|Penguins beat Bruins again in Pittsburgh||03.17.13 at 3:01 pm ET|
The Penguins beat the Bruins for the second time in six days, handing Boston a 2-1 loss Sunday at CONSOL Energy Center.
Sidney Crosby got the Penguins on the board at 12:06 of the first with his 13th goal of the season, and though Tyler Seguin tied the game at one later in the period, Joe Vitale took advantage of a bad rebound by Tuukka Rask with 32 seconds remaining in the first to give Pittsburgh the lead for good.
The loss also came with a big injury scare, as David Krejci was hit by a Johnny Boychuk slapshot with around five minutes left in the third period. Krejci jumped in front of the Penguins’ net to try to avoidthe puck, but he jumped right into it, with the puck appearing to hit him in the right knee with his pad down and leaving the knee unprotected. Krejci stayed down on the ice, and was tended to by trainer Don DelNegro. He was helped off the ice and put no pressure on his right leg as he left. Krejci did not return to the game. With Krejci out, Rich Peverley moved up to center Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton.
The Bruins have now lost two of their three games against the Penguins this season. The teams will next meet on April 19 in Boston. The B’s will play their next three games on the road, facing the Jets Tuesday, the Senators Thursday and the Maple Leafs Saturday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Claude Julien put the Zdeno Chara–Dennis Seidenberg pairing usually seen in the postseason out against Crosby’s line for the defensive zone faceoff prior to Crosby’s goal, but Pascal Dupuis was able to steal the puck from Chara after David Krejci won the faceoff. Dupuis passed it to Chris Kunitz, who fed Crosby to set up the first goal of the game.
– Rask would probably love to have the Penguins’ second goal back. He was unable to hold on with his glove save attempt on a wrist shot from Craig Adams, and that allowed Vitale to swoop in and sent the rebound past the Boston goaltender.
– Some sharp work by the officials, as they busted Patrice Bergeron for a faceoff violation late in the second period. Though it was tough to tell in real time, replays showed that Bergeron did indeed glove the puck, making it the right call. The Bruins did an admirable job in killing off the penalty without Bergeron, as they held the Penguins shot-less over the course of the power play.
– The Bruins’ third line of Peverley between Jay Pandolfo and Jordan Caron has yet to score in its four games of existence, and Sunday saw the trio fail to put a shot on net until the third period (Pandolfo). That third line needed upgrading before Chris Kelly went down, and it would appear to be a matter of time before Peter Chiarelli does something to address it.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Crosby was not a happy camper when he was called for high-sticking Boychuk in the second period, and replays showed that he had a point. Boychuk used his own stick to bring Crosby’s stick up to his face. Pierre McGuire on the NBC telecast pointed to the play as proof that the NHL needs coaches’ challenges, and while it wasn’t that bad of a call, the Bruins caught a bit of a break.
– Seguin got off to a slow start, scoring just three goals over his first 17 games throughout January and February, but his first-period strike was his seventh goal in 10 games in the month of March.
Seguin was at the bottom of the left circle calling for the puck, and though Boychuk opted for a wrist shot on net, it worked out when the puck bounced off Bergeron and right to Seguin. The 21-year-old took advantage by firing it into the net with plenty of space.
|Bruins hope they can get and hold leads this time vs. Capitals, Penguins||03.15.13 at 2:10 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins haven’t been thrilled with their level of play of late, so what two better opponents to face this weekend than two of the clubs against whom the B’s have had their most embarrassing moments?
The Bruins will host the Capitals on Saturday before traveling to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins on Sunday. The B’s have blown third-period leads to both teams recently in what both resulted in unflattering losses.
Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period against Washington on March 5 before the Capitals stormed back to tie it with a pair of goals in the second and the equalizer in the third. They won on an Eric Fehr goal in overtime.
While that was a leading candidate for the Bruins’ ugliest loss of the season at the time, at least they got a point out of it. The B’s squandered a 2-0 lead late against the Penguins Tuesday when Pittsburgh scored three goals in the final 6:18 to beat Boston in regulation.
So as the B’s look to improve their level of play after a mediocre showing against the Penguins Thursday night, this weekend should at least provide them plenty of motivation to keep their intensity up.
