|Tuukka Rask blanks Kings||12.13.11 at 9:26 pm ET|
Tuukka Rask picked up his first shutout of the season as the Bruins blanked the Kings, 3-0, at TD Garden Tuesday night.
Rich Peverley got the Bruins on the board at 6:32 in the second off a nice feed from Zach Hamill, who had been called up to replace the injured Gregory Campbell. Marchand added goals in the second and third periods to give Rask and the B’s some breathing room.
Rask made 41 saves in the game, which made for a season-high. The 60 shutout minutes improved his goals against average to 1.82, which ties him with Jimmy Howard for second in the league. His .939 save percentage is behind only Brian Elliot’s .947.
The Bruins will travel to Ottawa to face the Senators Wednesday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– On the same day that Claude Julien essentially called out Marchand for last week’s slew foot against the Penguins, the second-year forward responded with a two-goal performance. His first goal Tuesday was his first goal this month — his 10th of the season — and it came when Bergeron won a draw in the offensive zone cleanly and drew it back to the pesky forward. Marchand had a breakaway bid in the second, but his backhander was stopped by Quick. Marchand’s second goal of the night also came off a Bergeron faceoff win.
– Zach Hamill continues to look like a guy who could play every night in the NHL if he weren’t in such a loaded organization. The former eighth overall pick, who has failed to stick and make an impact at the NHL level, picked up his second assist in three games this season when he threaded the needle to to Peverley in front of the net in the first period. His work on the fourth line with Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton led to another strong scoring chance in the first period in which Thornton was tripped and gave the B’s a power play.
– The Bruins were sensational in the faceoff circle. Bergeron had two assists off of faceoff wins, and won 11 of his first 16 draws. Both Peverley and David Krejci also had solid nights at the dot, each winning eight of their first 11 faceoffs.
– The Kings didn’t apply a ton of pressure in the first 20 minutes of the game, but Rask had to work and come up with some big stops to earn his first shutout of the season. The Kings dominated early in third period, outshooting the B’s, 8-2, through the first 11 minutes. He faced only 17 shots in his last shutout, which was March 1, 2011 against the Senators, but faced 20 shots in the third period alone. It was the ninth shutout of Rask’s career.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Paille had a strong game for the Bruins (a common trend for the opportunistic winger this season), but he nearly gave the Kings a 1-0 lead in the first period when he sent a bad pass back to Adam McQuaid from close range at the Bruins’ blueline. The play led to a turnover in which Simon Gagne fed Dustin Penner. The Kings did not capitalize, as Penner either whiffed completely or just barely got a piece of it.
– The score likely would have been greater in the Bruins’ favor were it not for some hit crossbars. Chris Kelly clanked a shot off the crossbar in the second period, and Benoit Pouliot did the same a period later.
|Bruins-Kings Live Blog: Brad Marchand’s second of the night makes it 3-0||12.13.11 at 6:55 pm ET|
|Claude Julien: Brad Marchand deserved to be fined||12.13.11 at 6:40 pm ET|
Claude Julien didn’t even know Brad Marchand was fined for his slew-foot on Matt Niskanen last week until he was asked about it Tuesday, but the Bruins coach wasn’t surprised by the punishment. In fact, he felt his player deserved it.
“When it happened, I addressed it right after the period,” Julien said Tuesday. “You know, there’s certain things that we all can deal with, with certain players and what they do but slew-footing is certainly not something that I like to see, whether it’s for or against us. If he’s going to be doing that, then he’s going to get fined. He’s deserving of it and he has to own up to his mistakes, and he’s done a good job of doing that.
“Again we talk about a young player who’s trying to find that, the fine line and not crossing it and there’s times where he does and he gets fined and again, we’ve addressed it,” he added. “I want him, as I put in my own words, I want him to be a good brat, not a bad brat, so I used that term with him and that means don’t cross the line and I thought he did that time. And his response was ‘I thought I was going to get away with it’ so, but that’s not what you want to see from your players.”
Marchand was fined $2,500 by the league on Monday. The incident occurred last Monday against the Penguins.
|Zach Hamill hopes to make another good impression||12.13.11 at 1:26 pm ET|
He’s no Gregory Campbell, but Zach Hamill is ready to step in and center the fourth line Tuesday against the Kings.
The B’s recalled Hamill Monday night from Providence, and as fans will remember, the former eighth overall pick impressed in his brief stint in Boston last month. He assisted a Jordan Caron goal while playing on the third line in place of the injured Rich Peverley against the Oilers, and even stayed in the lineup at the expense of Benoit Pouliot the following game.
This time around, Hamill figures to play on the fourth line, which enforcer Shawn Thornton dubbed the “Merlot Line” two seasons ago. It’s a tougher line that relies on a grind-it-out style and tries to throw as many pucks on net as possible. Hamill admitted Tuesday that he’ll have to adapt to their style a bit, but that he isn’t concerned.
“Yes and no,” Hamill said when asked whether being on the fourth line means he’ll need to ramp it up physically. “I go out there every night and try to compete. I’m not going to go out there and hit 15 guys. Go out there and compete on pucks, go to the net and be good in all three zones.”
This season, the last of Hamill’s deal with the B’s, has seen more bright spots than seasons past. He was drafted as a center in 2007 and played the position in Providence until this season, when he began playing as a wing primarily. He had 13 points in his first 16 games in Providence, and impressed in his two NHL games.
“I think I was coming in here in the start with an open mind, coming in here and trying to get better every day, and that’s what I’ve kind of been doing,” Hamill said of the strides he’s made this season. “I’ve still got that mindset. I’m not looking too far ahead and not looking back also. It’s kind of been just going forward and keeping my mind on myself.”
