|David Krejci bails Bruins out in overtime||11.23.13 at 3:39 pm ET|
The Bruins let the Hurricanes hang around in a game they had no business being in, but the B’s got away with a 3-2 overtime win thanks to a David Krejci goal off a feed from Jarome Iginla.
The goal was Krejci’s first point in six games and improved the B’s to an Eastern Conference-best 32 points on the season.
Carolina came back to tie the game in the third period on a Patrick Dwyer shorthanded goal off a Milan Lucic turnover, sending the game into overtime despite the fact that the B’s had carried the play through the first 40 minutes.
The Hurricanes got on the board in the first period when, with Carl Soderberg in the box for hooking, Andrej Sekera fired a wrist shot from the point that sailed past Chad Johnson. The B’s answered back with a power play goal of their own, as Zdeno Chara was in front to pick up a rebound off a Lucic shot and put it past Cam Ward.
From there, the Bruins dominated play to the tune of registering 15 consecutive shots on goal, including Reilly Smith‘s fourth goal of the season at 13:31 of the second period. Though the B’s entered the third period with a one-goal lead, they easily could have led by two or three goals in a game that saw missed opportunities pile up.
The Bruins will finish their three-game home stand Monday when they host the Penguins. As of the end of Saturday’s Bruins game, the B’s and Penguins are currently first and second in the Eastern Conference, respectively.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Chris Kelly’s line turned in another strong performance as the B’s continued to get production from their bottom-six forwards. Smith’s goal was meant that prior to Krejci’s goal, the last five forwards to score for the B’s were from bottom-six forwards. The B’s got goals from Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille Tuesday against the Rangers, while Gregory Campbell and Soderberg provided the team’s goals Thursday against the Blues.
- The Bruins dominated the first two periods, so much so that the Hurricanes went 22:43 without a shot on goal. That’s the amount of time that came between a Jeff Skinner shot midway through the first and Eric Staal‘s slapshot on Johnson for the Hurricanes’ first shot on goal of the second period.
The Bruins held a 15-0 shots on goal advantage during that span.
- The Bruins got away with one in the second period when Chara slashed and snapped the stick of Jiri Tlusty while the Carolina forward was on a breakaway. There was no call on the play.
- Chris Kelly appears to be better after splitting faceoff responsibilities with Soderberg Thursday due to an undisclosed injury. Kelly took all of his line’s draws Saturday and won 11 of 16 in regulation.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR BRUINS
- Hopefully Johnson was screened on Sekera’s goal, for his sake. Both Brad Marchand and Chara seemed to obstruct his view, which would explain why the puck sailed in so easily.
Other than that, there were no issues with Johnson. Of course, he was hardly tested, as Tlusty’s breakaway wold have been his biggest challenge, but it ended prematurely. You obviously can’t blame a goalie for a shorthanded 2-on-0.
- File this under unknown: The B’s appeared dodged an injury bullet, as Torey Krug seemed hobbled after blocking a shot late in the third period. He went down the tunnel, but returned to the bench. He did not return to the ice, however. Krug noted after the game that he was fine.
|Chris Kelly: ‘I should be fine’||11.22.13 at 6:37 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Chris Kelly said that the injury with which he is dealing shouldn’t limit him any further. Claude Julien had said the injury was preventing him from taking all of his faceoffs, which is why Carl Soderberg took eight draws Thursday.
Soderberg won six of his eight faceoffs, while Kelly only won three of 10.
“I should be fine,” Kelly said Friday. “Maybe I’ll get Carl to take some more. He did well last night in the circle. That’s a luxury to have, is guys on one line that can take draws. We’ll see how it goes.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Adam McQuaid questionable for Saturday’s game||11.22.13 at 12:27 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid took part in Friday’s practice with the Bruins, marking the fifth straight day he has skated and second straight day he’s taken the ice with teammates.
“I’m getting there,” McQuaid said after the practice. “Again, today was better than yesterday and got into some game-like situations, some down-low play. I’m happy with each day’s progressing and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
McQuaid has missed the last six games with a lower-body injury and his status for Saturday is unknown. He did note that he expects to still be playing through some pain when he eventually does return.
“It’s probably something I’m going to have to play through a little bit,” he said, “but you want to make sure it’s something you’re not going to re-injure yourself when you’re doing what you need to do when you’re on the ice.”
Given that Kevan Miller held his own Thursday, the B’s can likely afford to give McQuaid another game of rest rather than rushing him back.
“No doubt, absolutely,” Claude Julien said. “We’ll see how Adam is tomorrow morning, and we’ll make a decision then. If he’s not quite ready to go, we know what we’ve got. I have no issues with putting [Miller] in the lineup tomorrow as well.”
Dennis Seidenberg, who is out for about a week with a lower-body injury, did not practice.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Chris Kelly dealing with minor injury||11.21.13 at 11:37 pm ET|
After Carl Soderberg took eight faceoffs in the Bruins’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Blues, B’s coach Claude Julien revealed that Soderberg’s faceoff duties are increasing due to a minor injury to Chris Kelly.
“Kells isn't 100 percent to take faceoffs,” Julein said. “Nothing major, but he's been ' the last couple of games have been a bit of a struggle, so Carl's gone out there in those kind of situations, but in our own end I kept putting another guy out there for that reason.”
Soderberg is playing wing for the Bruins after being a center throughout his career in Sweden, so having to take draws is nothing new to him.
“He's very capable of taking face-offs; he's played center for a long time,” Julien said of Soderberg. “He's always part of that group that works on face-offs on game day so we're going to keep him going in that area so that if the first centerman gets kicked out, we know we've got another one there.”
