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Shawn Thornton ‘doubtful’ vs. Rangers 04.04.11 at 2:41 pm ET
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Claude Julien told reporters prior to Monday’s game in New York that Shawn Thornton (stitches) would be able to go if it were the playoffs. Since it isn’t the playoffs, the B’s are being careful with Thornton and likely going without the forward vs. the Rangers.

“Doubtful,” Julien said Tuesday. “He’s skating this morning but he still has the visor. I don’t think we’re 100 percent comfortable right now medically. As long as they’re not comfortable, I guess we have that luxury of being a little more cautious.”

Thornton was cut above the eye last week by a skate against the Blackhawks. He received approximately 40 stitches, some of which were on the inside and could potentially break from much contact.

“I think if we’re in the playoffs today and he had to play, there’s no doubt he’d be in there,” Julien said, adding that the medical staff feels it’s “a lot safer if we take the cautious route.”

Thornton has appeared in 76 games this season, totaling nine goals and nine assists for a career-high 18 points.

Read More: Claude Julien, Shawn Thornton,
Boston chapter of PHWA nominates Shawn Thornton for Masterton Trophy 04.04.11 at 10:59 am ET
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Bruins forward Shawn Thornton has had a career year this season, setting career highs with nine goals and 18 assists in a campaign that seems to argue with him strictly being called an enforcer. Now, those efforts — and how far he’s come — have been recognized, at least locally. The Boston chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association has chosen Thornton as the Bruins’ candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”

In the past, the award has gone to players coming off injuries (Steve Sullivan, 2008-09) or facing major adversity (Jose Thoeodore won it last season for his performance after his son’s death, while Phil Kessel and Jason Blake won it in the past for playing through cancer). Thornton didn’t have to deal with such life obstacles, but his career has been far from smooth sailing.

Drafted in the seventh round back in 1997, Thornton never made it to NHL in five seasons with the Maple Leafs, and after stops in Chicago and Anaheim, he came to Boston in 2007 having never played 50 games in a season. Since coming to the Bruins, he has played at least 70 games in three of his four campaigns. Furthermore, his offensive production has increased without his fighting suffering. Though nine goals won’t get him confused with Steven Stamkos, his work ethic is something all his teammates aim to replicate.

Read More: Shawn Thornton,
Bruins Ryde penalty shot goal to division title 04.02.11 at 3:27 pm ET
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Michael Ryder ended his scoring slump and gave the Bruins a 3-2 win over the Thrashers that clinched the Northeast Division Saturday at TD Garden.

Ryder, who entered the contest having gone 12 games without a goal, beat Ondrej Pavelec on a penalty shot at 12:31 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie. It was Ryder’s second game back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for two consecutive games due to lack of production. Ryder’s penalty shot goal was the Bruins’ first since Marco Sturm did it back in 2007, and it was their first at home since Ray Bourque in 1994.

The Bruins also received goals from Mark Recchi and Daniel Paille, the latter of whom’s tally served as the B’s second shorthanded goal in as many games.

Tuukka Rask, who allowed a shaky power-play goal in the first period and was caught out of position on the second goal, improved his record to 11-13-2 with the win.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

Brad Marchand, who received the 7th Player award prior to the game, continued his recent hot streak with a first-period assist on Recchi’s goal. The helper gave him five points (2 G, 3 A) over his last four games. Marchand’s linemate, Patrice Bergeron, has assists in his last three games.

– Good to see Paille making the most of his time in the lineup while the opportunity is there. He did all the work for his shorthanded tally, knocking down a puck from Zach Bogosian and circling back to beat Pavelec.

– A stick-tap to Michael Berger from Mut & Merloni, who drove the WEEI.com stat truck Saturday, pointing out that Paille’s shorthanded goal was the 11th of the season for the Bruins, which put them in a tie with the Rangers for fourth in the NHL. The Islanders have a league-best 14, while the Flyers and Penguins each have 12.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Dustin Byfuglien continues to be a problem for the Bruins. In scoring his first-period tally to tie the game at one, the Thrashers defenseman picked up his third goal against the Bruins this season in four games.

– If Nathan Horton’s performance on Saturday took place in mid-to-late December, fans would throw fits. He’ll get a break for his zero-shot game Saturday due to the fact that he had five points over his previous five games.

Shawn Thornton was held out of the lineup once again due to the stitches he received Tuesday night. The game was a rather sleepy affair on both sides, and a guy like Thornton is the type you want in your lineup to ramp up the energy.

