|Bruins win without Milan Lucic, defeat Canadiens||12.19.11 at 9:29 pm ET|
No Milan Lucic? No problem. With last season’s leading goal-scorer suspended, the Bruins still went out and took care of business, beating the Canadiens, 3-2, at TD Garden.
For the second game in a row, Benoit Pouliot put the Bruins on the board in the first period. Tomas Plekanec answered with a goal of his own, but Andrew Ference helped the B’s get the lead back in the second period when he threw a puck out front from behind the net and saw it bounce of David Krejci and in. Tyler Seguin set up Brad Marchand off a turnover and the second-year forward deked Carey Price out of his pads for his 12th goal of the season. Erik Cole scored in the finals minutes to make it a one-goal game, but
Picking up the win for the B’s was Tim Thomas, who won improved to 16-5-0.
The Bruins will next play Friday when they host the Panthers for their last game before Christmas.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Peverley now has points in four straight games, so whatever has been ailing him hasn’t been hurting his production. In addition to assisting the first goal of the night, he tied Seguin for the leaf among Bruins forwards with five shots on goal.
Peverley is developing a habit of setting up Pouliot goals, as he’s done it twice in the last two games. While there was some uncertainty regarding that line to begin the season, it has taken shape, gelled and won games for the Bruins.
– Speaking of that third line, Pouliot now has goals in consecutive games. It’s always seemed that it would be a matter of getting comfortable in the system and being more consistent than he has in the past, and right now the former fourth overall pick is doing both. With six goals on the season now, he has a chance of reaching 18 goals this season, which is what Michael Ryder gave the B’s in his final two seasons in Boston.
– Another solid night for Zach Hamill, who was given some more responsibility Monday night. After beginning the night on the fourth line, Hamill was used up and down the lineup, seeing multiple shifts on the first line between David Krejci and Nathan Horton, and even played 1:40 on the power play. Hamill had two shots on goal, and his still looking for his first goal in the NHL.
– Another day, another strong performance from a Bruins goaltender. Thomas made 33 saves in the effort. In picking up the win, Thomas is now tied with Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury with 16 victories, which is second in the league.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Prior to Marchand’s goal, the Bruins, who had hist posts earlier in the game, had bad luck on some chances in the third period. A Seguin slapshot got past Price but went through the crease, and Price later made a tremendous point-blank save on Zach Hamill off a nice pass from Nathan Horton.
|Bruins-Canadiens Live Blog: Brad Marchand increases lead||12.19.11 at 6:46 pm ET|
|Video: Brendan Shanahan explains Milan Lucic suspension, says history influenced decision||12.19.11 at 3:06 pm ET|
Courtesy of NHL.com, here’s the video of NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan breaking down Milan Lucic‘s one-game suspension. Shanahan says that the fact that Lucic is a repeat offender influenced the decision.
“While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal,” Shanahan said of Lucic’s hit from behind on Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo. “However, the overriding factor in elevating this check from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine.
|Milan Lucic suspended for one game||12.19.11 at 2:31 pm ET|
The NHL announced Monday that Bruins forward Milan Lucic has been suspended for one game by the league for hitting Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo from behind in Saturday’s 6-0 win in Philadelphia. Lucic was initially given a five-minute major and a game-misconduct for the hit.
Lucic had a phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan Monday, marking the second time he has had to speak with Shanahan this season. The 23-year-old left wing had a hearing last month for his hit on Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, but was not suspended. Even so, Lucic’s history caught up with him Monday.
“While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal,” Shanahan said of Saturday’s hit. “However, the overriding factor in elevating this check from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine.”
This marks the second suspension of Lucic’s career. He was suspended for one game during the first round of the 2009 playoffs for a cross-check to the head of then Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre.
|Bruins happy to see that Tomas Kaberle has weathered the storm||12.19.11 at 12:58 pm ET|
Perhaps nobody will ever know what the Hurricanes were thinking when they gave Tomas Kaberle a three-year, $12.75 million contract this season, but he isn’t their problem anymore.
The Hurricanes dumped the underperforming Kaberle’s contract this month when they shipped the veteran blueliner to Montreal in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek. Thus far, Kaberle, who was a favorite among teammates in Boston, is proving that one team’s garbage can be another team’s gold.
In his first 27 games in Carolina, Kaberle registered only five points — all assists — and had a dreadful minus-2 rating and was even made a healthy scratch. After stringing together back-to-back games in his 28th and 29th contests for Carolina, he was sent to Montreal, and he’s been a point-a-game player since. In four games since the trade to Montreal, Kaberle has matched his total through 27 games with the Hurricanes in registering five assists. That makes him four points shy of the nine-point total he had in 24 regular-season games with the B’s last season.
“He’s come in and kind of helped settle our power play down,” Habs coach Randy Cunneyworth said Monday. “I think he’s done a great job of showing a lot of poise back there and finding the openings that are available to him. he sees the ice so well. He’s a guy that knows how to play back there, and he’s a guy that will do great work going forward. We’re pleased to have him on board. It was good timing, having him aboard, because we were kind of floundering on the power play, so we’ve kind of gotten into a better direction with him back there.”
For a guy who had a tough go of it in Carolina and even in Boston before the team won the Stanley Cup, the Bruins are happy to see him doing well.
“Kabby is a great, great guy, a great person, and he’s a really good player. He signed a really good deal,” Gregory Campbell said with a grin after Monday’s morning skate. “I don’t feel too sorry for him [for his struggles], but I think he’ll do well in Montreal. He’s used to playing in that market. Obviously he played in toronto for a long time, and he helped us a lot. I know he’s going to help them, just hopefully not tonight.”
Said Claude Julien: “Kabby was a great individual, and for whatever people may think of him, he helped us win a Stanley Cup. Maybe people didn’t see him as having as much of an impact as they all thought he would, or even ourselves, but he still brought a positive element to our hockey club and he certainly helped us control the puck from the back end onto the power play. What he’s done right now in Montreal is exactly what he’s known for — being a good power play guy, a good puck moving defenseman and I hope he succeeds because he deserves it.”
Kaberle was not available to the media Monday morning. He did participate in morning skate though, so that should dispel rumors that he was at a Hello Piggy Band concert.
|P.K. Subban a game-time decision vs. Bruins||12.19.11 at 12:35 pm ET|
Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth said after Monday’s morning skate that defenseman P.K. Subban will be a game-time decision against the Bruins Monday night.
Subban is dealing with the flu, and has yet to miss a game this season. The 22-year-old Ontario native has two goals and 12 assists for 14 points this season.
|Morning skate notes: Awaiting word on Milan Lucic, lots of moving parts in lineup||12.19.11 at 11:44 am ET|
It’s hard to say just what the Bruins’ lineup will look like Monday night when they face the Canadiens at TD Garden. With Rich Peverley, Gregory Campbell and Milan Lucic all question marks, the Bruins could be seeing more of Zach Hamill, giving a night of work to Jordan Caron, or not playing either of the youngsters.
Both Campbell and Peverley skated Monday in the team’s optional morning skate. Campbell fractured his foot last Saturday against Columbus, while Peverley has an ailment that is healed by rest. Given that, Claude Julien said the team is considering taking advantage of the light schedule this week and giving him a game or two off.
Lucic had his hearing Monday with Brendan Shanahan, but will not be made available to the media until a ruling comes down.
More to come.