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Bruins end road trip with shutout win over Sharks 01.12.14 at 1:07 am ET
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Loui Eriksson returned to the Bruins lineup Saturday and helped deliver the team’s only win of a three-game California road trip as the B’s beat the Sharks, 1-0. The win was just the second regulation win of the season for an opponent at the SAP Center.

With the game scoreless late, Eriksson fired a shot from the high slot that deflected off Scott Hannan’s skate and down low to new linemate Carl Soderberg, who buried it to finally get the Bruins on the board.

Eriksson, who had been playing on Patrice Bergeron‘s line when in the lineup this season, returned from his second concussion of the season Saturday and played on the third line with Soderberg and Ryan Spooner.

Tuukka Rask, meanwhile, stood tall after rocky outings against the Ducks and Kings to outduel fellow Finnish Olympian Antti Niemi. The shutout was Rask’s league-leading fifth of the season.

The game saw the return of Eriksson and Shawn Thornton to the lineup after both players missed the last 15 games due to a concussion and a suspension, respectively. The Bruins were without Johnny Boychuk, who was back in Boston to tend to a personal matter.

The Bruins will return to Boston to face the Maple Leafs on Tuesday before heading back out on the road to face the Stars and Blackhawks next week.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- This was a big bounce-back game from Rask, who had either allowed five goals or been pulled in four of his last five starts entering Saturday night. Perhaps the fact that he was facing his competition for the starting gig in Sochi next month got him to raise his game. Either that or it was the fact that good goalies can’t stay cold forever.

- Milan Lucic drew a pair of penalties Saturday night, getting held by Scott Hannan in the second period and drawing the same infraction on Jason Demers in the third. Unfortunately for the B’s, they didn’t end up with anything to show for those power plays.

- The second period has been a problem child for the Bruins this season, but they held the Sharks without a shot on goal for the second half of the period.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The B’s managed zero shots on goal in their first two power plays and, in going 0-for-3 on the night, have now gone five games without a power play goal. The Bruins were getting strong production out of both power play units in December, but that seems like a distant memory now.

Ryan Spooner remained on the second power play unit despite the return of Eriksson, which is probably a good move on Claude Julien‘s part given how well that unit’s been able to move the puck with Spooner at times.

- You don’t see Patrice Bergeron have a rough go of it too often in the faceoff dot, but Bergeron went 11-for-27 Saturday.

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Bruins activate Loui Eriksson, send Justin Florek to Providence 01.11.14 at 9:50 pm ET
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The Bruins activated Loui Eriksson from injured reserve and sent forward Justin Florek to Providence Saturday.

The move allows Eriksson to return to the lineup after missing the last 15 games with his second concussion of the season.

Florek, who was recalled last week to play in place of Jordan Caron, played very well on the fourth line for the B’s over the last three games. The 6-foot-4 winger provided a screen on a Torey Krug goal, assisted a Daniel Paille goal over the first two games of his callup and scored his first NHL goal Thursday against the Kings.

Florek will likely be replaced by Shawn Thornton against the Sharks as Thornton returns from a 15-game suspension.

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

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In case you missed it, Dougie Hamilton took a strange penalty 01.10.14 at 2:42 pm ET
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If you were asleep by the second period of Thursday’s game between the Bruins and Kings, you likely missed Dougie Hamilton take an unusual and ill-advised penalty.

At the expiration of a tripping penalty he had taken late in the first period, Hamilton played the puck as it was going by the penalty box. The issue was that both of Hamilton’s feet were still in the box. They remained there on an interference call until Justin Williams scored a power play goal.

Our pal Greg Wyshynski at PuckDaddy has a rather amusing blog on Hamilton’s infraction, in which he calls it the “dumbest penalty of the season” and sites Rule 56.2, which one would figure should be common sense:

A minor penalty shall be imposed on any identifiable player on the players’€™ bench or penalty bench who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play. In addition, should a player about to come onto the ice, play the puck while one or both skates are still on the players’€™ or penalty bench, a minor penalty for interference shall be assessed.

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Tuukka Rask pulled as Kings best Bruins 01.10.14 at 1:12 am ET
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Tuukka Rask was pulled for the third time in his last 10 starts as the Bruins fell to the Kings, 4-2, Thursday in Los Angeles.

The loss was the Bruins’ second of their three-game west coast road trip, and they’ll look to salvage something from the trip when they close it out Saturday in San Jose. The B’s have now lost five of their last six games on the road.

Jeff Carter scored the only goal of the first period, but two goals in the first 1:45 of the second from Justin Williams (on the power play) and Alec Martinez, respectively, led to Chad Johnson being called upon in relief of Rask. Johnson would allow one goal in a little less than two periods of play.

The Bruins got all of their scoring from their bottom six, as Matt Fraser one-timed a feed from Carl Soderberg past Jonathan Quick at 9:55 of the second to make it 3-1. After Dustin Brown made it 4-1 at 12:22 of the third, Justin Florek scored his first career NHL goal to bring the B’s back within two.

The game was the last of Shawn Thornton‘s 15-game suspension, meaning he will be eligible to return for Saturday’s game.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Though the results aren’t exclusively tied to the injury, Tuukka Rask has had a rough go of it since the Bruins lost Seidenberg for the season. In five starts since Seidenberg went down, Rask has been pulled twice in the second period after allowing three goals and has given up five goals in two others. Those aren’t the kind of numbers the Vezina favorite got used to putting up in the first half of the season.

