Archive for January, 2012

Lightning end seven-game losing streak, beat sloppy Bruins

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Nathan Horton

The Bruins were just sluggish and sloppy enough for the Lightning to end their seven-game losing streak, as Tampa Bay defeated the B’s, 5-3, Tuesday night.

Nathan Horton had two goals, but his contributions weren’t enough to make up for another off-night for the Bruins.

The Lightning took the lead when Vincent Lecavalier sent a loose puck past Tim Thomas at 7:11 of the first period. Horton tied the game at 4:28 of the second, but Tom Pyatt gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead before Horton tied it once more. The Lightning then regained the lead on Ryan Malone‘s 10th goal of the season, but Daniel Paille scored on a shorthanded breakaway to make it 3-3 in the third period. Dominic Moore gave the Lightning the lead for good with 3:45 remaining in the game. Steven Stamkos added an empty-netter.

The Bruins now have lost two of their last three games. They will play again Thursday in New Jersey before returning home to face the Rangers.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The B’s slept through the first period, as they managed only two shots on goal during 5-on-5 play. They added four shots on two power plays, but it was a rough first 20 minutes the B’s.

– It looked like more of the 2009-10 Tim Thomas for the Bruins on Tuesday. Thomas is known for his unorthodox, aggressive style, and it bit the Bruins in the rear when he got a little too aggressive on Pyatt’s second goal. Thomas dove out to stop Steve Downie, and Pyatt was able to poke the puck into the net. That wasn’t the lone instance in which Thomas looked shaky, but with Thomas’ style of play he will occasionally have a night like Tuesday. The fact that these games have come so infrequently perfectly illustrates how impressive Thomas’ last 16 months have been.

– The Bruins officially can’t complain about other players diving for the rest of the season after Tyler Seguin reinvented the move on a Stamkos hook. The play occurred midway through the period, so it cost the B’s a power play in which they could have taken the lead. Given that Moore scored the game-winner after the penalties, the game could have been much different.

– While David Krejci‘s line was on the ice for both of the Bruins’ goals, it was also on the ice for Tampa’s first three goals, giving Krejci, Horton and Milan Lucic all minus-1 ratings on the night.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

Claude Julien called out Horton after Monday night’s game, telling reporters the right winger needed to pick his game up. Once again, Julien’s words paid off. Horton, who had three shots on goal over the previous three games, had four shots on goal through the first two periods Tuesday and added his 15th and 16th goals of the year. If Horton can avoid the slumps and lethargic stretches he’s been prone to, he could put up 30 goals this season. He should be a safe bet to surpass his total of 26 from last season.

– Good to see Paille with some strong finishing skills, as his back-hander past Mathieu Garon came on his second shorthanded breakaway of the night.

Earlier in the period, Paille took the puck from Eric Brewer at the blue line to give himself a shorthanded breakaway, but his wrist shot was blocked by Garon before going off the post.

David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask come up big as Bruins beat Panthers in shootout

Monday, January 16th, 2012

The Bruins got back to winning Monday. (AP)

David Krejci’s point streak ended Monday, but he scored when it mattered most, beating Scott Clemmensen with a quick snap shot in the fourth round of a shootout to give the Bruins a 3-2 win over the Panthers.

Patrice Bergeron had two goals in regulation for the Bruins, giving him 11 points in seven games this month. He also scored the Bruins’ first shootout goal after Benoit Pouliot and Tyler Seguin couldn’t capitalize. Stephen Weiss scored the Panthers’ only shootout goal.

Bergeron got the Bruins on the board just 80 seconds into the game, and though the Panthers applied heavy pressure on Tuukka Rask in the first period, they didn’t see their efforts pay off until a Jason Garrison shot found its way past the Finnish goaltender. Bergeron answered back with a 5-on-3 goal, but when the second of the penalties expired, Shawn Matthias took advantage with a breakaway goal.

A hooking penalty on Bergeron 36 seconds into overtime gave the Panthers a man advantage, but the Bruins killed it off.

