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Reilly Smith, Tuukka Rask lead Bruins past Lightning in shootout 03.08.14 at 10:01 pm ET
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Reilly Smith beat Ben Bishop in the seventh round of a shootout Saturday night to give the Bruins a 4-3 win over the Lightning.

The Bruins never led in the game, but Smith, who is still without a goal since Jan. 28, was able to beat Bishop five-hole to secure the victory for Boston. Tuukka Rask stopped all seven shots he saw in the shootout.

After the Bruins turned in a rather lethargic first period in which they put just five shots on Ben Bishop, the Lightning scored the game’s first goal with a shorthanded tally from Ondrej Palet in the second period. Mark Barberio made it 2-0 before goals from Daniel Paille and Carl Soderberg tied it, but a Valtteri Filppila tally made it 3-2.

Johnny Boychuk tied the game with a shot from the point at 8:11 of the third period.

The B’s will complete their Florida trip Sunday when they face the Panthers. They will then have two days to prepare for the Canadiens in Montreal


- The win marked the first time this season that the Bruins have won a game in which they trailed by two goals at one point.

- Though the B’s trailed after the second period, both of the goals they scored in the second were beauties. Paille bounced off Tyler Johnson at the right circle, got control of the puck in front and sent it behind him and past Bishop.

Soderberg’s goal, meanwhile, saw Chris Kelly find him in the neutral zone after Soderberg had snuck past the Tampa defense, giving Soderberg a breakaway on which he deked Bishop before sliding the puck through the Tampa goalie’s legs on the backhand.

- For the second straight game, the B’s really limited their opponent’s shots on goal. Boston allowed 18 shots on goal to Washington on Thursday before holding Tampa to 16 shots on goal Saturday night.


- The Bruins missed out on a power play goal that would have tied the game in the third period. Patrice Bergeron put a loose puck past Bishop, had his hands up in celebration and the whistle was blown to rule the play dead. Replays showed the puck was in the net well before the whistle was blown, but it was called no-goal thanks to the NHL‘s absurd “intent to blow” call that allows officials to retroactively call plays dead because they meant to blow the whistle earlier than they did.

The positive was that it made for a pretty funny display from Julien, as he appeared to say “Is that one good?” to an official after Boychuk tied the game.

- The Bruins finally saw more time on the power play after having just two power plays over a three-game span, but the results weren’t pretty. Palat’s goal was the sixth shorthanded goal the B’s have allowed this season.

- Smith was demoted to the fourth line to start the third period, as Claude Julien put Paille on Patrice Bergeron’s line for the earlygoing of the third.

Andrej Meszaros to sit again for Bruins 03.08.14 at 2:04 pm ET
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Folks waiting to see Andrej Meszaros‘ Bruins debut will have to wait a little longer, as Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters in Tampa Saturday that the team intends to stick with the same six defensemen he used in Thursday’s win over the Capitals.

As such, Meszaros will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game since coming to the B’s. It will be his 26th healthy scratch of the season.

Corey Potter, who was added on waivers Wednesday by the B’s, is with the team in Tampa and will also sit.

Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins ‘didn’t destroy the fabric of their team’ at trade deadline 03.07.14 at 1:23 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ decisions at the trade deadline. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

The Bruins traded a conditional pick to the Flyers for defenseman Andrej Meszaros Wednesday.

“They didn’t destroy the fabric of their team, which is really important,” McGuire said. “One of the great things about the Boston Bruins is the chemistry of the team and how they rally around one another.

“I talked to somebody in another market who’s a manager about this, they said the thing about the Bruins that makes them tough to play against is strength down the core of their team — so [David] Krejci, [Patrice] Bergeron, [Chris] Kelly, [Gregory] Campbell — you’re locked and loaded and everybody knows their role. Then you got the shutdown presence of [Zdeno] Chara, the shutdown presence of [Johnny] Boychuk. You’ve got the maneuverability of Torey Krug. You’ve now got Andrej Meszaros.”

During his rookie season, Meszaros played on a line with Chara and was a plus-34.

“I think you start out slow and then you build up to see what he can handle,” McGuire said of Meszaros and Chara playing on the same line again.

“Those guys have played so much together in the National Hockey League, and so much internationally that you’€™ll see that this is good. Peter Chiarelli knows Meszaros really well from their days in Ottawa together, so I think, quite frankly, Boston did a good job by not messing with the integrity of the team.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more on the Bruins, visit the team page at

On Kevan Miller: “Most people really don’€™t know who Kevan Miller is. Kevan Miller has become a very stable player for that team. I think that’€™s one of the things, when you see a player that can play close to 20 minutes in a game and can count on him being a plus-player, that’€™s, I think, a really important player for your group.”

