|Tyler Seguin returns, lights up Bruins: ‘Feels good to win in here’||11.04.15 at 1:19 am ET|
It’s been over two years since the Bruins traded away Tyler Seguin to the Stars. And Tuesday night’s Bruins-Stars matchup at TD Garden wasn’t Seguin’s first trip back to his old hockey city wearing a different sweater.
But that doesn’t mean the emotion surrounding Seguin’s departure is gone.
Perhaps sparked by some of those emotions, Seguin buried his old team with a three-goal performance in a 5-3 comeback win for Dallas with Seguin’s second marker tying the game at 2-2 in the second period and his hat-trick tally in the third representing the game winner.
“I mean, it feels good,” Seguin said after the game and a no-brainer first-star designation for the night. “Feels good to win in here, it’s a tough building to win. Always feels good to score. When you’re playing your old team it’s special. Still current friends on the other team. There’s a fine line between them being your friend and them being your enemy for the night.”
Linemate Jamie Benn, now tied with Seguin for the NHL lead with 20-points apiece, was asked if Seguin looked more relaxed in this his third trip back to Boston since his trade.
“Looked like that tonight,” Benn responded with a laugh. “Teams are focusing in on him now. It’s just opening up plays for other players to be open. But it was definitely nice to see him explode tonight, especially in this barn. I’m probably just as happy as he is. I just leaned over to him after the game and told him, ‘I’m sure that probably felt good.’ The bigger thing is we got two points in a tough building.”
Benn continued: “He’s becoming a great centerman for this team. We put a lot of pressure on him to be the best. I’m sure he puts a lot of pressure on himself. We need to lean on him, we need to have him play a responsible game and both ends of the rink and he’s definitely doing that.”
|5 things we learned as Chris Kelly injury overshadows Tyler Seguin hat trick||11.03.15 at 9:42 pm ET|
Loui Eriksson scored a pair of goals, but it was Tyler Seguin who won the battle of once-traded-for-one-another forwards Tuesday night at TD Garden.
Seguin scored a hat trick in a 5-3 Stars win, which ended a seven-game points streak for the Bruins (6-0-1). With the regulation loss, the Bruins are 6-4-1 on the season.
Eriksson’s second goal cut into what was a three-goal lead for Dallas in the third period, but the B’s were unable to cap the comeback with Tuukka Rask pulled.
The Bruins now will go on a difficult road trip that will see them face the Capitals, Habs and Islanders.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
KELLY OUT 6-8 MONTHS
The Bruins haven’t gotten too much bad news of late, so here’s some awful news: Chris Kelly is out six to eight months after suffering a left femur fracture on his first shift of the game.
The injury seemed to be of non-contact variety, as Kelly took some contact in the midsection from Colton Sceviour before going down to the ice awkwardly as his knee bent in odd fashion. He stayed down on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the ice by trainers and Zdeno Chara.
|Chris Kelly out 6-8 months with left femur fracture||11.03.15 at 7:21 pm ET|
[UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.] The red-hot Bruins got a bucket of cold water dumped on them early in Tuesday’s game against the Stars, as Chris Kelly suffered a left femur fracture on his first shift of the game and will miss six to eight months.
Kelly suffered the injury on his first shift of the game, falling awkwardly to the ice after light contact from Colton Sceviour. He remained on the ice for several minutes, with trainers tending to his left knee before he was eventually helped off the ice by trainers and Zdeno Chara. He was then transported to Mass General hospital. He’ll undergo on Wednesday.
‘ Ian McLaren (@iancmclaren) November 4, 2015
Alexander Khokhlachev was recalled on Tuesday could remain in the lineup when David Pastrnak returns. The B’s could also recall Max Talbot, who was sent to Providence last week.
The 34-year-old Kelly is in the last year of his contract with the Bruins.
|Dennis Seidenberg on track with recovery, unsure where he’ll slot in on Bruins D||11.03.15 at 12:07 pm ET|
When Dennis Seidenberg saw the defensive mess that allowed 16 goals over the first three games of the season, he didn’t put any extra pressure on himself to hurry back from a herniated disc that required surgery in late September.
The veteran defenseman wanted to help, but he was already antsy to return to the lineup in the first place.
“It doesn’t matter if the team loses or wins. If they lose, you’re like, ‘I want to come back and help them.’ If they win, I want to be back and be part of it,” he said Tuesday. “It’s always better when the team does well, but I always put the same pressure on me. I want to come back as fast as possible, but also be responsible going forward.”
