|Bruins look to avoid getting lit up by Lightning again||03.27.12 at 1:00 pm ET|
The Bruins had some low points during their two months of mediocrity from mid-January through this month. There was the 6-0 loss to the Sabres in Buffalo on Feb. 8, or the 6-2 loss to the Panthers on March 15.
Right up (or down) there with those ugly games was March 13 against the Lightning. The B’s, with Marty Turco making his first start for Boston, got trounced in Tampa Bay to the tune of a 6-1. Turco was yanked after three goals in the first 4:31, and the Bruins gave Tim Thomas 18:35 and two goals on five shots of work before returning returning Turco to the net for good. The team was a mess defensively, and the Lightning treated the Boston zone like it was a free skate. Steven Stamkos had two goals in the game, including his 50th of the season, scored on a lazy wrist shot past Turco that NHL goaltenders usually stop with ease.
Since that loss, and the ensuing one vs. the Panthers, the B’s have showed more signs of life. They’ve won four of their last five games, have scored more, and haven’t allowed more than two goals in their last five contests.
Rich Peverley could only watch that March 13 game, as he was rehabbing his right knee, but after playing Sunday in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Ducks, the forward can see a difference in how the B’s are playing. When the B’s host the Lightning on Tuesday, they hope to avoid looking the way they did in the teams’ last meeting.
“I feel like it’s a tale of two teams, to be honest,” Peverley said of the Bruins now vs. then. “I was watching the way we’ve played of late, and I feel like we’ve done a really good job of managing the game. I think it’s confidence, and if we can keep building our confidence towards the end of the season, it’s going to help.”
Guy Boucher‘s squad is currently out of the playoff picture, as Tampa is seven points out of a playoff spot, but the Bolts are currently riding a three-game winning streak. They picked up a 5-3 win over the Flyers in Philadelphia Friday night.
If March 13 taught the Bruins anything, it’s that their former Eastern Conference finals opponent isn’t to be taken lightly. The Bruins will keep that in mind as they look to put forth a stronger effort and avoid another embarrassment.
“That Tampa game was obviously an embarrassing game for us,” Chris Kelly, who was a minus-1 against the Bolts on March 13, said after Tuesday’s morning skate. “If you ask anyone in this locker room, that wasn’t our style of hockey, and give them credit. They came out hard and played well and played right until the final buzzer like they should have, and we didn’t show up at all that game. They played well last night and are coming off a big win, so we’re going to need a much, much better than the last time we played them.”
Said Claude Julien: “It’s never a bad thing to feel the sting a little bit of it. There’s no doubt we didn’t play very well [vs. the Lightning last time]. They came out extremely hard against us, and we weren’t ready for that and because of that we lost a game. It was a pretty easy win for them.
“Let’s put it this way ‘ the way we gave them goals and the mistakes we made along the way, so we have to be better tonight. If anything, we have to make sure we’re skating against this team. They play a system that if you’re not playing well, they’re going to keep taking the puck and putting it into their own end and take advantage of the offensive players that they have.”
|Bruins plan to go with same lineup vs. Lightning||03.27.12 at 12:16 pm ET|
The Bruins kept their same lines from Sunday night’s game when they took the ice for Tuesday’s morning skate, and after the skate coach Claude Julien said that the team will probably go with the same lineup vs. the Lightning.
“More than likely we’re looking at the same lineup,” Julien said.
|Bruins send Trent Whitfield to Providence||03.26.12 at 5:19 pm ET|
The Bruins assigned forward Trent Whitfield to Providence Monday. The 34-year-old was recalled prior to the team’s three-game road trip last week, but did not get into any games.
In 43 games with Providence this season, Whitfield has seven goals and seven assists for 14 points.
|Rich Peverley returns as Bruins beat Ducks||03.25.12 at 10:38 pm ET|
The Bruins finished their three-game West Coast road trip with a 3-2 victory over the Ducks Sunday, giving them four wins in their last five games.
The B’s jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to second-period goals from Zdeno Chara and Benoit Pouliot. Teemu Selanne‘s 24th goal of the season made it a one-goal game entering the third period.
The Ducks appeared to tie the game in the third period on a goal from Matt Belesky, but Andrew Cogliano was in the crease, causing the goal to be disallowed. The B’s increased their lead to 3-1 thanks to Brian Rolston‘s seventh goal of the season. Lubomir Visnovsky made it 3-2 with an unassisted goal with 2:29 remaining in regulation.
Marty Turco got the start in goal for the Bruins and played the whole game, ending a streak of 15 straight appearances by Tim Thomas. The veteran netminder made 24 saves on 26 shots in the start, his second as a member of the Bruins.
The Bruins will return to the Garden to face the Lightning on Tuesday. Tampa beat the B’s, 6-1, in their last meeting on March 13.
|Bruins make three signings||03.25.12 at 1:16 pm ET|
The Bruins announced a pair of signings Sunday, inking forward Justin Florek and defenseman Zach Trotman to entry-level deals. Both players will report to Providence.
Florek was drafted by the Bruins in the fifth round of the 2010 draft and just finished his senior season at Northern Michigan University. He had 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points this past year.
Trotman, a seventh-round pick of the B’s in 2010, had 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points as a senior this past season at Lake Superior State University.
