|What went right as Bruins beat Maple Leafs in shootout to pull even with Canadiens||03.25.13 at 9:58 pm ET|
The Leafs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second period with goals from Joffrey Lupul and Nikolai Kulemin. The Bruins were able to come back with goals from Milan Lucic and Bergeron, with Lucic scoring his first goal in 16 games. Demoted to the third line for Monday’s contest, Lucic took a pass from Rich Peverley and flew past two defenders to give himself a breakaway on which he beat Leafs netminder James Reimer to make it 2-1 in the second period. Bergeron took advantage of some sloppy defensive play from Toronto in the third to tie the game.
The win improved the Bruins’ record to 21-7-3, pulling them even with the Canadiens with 45 points. Both the B’s and Habs have played 31 games this season, and the Bruins will host the Canadiens Wednesday at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Daniel Paille was undoubtedly a beneficiary of the new lines, as he had scoring chance after scoring chance while skating on Patrice Bergeron’s trio. Paille’s chances weren’t limited to even strength, however, as a spin move he pulled around Dion Phaneuf with the Leafs on the power play in the second period nearly yielded a shorthanded goal for the Bruins. Paille led the Bruins with five shots through two periods.
– Bergeron had all the time in the time in the world with the puck after Dougie Hamilton fed him from behind the net. Dion Phaneuf was front of the net when Bergeron got the puck but didn’t make much of an effort on taking Bergeron out of the play. The drowsy effort from Phanuf allowed Bergeron to handle the puck just long enough before beating Reimer with a backhander.
– More of a general observation, but Julien reverted back to the team’s original lines about five minutes into the third period. Furthermore, when the game went to 4-on-4 play following matching roughing minors to Phaneuf and Andrew Ference, Krejci was paired with Lucic while Bergeron skated with Marchand.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The line of David Krejci between Brad Marchand and Nathan Horton moved the puck well and created chances, but they didn’t get the puck on net. The line combined for three shots on goal through two periods and missed the net on multiple chances. Early on in the first period, Krejci fed Marchand in front, only to have Marchand’s bid sail to the left of Reimer. Horton has just one goal the last 14 games.
– Speaking of Horton, both he and Seguin had zero shots on goal in regulation and in overtime. That’s not fantastic.
– Aaron Johnson had a forgettable second period, as his hit on Lupul gave the Maple Leads the power play on which Lupul scored to make it 1-0. Later in the period, he had a shot blocked that led to the long pass through the neutral zone past he and Andrew Ference to give Kulemin a breakaway.
|Johnny Boychuk out Monday vs. Maple Leafs||03.25.13 at 11:23 am ET|
Boychuk left Friday’s practice with an apparent foot injury. He did not practice Sunday after missing Saturday’s game in Toronto. In his place, Matt Bartkowski played 13:05, posting a minus-2 with one shot on goal. Bartkowski will play in his second consecutive game Monday
The Bruins did not hold a morning skate Monday, but Julien shuffled the team’s lines in Sunday’s practice. They were as follows:
Brad Marchand ‘ David Krejci ‘ Nathan Horton
Daniel Paille ‘ Patrice Bergeron ‘ Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic ‘ Rich Peverley ‘ Jordan Caron
Jay Pandolfo ‘ Gregory Campbell ‘ Shawn Thornton
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Tuukka Rask defensive, but says confidence isn’t shaken||03.24.13 at 2:17 pm ET|
After jumping out ahead of the pack in the Eastern Conference early on in the season, the Bruins find themselves in their most trying times with 18 games left on their schedule. They’ve lost three of their last four in regulation, and Claude Julien has tried different tactics in recent days to wake a team that’s been bad for the first time.
Part of that included giving back-to-back starts to Anton Khudobin for the first time this season when he put the backup between the pipes Thursday in Ottawa and Saturday in Toronto. That followed a 3-1 loss to the Jets Tuesday in which Winnipeg marched back from a 1-0 deficit in the third period with three unanswered goals (one of which was an empty-netter), resulting in Julien saying following the game that the B’s needed “timely saves” and didn’t get them from Tuukka Rask.
Rask made his return to the net in the third period of Saturday’s loss to the Maple Leafs, but it’s been a strange week for him. He got called out by his coach for the first time this season and was then given his longest stretch of time on the bench all year.
The 26-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent following its expiration, bit his tongue when asked about Julien’s comments.
“We do need timely saves,” Rask agreed. “It’s no secret I don’t think, right?”
As for Khudobin getting back-to-back starts, Rask doesn’t feel threatened or shaken by Julien’s decision.
“I’d like to play every game, obviously, but I didn’t take it too personally,” he said. “I’ve got to play good games, I realize that. Some tough losses there, I let in two goals in Pittsburgh and Winnipeg and we lose the games, but I wasn’t awful. It shouldn’t break my confidence.”
Julien insists that he wasn’t trying to send any sort of message to Rask by sitting him for consecutive games. He was correct in pointing out that Khudobin’s been more than serviceable thus far and added that he simply wanted to reward Khudobin for breaking Boston’s two-game losing streak Thursday.
“Tuukka is Tuukka. He’s hard on himself,” Julien said. “My thinking behind that was that Khudobin’s played well for us this year, and after playing that game in Ottawa where he was really good, he deserved a second start. I anticipated that this week coming up, Tuukka would have lots of opportunities to play. It was more based on what I saw coming up and on [Khudobin’s] play. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out [well] but Tuukka went in there and I thought he was solid in the jobs that he got in the third period.”
