|Rich Peverley leads Bruins past Lightning||10.08.11 at 9:47 pm ET|
Rich Peverley had two goals and both Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand had two assists as the Bruins defeated the Lightning, 4-1, at TD Garden Saturday. The win gave the defending champions their first two points of the season.
Peverley got the Bruins on the board in the second period, as a shot from Marchand hit the post and the crossbar before Peverley sent the rebound past Lightning net minder Mathieu Garon. Martin St. Louis then beat former college teammate Tim Thomas to tie the game at one. A Daniel Paille goal (initially credited to Adam McQuaid) gave the Bruins the lead once again, and third period goals from David Krejci and Peverley provided insurance for the victory.
The Bruins outshot the Lightning, 42-26.
The Bruins will next play Monday when they host the Avalanche at 1:00 p.m.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– This is two straight big games for Marchand, who was the Bruins’ best player in Thursday’s 2-1 loss to the Flyers. Marchand picked up helpers on each of Peverley’s goals and once again was flying on Saturday. The second line of Patrice Bergeron between Marchand and Peverley is clearly clicking.
– Benoit Pouliot looked good in his Bruins debut, skating on that third line with Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin. Pouliot got as dead a reception as one could get without hearing boos, but come out on his first shift and nailed Brett Clark behind the Lightning net, leading to big cheers from the Garden crowd.
– Adam McQuaid’s return to the lineup proved valuable, as the second-year defenseman put a puck through a ton of bodies in front (Paille and Chris Kelly among them), and Paille tipped it past Garon to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. Tyler Seguin looked good on the play as well, working hard to keep the puck in the zone and getting the secondary assist on the tally.
– Shots on goal don’t mean everything, as was evident in the Bruins’ 21-shot 4-0 Game 7 victory against the Lightning last season, but the Bruins did a better job of getting pucks on net Saturday than they did in Thursday’s season-opener. After putting 23 shots on Ilya Bryzgalov Thursday, the Bruins had 15 shots on goal in each of the first two periods.
– The first line had a better showing than it did in a very lackluster season-opener. Nathan Horton had the puck poked away from him to set up St. Louis’ goal, but the line got more shots on net and saw its first goal of the season when Krejci buried the rebound of a shot from Lucic.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Lucic is still very much capable of taking ill-advised penalties after the whistle, and the Lightning have been the opponent for a couple of these occurrences now. Lucic slashed the stick out of Pavel Kubina’s stick in the first period right in front of the referee after the whistle and was sent to the box. Some might remember Lucic punched Victor Hedman in the final seconds of Game 1 in the spring.
– Not necessarily something that went wrong, but Marchand was grabbed by the head and ripped down to the ice by Dominic Moore in the second period. The two went at one another for a few moments but were separated by referees and sent to the box for roughing. Moore and Marchand still had words for one another as they left the box, and perhaps this is a sign that opposing teams will be a little rougher on the feisty 23-year-old.
|Bruins-Lightning Live Blog: Rich Peverley has two-goal night||10.08.11 at 7:03 pm ET|
Benoit Pouliot is making his Bruins debut as Tim Thomas and the B’s look for their first win of the season Saturday vs. the Bolts.
|Jordan Caron or Benoit Pouliot? Pt. 2||10.08.11 at 11:50 am ET|
Might there be a slight change made to the Bruins’ lineup Saturday?
Winger Jordan Caron stayed out on the ice a little longer than Benoit Pouliot in Saturday’s morning skate, taking some extra skating in what could be an indication that he may be the healthy scratch vs. the Lightning. There’s both a “could” and a “may” in that sentence just to illustrate how tough it is to tell.
If Caron does sit, Pouliot would make his Bruins debut. One would think that whichever of the two played the first game (Caron) would get a few games to prove himself, and it would be surprising to see changes made based on losing a one-goal game to a good team on a night in which the B’s had obvious distractions.
Said Claude Julien after the skate: “I don’t think I would make any changes based on the result of the game and the way it was played. I don’t think I would ever do that. I didn’t think we played well as a team, but that’s about where I’ll leave it.”
That’s pretty cryptic, but it may suggest that if Julien makes a change, it was one he had planned on doing anyway, perhaps as a way to give both Caron and Pouliot ice time in the first two games.
Caron himself says didn’t know until just before the ceremonies Thursday that he was playing vs. the Flyers. Skating on a line with Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin, Caron registered no shots on goal in 10:20 of ice time.
“It wasn’t my best game, but overall I thought it went pretty good,” he said Saturday. “We did some good stuff, and I did some good stuff defensively. I had a few chances offensively, Segs had a few good chances. It was an OK game overall.”
Even if Caron does play Thursday, one would imagine that with the third line being the only to carry an extra guy in practice, he and Pouliot are in a close competition for ice time. Considering Caron was in a similar situation last year entering the season with Daniel Paille, he doesn’t mind it.
“I think it’s good in a certain way,” Caron said. “It pushes you even harder. You can’t take a day off in practice. You always have to go 100 percent. I think it’s a good battle.”
|Bruins set to host Lightning||10.08.11 at 11:31 am ET|
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was among those to take the option for Saturday’s optional morning skate. Though Claude Julien does not comment on such things, the two-time Vezina-winner is still expected to start when the B’s host the Lightning.
