|Maple Leafs crush Bruins in Toronto||03.19.11 at 9:46 pm ET|
Tim Thomas, who allowed four goals on the night, was pulled in the second period, but returned to start the third. The Leafs got goals from Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Joey Crabb, Mike Brown, and Keith Aulie. Thomas was yanked after Brown’s second-period goal, though Tuukka Rask played only 11:42 before Thomas was reinserted between the pipes.
Adam McQuaid had the first Bruins goal, firing a puck off Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf’s skate to beat an otherwise outstanding James Reimer. Daniel Paille scored with 19.8 seconds remaining in the game. The B’s went 0-for-2 on the power play, and have scored just two goals on the man advantage since acquiring Tomas Kaberle.
The Bruins have now lost six of their last seven games, going 1-3-3. They will return to TD Garden to face the Devils on Tuesday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Can’t help but wonder what the reasoning was behind putting Thomas back in net to start the third period after yanking him in the second. Rask did not appear to be a happy camper after Dennis Seidenberg screened him on Aulie’s goal, though Claude Julien said after the game that the decision had nothing to do with it. Julien’s plan could be to use Rask against the Devils on Tuesday, so perhaps he was just trying to preserve him after playing him last two games.
– Overall it was a tremendously uninspired effort for the Bruins. Too many odd man rushes did them in, and it wasn’t as though they were getting beaten by a bunch of elite scorers. None of the five players to score for the Leafs had more than three goals entering the game.
– When the Bruins stumbled in the three games (0-1-2) following their seven-game win-streak, it seemed the road would be a good place to get back on track. Instead of finding their way, the B’s continued their skid on a four-game road trip that produced just one win. Eight of their final 11 games will be played at home, so they’ll try to straighten things out a the Garden after a very unsuccessful road trip.
– The seven-game point streak for David Krejci has come to an end. He had 3-6-9 totals over his last seven contests.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Schenn didn’t make McQuaid look very good on the game’s first goal, so it was good to see the rookie blueliner make up for it with his second goal of the season. On any other night, getting beaten for a goal and scoring a goal doesn’t make for a standout performance, but there was little to like from the Bruins’ standpoint Saturday.
– People get ahead of themselves when it comes to Tyler Seguin and whether he deserves more playing time, but he was a rare bright spot for the Bruins on an otherwise very ugly night. Reimer robbed the rookie a number of times, but Seguin didn’t need to score to stand out amongst an unproductive Boston bunch.
– This speaks to how bad things were, but Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, Krejci and the Merlot Line can pat themselves on the back knowing that they were the only two Bruins skaters to not finish the night with a negative rating.
|Tim Thomas pulled as Maple Leafs add to lead||03.19.11 at 8:50 pm ET|
Twenty-nine seconds after Joey Crabb buried a rebound past Thomas to make it 3-1, Mike Brown beat the B’s netminder five-hole from the left face-off circle, giving the Leafs a three-goal lead. Claude Julien then elected to yank his starter, putting Tuukka Rask in. Rask looked good for the most part but was beaten by Keith Aulie on a shot he never saw. He seemed upset following the play, as he was screened by Dennis Seidenberg.
Of the six players to score goals between the two teams tonight, none of them had more than three goals on the season entering the game.
The period featured some more encouraging signs from Tyler Seguin. The 19-year-old is playing a more confident game and was robbed by James Reimer earlier in the period on a breakaway. For the second straight game, he has gotten time on the power play, and his style of play really fits with the speed of Rich Peverley, with whom he’s skated of late.
|Bruins trail Maple Leafs after one||03.19.11 at 7:57 pm ET|
Given how low-scoring the Bruins and Maple Leafs‘ meetings have been this season, it was unlikely that there would be three first-period goals Saturday. It was even more unlikely that players who rarely score would produce the goals, but all of that came to be as the Maple Leafs lead the B’s, 2-1, after one.
Luke Schenn scored his fourth goal of the season when he skated the puck all the way from the Toronto Blue line, going around Adam McQuaid and beating Tim Thomas glove side at 9:44. Not to be outdone, Adam McQuaid saw to at that Schenn wouldn’t be the only surprise name on the scoring sheet when he fired a puck off Dion Phaneuf’s skate and past James Reimer. Forty seconds later, Nazem Kadri scored his first career goal when Tim Thomas didn’t seem to ever see the wrist shot from the point.
Michael Ryder gave the Leafs their first power play of the night when he sent the puck into the stands from the Bruins’ zone for a delay of game penalty at 6:41. The Maple Leafs failed to convert, while the B’s did not have a power play in the period.