In fact, Rask wasn’t very hard on himself, but more defensive on Sunday. After saying that he agreed with Julien’s “timely saves” comment, Rask was asked how he’d assess his level of play of late. He responded by saying that he was between the pipes as the Jets came back, but that he didn’t single-handedly blow the game.
Said Rask: “I’m not blaming myself for those goals, but we were still up 1-0 and it would be nice to at least get a point out of that, but I don’t think I’ve been awful, if that’s what you’re saying.”
Rask wouldn’t be getting all of this attention were it not for Julien’s comments Tuesday. He’s been one of the league’s top goaltenders this season (Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports even wrote on Tuesday that Rask should be the favorite to win the Vezina) and his team hasn’t scored in front of him. Still, the last week has served as a bit of a speed bump in Rask’s first full season as a starter and it will be interesting to see how he comes out of it.
|Report: Jarome Iginla would waive no-trade clause for Bruins||03.24.13 at 1:35 pm ET|
According to Renaud Lavoie of RDS, Flames forward Jarome Iginla has listed the Bruins as one of four teams for which he would waive his no-trade clause.
The RDS report states (en Francais) that Iginla listed the Bruins, Blackhawks, Kings and Penguins as the teams to which he would accept a trade. Iginla, 35, is in the final year of a three-year, $21 million deal and will be an unrestricted free agent following the season. Through 24 games this season, the Calgary captain has seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points.
The trade deadline, which is normally at the end of February, is April 3 this season due to the adjusted schedule caused by the lockout-shortened season.
|Claude Julien shakes up lines, Johnny Boychuk misses practice||03.24.13 at 1:26 pm ET|
The morning after the Bruins concluded their 1-3-0 road trip, Claude Julien shook up his lines for Sunday’s practice. All four lines were different, with Milan Lucic receiving the biggest demotion by going from the first line to the third line.
The lines were as follows:
Asked why he altered the lines, Julien responded, “Because I can. Because I’m the coach.”
The Bruins scored just six goals over the four-game road-trip. They will return to action Monday against the Maple Leafs.
Johnny Boychuk (leg) did not practice, and he remains day-to-day after leaving Friday’s practice.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins assign Ryan Spooner to Providence||03.24.13 at 11:25 am ET|
The Bruins assigned center Ryan Spooner back to Providence Sunday. Spooner, who was recalled Monday following David Krejci‘s knee injury against the Penguins, played in the last three games for the Bruins.
Spooner, a second-round pick in 2010, didn’t collect a point in his stint with the B’s and has no points and an even rating in four NHL games this season.
|Bruins’ comeback falls short vs. Maple Leafs||03.23.13 at 9:47 pm ET|
The Maple Leafs got goals in the first and second periods from Nazem Kadri and Mikhail Grabovski, respectively. Frazer McLaren made it 3-0 early in the third when he took a loose puck in front of the net and backhanded it off his skate and through the five-hole of Khudobin. The goal chased Khudobin in favor of Tuukka Rask, as Claude Julien replaced his starting goaltender for the first time this season. Khudobin, who was starting his second consecutive game for the first time this season, allowed the three goals on 11 shots.
Dennis Seidenberg got the Bruins on the board with a wrist shot from the point following the goalie change, with Andrew Ference scoring to make it 3-2 with the goalie pulled and just over a minute to play.
The Bruins outshot the Leafs, 33-13. The loss was the Bruins’ first against the Maple Leafs since March 19, 2011, breaking up a string of eight consecutive wins against Toronto for the B’s.
With their four-game road trip concluded (1-3-0), the Bruins will return to Boston and host the Leafs Monday at TD Garde
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– With the Bruins down two of their six defensemen in Adam McQuaid (shoulder) and Johnny Boychuk (leg), Claude Julien had to rely more on his other blueliners. Andrew Ference led the B’s in time on ice through two periods (16:59) as Julien played Dougie Hamilton (8:09 through two periods) more sparingly. Hamilton did come up big by swatting a puck out that was headed into the net after a Khudobin save on a Toronto 2-on-1, but Julien clearly had his younger defensemen on a shorter leash Saturday.
– Speaking of defensemen, Bartkowski had a forgettable night in his season debut. The 24-year-old was on the ice for Toronto’s first two goals, the second of which was the result of a play that started with the youngster pinching in the offensive zone. With Bartkowski pinching, Toronto was able to get the puck out of the zone, and though Milan Lucic was back, Grabovski was able to blow past him with ease.
– Bartkowksi and Lucic weren’t the only two who deserved blame on the Grabovski goal. The Toronto forward was struggling with the puck from the right circle, and David Krejci had both time and the opportunity to take the body or steal the puck, but he allowed Grabovski to regain control of the puck and fire a shot past Khudobin to make it 2-0.
– The Bruins turned it on following an Aaron Johnson high-sticking penalty in the first period, and the closest they got to scoring was on a shift by the David Krejci line. Nathan Horton had two golden opportunities to tie the game, but couldn’t bury it. Horton had James Reimer off-guard when the right-winger controlled a loose puck in front but fired a low shot right into the Toronto goaltender’s pads.
– The Bruins were putting the pressure on heavy after Seidenberg got them on the board, but a power play in which they got zero shots on goal halted any momentum the B’s may have gained to that point.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Though they got nothing to show for it, the Gregory Campbell line was once again Boston’s third line and came out of the first period with two of Boston’s better shifts in the first 20 minutes. Daniel Paille failed to bury chances on both shifts, but give the Merlot Line — including Shawn Thornton, who dropped the gloves with Colton Orr after Toronto took a 1-0 lead — credit for showing up in an increased role.
– Seidenberg’s goal was his second in as many games, which is pretty impressive when you consider that he had no goals on the season entering Thursday.