|Preview: Bruins look to continue dominance of Panthers||01.26.11 at 7:01 am ET|
Coming off a rare road loss in regulation Monday, the Bruins (27-15-7) return to TD Garden Wednesday to face the 22-21-5 Panthers. It is the fourth meeting between the two clubs this season, with the Bruins having won the first three. The B’s took their most recent matchup in a shootout on Dec. 27. The game remains the Bruins’ only shootout win this season.
WHERE IT’S AT
- The Bruins are 12-9-3 at home this season. They have lost two of their last three games at the Garden, most recently dropping a 4-2 contest to the Sabres last Thursday.
-The Panthers are 11-13-0 on the road. Wednesday will mark just their fifth road game in January. They are 2-2-0 on the road so far this month.
- Milan Lucic has three goals over his last four games after going his 12 previous games without a goal. His continued output is key for this offense without Marc Savard getting a chance to improve to being his old self. Lucic had a hat trick agains the Panthers on Nov. 18.
- No surprise that David Booth leads the Panthers with 168 shots on goal this season. The Florida winger put 14 shots on Rask in that Nov. 18 contest. It was the lone game this season in which Booth has had double digit shots on goal, though he’s had multiple nights with nine. He’s 17th in the league in shots on goal.
- The Panthers are 0-for-13 on the power play over their last four games and are 30th in the league with an 11.4 power percentage. The B’s are third in the NHL with a 84.9 penalty kill percentage.
- In the same game that Lucic had his hat trick, Nathan Horton had three assists, which made for his season-high in points. The slumping winger has just one goal over his last 19 games.
STORLYINES GOING IN
- Tuukka Rask got his only shout of the season in the B’s 4-0 win over the Panthers on Nov. 18. He made 41 saves in the victory. On the season, Rask is just 4-10-1 despite his .923 save percentage.
- With the Canadiens taking a 5-2 loss to the Flyers on Tuesday night, the Bruins have an opportunity at expanding their lead in the Northeast Division four points. The B’s and Habs will have played an equal amount of games (50) at the All-Star break after the Bruins played the season’s first four months with games in hand.
- The Panthers have just one win over their last five games (1-2-2), a 4-3 victory over the Rangers Tuesday night. Florida is 3-5-0 when playing their second game in as many days.
|Aaron Ward on D&H: Marc Savard ‘understands the risk that he’s taking’||01.25.11 at 2:23 pm ET|
Former Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward joined the Dale & Holley show on Tuesday to discuss the status of B’s center and former teammate Marc Savard. The team announced Monday night that Savard, who missed the first 23 games of the season with post-concussion syndrome, had suffered another another concussion on Saturday vs. the Avalanche and will be out indefinitely.
Ward told Dale Arnold and Larry Ridley there isn’t much Savard can do to prevent further concussions, and he doesn’t feel the Bruins should take any extreme measures when it comes to handling Savard this season.
“No,” Ward said when asked whether the Bruins should shut Savard down for the season to be safe. “I was in Boston, and you have great doctors [there]. You have Mass. General doctors, everybody involved, they’re smart people. They went to school for umpteen years to qualify and be able to assess these players. The relationship between a player and a doctor is essential, and i think those guys have a great rapport with the players. Marc Savard will communicate to those doctors whether he can or can’t go. He’s a competitive guy.
“Doctors have to know when a guy isn’t built that way. You can tell if a guy is not really excited about getting back because there’s a fear of playing. If he doesn’t have any apprehension about going back out there and taking another hit, let him play. He understands that this is his career. If he has reservations about stepping out there, doctors should communicate it to the coaches and accept the fact that that’s the state of affairs. If it doesn’t exist, let him go out there, and he understands the risk that he’s taking by stepping out there.”
Ward played parts of three seasons with the Bruins from 2007 to 2009.
|Jonathan Quick blanks Bruins||01.25.11 at 1:06 am ET|
The former UMass netminder made 34 saves on the way to the shutout, his fifth of the season. The Kings received goals from Ryan Smyth and Andrei Loktionov in the first and third periods, respectively.
Tim Thomas made 32 saves on 34 shots in the loss. It was Thomas’ first regulation loss since Dec. 20.
The Bruins will return home to face the Panthers on Wednesday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Just a sloppy game all in all for the Bruins, as both of the Kings goals came off of turnovers. An Andrew Ference turnover at the blue line of the offensive zone buried the B’s by making it a 2-0 game. With the way Quick was playing, it was pretty clear scoring for Boston would be hard to come by, and a two-goal deficit in the third period was simply insurmountable.
The B’s case for a comeback was further hurt when they had to kill a Shawn Thornton holding penalty at 10:38. The Kings didn’t convert on the power play, but the 120 ticks off the clock did plenty of damage.
- Here’s proof of an offense that struggled to get going: Through the first two periods, Michael Ryder and Mark Recchi were the only two Bruins forwards with more than one shot on Quick. Ryder had three, all of which which came in the first period, while Ryder had two shots on goal through the game’s first 40 minutes.
- Given that the B’s couldn’t get on the board, it was another night without a goal for Nathan Horton. He now has just one goal over his last 19 games, and has also now posted a minus-1 rating in each of the last four games.
