|Bruins pull away in third to beat Islanders||01.27.14 at 9:42 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron‘s line remained red hot as it helped the Bruins past the Islanders, 6-3, Monday night. The win was Boston’s first of the season against the Islanders and concluded the teams’ three-game season series.
Loui Eriksson opened the game’s scoring with his first goal in 12 games, a stretch that dated back to Nov. 25. He picked up his sixth of the season by taking a pass from Daniel Paille at the goal line and beating Kevin Poulin top shelf from the tough angle.
As they did throughout the night, the Islanders tied it, with their first goal coming from Frans Nielsen off the rebound of a Kyle Okposo. Brad Marchand scored at 4:50 of the second period to make it 2-1, with Michael Grabner tying it up about three and a half minutes later. Reilly Smith capitalized on a deflection on a pass from Shawn Thornton during a delayed penalty to make it 3-2, but Kyle Okposo tied on a 2-on-0 following the expiration of a cross-checking penalty he had taken.
Carl Soderberg flew past Thomas Hickey and beat Poulin with 33 seconds remaining in the second to give the Bruins a lead that they would finally hold, as Bergeron gave Boston its first two-goal lead of the night at 2:17 of the third after he had gotten out of the box. Zdeno Chara made it 6-3 with a snap shot from the point good for his 12th goal of the season and 500th point of his career. The goal chased Poulin, as the Islanders replaced him in net with Evgeni Nabokov.
Chad Johnson picked up the win in net for the B’s to improve to 9-3-0 on the season. He made 34 saves on the night.
Chris Kelly did not return to the lineup, though Claude Julien told reporters Monday morning it was likely that he’d play Tuesday. Ryan Spooner was a healthy scratch, as the B’s kept the line of Soderberg between Paille and Eriksson together.
The B’s will return to Boston to face the Panthers Tuesday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Marchand has been good for two points a night over his last six games, as he now has seven goals and five assists for 12 points in that span.
- The fact that he cannot play the right wing because he’s legally blind in his left eye makes Soderberg’s second-period goal even more impressive. Soderberg took a pass from Milan Lucic on the right wing in the neutral zone, flew into the offensive zone and sped around Thomas Hickey before going forehand and beating Poulin to make it 4-3.
- The Bruins have now scored six goals in back-to-back games, as they picked up a 6-1 win over the Flyers Saturday. The only other time they did it this season was on Dec. 23 against the Predators.
- Thornton’s assist on Smith’s goal was his first helper of the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Dougie Hamilton had a rough stretch in the second period, as he knocked down a puck at the tail end of a Bruins power play but had it knocked away by Grabner to set up a 2-on-0 as Okposo got out of the box. That led to Okposo’s goal, and shortly after Hamilton let Vanek get behind him, causing Hamilton to hook Vanek on the breakaway.
- Having four leads at least meant you led, but it also means you couldn’t hold a lead. That was the case for much of the night Monday for the B’s.
- The Bruins took penalties at the end of both the first and second periods. After Cal Clutterbuck got away with kicking Zdeno Chara, Chara took a jab at his face to take a roughing penalty at the end of the first. Patrice Bergeron was whistled for holding at the end of the second.
|Jarome Iginla puts up four points as Bruins crush Flyers||01.25.14 at 3:40 pm ET|
Jarome Iginla had a four-point day as the Bruins crushed the Flyers, 6-1, in Philadelphia Saturday.
Both Iginla and Zdeno Chara had two goals apiece in the win, with the Bruins picking up three power play goals for the third time this season.
Chara opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 6:30 of the first, with Iginla firing a shot from the right circle past a screened Steve Mason with 18 seconds remaining in the period to make it 2-0.
The B’s got two more in the second period, as Reilly Smith scored his first goal in eight games after splitting Nicklas Grossman and Mark Streit and Patrice Bergeron beat Mason on a low-angle shot following a rebound from a Brad Marchand shot. That was enough to end Mason’s day, as he was replaced by Ray Emery.
Tuukka Rask‘s shutout bid was broken up at 7:55 of the third period on a Claude Giroux power-play goal, but second helpings on the power play from Iginla and Chara kept the route on for the B’s.
Dougie Hamilton made his return to the lineup after missing the last four games with a concussion. He had three shots on goal and a plus-1 rating in 18:55 of ice time.
