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Andy Brickley on D&C: Not a good idea to challenge Bruins’ manhood 11.16.11 at 9:55 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning for his weekly appearance.

The Bruins defeated the Devils, 4-3, Tuesday night for their sixth straight win. It was a game that Boston had to work for all three periods to win, as opposed to the blowout victories the B’s had earlier in the winning streak.

“I think in this six-game winning streak this is the first game that when the Bruins pushed, there was a push back,” Brickley said. “Boston had to earn just about every inch of ice that they got. The good news was that Boston got better the deeper they got in that game. They had a strong third period and their will to win in the third period was clearly evident. A team that is feeling ultra-confident right now.”

The Bruins started the season 3-7, but they have drastically turned it around, winning all six games they’ve played in November. The team is averaging just under six goals per game this month. Brickley said that many people will point to the increased goal-scoring and improvement on the power play as the main factors in Boston’s winning streak, but he thinks the biggest change has come in the B’s’ own zone.

“They went back to being and reemphasizing a Bruins team that takes away the middle of the defensive zone and tries to keep everything to the perimeter to allow their goaltenders to get good looks at pucks and not allow second-chance opportunities,” Brickley said. “When they play that way, their counterattack game now really becomes more prominent.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On Brad Marchand’s play against the Devils: “He took two offensive zone penalties, whether he agreed with the goaltender interference penalty, and then away from the puck really a meaningless roughing penalty that really served no purpose, and I know that’s part of his game. But listen, the second one’s a really bad penalty. You’re interested in winning the hockey game as well as playing to your strengths. Yeah, that was definitely a teaching moment, and I loved the fact that Claude sat him down. He got an opportunity probably to address his teammates in the locker room before the third period, saying, ‘My bad, that’s on me, I’m going to get it back.’ And to get it back the way he did on that set play right off the faceoff in the third period was a thing of beauty.”

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Read More: Andy Brickley, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Ryan Miller
Milan Lucic: ‘That was the toughest battle we’ve had’ 11.16.11 at 8:47 am ET
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The Bruins knew defending their Stanley Cup perch would be difficult.

But eventually, they also knew they would be up to the challenge.

And the challenge that came Tuesday night from a hard-working, big, strong and physical Devils squad was the toughest yet this season. At least, according to Milan Lucic.

“Yeah, definitely I have to say out of all the games so far through the season that was definitely the toughest battle that we’€™ve had,” Lucic said. “And we needed to dig real deep to get a win in this one and we definitely had to fight to the end. And we showed a lot of character, sticking to the game plan and finding a way. Obviously they came at us real hard and they’€™re a hard team to play against and we were able to find a way and get a good one here.”

The Bruins took the quick 2-1 lead six seconds into the third period, only to have the Devils come back two minutes later for the equalizer.

“This is definitely one that we had to earn and it was one that, when we get the lead they come back and score, it’€™s easy to get down and get discouraged,” Lucic said. “But we were able to find a way and keep pushing and keep finding a way to push for more and in that third period I think we had eighteen shots which goes to show that we really wanted to win this one.”

The Bruins have scored 34 goals in their six-game winning streak but Tuesday was the first one of the six they really had to sweat out in the end.

“I know this is one of the toughest wins that we’€™ve had,” Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said. “Probably the toughest win out of the six games that we’€™ve had. They really tested us, they really worked hard, they really played a good game. We just stayed with it, and we were the ones that had the ability to turn it on the last ten minutes, and were able to pull out the win because of that.

“We’€™ve had a couple of games where everything went our way, kind of easier wins, and this was a good wake up call without having to pay the price because we were able to get out of it with the win. You know, this is the way it’€™s going to be the majority of the time, it’€™s not always going to be the way it has been the last three or four games. And so it’€™s a good experience for our team, I think.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Milan Lucic, NHL, Tim Thomas
Brad Marchand knows he did wrong and makes up for it 11.16.11 at 8:16 am ET
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No one had to tell Brad Marchand why he was benched in the second period of the Bruins’ 4-3 win over the Devils Tuesday night at TD Garden.

