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Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask lead Bruins past Senators 02.18.11 at 10:07 pm ET
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The new-look Bruins didn’t get off to the prettiest of starts, but they finished strong to earn a 4-2 victory over the Senators at Scotiabank Place on Friday night.

Brad Marchand had a pair of goals, while Andrew Ference, Nathan Horton and David Krejci also multi-point performances. Krejci now has 11 points over his last 10 contests. Dennis Seidenberg also scored for the B’s.

Marlborough native and former University of New Hampshire Wildcat Bobby Butler provided the Senators with their first tally, beating Tuukka Rask at 2:50 of the second period for his third goal in three games. Butler’s strike opened the game’s scoring, but Marchand’s goal from Tyler Seguin and Ference pulled the B’s even. After Horton gave them the lead at 9:47 of the third, the B’s never looked back. Alexei Kovalev scored for the Senators with 1:30 remaining in the game.

Rask made 32 saves in the game, improving to 7-11-1 on the season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Almost unbelievably, Rask has won back-to-back games for the first time all season. The 23-year-old netminder hasn’t really gotten many opportunities to string together much success, but with Claude Julien clearly willing to give him more starts down the stretch, Rask’s performances Thursday and Friday are good for both the confidence of the Finland native and the B’s.

- Friday was about a couple of veterans making their Bruins debuts, but it was the rookies who once again came up big for the B’s. Seguin took a pass from Ference to set up Marchand’s 17th goal of the year, and considering how he’s played the last two nights, it will be hard for the Bruins to scratch the second overall pick when the team returns to action Tuesday in Calgary. With Marchand’s two tallies, he now has 18 on the season.

- On a night in which it appeared Horton may be regressing back to the point where he was back to slumping, the 25-year-old came up big. He entered the night with just one point over his last four games, but he fired a beautiful wrester past Robin Lehner off a nice pass from Krejci at 9:47 of the third. He also drew a holding penalty on holding penalty on Erik Karlsson in the second period, though he went off for holding Milan Michalek at 11:38 of the third.

- The team showed how their power play will be able to operate with Tomas Kaberle, as the newcomer helped orchestrate Seidenberg’s goal. On the night, the B’s power play went 1-for-5.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins came out in the first period like a team that had spent the day selling off assets, and not gaining them. They played with very little energy in the first, getting outshot 12-5. Rask came up big throughout the period, which is the silver lining in a surprisingly flat start by the Bruins.

The Bruins did pick it up after their sluggish period, grabbing a 13-8 advantage in shots in the second period and sustaining that increased energy through the third.

- Johnny Boychuk was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. With Kaberle now in the fold, Boychuk could be the guy that is a regular healthy scratch, with Adam McQuaid and Steven Kampfer also candidates.

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Phil Kessel, Mikhail Grabovski sink Bruins 02.15.11 at 9:36 pm ET
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With trade rumors surrounding the team, Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski proved to be all the Maple Leafs needed on Tuesday night as they beat the Bruins, 4-3.

The Bruins received goals from Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Patrice Bergeron.

Kessel — who entered Tuesday riding a streak of 14 straight games without a goal — scored twice on the power play for the Leafs, while Grabovski had two of his own.

Paille, who was playing in his first game since being suspended four games for a blindside hit on Stars forward Raymond Sawada, opened the scoring 8:04 into the first period thanks to an odd bounce off Mike Komisarek. The Leafs responded in the first period when Kessel batted a rebound past Tim Thomas with Zdeno Chara in the penalty box for boarding.

Toronto took a 2-1 lead in the second thanks to Grabovski’s strike, though the B’s came back with a power-play tally from Campbell and went ahead on Bergeron’s 20th goal of the season in the third period. Grabovski put the Leafs up for good at 18:59 with a wrist shot that beat Thomas.

With the loss, Thomas fell to 26-8-6 and has now allowed 15 goals in his last 10 periods. James Reimer got the win for the Leafs, improving to 7-4-1.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Not only did Kessel score for the first time in 14 games, but he scored his first and second goals against his old team. Not counting Kessel’s shootout tally against the B’s on Dec. 4 (which does not count as an actual goal in the player’s stats), Kessel went without a goal in his first nine games against the Bruins since being traded to the Maple Leafs in September of 2009.

Both of Kessel’s goals came on the power play, so he was still a minus-2 on the night given that he was out there for Paille and Bergeron’s goals.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Bruins tied with Leafs entering third at 8:42 pm ET
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The Bruins and Maple Leafs each tallied a goal for the second straight period Tuesday night, and the teams enter the third period tied, 2-2.

A Maple Leafs shot from the point bounced off a Bruins’ skate at around the hashmarks, and with Tim Thomas out of position, Mikhail Grbovski took advantage of an open net to give the Leafs their first lead of the night.

With Grabovski in the box for high-sticking later in the period, Brad Marchand fired a shot on James Reimer, with Gregory Campbell whacked the rebound into the net from out of mid-air to tie the game up.

