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Video: Bruins players react to Game 4 loss vs. Senators

04.20.17 at 1:58 pm ET
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The Bruins fell into a 3-1 series hole with a 1-0 loss in Game 4 at TD Garden. We got reaction from Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Brad Marchand and more. Watch below. (Video courtesy Josh Dolan.)

Untimely penalties have become costly trend for Bruins vs. Senators

04.20.17 at 8:22 am ET
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Bruce Cassidy's team has made a habit of taking penalties at bad times. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bruce Cassidy’s team has made a habit of taking penalties at bad times. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

For the third game in a row, an untimely penalty was costly for the Bruins.

A too-many-men penalty with 4:10 remaining in the third period forced the Bruins to have to kill time while trailing 1-0, and they then struggled to set their offense in the final two minutes. The Bruins had a 13-minute stretch without a shot on goal, and finished with just 22 overall and never could get into a rhythm late.

“It was a little harder to create some [chances],” said Patrice Bergeron. “Once they got that goal they were closing us a little bit more and we have got to find ways to put pucks in deep and go back to what we’ve been doing earlier in that game.”

That call at the end of the game comes on the heels of a Riley Nash penalty in overtime during Game 3 and a Zdeno Chara delay of game call in Game 2 that led directly to Senators goals that won those contests.

In Game 4, the Bruins penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3, but that doesn’t hide the fact that untimely penalties have been problematic.

Every game in the series has been decided by one goal, all the more reason for discipline to be at the forefront.

“Usually games are very tight,” Chara said. “Some of the games could have went our way but they didn’t and we can’t be blaming that or be frustrated, we need to keep our heads up and get ready for the next one.”

Especially on a shortened roster, where two defensemen in Charlie McAvoy and Joe Morrow saw little-to-no time all season, those man-down situations wear out the defense.

“I thought what we’ve asked our defensemen to do, I think they’ve done a pretty good job for guys that got thrown into the situation,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “But, part of what we talk about for our guys is to own your moments. You’re getting an opportunity, and one that you probably wanted more of during the year. So, you’re asking a lot. But, by the same token, that’s what’s in front of them.”

The first penalty of the contest was on Kevan Miller in the opening frame, and with he and Chara the only remaining blueliners who were regular penalty killers all season, that proves even more costly.

On the other end, the Bruins also haven’t been able to get calls their way.

“Our power play through the course of the year has generated offense,” said Cassidy. “We haven’t drawn enough penalties too. So, we’ve got to look at ourselves there and say, how can we get on the power play and get inside more often, force them to pull you down a little bit.”

The Bruins have a chance to extend the series to a Game 6 on Garden ice if they can win on Friday in Ottawa, but with an offense that has struggled to put the puck in the net, continuing to give away opportunities could burn them.

Bruins winger Frank Vatrano leaves TD Garden in walking boot

04.20.17 at 1:01 am ET
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Frank Vatrano left TD Garden wearing a walking boot. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Bruins winger Frank Vatrano left TD Garden wearing a walking boot. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Battered long before the start of their first round series with the Senators, the Bruins are an injured mess. And their health situation may have gotten even worse following Game 4’s 1-0 loss.

Following a somber locker room media session led by many of the club’s leaders, Bruins winger Frank Vatrano made his way out of the arena wearing a suit, but also sported a walking boot.

It’s hard to see exactly what could have bothered Vatrano, who finished Game 4 with one shot on goal, three hits, and a minus-1 rating in 9:59 of time on ice on a line with Ryan Spooner and Drew Stafford.

The potential loss of Vatrano, who scored 10 goals and 18 points in 44 games for the B’s this season, would simply add another hobbling body to an injury squad headlined by the club’s top four defense corps in Brandon Carlo (upper-body), Torey Krug (lower-body), and Adam McQuaid (upper-body).

The Bruins will not have practice on Thursday morning, so the earliest update will come from Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy’s media availability, which will be held at 11 a.m. at Warrior Ice Arena.

The 23-year-old Vatrano has one goal, six shots, and 12 hits in four games this postseason.

Despite what they said, overturned goal certainly deflated Bruins in Game 4 loss

04.20.17 at 12:20 am ET
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Charlie McAvoy's first NHL was overturned on a coach's challenge. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Charlie McAvoy’s first NHL was overturned on a coach’s challenge. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins once again found themselves on the wrong end of a one-goal final on Wednesday, this time by a 1-0 score. It was the same score that favored the Bruins for all of a few seconds at one point, too.

