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Chad Johnson signs with Islanders 07.01.14 at 12:35 pm ET
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Goaltender Chad Johnson has signed with the Islanders, making him the first Bruins free agent to depart. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the deal is for two years and $2.6 million.

Johnson played well in his one season in Boston as Tuukka Rask‘€™s backup, but the team elected to not retain him given that cap space is tight and they have another young goaltender in Niklas Svedberg. The B’€™s gave Svedberg a one-year, $600,000 contract last week.

The 24-year-old Svedberg has spent the last two seasons playing for Providence in the AHL. In the 2012-13 season, he was named the AHL’s top goaltender, while he split time with Malcolm Subban last season. Svedberg’s promotion to Boston suggests that Subban, the team’s first-round pick in 2012, will become Providence’s starting goaltender.

In his one season for the B’€™s, Johnson went 17-4-3 with a .925 save percentage, 2.10 goals-against average and two shutouts.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins sign Niklas Svedberg to one-way contract, making Chad Johnson return unlikely 06.23.14 at 6:30 pm ET
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Niklas Svedberg

Niklas Svedberg

The Bruins signed goaltender Niklas Svedberg to a one-year, one-way contract worth $600,000, positioning Svedberg to be Tuukka Rask‘€™s backup and likely signaling the end of Chad Johnson‘€™s time with the team.

Svedberg, who has been with the Bruins for the last two seasons, has spent nearly his entire time with the organization playing for Providence. He won the Aldege ‘€œBaz’€ Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’€™s top goalie in the 2012-13 season, posting a .925 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average.

Last season, he had a .910 save percentage for Providence with a 2.63 GAA. He made his NHL debut (and only NHL start thus far) last season in a 3-2 win over Nashville on Jan. 2.

Johnson played last season on the same terms as Svedberg will get next season, and his performance as Rask’€™s backup made him a good candidate to get more money and playing time elsewhere, much like Anton Khudobin did last offseason.

With Svedberg a safe bet to be in Boston next season, 2012 first-round pick Malcolm Subban is in line to become Providence’€™s starting goaltender.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Chad Johnson, Malcolm Subban, Niklas Svedberg,
Bruins clinch playoff spot as Patrick Roy pulls his goalie super early 03.21.14 at 11:30 pm ET
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The Bruins became the first team in the NHL to clinch a playoff spot, as Chad Johnson picked up a hard-earned shutout with a 2-0 victory over the Avalanche. The win was Boston’s 11th straight, while it was the team’s seventh straight playoff berth.

The win streak is Boston’s third-longest, as the B’s are three away from the 14 in a row they won in 1929-30. Tying that will be tough, as the B’s next three games are against the Coyotes, Canadiens and Blackhawks.

Patrice Bergeron scored the only goal of the first period as the Bruins kept their opponent scoreless in the first period for the 10th straight game. The B’s have not trailed since March 9 in Florida.

The Bruins made it 2-0 in the second period on a Carl Soderberg power play goal. The B’s held on from there, despite Colorado coach Patrick Roy pulling Semyon Varlomov with five minutes remaining in the game. To Roy’s credit, the Bruins did not score an empty net goal.

Johnson made 30 saves in the game, improving his record to 16-3-1 on the season and getting his second shutout of the season.

The Bruins will face the Coyotes Saturday in Phoenix before returning to Boston to face the Canadiens Monday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Johnson was superb for the B’s as he got the start in two straight games for the second time all year. He had to make 24 saves over the first two periods, the biggest of which was on a Maxime Talbot partial breakaway off of a Chris Kelly neutral zone turnover. Johnson stopped Talbot’s backhand bid, among several other strong opportunities for Colorado.

- Dougie Hamilton played a pretty big role in both Boston goals. The 20-year-old took a pass from Bergeron on his backhand, moved across the blue line as he put it back on his forehand and slid the pass down low to Bergeron, who put the puck on net and buried the rebound.

In the second period, Hamilton did a good job of keeping Talbot’s clearing bid in the zone and fed Eriksson, who gave the puck to Soderberg before bolting to the net. From there, Eriksson, who is exceptional at screening the goalie without having to tip pucks, got in Varlamov’s way as Soderberg fired a wrester that beat the Avalanche netminder.

- Here’s something you don’t see every day: Kevan Miller all Bruins in time on ice in the first two periods with 15:13. Zdeno Chara played 13:23 over the first two, though he took a high-sticking penalty late in the first period.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The Bruins had more defensive breakdowns than usual, meaning Johnson had to be good in order for them to hold the lead. The most notable one was on Talbot’s partial break in the second period off Kelly’s giveaway.

Johnson was also kept busy on a first-period shift from David Krejci‘s line in which both Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic were unable to get the puck out, leading to a couple of chances for Paul Stastnsy.