The Lightning will not have a morning skate on Saturday, as they played Friday night in Carolina, defeating the Hurricanes by a 5-1 score. That means no mind games from Guy Boucher this time.
|Bruins fall to Flyers in season-opener||10.06.11 at 9:58 pm ET|
The Bruins’ banner-raising ceremony figured to be the most memorable part of Thursday night for the B’s, and the Flyers made sure of it by defeating the Bruins, 2-1, in the season-opener.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Tyler Seguin set up a Brad Marchand power play goal. The Flyers got on the board with a power play goal of their own thanks to Claude Giroux in the final minute of the first period, and Jakub Voracek made it 2-1 with less than three seconds remaining in the first.
Both the Bruins and the Garden crowd appeared tired by the time the second period had rolled around, and after a scoreless second, the B’s woke up in the third period. The first line, which was nonexistent through the first two periods (see below) woke up, but an improved third-period effort wasn’t enough to mount a comeback.
Tim Thomas amide 27 saves for the Bruins, while Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 22 shots.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Pretty sloppy first game for the top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton. Each had their bright spots, as Krejci nearly set up a Brad Marchand goal during a line change, but collectively the line didn’t get into much of a rhythm and failed to connect on its passes. The line didn’t have a shot on goal until the third period and was a minus-1.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Horton failed to bury an opportunity in front with an open net. He took too long upon catching the pass from Krejci, and eventually had his bid blocked by the stick of Kimmo Timonen. Krejci nearly tied the game with les than five minutes to go, as Bryzgalov accidentally dropped the puck in the crease after Krejci’s wrist shot, but he covered it before the center could get to it.
– The members of the first line weren’t the only Bruins to fail to get pucks on Bryzgalov. The Bruins had just six shots on goal in both the first and second periods. The only forwards with multiple shots on goal were Marchand (3) and Seguin (2).
– Kelly missed the net on a 2-on-1 with Seguin in the first period. The new co-aletnerate captain played well in centering the new-look third line, but he won’t get easier opportunities than that. Given that the Bruins would lose a low-scoring game, a blown opportunity like that looks even worse.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Power play woes were the norm last season until the B’s went 5-for-27 on the man advantage against the Canucks. On Thursday, the new-look second unit of Joe Corvo, Patrice Bergeron, Marchand, Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley yielded Marchand’s first period tally. Seguin hit Marchand with a long pass from just outside the neutral zone to set up Marchand. The B’s ended up a modest 1-for-5.
– Speaking of Marchand and Seguin, they were two of the best players on the ice Thursday. Marchand had plenty of scoring opportunities, as he undressed Chris Pronger in the second period before Bryzgalov poked the puck away. The Flyers’ netminder robbed Marchand again later in the period with a glove save in front.
As for Seguin, there was a lot to like about his line with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron. The second-year player looked much more assertive than he was in his rookie season, and he created opportunities in areas where he may have been timid a season ago. Keep an eye on that line going forward.
|Report: Adam McQuaid to miss season-opener||10.06.11 at 6:10 pm ET|
According to a tweet from the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa, defenseman Adam McQuaid (illness) will not play in the Bruins’ season-opener Thursday against the Flyers. Matt Bartkowski, who was set to begin the season as the team’s seventh defenseman, will reportedly play in McQuaid’s place.
McQuaid participated in Thursday’s morning skate, but coach Claude Julien said after the skate that a decision on his status would be made closer to game time.
|Flyers have plenty of motivation vs. team that eliminated them||10.06.11 at 1:38 pm ET|
By now the cliche about how teams will come out harder against the Bruins because they’re Stanley Cup champions has been used plenty, but there may be no better case of that than Thursday.
The Bruins will be facing the team they eliminated with an easy sweep in the second round last spring when they open the season Thursday against the Flyers. The Bruins’ steamrolling over the Flyers could be considered among the reasons the Flyers blew it up in the offseason, trading captain Mike Richards as well as leading goal-scorer Jeff Carter.
On Thursday, the remaining members of that team, as well as the newcomers, will have to watch the Bruins raise their championship banner in a wild environment at TD Garden. If that can’t motivate a team on opening night, nothing can.
“It’s opening night, so people are jacked up,” defenseman and alternate captain Andrew Ference said after the Bruins’ morning skate. “I think there’s always more concentration on your own team than there is on what’s going on on the other side. Obviously, they want to ruin the party. That’s a no-brainer.”
Ference has plenty of experience being the “other team” at a team’s banner-raising ceremony. He actually made his NHL debut in Dallas against the Stars when they raised their Stanley Cup champions banner in 1999. The Bruins were the Ducks’ opponent for Anaheim’s home opener in 2007, so Ference has twice been a visitor at a banner-raising.
“I can remember a lot more from the Anaheim game, because for the Dallas one, my head was spinning around,” Ference recalled. “It’s an opening night. Team opening nights are a little bit crazier. You wait a little longer in the room for all the pageantry to get done with. You’re mentally prepared for it.”
Players in the Bruins’ room could imagine the Flyers would be motivated to come out harder against the team that ended their season. Guys like David Krejci discussed the importance of focusing on themselves, but Ference noted that given the rivalry that has existed between the two teams, Thursday would be a challenge one way or another.
“Even if we didn’t [eliminate them], it’s a Flyers-Bruins game,” Ference said. “Philly’s always gong to come in and give you a heck of a game. Especially at the start of the season, that’s when you see the crazy hockey. You see some of the big scorers and the seesawing of teams trying to find out who they are. After Thanksgiving, it kind of settles down a bit, but the start of the season is always a little bit crazy.
“You never know what to expect, and it’s usually pretty fun for highlight sand real energetic games. Not always the tightest systems, so no matter if it’s Philly or whoever, we’re going to have tough games and have to be on our toes for all of them.”