|Picture perfect: Jaromir Jagr scores only goal, Tuukka Rask spotless in 1-0 win||04.04.13 at 9:26 pm ET|
Jaromir Jagr was the main attraction but Tuukka Rask stole the show.
Rask turned aside all 40 shots while Jagr scored the only goal in his Boston debut as the Bruins edged the New Jersey Devils, 1-0, Thursday night at TD Garden. The win was an important one for the Bruins, who improve to 24-8-4. Boston has 52 points and kept pace with first-place Montreal in Northeast Division. The Bruins trail the Canadiens by just one point heading into another showdown north of the border Saturday night.
Jagr finished with a team-leading five shots in 19 shifts, which including 19 minutes, 12 seconds of ice time. He also had one hit, one blocked shots and one giveaway in his first game with the Bruins since being acquired from Dallas on Tuesday. One game after allowing 47 shots on net in a 3-2 win over Ottawa, the Bruins allowed the Devils to fire 40 shots.
Fans were ready for the debut of Jagr early on Thursday night at the Garden. As he took the ice for the pre-game skate, fans cheered him, the last Bruin to take the ice for warmups.
Jagr’s debut included a standing ovation in his first shift, the third overall of the game for the Bruins. As was the case in the morning skate, Tyler Seguin centered Jagr’s line with Jagr on the right wing and Brad Marchand on the left.
His first period was active, if not productive. He was on the ice for six shifts, totaling five minutes, 58 seconds. He had two shots and a blocked shot but the game was scoreless after 20 minutes. The Devils, after getting outplayed in the first four minutes of the game, dominated the final 15 minutes, outshooting the Bruins, 17-6, for the period.
While all eyes were on No. 68 every time he stepped on the ice, Rask was the bigger story as he made big save after big save, including a pair of back-to-back right pad saves on Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson from the low slot midway through the period. Minutes later, Rask turned away Adam Henrique on blocker save.
The Bruins and Jagr finally broke through in the second period as a centering pass from Marchand ricocheted off Jagr’s left skate and through the five-hole of Martin Brodeur just 80 seconds into the period for a 1-0 Boston lead. It was the 640th goal of Jagr’s career and 18th against Brodeur in 64 career meetings.
Six minutes later, the Bruins and their fans got a good look at another reason why management went out and acquired the 41-year-old veteran. When David Clarkson took an interference penalty, Jagr was placed on the power play for the full two minutes. He was stopped by Brodeur in close on a backhander and spent a majority of the time behind the net, though he did have one giveaway on the man advantage. Jagr was on the first power play unit with Zdeno Chara, Nathan Horton, Marchand and Seguin.
The Bruins applied serious pressure in the final two minutes of the second but Brodeur turned away Gregory Campbell and Marchand to keep it a one-goal game.
Rask kept up the sterling play in the third, highlighted by another big pad save on Andy Greene with just under eight minutes left in regulation. Greene broke through the Bruins defense and had a clean look but Rask stopped the wrister in close.
The Bruins are off Friday before leaving for a Saturday night date with the Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal. For complete coverage of Jagr’s debut from the Garden from DJ Bean and Mike Petraglia, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Jaromir Jagr to play with Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand||at 12:01 pm ET|
When the Bruins acquired Jaromir Jagr, it seemed a question of whether he would play on Boston’s first line or third line. As it turns out, Patrice Bergeron‘s concussion had a big say in the matter, as Jagr took part in his first morning skate with the Bruins on the second line, with Tyler Seguin at center.
The lines in morning skate were as follows:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Tyler Seguin – Jaromir Jagr
Jay Pandolfo – Rich Peverley – Kaspars Daugavins
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton
Though Seguin was drafted as a center after playing mostly center in the OHL, he has primarily been a right wing in his time in the NHL. With Bergeron out, he’ll be given more responsibility initially, although the Bruins have lots of players capable of playing center on their roster (including the recently acquired Kaspars Daugavins), so if the trial period doesn’t go well, Claude Julien will have other options.
“We put him there because we think he can [handle] it,” Julien said of Seguin. “We’ll see. It’s a great opportunity for him. He’s played there most of his career and giving him that opportunity is something that I think he deserves. We’ll see how it goes, and if not, coaches will do what they do. They adjust.”
