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Bruins suffer rare regulation loss as Red Wings come from behind in third period

04.02.14 at 10:39 pm ET
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The Bruins saw their nine-game road win streak snapped with a 3-2 loss to the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena Wednesday night.

Gustav Nyquist caught the Bruins during a line change in the third period and gave the Red Wings the lead 1:42 after Tomas Jurco had tied the game. Jimmy Howard held on from there as the B’s lost their first game in regulation since March 1.

The B’s played without Jarome Iginla, who missed his first game of the season with what the team called a lower-body injury. Given that the team said he wasn’t a healthy scratch, it was Iginla’s first game missed due to injury since January of 2007. Matt Bartkowski was a healthy scratch.

Boston jumped out to a 1-0 lead late in the first period on Johnny Boychuk‘s fourth goal of the season, but Tomas Tatar tied it for the Red Wings with a goal that went through Andrej Meszaros and Riley Sheahan on its way past Tuukka Rask at 4:45 of the second.

The game remained knotted at one goal apiece until Carl Soderberg scored a power-play goal 1:10 into the third period. Jurco would end up tying the game after a puck in front got caught in Meszaros’ pants and fell to Tatar, who kicked the puck to Jurco to set up the goal.

The Bruins have six games remaining and will play Thursday in Toronto.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The B’s had an injury scare in the third period when Drew Miller crashed into Patrice Bergeron on a third-period shot from Bergeron. Miller’s right leg took out Bergeron’s left leg, with Bergeron awkwardly falling to the ice and holding what looked like his left knee.

Bergeron’s seven-game goal-scoring streak came to an end, though he had the primary assist on Soderberg’s goal. Bergeron was stopped by Howard on a first-period breakaway.

– Nyquist’s goal was the third 5-on-5 goal the Red Wings have scored against the Bruins with both Bergeron and Zdeno Chara on the ice this season. That’s pretty remarkable when you consider that Chara and Bergeron allowed just one 5-on-5 goal together all of last season.

– Iginla not playing means he will not post the 10th 82-game season of his career — not this season, at least. With Iginla out, Loui Eriksson played on the right wing of David Krejci‘s line with Milan Lucic.

– The Red Wings didn’t have many second-chance opportunities through the first two periods, but they came in the third and eventually cost the B’s. Rask came up big with a save on Jurco off the rebound of a shot from Tatar just about midway through the third. Shortly after, Jurco scored on a second-chance bid.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– One positive of the loss is that the Red Wings got two points and therefore gave themselves some more separation from the eighth-seeded Blue Jackets (83 points in 75 games). The Red Wings (86 points in 76 games) are currently in line for the seventh seed, which would mean they wouldn’t face the Bruins in the first round.

– Though he didn’t score, Bergeron now has points in nine straight games. Bergeron has eight goals and four helpers over that stretch.

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Andy Brickley on M&M: ‘I have no problem with tinkering with lines right now’

04.02.14 at 12:32 pm ET
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Andy Brickley

Andy Brickley

NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins’ final stretch of games in April before the playoffs begin. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

With the season winding down, Claude Julien may change some of the lineups to see how different players play together and give rest to others.

“€œI have no problem with tinkering with lines right now,”€ Brickley said. “€œIf I expect a few guys, like [Patrice] Bergeron or even a David Krejci, get a night off between now and the final game against Jersey, the regular season, then you’re going to be forced to have different combinations. And if you choose to break up some lines in order to see what something look likes, now is the time to do it.”

The Bruins went 15-0-2 in the month of March, playing in multiple back-to-backs on their way to securing a division title. According to Brickley, the third and fourth lines were a big reason they were able to do that.

“That third line along with the fourth line and their ability to play and handle significant minutes during that month when you’€™re playing 17 games really sets this Bruins team apart from the rank and file,”€ Brickley said.

Brickley sees two distinct views when it comes to projecting the first opponent of a team during the playoffs.

