|10.24.10 at 9:14 pm ET|
The Bruins announced on Sunday that defenseman Johnny Boychuk will be out for approximately four weeks after suffering a slight fracture to the ulna bone in his left forearm on Saturday.
Boychuk was slashed by the Rangers’ Brandon Dubinsky in the first period of the team’s 3-2 and went to the training room immediately thereafter. Though he returned to play in the first period, he did not play in the second or third periods.
The 26-year-old Boychuk, who signed a two-year extension with the Bruins over the summer, has three assists on the season. He has played alongside Zdeno Chara in the team’s top defensive pairing, and it’s uncertain whether Adam McQuaid, who has been a healthy scratch for each of the B’s six games this season is his definite replacement in the lineup. The Bruins cut Matt Bartkowski late in camp with the idea that the former Ohio State blueliner was best served in a situation in which he could get playing time, so he is also an obvious candidate to be in the mix. Through four games this season, Bartkowski has one point, an assist.
|10.24.10 at 12:50 am ET|
Two games, two losses, and quite a few flukey goals. That’s Tuukka Rask’s season in a nut shell.
The Bruins netminder allowed three goals in the Bruins’ 3-1 loss to the Rangers, the first two of which came in the flukiest of manners that, while the third came on a breakaway.
It’s a bit odd how reminiscent of the season-opener Saturday was as far as the bounces Rask got. The goaltender admitted that the first goal he allowed, an Artem Anisimov tally off a bouncing rebound that was nearly a high stick, had him in brief state of disbelief.
“You haven’t played [since Oct. 9] and then that happens, you’re like ‘holy [smokes],'” Rask admitted. “You can’t start thinking about that. You’ve got to keep the game tight and try to save the next one, but obviously it was a tough break.”
Rask made it clear in talking with reporters that for whichever of the many reasons — the time off, the lucky bounces, the team’s now semi-habit of underperforming in the earlygoing of games started by him — he was not going to make excuses. That didn’t stop his teammates from coming to his defense after the game.
“We kind of left him out to dry both times he’s been in net and haven’t gotten great starts and got down both times he was in net,” Milan Lucic said following the game. “You can’t say anything bad about his game tonight. He played well for us. He kept us in it. He kept it 3-2 the whole way, and he gave us a chance.”
The Bruins have scored at least three goals in each of the games started by Tim Thomas and have averaged 3.5 goals per Thomas start. The team has come out flat in each of Rask’s starts, and the offense they eventually muster hasn’t proven to be enough.
“It’s been tough,” Nathan Horton, who has three of the Bruins’ four goals in games started by Rask, said. “We’re probably not going to win the game [when it happens]. We know it’s going to be close, but we want to get more than two goals, hopefully. If not, we want to keep them to less than two. He’s played good, he’s made some good stops too, and we’ve just got to help him out a little bit more.”
|10.23.10 at 11:06 pm ET|
Here’s the video of Claude Julien’s press conference following the team’s 3-2 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night at the Garden.
|10.23.10 at 10:39 pm ET|
The Bruins had a couple of first-period injury scares in their 3-2 loss to the Rangers, and it appears that one could be more serious than the other.
Johnny Boychuk took a slash from Brandon Dubinsky, and despite getting back onto the ice following a trip to the training room, did not play in the second or third periods. Whatever injury he sustained on his upper hand on the play should be revealed in the coming days, as an MRI was scheduled for the defenseman.
Gregory Campbell, meanwhile, took a shot off the back of the head more than halfway through the first. He went to the training room to get stitches and was back on the ice in the second period. The fourth-line center and penalty killer underwent verbal and memory tests as well to rule out whether a head injury was a possibility.
Campbell took his second high-sticking penalty of the season with 30 seconds remaining in the second period. He said after the game that it’s not a reputation he wants to develop.
“I don’t mean to high stick anybody,” Campbell said following the game. “I am a pretty honest player. I don’t like spending time in the box, especially when we’re behind. The team did a great job of killing [the penalty], but it was unintentional.”
|10.23.10 at 9:32 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask and the Bruins suffered a bit of deja vu on Saturday night, as the young goaltender played well but allowed goals due to a couple of flukey plays and a breakaway in a 3-2 Rangers victory.
Artem Anisimov and Alex Frolov netted first-period tallies for the Rangers on a batted-in rebound and knuckling puck off Mark Stuart’s glove, respectively. Marc Staal scored on a breakaway fresh out of the penalty box in the second to give New York their third goal.
Nathan Horton and Zdeno Chara picked up the goals for the Bruins, with Chara sending one past Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist while the B’s were on a two-man advantage with five seconds left in the first period. Nathan Horton scored his fifth goal of the season in the second period to make it 3-2.