“Obviously we all know what happened in Washington, which is basically the same thing that happened in Pittsburgh on Tuesday,” David Krejci said Friday. “We all know what happened, so we definitely want to have a good start and have a great 60-minute effort. We need points just like they do. We need them as bad as they do. Obviously we didn’t forget what happened in those games, but it’s a new game starting 0-0.”
The Bruins were 32-0-0 last season when leading entering the third period. This season, they’ve gone 7-3-1 in such games.
“We’ve addressed [wanting] to put together a complete game, a full 60 minutes,” Milan Lucic said. “Last year we didn’t blow a lead in the third period, and this year we’ve managed to blow three. There’s definitely some cracks in our game that we’re trying to fix. There’s a big learning process going through the season and trying to solidify your game and get it to where you want to be to achieve your goal.”
WILMINGTON — One of the most glaring issues on a Bruins team that is winning games despite not firing on all cylinders is the lack of production from their two power forwards in Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton.
The pair has struggled mightily to find the back of the net of late, with Lucic having now gone 10 games without a goal and Horton goal-less in his last eight.
They both got more chances Thursday night against the Panthers, and as they struggle to find the back of the net, their focus is on capitalizing on those chances rather than dwelling on the slump.
“You want to do everything you can to get chances, but you want to get results as well,” Lucic said after Friday’s practice. “For myself especially, it’s been a little frustrating lately to not be able to get a goal here, but you’ve just got to stick with it.”
While Lucic and Horton have had difficulty finding the back of the net, their center in David Krejci finds himself in the midst of one of his most consistent seasons in the NHL. Krejci is third on the B’s with 21 points (six goals, 15 assists), and the longest stretch without a point for him is two games, which has only happened once.
Now it’s just a matter of that success and consistency spreading throughout his line, and Krejci is confident his linemates will find their scoring touch sooner rather than later.
“I think they’re getting chances,” Krejci said. “Maybe Horty’s gotten more chances the last couple games than Looch did, but that means Looch is creating those chances. I think if we’re just playing our game and not trying to be too cute out there, it’s going to come. I think we’ve got good chemistry. It doesn’t just go away forever. I think it’s going to come back and we’re going to put the puck in the net consistently. I’m pretty sure of it. We’ve just got to stick with it, believe that we can do it again. I’m pretty sure it’s coming.”
|Top guns: Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron lead Bruins to win over Leafs||03.07.13 at 9:38 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin set up the game’s first goal with a powerful offensive rush and scored the go-ahead tally as the Bruins avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season with a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs Thursday night at TD Garden. Anton Khudobin got the start in net and stopped 25-of-27 shots for the Bruins (15-3-3), who also managed to stay ahead of the surprising Maple Leafs (15-10-0) in the Northeast Division. Boston has 33 points while the Leafs have 30, with the Bruins enjoying four games in hand on Toronto.
Seguin added his second goal of the night on an empty-net tally with 14.8 seconds left to provide the final score.
Before getting on the board first, the Bruins had several chances in close on Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens. Chris Kelly was denied on a backhander in front. The puck bounced out to Rich Peverley, who couldn’t control the loose puck to put it into the open net. Jay Pandolfo also had a chance on the same shift but was stopped by Scrivens.
It was Pandolfo’s first game filling in on the third line, as Chris Bourque was placed on waivers earlier in the day. The Bruins and Leafs appeared to be headed for a scoreless first period when Seguin picked up a loose puck in front of the Toronto bench and split two defenders. He skated in on Scrivens, who made the initial stop but couldn’t contain the rebound. Patrice Bergeron was there to put in the rebound between the legs on a backhander to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead with 52.3 seconds left in the first.
The Bruins led after 20 minutes, extending their shutout streak over the Leafs to 146 minutes, 47 seconds, which spanned a pair of shutout wins last season and on Feb. 2. The Leafs finally broke through when David Krejci lost a puck in the offensive zone, leading to an odd-man break on a 4-on-4 situation. Nazem Kadri finished off the rush with his 11th goal of the season at 2:32 of the second, ending the shutout streak at 149 minutes, 19 seconds.
