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Seth Griffith makes like Bobby Orr, but Bruins ruin it with 3rd-period meltdown 10.29.14 at 12:05 am ET
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No Stanley Cup was on the line Tuesday night at TD Garden, but Seth Griffith certain woke up the Gallery Gods echos when he made like Bobby Orr of May 10, 1970, and flew through the air to score what was, at the time, the go-ahead goal in the second period.

But the trouble with this airborne goal is that it wasn’t the final goal of the season. It wasn’t even in the final goal of the game.

The Bruins would score again, on a power-play tally from Milan Lucic, to go ahead 3-1 entering the third period. But the final 20 minutes featured a meltdown as the Wild outworked the Bruins and came away with a 4-3 win at TD Garden.

Still, the Griffith goal is what many Bruins fans will take with them out the door as the lone highlight. Gregory Campbell made it all possible when he rushed the net, drew a defender and left Griffith alone to come down the slot and finish it off. It was the rookie’s second goal of the night and third of the season. He also added an assist and was just a fight shy of the Gordie Howe hat trick.

“It’s kind of hard to be happy but two goals — obviously the win is more important,” Griffith said. “It’s too bad we didn’t have a very good third.”

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Read More: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, Gallery gods, Minnesota Wild
Bruins blow 2-goal lead, lose to Wild 10.28.14 at 9:44 pm ET
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The Bruins surrendered a two-goal lead in the third period to fall, 4-3, to the Wild Tuesday at TD Garden.

With the loss, the B’€™s fell to 5-6-0 on the season. The loss saw a three-point performance from Seth Griffith (one goal, two assists) go wasted.

The Wild took the lead at 4:51 of the first period after Thomas Vanek stole the puck from Matt Bartkowski behind the net and sent it in front for Nino Niederreiter to bury past Tuukka Rask. Boston tied it at 1:37 left in the period when David Krejci sent an impressive saucer pass from the half wall past two defenders to Griffith, who tipped it past Niklas Markstrom for his first of the night. In getting the secondary assist on the goal, Zach Trotman registered his first career NHL point.

The Bruins took the lead in the second period on a goal-of-the-year candidate from Griffith. With Milan Lucic sending the puck up to Gregory Campbell in the neutral zone, Griffith raced to the net from the defensive zone and, after Campbell patiently waited to make the pass in front, Griffith got his stick on the puck as trip attempts from Niederreiter and Nate Prosser sent him flying as he reached the net. The puck went in as Griffith toppled to the ice, with his gloves breaking his fall.

Milan Lucic added to the lead with a power play at 16:59 of the second period, redirecting a Torey Krug shot from in front of the net for his second goal of the season. Griffith picked up the secondary assist on the goal.

The Wild, who were playing their second game in as many nights, would answer back in the third period with goals from Zach Parise and Justin Fontaine. A Marco Scandella slapshot from the point that sailed past Tuukka Rask at 14:07 of the third capped the come-from-behind victory.

The Bruins will next head to Buffalo, where they will get a layup against the Sabres before hosting the Senators at the Garden Saturday.

Here are some observations from the game: Read the rest of this entry »

Why Tuukka Rask is pleased with Dougie Hamilton after yelling at him 10.28.14 at 1:04 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton is trying to show improvement in all areas of his game. (Getty Images)

Dougie Hamilton is trying to show improvement in all areas of his game. (Getty Images)

Dougie Hamilton is receiving praise left and right for what some might call a breakout* performance against the Maple Leafs, but it was his response to the low moment of his three-point game that might be the biggest takeaway.

Hamilton was the last line of defense as the Bruins, stuck in their zone, surrendered the Leafs’€™ lone goal of the game in the third period. The man Hamilton was covering, Richard Panik, scored with the Bruins scrambling during a delayed penalty to break up Tuukka Rask‘€™s shutout. Rask could be seen barking at Hamilton after the goal.

On Hamilton’€™s next shift, James van Riemsdyk went to the net and Hamilton manhandled him on a play that resulted in matching roughing minors. Intentionally or not, it was a good sign that Hamilton, a 6-foot-5 third-year player with no fighting majors to his name, does not want to be taken lightly around his net. Furthermore, it was a response Rask was happy to see.

