|Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask lead Bruins past Senators||02.18.11 at 10:07 pm ET|
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.
|Bruins snap skid with win over Islanders||02.17.11 at 9:27 pm ET|
The Bruins broke a three-game losing streak by turning on the offense against a pair of Islanders goaltenders in a 6-3 victory at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night.
Tyler Seguin had his third multi-point game of the season, as he set up Blake Wheeler‘s goal to open the scoring 55 seconds into the game and added his 10th goal of the season in the second period. Wheeler and David Krejci also had multi-point nights with a goal and an assist apiece. Mark Recchi, Gregory Campbell and Milan Lucic also scored for the Bruins. Lucic now has 24 goals on the season, which leads the team.
After the team jumped out to a 4-0 lead, John Tavares scored the first of his two goals on the game in a back-and-forth second period. Josh Bailey scored the other Islanders’ goal.
Islanders starter Nathan Lawson was scored after Seguin’s goal made it 5-1, and Al Montoya made 13 saves on 14 shots. Tuukka Rask improved to 6-11-1 on the season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Some have been too quick to give Seguin credit where it isn’t due, but it’s safe to say that Seguin was bringing everything Thursday night that he needs to. The 19-year-old was every bit as engaged as the Bruins are hoping for him to be down the stretch. This was highlighted in the second period, where he was persistent enough score his 10th of the season while losing his balance. Later in the period, he dove at the blue line to keep the puck in the offensive zone.
Seguin’s performances weren’t anything special in his first two games following last week’s healthy scratches (in the case of Sunday, it was detrimental in Detroit), but Thursday’s was the type of performance that suggests the youngster is starting to get it.
- As hectic as things were in the second period, it’s good to see Rask turn in a solid performance in the victory. The third goal was preventable, but but considering that he was pulled after two periods and five goals last Friday against the Red Wings, encouraging signs are welcomed for a guy who you have to assume will get more time between now and the end of the season.
- All three lines scored for the Bruins, and their six goals equaled the number they scored in their losing streak. More nights like Thursday would be a welcomed sign for a team that had been outscored 14-6 over their last three.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Michael Ryder‘s minus-1 made him the lone Bruins player with a negative rating on the game. Now at a minus-5 on the season, Ryder is the only Bruin currently on the roster with a negative rating on the year.
- The Bruins went from dominating the first period to playing in a closely contested second period, and that speaks to both the Islanders waking up and the B’s not keeping the pedal to the metal. They still scored three in the second period, but the Islanders’ opportunities against Rask were far more frequent, as the Bruins were outshot, 22-12, in the second.
- Tavares simply did damage. In addition to his two goals, the former first overall pick could have had a hat trick if it weren’t for a third-period bid behind Rask sliding across the crease.
|Bruins trail Red Wings, 2-1, after first period||02.11.11 at 7:43 pm ET|
The Red Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first 3:10 Friday, but David Krecji’s first goal in 21 games has the B’s down by just one entering the second.
The Wings got on the board just 1:10 into the game when Todd Bertuzzi beat Tuukka Rask on Detroit’s first shot of the game. Henrik Zetterberg got a secondary assist on the play, giving him 42 helpers on the season.
Detroit’s second shot also yielded a goal, as Jiri Hudler hit Daniel Clearly in front of the net, with the right winger picking up his 17th goal of the season.
With the Bruins on the power play, Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard came out of his net slightly to tend to Milan Lucic on a Zdeno Chara shot. Lucic gained possession of the puck and def it to Krecji, who sent it into the unoccupied net for an easy goal.
The Red Wings outshot the Bruins, 12-7.
|Bruins struggle on power play in loss to Sharks||02.05.11 at 4:59 pm ET|
On the Bruins’ first power play of Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Sharks, Milan Lucic had a golden opportunity to tie the game up. A Zdeno Chara one-timer led to a rebound at the left side of the net and gave Lucic a brief look at an open cage. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Lucic’s bid went wide right.
That was the closest the Bruins would get on the power play, as they ultimately finished the game 0-for-4 on the man advantage. Not only did they fail to get another great look on their final three power plays, but they struggled to even get set up in the offensive zone.
“Our power play tonight had a tough time,” said coach Claude Julien. “Tonight was probably one of the tougher times we’ve had at getting the puck in. When we did get it in, we weren’t winning those battles for loose pucks and they kept shooting it back down the ice. That was probably, to me, the biggest difference in tonight’s game.”
The Bruins have now gone 0-for-12 on the power play over their last five games and 1-for-19 over their last seven. Julien said Saturday’s problems with getting organized and maintaining possession don’t really reflect how the power play has performed lately, though.
“I think the other night against Dallas, even though we didn’t score, our power play was good,” Julien said. “We moved the puck well and we had some chances and we didn’t score. … So we really felt our power play had taken a stride in the right direction. Tonight was a totally different case. We weren’t good enough in that area. This is our best players having to be at their best.”
Julien credited the Sharks with doing a good job on the penalty kill, but he also said his players could’ve made better decisions with the puck to try and overcome that.