But the rest of the second period belonged to the Bruins. Bergeron took control of the puck in the neutral zone and fed Brad Marchand down the left wing. Marchand found Seguin rushing down the right wing and fed him with a circle-to-circle pass. Seguin beat Scrivens for a 2-1 lead at 7:11 for the go-ahead tally. Over the last nine games, the Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line has 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points, with 15 of those points coming in last three games.
Khudobin was big several times in the first and second period, including pad saves on Tyler Bozak in each period.
The Bruins made it 3-1 when the Krejci line finally broke through. Andrew Ference fired a shot from the high slot. Scrivens couldn’t contain the rebound and Krejci was there with the backhander into the open net for a two-goal lead after 40 minutes.
The Leafs made it a one-goal game when Mikhail Grabovski skated to the middle of the left circle and fired a shot through a screen that Khudobin never saw until it was past him and in the net with 5:08 left in regulation. The Bruins had a great chance in the final two minutes to restore their two-goal lead but Scrivens stopped a Bergeron slap shot in close before Seguin’s second goal of the night.
The Bruins helped their cause by killing off all three Toronto power plays, including a brief 5-on-3 in the first period. The Bruins have killed off 79-of-86 penalties this season, good for an NHL-best 91.8 percent rate.
The Bruins are off Friday before hosting the Flyers Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. For more from DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia and the WEEI.com team at the Garden, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Bruins prepare for action-packed March||03.01.13 at 3:24 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Claude Julien kept his top six forwards (among others), five of his six starting defensemen and his No. 1 goalie off the ice Friday, and it wasn’t because they didn’t have their legs Thursday against the Senators, but because they’re going to need their legs this weekend and this month.
March will be an especially busy month for the Bruins after having a lighter schedule to open the season. The B’s have played 17 games since the season began on Jan. 19, but they’ll have 17 games in 31 days in the month of March. That includes four sets of back-to-backs.
“We have to take it game by game,” David Krejci said. “When you look at it as 17 games in a month, that’s a lot. When you look at it game-by-game, it’s not that bad.”
The Bruins are set to host the Lightning Saturday afternoon and the Canadiens Sunday night. The former is an offensively skilled team that’s lost three straight and needs to get its record back to .500 (9-10-1), while the latter is perhaps the NHL’s biggest surprise team, leading the Eastern Conference with 29 points in 20 games.
The Bruins’ 17 games played is the least in the NHL. They’ve actually been the conference’s most productive team, as they’re just a point behind the Habs with three games in hand, but seeing any team above them in the standings is enough to keep them from getting complacent.
“It’s easy to stay motivated right now,” Julien said after Friday’s session. There are teams that are ahead of us and we want to be at the top. You work to get there, and you can’t afford to have any letdowns. Those are all motivational factors that keep us going.”
March’s busy schedule means the B’s will have to go about things differently. There will be less practices and more video work to make up for lost time between games. There will also be more of Anton Khudobin, who will spell Tuukka Rask more frequently than he has thus far. Khudobin has played just three of the Bruins’ first 17 games, but he should get into at least four this month with the back-to-backs. Khudobin will be in net Saturday against the Lightning.
|Bruins come back in third period to beat Canadiens||02.06.13 at 10:10 pm ET|
The Bruins got back on top of the Eastern Conference and gained some much-needed breathing room in the Northeast Division with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Canadiens Wednesday night.
With the B’s trailing 1-0 after 40 minutes of play, Claude Julien switched Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin on the top two lines and saw immediate results. David Krejci‘s line produced goals from Seguin and Krejci in their first two shifts of the third period, giving the B’s a lead from which they wouldn’t look back.
The Habs took a 1-0 lead in the second period thanks to a power-play goal from P.K. Subban. The 23-year-old fired a snap shot from the point that went off Rich Peverley‘s stick and sailed past Tuukka Rask.
The win improved the B’s to 7-1-1 with a conference-best 15 points. The Canadiens fell to 6-3-0 with 12 points.
The Bruins will take Thursday and Friday to prepare for an upcoming back-to-back as they’ll host the Lightning Saturday afternoon at TD Garden before traveling to Buffalo to face the Sabres.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
‘¢ Rask was sensational, as the Habs could have easily had three or four goals over the first two periods. Rask stoned Lars Eller on a breakaway in the first period and came up with a number of other key stops early on.