“That’€™s what you have to do; you have do hold your ground and not let those guys get in there,” Rask said. “That’€™s exactly what he did. As long as it’€™s an even call, that’€™s alright.”

Shifts are usually around 45-50 seconds, sometimes more and sometimes less. Hamilton ended up being stuck on the ice for 1:37 on the shift that cost Rask what would have been his shutout of the season. During a delayed penalty call on Daniel Paille for tripping Panik, Rask had to face three shots from three different angles. A point shot squirted into the corner and was retrieved by Nazem Kadri, whose cross-ice pass to Cody Franson yielded another shot stopped by Rask. Tyler Bozak whacked the rebound across the net to Panik, who jammed it past both Rask and Hamilton, the latter of whom had been covering Panik but retreated into the net amidst the chaos.

“It was definitely my fault,” Hamilton, who had a goal and two assists in the game, said of the goal. “I was gassed and trying to playing to goalie, obviously with the shutout on the line. I apologized to him.”

Rask said Tuesday that though he reacted vocally, he didn’t mean to chew Hamilton out any more than he intended to express frustration with the overall work in front of him on the shift.

Hamilton said that on his next shift, he felt he had to “refocus and make sure I was being strong.” That ended up being subpar news for van Riemsdyk, who became the focal point of Hamilton’s aggression.

Rask wants and expects the defensemen in front of him to box players out and make them pay a price if they want to get close to the net. When that doesn’€™t happen, he isn’€™t afraid to tell them. That isn’t such a bad thing.

With Zdeno Chara out for at least a few more weeks, other players need to provide the physical presence and intimidation factor around the net. Rask will be happy to see more of that from Hamilton as he continues to round into a top defender.

“He obviously wants to be one of the best defensemen in the league, and that’€™s something he has to get better at, is the defensive side of his game,” Rask said. “He’€™s really picked up on that and gotten better, so I like it.”

*Hamilton broke out last season.

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Tuukka Rask,
Bruins prepare to host Wild 10.27.14 at 1:08 pm ET
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Matt Fraser

Matt Fraser

Unsurprisingly given the way it performed Saturday against the Maple Leafs, the Bruins kept their lineup the same in Monday’€™s practice at TD Garden.

Dougie Hamilton, who had three points (a goal and two assists) Saturday, remained with Dennis Seidenberg as the Bruins prepare to host the Wild on Tuesday.

The rest of the lines and defensive pairings were as follows:

Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne

Seidenberg – Hamilton
Krug – McQuaid
Bartkowski – Trotman

Seventh defenseman Joe Morrow was sent to Providence Sunday, while Matt Fraser remains the team’s 13th forward. Fraser, who had a strong camp for the B’s but struggled early in the season playing his off wing, has not played since last Saturday in Buffalo.

“Like anybody else, I’€™m sure he wants to play,” Claude Julien said. “I’€™d be disappointed if he didn’€™t, but that’€™s where he’€™s at right now. He’€™s had some opportunities and in the first [part] of the season, he’€™s been just OK. He’€™s a young player, so he’€™s just kind of biding his time there. When he gets that opportunity to get back in, he’€™s got to be ready. He’€™s no different than anybody else that’€™s been in that position before.”

The Wild are 4-2-0 on the season with an NHL-best plus-13 goal differential. Minnesota has won two straight but will be on the second leg of a back-to-back after they play the Rangers Monday in New York.

Read More: Matt Fraser,
Bruins send Joe Morrow to Providence 10.26.14 at 11:27 am ET
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The Bruins announced Sunday that they have reassigned defenseman Joe Morrow to Providence of the AHL.

Morrow, a first-round pick of the Penguins in 2011 who came to the Bruins from the Stars in the Tyler Seguin trade, had been recalled Saturday along with Zach Trotman. Morrow served as the seventh defenseman, sitting Saturday against the Maple Leafs, while Trotman played on the third pairing alongside Matt Bartkowski.

In five games for Providence this season, Morrow has a goal and an assist for two points and a plus-4 rating.