- The Bruins were outshot, 14-6, in the first period, though they came out of the period unscathed.

- This isn’t something that went wrong for the Bruins, but once again: Patrick Roy pulled his goalie with five minutes left. If that isn’t a different brand of fantastic I don’t know what is.

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Bruins pregame: Daniel Paille cleared for return, Chad Johnson starts in net 03.15.14 at 12:33 pm ET
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Bruins fans will welcome back Daniel Paille Saturday against Carolina. (AP)

Bruins fans will welcome back Daniel Paille Saturday against Carolina. (AP)

Winners of seven straight, the Bruins will welcome back one forward and another making his NHL debut. Bruins coach Claude Julien announced before Saturday’s game with Carolina that Daniel Paille, who has missed the last five games with concussion symptoms, has been cleared to return to game action.

Asked if he will be available and will play, Julien was more coy with reporters pre-game.

“Could be,” Julien said with a smile. “Probably. You’ll have to make some deductions. right? I have to keep you guys on your toes. I’m too predictable.”

Chad Johnson will make his 18th start in net for the Bruins after Tuukka Rask started both games of the back-to-back Wednesday and Thursday in Montreal and home against Phoenix.

The other big story Saturday is the NHL debut of 23-year-old forward Matt Linblad, a Friday call-up from Providence.

“It’€™s pretty special,” Julien said. “I’€™m sure he’€™s dreamed of playing in the NHL, and exhibition games are one thing, and this is the real deal right now. But at the same time, I think he’€™s earned it. He’€™s played really well. I liked his training camp, I liked his, again, his hockey knowledge and his hockey IQ.

“Hockey sense is always an important part of any player at this level, and he has that. He’€™s a smart individual, so you put that with the good skater that he he is, and it makes for a pretty decent player. So we have high hopes for him and there’€™s an opportunity for him to show he’€™s gotten better over the course of the season.”

During pre-game warmups, Linblad was skating on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille, leaving Shawn Thornton as the odd man out.

Julien also announced that, after playing in three straight games, defenseman Andrej Meszaros would get the day off, giving Torey Krug more time on the blue line as well as the power play.

“There’€™s going to be some changes here as we go along, and I think [Meszaros] has played three straight games and we’€™ve continued to work with him,” Julien said. “So, we certainly don’€™t want to let our other players that have been here be pushed aside because of trades. So it’€™s just managing that whole back end.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Chad Johnson, Claude Julien, Daniel Paille
Chad Johnson earns first shutout with Bruins in win over Oilers 02.01.14 at 3:31 pm ET
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Chad Johnson recorded his first shutout as a Bruin to lead the B’s past Edmonton, 4-0, Saturday at TD Garden.

Johnson made 22 saves on the day, good for his second career shutout. The backup netminder had a 21-save shutout last Jan. 28 against the Predators while playing for Phoenix.

David Krejci made it 1-0 on a second-period power play with a shot that went off Ryan Jones’ skate and past Ben Scrivens. Dougie Hamilton built on the lead with a wraparound goal in the third period, with Carl Soderberg picking his eighth goal of the season just over six minutes later. Torey Krug made it 4-0 on a power-play goal.

Soderberg (a goal and an assist), Zdeno Chara (two assists) and Jarome Iginla (two assists) turned in multi-point performances for the Bruins.

The win was Boston’s fifth in its last six games, as the B’s had won four straight before suffering a 4-1 loss to the Canadiens.

Saturday also marked the return of former Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference. The Edmonton native and Oilers captain was greeted with a standing ovation was acknowledged with a video during a first period stoppage of play.

The Bruins now enter the final week prior to the Olympic break. They will host the Canucks Tuesday, face the Blues in St. Louis on Thursday and play the Senators at TD Garden Saturday.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Hamilton now has back-to-back goals for the first time in his career. He did all of the work on his goal Saturday, taking the puck to the net, getting his own rebound and going behind the net for the wraparound.

- Daniel Paille‘s been earning some power plays for the Bruins of late, drawing three penalties in his last three
games and four in his last five games. Two of the last three — Tuesday’s hook from Mike Weaver and Saturday’s trip from Jeff Petry — came off him using his speed to go to the net. He was also interfered with by Jordan Eberle during a second-period penalty kill in which he had previously been stopped by Scrivens on a shorthanded breakaway.

- The B’s survived a couple of injury scares, as Kevan Miller returned to the game in short order after blocking a shot with his right hand/wrist in the first period and Shawn Thornton returned for the second period after going down the tunnel and missing all but one shift of the first period due to a fight with Luke Gazdic.

- In picking up the secondary assist on Hamilton’s goal and scoring a goal of his own, Carl Soderberg now has a four-game point streak (two goals, three assists).