The Bruins are outshooting the Maple Leafs, 11-9.
|Andrew Ference returns to Bruins’ lineup||03.19.11 at 6:54 pm ET|
This is Ference’s first time in the lineup since Feb. 26. He had been out with a lower body injury.
|Andrew Ference a game-time decision for Bruins vs. Maple Leafs||03.19.11 at 5:47 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Saturday that defenseman Andrew Ference will be a game-time decision when the B’s take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto Saturday night. Ference has been out since Feb. 26 with a lower-body injury.
In 58 games this season, Ference has two goals and 11 assists for 13 points and a career-high plus-24 rating. If Kampfer plays, Steven Kampfer could be a healthy scratch. Kampfer had a rough game Thursday in Nashville, as a mental lapse allowed the Predators’ game-tying goal, while his holding penalty in overtime led to the game-winner.
|Patric Hornqvist not suspended for elbow on Tyler Seguin||03.18.11 at 1:17 pm ET|
Hornqvist was tossed from the Predators’ 4-3 overtime win with 2:30 remaining in the first period when he hit Seguin in the ear with an elbow. Seguin left the ice and received stitches in his ear but did not leave the game.
The initial reaction here? Hornqvist’s case in his hearing with Mike Murphy was probably that he couldn’t possibly have expected Seguin to get rid of the puck that quickly. Still, Seguin had a pass to make on the play, and he made it, while Hornqvist led with his elbow. Given all the suspensions of late, you might have expected Hornqvist, who was tossed from the game for the play, to miss a game or two. At any rate, his argument held up.
|Bruins fall to Predators in overtime||03.17.11 at 10:44 pm ET|
The Bruins suffered their third overtime loss in their last six games, falling by a 4-3 score to the Predators on a night in which the Canadiens gained ground in the standings.
With 2:01 remaining in overtime, Steve Kampfer took a holding penalty, giving the Predators a shot at their first overtime victory of the season. Shea Weber scored the game-winner on the 4-on-3, beating Tuukka Rask, who made 25 saves on the night.
The night featured call-and-response scoring, with neither team leading by two in the game. Tyler Seguin scored his first goal since Feb. 17, beating Predators netminder Pekka Rinne at 1:50 of the first. Nashville would get on the board on a Sergei Kostitstyn goal through traffic, and the Predators took a 2-1 lead in the period thanks to goal from former Boston University forward Colin Wilson. David Krejci tied the game at two at 13:33 of the second, with Patrice Bergeron and David Legwand scoring third-period goals.
The Canadiens ended up beating the Lightning in a shootout Thursday, so they picked up a point on the B’s. The Bruins will face the Maple Leafs next, as they will travel to Toronto for Saturday night.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Adam McQuaid took a stick to the face in front of the net with less than four minutes to play in the third. There was no high-sticking call on the play, and depending on whether McQuaid was bleeding as a result, the Bruins missed out on potentially playing the remainder of regulation on the power play.
– With all the focus on headshots, there was a bit of a scare for Seguin when he took an elbow to the head from Patric Hornqvist late in the first period. Seguin left the ice and appeared to cut his ear, and Hornqvist was tossed from the game. Seguin didn’t end up being alright, as he played the rest of the game and ended up playing 12:33 in regulation, which was more ice time than he had in any of his previous eight games.
– The power play failed to produce again, going 0-for-3 on the night, on a night in which they had a five-minute man-advantage thanks to Hornqvist’s penalty. Nathan Horton could have made it 4-2 with the B’s on the power play with less than 11 minutes to play, but saw his shot ring off the post with Rinne seemingly beaten.
– There wasn’t much more Rask could have done on Legwand’s game-tying goal. The B’s netminder stopped Martin Erat on a breakaway and got a leg on Kostitsyn’s rebound, but the Legwand banged home the second rebound with Rask down and Steven Kampfer buried in the net.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Seguin was riding high after giving the B’s the win in Tuesday night’s shootout, but from a statistical standpoint, he had zero points and was a minus-2 over his last seven games entering Thursday. The rookie was able to change that by beating Rinne glove-side less than two minutes into the game.
Claude Julien also displayed more faith in Seguin than he has at some points this season. Seguin received time on the power play and was given the first shift following the Predators’ game-tying goal in the third.
– Krejci has goals in consecutive games for the first time all season, and his line continues to produce at a high level. The 24-year-old pivot now has 17 points in his last 13 contests.
– Bergeron had gone seven games without a point entering Thursday, but he got back on the scoring sheet in a big way with his third-period goal. The tally gave the B’s a 3-2 lead and provided Bergeron with his 22nd goal of the season.
– Tim Thomas was given some help by his teammates despite not playing in the game at all. Thomas, who at on Jan. 31 had a 1.81 goals against average that was .30 goals less than Pekka Rinne, has seen his return to earth bring him closer to Rinne statistically. The two entered the night separated by just .06 goals, but in scoring three goals on the Nashville netminder, the B’s provided their top goaltender with some statistical separation.