|Bruins return to practice||04.05.11 at 12:15 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Trying to shake off the stink of an ugly 5-3 loss to the Rangers in which they led, 3-0, the Bruins took to Ristuccia Arena for a noon skate Tuesday.
Michael Ryder was donning a grey jersey, making the third line the one with the extra man. Looks like Daniel Paille might stick in the lineup, potentially at the expense of Tyler Seguin once Shawn Thornton, who skated without a visor, returns.
|Bruins blow 3-0 lead, fall to Rangers||04.04.11 at 9:57 pm ET|
The Bruins blew a three-goal lead Monday night at Madison Square Garden, falling victim to two late goals within 51 seconds to drop a 5-3 decision to the Rangers.
The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead, as first-period goals from Daniel Paille and Nathan Horton were followed by Chris Kelly’s first goal as a Bruin at 10:32 of the second. The Rangers would quickly climb their way back into the game, getting a pair of second-period tallies from Vaclav Prospal, with Wojtek Wolski picking up assists on each goal. Brandon Dubinsky and Michael Sauer scored at 16:12 and 17:03, respectively, to tie it and take the lead in the third. Derek Stepan sealed it with an empty-netter.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins knew the Rangers were a team desperate for a pair of points, and though they came out the stronger team, they took a nap after Kelly’s goal. All in all, the B’s ended up with just four shots on Lundqvist in the second period after putting 19 on net in the first period. The Rangers were playing a playoff game, and when the B’s are doing the same next week, they’ll need more of a 60-minute effort.
– The four goals allowed by Thomas were the most he’s given up since March 19, a span of six starts. Thomas didn’t seem to have it even before the Rangers opened it up, but their opportunities were so scarce early on that it seemed it could be smooth sailing for the Bruins’ netminder.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– How do you sit Paille when Shawn Thornton returns? Tyler Seguin has shown at certain points recently that he deserves to be in the lineup come playoff time, but Paille is producing. The former first-round pick had a season-high four shots on goal.
– With Horton’s goal, he now has seven points over his last seven games. Twenty-five wasn’t the number that people had in mind when he came over here (a prediction of 30 would have been considered conservative before the season), but if he produces the way he has of late and not the way he did in the middle of the season, the Bruins won’t be able to complain.
– Kelly hasn’t exactly a statistical monster since being acquired in February (two points in 20 games; zero in his last 16), so his first goal with the B’s is both a welcomed and overdue sight.
– The B’s may not have gotten many shots on Lundqvist in the second period (see below), but they didn’t deal with as many blocked shots as they could have expected based on March 26. The last time the two teams met, the Rangers blocked 29 shots, 18 of which came in the third period.
|Rangers cut into Bruins’ lead||04.04.11 at 9:04 pm ET|
The Bruins opened up a three-goal lead in the second period, but a Rangers duo doomed the Bruins twice to make it a 3-2 game heading into the third period.
Chris Kelly scored his first goal as a member of the Bruins, looking off Tyler Seguin and beating Henrik Lundqvist with a wrist-shot at 10:32. Just 1:02 later, Tim Thomas came out of his net and thought he’d stopped a Wojtek Wolski shot, but it trickled through his legs, allowing Vaclav Prospal easy access to an easy goal.
Prospal would make it a one-goal game at 18:26, with Wolski getting his second assist on the night.
The Bruins had just four shots on goal in the period, and hold a 23-15 advantage after two.
|Daniel Paille, Nathan Horton give Bruins 2-0 lead||04.04.11 at 8:14 pm ET|
So much for the Bruins struggling to get shots on (and past) Henrik Lundqvist.
The Bruins are outshooting the Rangers, 19-5, and hold a 2-0 lead after a period. Daniel Paille scored his second goal in as many games (third in his last six contests) when he redirected a Johnny Boychuk shot past Lundqvist at 15:16. Just over a minute and a half later, Nathan Horton scored his 25th of the season, banging home a loose puck in front of the Rangers’ netminder.
|Shawn Thornton ‘doubtful’ vs. Rangers||04.04.11 at 2:41 pm ET|
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.
|Boston chapter of PHWA nominates Shawn Thornton for Masterton Trophy||04.04.11 at 10:59 am ET|
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.
|Bruins Ryde penalty shot goal to division title||04.02.11 at 3:27 pm ET|
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.
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.
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