Read More: Michael Ryder,
Bruins and Thrashers tied at two after two 04.02.11 at 2:35 pm ET
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The Bruins and Thrashers each added another goal in the second period and are tied, 2-2, at the second intermission.

The Thrashers grabbed their first lead of the game when Evander Kane fired a loose puck past Tuukka Rask as the B’s netminder was trying to get back in position at 1:37. Daniel Paille tied the game about five minutes later, causing a turnover in the Thrashers’ zone while on the penalty kill and firing a wrister past Ondrej Pavelec for the Bruins’ 11th shorthanded goal of the season.

After two periods, the B’s hold a 17-15 advantage in shots on goal.

Read More: Daniel Paille, Tuukka Rask,
Bruins tied with Thrashers after one 04.02.11 at 1:43 pm ET
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The name of the game was easy goals in the first period Saturday, and thanks to a softy allowed by each team, the Bruins and Thrashers are tied at one.

Mark Recchi scored his 14th of the season when a shot from Patrice Bergeron trickled through the legs of Ondrej Pavelec and needed just a tap-in to make it 1-0. The Thrashers tied it up when Tuukka Rask took a delay of game penalty and let a Dustin Byfuglen shot bounce off him and in. The Thrashers are 1-for-2 on the power play, while the B’s are 0-for-1.

The Bruins are outshooting the Thrashers, 6-4.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Mark Recchi, Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask
Claude Julien says Zdeno Chara will play against Thrashers 04.01.11 at 1:50 pm ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien said Thursday that there was “nothing to report” after Zdeno Chara was absent from the game 17:14 of the second period to 3:05 of the third period against the Maple Leafs, but eyebrows were once again raised when the captain did not take the ice in Friday’s practice at TD Garden.

After the skate, Julien reassured reporters that there isn’t any reason for concern with the captain, and that he will be in the lineup when the B’s host the Thrashers at TD Garden Saturday.

“There’s nothing,” Julien said. “He had the day off today, and he’ll be in tomorrow.

Chara has not missed a game this season. He, along with Mark Recchi and Dennis Seidenberg, is one of three players who have played in each contest.

Read More: Zdeno Chara,
Bruins lose to Maple Leafs in shootout 03.31.11 at 9:53 pm ET
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The Bruins fell to the Maple Leafs, 4-3, in a shootout Thursday night at TD Garden.

The Bruins got goals from Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Andrew Ference. All three Bruins goals came in the second period. Tim Thomas made 32 saves in regulation, and made the save of the game in stopping Mikhail Grabovski on a penalty shot in overtime.

However, the Bruins blew two leads in the game. Joffrey Lupul struck for two goals for Toronto ‘€” both of the Toronto forward’s tallies were of game-tying variety, as his second period power-play goal knotted the game at two, and his third-period goal made it 3-3. Lupul went off for slashing Tomas Kaberle with 1:05 remaining in overtime.

The Capitals defeated the Blue Jackets Thursday, so the Bruins are now four points behind Washington. Bruins will wrap up their three-game home-stand on Saturday when they host the Thrashers in a matinee.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

Milan Lucic became the 10th player in the post-lockout NHL to have 30 goals, 30 assists and 100 penalty minutes in a season when he assisted Krejci’s second-period goal. Lucic later added to his penalty minute total by fighting Jay Rosehill.

– With Marchand’s shorthanded goal, he moved into a three-way tie for second in the NHL. It also gave him points in three straight games, and he now has five points (2 G, 3 A) over his last five contests.

– Krejci’s goal preserved the high level at which the B’s center has produced. Since Jan. 11, Krejci has not gone more than two consecutive games without a point. He has five (1 G, 4 A) over his last five games.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

Zdeno Chara went missing for a bit. After his shift with 2:46 remaining in the second period, the Bruins captain was not on the bench, and he was nowhere to be seen as the third period began. He ended up returning to the at 3:05 and playing the third period without appearing hindered, so the B’s seem to have dodged a bullet after a scare to one of their most important players.

– Toronto initially got on the board because a puck deflected off former Leaf Tomas Kaberle. The tally was credited to Luke Schenn. The goal also gave Schenn goals against Thomas in the last two meetings between the two clubs. Not bad for Schenn considering he’s scored just three other times this season.

– Schenn’s first-period tally broke up Thomas’ shutout streak at 1:22:21. For a while it seemed it would take a flukey goal to end the streak, and it did.

– Bruins fans seemed to dislike hearing a Phil Kessel assist being announced more than they did seeing a Toronto goal scored. The former Bruin picked up helpers on both of Lupul’s goals.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Jay Rosehill
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