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

Read More: Joe Morrow,
Dougie Hamilton puts up three points as Zdeno Chara-less Bruins cruise past Maple Leafs 10.25.14 at 9:50 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton had a goal and two assists Saturday. (Getty Images)

Dougie Hamilton had a goal and two assists Saturday. (Getty Images)

The Zdeno Chara-less Bruins passed their first test with flying colors.

Dougie Hamilton had a three-point night and the Bruins played one of their better defensive games of the season in beating the Maple Leafs, 4-1, at Air Canada Centre Saturday. Tuukka Rask‘s shutout bid was broken up when Richard Panik scored during a delayed penalty at 14:27 of the third period.

Carl Soderberg opened the scoring for Boston, scoring a power play goal for his third tally of the season at 3:27 of the first period. With the assist on Soderberg’s goal, Patrice Bergeron registered his 500th career point.

That score would hold up until David Krejci went to the net hardly contested by Phil Kessel and beat Jonathan Bernier on the rebound of his own shot at 15:58 of the second.

With the Bruins killing an Adam McQuaid penalty in the third, Daniel Paille stole a puck from Dion Phaneuf in the Toronto zone and sent it to Gregory Campbell in front, who made it 3-0. Hamilton made it 4-0 just 1:38 later after outracing Jake Gardiner and another Toronto defender and fired a wrist shot over the glove of Bernier, ending the Toronto starter’€™s night.

With the win, the Bruins evened their record to 5-5-0 on the season. The B’€™s will next play Tuesday when they host the Wild at TD Garden.

Here are some notes from the game:

– Hamilton had a particularly strong game for Boston, picking up an assist in each of the first two periods before scoring in the third. Though his helper on Soderberg’€™s goal game as a result of a lucky bounce, Hamilton made a good decision to race after a missed pass from Loui Eriksson from Patrice Bergeron down low. Hamilton moved up to get the puck at the right circle, seemingly breaking his stick on the shot as the puck trickled to Bergeron, whose bid then went off Stuart Percy on its way to Soderberg on the doorstep.

– Speaking of Hamilton, it appeared that Rask was barking at the defenseman after Panik scored in front of the net. On Hamilton’€™s next shift, he was extra-physical with James van Riemsdyk when the Leafs winger went to the net. Both players were assessed roughing minors.

Dennis Seidenberg led the team with 25:59 of ice time, which was far and away tops on the team. Hamilton was second with 22:31.

– The game gave Krejci a six-game point streak. After being kept off the score sheet in his first game of the season, Krejci now has three goals and five assists for eight points over the last six contests.

– The Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid pairing was Boston’€™s third pairing to begin the season, but without Chara, everyone has to step up. That was apparent in the first period, when Krug’€™s pairing played against Phil Kessel on four of Kessel’€™s seven 5-on-5 shifts.

– Zach Trotman made his season debut, skating on the third defensive pairing with Matt Bartkowski. The lineup was as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg- Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne

Seidenberg – Hamilton
Krug – McQuaid
Bartkowski – Trotman

Read More: Dougie Hamilton,
Dougie Hamilton has injury scare a day after Bruins lose Zdeno Chara for month 10.24.14 at 1:19 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

The Bruins can’€™t afford to lose another top defensemen ‘€” they’€™ve really only got two left ‘€” so things looked pretty scary in Friday’€™s practice when Dougie Hamilton appeared to be in serious pain after getting hit in the right hand with a shot.

After getting hit, Hamilton took his glove off and grimaced for a few minutes as he repeatedly shook his hand. He resumed drills, but shook his hand after each turn and repeatedly went to the bench to get checked on by a trainer.

Following the practice, Hamilton said that his hand was OK, but there was a big red mark where the puck had clearly hit him. The fact that he finished practice is a good sign that the B’€™s survived the scare.

Hamilton skated on the team’s top pairing with Dennis Seidenberg in Friday’s practice. He has been used as Zdeno Chara‘s partner this season, but Chara is out for at least a month due to a torn PCL.

The pairings in practice were as follows:

Seidenberg – Hamilton
Krug – McQuaid
Bartkowski – Trotman

 

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Zdeno Chara,
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