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Bruins beat Blackhawks behind Patrice Bergeron’s two goals 03.27.14 at 9:30 pm ET
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For the first time in their last five meetings, the Bruins beat the Blackhawks Thursday at TD Garden with a 3-0 victory.

In the Blackhawks’ first game in Boston since scoring two late goals in 17 seconds to win the Stanley Cup, the Bruins were the ones to turn in two quick third-period goals. Carl Soderberg and Patrice Bergeron scored 13 seconds apart in the third to provide the Bruins insurance. Bergeron’s tally was his second of the game.

The Bruins got on the board in the first period when Bergeron tipped a Matt Bartkowski point shot past Corey Crawford. The game remained 1-0 until the third period, when Soderberg scored his 14th goal of the season. Thirteen seconds later, Bergeron fired a loose puck into the empty net with an out-of-position Crawford trying to knock the goal off its moorings. The play was reviewed and ruled a good goal.

Tuukka Rask, meanwhile, picked up his league-leading seventh shutout of the season. The Blackhawks outshot the B’s in the game, though their Grade-A chances were limited.

The win was Boston’s 50th of the season, making them the first team this season to amass 50 victories.

The B’s will next play Saturday in Washington.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- With a two-goal performance, Bergeron now has 25 goals on the season for the second time in his career. Bergeron had 31 goals in the 2005-06 season.

- Bergeron’s five games in a row with a goal is the longest such streak of his career. He has scored Boston’s first goal in all five of those games.

- Chris Kelly turned in some pretty nifty work in front of the net on Soderberg’s goal. In a fraction of a second, Kelly blocked a Johnny Boychuk point shot while battling in front and passed the puck to Soderberg, who sent it past Crawford. Kelly also created a scoring opportunity in the second period by intercepting a pass in the Chicago zone.

- With seven shutouts, Rask might be jumping atop the Vezina leaderboard. Rask is top-three in the league in both save percentage and goals-against average and he leads the NHL in shutouts by two. Rask has never been a Vezina finalist in his career, but should certainly be one this season unless he has a disastrous final few starts.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- This actually worked in Boston’s favor, but spectators of Bruins-Blackhawks games should be accustomed to seeing really good hockey. The Blackhawks’ sloppy showing in the second period made for anything but that. Chicago struggled in its own zone the neutral zone, committing multiple turnovers and giving the B’s a boatload of chances. The Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on them.

- The Bruins were back to their old not-drawing-penalties ways. David Krejci drew Chicago’s lone minor penalty, a trip late in the first period, with the B’s going 0-for-1 on the power play.

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Bruins express sympathy for fallen Boston firefighters 03.27.14 at 1:59 pm ET
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For the second consecutive year, the Bruins have had to play while their city has watched with heavy hearts. Multiple Bruins expressed their grief over the losses of Lt. Ed Walsh and firefighter Mike Kennedy in Wednesday’s nine-alarm fire in the Back Bay.

“I’€™m like everybody else,” Claude Julien said. “I’€™m watching it on TV and it’€™s unfolding. Those kinds of things, it’€™s just it’€™s sad to see those kinds of things happen, especially when people are trying to save other people’€™s lives. We all know that when they take those jobs on there’€™s that risk but it really touches the city. This city is pretty sensitive when it comes to that stuff and very supportive of all those situations. We’€™re no different in here, you know, we come in this morning and guys are talking to other guys and some of the players didn’t live too far from that area as well.

“[It's] certainly a sad tragedy to have happen. I was watching TV last night and my heart goes out to the families. You try to put yourself in their shoes and see how they have to react to that kind of news and if it happened to you how would you react, etc.”

It was nearly a year ago that the Bruins did their best to help Boston recover from the Marathon bombings. Though much of the attention was on the B’s as they made their run to the Stanley Cup finals, the Bruins remember being in awe of their city’s resiliency.

“[It's] not a fun thing to be part of but certainly, we’re a group here that really rallies around this city and we’re going to try and make this city feel as good as we can with our play and let them know that our thoughts and prayers are with the families,” Julien said.

Following the fire, Bruins new and old weighed in, with current Oilers captain Andrew Ference expressing his sympathies on Twitter.

 

On Thursday morning, Brad Marchand expressed his gratitude for the firefighters’ bravery.

