|Bruins get road win in Carolina||11.18.13 at 9:31 pm ET|
The Bruins jumped out to an early lead on the road and actually held on, taking a 4-1 win over the Hurricanes Monday in Carolina.
Boston got on the board early with a power-play goal from Reilly Smith and followed with a Carl Soderberg goal that came off a tip of a Dennis Seidenberg shot. Just as they did in Friday’s loss to the Senators, however, the B’s let the Hurricanes back in it late in the first when they allowed a weird flukey goal from an Eric Staal pass that went off Tuomo Ruutu and past Tuukka Rask.
The teams skated to a scoreless second period before Johnny Boychuk added to the lead in the third. After Cam Ward lost his stick under Tim Gleason and came out of the net to retrieve it, Boychuk stepped up and fired a slapshot into the vacated net. The goal was Boychuk’s first of the season. Milan Lucic picked up an empty-netter with 10.2 seconds left.
The Bruins will play the Rangers Tuesday in New York before returning home to host the Blues on Thursday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins have always prided themselves on their ability to kill penalties, but 32 straight is pretty unheard of. At the very least, it’s the best stretch the team’s PK has had under Claude Julien and, as was seen Monday, it cane make quite the difference in a one-goal game.
- Soderberg had his second multi-point game of the season (and his NHL career), and has 13 shots on goal over his last three games. Soderberg was all around the net Monday, a really good sign for a Bruins’ third line that seems to be finding its way offensively.
- Rask bounced back nicely from Friday’s subpar outing, stopping 23 of the 24 pucks he saw. He should have stopped Ruutu’s goal, but strong saves (including on a point shot in the final second of the second-period 5-on-3) made up for it.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Brad Marchand was replaced midway through the third period on the second line by Jordan Caron, the latter of whom was in the lineup in place of Shawn Thornton. It looked to be more of a case of Marchand playing his way off the line than Caron playing his way onto it, as Caron took a penalty in the first period and was rather quiet skating on the fourth line.
- That’s twice in the last two games that the Bruins have dominated the first period and taken a 2-0 lead only to see their opponent get on the board in the final minute of the period. Ruutu’s flukey tally led NESN to do some digging and come up with this incredible statistic: Of the 37 goals the Bruins have allowed this season, nine of them have come in the final two minutes of a period.
- The B’s had some bad luck with penalties in the second period, as a Boychuk tripping call turned out to be bogus when replays showed his stick only touched Jiri Tlusty‘s stick before Tlusty got tripped up and fell behind the net.
Then, with just over a minute left on Boychuk’s penalty, Gregory Campbell iced the puck, but did it with so much oomph that it made it over the glass from the other end of the ice. Since the puck was sent out from the Bruins’ zone, that landed Campbell in the box for delay of game.
- One note on Ruutu’s goal: That’s a rare 5-on-5 goal against for the Bruins with both Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron on the ice. It happened just once all of last season, but Ruutu’s was at least the third such occurrence this season. Henrik Zetterberg has scored twice with both Bergeron and Chara on the ice in 5-on-5 play.
|Shawn Thornton a healthy scratch vs. Hurricanes||11.18.13 at 7:08 pm ET|
Shawn Thornton was a healthy scratch for Monday night’s game against the Hurricanes, allowing Jordan Caron to get into the lineup for the first time in nine games.
Thornton was a healthy scratch once last season (March 2 against the Lightning), but had yet to sit this season. The fourth line of Gregory Campbell between Daniel Paille and Thornton had been intact for the first 19 games of the season.
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|Senators score four unanswered to beat Bruins||11.15.13 at 10:11 pm ET|
The Senators came back from a 2-0 deficit with four consecutive goals to beat the Bruins, 4-2, Friday night in Ottawa.
The B’s still had the lead entering the third period, but three goals in 8:39 for the Senators left the Senators in the driver’s seat on a night in which the B’s faded as the game went on. It was the Senators’ first win in Ottawa over the Bruins in their last 12 meetings.
Things were looking up for the Bruins when they took a 2-0 lead on goals from Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand, both of which saw Matt Bartkowski pick up the primary assists in his first-career multi-point game, but a Torey Krug giveaway in the final mine of the opening period allowed Chris Neil to send the Senators into the first intermission trailing by just one.
After the teams skated to a scoreless second period, Jason Spezza tied it in the third and the Senators took the lead on a Jared Cowen slapshot on a play on which Tuukka Rask appeared to be screened by Johnny Boychuk. Bobby Ryan made it 4-2 after stealing the puck from Reilly Smith in the Bruins’ zone and firing it past Rask.
Craig Anderson made 30 for the Senators, while Rask had 24 saves on the night. It was the first time Rask had allowed more than three goals since Oct. 26.