The Bruins drew three penalties in the second period, the third of which they converted on. Dion Phaneuf went off for slashing Milan Lucic at 8:37, while some tougher play from Tyler Seguin in front of the Leafs’ net produced a Keith Aulie interference minor at 12:26. Grabovski went off for high-sticking Mark Stuart at 16:44.

David Krejci had multiple opportunities on Leafs netminder James Reimer in the period, but Reimer came up big, stuffing Krejci when he elected to shoot and Lucic when the center dished it.

Through two, the B’s have a 25-19 advantage in shots on goal.

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Bruins drop second straight to Red Wings 02.13.11 at 2:58 pm ET
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The Bruins dropped a 4-2 decision to the Red Wings on Sunday and have now lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since Dec. 15 and 16, when they dropped contests to the Sabres and Canadiens in succession.

Todd Bertuzzi had two goals for the second straight game against the Bruins, with Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper also beating Tim Thomas. Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand provided the scoring for the B’s.

Jimmy Howard, who played his college puck at Maine, improved his record to 28-10-3, giving him the most wins in the NHL. He made 23 saves on 25 shots.

Thomas on the other hand, saw his record fall to 26-7-6. Steven Kampfer, who grew up in Ann Arbor and played his college hockey at the University of Michigan, was a healthy scratch for the game.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton had minimal impact on the game. That can’t happen down the stretch, and it certainly can’t happen in the playoffs. Krejci and Lucic had two shots apiece, which was more than could be said for Horton’s one. With Horton having no shots on goal Friday, he has just one over the last two games.

- Brad Marchand was second in the NHL with a plus-25 rating entering Friday’s game, but he’s been a minus-5 over the two contests since. After a minus-3 rating on Friday, he was on the ice for two of the four Detroit goals Sunday.

Marchand had a particularly costly turnover in the first period, as he sent a blind pass right to Bertuzzi in front of the net in the first period. Bertuzzi turned the play into his third goal against the B’s in two games, and second gift goal. He capitalized on blunder made by Tuukka Rask while playing the puck on Friday night.

- Tyler Seguin turned a very encouraging first game back from back-to-back healthy scratch into further proof as to why Claude Julien has been taking it easy with the rookie. After scoring the Bruins’ first goal by staring involved in the play in front and sending a rebound off a Blake Wheeler wraparound past Howard in the first period, he played a large role in the game-winning goal for the Red Wings. The second overall pick didn’t stick with Kris Draper, and the right winger scored the go-ahead goal in the second period off a saucer pass from Patrick Eaves.

- Tim Thomas has allowed 11 goals over his last seven periods. That might be a Hart-breaker for the Vezina shoo-in.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Lucic was fine after getting hit square on the front of his right skate with a shot from the point. Trainer Don DelNegro came to the ice to tend to him, and the 22-year-old winger left the ice slowly, but under his own power. He returned to the bench moments later.

- After going five straight games without a power play goal, the B’s have been able to convert with a man advantage in each of the last two games. Krejci had the Bruins’ lone power play tally on Friday, a night in which the B’s went 1-for-3, and Marchand scored on the first of three Bruins’ power plays on Sunday.

- Michael Ryder had his second multi-point performance in the last three contests. After scoring twice against the Canadiens on Wednesday, he had a pair of assists Sunday. The original scoring of Seguin’s goal gave Wheeler credit for the goal, with Seguin getting the lone assist, but upon correction, Wheeler and Ryder were each credited with a helper. Ryder made a beautiful pass to set up Marchand’s goal on the power play.

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Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand have Bruins leading Red Wings at 1:16 pm ET
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The Bruins have a 2-1 lead after a period at Joe Louis Arena, which is a big step up after never leading in Friday’s 6-1 loss.

Tyler Seguin, playing for the first time in three games, got the Bruins on the board when he banged home a Jimmy Howard rebound off a Blake Wheeler wraparound at 1:29. The goal was credited to Wheeler, with Seguin getting the assist, but a review should clarify that it was Seguin’s goal. Should he rightfully be given credit, it will be his last three games.

UPDATE: The scoring was indeed changed to give Seguin the goal. Wheeler and Michael Ryder got assists.

Brad Marchand had an up and down first period for the Bruins. He made a blind pass in front of the Bruins’ net with only he and Todd Bertuzzi in the zone. Bertuzzi gained possession in front of Tim Thomas, took his time, and beat the B’s netminder for his third goal against Boston in two games.

Marchand would make up for his blunder, as he gave the B’s a 2-1 lead by scoring his 16th of the season off a beautiful pass from Ryder. The Wings will begin the second on the power play, as Ryder has 1:06 remaining on a roughing minor he took late in the period.

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Bruins set to play the first of two vs. Red Wings 02.11.11 at 1:33 am ET
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Winners of four of their last five, the Bruins (69 points) will host the Red Wings (70 points) at TD Garden on Friday. It will be the first of two the teams will play against one another in three days, as the Bruins will travel to Detroit to face the Wings for a Sunday matinee.