“It’s obviously very heartbreaking with what happened,” Marchand said. “They were obviously very courageous people and they saved a lot of lives. It just shows how incredible the people of our city are always trying to help each other out. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

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Bruins welcome Blackhawks back to TD Garden 03.27.14 at 1:10 pm ET
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The Blackhawks are back in town. (AP)

The Blackhawks are back in town. (AP)

The Blackhawks are back in Boston for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup last June 24.

As you can imagine, the Hawks found the visiting dressing room much cleaner than they’d left it, and they were happy to be back where they scored two goals in 17 seconds in Game 6 to win their second Cup in a three-year span.

“It was a great memory, it was a great night. Unpredictable, amazing ending,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said after his team’s morning skate. “There’s a lot of good memories, for sure. We expect a dangerous team on the other side. They’re playing extremely well, so it will be a great test for us in that regard.”

This will be Boston and Chicago’s second meeting since the Cup finals, as the Blackhawks defeated the B’s in a shootout at the United Center back on Jan. 19.

“I think playing in their rink first definitely took the edge off,” Brad Marchand said Thursday morning. “This time, it’s more about just playing our game and conning the way we have been.

“The first time we played them was the first time we played against each other since the Cup finals. It’s always a big game for the crowd and for us. It was nice to get that one behind us, and now we can just worry about playing our game.”

One storyline with these two teams — and it’s one that has been overkilled like you read about (and then read about 10 more times — is the amount of respect the two teams have for one another. It’s come up so often for good reason, however, as the teams both play strong two-way hockey.

Plus, as Claude Julien put it, the Blackhawks don’t do things to get a rise out of the B’s like some of Boston’s other opponents do.

“I’€™m one of those guys that believes they play the game the right way,” Julien said of the Blackhawks. “There’€™s no embellishment, no crap, none of that stuff.”

Tuukka Rask and Corey Crawford will be in net for their respective teams Thursday night.

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Bruins, Make-A-Wish team up for young fan 03.26.14 at 1:57 pm ET
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Tuukka Rask and Maddie Santosuosso. (WEEI.com Photo)

Tuukka Rask and Maddie Santosuosso enjoy some time together on the ice. (WEEI.com)

WILMINGTON — The Bruins didn’t need to make a call-up to have a third goalie on the ice for Wednesday’s practice.

Nine-year-old Maddie Santosuosso of Topsfield took the ice with the B’s, donning her own No. 40 sweater and brand new goalie pads as she practiced with the Bruins thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Santosuosso, who is battling cancer, stayed with Tuukka Rask as she took part in the end of the team’s practice. She and Rask faced shots on one end of the ice for roughly 15-20 minutes, with Santuosso getting cheers as she made saves on various Bruins.

“It was great. I met her I think a week ago or something. We went to Norwood, [MonkeySports] hockey store and picked her up some gear,” Rask said after the practice. “I was pretty impressed — that was her first time wearing that, and she was skating around and stopping pucks, so I was pretty impressed.”

If Rask’s job was to get similar equipment to his, he did a good job. Santosuosso sported white pads like Rask’s, with a two stripes — one black, one gold, at the knee.

The one way you could tell them apart — aside from the size — was the mask. Predictably, masks like Rask’s custom-painted one aren’t readily available, so Santosuosso wore a red mask.

“She’s got the Canadien colors,” Rask said with a grin. “We’ll let that slide.”

Rask wears his emotions on his sleeve, as has been obvious in his moments of both elation and frustration. Wednesday was a case of the former, as his day was clearly made by his new friend’s presence.

It wasn’t just Rask who was happy to have Maddie around. As was seen with the Bruins’ relationship with Sam Berns, Bruins players don’t shy away from such moments.

“The guys didn’t even let me finish talking there when they saw her coming on, and they started tapping their sticks,” Claude Julien said. “It goes to show you that those little things that we do are really important to those people and important to us.

“Our guys just enjoy it. They could have gone off the ice. They could have done whatever they wanted. The practice was over. The guys stayed to [take] those extra shots and spend time with her.”

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Adam McQuaid still not close to return for Bruins 03.26.14 at 12:23 pm ET
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Adam McQuaid

Adam McQuaid

WILMINGTON — All healthy Bruins were on the ice for practice Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena. Unfortunately for the Bruins, that’s a group that still doesn’t include Adam McQuaid.

B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli said earlier this month that the team was shutting McQuaid down for two-to-three weeks to rehab a quad strain that has hampered the defenseman throughout the season. Wednesday marked three weeks since Chiarelli announced the plan, but Claude Julien said Wednesday that McQuaid remains off the ice.

