|5 things we learned as Tuukka Rask, Bruins beat reeling Habs in final regular-season meeting||01.19.16 at 10:14 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron made an important point in his career count for a lot more Tuesday.
It wouldn’t have been fitting if Bergeron passed Cam Neely on the Bruins’ all-time points list with something like a secondary assist on an empty net goal. That he did so with a game-winning goal in an important game against the Canadiens seemed to suit the situation much better.
Bergeron scored at 16:49 of the second period Tuesday to break the 1-1 tie and set up the B’s for an eventual 4-1 victory against the reeling Habs. The goal was the 591st point of Bergeron’s career, surpassing Neely’s 590 and giving Bergeron sole possession of ninth on the Bruins’ all-time list.
The win was the Bruins’ third straight as they head back to Boston for home games against the Canucks on Thursday and the Blue Jackets Saturday. The Habs, meanwhile, could be nearing the end of Michel Therrien’s tenure as head coach given that Montreal has just nine points over its last 21 games dating back to Dec. 3.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
RASK LOVES MONTREAL
Tuukka Rask may very well hate playing against the Canadiens just because he hates losing. The notion that he plays poorly against them, however, is overstated. Now, it appears Rask and the Bruins’ luck has turned this season in the last place they’d expect: Montreal.
While Rask allowed eight goals over two home games against the Canadiens this season (three on Oct. 10 at TD Garden, five in the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium), he allowed just one goal in each of his two games at Bell Centre this season, both of which were Bruins victories. With 38 saves on Tuesday, Rask managed to stop 70 of the 72 shots he faced in Montreal this season.
PASTRNAK SCORES IN RETURN
David Pastrnak wasn’t given the most glamorous opportunity in his return from an upper-body injury, but he made the most of it.
Pastrnak skated on Boston’s fourth line with Zac Rinaldo and Max Talbot, taking just five shifts over the first two periods and not taking the ice in the third period until there was 8:02 to play.
His lack of ice time did not prevent him from making an impact, however, as he fired a shot on a second-period shift that went off a Montreal defender and was corralled by Bergeron, leading to a Boston goal. After a lengthy wait for his first shift of the third, Pastrnak scored to give him his second multi-point game of the season. Incidentally, both of Pastrnak’s multi-point games this season have come against the Canadiens.
KREJCI REMAINS OUT, FERRARO DAY-TO-DAY
David Krejci missed his 10th straight game with an upper-body injury, but the fact that he even traveled for a one-game road trip suggests he is indeed close to returning to game action. It goes without saying that the Bruins could use him sooner rather than later, but the team should be happy if he returns during the team’s two-game road trip.
Pastrnak replaced Landon Ferraro, whom the team said is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Colin Miller was scratched for the second straight game.
With the lineup changes, Boston’s lineup was as follows:
BRUINS SURVIVE MORE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
A recent story has repeated itself of late for the Bruins: The team outplays their opponent early on (good news), but comes away with very little to show for it (that’s bad) and is eventually burned.
Such could have been the case again on Tuesday, as the B’s had far more scoring opportunities over the first period-plus, but they had only Talbot’s first-period goal to show for it. When the Habs pushed back as the second period progressed, Boston’s lack of scoring made the deficit easy to recover from. They did so when Mark Barberio tied the game nearly halfway through the second.
Unlike games past, when the Bruins squandered chances earlier and lost as a result (it happened in New York and Philadelphia last week), the Bruins survived just like they did Saturday against the Leafs.
|David Krejci rejoins Bruins in practice, Adam McQuaid still not skating||01.18.16 at 10:43 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Monday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena saw a familiar face return, as injured center David Krejci practiced with Bruins teammates for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury on Dec. 27.
Krejci was wearing a green jersey, which is often worn in practice by players who are either injured or not on a line. Also in green was David Pastrnak, who has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.
Both Krejci and Pastrnak will travel to Montreal for Tuesday’s game against the Canadiens.
With Krejci and Pastrnak on the ice, Boston’s practice lines on Monday looked like this:
Krejci said he has been skating since last week. He took limited contact in Monday’s practice and said that he has felt better with each passing day but is not yet comfortable enough to play.
“I need to feel 100 percent skating and 100 percent shooting,” Krejci said. “I’m getting there, but it was a good today.”