Hamill’s been getting a lot of work on special teams in Providence, being relied on when the opponent has a 5-on-3, and feeling that this season has made him a more complete player.
Said Hamill: “I feel like I can play on any line. If it’s a skill game or keeping it a more simple game, I think I can do that. I think my work ethic and my versatility kind of shows that I can do that.”
While it’s been a generally positive season for Hamill, he’s been quiet on the stat sheet of late. He has just one point, a goal, over his last nine games. All things considered, he feels good about his game and hopes he can continue to make a better impression than he may have in previous seasons.
“It’s been a little slower stat-wise [in recent games], but I think everywhere else, I’ve felt that I’ve been playing pretty good,” he said. “The chances are there. I’m shooting the puck more. I think my shots have been going up, so it’s been good. A lot of penalty-killing and getting out there and kind of playing situational roles.”
|Morning skate notes: Zdeno Chara to travel with Bruins||12.13.11 at 11:49 am ET|
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes Tuesday as the Bruins take on the Kings at TD Garden. Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Tuesday’s morning skate that he intends to play Thomas Wednesday against the Senators.
Gregory Campbell was not on the ice for the morning skate. He will miss Tuesday’s game and will “probably not” play Wednesday, according to Julien. Campbell is dealing with a foot injury, and Zach Hamill is expected to center the fourth line in his place.
Daniel Paille, meanwhile, underwent a neuropsych evaluation Monday. The winger said the team was still awaiting results on the test, with Julien adding that he could play if he is cleared before the game. Paille took part in the morning skate.
Zdeno Chara (leg) did not skate, and will miss Tuesday’s game. Julien did say, however, that the captain will travel with the team to Ottawa Tuesday night. The coach said he was unsure whether Campbell would go.
|Bruins recall Zach Hamill||12.13.11 at 10:23 am ET|
Hamill has played two NHL games this season, picking up an assist while with the team last month. He got off to a hot start in Providence this season but has only one point over his last nine games.
Campbell was in a walking boot Monday after taking a shot off the foot Saturday in Columbus. Paille is working his way back from a light concussion suffered last Thursday. He practiced Monday for the first time since the injury.
|Bruins prepared to play without Zdeno Chara, however long that may be||12.12.11 at 7:54 pm ET|
The Bruins are going to be without Zdeno Chara — reportedly for at least a week — but the B’s captain isn’t ready to count himself out for even Wednesday’s game against the Senators.
“There is no time frame when I’m going to be back, but most likely I won’t be playing tomorrow,” Chara said Monday at Ristuccia Arena. “That’s as far as I can tell you right now, because honestly it’s at a stage where we can’t really talk about any further than 24 hours ahead.”
Chara injured his left leg in a collision with Antoine Vermette Saturday night in Columbus. The Boston Globe reported Sunday that he would miss at least this week, and could potentially held out until after Christmas.
The 6-foot-9 defenseman has not missed more than five games in a season since signing with the Bruins prior to the 2006-07 season. With that being said, he understands that injuries do occur, and that he hopes to return as quickly as he can.
“It’s just the nature of this sport. In any sport, you do get hurt. Injuries do happen, and there are some things as players that you can’t control,” he said. “They do really happen. As a player, really your job is to try to do your best with the treatments and rehab to get yourself back and on the ice with the team as fast as possible. That’s what I’m trying to do right now, but also at the same time, you don’t want to rush it. You want to be smart about it.”
With Chara out, the Bruins practiced Monday without drastically shaking up their defensive pairings. Claude Julien simply subbed in Steven Kampfer for Chara on his pairing with Johnny Boychuk and left the Dennis Seidenberg – Joe Corvo and Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid pairings alone.
It will be Kampfer’s first NHL game since Nov. 17, though he played two games for Providence when the B’s sent he and Jordan Caron for some game action earlier this month.
Assuming Chara does indeed miss the team’s games this week, Kampfer, who played in three straight games last month, will get the opportunity to do so again here. For a seventh defenseman, playing time and opportunities in the lineup may come sporadically, but a week’s worth of game action will give him time to get settled in and shake off any rust.
“I think you can always get a rhythm, even if you’re not playing,” Kampfer said. “You get in for one game, you’re practicing, you’re playing well and you’ve got the guys around you that are keeping you in a rhythm, so it’s definitely easier when you’ve got a team playing as well as we are.”
With Chara out, Seidenberg, who is averaging 24:12 of ice time per game (second only to Chara’s 24:28), could see an increased work load. He wouldn’t complain if that were the case, though the B’s probably don’t want to tire their second best defenseman.
“It’s up to the coaches,” Seidenberg. “We’ve been playing pretty even minutes these last few games. Guys have been playing pretty great as a group, and no matter who’s on the ice, [Doug Houda] feels comfortable putting them out there.”
With all the hoopla surrounding Chara’s injury, it’s clear that the best news is that it isn’t serious enough to keep him out for significant time. The B’s have good depth defensively, but removing arguably the best blueliner will certainly create a challenge for the B’s. It’s a challenge the other defensemen think they can handle.
“I think that some of the other forwards on the other teams will probably be in better moods, but that’s probably the biggest change,” Ference said. “He’s a big presence. Guys don’t like playing against him. He’s obviously a huge matchup against other teams’ top lines. That’s something that there’s quite a few of us back there that have played against top lines and top two lines in the league. It’s not like anybody’s getting outside of their comfort zone.”