That responsible approach has him where he is now. Nearly six weeks into an anticipated eight-week recovery (Seidenberg had surgery on Sept. 24, so six weeks ago Thursday), the 34-year-old defenseman says he is on schedule with his recovery and not necessarily ahead of it. He’s been skating for over two weeks (Oct. 19) and joined teammates last week.
Seidenberg still isn’t taking contact, but he seemed optimistic that he’ll be able to add more to his plate if all goes well in the coming days.
The veteran defenseman missed all of training camp due to the back issue, which popped up during informal practices in September before eventually requiring surgery. He insisted Tuesday that he has no pain in his back, and that the brunt of his recovery has been getting his legs back. That makes sense given that Seidenberg said following his surgery that it was discomfort in his leg that initially prompted him to bring the issue to the attention of team doctors.
Given that Seidenberg’s back isn’t hurting him, he doesn’t feel he’s had to be extra careful.
“If I had pain, I would be like, ‘Oh my god, I’ve got to be careful,’ but I’ve been feeling nothing in my back,” he said. “It’s just about power coming back in my leg and that’s the only restriction I have right now. There hasn’t really been a feeling where I’m like, ‘I’ve got to be really careful,’ but then again, you look at a back injury and with nerves being involved, you do want to be a little bit cautious.”
Once Seidenberg is ready to return, it will be interesting to see how the dominos fall on Boston’s blue line. Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid would appear to be locks to stay in the lineup, with Joe Morrow and Millers Kevan and Colin possibilities to sit. Zach Trotman has been a healthy scratch for nine consecutive games.
“To be honest, I haven’t really thought about that yet,” Seidenberg said. “The guys have been playing great and in the past we’ve always played with each other. It doesn’t matter who it is; we’ve always changed the pairings and I don’t see a reason why it’s going to be different this time.”
|Bruins recall Alexander Khokhlachev from Providence, David Pastrnak misses morning skate||11.03.15 at 10:25 am ET|
The Bruins have recalled forward Alexander Khokhlachev from Providence, with the 22-year-old forward participating in Tuesday’s morning skate. A center who has played wing this season, Khokhlachev is tied for the AHL lead with 13 points (four goals, nine assists) over 10 games for Providence.
Claude Julien said that David Pastrnak will not play Tuesday night against the Stars, citing a blocked shot that hit Pastrnak in the foot last Tuesday as the reason. Pastrnak played Friday and Saturday, but Julien said the 19-year-old forward was still not comfortable. As such, Loui Eriksson moved to right wing and Khokhlachev slotted in on David Krejci‘s right Tuesday morning. The lineup at morning skate was as follows:
The 40th overall pick of the 2011 draft, Khokhlachev is in his third full season in the Boston organization. He has played in just four games in his NHL career, with the 22-year-old expressing frustration with the organization’s use of him during training camp.
“Boston should make a decision with me,” he said. “I’ve waited for my chance already. Two years. I’m just still waiting. We’ll see. They should make a decision. Give me a chance, or I don’t know. We’ll see [what] they’ll do.”
Added Khokhlachev: “This is my last year of my contract. I’m 22 already. If they don’t give me the chance to play, why am I here? I will not play in Providence all my life. They told me, ‘Just wait for your chance.’ I’m still waiting for it.”
After Tuesday’s morning skate, Khokhlachev either danced around or politely declined comment on his preseason comments, expressing gratitude for his most recent chance with the B’s. Given that he’ll likely play with the team’s two best forwards so far this season in Krejci and Eriksson, he’d have no reason not to be happy.
“[Krejci]’s a great player. He can see the ice really well. I mean, you can say lots of good things about him,” Khokhlachev said. “Loui is really good, too, so it will be a really good opportunity for me to play with these two guys.”
|Brad Marchand named NHL’s first star of week, David Krejci named third star of month||11.02.15 at 3:58 pm ET|
The Boston Bruins have won six of their last seven games, and Brad Marchand and David Krejci have been a big part of the recent success. On Monday the NHL recognized them for their efforts, naming Marchand the league’s first star of the week and Krejci the third star of the month for October.
Marchand registered four goals and two assists in wins over the Arizona Coyotes, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning last week. He beat out St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen and Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall for the top weekly honor.
