Archive for March, 2013

Anton Khudobin shuts out Sabres

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Anton Khudobin picked up his first shutout of the season and the Bruins got goals from David Krejci and Nathan Horton as they beat the Sabres, 2-0, Sunday night at First Niagara Center.

The win was Boston’s first in their last three games and gave them 48 points, which puts them one point behind the Canadiens for the Northeast Division lead. Both teams have played 34 games.

The game was scoreless through the first two periods before Krejci got the Bruins on the board by burying a rebound from a Horton bid in front. Matt Bartkowski sent the pass to Horton in the zone to set up the goal, giving him his first NHL assist in 12 career games. Horton made it 2-0 shortly after by beating Ryan Miller in front off a feed from Krejci. Horton now has goals in three straight games and has 11 on the season.

Khudobin made 26 saves in the victory.

The Bruins will return to Boston and host the Senators Tuesday at TD Garden.

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Kaspars Daugavins won’t join Bruins until Tuesday at earliest

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

The Bruins claimed former Senators forward Kaspars Daugavins on waivers Wednesday, but the 24-year-old has been unable to join the team because he has not been able to get his work visa. The wait will last until Tuesday at the earliest, his agent told WEEI.com Saturday.

The US Embassy is closed on Good Friday and the Monday following Easter, so the Bruins are working to get everything squared away for Tuesday, according to agent Jay Grossman. The Bruins will play Daugavins’ former club Tuesday night when they host the Senators at TD Garden.

In 19 games for Ottawa this season, Daugavins has one goal and two assists for three points and a minus-6 rating. He is known for his unorthodox shootout attempt against Tuukka Rask this season, though he is 1-for-4 in his NHL career in shootouts.

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

Bruins fall flat vs. Flyers

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

After having the last two nights off, the Bruins still looked sleepy Saturday afternoon as they fell to the Flyers, 3-1, in Philadelphia.

The Islanders took the lead on a Mike Knuble power-play goal at 15:19 of the first period. Matt Read made it 2-0 in the second period on what was a rough shift for the B’s, and Boston failed to get on the board until Nathan Horton scored on a rebound five minutes into the third period. Ruslan Fedotenko put the game out of reach with an empty netter with 58.4 seconds remaining.

The loss made was Boston’s fourth regulation loss in their last seven games (2-4-1), and it came at the hands of a Flyers team that entered the game 14th in the Eastern Conference.

The Bruins (21-8-4) continue to trail the Canadiens in the standings, as Montreal has 47 points to Boston’s 46. The Senators, who will have played three more games than the B’s, can tie Boston in points with a win over the Maple Leafs Saturday night.

The Bruins will play Sunday night in Buffalo. The Sabres, who have beaten the Bruins in two of their three meetings thus far.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– This game had deceiving offensive explosion written all over it, yet the Bruins couldn’t muster any offense over two periods. The defensively depleted Flyers entered the game 26th in the NHL in goals against, allowing 3.06 goals per game. Not only did the Bruins not put anything past Ilya Bryzgalov in the first first 40 minutes, they barely tested him. Horton missed an open net on a rebound in the second period and was able to redeem himself with his third-period goal, but the effort and the results from the team for the first two periods were ugly.

– The Bruins have fallen behind, 2-0, in four consecutive games, losing three of the four (1-2-1). They last scored the first goal of the game six games ago, though they blew that lead in their 3-1 loss to the Jets.

– Another rough day for Aaron Johnson. With Zdeno Chara in the box for holding in the first period, Johnson got time on the penalty kill and was in front when Knuble scored to make it 1-0. He was also on the ice for Read’s goal, though he was the only one back when the Flyers had a 3-on-1 seconds earlier.

– Chara nearly scored on his own goal when he was trying to take the puck from Read in front of the net in the first period. He got a stick on the puck, sending it into the crease, but Rask stuck a pad out to save what would have been an embarrassing and costly mishap on Chara’s part.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Horton now has goals in consecutive games after totaling just one goal over his previous 14. Horton sent a pass across to Dennis Seidenberg at the point from the wall and raced to the front of the net in time to bury the rebound from Seidenberg’s shot for his 10th goal of the season.

– Speaking of Horton, the line of David Krejci between Horton and Lucic was one of the bright spots for the B’s in the first period. The line combined for five shots on goal, with three from Krejci and one apiece from Horton and Lucic. It was fitting that the line produced the team’s only goal in a game in which Patrice Bergeron’s trio was uncharacteristically quiet. Bergeron even struggled in the faceoff circle, losing 12 of his 19 draws.

Bruins return Torey Krug to Providence

Friday, March 29th, 2013

The Bruins returned defenseman Torey Krug to Providence Friday, two days after recalling the 21-year-old from their AHL affiliate.

