|Torey Krug OT hero as Bruins overcome Sidney Crosby’s last-second goal||11.25.13 at 9:42 pm ET|
Torey Krug one-upped Sidney Crosby‘s late heroics as the rookie defenseman netted the overtime winner in a 4-3 Bruins win Monday at TD Garden.
With the win, the B’s improved to 16-6-2 with a conference-leading 34 points. Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for his 13th win of the season.
Crosby had scored with 0.3 seconds left in the third period to send the game into overtime. In doing so he made up for the Bruins’ go-ahead goal with 5:15 remaining in regulation in which he tipped a Zdeno Chara slap shot past Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Bruins got on the board in the first period when Loui Eriksson beat Fleury with a nice backhander following some nice stickwork off a pass from Carl Soderberg. Minutes later, with Pascal Dupuis in the box for hooking Soderberg, it was Soderberg coming up with another big play as he assisted Reilly Smith‘s fifth goal of the year.
The Penguins got back into it 37 seconds into the second period when Jussi Jokinen fed James Neal, who beat Rask stick-side high with a wrist shot. Neal then tied it with his second of the night with a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot that beat Rask glove side high with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation.
The Bruins were once again without Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid. Seidenberg skated for the first time since last week’s injury Monday morning and missed his second game, while McQuaid has been skating since last Monday but has missed the team’s last eight games.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- For the second straight game, the Bruins went with one defenseman and three forwards in overtime in an aggressive attempt to avoid a shootout, and it paid off once again. Krug netted the game-winner while skating with Patrice Bergeron‘s line a game after Johnny Boychuk was out there with David Krejci’s line for Saturday’s game-winner.
- Soderberg is really coming into his own with the B’s. He played a major role in both of the Bruins’ first period goals, taking the puck the other way after Brooks Orpik fanned on a point shot and sending it over to Eriksson entering the Pittsburgh zone. He also drew the penalty on Dupuis to give the B’s a power play and provided a laser of a pass from down low to Smith in front for the B’s power-play goal.
Soderberg now has six points (2 G, 4 A) over his last five games.
- Smith also finds himself amidst something of a hot streak, as the 22-year-old now has goals in back-to-back games and has five points (3 G, 2 A) over his last five contests.
- Chara saved a goal when, with Rask laid out after a save on Dupuis, he knocked the puck out of the crease before Crosby could poke it in.
- Eriksson had gone three games without a point, but with a goal and an assist he got back to the pace at which he was producing earlier in the month. Even with no points over the previous contests, Eriksson has nine points (3 G, 6 A) over his last 10 games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Johnny Boychuk took a Dupuis stick to the face with about three minutes to go and had to go down the tunnel. He didn’t miss any time, however, as he returned to the bench during the next TV timeout and took his next shift.
- Two of them went in, but the Bruins only had five shots on goal in the first period. The Penguins landed 10 of the first 11 shots on goal in a period that saw them set up shop in the Boston zone, and Chris Kunitz could have scored twice on his first shift were it not for the right pad of Rask.
The good thing for the Bruins was that they were able to quiet the Penguins in the first after Pittsburgh’s hot start. The Penguins didn’t get another shot on goal in the period after their 10th, a Brandon Sutter bid at 8:27 of the first.
- The Bartkowski-Boychuk pairing was beaten twice by Neal and Jokinen, as the pairing was on the ice for both of Neal’s goals. Boychuk was caught up ice and left Bartkowski back as the only defenseman in front on Neal’s first goal, while Boychuk was tangled up with the puck prior to the second goal.
|Video: This is former Bruin who is suing NHL over concussions||11.25.13 at 6:55 pm ET|
Among the 10 players to sue the NHL over concussions, as was learned Monday, was former Bruin Darren Banks, who played 20 games for the B’s from 1992-94.
Here’s a video of Banks in action.
In this fight, Banks took quite the pounding from Stu Grimson. It was on Oct. 31, and Banks next fought on Nov. 11.
Here’s what the complaint says about Banks:
“Since his retirement, he has suffered from injuries associated with such concussions and sub-concussive impacts, including but not limited to depression, personality change, memory loss, lack of concentration, severe headaches, and post-traumatic head syndrome.”
|Claude Julien’s take on why Steven Stamkos is more universally beloved than other superstars||11.25.13 at 1:19 pm ET|
Claude Julien singing Steven Stamkos‘ praises a couple weeks after visiting him in the hospital certainly isn’t the first case of the Lightning superstar being a welcomed guest in Boston.
Stamkos, who has twice been injured on Garden ice, has long been well-received around these parts, and he’s one of the few star players in the game who seems to be universally beloved.
Even prior to the Max Pacioretty incident, Zdeno Chara was booed every time he touched the puck in another building. Opposing stars get booed in other towns regularly, so what is it about Stamkos [for what it's worth, he is one of the nicest people in professional sports] that makes him adored everywhere?
Julien had an interesting answer.