On if the Bruins regret trading Tyler Seguin: “I don’€™t know if Tyler Seguin ever would have gotten to this level playing in Boston. Sometimes a young player needs to be scared straight, and one of the ways of scaring them straight is to trade them. For whatever reason it just doesn’t work out in the town that drafted him, but you trade him and it works out and I think that might have been the case with Tyler because it wasn’t working out. It wasn’t working out with consistency.”

Read More: Andrej Meszaros, Kevan Miller, Tyler Seguin,
2 fans injured after pole falls behind goal following Bruins game 03.07.14 at 7:19 am ET
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Two women in their 20s were injured when a metal pole holding up the protective netting behind one of the goals at TD Garden fell on them following the Bruins’ 3-0 victory over the Capitals on Thursday night, authorities told The Associated Press.

The women suffered minor injuries and were taken via ambulance to the hospital as a precaution.

The netting, designed to protect fans from flying pucks, fell at about 9:40 p.m.

According to a Boston Herald report, the netting was being raised to the ceiling when it gave way. A metal bar that holds one end of the net fell and appeared to strike one or both women in the head, leaving at least one of them bloodied.

Gregory Campbell, Merlot Line ‘trying to gain that trust from the coaching staff’ 03.06.14 at 11:09 pm ET
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Gregory Campbell is never going to be mistaken for a goal-scorer, but he’s been doing a pretty good impression of one these last four games.

Early in the second period of Thursday’s game against Washington, Campbell planted himself in front of the net during an offensive-zone possession and then redirected a Patrice Bergeron one-timer through his own legs and over Braden Holtby‘s right arm for his fourth goal in as many games.

While the goal didn’t come with the entire Merlot Line on the ice (Bergeron had replaced Shawn Thornton to provide a faceoff security blanket on a defensive-zone draw), it did continue a recent upward swing in the fourth line’s effectiveness.

“We’re doing a lot better,” Campbell said of his line. “We’re working hard and trying to work off of each other. Our other three lines have been playing really well and contributing on a nightly basis, and everybody knows that all four lines producing in the playoffs is a good recipe.”

The Bruins don’t need Campbell, Thornton and Daniel Paille to score every game, but they’re hoping this recent stretch of offensive success will build some momentum so the Bruins don’t suffer any letdowns in their play when the fourth line is on the ice.

The trio has never really been a great possession line, but when they’re at the best, they’ve been able to dump the puck in, create some chaos on the forecheck, and turn that into an offensive chance or two before they go for a change.

That’s something they had been missing in late January and early February, when they went seven straight games with a Corsi percentage under .500 and scored just two goals during that span.

“They’re just more in sync,” Claude Julien said. “I think when you watch them play now… they were a little erratic there at some points, and because of that, they were spending more time in their own end than they did at the other end of the ice.”

With six back-to-backs in March and two more in April, the Bruins knew they were going to need the fourth line to take on more ice time to prevent the other three lines from getting overworked. Campbell and his longtime wingers wanted to make sure they made the most of those minutes and showed Julien they were up to the challenge.

“The coaching staff and Claude are always fair to us,” Campbell said. “The harder we work, we tend to get rewarded more with ice time, and the more responsible we are, the more confidence he has in us as a line. He has no problem playing us if we’re playing well and he can trust us.

“So we’re trying to gain that trust from the coaching staff, and we’ve done it time and time again. I think that we’re getting back to that point where we can be out there and contribute.”

Tuukka Rask picks up sixth shutout of season as Bruins turn in stronger effort vs. Capitals 03.06.14 at 9:27 pm ET
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The Bruins turned in a strong defensive effort to give Tuukka Rask his league-leading sixth shutout in a 3-0 win over the Capitals Thursday.

The win marked the first time the B’s have beaten Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby in the regular season. Holtby entered Thursday’s game 4-0-0 against the B’s in regular season play.

After the teams skated to a scoreless first period, Matt Bartkowski sent a nice pass during a delayed penalty to Patrice Bergeron, who fired a shot from the left circle that went off Gregory Campbell‘s stick and past Holtby. Campbell now has four goals in his last four games.

The B’s extended the lead to 2-0 later in the period on a Loui Eriksson goal. Eriksson was returning from a heel infection that had kept him out of Tuesday’s game. Brad Marchand sealed the game with an empty net goal in the third.

Rask had a relatively light night, facing only 14 shots and stopping them all. The Capitals registered 31 shots on goal when the teams met last Saturday.

Andrej Meszaros did not play for the B’s. He took part in Thursday’s morning skate and could play this weekend.

The Bruins will next travel to Florida, where they will face the Lightning Saturday and the Panthers Sunday.


- In general, the team turned in a performance lightyears better than the first four games back from the Olympic break. The B’s possessed the puck, didn’t get hemmed in their zone and played a much tighter defensive game than they did during their initial post-Olympic struggles. Shot on goal aren’t always the most telling stat, but Rask only had to face eight shots over the first 40 minutes of play.