Lastly, Kirk Luedeke reported Saturday night that the B’s had signed Michigan State defenseman Torey Krug.
|Patrice Bergeron, Tim Thomas lead Bruins past Kings||03.24.12 at 11:45 pm ET|
The Bruins maintained their two-point lead on the Senators Saturday night thanks to a 4-2 victory over the Kings in Los Angeles.
Patrice Bergeron scored a shorthanded goal 5:18 into the second period to give the B’s a 1-0 lead, but Colin Fraser‘s second goal of the season tied it later in the period. The Bruins would increase their lead to 3-1 thanks to goals from Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly, but a Slava Voynov goal with 5:14 left in regulation made it a one-goal game. The B’s would hang on to win after killing off a Jordan Caron penalty with 4:03 remaining in regulation. Brad Marchand scored an empty-netter in the final second of the game.
The Bruins’ victory broke a six-game winning streak for the Kings, who are fighting for one of the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.
Tim Thomas played in his 15th consecutive game for the Bruins and made 40 saves on 42 shots in the victory. The win was the Bruins and Thomas’ third in his last four games.
The B’s will finish their three-game west coast road trip when they face the Ducks Sunday night in Anaheim.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Another fine example of why the Bruins are still dangerous when on the penalty kill. Bergeron poked the puck away from Anze Kopitar, sending the puck into the neutral zone. When Drew Doughty tried to bring the puck back through the neutral zone and into the Bruins’ zone, Marchand picked off his pass to create a shorthanded break, the rebound of which was buried by Bergeron to give the Bruins’ the 1-0 lead.
– Bergeron’s goal was his first in 13 games. Because of everything he brings special-teams wise and just as one of the premier two-way forwards in the game, Bergeron can never be considered “slumping,” but his return to the goal column is a sign the Bruins will welcome. Bergeron has now scored 20 goals in back-to-back seasons and four of the six seasons in which he’s played 70 or more games.
– Thomas was once again big for the Bruins, and it’s starting to look like he’s finally busted out of his midseason malaise. The reigning Vezina winner is 3-1-0 in his last four games with six goals allowed and one shutout. Thomas came up with a big stop on Dustin Brown in the second period with the Bruins caught in the midst of a line change, but his best work came in the final minute of the game, rejecting an onslaught of bids from the Kings.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins could have really put the game out of reach with six minutes left in the game, but Jonathan Quick robbed David Krejci. Lucic created the play by bursting past multiple Kings players in the neutral zone, and he and Krejci broke into the Kings’ zone with a 2-on-1. Lucic fed Krejci, only to see Quick rob him and keep it a two-goal game. The Kings got within one less than a minute later.
– The Bruins couldn’t have picked a worse time to be killing a penalty, as Caron went off for high sticking with 4:03 remaining in the game. The Kings had momentum thanks to Voynov’s goal less than a minute earlier, but the B’s were able to kill off the man advantage as past of a big night for the team’s penalty kill.
– One game after mustering a season-low 17 shots on goal, the Bruins struggled with consistently getting pucks to the net. The B’s finished the night with 26 shots on goal, but had only eight and six shots on goal in the second and third periods, respectively.
|Bruins’ comeback falls short vs. Sharks||03.23.12 at 12:50 am ET|
The Bruins couldn’t keep up with the Sharks, falling in San Jose by a 2-1 score Thursday.
A Milan Lucic giveaway in the first period led to Joe Pavelski’s 27th goal of the season just 3:57 into the game, and the Sharks added to their lead with a Daniel Winnik goal early in the third period. Zdeno Chara broke up Antti Niemi’s shutout bid with 4:15 remaining in regulation, but the B’s were unable to get the equalizer.
The loss keeps Boston at 87 points on the season. With 73 games played, they remain three points ahead of the Senators with one game in hand.
The B’s will remain out west, as they will face the Kings on Saturday and the Ducks on Saturday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins came out sluggish, which could be a product of the fact that they flew across the country and were dealing with a time change. Still, the B’s travelled to California Wednesday, so there isn’t too much of an excuse for not having their legs in the first period.
– The other wing changed over the course of the game, but David Krejci and Milan Lucic were both on the ice for both of San Jose’s goals, and both now have a minus-4 rating over their last five games. When Claude Julien recently put Jordan Caron on that top line (Tyler Seguin eventually was moved up to the line in the third period), he probably did so with the idea that it would be a more balanced, defensively responsible line. They aren’t just there yet.
– Speaking of top lines, the members of the Krejci and Patrice Bergeron lines had two and one shots on goal, respectively, for the first 50 minutes of the game. Lucic and Caron each had one shot on goal, while Brad Marchand was the only member of Bergeron’s line to get a shot on Antti Niemi.
– The B’s allowed a season-low 13 shots against the Maple Leafs on Monday, but on Thursday they posted a season-low 17 shots on goal.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Thomas kept the Bruins in the game for the first two periods, making a particularly impressive save on Martin Havlat after Logan Couture fed the veteran winger. Thomas would probably like to have Winnik’s goal back, but the soon-to-be 38-year-old was sharper than his teammates for the vast majority of the night. Even though it comes in a loss, the Bruins have to take Thomas’ improved play of late as a very encouraging sign.
– While the first two lines didn’t exactly show up for the B’s, their third line of Chris Kelly between Benoit Pouliot and Brian Rolston brought their game. Rolston had three shots on goal, and a strong drive from the line led to Boston’s only goal, as Chara jumped up in the play and banked a shot off Niemi and in.