“They were here the other night watching us, obviously, and they made some adjustments with their PK,” Julien said. “At the same time, we still have other options, and I don’t think our guys always took the best options. Consequently, we weren’t getting in clean.”
As much as the power play struggled, David Krejci said he liked some of the chances the Bruins generated on it in the first period. He also said he thinks it has looked pretty good lately despite the dearth of goals.
He pointed out that if Lucic’s rebound bid had gone in instead of going wide, he probably wouldn’t have to answer questions about the power play’s struggles.
“If that goes in,” Krejci said, “it would be a different game and we wouldn’t be talking about how the power play was bad tonight.”
|David Krejci stuck with wrong sticks||at 4:38 pm ET|
David Krejci knows that after the B’s were shut out Saturday, it’s in his hands to keep the top line producing. Right now, he just doesn’t like what’s in his hands.
Krejci, who has a contract with Bauer, has been in a bit of an unusual spot over the last couple of games. An issue with manufacturing the stick he uses each night has left him using a stick he’s had trouble getting a feel for.
“This stick sucks, and that’s all I’ve got,” Krejci, in his usual calm demeanor, said after Saturday’s game. “You can put it up on TV or in the papers. I don’t care. This stick sucks.”
The irony in the situation, of course, is that Krejci is a happy user of Bauer and loves the stick that he usually plays with. The problem is that the factory that manufactures his stick, for whatever reason, will not be able to produce his model of choice again until Feb. 11, and as a result, he’s left with the type he used to use earlier in his career.
“We ordered the sticks, my guy said they were coming [when] he ordered them,” the center said. “The trainers called them again because they didn’t come in the mail and they said, ‘Oh yeah, we’ve closed the factory and we’re going to open it up again. We’re not making any sticks until Feb. 11,’ so they sent me the sticks that I used to use a long time ago.”
Krejci fell out of love with the stick when he used them earlier in his career, but it seems he’ll have to get used to them over the next few games.
“That was the reason why I changed from those sticks to the new ones I’m using, because I don’t like these ones,” he said. “I changed them because I didn’t like them anymore, but [now] it’s the only thing I can have.”
Krejci hasn’t scored in 19 games, though he has five assists over his last six games. The center, who is accountable when it comes to his game, stressed that he wasn’t talking about his own performance or suggesting that his unhappiness with the stick has hurt his play.
“I’m not making excuses for my game,” Krejci said. “I just don’t like that stick. That’s all it is.”
This isn’t the first time a Bruins player has had a peculiar hangup regarding equipment. Blake Wheeler had issues with his skates last season before switching to CCM for this season.
|Only soreness for David Krejci after injury scare||01.27.11 at 1:06 am ET|
The Bruins aren’t exactly in a position to lose a skill center. Given Marc Savard‘s latest concussion, the team can play the “been there, done that” card with regard to such a scenario.
That’s why when David Krejci took a hit from Rostislav Olesz, crashed into the boards and remained down for a few minutes before leaving and making toward the tunnel in the first period, it was a clear-cut case of something the Bruins didn’t need.
“When he first went down, the last thing you want to see is [him] not come back,” coach Claude Julien said after the game. “We’re already minus one pretty good centerman so you certainly don’t want to lose that second one.”
Yet Krejci, who appeared to be in shoulder pain while down on the ice, didn’t end up missing a shift for the B’s. He was back on the bench shortly after the play and knew he was good to go.
“It wasn’t my shoulder, it was like my whole arm getting tweaked going for position and it was a little uncomfortable for a few seconds, so I stayed on the ice,” Krejci said. “It got a little better so it’s sore but obviously nothing major.
“I waited on the ice a long time and when I was skating off it felt a little better. I didn’t know if it was the shoulder or something. But when I was skating off the ice I knew the shoulder was fine so I was pretty sure I would come back.”
Krejci returned to make a huge play for the B’s, winning the faceoff that set up Milan Lucic’s second-period goal, the tally that proved to be the game-winner when all was said and done.
If any of the soreness lingers for Krejci, it couldn’t come at a better time. Teams now break for All-Star weekend, and the center and most of his teammates will have the next five days to rest up.
“There’s no doubt these next five days will be good for him and probably a lot of the other players too that are playing a little banged up,” Julien said. “It is, I guess, a break that we needed. We certainly didn’t need him going down and not getting him back.”
|Milan Lucic adds to Bruins lead in second period||01.26.11 at 8:37 pm ET|
Milan Lucic is a 20-goal-scorer for the first time, and after two periods the Bruins lead the Panthers, 2-0.
David Krejci, who had an injury scare on the first period after crashing into the boards, made the second period memorable for a more positive reason. The pivot won a face-off clean in the Panthers zone and drew it back to Lucic, who scored on a snapshot at 1:52. Lucic’s career-high for goals in a season was 17, which he scored in 2008-09, a season in which he played 72 games.
There were no penalties in the period, and through two the only penalty came in the form of a first-period high-sticking call on Panthers forward Christopher Higgins.
The shutout remains intact for Tim Thomas, with the B’s outshooting the Panthers, 26-19.
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