The B’s will remain on the road with games against the Hurricanes and Rangers on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The positives with Krug are obvious, but he’s had a couple of bad turnover the last two games. He wasn’t burned on his turnover in the defensive zone in overtime Thursday thanks to Chad Johnson bailing him out, but he was Friday when his blind pass in the final minute of the first period resulted in Neil’s goal.
- In general, it was rough night for that pairing. Dennis Seidenberg lost his stick in the defensive zone on the Senators’ possession on which they scored they tied the game.
Furthermore, a Seidenberg whiff on a puck at the point allowed Neil and the Senators to go the other way for a 3-on-2, but Rask stopped Zack Smith‘s shot.
- In case there’s anyone who didn’t know what an offensive threat Bobby Ryan is, he showed it in the third period. In addition to his goal following a steal off Smith, Ryan picked David Krejci‘s pocket in the offensive zone and had Tuukka Rask deked, though he missed the net.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- In killing off a Carl Soderberg hooking penalty in the second period and Jarome Iginla charging penalty in the final minutes, the Bruins have been perfect on the PK for 28 straight penalties. The last power play goal they allowed was Oct. 30 against the Penguins.
- Bartkowski was perhaps the brightest spot in a very good first period — scratch that, first 19 minutes — for the B’s. In addition to his shot that deflected off a couple bodies and past Anderson, the B’s were able to cash in on Marchand’s goal thanks to a nice move from Bartkowski at the blue line before dishing it to Marchand.
- The Bruins also got a really strong first period from Marchand, who played very well Monday against the Lightning but struggled again Thursday. He made a nice play early on in the first period where he got up from a hit at the dot in the offensive zone, retained the puck and sent it to Patrice Bergeron in the high slot, with Bergeron firing off a quality slapshot that was stopped by Anderson.
|Adam McQuaid out for road trip||11.15.13 at 8:17 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Friday that defenseman Adam McQuaid did not travel with the team for its three-game road trip, meaning that in addition to missing Friday’s game against the Senators, McQuaid will be out Monday and Tuesday against the Hurricanes and Rangers, respectively.
McQuaid suffered a lower-body injury in his second shift of the Bruins’ win over the Maple Leafs last Saturday. He left after grabbing his groin area and did not return. Julien did say Thursday that McQuaid was working out and riding the stationary bike, and McQuaid has been spotted at various points over the last week walking without a limp.
With McQuaid out, Matt Bartkowski will remain in the Bruins’ lineup. Bartkowski had a pair of assists in the first period Friday against the Senators, making it his first career multi-point game in the NHL.
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|David Krejci fine after concussion scare||11.14.13 at 11:44 pm ET|
The Bruins got quite a scare midway through the first period of Thursday’s win over the Blue Jackets when David Krejci lost an edge and was slow to get up after going head-first into the boards on a hit from Brandon Dubinsky.
It was a play that featured no wrongdoing on anyone’s part, just bad luck when a helmetless Krejci remained down on the ice and had to be tended to by trainer Don DelNegro. Krejci didn’t play the rest of the period as he went to a quiet room to be examined under the NHL’s mandatory concussion protocol, but the B’s were able to get him back for the start of the second period, when he took the faceoff and remained in the game without any issues.
Though things looked shaky at the time of the hit, Krejci didn’t seem woozy as he skated off the ice and down the tunnel. Krejci said to a pool reporter following the game that he took no issue with the hit.
“I don’t think it was on purpose,” he said. “I just kind of lost an edge. At the same time, his knee kind of went into my head and then the other side — I think I hit the board [with] my head and my helmet came off.”
Though the Bruins were fortunate to have Krejci back, he had a pretty rough night at the faceoff circle, going 3-for-13 on draws.
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|Milan Lucic the overtime hero as Chad Johnson bails out Bruins||11.14.13 at 9:40 pm ET|
Lucic picked up his eight goal of the season with 48.6 seconds left in overtime, beating Sergei Bobrovsky five-hole on a breakaway.
The Blue Jackets got on the board first, when Blake Comeau took a feed from Mark Letestu and fired a shot past Johnson, but the B’s were able to tie it when a Zdeno Chara wrist shot from the point went off Loui Eriksson and past reigning Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Bruins took the lead in the second period when a Shawn Thornton shot from the top of the circle went off Jack Johnson’s stick and over Bobrovsky’s glove, though a bad rebound from Chad Johnson allowed Nick Foligno to tie it.
The Blue Jackets dominated play in the third period thanks in part to a pair of penalties from the Bruins and shoddy defensive play from the B’s, but the B’s were ale to make it to overtime despite their slow finish.
The Bruins will hit the road to face the Senators Friday in Ottawa.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins dodged a major bullet on the injury front, as David Krejci lost an edge going into the corner in the first period and lost his helmet as Brandon Dubinsky hit him into the boards. There was no wrongdoing on Dubinsky’s part (he couldn’t have anticipated Krejci going into the boards the way he did as they got there), but Krejci remained down on the ice for a minute and was tended to by trainer Don DelNegro.
