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Bruins score 3 power-play goals, pull away from Predators late 12.23.13 at 10:35 pm ET
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Bruins forward Jarome Iginla celebrates after scoring in the first period of Monday night's victory over the Predators. (AP)

Bruins forward Jarome Iginla celebrates after scoring in the first period of Monday night’s victory over the Predators. (AP)

The Bruins scored a season-high three power-play goals Monday night as they beat the Predators, 6-2, in their final game before breaking for Christmas.

Jarome Iginla redirected a Zdeno Chara shot past Carter Hutton just 1:16 into the game, with Matt Fraser scoring his first goal as a Bruin shortly after off a rebound that was bad enough for the Predators to replace Hutton with Marek Mazanek. The B’s made it 3-0 on Reilly Smith‘s second power-play goal in as many games.

The Predators got on the board in the second period with a Craig Smith power-play goal and made it a one-goal game on Smith’s second of the game at 3:25 of the third, but the Bruins got two goals out of a 5-on-3 and subsequent 5-on-4 from Iginla and Carl Soderberg, respectively. Brad Marchand made it 6-2 off a feed from Smith late in the third.

Ryan Spooner had three assists as he continues to get comfortable at the NHL level. Tuukka Rask made 29 saves in the win, which was the 400th of Claude Julien‘s coaching career.

The Bruins will break for Christmas and return to action Friday against the Senators.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Both power-play units have been very good, and the B’s weren’t so bad on the 5-on-3 either. With Chara back at the point on a third-period two-man advantage, the Bruins got a goal from David Krejci‘s unit and then got Soderberg’s goal with Paul Gaustad still in the box. The goals came within 50 seconds.

– For the second straight game, the Bruins got a power-play goal out of Soderberg feeding Smith from the goal line. It was the fourth time the B’s have scored on that play, but perhaps the biggest takeaway with that goal is that the second power-play unit of Smith, Soderberg, Spooner, Patrice Bergeron and David Warsofsky has moved the puck extremely well the last two games.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– With a second-period hooking penalty, Bergeron now has 15 penalty minutes in the last four games.

- It was nice to see Adam McQuaid back, but he ended up missing most of the first period after a fight on his second shift. McQuaid returned to the game late in the period, but maybe fighting isn’t the smartest thing for a player who should be easing his way back.

With McQuaid returning to the lineup, the Bruins elected to make Matt Bartkowski a healthy scratch and keep Warsofsky in the lineup. Bartkowski hadn’t looked great playing on a pairing with Dennis Seidenberg, while Warsofsky’s work on the second power-play unit probably was reason enough for the Bruins to keep him in.

Read More: Claude Julien, Jarome Iginla, Reilly Smith, Ryan Spooner
Report: Bruins send Ryan Spooner back to Providence 11.03.13 at 3:22 pm ET
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According to Kirk Luedeke, the Bruins have sent forward Ryan Spooner back to Providence. Spooner was recalled Thursday and has played in the Bruins’ last two games, picking up a secondary assist in each contest.

With Spooner back in Providence, the Bruins can insert Jordan Caron back into the lineup after the 23-year-old spent the last two games as a healthy scratch. It is also an indication that Loui Eriksson, who is back skating, is getting closer to making a return to the lineup.

Eriksson skated in Saturday’s morning skate (non-contact), and it is currently unknown whether he has been cleared to take contact. Whether he participates in practice Monday will be very telling in that regard.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Loui Eriksson, Ryan Spooner,
Bruins recall Ryan Spooner from Providence 10.31.13 at 4:24 pm ET
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The Bruins recalled forward Ryan Spooner from Providence Thursday. The 21-year-old will be available for Thursday night’s game against the Ducks.

Spooner has two goals and five assists for seven points in eight games for Providence this season. The 2010 second-round pick was one of the team’s final cuts in training camp, but he could find his way into the NHL lineup with Carl Soderberg struggling.

 

Read More: Ryan Spooner,
Bruins send Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Matt Fraser, Matt Lindblad to Providence 09.28.13 at 10:09 am ET
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The Bruins made four cuts from camp Saturday morning, with Ryan Spooner and Niklas Svedberg the two most notable. With Svedberg cut, Chad Johnson has won the backup goaltending job. Also sent to Providence were Matt Fraser and Matt Lindblad.

Prior to the announcement of the cuts, Spooner gave word of his assignment on Twitter.

Spooner impressed in camp, but with all four center positions locked up there was no feasible spot for him. He has never played wing competitively and the team is not interested in moving him from center, where his smarts and playmaking ability should make him a top-six player at the NHL level down the road.

With Spooner sent down, it would appear the team’s extra forward spot is down to Nick Johnson and Jordan Caron. Both could make the team if the B’s elect to keep 14 forwards. Since Spooner is on his entry level deal, he can be sent to Providence without being subject to waivers, whereas the B’s would risk losing Johnson or Caron to waivers by sending them down.

As for Svedberg, the Bruins were able to save $400,000 off the cap by sending him to Providence rather than Johnson. Svedberg has a $1 million NHL cap hit to Johnson’s $600,000, while Svedberg being on a two-way deal means he’ll be paid $70,000 at the AHL level. Johnson, who is a on a one-way deal, would be paid $600,000 either way.

Neither goalie was necessarily better than the other in camp, making it more sensible to keep Johnson over Svedberg.

With these moves having been made, there are two left to be made. Bobby Robins (out with a knee injury) and Kevan Miller figure to go back to Providence, while the team will also make a decision to move Johnson or Caron down (or out) or keep both.