“What's kind of unfortunate about the boos and that [is] a lot of it is based on what happens on the ice,” Julien said. “And we know Steve is not a dirty player. But yet, you get Zdeno, who is a physical player, and yet both of those people are just as equally good people; they're quality people, but the perception of one versus the other is different. So you see the same thing with all those players.
“People are always going to cheer and respect the players that are not physical; they just go out and score goals and play the game. But if you're physical at all, and you're throwing your body around and you're gritty and everything else, then you're not going to get that same treatment. That's my explanation for that. Steve is one of those hard-working guys that works hard and will get in the dirty areas but he's not known as a dirty player — and he's not.”
There’s obviously a lot of grey area not addressed there, as non-physical stars are booed plenty, but that’s a pretty interesting take from Julien regarding why Chara gets the treatment he does in other buildings.
|Claude Julien visited Steven Stamkos in hospital||11.25.13 at 1:10 pm ET|
Steven Stamkos had a rough time the last time he was in Boston, as he broke his tibia in the second period of a Lightning loss on Nov. 11 and had to stay in town to get surgery.
The NHL’s third-leading goal-scorer (still) was off crutches Monday as he met the Tampa media, and he revealed that B’s coach Claude Julien paid him a visit while he was in the hospital. He also received a text message from Zdeno Chara wishing him well on behalf of the Bruins.
“I had him at the Olympic Camp and I got to know Steve the person,” Julien said after Monday’s morning skate. “When you look at what he is in the league and what he's accomplished, to have that happen to him I thought it was just important to go by and see how he was doing. It was as simple as that.
“Again, it's a guy ' I said that after the game ' he's one of those players that people from all the different cities come up to watch and play and he's one of the reasons we fill buildings and you hate to see that, from anybody's point of view, to see a guy like that get injured that way. So I stopped by and he certainly feels like he wants that opportunity to represent his country and he's going to do everything he can and I just went there and kind of showed my support.”
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|Dan Bylsma: Team USA has ‘made note’ of Torey Krug||11.25.13 at 1:07 pm ET|
Penguins head coach and Team USA coach Dan Bylsma was asked Monday morning whether Torey Krug‘s name has come up in discussions as a possible candidate for the Olympics, with Bylsma saying the Bruins’ rookie’s name has been mentioned.
Krug has six goals and eight assists for 14 points through 23 games, but his status as a third-pairing blueliner (he is sixth in time on ice per game among Bruins’ regular defensemen) who does not play against opposing teams’ stars hurts his candidacy.
“I can without hesitation say that he has been mentioned and talked about a little bit based on how he’s played and the start he’s had and what he’s done so far through 23 games,” Bylsma said. “We’ve got a lot of people out watching hockey games live and on tape. We certainly have made note of how he’s been playing and what he’s done on the back end there.”
Krug was not one of the 18 blueliners invited to this summer’s Olympic orientation camp. Despite his offensive production and strong candidacy for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie, the case for him to make Team USA is tough given that it boasts the likes of Ryan Suter, Ryan McDonagh, Paul Martin, Jack Johnson, Kevin Shattenkirk, Keith Yandle and Dustin Byfuglien, among others, as candidates.
|Dennis Seidenberg skates for Bruins||11.25.13 at 11:57 am ET|
Dennis Seidenberg skated Monday morning and joined his teammates for part of the Bruins’ morning skate. It marked the first time he has skated since suffering a lower-body injury last Tuesday against the Rangers.
Seidenberg is not yet ready to return to the lineup, and it appears Adam McQuaid might not be ready either. McQuaid took part in Monday’s morning skate and has been skating since last Monday, but he was paired with Seidenberg as part of the team’s extra pairing. Claude Julien said there’s a possibility that McQuaid could play Monday, but that doesn’t seem to be a change from his status the last couple games.
If McQuaid does not play Monday, Kevan Miller will play in his third game after being recalled last week.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Claude Julien tweaks overtime approach to avoid shootout||11.23.13 at 5:45 pm ET|
The Bruins showed they don’t like the shootout Thursday night by saying they don’t like the shootout. Claude Julien did it Saturday by loading up on forwards during overtime.
In an attempt to get some scoring during the five-minute 4-on-4 session, Julien played Patrice Bergeron’s line with Zdeno Chara and then David Krejci‘s line with Johnny Boychuk, so three forwards and one defenseman rather than two and two.
“We've practiced that this year when we've done our 4-on-4,” Julien said following the win. “For me, we haven't been very lucky in shootouts — or we haven't gotten much out of our shootouts — so I just thought it was important to maybe get a line out there, give us maybe some more offense because of the fact they're used to playing with each other and not about taking that chance, but taking that strategy and having one defenseman there and making sure a forward always came back. Tonight it paid off.”
Julien’s move paid off, as the B’s got a goal from Krejci’s line when Jarome Iginla split two Hurricanes defenders to set up Krejci’s game-winning goal in Boston’s 3-2 win over Carolina.