“€œDo you want to start out with a team that you know you can pretty much handle, and then you want to gradually increase that emotion and adrenaline to keep you getting in the postseason?”€ Brickley said. “Or do you want someone really meaningful right off the bat, get that emotion where it needs to be in the postseason? I’€™m of the school of thought that it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to beat three really good teams to get to the final. You’ve got to beat four unbelievable teams to win a Stanley Cup.”

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Shawn Thornton on D&C: ‘I always want to be out there’

04.02.14 at 12:27 pm ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton talked with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday about the end of the regular season, the physical nature of the playoffs and more. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins have been on a hot streak lately, going 15-0-2 in the month of March. The run has secured a division title for the Bruins with seven games to go. It has come at a cost, however, as the players are a little sleep-deprived after all the traveling and back-to-backs.

“You get sore, you get tired,” Thornton said. “I think the change in time zones — last week or the week before we were in four different time zones in five days. It just screws up your sleep pattern.”

With Zdeno Chara now 37 years old, there has been speculation that the defenseman will be rested over the next few games.

“He’€™s one of the hardest-working guys I’ve ever met,” Thornton said. “He wants to win at the end of the day, though, and I think that’€™s the most important thing. I’€™m not sure what’€™s going to happen, whether he’€™s going to get some games off or some road trips off or what they’€™re going to do, but I’€™m sure it’ll be a civil conversation.’€

Thornton enjoyed the extra playing time in March due to all the back-to-backs. It was not only helpful for him, but for his line as well.

“I always want to play,” Thornton said. “The month of March, actually, with so many games is pretty good, too. Our line got a fair amount of ice time through the whole thing as well with all the back-to-back stuff. The more I can play, the happier I am. I always want to be out there.”

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Jarome Iginla named NHL’s First Star of the Month

04.01.14 at 1:37 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins forward Jarome Iginla has been named the NHL‘s First Star of the Month for the month of March.

Iginla led the NHL with 13 goals in 17 games during the month, scoring on an absurd 31 percent of the 42 shots he took. He also had four assists to total 17 points in March. He was named the league’s third star of the week two weeks ago.

Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux were the second and third stars, respectively.

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

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Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron among players sitting out Bruins practice Tuesday

04.01.14 at 11:40 am ET
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WILMINGTON – Claude Julien said he’s going to start resting players leading into the playoffs, and that started with Tuesday’s practice.

David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla were all kept off the ice Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena. Julien also sat out the skate.

After the practice, Julien said that all healthy players will travel to Detroit and Toronto for the team’s upcoming two-game road trip. Carl Soderberg may have to leave at some point, as he and his wife are expecting a child within the coming days.

Ryan Spooner, who was recalled on an emergency basis earlier in the day, was on the ice. He wore a gold second-line sweater with normal second-liners Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith. Milan Lucic, who was the only first-liner practicing Tuesday, wore gold as well.

With Eriksson out, Jordan Caron wore a grey sweater with third-liners Soderberg and Chris Kelly. The Merlot Line was the only trio with all three members present.

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Bruins recall Ryan Spooner

04.01.14 at 11:16 am ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins recalled forward Ryan Spooner from Providence Tuesday morning, suggesting the team will start giving their regular forwards rest from games as soon as Wednesday against the Red Wings.

Spooner has played 22 games for the Bruins this season, most of which were spent playing on the third line when Chris Kelly was injured in December. In his 22 games, Spooner had zero goals and 11 assists for 11 points with a minus-1 rating.

In 42 games for Providence, Spooner has 10 goals and 30 assists for 40 points and a plus-11.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Patrice Bergeron named NHL Second Star of Week

03.31.14 at 7:57 pm ET
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Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron was named the NHL‘s Second Star of the Week for the week ending on March 30.

Bergeron had five goals and one assist for six points in four games during the week. He is currently on a seven-game goal-scoring streak and has 27 goals and 29 assists this season for 56 points.

The honor marked the second consecutive week in which a Bruins player was one of three stars, as Jarome Iginla was the Third Star in the previous week.

Ottawa forward Kyle Turris was the First Star of the Week, while Blues forward T.J. Oshie was the Third Star.

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

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