The Bruins will next play Monday as they head to New York to face the Islanders.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Bergeron’s line remains red hot, as it has now scored 10 goals over the last five games. Brad Marchand has six, Bergeron has three and Smith has one. Saturday’s second-period goal also snapped a seven-game goal-less stretch. Smith’s longest drought without a goal this season is eight games.
- Reilly Smith is superb at getting wherever he needs to go, but there’s no way somebody should have been able to split the D the way he did in the second period when the Grossman and Streit let him muscle through. Smith squeezed by Philadelphia’s second pairing to backhand the puck off the post, causing it to then go off Mason and in.
In general, the Flyers were super weak defensively Saturday, turning pucks over and making Boston’s day much easier than it needed to be.
- The Bruins’ first line spent what seemed like days in the offensive zone. The line has been rather light on the production of late, but Saturday’s performance, which did only yield one goal in 5-on-5 play, was very encouraging.
- With his first of the day, Chara became the Bruins’ eighth 10-goal-scorer this season. Marchand and Smith lead the way with eight goals apiece.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Ryan Spooner missed the game with an illness. As a result, Carl Soderberg moved to center for the first time this season and centered a third line with Daniel Paille and Loui Eriksson. Chris Kelly remains out of the lineup but is nearing a return. Adam McQuaid remains out with a leg injury.
- Gregory Campbell is no stranger to losing fights, and he can add Saturday’s bout with Luke Schenn to the list. Speaking of fights, Johnny Boychuk picked up his first fighting major of the season when he dropped the gloves with Scott Hartnell.
|Dougie Hamilton: ‘I’m ready to play now’||01.24.14 at 1:33 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Chris Kelly and Dougie Hamilton will travel to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game against the Flyers, with Hamilton saying he is ready to return to the lineup.
Hamilton, who has missed the last four games with a concussion, practiced with his teammates for the second consecutive day Friday and said he was “finally” cleared for contact.
“I think I’ve been skating now for, I think this is my sixth day, so every day I’ve felt better and I’m ready to play now,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he suffered the concussion, which was the first of his career, in the third period of the team’s loss to the Kings on Jan. 9 and played the next game against the Sharks.
The concussion is Hamilton’s second injury this season, as he missed 10 games from Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 with a knee injury. Hamilton is in his second season and said that the last couple of months have been frustrating given that they’ve halted the progress of a strong second season.
“I think I’m a lot more comfortable and a lot better defensively, and just feel a lot better on the ice,” Hamilton said. “It’s just been an unfortunate month or two months or whatever. Hopefully I can just get back into the lineup again and have fun and help the team out.”
Kelly also practiced with the team for the second straight day. He has not played since suffering a broken fibula on Dec. 7 against the Penguins. Claude Julien said that there is a chance one or both could return to the lineup Saturday, and noted that Hamilton is closer to returning than Kelly because he has missed less time and is in better game shape.
Adam McQuaid did not practice Friday and will not travel to Philadelphia as he remains out with a leg injury.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins playing it safe with families given threat of danger at Olympics||01.23.14 at 11:41 pm ET|
With suicide bombings striking Russia and the threat of more — three potential suicide bombers are rumored to be on the loose — leading up to the Olympics, Bruins representatives are unsure of whether they want their families there.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who will be Slovakia’s captain and flag bearer, has plans for his father, a former Olympic wrestler and coach, to go. However, he told WEEI.com Thursday that his family is still taking things (one of which is safety) into consideration.
“Not sure,” Chara said. “We’re planning. Everything is set up for him to come, but we have to still wait for a few things [and see] how it goes.”
David Krejci, who will represent the Czech Republic, does not want his mother to go, though she intends to see her son play.
‘I told my family not to go, but my mom wants to go so I can’t stop her,” Krejci said. “I would prefer if she didn’t go. I understand everybody who doesn’t want their families to go. It’s a scary situation. I’m sure the Russian president is going to take care of everything and he’ll make the Olympic Games safe, but we’ll see what happens.”
Added Krejci: ‘I’ve been reading papers and watching TV, so I know there’s been a lot of talk about it. I know [the United States] have sent lots of military people over there, so it’s going to be interesting. You kind of don’t know what you’re getting into but I’m sure they’re going to do everything they can to make it safe.’
Claude Julien, who is on Canada’s coaching staff, faces a similar situation with his wife, who wants to go, while Julien would rather his family be safe.
“That’s still a debate right now. Not my family. If anything, it will be my wife, but that’s still under debate right now,” Julien said. “There is concern, like anybody else, but there’s concern like that everywhere else. I think it’s been exposed more because of what it represents, but it’s a decision we’ll make later.”
