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With wrist injury behind him, Carl Soderberg hopes to make bigger difference on faceoffs 10.31.14 at 4:33 pm ET
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Carl Soderberg

Carl Soderberg

WILMINGTON — Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly split center duties on Boston’€™s third line, but Soderberg showed Thursday night that he can win a key draw.

Kelly has taken most of Soderberg’€™s faceoffs this season, particularly in the defensive zone. On Friday, Soderberg and Claude Julien revealed that was partially due to a wrist injury that made it difficult for Soderberg to take draws. Additionally, Kelly, technically the line’€™s left wing, has done the center’€™s job of providing support down low in the defensive zone.

Yet with Julien juggling his lines for Thursday’€™s game against the Sabres, Soderberg had no such help and proved he didn’€™t need it on one play. With under six minutes to play and the Bruins trailing by a goal, Soderberg drew the puck back to Dennis Seidenberg to begin the sequence that resulted in Brad Marchand‘€™s game-tying goal.

“It felt pretty good,” Soderberg said Friday. “I like taking faceoffs.”

Through 12 games, Soderberg has taken just 53 draws, but over a fifth of them came Thursday night in his first game of the season without Kelly as his linemate. Soderberg went 5-for-11 at the dot (45 percent), but lost all three defensive zone draws he took.

That’€™s where Julien says the Bruins value having Kelly on Soderberg’€™s line. Kelly, who has taken 133 draws this season, is a better faceoff man than Soderberg anyway, but the B’€™s also like to have Kelly take defensive zone faceoffs because he’€™ll already be low in the zone in the event that he loses the draw.

“It is a luxury when Kells is on that line that they can have two guys taking draws,” Julien said. “Sometimes Kells will take them in the D zone just for the reason that if we don’€™t win the draw, he’€™s working down low. Kells is by the far the best, as far as working down low.”

It’€™s expected that Kelly will return to Soderberg’€™s line Saturday against the Senators after playing on Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line in Thursday’€™s win over the Sabres. With Soderberg saying his wrist is feeling better, perhaps there will be a more even split on faceoffs going forward. Julien highly values having two centers on the same line, something he had on the third line for years with Kelly and Rich Peverley.

Soderberg has said in the past that he doesn’€™t mind when Kelly takes faceoffs for him, but he said Friday that every center on the team should strive to become as good on draws as Patrice Bergeron, arguably the best faceoff man in the league.

Back in Sweden, Soderberg said he was good at the dot, generally winning 53 or 54 percent of his faceoffs.

“But people aren’€™t as good as here on faceoffs,” he added. “There’€™s more pride here to take them, so I’€™m going to do my very best get over 50 percent at the end of the season.”

Read More: Carl Soderberg, Chris Kelly,
David Krejci misses Friday’s practice, expected to play Saturday 10.31.14 at 11:44 am ET
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WILMINGTON — David Krejci was absent from Friday’€™s Bruins practice at Ristuccia Arena. Krejci did not appear to suffer any sort of injury in Thursday’€™s 3-2 win over the Sabres, as he took regular shifts in regulation and overtime.

Asked after the practice if Krejci was being a ghost for Halloween, Claude Julien indicated that Krejci would be in lineup, saying, “Yes he is, but he won’t be a ghost tomorrow, if that’s what you want to know.”

With Krejci absent, Chris Kelly slotted into his place with Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith. Matt Fraser, who has been serving as the team’€™s extra forward, skated in Kelly’€™s usual spot with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson.

The other two lines were reverted to their usual incarnations after Claude Julien had juggled his forwards to begin Thursday’€™s game. The team’s game-winning goal came with Bergeron’s line reunited.

The lines in Friday’€™s practice were as follows:

Lucic – Kelly – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne

There were no unexpected absences among the Bruins defensemen. Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg, Joe Morrow, Adam McQuaid, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky and Matt Bartkowski were all present.

5 things we learned in Bruins’ overtime win over Sabres 10.30.14 at 9:49 pm ET
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The Bruins dominated, but narrowly escaped with two points against the lowly Sabres. (Getty Images)

The Bruins dominated but narrowly escaped with two points against the lowly Sabres. (Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

It shouldn’t take messages from Claude Julien to his players to beat the Sabres and it shouldn’t take overtime to beat the Sabres, but the Bruins were able to breathe a sigh of relief Thursday night thanks to both.

Reilly Smith and Brad Marchand, both of whom were moved off of Patrice Bergeron‘s line to begin the game, connected for the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win in Buffalo (box score) to improve to 6-6-0 on the season.

Maybe the old lines would have gotten the job done just as well against the lowly Sabres, but the Bruins found a way to hold possession throughout the night come back in the third period from what appeared to be the very real possibility of a regulation loss to one of the worst teams in the NHL.

Either way, a new-look third line of Carl Soderberg between Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson tied the game with 5:30 remaining when Soderberg, whose faceoffs are usually taken by Chris Kelly, won a draw back to Dennis Seidenberg, who sent the puck up to Eriksson. The veteran right winger’s shot went off Marchand’s glove and in to both tie the game and save the B’s some real embarrassment.