The morning skate also marked the return of Chris Kelly, whom the Bruins expect to return to the lineup shortly, though not Thursday. Tuukka Rask was the first goaltender off the ice, and will start vs. the Devils after Anton Khudobin played Boston’s last two games.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Andy Brickley on M&M: Keith Yandle, Mark Streit, Dan Boyle possible Bruins targets as trade deadline approaches||04.03.13 at 12:34 pm ET|
NESN’s Andy Brickley spoke with Mut & Merloni on Wednesday about what the Bruins could do in the last few hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline and where he sees Jaromir Jagr fitting into the lineup.
Brickley said he thinks the Bruins would do best to add a defenseman before the deadline, and that the three names he’s seen thrown around most are Keith Yandle, Dan Boyle and Mark Streit.
“I’ve been a big Yandle fan for a long time because he’s a local kid, and you’ve always got to pull for them,” Brickley said. “Boyle’s a proven winner, won a Stanley Cup. He’s a right-handed shot who would fit nice on a power play right now with Dougie Hamilton, who’s really your only right-handed shot you can put on the back end if you’re playing with your four forwards. Boyle can run a pretty good power play. But I think Streit’s the guy that’s probably the most attainable when you talk about what you’re going to give up to get what you want. I think those are the three names that are probably pretty attractive to Boston right now.”
Brickley noted that the Bruins haven’t been afraid to deal high draft picks and top prospects in the past to get the players they want, especially during their 2011 Stanley Cup run.
“Maybe you have to deal a current asset that’s not a future first-round pick if the expectation is that conditional second turns into a first in that deal for Jagr,” Brickley said. “I do like the fact that the Bruins are willing to make those kinds of trades. When you take a look at … how they constructed that 2011 Cup team, they dealt first-rounders, whether they were future first-rounders or current first-rounders that were at some point in their development. In the [Mark] Recchi deal they dealt that kid [Matt] Lashoff. He was a first-rounder. The [Rich] Peverley deal, two first-rounders, [Mark] Stuart and [Blake] Wheeler. The [Nathan] Horton-[Gregory] Campbell deal, that was [Dennis] Wideman and a first-rounder, and even [Tomas] Kaberle, that was two first-rounders, [Joe] Colborne and a future first-rounder. So they’ve shown that they will do what they need to do when they target those certain players.”
Jagr seems likely to start out playing on David Krejci‘s wing, although Brickley noted that sometimes linemates don’t click even if the pairing seem logical.
“I think it’s only natural that they try to hook him up with David Krejci, but sometimes that doesn’t work out,” Brickley said. “I would never make the analogy that [Michael] Ryder is a Jaromir Jagr, but when Ryder was acquired by Boston, the expectation was that he was playing with a top-two centerman, whether it was [Patrice] Bergeron or Krejci or a healthy Marc Savard, for that matter. He probably did his most damage in the playoffs playing on the third line with [Chris] Kelly and Peverley. So you never know what kind of chemistry you’re going to get when you hook certain players up.”
On whether the Bruins need to add a forward or defenseman at the deadline: “I don’t know if it’s a necessity because I think this is still a pretty strong team if everyone’s healthy on their back end. I’d like to see them, and I think everyone would like to see the Bruins do that. The players in the room would certainly like to see another defenseman of NHL quality, somewhere in a top-five as far as their rating.
|Shooting gallery: B’s fire 50 shots, beat Sens in key division battle||04.02.13 at 9:36 pm ET|
The Bruins found the perfect way to celebrate the acquisition of superstar Jaromir Jagr.
Nathan Horton scored with just under 10 minutes left in regulation and the Bruins managed 50 shots on goal in a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at TD Garden. For Horton, who could be facing demotion to the team’s third line with the Jagr addition, scored in his fourth straight game. Back-up goalie Anton Khoudobin made his second straight start and stopped 45 of 47 shots he faced to earn the win, his eighth of the season against three losses. The two teams combined for 97 shots on goal.