The Bruins have gone 4-4-1 without Krejci. Given that he was having the best regular season of his career (33 points in 35 games), they could certainly use him as they try to claim one of the top three spots in the crowded Atlantic Division.
“I’d like to play as soon as possible, but this kind of injury, at this point in time it’s kind of day-to-day,” Krejci said. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow — hopefully better — but we’ll see how it feels tomorrow in warmups.”
In other injury news, Adam McQuaid has yet to take the ice as he remains out with an injury suffered on a Jan. 5 hit from Capitals forward Zach Sill.
|Torey Krug, Brad Marchand help Bruins find some third-period magic||01.17.16 at 1:34 am ET|
The Bruins might be developing some killer instinct.
On Saturday night – and for the fifth straight game – Boston entered the final period of play with the scoreboard showing a close contest.
And for the second straight night – after having been sent home the loser in three previous sessions in Ottawa, New York, and Philadelphia – the Bruins emerged victorious in regulation time.
Brad Marchand‘s goal with just 47-seconds remaining snapped a 2-2 deadlock with Toronto, sending the Bruins to a 3-2 win at TD Garden. The night before, in Buffalo, a 1-1 tie entering period three ended up in the B’s favor 4-1 after a final 20-minute surge.
“That’s what we kind of lacked in the last few games that we lost, [where] we got back on our heels and we didn’t make plays,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored twice Saturday to gave his squad 1-0 and 2-1 leads. “We got scared of making a mistake, and when you do that you’re thinking actually you’re not trusting your instincts. We got back to being on our toes for the whole game and it showed. It was a tough game to win, but still we found a way.”
|Sunday Skate Live Chat: ‘We’re probably going to talk about football and John Scott’ edition||01.16.16 at 11:59 pm ET|
The first hour’s the best hour. Y’all know the drill. 8 a.m.-9 a.m. Don’t miss it. Click here to listen live.
|5 things we learned as Brad Marchand gives Bruins late win over Leafs||01.16.16 at 9:58 pm ET|
The Bruins came a little too close to overtime in a game they should have won by several goals, but a late Brad Marchand tally mercifully saved the B’s some embarrassment.
On a night in which the Bruins had only a pair of Patrice Bergeron goals despite having oodles of scoring chances in the first two periods, Marchand made a heads-up play in picking off a Maple Leafs clearing attempt with Jonathan Bernier out of the net and rifling the puck in with 47 seconds remaining to give Boston a 3-2 win.
The goal was Marchand’s first in 12 games, as he hadn’t previously scored since Dec. 14.
Minutes earlier, the game could have taken a much different turn. After Tuukka Rask gave the puck away to Tyler Bozak at the left circle, Torey Krug made the save of the game by taking to the net and stopping a P.A. Parenteau shot.
The Bruins, now winners of two straight after stumbling on the road, will next play Tuesday night in their final regular-season meeting with the Canadiens.
Here are four more things we learned Saturday:
BERGERON PULLS EVEN WITH NEELY
With a pair of goals, Bergeron brought his career point total to 590, which ties him with Cam Neely for ninth all-time in Bruins history. Of course, Neely got his 590 points over 525 games with the B’s, while Saturday’s game was the 784th of Bergeron’s NHL career and Bruins tenure.
Up next for Bergeron on the all-time list is Terry O’Reilly, who had 606 points in his Bruins career.
MARCHAND GOAL OVERTURNED
What looked to be an earlier Marchand goal in the third period was overturned when a review confirmed that he was offsides when he and Bergeron entered the zone.
Marchand goal overturned by an offside pic.twitter.com/BoQQOQhbGd
‘ Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 17, 2016
MORROW IN FOR COLIN MILLER
Colin Miller handed the Sabres a goal in the first period Friday and was practically benched for the second period of that game as a result. As such, it wasn’t a huge surprise to see him scratched on Saturday.
Miller sitting meant that Joe Morrow re-entered the lineup, but Morrow’s performance on a first-period Maple Leafs goal might get Miller back in the lineup by Tuesday. Morrow couldn’t get the puck out of the zone on a clearing attempt up the wall, and he was then unable to get to a rebound of a Leo Komarov shot before Komarov got to it himself to score Toronto’s first goal.
David Pastrnak remained out for the B’s, making Saturday’s contest the third consecutive game he’s missed with an upper-body injury.
