|What went right as Bruins beat Panthers||03.14.13 at 9:26 pm ET|
As of Thursday, the Bruins and Panthers will both rivals in Division C next year, so perhaps that’s why both turned in C-grade efforts Thursday night. Either way, the Bruins got out of it with a 4-1 win thanks to goals from Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Shawn Thornton. Bergeron had two goals, one of which was an empty-netter.
With the victory, the B’s improved to 18-4-3 on the season, giving them 39 points. They sit one point behind the idle Canadiens, who lead the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference with 40 points but have played 27 games to the Bruins’ 25.
Here’s what went right and wrong in the win:
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- There was great puck movement throughout the ice for the B’s on Bergeron’s first goal, starting in their own end. Dennis Seidenberg started by getting the puck to Andrew Ference, who sent it up to Seguin in the neutral zone. With the trio of Seguin, Brad Marchand and Bergeron breaking into the zone, Seguin fed Marchand on the left wing, who sent it back down low to Bergeron, who capitalized with his seventh goal of the season.
Bergeron now has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points over his last 13 games.
- The fourth line came through once again on Boston’s third goal, which came as the result of some extra hard work from Shawn Thornton. After taking a feed from Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton sent the puck across the crease but stuck with the play, going around the net and getting to the puck from the other side after it bounced off a Florida skate and putting it in for his third goal of the season. The fourth line has now scored in three of Boston’s last four games.
- Entering Tuesday’s game against the Penguins, Zdeno Chara was on pace to have his worst offensive season since 2001-02, but he’s changed that with goals in back-to-back games. After a puck bounced to him at the left circle off a David Krejci missed shot, Chara bombed a slap shot past Scott Clemmensen to give him his sixth goal of the season and open the game’s scoring.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins played like a time that was 100 percent positive they were playing the Panthers, and that effort wouldn’t have yielded two points against too many other teams. It was a largely uninspired and careless showing for Boston, with not a strong enough attack and turnovers aplenty. Fortunately for the B’s, the competition didn’t take advantage.
The B’s mustered just seven shots on goal in the second period.
- If both Dougie Hamilton and Tuukka Rask stuck with the play as much as Shawn Matthias did on his goal, perhaps the unassisted shorthanded goal — the first shorthanded goal the B’s have allowed this season — would not have been scored. Hamilton and Matthias were both chasing the puck in the Bruins’ zone and went down upon reaching it. Matthias sprung back up with the puck and beat a seemingly surprised Rask, while Hamilton was slower to get up and tried to swing a stick to break up the play. His efforts were too late, as Matthias put it past Rask far side.
- David Krejci’s line got its chances, but the scoring slumps for Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton continued. Lucic has now gone 10 games without a goal, while Horton’s goal-less stretch reached eight games. Both players had plenty of opportunities Thursday night, with Lucic just missing an opportunity to make it 3-1 in the third. With Horton and Lucic driving to the net, Horton sent it to Lucic in front. With plenty of space, the puck bounced off Lucic’s skate and the puck was wide and past the net by the time he gained control.
|Rich Peverley becomes center of attention with Chris Kelly out||03.14.13 at 12:51 pm ET|
The Bruins needed more offensive consistency out of their third line, and instead they got even more uncertainty as center Chris Kelly was lost for the time being with a broken left tibia Monday against the Senators.
Things were looking up for Kelly’s line when the addition of Jordan Caron yielded a Kelly goal in Caron’s season debut Saturday, giving the Caron-Kelly-Rich Peverley line as many goals in one game as the Chris Bourque-Kelly-Peverley line had in 16 games. Yet the trio of Kelly with Caron and Peverley won’t be seen again for a while, and for the time being the B’s will be working with Peverley between Jay Pandolfo and Caron, as they did Tuesday against the Penguins.
The revamped third line obviously features some shuffling, as Peverley, who has played mostly right wing in his time with the B’s, slides to center. Caron, a left wing, is now playing his off-wing on the right to allow Pandolfo to play left. It shows off the versatility that some of the Bruins have to offer, but the line doesn’t need versatility, it needs production after a start that has seen uncharacteristically low offensive output from Boston’s third line.
The move to center is nothing new for Peverley, who played center in Nashville and Atlanta and has taken plenty of draws in his time with the B’s.
“We’re lucky to have guys like Pev, and even guys like Seguin that have played center most of their career and can step in there and be comfortable in that petition,” Claude Julien said Thursday morning. “Pev is going to have to fill some big shoes there, with Kells being a real versatile centerman that can do a lot of different things for our team. The other thing about Rich is he’s extremely good on faceoffs. That’s an area where we don’t lose a lot.”
The third line wasn’t on the ice for any of the Penguins’ three goals in the final 6:18 to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the B’s, but the trio of Pandolfo, Peverley and Caron also combined for a total of zero shots on goal Tuesday, making it a generally underwhelming debut for the new line.
With “indefinitely” the term used by Peter Chiarelli to describe how Kelly will be out, the line will obviously have time to hit its stride, unless a trade is made or a player is recalled from Providence. Pandolfo is optimistic that he, Peverley and Caron will be able to find the chemistry needed to be a reliable line.
“If we can get some chances and get some chances, it might give us some confidence,” Pandolfo said Thursday morning. “That’s the biggest thing, is just trying to create some scoring chances and do the job defensively. That’s all guys can really worry about.”
|Board of Governors approves realignment||03.14.13 at 12:36 pm ET|
The NHL’s Board of Governors approved the league’s realignment plan Thursday, making the plans for a new two-conference, four-division system official.