Soderberg won six of eight faceoffs Thursday, while Kelly won just three of his 10 draws.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins fall to Blues in shootout||11.21.13 at 9:54 pm ET|
Derek Roy frustrated Tuukka Rask a number of times Thursday, and Roy got the last laugh as he scored the clinching shootout goal in a 3-2 Blues win at TD Garden.
The Bruins grabbed the lead late in the first period on Gregory Campbell’s first goal of the season, but Tuukka Rask let a wobbling puck off the stick of Roy sneak through his five-hole 31 seconds later to tie the game going into the second period.
David Backes tipped a puck from the point past Rask less than four minutes into the second, but Carl Soderberg tied the game at 18:41 by scoring against the team that had drafted him nine years ago.
The teams skated to a scoreless period in which the Bruins outshot the Blues, 11-6. Roy had a breakaway early on in overtime, but hit the crossbar, while Soderberg was stopped by Jaroslav Halak on a breakaway in the final minute of OT. Loui Eriksson missed the net on another solid chance for the B’s in the extra period.
The Bruins will host the Hurricanes Saturday in the second game of their three-game home stand.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Roy’s goal was a rather weak one for Rask to allow, and it continued a rather troubling trend for the B’s. With that goal, 10 of the 40 goals the Bruins have allowed have come in the final two minutes of a period. That obviously burned them last Friday when they let the Senators back into the game at the end of the first period, so it’s an issue that needs addressing.
- Milan Lucic had to take a faceoff against Backes, and that essentially led to a goal for the Blues. Backes won the draw cleanly, drew it back to Kevin Shattenkirk and got to the front of the net in time to tip Shattenkirk’s wrist shot past Rask.
- That’s now five games without a point for David Krejci, which marks his first real cold stretch of the season. Krejci had points in nine of the first 10 games of the salon and 13 of the first 17.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- With Campbell’s goal, the members of the Bruins’ fourth line have combined for five goals over the last six games (including Daniel Paille’s shorthanded goal Tuesday against the Rangers). Paille and Shawn Thornton each have two goals apiece in that stretch, while Campbell has one.
Campbell helped keep the Bruins’ possession alive prior to the goal by picking up an Ian Cole turnover as the Blues were trying to get it out, and his work was eventually recorded when he took a pass in the high slot from Paille and beat Halak.
- Soderberg’s goal continued a nice little stretch for the Bruins’ third line as both he and Reilly Smith now have three points over their last three games.
- It was smooth sailing for Kevan Miller in his NHL debut, as the 26-year-old didn’t have any costly mistakes while he also managed to contribute offensively. Miller kept the puck in and sent it down low prior to Soderberg’s goal, with Chris Kelly sending it to Reilly Smith and Smith feeding Soderberg.
- There’s no such thing as a playoff atmosphere this early in the season, but the Bruins were playing against one of the best teams in the league and went at it the way they have in postseasons past: with depth. All four of the Bruins’ lines had at least five shots on goal Thursday in a game that saw a balanced offensive attack from the B’s.
|Matt Bartkowski: ‘Hopefully I play well enough so they can’t take me out’||11.21.13 at 12:40 pm ET|
Matt Bartkowski had no intention of coming out of Tuesday’s game against the Rangers when, with Dennis Seidenberg already done for the game, he crashed into the boards and hurt his left leg. He also has no plans on coming out of the Bruins’ lineup.
After getting banged up, Bartkowski missed the remainder of the second period Monday, as he likened it to hitting one’s funny bone and said he “couldn’t really move.” He returned to play the third period and appeared hampered, though he said Thursday that he wasn’t dealing with anything more than a little tightness. He still managed to log over 21 minutes in the game.
“It would have had to be something that the trainers would have had to tell me I couldn’t play,” Bartkowski said Thursday. “There’s five D; you’ve got to play.”
Thursday’s game will be the sixth consecutive contest in which Bartkowski has played for the Bruins, which will double the three games in a row he got last month when Claude Julien did some shuffling on the back end to get him some ice time. With Seidenberg out at least a week, it doesn’t look like Bartkowski will be exiting the lineup in the immediate future.
Obviously, Bartkowski finds himself in a position where he should be extremely motivated. He’s been given games here and there this season, but he has been the team’s seventh defenseman, and this stretch of games provides him as good a chance as any to earn a full-time job on the B’s blue line.
“Of course,” Bartkowski said. “Whenever I do get into games, especially this longer stretch, hopefully I play well enough so they can’t take me out.”
Bartkowski has played the last five games on a pairing with Johnny Boychuk. He’s generally been fifth among defensemen in time on ice (Torey Krug has played less), with Tuesday’s 21:13 the most he’s played in an NHL regular-season game (he played more in overtime games last postseason against the Maple Leafs and Rangers).
|Tuukka Rask in line for third start in four nights||11.21.13 at 12:34 pm ET|
After playing both games of a back-to-back Monday and Tuesday against the Hurricanes and Rangers, Tuukka Rask appears to be on tap to be between the pipes again for the Bruins on Thursday against the Blues.
Rask was the first goaltender off the ice in the team’s morning skate and should have his work cut out for him Thursday evening. The Blues are fifth in the NHL with 70 goals, led by left winger Alexander Steen, whose 17 goals are tied with Alexander Ovechkin for tops in the NHL. St. Louis stands fourth in the Western Conference, though its 31 points (14-3-3) are two more than the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins (14-6-1).
Rask is coming off a dominant outing Tuesday in New York in which he made 43 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Rangers. He has played all but three of the Bruins’ 21 contests this season.