|David Krejci helps Bruins past Islanders||03.31.12 at 3:26 pm ET|
Four goals in the third period were enough give the Bruins two points Saturday, as they picked up a 6-3 win over the Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. With the victory, the Bruins now have points in five straight games (4-0-1).
David Krejci had a pair of goals for the B’s, with Boston also getting goals from Chris Kelly, Brad Marchand, Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron. The Islanders got two goals from P.A. Parenteau, as a well as a Kyle Okposo tally.
Marty Turco made the start for the Bruins, making 19 saves on 22 shots and picking up his second win as a member of the B’s.
The Bruins will stay in the state of New York and face the first-place Rangers Sunday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– The B’s became the first team in the NHL to have six 20-goal scorers. Seguin (27), Brad Marchand (27), Milan Lucic (24), Krejci (23), Bergeron (21) and Kelly (20) make up that list, and it’s proof that though the B’s offense cooled off in the middle of the season, they have as deep a scoring attack as any team in the league.
– Speaking of 20 goals, Kelly became a 20-goal scorer for the first time in his career with his first-period goal. The tally also gave him his 38th point of the season, tying his career-best recorded back in 2006-07 as a member of the Senators.
– Krejci’s 23rd goal of the season helped him surpass his career-best total from 2008-09, and he still has four more games to add to it.
– Claude Julien flipped Seguin and Rich Peverley, and it worked for both lines. Marchand, Seguin and Bergeron all scored for their line, while the first of Krejci’s two goals came on a shift with Peverley and Lucic.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Turco got a little too aggressive and took a minor penalty for tripping Okposo in the second period. The Islanders did not score on that power play, and finished the day 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
– Speaking of power plays, Saturday’s game marked the fourth contest in the last six that the Bruins had only one power play. The Bruins have not scored a power play goal over their last six games, with their most recent power play tally coming on March 19 against the Maple Leafs (if that game counts).
– The Islanders actually got some momentum out of the Bruins’ lone power play. Shortley after Mark Streit’s delay of game penalty was killed off, Parenteau scoring his second goal of the game to bring the Islanders within one.
|Bruins will have to wait to clinch playoff spot after shootout loss to Capitals||03.29.12 at 9:44 pm ET|
The Bruins climbed their way out of a 2-0 hole in the third period Thursday to earn a point before falling to the Capitals, 3-2, in a shootout. Brooks Laich broke a 2-2 tie in the shootout in the fourth round, giving the Capitals the win. The one point was not enough to clinch a playoff spot for the Bruins.
Former Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman broke a scoreless tie 7:59 into the third period to give the Capitals the lead, and Marcus Johansson made it 2-0 less than two minutes later. David Krejci tipped a Zdeno Chara shot from the point with 3:10 remaining. Then, Andrew Ference tied the game with 1:16 left.
The Bruins lost Adam McQuaid early on after the defenseman was hit from behind and into the boards by Capitals forward Jason Chimera at 14:00 of the first period. McQuaid left the game holding his face and did not return, while Chimera was given a five-minute major for charging as well as a game misconduct.
Capitals starting goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who was making his return from a groin injury, left the game late in the first period. He was replaced by Michal Neuvirth, who stopped everything but Krejci’s goal the rest of the way.
The Bruins will head to New York this weekend to face the Islanders Saturday and the Rangers Sunday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Losing McQuaid would obviously not be optimal for the Bruins. They were already playing without Dennis Seideneberg because of an infected cut on his right leg, though Claude Julien said prior to the game that the team was being cautious with the German blueliner and that he was day-to-day. Luckily for the Bruins, they do have a good amount of depth on the back end, with Joe Corvo and Mike Mottau available to step in if need be.
– Brian Rolston’s point streak ended at seven games. The third-line forward had three goals and nine assists over that span.
– The Bruins didn’t manage much on the five-minute major that followed Chimera’s hit on McQuaid, and that proved to be Boston’s only power play of the game. Each team went 0-for-1 on the man advantage Thursday night.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– For the first two periods, Thomas was having an incredibly easy night — the Capitals had only two shots on goal in the first period and added seven more in the second period. Thomas averaged only five shots against over his previous eight periods at TD Garden. The bad part of that is that the Capitals finally woke up in the third period, and Thomas wasn’t able to stop them.
– Krejci had a hand in both Bruins’ third-period goals, tipping Chara’s shot to make it a one-goal game and keeping the puck in the zone to create the sequence that led to Ference’s game-tying goal.
– Seguin did not take a minor penalty after taking four in his previous three games.
|Bruins-Capitals Live Blog: B’s look to clinch playoff spot||03.29.12 at 7:02 pm ET|
|Desperate Capitals stand in Bruins’ way of clinching playoff spot||03.29.12 at 12:46 pm ET|
At this point of the season, it’s somewhat of a cliche to say that every game will have a “playoff intensity,” but when you look at the Bruins’ remaining schedule, you can understand why.
Of the Bruins’ remaining six games, only Saturday’s tilt with the Islanders is against an opponent not in or fighting for the playoffs. Some teams, like the Bruins themselves, will be looking to nail down their divisions, while other teams such as the Capitals, will be trying to squeeze into the postseason picture.
That’s why Thursday’s game between the B’s and Capitals should be worth the price of admission. With a victory, the Bruins will clinch a playoff spot, while the ninth-place Capitals would take over eighth place in the conference with a win Thursday.