At the 10:49 mark of the second period, Bruins rookie Charlie McAvoy fired a puck through traffic and beat Craig Anderson. Enough for the first goal of his NHL career (though a deeper review may have credited the goal to Noel Acciari, who appeared to get a stick on the puck), the goal jumped the Bruins out to a 1-0 edge in a game that 100 percent had the feel of a ‘first team that scores wins’ kind of contest.

But in a game where scoring was at a premium, Senators coach Guy Boucher was not going to let that goal stand without a fight.

So in came his coach’s challenge. It was there that it was determined that Acciari was offsides about 20 seconds before the goal was scored, and off came the tally.

“Yeah, it definitely sucks. When that happens you’re happy when it’s on the other side, but not when it happens to you,” Patrice Bergeron said. “It’s the rule and I guess they made the call and we still have to find a way that’s the bottom line.”

With a heavy round of boos rained down on the referees for the second game in a row, the score returned to 0-0.

And the Bruins never quite recovered.

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Video: Ty Anderson, Scott McLaughlin, Josh Dolan on Bruins’ offensive struggles, Game 4 loss

04.19.17 at 11:55 pm ET
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The Bruins couldn’t do anything offensively Wednesday night and fell into a 3-1 series hole with a 1-0 loss to the Senators. WEEI’s Ty Anderson, Scott McLaughlin and Josh Dolan reacted on Facebook Live after the game. Watch it below.

Tuukka Rask and Craig Anderson reignite goaltending duel in Game 4, but Sens still win

04.19.17 at 10:13 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask and Craig Anderson returned to form in Game 4. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Tuukka Rask and Craig Anderson returned to form in Game 4. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

At one point in the second period of Wednesday’s Game 4 between the Bruins and Senators, a rogue beachball landed on the ice during play. If this were either Game 2 or Game 3, there’s a good chance that the beachball would have gone through one of the goalies in this game.

But not on Wednesday, as Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask and Sens goaltender Craig Anderson both brought their best back to the rink.

Both Rask and Anderson were incredible in the opening game, which ended as a 2-1 final for the Black and Gold, but have since seen their play dip in what was back-to-back seven-goal contests, both of which have been 4-3 overtime finals in favor of the Senators. As a result of those games, Rask came into tonight’s game with nine goals allowed and an .898 save percentage for the series while Anderson had eight goals allowed and an .892 save percentage. Both goalies are much better than that, and they showed that in a 1-0 duel of a Game 4.

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Patrice Bergeron named Selke Trophy finalist for 6th straight season

04.19.17 at 7:33 pm ET
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Patrice Bergeron is once a Selke Trophy finalist. (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

Patrice Bergeron is once again a Selke Trophy finalist. (Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports)

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is once again a finalist for the Selke Trophy, which is given to the top defensive forward in the NHL. The other finalists are Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler and Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu.

It’s the sixth straight year Bergeron has been one of the three finalists, and he’ll be looking for his fourth win. He last won it in 2015 and probably should’ve won last year as well, but voters apparently got bored of giving it to him and went for Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar instead.

Kesler is also a former Selke winner, as he took home the hardware back in 2011 as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. Koivu is a first-time finalist, although he did finish tied for fourth in voting back in 2009.

The case for Bergeron is pretty straightforward: He led the NHL in both Corsi-for percentage (61.8 percent) and relative Corsi-for percentage (plus-9.7 percent). He tilted the ice in his team’s favor more than any other player in the NHL and therefore kept the puck out of his own zone better than anyone else.

That should be enough to win it, but if you wanted to make the case for Kesler or Koivu, it would be that they dealt with tougher usage in terms of zone starts and still had a positive impact on their team’s possession numbers.

Whereas Bergeron had an offensive zone start percentage of 54.7 percent, Kesler and Koivu were at 33.4 percent and 36.2 percent, respectively. They had a relative Corsi of plus-2.0 percent and plus-0.8 percent, respectively.

The most notable omissions are probably Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund and Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri, who similarly got tough usage and still managed to swing positive numbers. Backlund clocks in at 36.3 percent offensive zone starts and a very impressive plus-6.2 percent relative Corsi, while Kadri’s at 37.4 percent and plus-1.4 percent.

Personally, I think Backlund had the best case against Bergeron this year. But as it is, Bergeron looks like a pretty easy favorite.



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