- The Bruins went 0-for-3 on the power play Monday, including their two opportunities in the second period.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- For someone who entered the game having never defeated the Kings (0-0-4), Thomas sure didn’t play like somebody incapable of winning. He turned in another very impressive performance, keeping the B’s in the game in a scoreless second period. Monday made for the fourth straight game in which Thomas allowed two goals or less (3-1-0).
- If watching that regulation road loss for the Bruins felt odd, it’s because it hasn’t happened much of late. Monday marked the first time the B’s lost an away game in regulation since Dec. 16.
|Nothing doing for Bruins in second period||01.25.11 at 12:11 am ET|
Tim Thomas made some big saves in the second period, but the Bruins’ offense was unable to get on the board in the second, so the B’s trail the Kings, 1-0, entering the third period.
Los Angeles outshot Boston for the second straight period, and the B’s went 0-for-2 on the power play after Wayne Simmonds and Alexei Ponikarovsky each took holding penalties.
|Ryan Smyth gives Kings the lead after one||01.24.11 at 11:18 pm ET|
Ryan Smyth has the Kings leading the Bruins after a period of play Monday night.
With Zdeno Chara in the box for hooking, Jarret Stoll fired a one-timer from the point off a pass from Drew Doughty. Smyth whacked at the bouncing rebound and sent it over the stick of a lunging Tim Thomas.
Shawn Thornton tried to swing the momentum in the Bruins’ favor when he dropped the gloves with Kyle Clifford. It seemed that Clifford got the better of Thornton in the fight, and a few minutes later Blake Wheeler went off for holding the stick at 17:31. The Kings went 1-for-2 on the man advantage, while the Bruins did not have a power play in the period.
|Peter Chiarelli confirms Marc Savard has concussion||01.24.11 at 8:21 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Monday night that center Marc Savard has suffered a moderate concussion and it out indefinitely following a hit he took Saturday from Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick. Savard flew back to Boston Sunday and underwent testing on Monday.
“After being examined by the Bruins medical staff today, Marc has been diagnosed with a moderate concussion,” Chiarelli said in a statement. “There is no timetable on his return and no further updates at this time.”
Savard was slow to get up after the second-period hit from his former teammate led to his head hitting the glass at the Pepsi Center. He had a cut on his head and held a towel to his face as he left the ice with the assistance of teammates and trainer Don DelNegro.
The center missed the first 23 games of the season as he worked to come back from post-concussion syndrome, which stemmed from the hit to the head he took last March 7 from Penguins forward Matt Cooke.
For a frame of reference, David Krejci‘s concussion on Nov. 6 was also deemed moderate on the mild-moderate-severe scale that is currently used to grade concussions. He returned on Nov. 20 after missing six games.
|Preview: Bruins prepare to take on Kings without Marc Savard||01.24.11 at 3:10 am ET|
As the Bruins (21-14-7) await word on the status of Marc Savard, they will look to sweep their two-game road trip when they take on the Kings (25-22-1) at the Staples Center. The B’s and Kings last met at the Garden on Nov. 20, with the Kings winning, 4-3, in a shootout.
WHERE IT’S AT
- The Kings are 15-9-1 at home this season, and are 3-6-0 over their last nine home contests.
- The Bruins are 15-5-4 in away games this season. They have gotten at least one point in each of their road games since the Dec. 27 win over the Panthers, and are 6-0-3 over that stretch. Their last regulation road loss came on Dec. 16 vs. the Canadiens.
- The Bruins have averaged 4.0 goals a game since their 7-6 shootout loss to the Sabres on New Years Day. They had averaged 2.83 goals a night in the first 36 games of the season. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand have seven goals apiece this month, while Zdeno Chara has six.
-Thornton’s 15 consecutive games without a goal is his longest such stretch of the season. It’s quite remarkable considering he went 72 straight games without a tally a season ago.
Thornton’s seven goals are a career-high, and he’s on pace for 12 this season.
STORYLINES GOING IN
- This road trip could have meant a visit with both of the Bruins’ cap causalities this season in Matt Hunwick (Colorado) and Marco Sturm (Los Angeles), but the B’s will have to settle with having seen Hunwick on Saturday. Knee tendinitis has Sturm on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 18.
The B’s traded the German winger to Los Angeles on Dec. 11 in a deal that landed them nothing in return, though the true prize of the trade was the freedom to proceed with the activation of Savard without having to worry about cap strife. In 15 games with the Kings this season, Sturm has four goals and four assists for eight points. He had 106 goals in parts of four seasons with the B’s after being acquired in the Joe Thornton trade.
- The Bruins have two games in hand when it comes to their race with the Lightning for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference, but Tampa Bay grabbed another two points Sunday with a 7-1 win over the Thrashers. They have 65 points to the Bruins’ 61, while the B’s lead the Canadiens by two points in the Northeast Division.
- Should Thomas get the nod in net, he will have the opportunity to grab a piece of the league lead in wins, a category he hasn’t led since the beginning of the season. Jonas Hiller and Carey Price each have 24 victories this season, and with both the Ducks and Canadiens off Monday, Thomas (23-4-6) could make it a three-way tie. Thomas already leads the league in goals against average (1.83), save percentage (.945) and is tied with Henrik Lundqvist for a league-leading seven shutouts.
Thomas has not lost a game in regulation since Dec. 20. He is 8-0-3 in 11 games (10 starts) since then.
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