- Patrice Bergeron‘s line kept Alexander Ovechkin’s line awfully quiet, as Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Jason Chimera combined for just three shots on goal, with Ovechkin putting one puck on net and and Chimera registering two.

For the sake of comparison, Ovechkin himself had nine shots on goal last Saturday in Washington’s 4-2 win over the Bruins.

The one goal that the line nearly scored came against David Krejci‘s line, but Ovechkin missed the open net on the backhand with Rask out of position.

- The Bruins didn’t get burned by Washington’s highly skilled, highly productive power play. That’s because they stayed out of the penalty box. The Capitals had a pair of power play goals last Saturday against the B’s.

- It’s good to see Loui Eriksson scoring, and his second-period goal was a beauty. Camped out in front, Eriksson took a feed from Soderberg from behind the net and found a small space to roof the puck over Holtby’s right shoulder. The goal was Eriksson’s seventh of the season, while the point was his third in his last two games (one goal, two assists).


- The lack of power plays continues for the Bruins. After combining for just one power play Sunday vs. the Rangers and Tuesday vs. the Panthers, the B’s went without a man advantage Thursday. Campbell’s goal did come during a delayed penalty, but even one power play a game isn’t enough.

- Marchand threw a hit late in the first period that, while going unpenalized, was ill-advised. Well enough after Troy Brouwer had passed the puck out of the Washington zone, Marchand hit him from behind, causing some chatter between the players on the ice. Everyone knows Marchand’s deal, but when he gets bad calls against him based on reputation, that’s why.

What will Andrej Meszaros’ role be with Bruins? 03.06.14 at 12:56 pm ET
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Andrej Meszaros hopes to crack Boston's top two defense pairings. (AP)

Andrej Meszaros hopes to crack Boston’s top two defense pairings. (AP)

Andrej Meszaros is here, so now what?

Meszaros gives the Bruins seven healthy NHL defensemen for now, and eight once Corey Potter arrives. Potter is more of a clear-cut depth guy, but the B’s will have seven definite NHL guys on the back end for an extended period for the first time since early in the season, when Matt Bartkowski served as a floating healthy scratch of sorts, being rotated in and out of the lineup for Dougie Hamilton and Adam McQuaid.

Bartkowski is a healthy scratch no more and is the team’s No. 4 defenseman, a role that the left-shooting Meszaros probably would like to wrest from the 25-year-old. Meszaros won’t play Thursday (marking his 25th healthy scratch of the season), but he will get into the lineup at some point. The Bruins didn’t part with a third-round pick so they could sit a guy the rest of the way, so it will be interesting to see if the B’s rotate guys in and out of the lineup down the stretch.

“We’€™ll have to wait and see,” Claude Julien said. “All this stuff happened yesterday and I haven’t sat down and made any types of scenarios. But we need to see him practice a little bit and skate with us and we’ll see. At one point you’re going to see him in our lineup, and a lot of it will depend on players’ play. All of them.”

Furthering the idea of a rotation is the fact that Meszaros plays both sides, meaning he could go into the lineup for a number of players, from Bartkowski to Kevan Miller or even one of the team’s veteran defensemen if the B’s want to give anyone a breather.

Meszaros had served as a right defenseman for the Flyers over the last three seasons in Peter Laviolette‘s system. Under current Philadelphia coach Craig Berube, he played the left side when he was in the lineup.

“I really enjoyed the right side because I was up in the play more and up in the rush,” Meszaros said of his role under Laviolette. “The way we played for [Berube], it was different. Both D were stepping up or doing things, so it didn’t matter to me. I kind of liked it. After 10-plus years, it doesn’t really matter to me going left to right.”

“When a defenseman can play both sides, it makes him a more valuable player, and that was one of the things with Meszaros, is that he can play both sides,” Peter Chiarelli said after acquiring the player. “It can change during the game. The same way Claude likes to use more than one center on a line, I know he likes to switch his D around, so we give him that option. It’€™s another tool, and it’s some more depth.”

Meszaros obviously wasn’t Boston’s first option at the trade deadline, but if all goes well, he could be a logical fit for them. The 6-foot-2, 223-pounder is big and strong and the team like what he brings offensively. That doesn’t mean he’s Dennis Seidenberg, a guy who brings all those things and also is a lefty with experience on both sides, but it does mean he could earn some of the minutes for which the team needs to account since losing Seidenberg.

“He’€™s an experienced player; I think he’€™s proved [that] over the years,” Julien said. “He’€™s a big body as well. Offensively he supports the attack well, he’€™s been known to be a pretty good offensive-type defenseman. So with that big body and the way we play I’€™m sure he will defend well also. Again, I think it will be a matter of time to see how well he fits with us.”

Read More: Andrej Meszaros,
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