Krug was recalled on Wednesday after the Bruins and Flames agreed to the since-derailed Jarome Iginla trade. Krug played Wednesday night against the Canadiens in place of Matt Bartkowski, who was scratched because of his inclusion in the trade. The Michigan State product picked up an assist in the loss to the Habs.

Krug has two assists in three career NHL games since being signed out of college last season. He has 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points and a minus-6 rating in 55 games for Providence this season.

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

Johnny Boychuk will be game-time decision vs. Flyers

Friday, March 29th, 2013

WILMINGTON — In a bit of non-Jarome Iginla-related Bruins news, defenseman Johnny Boychuk practiced with the Bruins Friday and will make the trip to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game against the Flyers. Claude Julien said that Boychuk will be a game-time decision.

Boychuk has missed the last three games with a foot injury suffered last Friday during practice.

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

Matt Bartkowski happy Jarome Iginla trade fell through

Friday, March 29th, 2013

WILMINGTON — He was signed to a contract extension so he could be traded, then he was scratched because he was traded, then he wasn’t traded and now he’s practicing and going to work every day with the Bruins, even though he still might be traded. He’s Matt Bartkowski, ladies and gentlemen.

Bartkowski, who was signed to a one-year, one-way extension Wednesday worth $650,000, was one third of the package that the Bruins agreed to ship to Calgary for Jarome Iginla, with Alexander Khokhlachev and a first-round pick also included in the deal. When Flames general manager Jay Feaster told B’s GM Peter Chiarelli that the deal was done, both sides agreed to scratch all players involved in the deal for that night’s games.

Bartkowski, who had played the previous two games in place of the injured Johnny Boychuk, saw the B’s recall another defenseman (Torey Krug) to play in his place Wednesday against the Canadiens, and was left to wonder what was happening. During the game, reports of the package headed to Calgary surfaced.

“Throughout the game, I started hearing rumors and stuff like that,” Bartkowski said. “It was a little unsettling.”

The trade obviously didn’t go down, so Bartkowski found himself in the odd position of being on a team that he knows tried to trade him. The trade deadline has still yet to pass and the Bruins obviously have moves to make, so there’s still a good chance that Bartkowski could be moved. The time between now and Wednesday’s deadline (or a trade; whichever comes first) might be awkward or nerve-wracking, but the 24-year-old defenseman is trying to keep it out of his mind.

“It’s not something that I can control, so I try not to worry about it or pay attention to it,” he said.

In fact, as strange as all of this has been, Bartkowski says he’s glad with the end (so far) result. While Bruins players should feel slighted that Iginla chose the Penguins over them, at least one Bruin was relieved when it all fell apart.

“I’m happy that it didn’t go through,” Bartkowski said. “I like it here, I like being here and I’m excited about being here.”

Bruins not offended by Jarome Iginla’s decision, but can still prove him wrong

Friday, March 29th, 2013

WILMINGTON — Jarome Iginla slighted the Bruins when, after the Flames and B’s agreed to a trade Wednesday, he told the Flames that he wouldn’t waive his no-trade clause to go to Boston and would rather play for the Penguins. That’s it, plain and simple, but the Bruins on Friday showed no effects of having been spurned.

David Krejci likely would have been Iginla’s center, and the addition of the rugged right wing would have given Krejci a more consistent scorer in a season in which linemates Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton have seen their offense go missing for long stretches.

“I’ve got nothing [to say] about it,” Krejci said. “I’m just playing a game. I heard rumors he might be coming here and I guess he picked Pittsburgh, and that’s his decision. We’re still the same team as we were a couple days ago.”

The message Bruins players could have gotten from the fiasco is that Iginla thought he had a better chance of winning with the Penguins than he would have with the Bruins. That should add extra motivation for the Bruins to prove him wrong, but the B’s don’t want to make it about Iginla.

“They’re a great team, so it’s always been a motivation to play Pittsburgh,” Patrice Bergeron said. “I don’t think this should change anything. We’re confident in our team. It’s always been that way, so to me it doesn’t matter.”

The Penguins have won 14 games in a row, while the Bruins have gone 7-5-2. The Penguins have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, two of the best three or four players in the league. The Bruins don’t blame him for picking Pittsburgh, but they feel they’re still capable enough to make him regret not picking the B’s.

“That was his entitlement. He’s got a no-trade clause, and when you look at what Pittsburgh’s done, you’ve got to respect the guy’s decision. It was his decision to make, and he made that,” Claude Julien said. “It will be at the end of the the year that he’ll see whether he made the right decision or not.

“Certainly there’s no animosity here. We’re a good team, and if he would have come here it would have made us better. He’s not here because he went somewhere else and we’ve turned the page. It’s about us right now, not about him.”