“Every single team in the league, they’re playing playoff hockey right now,” David Krejci said after Thursday’s morning skate. “It’s a good preparation, that’s for sure, but there’s so much to play for right now. We’re battling for home ice advantage, for second place in our conference, and Washington is battling for a playoff spot, so it should be a really interesting game tonight.”
The Capitals, who are coming off a 5-1 loss to the very Sabres team they’re fighting for the eighth spot with, will have to bring the fire they lacked Tuesday against Buffalo. Washington is still playing without center Nicklas Backstrom, who is working his way back from a concussion, but given their situation and the fact that the Capitals have taken two of three meetings between the teams so far this season, the Bruins see enough talent and desperation to make Thursday’s opponent a tough one.
“They’re battling for a playoff spot right now, and we’re going to obviously expect their best,” Adam McQuaid said. “They’ve played us hard this year, and even without Backstrom, they have a lot of offensive firepower. We’ve got to make sure we’re on our toes.”
As for the Bruins’ situation, the team knows that it needs a pair of points to go in, but their main focus is continuing to build on their improved play of late. The team has won three games in a row, something they hadn’t done over their previous 41 games, but playing well for the remainder of the season and going to the playoffs confident is more important to them than clinching a spot a spot and feeling accomplished.
“It would be nice, but I think our main focus is on playing well and making sure that we’re being consistent and going into the playoffs feeling good about ourselves and about our game,” McQuaid said of clinching. “I guess it would be a bonus to be able to clinch as soon as possible, but at the end of the day, we just have to worry about playing good hockey.”
Added McQuaid: “It’s only the beginning of where we want to get to. You have to make the playoffs in order to give yourself a chance to win the Cup. ‘¦ [We can] get that first step, and then shift our focus to what we’re really working towards.”
|Infected cut forces Dennis Seidenberg out of Bruins’ lineup for first time this season||03.29.12 at 12:07 pm ET|
Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was the only Bruin missing from morning skate Thursday, and he’ll miss his first game of the season when the B’s host the Capitals Thursday night at TD Garden.
Seidenberg will be kept out of the lineup with an infected cut. The blueliner suffered the cut on his left leg Saturday against the Kings, and after getting it stitched up played Sunday and Tuesday prior to it becoming infected.
“In LA, he suffered a cut on his leg, and they stitched it up and everything was good, but a little infection has gotten into it now, so he’s on antibiotics and just to play it safe, we’re going to keep him out,” coach Claude Julien explained. “It’s just day-to-day, it’s not long-term. It’s just to take care of that.”
Joe Corvo, who has been a healthy scratch for the last six games, will be inserted into the lineup in place of Seidenberg. With Seidenberg not playing for the first time this season, centers Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly will remain the only two Bruins to play in each contest.
Julien added that the team will “probably” go with the same forwards as they have the last two games, meaning Daniel Paille is likely to remain a healthy scratch.
|Tuukka Rask hopes to return in time for playoffs||03.28.12 at 3:19 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask told ESPNBoston and other outlets Wednesday that his recovery from an abdominal strain/groin strain is going well and that he hopes to be ready for the postseason.
‘I want to be back as soon as possible,’ Rask said. ‘The playoffs was, and is, the goal.’
Rask said that he hopes to return to the ice at some point next week, with him hopefully being ready for game action following the soon after. The B’s will play their last game of the regular season next Saturday against the Sabres.
‘It’s tough to speculate,’ Rask said. ‘You never know. We’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll hit the ice next week if everything goes good and go from there.’
Rask leads the Bruins with a 2.05 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. He had an 11-8-3 record with three shutouts in 23 games before suffering his injury against the Islanders on March 3.
If Rask is not ready in time for the first round of the playoffs, the B’s would likely go with Providence starter Anton Khudobin as the backup to Tim Thomas. The Bruins signed veteran goaltender Marty Turco following the injury to Rask, but Turco would not be eligible for postseason play because he was signed after the trade deadline.
|Bruins hold optional practice, with more likely to come||03.28.12 at 1:16 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Fresh off their fourth game in six nights, the Bruins held an optional practice Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena to prepare for yet another four in six stretch.
Healthy scratches Daniel Paille, Mike Mottau, Joe Corvo and Torey Krug were joined by Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Benoit Pouliot, Greg Zanon and Marty Turco. Coaches Bob Essensa, Doug Houda and Doug Jarvis were on the ice while Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli watched from above.
Julien had said the team was tired after Tuesday’s win over the Lightning, due in large part to their busy schedule and having to travel back from California this week. As a result, an optional skate was in everyone’s best interest.
“Some of those guys are logging big minutes here, and I think it’s just about managing it,” he said Wednesday. “Again, we’ve got four [games] in six [days] coming up, so we need to get some rest somewhere along the way.”
With a busy schedule the rest of the way (six games in the next 10 days), Julien said it’s likely that optional practices will be more frequent.
“I think there’s a good chance some of it’s going to be like that,” he said. “We’ve talked about [finding ways to stay rested] since the start of the year, and we have to find some times where we can get some of our rest. When you come back from a trip like we did, Monday wasn’t a day off. Monday was a travel day, so today was about giving some of those guys some recuperation time, and hopefully get set for the stretch run here.”