|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.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|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.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Milan Lucic continues strong season with first career overtime goal||11.14.13 at 11:22 pm ET|
Milan Lucic is something of a walking encyclopedia when it comes to hockey. He can tell you on the spot what the Bruins' history is against a certain team or player, and he can always recall the last time he accomplished a certain feat. And yet on Thursday night when he said that his overtime winner was the first time he had ever scored an overtime goal, it seemed like he had to have been mistaken.
But sure enough, Lucic was spot on. Of his 126 NHL goals (including playoffs), none of them had come in overtime. The 60 he scored in juniors? Nope. None of those were in an extra session either.
Ironically, Lucic said just the other day that he’d like to see overtime changed in order to increase scoring chances and cut down on the number of games that are decided in a shootout. Then on Thursday, he took matters into his own hands with the clock winding down.
Lucic stepped into the shooting lane in his own end and took a Nikita Nikitin slapper right off his shin pads. The puck caromed all the way to the Columbus zone, where Lucic tracked it down, walked in alone on Sergei Bobrovsky and snapped a quick shot through the five-hole.
“A great job of blocking the shot, and he got on his horse and took off,” Claude Julien said. “Again, he can shoot the puck. He got him in the five-hole and it was a great decision on his part.”
For Lucic, it was his team-leading seventh goal of the season, and his second on a five-game homestand in which the Bruins went 4-0-1. On a night when the B’s didn’t play their best, his great individual effort allowed them to head out on the road feeling much better than if they had let a game against an inferior opponent slip away.
“I think when you look at the record it’s what you wanted, to have a good homestand, and we did,” Julien said. “Nine out of 10 points is something certainly to be happy with. And now we have to bring our game on the road, and we have three tough road games coming up.”
Lucic is on pace for a career-high 34 goals, and while he could be due for a bit of a regression in terms of goal-scoring (his 21.9 percent shooting rate is well above his career average of 15.1), there's no reason to think the B’s top line won’t continue to produce the way it has so far this season.
David Krejci and Jarome Iginla are both below their career shooting percentages — Iginla by a full five points — so the law of averages would dictate that any regression from Lucic will be canceled out as the percentages start to come up for Krejci and Iginla.
But whatever happens going forward, Lucic certainly will remember Thursday night’s game. He probably would’ve even without the overtime winner.
|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.
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: ‘I’d be all in’ for overtime rule changes||11.14.13 at 4:47 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon to discuss potential format changes to NHL overtime rules, the Bruins’ three-game winning streak, and the potential for some members of the Black and Gold to make it on Olympic rosters come February.
One of the chief topics at the NHL GM meetings this week has been the discussion about changing the rules for overtime play. A proposed format would have an overtime period last 10 minutes instead of five, with four-on-four hockey for the first five minutes and three-on-three play for the remaining five minutes. The game would then switch to a shootout format if no team can score over those 10 minutes.
“I’d be all in,” McGuire said. “Five minutes of four-on-four, five minutes of three-on-three. I was talking with one of the premier players in the league last night after the Pittsburgh-Philadelphia game and he said the one thing that it would do is create a lot of water-cooler conversation around the fan base, because the fans are so passionate.
“Coaches would be challenged: Do you go with two defensemen and one forward? Do you go with two forward and one D? Do you go with three forwards if you’re trying to put an extra point in the bag. It would create all kinds of different fodder and conversation. … I’m all for anything that would get the game decided by players on the ice rather than just a shootout situation.”
After two disappointing losses to the Islanders and Stars last week, the Bruins seem to have righted the ship, as they are on a three-game winning streak with victories over Florida, Toronto and Tampa Bay.
“I was blown away by their effort on Saturday night vs. Toronto,” McGuire said. “I mean, that was a smash-mouth kind of, ‘Here you go Toronto, do you like it? Take it,’ and they took it hard. That was a physical beatdown that I’m used to watching the Bruins perform, and then to see them carry it over to Monday afternoon against Tampa. … I was really impressed with, again, the Bruins’ defensive ability, their ability to move the puck.
“Milan Lucic is a completely different player because of his speed. Last year, he had a tough time getting up and down the rink, this year he’s not having that problem and it’s really impressive to watch. David Krejci, same kind of thing. These guys are in much better shape, you can see it as the season has gone along.”
While players such as Zdeno Chara and Tukka Rask seem to be locks to make their respective Olympic teams, other Bruins are on the outside looking in for a possible roster spot. One such player is Lucic, who has received some consideration from Team Canada. Lucic is the top goal-scorer for Boston this year (seven) and is second on the team in points (14).
“Yes, very good shot [Lucic makes Team Canada],” McGuire said.”In 2007, Canada played against Russia, the best under-20 players in a eight-game super series. It was a celebration of the 1972 Summit Series, and Lucic was basically the star for Team Canada. Hockey Canada remembers those things. He basically carried that team on his shoulders through 18 days in Russia, and he was off-the-charts good. … He was very capable playing on big ice, he was an intimidating factor, and they’re watching him right now. … There have been a lot of guys working for Team Canada that are watching a lot of Bruins games. … He’s played well enough to merit major consideration to be on that team.”
|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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