The win was big for the Bruins, who improved to 23-8-4 and reached 50 points on the season. They are just one point behind Montreal for the division lead and now six points up on third-place Ottawa in the division.
The only concern from the game came early in the second period when Patrice Bergeron collided with Colin Greening and did not return.
In an up-tempo first period, the two teams combined for 40 shots, 21 by the Bruins, including five by Tyler Seguin. It was Seguin who gave the Bruins the lead, snapping a 1-1 tie when he took a perfect feed from Brad Marchand and fired a shot into the net vacated by goalie Robin Lehner.
The game didn’t start off well for Boston as a Dennis Seidenberg turnover left the puck all alone for Colin Greening in front of Khudobin. Greening’s backhander beat the Boston goalie far side just 2:48 into the game for a 1-0 Ottawa lead. The Bruins countered just 50 seconds later when David Krejci redirected a Zdeno Chara slap shot from the high slot past Lehner. The Bruins got the go-ahead tally from Seguin just 61 seconds later.
The two teams continued their fast play in the second period but couldn’t put the puck in the net.
A bizarre turn of events and instant replay led to a tie game just two minutes into the third. Khudobin appeared to make a spectacular sprawling save on Andre Benoit‘s shot from the slot. The puck appeared to bounce off the crossbar and back into play. But after a stoppage, the officials were called over to review the play and replays showed that the puck disappeared under the crossbar and hit the top of the net, resulting in a game-tying goal.
With 13 minutes left in regulation, Seguin grabbed a loose puck and skated in alone on Lehner but lost an edge after not being able to get a clean shot on the Senators goalie. Three minutes later, Lehner turned aside Rich Peverley on a 2-on-1 break. But the Bruins kept working and got their break when Dougie Hamilton crushed Erik Condra with a big, clean hit in the Bruins zone. That led moments later to a scrum in front of Lehner and a goal from Horton at 10:21, putting Boston on top, 3-2.
The Bruins had to hold on for final 32.3 seconds as Johnny Boychuk was called for interference in front of Khudobin. With their net empty, the Senators had a 6-on-4 for the final half-minute but could not score.
The Bruins are off on Wednesday – trade deadline day in the NHL – and will get the services of newly acquired Jaromir Jagr on Thursday for their next game, a home date with the Devils.
For more from DJ Bean and Mike Petraglia from the Garden, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|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.
|Brad Marchand says Tyler Seguin is ‘pressure’ free now, and it shows||03.08.13 at 1:18 pm ET|
Forget the pressure of playing against his hometown Leafs on Thursday. After all, Tyler Seguin has proven that’s not really pressure at all. It’s inspiration.
The true pressure test came early in the season in the form of expectations for the budding superstar of the Bruins.
On Sept. 11, he signed a six-year, $34.5 million contract extension with the Bruins, when he was still 20 years of age. He then lit it up in Switzerland during the four-month NHL lockout, just to stay sharp. Stay sharp he did with 25 goals and 15 assists in 29 games with Biel.
He started relatively slowly with three goals and seven assists in his first 17 games. But since the calendar turned to March he’s been on fire. He has four goals in two assists in four games in March and has turned the Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand line into the most productive on the team.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure on him coming into the year with his new contract and with how well he did over in Switzerland,” Marchand said after Thursday’s 4-2 win over the Leafs in which he had two goals and an assist. “I think he was feeling pressure a bit because a lot of people were saying a lot of things about him, and it seems like right now he’s just very calm and confident, and he’s not really worried about anything else. He’s just focused on playing, and when he does that he’s a great player, and you see it night in and night out right now. He’s making a difference.”
Funny, it’s the assist he got that impressed everyone the most. After Marchand fought for a loose puck near the Toronto bench, he picked it up and made like a missile for the Leafs goal in the final minute of the first period. He was stopped but the rebound was left for Bergeron to tap home for a 1-0 lead.
“When Segs is on his game that’s the kind of things he does,” Marchand marveled. “He takes the puck to the net hard, and he uses speed and skill, and you saw that in the first goal, you saw it in the second goal, and I guess again on the third one. His speed, that’s how he has to play.”