He knew that coach Claude Julien wasn’t pleased with him taking a roughing penalty midway through the period, throwing a punch at New Jersey’s Adam Henrique when the two squared tussled in the Devils zone.

The penalty was the first of two straight called on Boston, which led to a 5-on-3 power play and a New Jersey goal, after the Devils had gone scoreless in 22 straight power plays.

“I didn’€™t have to say anything. I think we’€™re kind of at the stage where we’€™ve been together long enough, he knows what I wasn’€™t happy with and why he sat,” Julien said. “But at the same time, he’€™s a good player for us, and he certainly deserves a chance to get back into it, and it was nice to see him respond quickly. He was a much smarter player in the third period.”

Marchand’s response?

He took a pass from Zdeno Chara on the opening faceoff of the third period – as Julien put him back on the top line – and raced down the ice and beat Johan Hedberg six seconds into the period to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

“I took a bad penalty there and they scored on it and it’€™s a learning process when things like that happen,” Marchand admitted. “You’€™re going to pay for it sometimes. And I had to pay by sitting on the bench tonight.

“You just want to bounce back. I didn’€™t want to hang my head I wanted to go and show I can be better. And I think he was kind of giving me a pat on the butt. I had to be better in the game. I didn’€™t have a good first couple periods I want to come in the third and play stronger and help the team win.”

He was given encouragement on the bench from teammates like Patrice Bergeron.

“Bergy a couple of times before the third and right before when we’€™re on the ice and just said, ‘keep your head up and let’€™s go for it, bounce back,’ that kind of thing and kind of get me motivated. It just shows his leadership and just another little thing.

“You don’€™t ever want that to be the scenario when you miss a couple of opportunities at the end of the game when your down a bit. But a couple penalties were’€¦I have to avoid. It’€™s kind of a wake up call. It is needed sometimes and tonight was one of those times.”

Read More: Adam Henrique, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Claude Julien
Benoit Pouliot the hero as Bruins win sixth straight 11.15.11 at 9:35 pm ET
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The Bruins needed someone to play hero late in the third period Tuesday. If you thought that would be Benoit Pouliot, you’re a liar. Pouliot, who was a healthy scratch Saturday, banged home a rebound from a Joe Corvo shot, beating Devils netminder Johan Hedberg and giving the B’s a 4-3 victory at TD Garden, their six straight.

David Clarkson got the Devils on the board with a 5-on-3 goal in the second period, with Chris Kelly responding late in the period. Brad Marchand, who had an up-and-down night thanks to a bad penalty he took in the second period (see below) scored six seconds into the third period to give the B’s a 2-1 lead, but Nick Palmieri scored the first of his two on the night to tie it when he tipped a shot from Andy Greene past Tim Thomas. Shawn Thornton then scored his first of the season to give the B’s another lead, but Palmieri answered back yet again.

The Bruins will host the Blue Jackets Thursday, the final game of their five-game home-stand.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– It was a big night for Gregory Campbell, who contributed assists on goals by Kelly and Thornton. Campbell entered the game with a goal and an assist on the season, so Tuesday’s effort saw him double his points total for the year. Campbell got some shifts with Kelly and Rich Peverley in both the second and third periods.

– Marchand increased his points streak to six games and did it emphatically. After being benched for much of the second half of the second period, he started the third period and scored just six seconds in to give the B’s a 2-1 lead. He had additional chances, like when he couldn’t handle a nice feed in front from Seguin in the second period, but Marchand made sure that his contributions on the score sheet outweighed any of the low points.

Patrice Bergeron has always been good on face-offs, and he was outstanding at the dot on Tuesday. He won 21 of his first 26 draws and finished the night 24 of 33.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– There was good and bad with Marchand on Tuesday, so here’s the bad: he wound up in Claude Julien‘s doghouse in the second period. Marchand, who took a goaltender interference penalty in the first period, wanted a piece of Adam Henrique punched the center, landing him in the bin for roughing at 9:07 of the second.