Former Maine goaltender Jimmy Howard has 26 wins this season. (AP)

Starting for Detroit will be former University of Maine goaltender Jimmy Howard, who is one of five goaltenders with 26 wins this season. He was pulled halfway through Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Predators after allowing all four Nashville goals. Expect Tuukka Rask to start for the B’s after he didn’t participate in Friday’s optional skate.

WHERE IT’S AT

- The Bruins are 15-10-3 in home games (14-10-3 at TD Garden) and have won three of their last four at the Garden. Their most recent was Wednesday’s high-scoring penalty fest against the Canadiens, an 8-6 victory.

- The Red Wings are 16-8-2 on the road this season. They lost their most recent road game, getting blanked, 3-0, in Nashville on Feb. 5.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

- Nathan Horton is coming off the first five-point night of his career, as he had a goal and four assists Wednesday vs. the Habs. His five points were more than he had in his previous 13 contests.

- Henrik Zetterberg is fourth in the NHL in assists with 41. His 57 points rank eighth in the league.

- Brad Marchand has a plus-25 rating on the season, putting him behind only Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros for the league lead. The only other forward in the top five is Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, whose plus-23 puts him in a tie for fifth.

- The Bruins got a power-play goal from Michael Ryder on Wednesday, but their power play is still struggling to produce. Ryder’s tally was the first strike with a man advantage for the Bruins in six games, and also the first since Marc Savard went down on Jan. 22 in Colorado.

STORLYINES GOING IN

- Despite being second in the Western Conference, the Red Wings haven’t exactly been tearing it up of late. They have lost three of their last four contests and are 5-6-1 over their last 12 games.

- The last three games and the coming two against the Red Wings have made for the Bruins’ most difficult five-game stretch in their schedule, and so far they have to be pleased with how they’ve fared. With slugfest wins over the Stars and Canadiens and a tough 1-0 loss to the Sharks, they are 2-1-0 so far.

- After a lot of fighting on Wednesday, Micky Ward will drop a ceremonial first puck prior to Friday’s game. In other pre-game news, we’ll keep an eye (or ear) on whether the revamped hip-hop warmup music selected by Johnny Boychuk sticks. The team skated out to Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” rather than Metallica’s cover of “Whiskey in the Jar” on Wednesday.

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Price tagged: Bruins crush Habs 02.09.11 at 9:58 pm ET
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The Bruins lit up Montreal goaltender Carey Price for eight goals as they picked up their first victory against the Canadiens this season, a 8-6 win at the TD Garden.

Nathan Horton had five points, while David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Michael Ryder, and Dennis Seidenberg also had multi-point nights.

The game featured 192 penalty minutes between the two teams. The more notable of the fights was a goalie brawl between Tim Thomas and Price at 12:36 of the second period. The netminders squared off in the Canadiens’ zone, with Price getting the better of Thomas.

Despite losing the fight, Thomas improved to 26-6-6 on the season, and the victory puts the B’s four points ahead of the Habs in the Northeast Division. The Bruins will return to action Friday when they host the Red Wings Friday night.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Patrice Bergeron‘s line continues to impress. Before the floodgates opened on both sides and the game turned into a high-scoring affair, it was Marchand that got the B’s on the board after a beautiful display of passing from the rookie, Mark Recchi, and Bergeron.

- It was good to see Ryder’s two-goal performance given his struggles earlier in the game. Ryder entered the game having not scored in eight straight games, and he lost the puck in front of the net early in the second. Ryder’s first goal was set up by a beautiful backhanded pass from Zach Hamill. Both players had to be encouraged by their nights. Ryder had what he thought was his second goal of the night waved off in the third period, as Brad Marchand was pushed into Price. He would make up for it with a power play goal at 10:01.

- Nathan Horton had five points (1 G, 4 A) on the night, the most he’s had in a game as a member of the Bruins. He had three helpers on Nov. 18 against the Panthers at the Garden.

Horton has definitely sprinkled in some very good games in the midst of his goal-scoring slump. See below regarding his penalties, but offensively, Wednesday was one of them those games.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- P.K. Subban is a pain in the Bruins’ you-know-what. He scored on the power play in the second period and added an assist in addition to once again getting under the skin of the Boston players. In four games against the B’s this season, Subban has four points (2 G, 2 A) and on Dec. 16 drew the penalty that led to a Habs power play goal. Whether it’s on the stat sheet or by getting in players’ heads, the rookie blueliner has been able to be pest to the Bruins. The B’s got the last laugh, of course, as the rookie ended up with a minus-3 rating for the night.

- As encouraging as Horton’s assists were, his penalties cost the B’s in both the second and third periods. Horton went off twice for tripping, and the Habs scored on each of the power plays, getting Subban’s second-period strike and a Max Pacioretty goal 7:06 of the third.

- Statistically, Wednesday night’s was Thomas’ worst game of the season. The six goals he allowed was the most he’s given up in a game this season. Thomas allowed five goals to the Flyers on Jan. 13 in a 7-5 win. He faced 35 shots in that game, making 30 saves, whereas he only saw 33 shots Wednesday night.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Carey Price, Milan Lucic, Tim Thomas Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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