The league will consist of 16 teams in the East and 14 teams in the West, with each conference containing two divisions. The divisions have yet to be named.
The Bruins will play in one of the East’s divisions with the Red Wings, Sabres, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Lightning and Senators. The other division in the East will consist of Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, the Rangers, the Islanders, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington.
Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver will play in one of the West’s divisions, with the other being made up of Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
For more on the NHL and the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins sign Anthony Camara to entry level contract||03.14.13 at 12:22 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Thursday that they have signed 2011 third-round pick Anthony Camara to an entry level contract.
The gritty Camara’s selection raised eyebrows at the time, as the forward had just 14 goals over two full OHL seasons to that point, but his offensive production has picked up considerably since. This season, his fourth in the OHL, he has 36 goals and 24 assists for 60 points and 80 penalty minutes for the Barrie Colts.
Camara has been suspended twice this season, the most recent of which was a six-game ban for a dirty cross-check against the Plymouth Whalers in February.
It’s unlikely that Camara will play for Providence this season, as the AHL season will likely be over by the time Barrie is out of the playoffs. For a look at Camara from last summer’s development camp, click here.
|Adam McQuaid day-to-day, out vs. Panthers||03.14.13 at 11:55 am ET|
Adam McQuaid will not play Thursday night against the Panthers due to an undisclosed injury. McQuaid was hit in the hand with a puck Tuesday against the Penguins and did not participate in Thursday’s morning skate, though he did take the ice by himself following the skate.
Claude Julien gave a minimal update on McQuaid’s status following the session Thursday morning.
“Day-to-day, just a minor injury,” Julien said. “He’s not going to play tonight. He should be hopefully good to go tomorrow.”
Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice, indicating he’ll be in net for the B’s Thursday night. With McQuaid out and Aaron Johnson in, the lines and defensive pairings looked like the following:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Milan Lucic
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Jay Pandolfo – Rich Peverley – Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara – Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg – Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference – Aaron Johnson
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Chris Kelly out indefinitely with broken left tibia||03.13.13 at 4:54 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Wednesday that center Chris Kelly is out indefinitely with a broken left tibia. Kelly suffered the injury on a collision with Ottawa forward Chris Neil Monday night and missed Tuesday’s game.
With Kelly out Tuesday, the Bruins moved Rich Peverley to center with Jay Pandolfo and Jordan Caron on the wings for the third line.
Through 23 games this season, Kelly has two goals and four assists for six points and a minus-6 rating.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins blow two-goal lead in third, lose to Penguins||03.12.13 at 10:07 pm ET|
Anton Khudobin was 6:18 away from shutting out the Penguins. Fifty-one seconds later, the game was tied at two. Not long after that, Brandon Sutter was celebrating the second of two goals on the night to give the Penguins a 3-2 come-from-behind lead.
With the B’s holding a two-goal lead acquired in the first period, Chris Kunitz beat Khudobin from the right circle on a one-time fed by Kris Letang to make it 2-1. Sutter then finished off a 3-on-2 with his seventh goal of the season to tie the game and gave the Penguins the lead with less than two minutes to play.
The Penguins’ scoring was a long time coming, as they dominated the play late in the second period onward, but the B’s weathered the storm until Kunitz finally got Pittsburgh on the board. Boston had a season-low 16 shots on goal, while the Penguins put 34 pucks on Khudobin.
Zdeno Chara got the Bruins on the board in the first period with a power-play goal on a slap shot from the point, with Tyler Seguin making it 2-0 at 13:30 of the first with his ninth goal of the season.
The Bruins will return to the Garden Thursday night to host the Panthers.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- It was the third loss this season for the Bruins when leading entering the third period, as the Sabres, Canadiens and Penguins have all come back to beat Boston in the third.
- Chris Kelly missed the game with what appeared to be a knee injury suffered Monday night against the Senators. With Kelly out of the lineup, Rich Peverley was moved to center on the third line, with Jay Pandolfo jumping into the lineup on left wing and Jordan Caron moving to right wing.
- Nathan Horton could have made it 3-0 early in the second period but missed the net, sending the puck wide right. Horton has now gone seven consecutive games without a goal.
- The Penguins really turned it on in the second period, with the B’s spending the vast majority of the period’s final 10 minutes in their own zone. Boston was able to survive the onslaught, but Pittsburgh was clearly in control later in the period. Once the floodgates opened with Kunitz’ goal, however, there was no stopping the Penguins.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- The B’s came through with a huge 5-on-3 penalty kill against a Penguins team that entered the game with the third-best power play in the league. With one of their top penalty killers in Patrice Bergeron already in the box, Anton Khudobin was whistled for high-sticking, giving Pittsburgh a 1:05 5-on-3. Trios of Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk and Peverley with Chara and Seidenberg killed it off, with Peverley winning two big face-offs. Pittsburgh’s second power play ended early when Chris Kunitz went off for tripping Johnny Boychuk with 16 seconds left in Khudobin’s penalty.
- The Penguins had not been shut out this season, but give Khudobin credit for coming close as long as he did. Khudobin was strong for the B’s until the floodgates opened, getting plenty of work as the Penguins turned up the heat with sustained pressure from the Penguins in the second half of the game.
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