|Bruins return Jeremy Smith to Providence||03.23.16 at 5:41 pm ET|
The Bruins sent Jeremy Smith to Providence on Wednesday, one day after recalling the goaltender from the AHL.
Smith was recalled for Tuesday’s practice and the team’s trip to New York because the team wasn’t sure of the status of Tuukka Rask. Boston’s starter missed Tuesday’s practice due to illness but made the trip. He is expected to start Wednesday night against the Rangers.
|Bruins bring up Frank Vatrano, recall Jeremy Smith on emergency basis||03.22.16 at 10:54 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins recalled forward Frank Vatrano from Providence. They also brought up goaltender Jeremy Smith on an emergency basis.
Vatrano, who had six goals in 30 games for Boston earlier this season, has scored 32 goals in 32 AHL games this season, making the first-year pro the AHL’s leading goal-scorer this season.
In bringing up Vatrano, the Bruins have now used two of the four callups allotted to teams following the trade deadline. The B’s recalled Noel Acciari the day after the deadline.
While Vatrano’s eventual return to Boston was expected, Smith’s recall might be the more intriguing of the two. Tuukka Rask was not on the ice for Tuesday’s practice, leaving Smith and Jonas Gustavsson as the only goalies practicing. Claude Julien said after the practice that Rask is sick, but will travel to New York with the team for Wednesday night’s game against the Rangers. Julien noted that all three goalies will make the trip.
Smith spent most of the season with the Iowa Wild after the B’s loaned him to Minnesota’s organization given their surplus of goaltenders in Providence. He has played in Providence of late, however, given the absence of Malcolm Subban. The 26-year-old had a .911 save percentage in 23 games for Iowa before posting a .932 save percentage for Providence over 11 games.
Speaking of Subban, the young goaltender, who remains out after larynx surgery that followed a puck to the throat during warmups on Feb. 6 for Providence, reportedly skated at the end of Providence’s practice Tuesday.
Vatrano practiced on the fourth line Tuesday, giving the B’s the following lineup in practice:
|5 things we learned as Bruins lose to Kings, get swept on California trip||03.20.16 at 1:07 am ET|
The Bruins will return from their three-game California road trip with as many points as they had going into it.
With a 2-1 loss to the Kings Saturday in Los Angeles, the Bruins dropped all three games of the trip, which included losses in San Jose and Anaheim. They finished the season series 0-6-0 against California teams.
After allowing the first two goals Saturday, the Bruins pushed back hard in the second and third periods (they allowed just two shots on goal in the third), but Tyler Randell’s sixth goal of the season was all the Bruins could muster offensively.
With the loss, the Bruins (86 points) dropped to third in the Atlantic Division. They trail both the Panthers (89 points) and Lightning (87 points) and have played 73 games to Florida and Tampa’s 72.
With a three-game regulation losing streak, the Bruins have tied their worst three-game stretch of the season, as they had three previous 0-3-0 streaks.
The Bruins next will play Wednesday night when they face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
POWER PLAYS A PLENTY
The Bruins didn’t score a power-play goal Saturday, but it wasn’t for lack of chances. Boston had four power plays, which was the most it had in a game since it had five back on March 5.
The Bruins were shorthanded twice on Saturday, making it the second game in Boston’s last seven that the B’s had more power plays than their opponent.
|Bruins return Frank Vatrano to Providence||03.16.16 at 11:31 am ET|
The Bruins returned forward Frank Vatrano to Providence on Wednesday, two days after he was recalled on an emergency basis.
Vatrano, a sharp-shooting left winger who has scored 31 goals in 31 games for Providence in his first professional season, was brought up for the start of the Bruins’ California road trip as insurance should one of Boston’s forwards have been unable to play. David Krejci was one player whose status was in question, but Krejci played and had two points (a goal and an assist) in the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Sharks on Tuesday.