The Bruins will stay in Florida and face the Lightning Tuesday night at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Bergeron wasn’t the only player to shine on his line. Benoit Pouliot once again turned in a very strong performance in place of the suspended Brad Marchand, as he forced the turnover to set up the play in the Panthers’ zone in which he fed Bergeron for the game’s first goal.

Tyler Seguin was masterful on the play that led to the Bruins’ second goal, as he was free to roam around the offensive zone on the 5-on-3 before sending a pass to Bergeron in front.

- Not necessarily something that went right as much as it is a fun stat, but Daniel Paille picked up his first penalty of the season when he fought Ed Jovanovski in the first period. The two had words after it looked like Jovanovski got Paille up high, and they dropped the gloves shortly after. The fight wasn’t anything to write home about, as it lasted just a few seconds with no solid blows landed.

- See below for the details, but Rask could have let up far more than the two goals he did considering the Panthers had four breakaways.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins were caught snoozing in the seconds that followed Matthias’ second-period penalty for delay of game. When the penalty, which gave the B’s the 5-on-3 on which the B’s scored their second goal, expired, Matthias jumped out of the box and took a long pass from Tomas Kopecky and beat Rask five-hole on a breakaway.

- Speaking of breakaways, the B’s allowed four in the game. The first one also belonged to Matthias, who was stoned by Rask. The third came in the final minute of the game, when a long pass from Stephen Weiss to Michal Repik during a line change gave the Panthers forward a breakaway with Dennis Seidenberg giving chase. The golden opportunity was wasted, as Repik missed the net. The Panthers once again had the opportunity to seal the game in the final seconds of overtime, but Rask stopped Kris Versteeg on the breakaway.

- Some bad luck for Seidenberg of late. After Jay Harrison’s game-winning goal went off the defenseman Saturday night, Jason Garrison’s second-period goal came after Rask saved it and saw it go off Seidenberg and in.

Seidenberg did not skate with his usual partner in Joe Corvo Monday night. With Claude Julien shuffling the pairings, playing Seidenberg with Johnny Boyhcuk.

- While Bergeron’s stats looked very good Monday, he struggled early at the faceoff dot. Bergeron, who entered Monday third in the NHL in faceoff percentage, lost 10 of of his first 15 draws but recovered to finish regulation 13-for-23 .

- Zach Hamill can’t buy a goal. The rookie forward, who is still looking for his first career goal, had a good opportunity in the second period when he dove at a rebound from a Jordan Caron, and had a similar third-period opportunity. Clemmensen stopped both shots.

- Krejci saw his point streak end at 11 games, the longest such streak in the NHL this season. The Czech center had five goals and 11 assists over his career-best streak.

Rich Peverley returns to Boston, won’t play vs. Panthers

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Bruins forward Rich Peverley will not play Monday against the Panthers, Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters after the team’s morning skate that Peverley had returned to Boston Saturday to deal with a personal matter.

With Peverley out of the lineup, Zach Hamill, who sat the last two games as a healthy scratch, will return to the lineup for the Bruins.

Bruins still can’t beat Hurricanes, fall in Carolina

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

A Jay Harrison shot off Dennis Seidenberg found its way past Tim Thomas with 90 seconds remaining in the third period Saturday night, giving the Hurricanes their first lead of the night and the only one that mattered, as they handed the Bruins a 4-2 loss at RBC Center.

Harrison’s goal, his seventh this season, broke a 2-2 tie after the Hurricanes erased two Bruins’ leads. Patrice Bergeron gave the B’s a 1-0 lead in the second period with his 12th goal of the season, but Patrick Dwyer tied it minutes later. Milan Lucic put the B’s back on top in the third, but three straight goals from Justin Faulk, Harrison and Eric Staal (an empty-netter), gave the Hurricanes the victory.

While the Bruins have put together a dominant season, the Hurricanes, who began the night 14th in the Eastern Conference, have been an Achilles’ heel for them. Saturday’s loss dropped the Bruins to 0-3-0 against Carolina this season.

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

Bruins hold off Canadiens

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

It wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Bruins held off the Canadiens, 2-1, Thursday night at TD Garden.