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Kevan Miller won’t get complacent with new contract||01.23.14 at 1:36 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins showed during Kevan Miller‘s first call-up that they had faith in him when they played him in the final minute of a one-goal game against the Penguins.
They showed it again this week when they gave him a two-year, one-way contract extension worth $1.6 million.
“I mean, it’s obviously a good feeling,” Miller said Thursday of the deal he signed Tuesday. “You never want to get too comfortable; you always want to kind of be on your toes, but it’s a confidence-booster.”
Miller, 26, has played 16 games for the Bruins this season. The Los Angeles native and undrafted University of Vermont product has a goal and an assist for two points, an even rating and an average of 16:53 played per game. He’s been needed given the injuries the Bruins have had on their blue line to Adam McQuaid, Dougie Hamilton and Johnny Boychuk, and he’s used the time to show he’s capable of being an NHL player.
“He’s earned it,” Claude Julien said. “It’s pretty obvious he’s come in here and played some pretty solid hockey and he’s been rewarded for it. There’s no doubt, for a player, it certainly gives you that confidence and that security that you’re always looking for. But he’s still on a two-way this year, so he’s got to be careful.”
Miller was set to be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Last season, the Bruins re-upped then free agent-to-be Matt Bartkowski with a one-year deal, and though they tried to trade him afterward, Bartkowski said that it’s helpful for a player to know what’s ahead of them early in their NHL career.
“It’s pretty comforting in a sense that you kind of know where you’re going to be the next year,” Bartkowski said. “My situation was a little different, but it certainly gives you confidence, which brings a comfort level, I guess.”
The fact that Miller has two seasons ahead of him for low dollars would seemingly make him a more valuable commodity should any teams be interested in his services when talking trade with the Bruins. Bartkowski, who frequently pokes fun at teammates, said he hasn’t teased Miller with the idea that the team could try to trade Miller like they did with him.
Considering they’ve been defensive partners at both the AHL and NHL level for years now, Bartkowski certainly wouldn’t want that to happen, either.
“No, I don’t think they’re doing that,” Bartkowski said with a laugh. “I actually hadn’t even thought of that, so maybe I’ll bring that up next.”
|Bruins unsure of Adam McQuaid’s timetable||01.23.14 at 1:03 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid was not on the ice for Thursday’s practice as he remains out with a leg injury. After the practice, Claude Julien said the team doesn’t have a good idea of when he will return.
“His injury is an injury that’s really hard to assess,” Julien said. “That’s why I’m giving you guys that day-to-day thing, because nobody, even the medical staff has not been able to give us or pinpoint a time. So it’s day-to-day. It depends on how he heals. It could be shorter, it could be longer. We’ve just got to go about it on a day-to-day situation.”
McQuaid missed the second half of Sunday’s game in Chicago and all of Monday’s game against the Kings. He has missed 19 games this season due to injury.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton practice with Bruins; Adam McQuaid absent||01.23.14 at 11:22 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Both Chris Kelly and Dougie Hamilton returned to practice Thursday at Ristuccia Arena. Adam McQuaid, who is out with a leg injury, was the only player missing from practice.
Kelly has been out since Dec. 7 with a broken fibula, while Hamilton has missed the last four games with a concussion. Kelly was wearing a grey (third line) jersey along with Carl Soderberg, Loui Eriksson and Ryan Spooner. With Kelly out of the lineup, Spooner has centered the third line.
“I was excited to come today,” Kelly said after the practice. “It’s been a little bit longer than I would have liked, but it’s all part of the process of getting better, and today was a good step in the right direction.”
Kelly said he isn’t sure when he will return to the lineup, but Claude Julien said that he will travel to Philadelphia for Saturday’s game and could be in the lineup within a week. The veteran center added that he “pushed it pretty good” in Thursday’s practice and felt good.
“I think I’ve done everything I need to do,” Kelly said. “Conditioning, I felt great. Obviously you can never simulate the physical aspect of the game, but I felt good out there today.”
Julien said it is unclear whether Hamilton will travel, as he hasn’t been cleared to take heavy contact yet.
Also on the ice for the B’s was Zach Trotman, who was recalled Thursday morning on an emergency basis. Trotman had been returned to Providence Tuesday after playing Monday’s game against the Kings. Though the Bruins were off Tuesday and Wednesday, Trotman was able to get a practice in with Providence on Wednesday.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
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