In 14 career games against his hometown Leafs (actually, he grew up in nearby Brampton, Ont.), he has 10 goals and six assists. Any extra bounce for the player who is the reason for the “Thank you, Kessel” chants at TD Garden?
“I’d like to say no,” Seguin said with a smile. “I mean I try to prepare for every game but [Thursday] I thought we did a good job, I think all of our goals our line scored so it was a total line effort whether it was winning battles or making nice passes.
Is there is a little more relief now that these pucks are hitting the back of the net?
“Yeah, you could say that,” Seguin said. “I think every guy in here likes to score and I’m no exception so definitely feels good.
“I think the last couple weeks I’ve just been playing good in my D-Zone and competing a lot more than I think I was in the start of the season. Over in Europe I think I was circling a bit more and didn’t really have to battle, I don’t even know if I got hit over there for the few months I was there but I had to find that game again with me, and I think it’s coming around now.”
The fire everyone always wanted to see from Seguin has been lit. How long will it burn?
“I mean I think it just comes with not producing and just getting more determined and getting back to focusing on the little things more than the big picture or the statistics, I’m starting with that and things are rolling from there,” he said. “I mean it feels good. I think again, like I was saying, as a whole, as a line, I think we’re playing really well, we’re moving the puck well and winning battles and I think with our experience with each other over the last two years those two the last three, it’s really clicking right now.”
Seguin couldn’t help but get a little friendly jab in at Marchand when reminded that he’s scoring all the goals that Marchand was getting from his assists early in the season.
“I just gave it to March [early in the season],” Seguin said. “What else are you going to do, look at the stats?
Well, that’s not a bad place now for No. 19.
|Patrice Bergeron line stays hot for Bruins||at 1:07 am ET|
David Krejci’s goal proved to be the game-winner, but it was the exception in Thursday’s 4-2 Bruins victory over Toronto: the only Boston goal that didn’t involve Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin or Brad Marchand.
Seguin picked up two goals and an assist, Bergeron a goal and two assists, and Marchand two assists. If Marchand had touched the puck before Bergeron on the game’s final goal, an empty-netter by Seguin, all three would have had a hand in three different goals on the night.
Success is nothing unusual for that line, which features three of the Bruins’ top four scorers. But with Seguin picking up his scoring pace after a slow start and Marchand beginning to rack up assists as well as goals, they’re proving they can combine to put the puck in the net in any number of ways.
Marchand had one assist through his first 12 games and now has seven in his last eight. He attributed that shift, jokingly, to Seguin’s newly rediscovered goal-scoring ability.
“Well, it’s nice to see [Seguin] start finishing,” Marchand said, sarcastically complaining. “It was getting a little frustrating there early on. It’s nice for him to finally get a couple and get his confidence up with the [empty-netter].
“That stuff happens,” he continued in a serious tone. “Goals come in bunches, assists come in bunches and there will be a bunch of games where you don’t get anything. It’s just how it goes.”
Seguin did find the empty net with 15 seconds left in the game, but he also found a hole on Toronto goalie Ben Scrivens in the second period for his sixth goal of the year. Marchand chipped the puck past Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf to Seguin, and Seguin fired it over Scrivens’ outstretched leg pad to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
“I saw [Seguin] all alone, and I guess no one is really threatened by him right now because he’s not scoring, so it’s just nice to see him finish,” Marchand joked.
The Bruins’ first goal made use of all three players’ skills: Marchand dug out the puck along the boards to send Seguin on a breakaway from the blue line, and Bergeron followed through to knock the rebound past Scrivens.
Marchand said that kind of hard work and positioning, as well as his play in the defensive zone, are what set Bergeron apart as an elite player.
“When I came here, Bergy was a guy that I always found myself watching because he always prides himself on getting better,” Marchand said. “He always wants to learn and improve his game.”
The trio received the game’s three stars — Marchand third, Seguin second and Bergeron first — allowing them to be recognized, fittingly, as a unit.
“We have a lot of fun out there, and it seems like we’re continuing to build and find each other a little bit more each game,” Marchand said. “We work pretty hard on and off the ice to talk to each other and figure things out, and it’s a lot of fun playing with those guys.”