- Patrice Bergeron is the best faceoff man in the NHL, so it isn’t often that you see him lose a faceoff cleanly in his own zone to lead to an opponent’s goal. That happened in the second period when Mike Richards beat him at the dot and drew the puck back to Regehr to set up Martinez’ goal.

- Here’s something you don’t see every day: Hamilton was called for playing the puck in the penalty box, as he began playing the puck as he got up at the expiration of a tripping penalty, but since his feet were still in the box, he was whistled for interference. Williams scored on the ensuing power play.

- Quick moved across his crease in speedy fashion to rob Soderberg with a blocker save in the opening minutes of the third period. It would have been a one-goal game had the Grade A opportunity gone in for the B’s. Quick also stopped Brad Marchand on a shorthanded breakaway with just under seven minutes to play.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Hamilton turned in some impressive work in the neutral zone to start the play that led to Fraser’s goal. The second-year defenseman broke up a pass and then poked the puck through Martinez’ legs. From there, Soderberg carried the puck into the zone to feed Fraser, who fired off a strong one-timer to get the Bruins on the board.

- Milan Lucic returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with food poisoning. It wasn’t the prettiest return to the lineup, however, as his line was a minus-2 on the night.

- Florek’s been able to make an impact in his limited time in the Bruins’ lineup. So far he’s provided a screen on a Torey Krug goal, assisted a Daniel Paille tally and scored a goal of his own. The 6-foot-4 forward appears to be capable of playing as a fourth-liner in the NHL.

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Ryan Spooner named AHL All-Star 01.09.14 at 4:23 pm ET
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Bruins forward Ryan Spooner was named an AHL All-Star Thursday. Spooner is currently playing in the NHL with the Bruins.

In 21 AHL games this season, Spooner has five goals and 18 assists for 23 points He has nine points (all assists) in 16 games for the Bruins this season. The Bruins have been using him to center the team’s third line since Chris Kelly went down with a broken fibula on Dec. 7.

This is the first AHL All-Star selection for Spooner, who was a second-round pick of the Bruins in the 2010 draft. The All-Star game will take place during the Olympic break on Feb. 12.

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

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Loui Eriksson cleared for contact 01.08.14 at 9:19 pm ET
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Bruins forward Loui Eriksson has been cleared for contact, Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Wednesday. Eriksson took contact in Wednesday’s practice after returning to the ice last week.

Eriksson is recovering from his second concussion of the season, which he suffered on Dec. 7 against the Penguins. The veteran winger has missed a total of 19 games this season between his two concussions. Julien told reporters that Eriksson is not expected to play Thursday against the Kings.

Both Milan Lucic (illness) and Jordan Caron (back) were reportedly back on the ice for Wednesday’s practice after missing Tuesday’s game against the Ducks.

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

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Bruins can’t sustain fast start in sloppy loss to Ducks 01.08.14 at 12:41 am ET
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The Bruins allowed three power play goals, a shorthanded goal and a 5-on-5 goal for good measure as they fell to the Ducks, 5-2, Tuesday night in Anaheim.

The Bruins turned in one of their best first periods of the season in outshooting the Ducks, 16-3, through the first 20 minutes, but Jonas Hiller kept the game scoreless. The Ducks got on the board in the second period with power-play goals from Mathieu Perreault and Corey Perry, respectively, with Daniel Winnik capitalizing on a Reilly Smith giveaway on a Bruins power play, leading to an Andrew Cogliano shorthanded goal.

Daniel Paille scored his seventh goal of the season (fourth in the last six games) at 19:44 of the second period, and Dougie Hamilton brought the Bruins within one in the third by picking up a loose puck in the high slot and sending it past Hiller. Nick Bonino would put the game back out of reach for the Bruins with 5:37 left and Brad Marchand in the box. Perreault made it 5-2 with 2:31 to play.

The Bruins were playing without Milan Lucic, who missed the game due to an illness. Jordan Caron missed his second straight game due to a back injury, leaving the Bruins with only 11 forwards for the first time all season. With Lucic out, Carl Soderberg and Paille took turns on David Krejci‘s line, while Marchand replaced Lucic on the Bruins’ first power play unit.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Tuesday’s game was the second in which the Bruins have allowed three power-play goals since losing Dennis Seidenberg for the season. In fact, all three of Anaheim’s second-period goals were scored on special teams.

- Speaking of Seidenberg, it’s safe to say Tuukka Rask misses him. Tuesday’s game was the second of Rask’s last three games in which he’s allowed five goals. It was the third time he’s allowed five all season.

- The second period has been something of a struggle for the Bruins this season, and after being outscored, 3-1, in the second period Tuesday, the Bruins have now allowed two more goals (37) than they’ve scored (35) in the middle period this season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Daniel Paille has been hot for the Bruins since missing eight games with a concussion. In six games back in the lineup, Paille has four goals and an assist for five points. He had only four points (two goals, two assists) in 30 games before going down with the injury last month.

- Justin Florek picked up his first career point in assisting Paille’s goal. Tuesday was Florek’s second career NHL game and the big 2010 fifth-round pick looks to be a viable fourth-line option for the Bruins.

-Patrice Bergeron‘s line led the way in the Bruins’ impressive but scoreless first period. Reilly Smith was stopped on a backhander in front, though Hiller’s biggest save of the period came in the form of a glove save on Marchand down low.

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