Clarkson’s goal came when he was in the box, a Johnny Boychuk delay of game penalty gave the Devils a 39-second 5-on-3. Marchand played just two more shifts in the period, with Pouliot playing left wing on the top line in his place. He was also sat during the Bruins’ power play after Zach Parise tripped Corvo with Kelly took his spot.

– The Bruins blew two leads in the third period. While they outshot the Devils by a large margin in the period and carried much of the offensive play, letting leads slip is not a habit the B’s want to develop.

– They came pretty close, but for the first time in six games, the Bruins did not score at least five goals. One probably could have guessed that entering the game given the fact that they were playing the Devils, but the face that the Bruins were still able to produce offensively against a team that has allowed five goals just twice the season shows that the hot-scoring B’s haven’t lost their touch.

Read More: Benoit Pouliot,
Bruins-Devils Live Blog: Nick Palmieri ties it at 3 11.15.11 at 6:38 pm ET
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Bruins-Devils Live Blog

Read More: Brad Marchand, Chris Kelly, David Clarkson, Nick Palmieri
Ryan Miller: ‘I didn’t know [Bruins] were all doctors’ 11.15.11 at 3:06 pm ET
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Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller spoke to Buffalo reporters Tuesday, and touched on both his physical condition and his reaction to the lack of suspension of Bruins forward Milan Lucic.

Miller suffered a concussion Saturday night when Lucic hit him in the Sabres’ zone after the two were racing for the puck.

“I’€™m not as well as I’€™d like to be, but considering, I feel alright,” Miller said. “My neck is pretty sore. I’€™m trying to figure out if that’€™s more of a source of headaches or if what I’€™m really feeling was my head really started hurting.

“You always are concerned. Last year I thought I had a very simple ‘€˜get your bell rung,’€™ and I missed five games. This, I don’€™t know how to put a timeline on it, but I am encouraged that my neck feels better. Once that really feels good, I can start to make my way back.”

Lucic said Monday that he was “surprised” to hear that Miller had a concussion because contact was never made with the head on the play. He added that Miller could have perhaps suffered the injury later in the period when Tyler Seguin crashed into the net. Miller isn’t the biggest Lucic fan out there, so he was rubbed the wrong way the remarks.

“The one thing I was disappointed with the assessment or what came out of Boston and some of what came out of the league was it wasn’€™t a head shot, so that was their conclusion to why the concussion maybe didn’€™t come from that,” he said. “I didn’€™t know they were all doctors. Concussions are caused by many things, one of them including a whiplash motion that sends your brain moving laterally or however you’€™re hit. It doesn’€™t need to be a direct impact. That fact alone, I’€™m rolling my eyes.”

The two teams will meet again a week from Wednesday.

Read More: Milan Lucic, Ryan Miller,
Daniel Paille feels he’s inching closer to a return 11.15.11 at 1:58 pm ET
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The swelling has gone down, and now Daniel Paille feels he’s closer to returning to game action. Nevermind the fact that he’s just eight days removed from getting hit in the face with a slapshot.

“It’s improving a lot. I’m able to breathe through my nostrils now, so it’s a lot easier to skate,” Paille said after taking part in Tuesday’s morning skate. Tomorrow it should be completely clear and hopefully I get a quick recovery after that.”

Paille said that he could potentially play Thursday against the Blue Jackets.

“I think it’s a possibility,” he said. It also depends on the coaches, too. I know I’m able to play, but not quite 100 percent yet. Hopefully in a couple of days I am.”

The fourth-line winger has been wearing a full cage, something he said last week he would have to wear for a month. He’s taken a page out of Chris Kelly‘s book by wearing a cage that has the inside painted white so it doesn’t obstruct his vision as much.

As for how he feels, Paille, who is still bruised badly bud got the packing out of his nose this week, hasn’t had much difficulty physically.

“I haven’t really been bumped too hard, but I had a couple of bumps in practice the other day, and it felt good. My helmet went back a couple times, and it didn’t bother me at all,” he said. “I feel like it’s a positive thing right now, but we’ll see a little more tomorrow morning after practice when everything’s out.”

Read More: Daniel Paille,
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