|5 things we learned as Bruins don’t score, lose again||12.03.14 at 1:09 am ET|
The Bruins are good enough to play close games against good teams, but they aren’t good enough to score goals. That’s becoming a bit of a problem for them as they try to navigate through a tough part of their schedule.
If the shutouts were being sprinkled in with potent offensive efforts, things wouldn’t look so grim. That’s not the case, however, as their 2.35 goals per game on the season ranks 23rd in the NHL.
The Bruins have now gone five straight games without a three-goal showing and have failed to score three in nine of their last 10 games (4-5-1).
The Kings outshot the Bruins 35-31. Their second goal came in the form of a Tyler Toffoli empty-netter as the Bruins fell short in their comeback bid in the final minutes.
Here are four other things we learned:
JULIEN MIXING THINGS UP
Boston’s lines began as such:
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Lucic – Soderberg – Eriksson
Fraser – Kelly – Smith
Gagne – Campbell – Paille
By the end of the second, Julien used the following lines:
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Lucic – Soderberg – Pastrnak
Fraser – Kelly – Eriksson
Gagne – Campbell – Paille
In the third, Fraser got shifts with Lucic and Soderberg, while Pastrnak skated with Eriksson and Kelly. Seth Griffith was scratched for a second straight game. It will be interesting to see what Julien does with the lineup Thursday against the Sharks.
FAITH IN CAMPBELL LINE BACKFIRES
Claude Julien successfully used Campbell’s line against Ryan Getzlaf’s line Monday night in Anaheim without getting burned. That apparently gave the B’s confidence to play their fourth line against Anze Kopitar’s line at points Tuesday, and it cost them.
After Gagne blocked a shot late on the Campbell line’s third shift against Kopitar’s, Campbell couldn’t get the puck out of the zone. Kopitar gained possession and sent the puck low to Tanner Pearson, who beat Niklas Svedberg for what would prove to be the game-winning goal.
The Campbell line played six shifts against Kopitar’s line over the first two periods Tuesday.
MILLER RETURNS, MORROW SCRATCHED FOR FIRST TIME
For the first time since he entered the lineup on Oct. 30, Joe Morrow was scratched by the Bruins. The move allowed Kevan Miller to re-enter the lineup.
Morrow, who has by and large been very steady for the B’s in his 14-game NHL career, did not play the final 6:11 of Monday’s loss to the Ducks. Miller was scratched after Julien said he suffered a minor injury against the Jets last Friday.
Zach Trotman stayed in the lineup amidst the switch on defense, logging 16:34 of ice time.
BACK-TO-BACKS EQUAL LOSSES
In losing Tuesday, the Bruins fell to 0-5-0 in the second games of back-to-backs. Two of those games have been started by Svedberg, who deserved a better fate on Tuesday.
The B’s are 3-2-0 in the first games of back-backs. They’ll next have games on consecutive games on Dec. 16 and 17 in Nashville and Minnesota, respectively.
|5 things we learned as Bruins fall to Ducks||12.02.14 at 12:33 am ET|
A loss is a loss, but all things considered, Monday night could have gone much worse for the Bruins.
Playing one of the NHL‘s biggest and best teams in the first game of a four-game western swing, the Bruins held their own against the Ducks with an especially strong first period, solid special teams work throughout and even a big night from the embattled Gregory Campbell line.
After falling behind, 3-1, five minutes into the third period the B’s pushed back hard with Simon Gagne’s second goal of the season, but were unable to find the equalizer en route to a 3-2 regulation loss.
The lack of points from the performance should undoubtedly leave the Bruins with a bad taste in their mouths, but Monday’s game showed that, without Zdeno Chara and David Krejci, the B’s can still measure up pretty well against one of the league’s top teams.
The Bruins will play the second leg of perhaps their toughest back-to-back of the season when they face the Kings Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Tuukka Rask made 25 saves on 28 shots faced. The loss was Boston’s third in the last four games (1-2-1).
Here are four more things we learned Monday:
PASTRNAK GETS HIS FIRST POINT
David Pastrnak stayed on Patrice Bergeron‘s line and got power play time in his third NHL game. With it came his first career point, as his power play unit stayed in the offensive zone at the expiration of an Andrew Cogliano penalty and a Pastrnak threw a puck on net that yielded a rebound that Brad Marchand converted into the first goal of the game.
Zach Trotman got the secondary assist on the goal, as he manned the other point of the power play unit with Torey Krug.
Pastrnak had one shot on goal Monday, a far cry from his team-leading seven on Friday against the Jets.
BARTKOWSKI HELD UP
Matt Bartkowski has had plenty of reason to be frustrated when pucks have gone past him and in this season, but on Monday the frustration wasn’t with himself.
Devante Smith-Pelly held Bartkowski’s stick in front of Rask during a Ducks possession late in the second period. Despite Bartkowski signaling to the official that he couldn’t make a play, the obstruction went uncalled as Cam Fowler fired a shot that would go off Smith-Pelly and in.
|Bruins recall Craig Cunningham from Providence||11.30.14 at 12:30 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled forward Craig Cunningham from Providence Sunday, an indication that he’ll be on the team’s four-game West Coast road trip this week.
Cunningham began the season as the Bruins’ fourth-line center while Gregory Campbell recovered from a core injury. He posted no points in three games for the B’s, but has been a very productive player in Providence with four goals and nine assists for 13 points in 18 games.