The Habs also failed to capitalize on plenty of chances. Colby Armstrong missed an easy-tip-in just over a minute into the game, while Tomas Plekanec lost the puck while trying to deke on a breakaway. The veteran center tried to go forehand-to-backhand, but instead lost the puck on what essentially looked a pass into the corner.
‘¢ Good on Julien for shaking up his top six forwards in the third period. Julien switched Horton and Seguin on the top two lines, and it paid off 14 seconds into the period when Krejci hit Seguin in front to produce the game-tying goal. Krejci gave the B’s the lead on the line’s next shift.
‘¢ Seguin found a good time to score his first real goal of the season. Entering the game, Seguin, who led the Bruins with 29 goals a season ago, had only scored one empty-net goal through eight games. He was also quiet in the first two periods periods, failing to register a shot on goal.
‘¢ Speaking of lines, Julien wasn’t afraid to use the “Providence” line of Ryan Spooner between Lane MacDermid and Jamie Tardif. Spooner, who was making his NHL debut, was given significant time on the power play, and Julien trusted the line out there in the third period of a one-goal game.
‘¢ Playing on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in place of the injured Brad Marchand, Gregory Campbell had a strong showing. In addition to his two shots on goal and special teams contributions (he even played on the power play), Campbell came up with a critical pass breakup when he got a stick on a pass intended for Brandon Prust down low with all sorts of open net in the second period.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
‘¢ Milan Lucic took a pair of penalties in the second period, one of which yielded Subban’s power-play goal. Both penalties were drawn by Andrei Markov, with Lucic high-sticking the Montreal blueliner at 8:56 and going off for an unnecessary slash in the offensive zone at 14:09.
Lucic wasn’t the only culprit of a bad offensive zone stick penalty. Chris Kelly went off in the third period for hooking Francis Bouillon in the Habs’ zone with the B’s clinging to a 2-1 lead. The Canadiens would have been able to tie the game on the power play had Max Pacioretty not fanned on a feed from Erik Cole right in front.
‘¢ The ice seemed pretty tilted in the Habs’ favor in the first period. Though the teams went into the first intermission, Montreal outshot Boston 11-4, with the Bruins not getting a shot on goal until Campbell fired a slap shot on Price with 8:35 remaining in the opening period.
|Shawn Thornton skates, Brad Marchand, David Krejci missing from practice||02.04.13 at 10:53 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins forward Shawn Thornton took the ice Monday for the first time since suffering a concussion last Thursday against the Sabres. Thornton did not participate in the team’s practice, but skated prior to his teammates hitting the ice.
Daniel Paille was present at practice after missing Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, while Brad Marchand and David Krejci both missed the skate. Following the practice, Claude Julien gave an update on all players.
“[Paille]’s doing fine. Again, the doctors haven’t cleared him yet but you saw him skating today,” Julien said. “Shawn Thornton skated earlier this morning, so he’s doing really well also. No issues there.
“David Krejci is maintenance and he should be on the ice tomorrow. Brad Marchand is also progressing very well. Right now, there’s nobody that’s a definite no moving forward here for the next game, but obviously we’ll make those decisions tomorrow. Before we leave we should know who can and who can’t play on Wednesday.”
Asked to clarify whether Thornton was part of the group of players potentially eligible to play Wednesday, Julien indicated that Thornton will in all likelihood be held out.
“Probably very doubtful for him, but he’s feeling very good,” Julien said. “He’s been great. He’s symptom-free for a few days now. He biked yesterday, he skated today, so things are going well but obviously there’s a protocol to follow. We’re certainly going to follow that to the letter.”
Marchand missed the second half of Saturday’s win over the Maple Leafs after crashing into the end boards in the second period and appearing to injure his shoulder. Monday marks Krejci’s second missed practice in four days, as he did not practice Friday and played Saturday. The Bruins were off on Sunday.
Paille suffered his injury in the third period of Thursday’s loss to the Sabres. With Krejci not practicing, Jay Pandolfo took his place on the top line, while Gregory Campbell replaced Marchand.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.