Krejci seemed OK as he skated off the ice, but he went down the tunnel and did not play there rest of the period. He returned for the second period, however, and showed no ill effects in staying in the game the rest of the way.
- Though Johnson at points looked like someone who was shaking off rust, he came up with a pair of big saves in the opening minutes of the third period on Ryan Johansen and Cam Atikinson and later with a stop on Derek MacKenzie in front.
He came up big again in overtime, when a Torey turnover led to a scoring chance on which he stopped Foligno.
- In holding the Blue Jackets 0-for-4 on the power play on the night, the Bruins have now killed off 6 consecutive penalties. The last power-play goal they allowed was Chris Kunitz’ second-period tally on Oct. 30 in Pittsburgh.
- With the secondary assist on Thornton’s goal, Torey Krug now has a five-game point streak. Krug has two goals and three assists over Boston’s last five contests.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- The Bruins kind of put all their eggs in one basket chasing a puck behind the net and it burned them on Comeau’s goal. Both Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton went behind the net for a puck with Mark Letestu, and when Letestu beat them both to it he was able to throw it in front to a wide-open Comeau, who beat Johnson to open the game’s scoring.
That wasn’t the extent of the Bruins’ breakdowns defensively, as they played a cleaner game in front of Johnson than they did in his last start against the Islanders, but they were so sloppy in the third period that Johnson had to be on his toes to keep the game tied.
- You cut Johnson some slack because he was playing in just his third game of the season, but he gave up a pretty bad rebound to give the Blue Jackets their second goal of the night. Johnson made a kick save on a Nikita Nikitin shot but kicked it right back in front, where Nick Foligno buried it to tie the game.
- This could be seen as a good thing or a bad thing, but the Bruins’ third line created a lot of scoring chances but couldn’t finish, as nice offensive plays by Carl Soderberg, Reilly Smith and Chris Kelly were all wasted. Nine minutes into the game, Soderberg blew past a Columbus defender at the blue line to create a 2-on-1 for the B’s, but Kelly couldn’t handle his pass.
Later in the period, Smith made a nice move down low and fired a shot that went through Bobrovsky and was headed into the corner of the net, but Ryan Murray was able to knock the puck away before it could go in or be tapped in by Soderberg.
In the second period, Kelly tipped a puck in the neutral zone around a defender to Soderberg to give him a breakaway, but Soderberg was denied on his backhand bid.
|Bruins feel they owe Chad Johnson a better game||11.14.13 at 12:53 pm ET|
With Chad Johnson set to get his first start of the season at TD Garden, the Bruins are plenty motivated to give him a win. Given what happened the last time he played, they owe it to him.
Johnson hasn’t played since Nov. 2 against the Islanders, which was probably the Bruins’ worst game of their early-season dip. Johnson allowed three goals on 34 shots in a 3-1 loss, but it was the play in front of him that was the Bruins’ undoing. The Bruins gave up odd-man rushes and were dominated by New York’s top line of John Tavares between Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo in a night in which Zdeno Chara was a minus-2.
“That was a terrible outing by us, and Chad works hard and has played well when asked upon,” Chris Kelly said after Thursday’s morning skate. “We want to come out and make the game as easy as possible for him and give him some help.”
The good news for the Bruins is that they have slowly begun to turn the corner since that loss. The B’s have gotten seven of an eight possible points since then, and with a win over the Blue Jackets Thursday they can wrap up their five-game home stand with nine of a possible 10 points.
“I think every game becomes a new challenge, right?” Claude Julien said. “I liked the way we played the last few games; Toronto and obviously Tampa and seeing them turning the corner but that has to continue tonight. I think that's the challenge that teams have all the time, is not to rely on the fact that you're playing better lately but fight and keep it going. So I think that's what everybody's hoping to be able to do tonight is to keep our team going in the right direction.”
Johnson had said Wednesday that it was tough waiting for his next start given how ugly the last one had been, but the team’s improved play certainly suggests things won’t be as bad Thursday as they were last Saturday.
As for how Johnson has looked this season, he falls under the category of guys who haven’t really been given a chance to hit their stride. He and his teammates know it, as he was less than spectacular in allowing two goals on 16 shots in his Bruins debut against the Sabres. Of course, the Bruins gave him a chance to win in that game — and they did with a 5-2 win — which is far more than could be said for Johnson’s second game.
If there’s any silver lining to that loss going into Thursday, it’s that there’s far less of a chance of the Columbus matchup being a trap game. The Blue Jackets are better than their 6-10-1 record would suggest, and their effort Thursday should be matched by a Bruins team trying to make things up to Johnson.
“We kind of let him down in his second game, against the Islanders,” David Krejci said. “We feel like we owe him one and we’re going to try to do everything we can to get him a win tonight.”
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