|Steven Kampfer more comfortable this time around with knee injuries in rear-view mirror||11.12.11 at 12:33 pm ET|
Normally when a player returns to the lineup after a long stretch without game action, there’s some sort of an adjustment as far as comfort goes. In Steven Kampfer‘s case, Saturday may be just the opposite.
Kampfer will play for the first time since Oct. 22 when he skates Saturday in place of Andrew Ference, who is dealing with a lower-body injury. The 23-year-old blueliner played two games last month, but was coming off his second knee injury in a matter of months at the time. Now, he’s a month and a half removed from the left knee sprain he suffered on Sept. 29 against the Senators, and as a result, feels more comfortable physically than he did in his October cameo.
“Definitely,” Kampfer said when asked whether he feels better now than when he last played. “I think a couple extra weeks definitely helps. I think it was good to kind of let it heal and get a little bit more comfortable and a little bit more confidence. I think now, being a couple months [after] it, it definitely feels a lot better, and I can tell that on the ice.”
The team’s seventh defenseman, Kampfer has had to use practice to get his speed and other attributes back. He’s also worked with power-skating instructor Besa Tsintsadze. It’s been a process for Kampfer, who injured his right knee at the end of the regular season while playing for Providence, to get back to where he wants to be, but he hopes he’s there now.
“Moving my feet, getting my speed back, the first couple of steps,” Kampfer said of what he’s been working on. “It takes a little bit of time to get back after sustaining a couple knee injuries. ‘¦ It’s those first two or three steps, your lateral mobility and stuff like that. It feels better now.”
Said coach Claude Julien: “He’s been working hard in practice, and I think this is an opportunity for him now to come into a game and play the way he can. ‘¦ You’ve got to understand that he hasn’t played in a while, so we can’t put our expectations too high but more, get a solid performance from him and a simple game. That’s all we’re going to need from Kampfer tonight. And then he’ll just work his way in, and feel better I’m sure as we move forward.”
Saturday will be Kampfer’s third game of the season and fourth career game against the Sabres. In three games against Buffalo last year, Kampfer picked up a goal and an assist.
|Dennis Seidenberg: ‘We don’t want to be .500′||11.12.11 at 12:05 pm ET|
When the Bruins raised their Stanley Cup champions banner on the night of the season-opener with nearly their entire Cup-winning roster still intact, nobody would have believed that they would be talking about trying to get above .500 for the first time this season on Nov. 12. That’s where they are, as Saturday’s meeting with the Sabres will provide them with an opportunity to have a winning record for the first time this season.
The Bruins started the season with a dreadful 3-7-0 record that landed them at the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference. Since then, they’ve rattled off four straight wins en route to evening their record at 7-7-0. While they’ve enjoyed their run of late, they’re far from satisfied with being 11th in the conference. Just ask Dennis Seidenberg.
“We’re not out of it yet,” the defenseman said after the team’s morning skate. “We have to keep climbing and we have to keep going. We’re only .500 right now, and we don’t want to be .500. We want to be on top of the league or on top of the division, so today’s a very important game.”
|Morning skate notes: Rich Peverley a game-time decision||11.12.11 at 11:52 am ET|
After taking part in the team’s morning skate, forward Rich Peverley was declared a game-time decision by coach Claude Julien for Saturday night’s game vs. the Sabres. Peverley, who is dealing with an undisclosed injury, has missed the Bruins’ last two games. If he is unable to go, Zach Hamill will play in his place. Hamill picked up an assist in Thursday’s 6-3 victory over the Oilers.
Daniel Paille, meanwhile, skated for the first time since getting hit in the face with a slapshot Monday against the Islanders. He will miss his second consecutive game, with Benoit Pouliot filling in for him on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton.
Defenseman Andrew Ference, who was declared out for the game by Julien on Friday, is “better today,” according to the coach. Julien said that Ference’s lower body injury is “definitely a day-to-day situation.” Steven Kampfer will play in place of Ference. It will be Kampfer’s third game of the season. In three career games against Buffalo, Kampfer has a goal and an assist.
