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Chad Johnson thankful for career-changing year with Bruins 10.23.14 at 1:54 pm ET
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Chad Johnson probably had as good a one-and-done with the Bruins as a backup goalie can have in the NHL. He put up great numbers and, with the B’€™s not having much money to spend on a backup, he left and got a good contract.

Now, after taking a two-year, $2.6 million deal with the Islanders in free agency, Johnson has a lot of things he didn’€™t have when he came to the B’€™s last year on a one-year, $600,000 pact: experience in a very good goaltending tandem thanks to his work with Tuukka Rask as well as job security and strong compensation at the NHL level. Johnson said he had eight offers, three of which he felt were serious, before signing with the Islanders.

As Johnson makes his return to TD Garden as a visiting player, he has nothing but good things to say about the Bruins. It’€™s not like things didn’€™t work out and he left; things actually worked out perfectly for everybody.

“I think when you move on, probably a lot of times in this business it’€™s for bad reasons. For my situation, there wasn’€™t room to be back with the Bruins, so it’€™s a different feeling to be coming back when there’€™s really no animosity between both sides,” Johnson said.

“It’€™s always nice leaving on a good note with a team, because I guess you always want to leave a good mark wherever you are, a positive mark in the locker room or in the community with the fans, however you can.”

Johnson will oppose the man who replaced him in Boston when he faces Niklas Svedberg Thursday. Even when Johnson was the backup last season, the plan was for Svedberg, who was the AHL’€™s top goaltender the year before, to play in Boston this season.

Johnson, who often speaks of how tough it is for NHL-ready goalies to get the opportunity to play (and stay) in the NHL, is happy to see that Svedberg is getting his shot.

“I think it’€™s a good situation for him, a guy who’€™s been in the minors for a couple of years,” Johnson said. “It’€™s sort of very [similar to] me. He probably could have been in the NHL last year or the year before, but just didn’€™t have the right situation. In the business of hockey, you just have to have the right situation. You always want to see guys have opportunity at this level, just because in my experience too, you have to sometimes just wait it out a long time in the minors to get a chance.

“He’€™s in a good situation. I know first-hand what kind of a team is over there, how goalie-friendly the team really is. It’€™s nice for him to be able to be in a good situation there.”

The 28-year-old also had glowing things to say about Rask, who won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL‘€™s top netminder last season. Johnson said that Rask was different from many other goaltending partners he’€™s had in the past, calling him “€œso relaxed and friendly.”

Last season marked Johnson’€™s first full season at the NHL level. He said going into the year that he found playing in the NHL easier than playing in the AHL because the groups in front of him were more defensively sound. He found that to be a big plus in Boston.

“The strategy of the team and the identity of that team is to play defense first and commit defensively and help the goalies out,” Johnson said. “That makes it easy on a guy like Tuukka and Svedy and myself last year. It’€™s always a good situation to be in when there’€™s that kind of identity for a team.

“It was just a good group of guys, the organization was awesome to me and there’€™s no secret to why they have success. They have the right people there from the very top. It makes a lot of sense why they win and do well every year.”

Johnson finished sixth last season in both save percentage (.925) and goals-against average (2.10). In two games this year (one start), he has allowed three goals over 80 minutes. He won his lone start, a victory over the Hurricanes.

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Chad Johnson gets start for Islanders vs. Niklas Svedberg at 12:37 pm ET
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Niklas Svedberg

Niklas Svedberg

It will be a battle of Tuukka Rask backups Thursday night at TD Garden, as Niklas Svedberg will oppose former Bruin Chad Johnson as the B’€™s host the Islanders.

The night will center around the return of Johnny Boychuk, who has two goals and four assists for six points in six games this season after being traded to the Islanders.

Other than the goaltender, Boston’€™s lineup appears to be the same as it was Tuesday:

Lucic – Krejci – Griffith
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Kelly – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille – Campbell – Gagne

Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – Krug
Bartkowski – McQuaid

Svedberg

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

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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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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.

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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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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.”

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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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