The Bruins are now at the 23-man roster limit.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins recall Zach Trotman on emergency basis||11.29.14 at 12:06 pm ET|
The Bruins recalled defenseman Zach Trotman from Providence on an emergency basis.
Claude Julien had said Friday that Zdeno Chara would not be traveling on the Bruins’ four-game road trip to the West Coast and told reporters David Krejci would not travel either. Kevan Miller did not practice Saturday, with Julien telling reporters on hand that the defenseman got banged up Friday but would travel.
Trotman has played nine games in the NHL this season, notching a pair of assists with a minus-1 rating.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Zdeno Chara not traveling with Bruins for four-game road trip||11.28.14 at 10:33 pm ET|
Zdeno Chara will not travel with the Bruins on their West Coast road trip, so he can be expected to miss the next four games.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Monday that Chara was a possibility to play within two weeks. Given their schedule, it would have appeared that either the finale of their road trip on Dec. 6 or their Dec. 11 meeting with the Blackhawks would be possibilities for target dates. The Chicago game could still be in play for the Bruins’ captain, who began skating Monday as he works his way back from a torn PCL.
Chara will stay in Boston, where he will continue to skate. He has been skating with David Warsofsky, who is rehabbing a groin injury.
Julien said it’s a possibility that the team could call up players to bring on the trip. The team is still without David Krejci, and it’s unclear whether he will travel.
“I think we’re talking about bringing maybe an extra player or two, obviously because we’re going to California,” Julien said after Friday’s win over the Jets. “That decision hasn’t been made. We wanted to wait for tonight’s game to be done, because who knows what was going to happen?”
Julien said potential callups would be made on Saturday.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|5 things we learned as Dougie Hamilton saves day in overtime||11.28.14 at 9:42 pm ET|
The Bruins will head to the West Coast two points richer.
It took overtime (and killing off a four-minute double-minor late in regulation and into the extra period), but Dougie Hamilton’s game-winner three minutes, 39 seconds into overtime gave the Bruins a 2-1 victory over the Jets Friday to wrap up a three-game home stand.
Brad Marchand was called for a four-minute high stick on Grant Clitsome with 3:30 left in regulation and the game tied, 1-1. The Bruins killed off the penalty in regulation, and the final 30 seconds to open overtime in a 4-on-3. Former Bruins farmhand Michael Hutchinson was spectacular in net for the Jets, saving 36 of the first 37 shots he faced, including a point-blank short-handed chance by Gregory Campbell with 30 seconds left in regulation.
The Bruins will also leave Boston healthier than they were to begin their three-game homestand, as Chris Kelly returned from injury Friday.
Here are four other things we learned Friday night:
SODERBERG LINE A GOOD FIT FOR LUCIC
Claude Julien said earlier this week that once David Krejci is healthy, Chris Kelly will go back to playing with Carl Soderberg and Lucic will go back to playing with Krejci. For now, however, Lucic has shown he’s a good fit with Boston’s Swedish forwards.
The trio of Soderberg between Lucic and Eriksson scored for the second straight game Friday when Lucic dropped a pass off for Soderberg at the blue line, went to the net and tipped Soderberg’s pass between the legs of Michael Hutchinson to tie the game at a goal apiece.
The goal was Lucic’s second in as many games, as he scored Boston’s first goal of Monday’s overtime loss to the Penguins. He now has five goals on the season.
Soderberg and Eriksson assisted Hamilton’s game-winner.
PASTRNAK PUTS PUCKS ON NET
After giving him just 7:53 of ice time in his NHL debut Monday, Claude Julien played David Pastrnak on Patrice Bergeron‘s line and the team’s No. 2 power play unit Friday. The result was both a glimpse of the first-rounder’s skill set and a lot of shots on goal.
With seven shots on goal Friday, Pastrnak landed as many pucks on net as any Bruin has in a game this season. (By my count, seven was the highest individual shot on goal total for a Bruins player entering the night, accomplished by Zdeno Chara on Oct. 18 against the Sabres and Patrice Bergeron on Nov. 6 against the Oilers.)
Pastrnak nearly had his best chance of the night at the end of a long shifts in the third period, but he couldn’t get a handle on the puck after taking a feed from Brad Marchand.
The Bruins began the night with Brad Marchand on the left wing of Bergeron’s line and Reilly Smith skating on a bottom-six line with Chris Kelly and Seth Griffith. Julien moved Smith up to replace Marchand in the third, with Marchand moving to Kelly’s line. Marchand took a high-sticking double-minor at 16:30 of the third period.
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|Chris Kelly nears return from upper-body injury||11.26.14 at 1:04 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Chris Kelly was back practicing with the Bruins Wednesday after missing the previous two games with an upper-body injury suffered in last Friday’s shootout win over the Blue Jackets.
Kelly said the injury was not related to last season’s back issues and was also not a head injury. When asked specifically what it was, he said “hurt feelings.”
The veteran center also noted that the injury did not occur on a specific play. He hopes to return to the lineup Friday against the Jets.
“I think we thought it was better to be on the cautious side of things,” Kelly said. “I think it’s exactly kind of what we thought. So I felt good today and and we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”
Kelly took contact and centered a fourth line with a rotating cast of wingers in Seth Griffith, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser on Wednesday.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
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