Krejci currently ranks second in the NHL in points per game with 15 points (7 goals, 8 assists) in 10 games. Prior to Saturday’s game against the Lightning, he had found the scoresheet in every game this season. Krejci’s 1.50 points per game are second only to the Dallas Stars’ Jamie Benn (1.55), who was named first star of the month. Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who is 7-2-0 with a .936 save percentage, was named the second star.
|5 things we learned as Bruins, who are seemingly good, win sixth in seven games||10.31.15 at 9:39 pm ET|
The Bruins have a good record.
That sounds simple, yes, but it’s the biggest possible takeaway after the B’s swept their back-to-back in Florida by taking a 3-1 victory over the Lightning Saturday at Amalie Arena. With the win, the Bruins are now 6-3-1 and sit second in the Atlantic Division. Though they’re just 10 games into the season, their turnaround after an 0-3-0 start is nothing short of impressive. Though Tampa is slumping, the Bruins’ ability to beat the defending conference champs on the road in a low-scoring game with their backup goaltender in net is just as encouraging.
Prior to Friday’s game, the Bruins had not won a game without scoring five goals, a sign that the team was dependent upon its highly productive offense to cover up for its shortcomings. The B’s took 3-1 victories on back-to-back games, however, keeping the struggling Lightning quiet to leapfrog them in the standings. Jonas Gustavsson stopped 21 of the 22 shots he saw on the night, with a Brad Marchand empty netter sealing the win in a close game.
David Krejci‘s points streak came to an end at nine games, but the Bruins are now 6-0-1 in their last seven games and sit behind only the Canadiens in the Atlantic.
Here are four more things we learned Saturday:
CONNOLLY GETS REVENGE AS PP STRIKES AGAIN
After Brad Marchand drew a penalty during a third-period penalty kill, the Bruins were on the tail of a power play when Erik Condra was whistled for a very weak trip against Torey Krug. That gave the Bruins a 13-second two-man advantage, which proved to be enough time for Marchand to win a faceoff and set up a Brett Connolly goal to break a 1-1 tie. The goal came with four seconds left on the first penalty, meaning the Bruins remained on the power play for 1:51. Claude Julien deployed Connolly, Marchand, Jimmy Hayes, Zdeno Chara and Colin Miller for the 5-on-3 on which Connolly scored.
With his goal in Saturday’s game, Connolly now has points in six straight games (four goals, two assists). It also provided the former Lightning draft pick (sixth overall in 2010) a big moment against the team that traded him last season after deciding he was the odd man out in a deep group of wings.
It’s worth noting that the penalty Marchand drew was the second of the game and the third he’s drawn over the last two nights. The assist on Connolly’s goal means that Marchand has eight points (four goals and four assists) in six games since returning from a concussion on Oct. 17.
KEMPPAINEN RETURNS, RANDELL SITS
Joonas Kemppainen returned to the lineup Saturday after missing Friday’s game with an undisclosed injury that had also forced him to miss a pair of shifts Tuesday against the Coyotes.
With Kemppainen returning, Tyler Randell was made a healthy scratch. Randell joined Zach Trotman, who has now been scratched for nine consecutive games.
The lineup to begin the game was as follows, but it didn’t last:
PASTRNAK SITS AS JULIEN SHUFFLES LINES
Claude Julien began tinkering with the lines in the first period, playing Chris Kelly in Ryan Spooner’s place on the shift on which Matt Beleskey scored. Midway through the second period, the lines were almost completely changed.
The most notable change Julien made was to essentially bench David Pastrnak, playing Kelly in his place on David Krejci‘s line with Loui Eriksson. Joonas Kemppainen jumped up to replace Kelly with Hayes and Beleskey, with Spooner being dropped to a rarely used fourth line with Pastrnak and Zac Rinaldo. Pastrnak ended up taking just two shifts in the second period and one shift in the third, with Boston’s top line of Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Brett Connolly the only trio not changed.
BELESKEY NOTCHES SECOND WITH BRUINS
Beleskey didn’t get off to the hottest start with the Bruins, but with three points in his last three games (one goal, two assists), perhaps he’s starting to find his way. The shift on which Beleskey scored his second goal as a Bruin was far from graceful, but it showed the benefit of having wingers like him and Jimmy Hayes on the same line.
With Hayes battling Victor Hedman in the corner, the Dorchester native managed to get the puck to Colin Miller at the point as he was losing his balance. Miller fired a shot from the point that yielded a big rebound, with Beleskey battling his way to it and managing to score off-balance from the high slot.