Vatrano has played 30 games for Boston this season, scoring six goals and adding an assist for seven points.
|5 things we learned as Bruins fall out of 1st place with loss to Sharks||03.16.16 at 12:46 am ET|
The Bruins did something Tuesday night that they hadn’t done since the trade deadline: lose a game in regulation.
The start to Bruins’ California road trip proved to be a disappointing one, as they fell to the Sharks, 3-2, on a night when the Panthers regained the top spot in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins are 5-1-2 since the trade deadline.
Despite the Sharks dictating much of the game, the teams entered the third period tied at two goals apiece before a Jimmy Hayes penalty for an illegal check to the head of Justin Braun set up what would be the game-deciding power play goal for the Sharks.
The Panthers, who beat the Canadiens on Tuesday night, now sit one point ahead of Boston with 87 points on the season. Florida also still has a game in hand, as the B’s have played 71 games to the Panthers’ 70.
The Bruins will continue their road tip this weekend with a back to back that sees them face the Ducks Friday and Kings Saturday.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
KREJCI HEALTHY ENOUGH
David Krejci played Tuesday after missing Monday’s practice with an undisclosed ailment. He was healthy enough to make some major plays, as he banged in a rebound off a David Pastrnak shot at 11:26 of the first period, but that was the top of the iceberg for the veteran center.
After Loui Eriksson forced a turnover from Brent Burns during a Sharks power play that Krejci intercepted in the neutral zone, Krejci send a quick backhanded pass behind his back to spring Eriksson on a breakaway for a shorthanded goal. With a goal and an assist, Krejci had his first multi-point performance since Feb. 20.
|Bruins recall red-hot Frank Vatrano from Providence on emergency basis||03.14.16 at 4:58 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled left wing Frank Vatrano from Providence on an emergency basis Monday. Vatrano will be available to the team for Tuesday night’s game in San Jose.
The first-year pro has 31 goals in 31 games in Providence this season, including 21 goals in 21 games since being returned to the AHL from Boston in late January.
Vatrano scored six goals and added an assist for seven points in 30 games following his recall in November. The East Longmeadow native scored the game-winning overtime goal on Nov. 25 against the Red Wings had a hat trick on Dec. 18 against the Penguins, but registered just one point over his final 13 games before being returned to Providence.
In addition to his 31 goals, Vatrano has 15 assists for Providence, giving him an impressive 46 points in just 31 games.
Claude Julien told reporters in San Jose Monday that Vatrano’s recall is related to the availability of two forwards, one of whom is David Krejci. All forwards but Krejci reportedly took part in Monday’s practice, including Vatrano.
|5 things we learned as David Pastrnak’s 2 goals help Bruins past Islanders||03.12.16 at 3:36 pm ET|
The Bruins will remain atop the Atlantic Division standings for at least another couple of days.
Playing their final home game before embarking on a difficult four-game road trip, the Bruins picked up a 3-1 win over the Islanders at TD Garden to add distance between them, the Panthers and Lightning in the standings, though their divisional foes still have games in hand.
David Pastrnak scored late in the second period to break a 1-1 tie and scored again in the final minutes for his second two-goal game of the season. Loui Eriksson had a three-point performance, scoring his 26th goal of the season and adding a pair of assists.
Tuukka Rask made 25 saves on 26 shots. With the win, the Bruins are now 5-0-2 since the trade deadline and 4-0-1 against playoff teams in that span.
The Bruins will head out west this week, where they will face the Sharks, Ducks and Kings before facing the Rangers in the finale of the road trip.
Here are four more things we learned Saturday:
CHARA GIVES IT UP
Zdeno Chara did not have a good game. The lowest point of his performance came in the second period when Matt Martin knocked him off the puck behind the net and stole the puck with ease. The Islanders ended up scoring on that possession, making Chara’s turnover even more costly.
Chara also negated a third-period power play when he went after Travis Hamonic following a Thomas Hickey high stick on Patrice Bergeron. Rather than the Bruins having a third-period power play with a lead, they ended up having to play 4-on-4 without their best defenseman.