Read More: Jordan Caron, Niklas Svedberg, Ryan Spooner,
Takeaways from Bruins’ 3-2 win over Capitals: Power play strong again; Ryan Spooner impresses 09.23.13 at 9:55 pm ET
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Chris Kelly scored in overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 win over the Capitals in their final home game of the preseason Monday night at TD Garden.

They’ll finish out the preseason later this week with a pair of games against the Jets before opening up the regular season at home next Thursday against the Lightning.

The Bruins iced the following lineup:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Soderberg – Kelly – Smith
Caron – Spooner – Johnson
Paille – Lindblad – Thornton

Chara – Boychuk
Bartkowski – McQuaid
Seidenber – Miller

Here are some takeaways from the game:

- The Bruins got a power-play goal with who else but Zdeno Chara in front. Chara tipped a Dennis Seidenberg shot from from the point past Braden Holtby in the second period to tie the game at one. This is the power play the Bruins used and had been working on in practice earlier in the day:

Krejci – Seidenberg
Iginla – Lucic
Chara

The B’s also got a 5-on-3 goal from Chara at the point with Seidenberg, while Jarome Iginla was up front with David Krejci and Milan Lucic on the wings.

- There were quite a few fights, with Kevan Miller squaring off with Aaron Colpatti, Lucic and Johnny Boychuk dropping the gloves with Joel Rechlicz in separate fights. Additionally, Adam McQuaid and Dane Byers fought at the same time as Nick Johnson and Michal Cajkovsky in the third period.

Players can and do work on their technique in practice without having to land punches, so there isn’t much of a point in risking injury (or suspension if things get out of hand like they did in Toronto on Sunday night) during the preseason. Lots of fights = lots of unnecessary risk.

- Ryan Spooner was one of the best players on the ice for the B’s as he continues to try to force the team to make a tough decision. The team isn’t interested in making him a wing, and they probably shouldn’t be given that Reilly Smith has had a strong camp, but Spooner could at the very least push to be the team’s extra forward. At the very least, Spooner is outperforming Jordan Caron, who entered camp as a favorite to earn the 13th forward spot.

- Smith looked good in the first period and was kind of underwhelming the rest of the way. He came out flying on his first shift and made a fool out of Connor Carrick in the offensive zone as he cycled the puck to himself, and in general the former Star seems to be everything that Caron is supposed to be. He’s good in his own end and tough to out-muscle, which is strange because he’s two inches shorter and more than 35 pounds lighter than Caron. Either way, Smith plays bigger than his body and is making a good case to keep that third-line right wing job. Smith was on the ice for both of Washington’s goals, however, with the first goal coming on Smith’s first PK shift of the night.

- The Bruins allowed just seven shots on goal through the first 53-plus minutes of the game, but two of them went past Tuukka Rask. The Caps could have scored on what would have been their eighth shot following a Krejci turnover in the third period, but Miller was able to break up the 2-on-1 bid before the Caps could get a shot on goal. The B’s outshot the Capitals, 37-12, in regulation.

- Speaking of Krejci and turnovers, he made some in the offensive zone in what certainly wasn’t his prettiest game. He’s also gotten rather drop-pass happy.

Read More: Chris Kelly, David Krejci, Jordan Caron, Reilly Smith
Bruins assign Ryan Spooner to Providence 03.24.13 at 11:25 am ET
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The Bruins assigned center Ryan Spooner back to Providence Sunday. Spooner, who was recalled Monday following David Krejci‘s knee injury against the Penguins, played in the last three games for the Bruins.

Spooner, a second-round pick in 2010, didn’t collect a point in his stint with the B’s and has no points and an even rating in four NHL games this season.

Read More: David Krejci, Ryan Spooner,
Andy Brickley: Bruins ‘should have close-out ability,’ ‘haven’t shown it consistently enough’ 03.20.13 at 12:21 pm ET
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Andy Brickley

NESN’s Andy Brickley spoke with Mut & Merloni Wednesday about why the Bruins have struggled to maintain leads, what general manager Peter Chiarelli might do before the trade deadline, and how the lineup could be shuffled after some recent injuries.

On Tuesday, the Bruins gave up three third-period goals and lost 3-1 to the Jets. Brickley said the way the B’s have played with leads, especially late in games, has been problematic.

“With one-goal leads, even sometimes two-goal leads — for some reason, their inability to make plays when it’s coming out of their own zone, at center ice, when they do have possession, putting pucks into areas in the offensive zone, it requires discipline,” Brickley said. “You don’t want to have to play that way, because you have the lead and you think you can extend the lead by making plays, when the real play is to put pucks in areas to force the other team to have to go and then have to come 200 feet.

“Games are going that way this year because of the 48-game schedule. Things are different this year. Those are not excuses for this Bruins team, because they’re better than they’re showing. They should have close-out ability and they haven’t shown it consistently enough. That said, they’re still in pretty darn good shape.”

There’s been talk of the Bruins pursuing a stay-at-home defenseman to help support Dougie Hamilton before the April 3 trade deadline. However, Brickley said they may make a play for an offense-oriented defenseman instead, despite the potential cost of such a trade.

“As much as we like Dougie Hamilton and what he’s brought to this team, you still see his minutes reduced late in the game, when they’re playing good competition, playoff teams, and goals are hard to come by,” Brickley said. “He’s not the player that you can look at and say, April, May and June, he’s going to be real good for us. That would be a total guess. So maybe you do have to add a puck-moving defenseman, and that’s probably where the premium is at, but there are a lot of puck-moving defensemen … that would be available.”

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Read More: Andy Brickley, Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Spooner,
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