|Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara lead B’s past Flyers||12.17.11 at 3:46 pm ET|
The Bruins ended the red-hot Flyers’ seven-game win streak in convincing fashion Saturday, chasing goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and leaving Wells Fargo Center with a 6-0 victory.
Benoit Pouliot scored just 27 seconds into the game, driving to the net and cashing in off a pass from Rich Peverley. Daniel Paille then put a rebound off a Dennis Seidenberg shot past Bryzgalov at 2:50, with Chara and Milan Lucic scoring power-play goals later in the period, the latter of which came on a 5-on-3. Nathan Horton added his ninth of the season on the power play at 7:06 of the second period, giving the B’s three power play goals on the day. Tyler Seguin scored in the third period to make it 6-0.
Thomas stopped 31 shots, giving the Bruins their second shutout victory in their last three games. Tuukka Rask blanked the Kings on Tuesday.
The win, which was Claude Julien’s 200th in Boston, gave the B’s 43 points on the season through 31 games, making them first in the Eastern conference.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
-Paille had six goals last season, and he matched that total Saturday with his first-period tally. Paille saw stretches as a healthy scratch last season, but the only thing that’s kept him out of the lineup this season has been injury. When he’s been in the lineup, the fourth-liner has put together an outstanding season, getting opportunity after opportunity offensively and still contributing as a key penalty killer. The former first-round pick of the Sabres now has three goals in his last two games, as he potted two in Ottawa on Wednesday.
– Zdeno Chara showed that he won’t be adjusting slowly as he returns from his leg injury. The Bruins’ captain pounded Jody Shelley 2:13 into the game, and in addition to scoring his seventh goal of the assists, had the primary assist on Horton’s goal. Chara got a low slapshot on the net through three bodies on the play, yielding a rebound that Horton flipped over the leg of Bryzgalov to end the HBO 24/7 star’s day early.
– Just so it isn’t only bad news regarding Seguin (see below) Seguin had six shots on goal.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Claude Julien was giving Shawn Thornton shifts with different lines in the first period to reward the grinder’s play, but by the end of the second period, Seguin was taking regular shifts with Paille and Zach Hamill. Seguin got another look with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand in the third period, but Shawn Thornton skated in place of him on the line for a bit.
Seguin got a secondary assist on Lucic’s goal and still leads the B’s with 27 points (13 goals and 14 assists) this season, but his scoring has completely dropped off. His gaol was just his second in the last 10 games and 10th in his last 15 games.
– Textbook hit from behind from Milan Lucic on Zac Rinaldo in the Bruins’ zone late in the second period. Lucic was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the play, and he figures to hear from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan over it. While Adam McQuaid escaped punishment for kneeing earlier in the week, Lucic doesn’t have the squeaky-clean track record that McQuaid has. Lucic was not suspended for his hit on Ryan Miller this season, but he’s on Shanahan’s radar and might not get off as easy this time around.
|Bruins send Jordan Caron, Steven Kampfer to Providence||12.16.11 at 8:01 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Friday that they have sent forward Jordan Caron and defenseman Steven Kampfer to Providence.
Much like when they were sent down on the first of the month, the move allows the two players who are usually the team’s healthy scratches to get some game action. The two will play for Providence on Saturday and Sunday.
The fact that the B’s sent Kampfer down suggests captain Zdeno Chara, who has missed the last two games with a leg injury, will be ready to play Saturday against the Flyers in Philadelphia.
|Report: Adam McQuaid won’t be suspended||12.15.11 at 3:07 pm ET|
According to a tweet from Nick Kypreos, Bruins forward Adam McQuaid will not face further discipline for his dangerous play Wednesday night in Ottawa.
McQuaid extended his left leg and kneed Senators forward Nick Foligno late in the second period in the Bruins’ 5-2 win over the Senators. He was given a five-minute major for kneeing and a game misconduct.
The Bruins’ defenseman has not been suspended in his three years in the NHL.
|Is Adam McQuaid next? Brendan Shanahan recently suspended Kevin Porter for kneeing||12.15.11 at 4:15 am ET|
For those wondering whether or not Adam McQuaid‘s hit on Nick Foligno Wednesday night will get him suspended, here’s what happened to Kevin Porter — who, like McQuaid, was a first-time offender — last week (video courtesy of the NHL):
Here’s video of the McQuaid play:
McQuaid isn’t a dirty player, but that might not help him here. Read more about the situation here.
|Daniel Paille leads Bruins past Senators||12.14.11 at 10:05 pm ET|
The Bruins picked up their third straight win Wednesday, defeating the Senators, 5-2, on a two-goal night from Daniel Paille.
