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5 things we learned as Bruins win again on road in front of Jonas Gustavsson 10.23.15 at 10:15 pm ET
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The Bruins like playing on the road and they like playing their backup goalie.

That odd trend continued Friday night, as the B’€™s picked up their third win of the season — all of which have come on the road — in the form of a 5-3 victory over the Islanders at Barclays Center. The B’€™s record now stands at 3-3-1.

Boston’€™s ability to pick up the win in front of Jonas Gustavsson wasn’€™t quite because the backup turned in a particularly good outing, but because the B’€™s bounced back from a horrid first period by limiting the Islanders significantly over the final two periods. After getting outshot, 18-8, in the first period, the Bruins held the Islanders to just eight shots in the second (five) and third (three) periods combined.

The B’€™s came back from a 2-1 deficit in the second period and built a lead thanks to strong work from a makeshift fourth line of Ryan Spooner with Joonas Kemppainen and Tyler Randell. Kemppainen had a goal and an assist for the first two points of his NHL career.

After building a two-goal lead, the Bruins managed to not relinquish it after doing so in the previous two games.

David Krejci made it a three-goal game with an empty-net goal with 2:25 left, though the Islanders answered with a Thomas Hickey tally to come back within two. With Friday’€™s goal, Krejci has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in seven games this season. He has registered points in every game this season.

Here are four more things we learned in Friday night’€™s win.

BELESKEY STAYS OUT, MORROW RETURNS

Matt Beleksey missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury, while Joe Morrow returned from the flu. The lineup to begin the game was as such, though changes that Julien made as the game went on paid off:

Marchand-Bergeron-Connolly
Eriksson-Krejci-Pastrnak
Kelly-Spooner-Hayes
Rinaldo-Kemppainen-Randell

Chara-Colin Miller
Krug-McQuaid
Morrow-Kevan Miller

CHANGE IS GOOD FOR SPOONER, KEMPPAINEN

The second period saw Claude Julien tinker with his forward lines, first briefly flipping Jimmy Hayes and Brett Connolly on the middle two lines and later shaking up his bottom six.

With Ryan Spooner struggling this season in even-strength play, Julien moved the young center to the fourth line and moved Chris Kelly from left wing on the third line to center. Zac Rinaldo replaced Kelly on the left wing, with Spooner centering Kemppainen and Randell on the second line.

The fourth-line change paid off for the Bruins. After Kemppainen forced a turnover during an attempted Flyers breakout, Spooner picked off the puck and fired a shot that was blocked by Travis Hamonic. The puck bounced to Kemppainen, who buried it for the first goal (and point) of his NHL career to tie the game at two.

Kemppainen, who is not known for his offense, helped the Bruins add to their lead in the third by forcing another turnover and making a nice pass to Spooner in front. Spooner tried to return the puck to Kemppainen, but saw the puck bounce off an Islanders skate and into the net to make it 4-2.

CONNOLLY HEATING UP

Connolly kept up his strong response to last weekend’€™s healthy scratch by scoring in his second straight game. The 23-year-old jumped on a puck that Brad Marchand had tossed into the slot and whacked it past Jaroslav Halak to give Boston a 1-0 lead at 9:51 of the first.

It will be interesting to see where the Bruins move Connolly once Beleskey returns to the lineup. Given that the third line needed tweaking anyway Friday, Julien could keep Connolly with Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line and play Loui Eriksson on Spooner’€™s line.

PASTRNAK BOUNCES BACK

After David Pastrnak’€™s terrible showing Wednesday against the Flyers, Julien said that the 19-year-old had better performances ahead of him. One of them came Friday, when Pastrnak buried a laser from the slot to break the 2-2 tie in the second period.

In addition to Pastrnak’€™s turnovers against the Flyers, his failure to put the game away in the third period on a Grade A scoring chance quite possibly cost the Bruins a point in a game they eventually lost in overtime.

Pastrnak is there for his scoring, so his reminder of that Friday with his first goal since the season-opener should be encouraging for the B’€™s.

Bruins activate Joe Morrow from IR, send Seth Griffith to Providence 10.23.15 at 3:49 pm ET
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Joseph Morrow

Joseph Morrow

The Bruins activated defenseman Joe Morrow from injured reserve Friday and sent forward Seth Griffith to Providence.

Morrow missed the last three games due to a flu bug that cost him to lose weight. The Bruins sent Tommy Cross, who had played three games in his place, back to Providence on Thursday. The 22-year-old defenseman skated in Boston’s first three games of the season, averaging 19:38 of ice time per game. Should he play Friday against the Islanders, it’s likely that he will be paired with either Kevan Miller or Colin Miller.

Griffith, who played 30 games for the B’s last season, sprained his left MCL during the preseason. Though he has remained on the NHL roster, he has been skating with the Providence Bruins recently.

With Friday’s moves, the Bruins are back at the 23-man roster limit.

Read More: Joe Morrow, Seth Griffith,
Zac Rinaldo not suspended for hit on Sean Couturier 10.22.15 at 4:37 pm ET
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Bruins forward Zac Rinaldo will not be given any supplemental discipline for his hit on Flyers forward Sean Couturier, the Department of Player Safety announced Thursday.