Tim Thomas is expected to start for the Bruins. Both the Sabres and B’s have won four games in a row. A victory would put the 7-7-0 Bruins above .500 for the first time this season.
|Andrew Ference out vs. Sabres||11.11.11 at 4:20 pm ET|
It will be the first game of the season missed for Ference, who played 70 regular-season games last season. With Ference out, Steven Kampfer will play his third game of the season.
|Lower-body injury for Andrew Ference||11.10.11 at 11:05 pm ET|
“Only a lower-body injury right now, and I don’t know the severity of it, so that’s all I can give you,” Julien said after the game.
Ference played only two shifts in the second period and totaled 9:22 of icetime on the night.
|Bruins win fourth straight, defeat Oilers||11.10.11 at 9:32 pm ET|
The Bruins made it four in a row on Thursday, defeating the Oilers, 6-3, at TD Garden.
Johnny Boychuk got the scoring started for the Bruins with a slapshot from the point at 7:11 of the first period, with Jordan Caron scoring his first goal of the season at 8:55.
After calling a timeout, the Oilers tied it with goals from Ryan Smyth and rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins within 29 seconds of one another. Second period goals from Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin gave the Bruins a 4-2 lead before Smyth added another goal in the third period. Milan Lucic then scored his eighth goal of the season before Marchand picked up an unassisted tally to make it 6-3.
Defenseman Joe Corvo had three assists on the night. It was the first two-goal game of the season for Marchand, while Lucic has now scored in five straight games.
It was the second consecutive win for Tuukka Rask, who improved to 2-3-0 on the season. The Bruins will next play Saturday, when they host the Sabres.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Sure, his first one was a redirection, but it’s good to see Marchand show up in the goal column. It was Marchand’s first goal in 10 games — he had last scored Oct. 12 against the Hurricanes. Despite being rather quiet from a statistical standpoint, Marchand had been getting opportunities.
– Seguin remains red-hot, even if his only shot on goal had to take some funny bounces before it went in. Seguin threw a shot on goal that Tom Gilbert was clearing out when the puck bounced off Corey Potter and into the net. It wasn’t the prettiest goal Seguin’s scored, but the fact of the matter is that he’s just 14 games into the season and already two goals away from reaching his rookie total of 11.
– It was a good showing from Zach Hamill, who was called up on an emergency basis Wednesday and played in place of Rich Peverley. Skating on the third line with Chris Kelly and Caron, Hamill set up Caron’s first-period tally and drew a roughing penalty on Theo Peckham late in the first period.
– Speaking of Caron, the young winger now has points in two straight games. Caron threw the shot on net Monday that resulted in Benoit Pouliot‘s rebound goal, and although Caron’s tally on Thursday was mainly the result of Devan Dubnik being more focused on Kelly, the Bruins have to be happy to see him getting on the score sheet. Caron had no points entering Monday’s contest.
– Make that two consecutive games in which the B’s have given Rask some legitimate support. The Bruins had scored a total of three goals in Rask’s first three starts of the season, but they’ve scored 12 goals in front of him over the last two games. It’s no coincidence that he’s picked up his first two wins of the season in those contests.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Andrew Ference left the Boston bench in the second period and did not return to the game. He played just two shifts in the period, and it was announced at the start of the third period that he was done for the night. Ference didn’t appear injured on the ice at any point, so it’s hard to tell what kept him from returning.
– Patrice Bergeron did not register a point Thursday, which means his point-streak is over at seven games. Hardly a concern for the Bruins, who have been getting great production from Bergeron’s line.
– The Oilers certainly found their way back into the game after surrounding the first two goes in the first period. Coach Tom Renney called a timeout following Caron’s goal, and it got the job done. The Oilers even did in Bruins-esque fashion given how little time it took them to score two goals.
|Bruins-Oilers Live Blog: Ryan Smyth has Oilers within one||11.10.11 at 6:57 pm ET|