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Loui Eriksson had a goal disallowed in the second period when a review led officials to the conclusion that there was a distinct kicking motion. Eriksson angled his skate toward the net as he took a feed from Matt Bartkowski down low, with the puck going off his skate and in. Though the exact phrasing “distinct kicking motion” is tough, he did move his foot forward as he tried to angle it, making for a kick, whether intentional or not. The goal would have been Eriksson’s fourth point in four games.

- Speaking of Eriksson, he turned in a candidate for the most accidentally hilarious move of the year when he did this in the second period:

- Patrice Bergeron‘s line has now gone three games without a goal. It had been red-hot in mid-to-late January.

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Canadiens chase Tuukka Rask, beat Bruins 01.30.14 at 9:39 pm ET
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The Canadiens interrupted the Bruins’ recent hot streak Thursday, taking a 4-1 contest at TD Garden and improving to 2-0-0 against the B’s this season.

Tuukka Rask was pulled for the fourth time this season and dropped to 2-10-2 in his career against the Canadiens. He allowed three goals on 18 shots before being pulled a little over halfway through the second period. Chad Johnson allowed one goal in relief.

The Habs got on the board 2:16 into the game when an Alexei Emelin shot from the point went through plenty of traffic but didn’t appear to hit anything on its way past Rask. Max Pacioretty made it 2-0 later in the period when he took a feed from Brendan Gallagher off a Daniel Paille turnover, flew down the wing and held off Johnny Boychuk on his way to beating Rask five-hole.

Dougie Hamilton got the B’s on the board at 15:38 of the first when a shot from the point hit a Montreal body and got past Peter Budaj, but it would be Boston’s only goal of the night. A Brian Gionta power-play goal at 11:54 of the second chased Rask, and a Daniel Briere breakaway goal on Johnson made it a three-goal lead for the Habs.

The loss snapped the Bruins’ four-game winning streak. The B’s have four games left before the Olympic break and will host Andrew Ference and the Oilers on Saturday.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Rask has now been pulled four times this season, all of which have come in the last month and a half. Rask was pulled Dec. 14 against the Canucks, Dec. 28 in Ottawa and Jan. 9 in Los Angeles. Though Gionta’s goal was the only particularly bad one he allowed, getting yanked at least four times in a season isn’t a great thing to have on a Vezina resume.

– The Bruins had scored six goals in three straight games (3-0-0) prior to Thursday’s game, but they were able to muster exactly one sixth of that mark Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Chad Johnson, Dougie Hamilton, Peter Budaj, Tuukka Rask
Chad Johnson played last 7 1/2 minutes of second period with one contact lens 01.17.14 at 12:44 am ET
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DALLAS — When Stars forward Alex Chiasson went for a wraparound at 12:28 in the second period Thursday night, the result wasn’t pretty for Chad Johnson.

While that might seem like the same old story given Johnson’s difficulty with wraparounds, it was far different. Chiasson didn’t score, but Johnson got hit in the eye with Zdeno Chara‘s stick in front, leaving the backup goaltender bloodied, confused and, as he would later find out, down a contact lens.

Chara’s stick went through Johnson’s mask, cut him just below the eye and rode up over it. Johnson fell to the ice in pain, and when trainer Don DelNegro came to the ice to tend to him, he took off his mask to reveal both a bloodied face and a look that was half confusion and half fear.

“I had a feeling it was his stick or somebody’s stick, because I could feel the blade hit and kind of flip up and kind of jab and flip up on my eye, so I knew it was a stick,” Johnson said after the Bruins’ 4-2 win over Dallas. “It happened so fast, and it was just a scary, scary kind of feeling.”

Johnson stayed in the game, though his vision was blurry. He couldn’t see well out of his left eye, and he assumed that Chara had scratched his contact. Johnson, who has played with contact lenses since he was in college (at least six or seven years, by his estimation), figured he would play with the busted contact for the rest of the period.

“I knew there was only about seven minutes or something [left],” Johnson said, “so I just kind of said ‘screw it’ and then threw it in during the intermission.”

When he got to the dressing room at intermission, he realized there was no contact there at all, and that it had been knocked out altogether. That would explain the difficulty he had seeing out of the eye until the intermission.

Blurry vision or not, Johnson was strong for the B’s in his first start in nearly a month (Dec. 19). He allowed two goals, with the first coming on an unlucky bounce in which a Tyler Seguin pass to Erik Cole on the power play bounced off a falling Cole’s stick and went up and over his shoulder. The other goal came from Jamie Benn in front with 1:11 remaining. Johnson finished with 32 saves on 34 shots, with a nice cut to show for it.

“I didn’t know how serious he was, but he just came back and had the little cut there [below] his eye, but he was good tonight,” Claude Julien said. “I thought he played a real solid game and was square to the puck all night long, so it was a good outing for him.”

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