With Colin Miller out and Morrow in, the Bruins’ lineup was as follows:
PENALTY KILL STILL GOING STRONG
The Bruins successfully killed off five penalties on Saturday, making Boston’s PK 82 for its last 87. Landon Ferraro had a couple of shorthanded chances, which provided the B’s with their only offensive zone time on special teams through the first two periods, as the B’s only power play of the game came at 7:19 of the third period.
The Bruins didn’t score on that power play making them 1-for-7 on the man advantage over the last five games.
|David Krejci goes from week-to-week to day-to-day||01.16.16 at 6:08 pm ET|
The Bruins have not been the same without David Krejci. Fortunately for the B’s, they don’t think they’ll be without him much longer.
Speaking prior to Saturday’s game, Bruins coach Claude Julien said that Krejci, who has missed the last eight games with an upper-body injury, is getting close to returning to Boston’s lineup. Krejci last played on Dec. 27 but has been skating recently.
“[He] skated today, so he’s coming along,” Julien said. “That’s a good sign. That’s basically where he’s at. We’ll see; he’s now gone from week-to-week to probably more day-to-day. I wouldn’t say [the next game], but getting closer.”
The Bruins have gone 3-4-1 without Krejci, who has 33 points (11 goals, 22 assists) in 35 games played this season. After Tuesday’s game against the Canadiens, for which Julien has already ruled Krejci out, the B’s have home games on Thursday and Saturday of the coming week.
|5 things we learned as Ryan Spooner leads Bruins past Sabres to end road trip||01.15.16 at 9:40 pm ET|
Ryan Spooner factored into the Bruins’ first three goals Friday night to both continue his own personal hot streak and stop what was a three-game losing streak for the B’s.
The red-hot Spooner had a goal and a pair of assists as the Bruins picked up a much-needed 4-1 win over the Sabres in Buffalo to end a 2-2-1 road trip. With his three-point night, Spooner now has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) over his last eight games.
Spooner, who has played very well in David Krejci‘s place, is now at 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) through 43 games, which is as many points as Krejci had in 35 games before going down with an upper-body injury.
Friday’s win was different from recent games, as the B’s took leads into the third period of games against the Rangers and Flyers before giving up multiple third-period goals en route to regulation losses. Instead, the Bruins broke a 1-1 tie in the third on Friday with a Zdeno Chara goal and followed it with a Spooner tally and a Brett Connolly empty-netter. Matt Beleskey scored Boston’s first goal and had the secondary assist and screen on Chara’s goal.
Jonas Gustavsson made 33 saves on 34 shots.
The Bruins will return home to face the Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday.
Here are four more things we learned Friday:
Max Talbot, Landon Ferraro and Zdeno Chara all took minor penalties in a span of 4:42 in the second period, leaving the Bruins to kill three penalties ‘ each of which was without a penalty killer given that all three of those guys serve on the PK ‘ in succession.
Thanks to what’s been a very strong penalty kill of late, the Bruins managed to keep the Sabres from breaking the tie with all of the time afforded to them on the man advantage. In killing off their three penalties and a late-third period minor, the Bruins have killed off 77 of their opponents’ last 82 power plays.
PASTRNAK STAYS OUT, CONNOLLY BACK TO BERGERON LINE
David Pastrnak missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Jimmy Hayes, who had played on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in Pastrnak’s place on Wednesday, went back down to the third line while Brett Connolly moved to his familiar spot to Bergeron’s right.
The lineup Friday was as follows:
CONNOLLY STREAK MERCIFULLY ENDS WITH EMPTY-NETTER
Connolly’s streak without a goal would not his 20 games, as he picked up an empty-netter for his sixth goal of the season.
COLIN HAS A QUIET SECOND
Part of it had to do with the Bruins killing a lot of penalties in the frame, but Colin Miller had just three shifts in the second period.
While it’s unclear why Miller was used so sparingly, a first-period flub could have factored into it. Late in the first period, Colin Miller turned the puck over behind the Bruins’ net to David Legwand, who scored on a wraparound for the game’s first goal.
Miller was on the Bruins’ top power play unit (where he’s played since David Krejci went down) for a Cody Franson penalty late in the first period, but he was nowhere to be seen during a second-period power play that came on a Mike Weber hooking penalty.
Miller played five shifts in the third period and finished the game with 12:18 of ice time.