Rinaldo was given a charging major and game misconduct for the hit, which occurred late in the first period of Philadelphia’€™s 5-4 overtime win over the B’€™s. Though Rinaldo is considered a repeat offender because he’€™s been suspended within the last 18 months, such status is only applied to plays deemed to be suspendable in a vacuum. Had Rinaldo’€™s hit been suspendable in the league’€™s eyes, his punishment would have been steeper than that of a first-time offender.

The video explaining the league’€™s decision outlines that Rinaldo does not elbow Couturier, commit interference or target the head. The video also says that Rinaldo did not launch into the hit or leave his feet.

Read More: Zac Rinaldo,
Matt Beleskey still not practicing, Tommy Cross returned to Providence 10.22.15 at 11:38 am ET
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WILMINGTON — New father Patrice Bergeron was given the day off from practice Thursday at Ristuccia Arena. Also missing from the session was Matt Beleskey, who missed Wednesday’s game with an upper-body injury. Following the practice, Claude Julien said that Beleskey will travel with the team for Friday’s game in Brooklyn.

Tommy Cross has been returned to Providence. Boston’s other seven defensemen practiced Thursday, including Joe Morrow. Though Morrow is still on injured reserve due to a recent flu bug, he can be activated at any time. Julien said that he’s yet to be cleared to play, and that the B’s will use Zach Trotman Friday if Morrow can’t go.

Zac Rinaldo was one of 12 forwards to practice for the B’s. He is currently awaiting word on whether he’ll be suspended for his hit on Sean Couturier in Wednesday’s loss to the Flyers.

 

Read More: Matt Beleskey, Tommy Cross,
Bruins leave Tuukka Rask no room for error 10.22.15 at 1:44 am ET
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Tuukka Rask has allowed 22 goals this season. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask has allowed 22 goals this season. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Tuukka Rask has not been a cure-all for the Bruins’€™ issues. That doesn’€™t mean he’€™s been a primary source of those issues.

In five games played this season, Rask has allowed a jarring 22 goals. While goals against is a team statistic, having a goalie of Rask’€™s caliber is typically a fail-safe against such results.

These are not typical circumstances, however, so judging Rask based on them isn’€™t entirely fair, even if he is making a whole lot of money.

The Bruins have lost four games this season. In three of them, the B’€™s were unequivocally worse in front of Rask than he was behind them. Last week’€™s loss to Tampa qualified as a stinker on Rask’€™s behalf, but the other performances have seen him allow goals not usually seen around these parts. Does Rask deserve criticism for not being at his best? Sure, but no five-game sample can possibly be seen as an indication that one of the best goalies in the league (remember: Rask is the leader among active goalies in career save percentage, ahead of Henrik Lundqvist, Carey Price and everyone else) is some flawed player who no one noticed because he was on a good team.

Granted, what’€™s alarming with Rask is that, for the first time in a long time, he doesn’€™t pass the eye test. The numbers are ugly enough, but so too are the goals. Commonly this season, such lowlights have been the result of a Rask miscue exacerbated by Boston’s defensive play.

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Read More: Tuukka Rask,
Zac Rinaldo ‘for sure’ concerned about suspension after hit on Sean Couturier 10.21.15 at 11:52 pm ET
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Zac Rinaldo is well aware that his hit on Sean Couturier in the first period of Wednesday’€™s loss to the Flyers got the attention of the Department of Player Safety.

A repeat offender given that he’€™s been suspended within the last 18 months, Rinaldo said he is “for sure” concerned about being suspended for his charging major Wednesday, which came with a game misconduct.

Though Rinaldo did not target the head, the hit was highly avoidable given how late it was. He said after the game that his intention was to lay a clean hit.

“I saw the puck coming around the boards and I thought he still had full control of the puck, and I just tried to deliver a body check,” Rinaldo said.

Asked whether he felt he actually did lay a clean hit, Rinaldo reiterated, “That’€™s what I was trying to do, yeah: deliver a clean hit, just go through the body. It’€™s a part of the game, so that’€™s what I tried to do.”

Rinaldo has been suspended three times for a total of 14 games in his career.

Read More: Zac Rinaldo,
5 things we learned: Bruins aren’t good at holding leads 10.21.15 at 10:43 pm ET
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The Bruins can build a lead and they can blow a lead. The bad commonly outweighs the good there. Anyway, now they’€™re 2-3-1.

For the second straight game, the B’€™s relinquished a two-goal lead, with Wednesday’€™s contest costing them in overtime in the form of a 5-4 Flyers win. After jumping ahead of Philly, 4-2, through the first two periods, Boston let the Flyers storm back with third-period goals from Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds. A Ryan Spooner hooking penalty in overtime led to a power-play goal from Giroux to end the game and hand the Bruins a disappointing loss.

Boston got goals in regulation from Brett Connolly, Patrice Bergeron, Chris Kelly and Jimmy Hayes. Bergeron, who was in the lineup after recently welcoming his first child to his family, scored on the power play while Kelly’€™s goal came during a second-period penalty kill. David Krejci continued his torrid start with a pair of assists to bring his league-leading point total to 11 through six games.

Here are four more things we learned Wednesday:

RINALDO TOSSED LATE IN FIRST

It took six games for Zac Rinaldo to get tossed from a game. His first offense as a Bruin came late in the first period, when Rinaldo threw a late hit on Sean Couturier after the forward had already absorbed a hit from Adam McQuaid along the boards. Rinaldo was assessed a five-minute charging major and a game misconduct.

Given that Rinaldo was suspended last season, he counts as a repeat offender if and when the department of player safety opts to punish him.

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