Jordan Caron scored 1:23 into the game, taking advantage of a good bounce off a Johnny Boychuk dump-in and tapping the puck into the open net. Goaltender Carey Price had left his net to tend to the puck, but it bounced off the end boards and in front to Caron. Milan Lucic made it 2-0 early in the third period with a backhander in front of the net that may have been tipped in by Habs defenseman Josh Gorges.

Tim Thomas lost his shutout bid with 7:14 remaining in the contest when Yannick Weber beat the Bruins’ netminder with a wrist-shot. Former Bruin Tomas Kaberle picked up the primary assist on the goal.

Thursday’s game concluded a four-game home stand for the Bruins. The team will begin a four-game road-trip Saturday night when they face the Hurricanes.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- After getting the secondary assist on Lucic’s goal, David Krejci now has a 10-game point streak, which is the longest streak in the NHL this season.

- Not a bad first day back up with the Bruins for Jordan Caron. The 2009 first-round pick, who has been sent to Providence five times this season, got in the lineup Thursday in place of Zach Hamill. It was on Caron’s first shift that he scored, giving him three NHL goals this season.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Patrice Bergeron had a rare down performance for the Bruins. The center, who was snubbed from the All-Star Game Thursday, won only two of his first eight face-offs and had less than 10 minutes of ice time through the first two periods. He also missed a golden opportunity when a nice behind-the-back pass from Benoit Pouliot to Tyler Seguin gave Seguin and Bergeron a 2-on-1 in the second period. Seguin sent it across to Bergeron, but the center missed the net with this shot.

- Sloppy, sloppy play from both teams. The Bruins had difficulty connecting with their passes all night, and Dennis Seidenberg committed a risky turnover in the first period that led to a great scoring chance for Andrei Kostitsyn.

- Benoit Pouliot had a bad habit of taking bad penalties earlier and the season, and it looks like that habit has returned. Pouliot took a boarding penalty in the offensive zone late in the first period to negate a Bruins power play and put the B’s down a man at the start of the second period. Pouliot was also guilty of an ill-advised high-stick Saturday against the Canucks.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR PEOPLE WHO WATCHED THE GAME

- This rivalry just hasn’t been anything close to what it’s been in recent seasons, and Thursday’s snoozer was the latest example. The Canadiens brought some energy, but ultimately both teams were sloppy, making for an unremarkable contest.

There were some fireworks13 minutes into the third period when a high elbow from P.K. Subban on Krejci drew Andrew Ference’s attention. Even so, there were once again no fights between the two teams, which gives them two fights in five games this season. They tripled that total in the third period of last season’s Feb. 9 game alone.

Bruins-Canadiens Live Blog: B’s lead on Jordan Caron goal

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty say Bruins aren’t dirty

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Max Pacioretty wishes the Habs played more like the Bruins. (AP)

While there has been talk out of Vancouver about the Bruins having dirty players, members of the Canadiens said Thursday that their rivals are not dirty.

“No. They play a certain way and I think that’s why they’re successful,” Max Pacioretty, who had his season ended last year by a shove from Zdeno Chara, said when asked if he finds the B’s to be dirty. “To some extent, I wish we played a little more like them. Maybe not as much as they do, but they’re definitely an intimidating team to play against. They have so many guys who can step up — I’m not talking about fighting — I’m talking about physical. You watch the games recently in the NHL, and there’s not many pretty plays happening. They’re all tough, grinding goals, and a big body presence. I think that’s why they’re successful this year.”

Defenseman P.K. Subban said he has not seen former world junior teammate Brad Marchand‘s hit on Sami Salo, but that he does not consider Marchand or the Bruins to be dirty.

“It’s tough,” Subban said. “There’s a fine line now when you’re throwing hits, so you’ve just got to pay attention to it.”

Said Subban of the B’s: “They’re in your face, you know what I mean? They’ve had a lot of success over the year. They’re Stanley Cup champions, and they’re playing some good hockey this year. Whatever they’re doing, they’re doing something right. Whenever you play them, you know they’re going to be in your face, they’re going to finish their checks and they’re going to work hard.

“They’ve got some tough guys on that team. Some real tough guys. They play the game hard. Our team, we’re not built to kind of brawl it out every night. We’re going to stick up for each other as a unit as a group.”