The lines began as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Kelly – Bergeron – Gagne
Marchand – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Smith

Smith moved back up to Bergeron’s line in the second period, with Gagne returning to Campbell’s line. Kelly skating on the other wing of that Bergeron line meant that Soderberg had to assume all center responsibilities on his line, including taking faceoffs. That didn’t end up being a problem, especially on the game-tying goal.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Reilly Smith,
Bruins release statements on passing of Tom Menino 10.30.14 at 2:30 pm ET
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The Bruins released statements from principal Charlie Jacobs and president Cam Neely regarding the passing of longtime Boston Mayor Thomas Menino on Thursday.

“I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Mayor Menino and on behalf of the Jacobs Family I would like to express my deepest condolences to his family,” Jacobs said. “My family and I witnessed first hand how Mayor Menino’s vision and leadership helped transform Boston into one of the greatest cities in the world. Today we join all Bostonians in mourning our loss and celebrating Mayor Menino’s enduring legacy.”

Neely has played or worked in Boston for much of Menino’€™s tenure, which ran from 1993 through earlier this year.

“The Boston Bruins organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Mayor Menino and we would like to express our deepest condolences to his family,” Neely said. “Mayor Menino was synonymous with the City of Boston and the professional sports teams that represented it. His passion was always evident and his support unwavering. He will be deeply missed.”

Read More: Thomas Menino,
Brad Marchand leaves practice early, Bruins shake up lines after latest loss 10.29.14 at 12:28 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins reshuffled their lines in Wednesday’s practice, with both Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith being moved off Patrice Bergeron‘s line. Marchand left the ice during practice, with Claude Julien saying afterwards that the left wing “tweaked something.” Marchand’s status for Thursday’s game in Buffalo is unknown.

Upon Marchand leaving the ice, Matt Fraser switched jerseys and went from the fourth line to the third line, playing the left wing with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson. It’s worth noting that Fraser was the best he’s been as a Bruin when he played in that spot last postseason while Chris Kelly was out with a back injury.

David Krejci‘s line remained the same after a strong showing in Tuesday’s loss to the Wild, but all of the other lines were changed. They were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Kelly – Bergeron – Gagne
Marchand/Fraser – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Smith/Fraser

Both Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky were on the ice after being recalled earlier in the day.

Read More: Brad Marchand,
Torey Krug out 2-3 weeks with broken finger; Bruins recall Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky 10.29.14 at 11:46 am ET
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Torey Krug

Torey Krug

WILMINGTON — The Bruins announced Wednesday that defenseman Torey Krug will miss 2-3 weeks with a broken finger. The injury was suffered on a third-period slash from Zach Parise in the Bruins’ 4-3 loss to the Wild Tuesday night.

The team also recalled defensemen Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky from Providence Wednesday. Both players were on the ice for Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.

Warsofsky figures to inherit some of Krug’€™s responsibilities, while Morrow could challenge Matt Bartkowski as the team’€™s third-pairing left defenseman.

Morrow, who was recalled Friday but sent back to Providence Sunday, has played five games for Providence this season, registering a goal and an assist for two points and a plus-4 rating. Warsofsky has no points and a minus-2 rating in seven games.

In 11 games this season, Krug has two goals and four assists for six points and a plus-2 rating. Usually a third-pairing player and power play asset, Krug was being used as a top-4 defenseman with Zdeno Chara out due to a PCL tear.

The injury is the latest to a depleted Bruins blue line. In addition to Chara’s injury, the B’s are without Kevan Miller, who suffered a dislocated shoulder in a fight on Oct. 18.

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

Read More: Torey Krug,
Bruins blow 2-goal lead, lose to Wild 10.28.14 at 9:44 pm ET
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The Bruins surrendered a two-goal lead in the third period to fall, 4-3, to the Wild Tuesday at TD Garden.

With the loss, the B’€™s fell to 5-6-0 on the season. The loss saw a three-point performance from Seth Griffith (one goal, two assists) go wasted.

The Wild took the lead at 4:51 of the first period after Thomas Vanek stole the puck from Matt Bartkowski behind the net and sent it in front for Nino Niederreiter to bury past Tuukka Rask. Boston tied it at 1:37 left in the period when David Krejci sent an impressive saucer pass from the half wall past two defenders to Griffith, who tipped it past Niklas Markstrom for his first of the night. In getting the secondary assist on the goal, Zach Trotman registered his first career NHL point.

The Bruins took the lead in the second period on a goal-of-the-year candidate from Griffith. With Milan Lucic sending the puck up to Gregory Campbell in the neutral zone, Griffith raced to the net from the defensive zone and, after Campbell patiently waited to make the pass in front, Griffith got his stick on the puck as trip attempts from Niederreiter and Nate Prosser sent him flying as he reached the net. The puck went in as Griffith toppled to the ice, with his gloves breaking his fall.

Milan Lucic added to the lead with a power play at 16:59 of the second period, redirecting a Torey Krug shot from in front of the net for his second goal of the season. Griffith picked up the secondary assist on the goal.

The Wild, who were playing their second game in as many nights, would answer back in the third period with goals from Zach Parise and Justin Fontaine. A Marco Scandella slapshot from the point that sailed past Tuukka Rask at 14:07 of the third capped the come-from-behind victory.

The Bruins will next head to Buffalo, where they will get a layup against the Sabres before hosting the Senators at the Garden Saturday.

Here are some observations from the game: Read the rest of this entry »

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