Rich Peverley got the B’s on the board in the first period, but Daniel Alfredsson tied the game 4:23 into the second period. Patrice Bergeron and Paille scored breakaway goals in a 56-second span in the third period, and Jason Spezza made it a 4-2 game when he beat Tim Thomas stick-side for his 10th goal of the season. Paille added his second of the game with just over a minute remaining, beating Craig Anderson with a bomb over the netminder’s glove.
The B’s now have 41 points on the season, which is as many as the conference-leading Flyers, though the Bruins have played one more game than Philadelphia. The two teams will meet when the Flyers host the B’s Saturday.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– That’s back-to-back games with goals for Rich Peverley. The third-line winger now has six goals on the season, and his line continues to be a problem for other teams. Peverley had yet another strong night in the faceoff circle, winning seven of his first 10 draws.
– While the timing of some of the penalties wasn’t the best (see below), the Bruins had a strong night on special teams despite never having a power play. The B’s penalty kill effectively killed off all five of the Senators’ power plays on the night. Thomas came up especially big on the Senators’ fifth power play at a time in which a goal would have made it a one-goal game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The B’s had better hope Zdeno Chara is ready for Saturday, because it looks like Adam McQuaid has a suspension coming. McQuaid extended his left leg to knee Senators’ forward Nick Foligno in the second period, and Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen went after McQuaid following the dirty play. McQuaid was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
– The Bruins helped momentum swing in the Senators’ favor when Brad Marchand flipped the puck over the glass in the Boston zone for a delay of game penalty shortly after Spezza’s goal. The Senators had new life when they got within two goals with less than five minutes to play, so handing them a power play wasn’t the smartest move for the B’s.
|Zdeno Chara returns to the ice||12.14.11 at 2:18 pm ET|
Zdeno Chara, who travelled with the team to Ottawa Tuesday night, returned to the ice Wednesday morning for the first time since suffering a leg injury Saturday night in Columbus.
According to the Boston Globe, Chara skated with Jordan Caron, who figures to be a healthy scratch once again, for 35 minutes. Chara is not expected to play vs. the Senators, but could play Saturday against the Flyers.
‘I felt OK,’ Chara told the Boston Globe after skating. ‘First skate. First time on the ice in 3-4 days. I didn’t expect to be feeling great. But also, I didn’t feel bad. It’s a good sign. You’re going to have those days. Slowly progressing.’
|Tuukka Rask: ‘Just try to save every puck’||12.14.11 at 9:58 am ET|
There were several chances for Tuukka Rask to blink in the third period Tuesday and lose his first shutout of the season.
But the Bruins goalie, on the heels of replacing Tim Thomas on Saturday in Columbus, didn’t flinch. He turned away all 20 shots in the third period, and all 41 for the game as the Bruins beat the Kings, 3-0.
“I just tried to save every puck,” Rask said of his ninth career shutout. “You don’t want to think about shutouts because you might chase yourself but ‘ couple tough chances in the end but that was it.
“You just try to protect your lead and we hopefully get that third goal. They came out hard so got some pretty good chances but were able to keep them off the scoreboard and then Marchy [Brad Marchand] got a nice goal there to extend the lead so that was good to see.”
“[Brown] pretty much didn’t have anything else and just tried to shoot it upstairs, don’t know if he actually shot it low or something but it was some kind of misplay there and Johnny was just taking back door and he left the guy there for me and ‘ hit something,” Rask said.
Rask said he wasn’t looking at the shots accumulating on the scoreboard during the final 20 minutes.
“I don’t think you have time to watch the shot clock or anything but you definitely feel the momentum changing at times and today they had a lot of chances in the third,” he said. “And maybe we weren’t at our sharpest but they came at us pretty hard too.
So, on a night the Bruins didn’t have captain Zdeno Chara for the first time this season, the Bruins needed Rask to be the true last line of defense.
“Probably some part of that is Z missing but I think we also need to tighten up,” Rask said. “We weren’t that bad we didn’t give too many second chances and lots of shots came from the outside and stuff. But it’s just one of those games where you get lots of shots against and I don’t think it’s because of [Chara] missing.
“You need some luck to have some shutouts too. They had a couple of posts today. And I think it’s definitely tougher to have a shutout than to play one period.”
Now, Claude Julien has a decision to make. Will he ride the hot hand tonight in Ottawa with Rask or will he go back to his No. 1 in Tim Thomas? No matter the answer, Rask showed Tuesday that the Bruins now have two dependable netminders as they hit the road to take on the Senators and Flyers this week.
“He was good tonight, arguably our best player tonight,” Julien said. “He stood tall and they threw a lot of shots at him, certainly not easy shots to stop. There was a lot of traffic in front of the net’screens. He had the quick feet going, made the saves on close-range and was probably our best player. So he got better as the game went on and I thought he did a good job the other night coming in and kind of settling himself in in the third period and then he just carried that into tonight.”