The Bruins are now 4-2-0 on the season, with both losses coming in games started by Rask.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Tuukka Rask has now allowed seven goals in two games, and whoever predicted the Garden crowd would be chanting “We want Timmy!” halfway through Rask’s second game should probably head to Vegas.
Though the numbers are obviously on Thomas’ side, for how many of these goals is Rask really responsible? One by this writer’s count, and it dates back to Prague. Four of the other shots have been flukey, and two (one of which was the fault of Daniel Paille) were on breakaways. Rask likely won’t make excuses, but he’s certainly earned the right.
– The Bruins went up against a team that’s been bitten by the injury bug, and they left the game hoping they haven’t come down with something themselves. Johnny Boychuk left the game with an injury sustained on a first-period slash from Brandon Dubinsky.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Peter Chiarelli likely won’t be throwing a fit when the Panthers choose with their third-round pick in the the next draft — Nathan Horton has been worth every bit of the package sent to Florida (15th overall pick, Dennis Wideman, and the aforementioned third-rounder) in the June trade.
Horton now has five goals in six games played and has picked up at least one point in each game this season, the only player on the B’s to do so. He had just one shot on goal in the game, but he made it count by beating Henrik Lundqvist from the hashmarks in the second period.
– Blake Wheeler seems to be just a play away from exploding for the B’s. He’s helped create opportunities that haven’t panned out yet, like when threaded a beautiful pass across to linemate Jordan Caron, who would have had his third goal of the season were it not for Lundqvist getting a skate on it.
Though he had a strong night and played well on the penalty kill, the name of the game for Wheeler is going to be shots on goal. He had just one on Saturday, bringing his season total to 11. The rest of the game has been there of late, and with the shots so too will likely come the goals.
– The power play has produced goals in consecutive games. Last week, it didn’t look like the B’s would see too many goals on the man advantage this season. They’ve now had four in the last two contests, two of which have come from Chara.
|10.23.10 at 8:42 pm ET|
The Bruins and Rangers each added a goal in the second period, and for the second straight period the B’s find themselves down by one as they head to the locker room with a bit of momentum.
The Rangers are the most recent team to disobey the “Don’t let Nathan Horton’s skate touch the hashmarks” rule, and as a result the goal-scoring winger now has five on the season. Horton’s goal, his second point of the day, was set up by David Krejci on a pass between his legs and Dennis Seidenberg, who picked up his 100th career assist.
The 5-on-3 on which the Bruins go a power-play goal from Chara in the first proved to be as big a curse as it was a blessing. When Marc Staal’s penalty expired less than a minute in, he raced out of the box and found Mark Recchi and Ryan Callahan battling for a puck at the bleu line. Once he scooped up the loose puck, he was off to the races, beating Tuukka Rask on a breakaway at 0:48 and making it a two-goal lead once again for the Rangers.
Gregory Campbell returned to the ice in the second period after getting hit buy a shot in the first. He also returned to another familiar place in the penalty box by picking up a minor for slashing. He added a double-minor for high-sticking Brandon Prust at 19:30. He leads the Bruins in penalty minutes this season with 24.
Through two periods, the Bruins are outshooting the Rangers, 27-18. They’ll begin the third down a man, as 3:30 remains on Campbell’s penalty.
|10.23.10 at 7:53 pm ET|
Artem Anisimov picked up his third goal of the season, a power play tally at 11:34 to give the Rangers their initial lead. The play was reviewed, as Anisimov waved at a Rask rebound that was right around crossbar level. Alex Frolov scored his second of the season shortly thereafter on a waffling puck that fooled Rask, and 12:01.
The Bruins and Rangers did plenty of fighting in the first period, as Mark Stuart found himself tangoing with Sean Avery after hitting Ruslan Fedetenko up high at the blue line. Following the second of the Rangers’ goals, Shawn Thornton tried to inject a bit of energy into his team and the Garden crowd by squaring off with Derek Boogaard in a dance that brought Thornton’s career penalty minutes past the 500 mark. He now has 503 penalty minutes in his career. Milan Lucic and Brandon Prust provided the rest of the period’s fighting.
Just a minute and 13 seconds after the Stuart/Avery fight in which Avery took a two-minute instigating minor, Johnny Boychuk found himself on the tough end of a pretty hearty slash from Brandon Dubinsky. The B’s weren’t able to capitalize on a 47-second 5-on-3, but were later given the crack at another one that will cary ore to the second thanks to penalties to Michal Rozsival and and Marc Staal at 18:34 and 18:39, respectively. Chara scored his second power-play goal in as many games with 55 seconds remaining.
A couple of notes health-wise for the B’s: Boychuck left the ice briefly following the Dubinsky slash, but returned to the ice within minutes. Gregory Campbell was also dinged up a bit, as he was struck by a shot more than halfway through the first and wasn’t spotted on the ice for the rest of the period.