“No, nothing,” Julien said when asked for an update on the player. “He’s still working out off-ice, but he hasn’t been on the ice yet.”

McQuaid’s continued absence increases the likelihood that the team might have to use Kevan Miller in the postseason. Miller has played well and has seen his minutes increase over his 39 games for Boston this season.

McQuaid has been limited to just 30 games this season and has not played since Jan. 19.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Milan Lucic calls Alexei Emelin a ‘chicken,’ denies spearing Canadiens defenseman 03.24.14 at 11:22 pm ET
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One of the biggest challenges the Bruins faced in their 2-1 shootout loss to the Canadiens Monday night was keeping their cool. After the game, Milan Lucic still hadn’t quite cooled down.

Lucic took a first-period hip check from Alexei Emelin in the first period of the game. The hit was clean, but Lucic asserted after the game that Emelin was trying to take out his knees. Zdeno Chara went after Emelin for the play, earning a roughing minor.

“Whether it’s fair, legal or whatever you want to call it, if he wasn’t scared, he would stand up and hit me and not go after my knees,” Lucic said. “It just shows how big of a chicken he is that he needs to go down like that to take me down. It shows what kind of player he is, and on my end, you know you’ve got to keep your guard up at all times.”

That wasn’t the end of Lucic’s interactions with Emelin. In the third period (video here), Lucic skated past Emelin but stuck his stick between the player’s legs and lifted his stick, hitting him in what looked to be the rear end, though initial reactions around the web suggested he may have gotten Emelin in the — let’s say “groin.” Lucic denied the act after the game.

“Just skating by him and that’s all,” he said. “People are trying to say I speared him. I did not spear him, so that’s it.”

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Canadiens snap Bruins’ winning streak in shootout 03.24.14 at 10:28 pm ET
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The Bruins’ season-best winning streak was snapped in a shootout Monday night, as the Canadiens picked up a 2-1 shootout win over the B’s at TD Garden to end Boston’s win streak at 12 games.

Alexander Galchenyuk beat Tuukka Rask in the fifth round for the only scored in the shootout.

The Habs got on the board in the first period when an Alexei Emelin shot went off Chris Kelly‘s stick and past Tuukka Rask for a power play goal. The game remained 1-0 in Montreal’s favor until the third period, when Dougie Hamilton fired a wrist shot from the point that Patrice Bergeron redirected past Peter Budaj. The goal came on Boston’s fourth power play of the third period.

The Bruins will next play Thursday against the Blackhawks in the defending Stanley Cup champions’ first visit back to Boston since winning the Cup at the Garden in June.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- In a nutshell, too many penalties early on, not all of which needed to happen. Specific dumb ones will be outlined below, but long story short: The Bruins had three power plays in the first two periods to Montreal’s six.

- Johnny Boychuk let P.K. Subban get to him in the second period and it cost the Bruins yet another penalty. After Boychuk hip-checked Subban along the boards, Subban gave Boychuk a little shove to the back of the head, at which Boychuk threw his gloves off and, after Subban started skating away, yanked Subban down to the ice. Boychuk was the only player penalized, as he was given a roughing minor. It was Boston’s sixth minor penalty of the night.

- Standing up for a teammate is nice, but Emelin’s hip-check on Milan Lucic at center ice in the first period was clean. Zdeno Chara didn’t need to go after him, as he did, and it resulted in a Habs power play off a roughing minor for Chara.

- Milan Lucic took a pretty cheap shot at Emelin in the third period, seemingly trying to spear him in the privates from behind.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Kevan Miller basically put himself on the list nobody’s going to want to fight after his first-period bout with Travis Moen. After Dale Weise lost and edge as Miller gave him a very light shove and Weise crashed into the boards, Moen challenged Miller and madness ensued. The fight consisted of three total takedowns, with Miller bringing Moen to the ice twice in an action-packed scrap.

After the fight, Moen had to be helped off the ice by teammates and did not return to the game, while
Miller could be seen icing his knuckles in the penalty box.

- The officiating wasn’t great, but that went both ways. The call on Rene Bourque for hooking Miller was bogus. The third-period holding call on Douglas Murray looked legit, though Murray nearly lost his mind on officials at the blow of the whistle. Later in the third, Brendan Gallagher was giving a so-so holding call after he caught up to a Gregory Campbell breakaway.

All in all, the Bruins had four power plays in the third period, with Bergeron’s tally coming on the final one.

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