring one goal and creating several other chances.

Turning Point

After a scoreless opening period, Shawn Thornton intercepted a Doug Murray clearing pass near the San Jose blue line and quickly moved the puck to Paille, whose shot ultimately deflected off the skate of Dan Boyle and into the net to give the Bruins the lead in a game in which they needed a competitive showing.

Key Play

With Dany Heatley in a position to secure the win for San Jose with the third shot in the shootout, Thomas stayed with Heatley’s back hand shot, snaring it with his glove. Chara then sent his blast past Nabokov.

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Ducks rally past Bruins

01.14.10 at 12:30 am ET
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Summary

Ryan Getzlaf and Steve Eminger scored third period goals as the Anaheim Ducks rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Bruins at Honda Center Wednesday. The Bruins entered the third period with a 3-2 lead on goals by Zdeno Chara, Matt Hunwick and Marco Sturm, but could not shutdown the Ducks attack over the final 20 minutes. Tuukka Rask stopped 28 of 32 shots for Boston, while Jonas Hiller had 27 saves for Anaheim. The B’s will continue their three-game California road trip in San Jose Thursday.

Three Stars

Bobby RyanThe Ducks second-year forward created scoring chances all game while assisting on two Anaheim goals, including the game winner.

Mark Recchi, – With all the young talent on the ice, the oldest player in the league led the Bruins offense, setting up two goals.

Jonas Hiller – Ducks goalie makes 27 saves, leading Anaheim to fifth straight win.

Turning Point

With the Bruins holding a 3-2 lead and working on a power play in the first minute of the third period, Hiller snares a David Krejci shot to keep Anaheim within a goal. A minute later, Getzlaf ties the game.

Key Play

Looking to break a 3-3 tie,  defenseman Eminger moved in from the point and was perfectly positioned to swipe in a rebound of a Ryan shot giving the Ducks the lead with 11:53 to play.

Question Mark

Defenseman Mark Stuart (sternum) is close to returning to action, but is likely to do so in LA Saturday rather than San Jose Thursday. Center Patrice Bergeron (broken thumb) is also getting closer to getting back, although Monday’s matinee against Ottawa is probably the earliest he will see game action.

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NHL Power Rankings 1/13

01.13.10 at 7:13 am ET
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The Blackhawks’ reign atop our rankings lasted just a week. Chicago may be back, but right now San Jose looks at strong as ever. We also have some movement at the bottom of the pack.

San Jose Sharks1. (3) 30-10-7 The Sharks started the week taking important division road wins in LA and Phoenix on consecutive nights, moving to the top of the rankings just before they host the Bruins Thursday.

New Jersey Devils 2. (2) 32-11-1 Nice to see Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner being named to a similar role with the U.S. Olympic hockey team.  His quiet but effective leadership sets the tone in New Jersey and will be well-served during the run for gold in Vancouver.

Chicago Blackhawks3. (1) 31-11-4 After arriving atop the rankings last week, the Blackhawks squandered a four-goal lead in a loss to Minnesota and dropped a 3-1 game at home to Anaheim. Far from impressive.

Minnesota Wild4. (4) 28-11-5 The Sabres begin a seven-game road trip in Atlanta on Thursday. The trip will include five tough games out West and could make or break hopes for securing the Northeast Division title.

Washington Capitals5. (5) 27-12-6 A 7-4 loss at Tampa Bay on Tuesday ended a three-game winning streak for the Capitals.

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Savard out 3-4 weeks with MCL tear

01.09.10 at 11:04 am ET
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The Bruins top-line center Marc Savard will be out 3-4 weeks with a Grade 2 partial MCL tear in his right knee. Savard will not require surgery. The team made the announcement this morning prior to its 1 p.m. game against the Rangers at TD Garden.

“It’s unfortunate,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Anytime you lose a player it’s an unfortunate situation. Especially we know what Savvy can bring to our hockey club but again, that’s part of the game.”

Savard suffered the injury in the opening minute of Thursday’s 5-2 loss to Chicago.

“You hear me repeating myself in that regard, but we’ll just make the best of it as far as having to grind it out a little bit more and getting those gritty wins,” Julien reiterated.

David Krejci becomes the top center on the Bruins roster, joined by the likes of Trent Whitfield and Vladimir Sobotka. Steve Begin will be moved to center from his customary left wing position.

“We felt center was our strength, with David Krejci in there, with Savvy and Bergy, and obviously even Steve Begin was the ideal centerman on the fourth line,” Julien said.

“Vladdy has done a great job of filling in that area, too. We really feel we got a couple of good guys to fill in the spot. That’s been a position of strength. We lose that and now we’ve got to adjust to that. I’m not going to tell you anything you haven’t heard before. Everybody’s got to pick up their game, everybody’s got to grind it out, and we have to find ways to win hockey games here because that’s the most important thing right now.”

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