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Officiating blunder costs Bruins in first period 03.26.11 at 1:41 pm ET
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The Bruins fell victim to an officiating error in the first period, and it shows on the scoreboard as the Rangers hold a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.

Marian Gaborik had to reach back for the puck after entering the offensive zone with about six and a half minutes into the game. When no off-sides call was made, Michael Sauer fired a shot from the point off the following face-off that forward Derek Stepan would redirect past Tuukka Rask at 6:39.

The Bruins weren’t able to respond in short order, as Tyler Seguin was called for interference just over two minutes later. The period featured one fight, with Gregory Campbell dropping the gloves with Sean Avery at 2:44.

After one, the Rangers hold a 9-8 advantage in shots on goal.

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Ray Bourque on M&M: Bruins ‘shouldn’t lose’ to Canadiens in potential playoff series 03.25.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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Bruins legend Ray Bourque appeared on the Mut & Merloni show Friday to talk about the NHL’s crackdown on hits to the head, rookie Tyler Seguin and what to expect from the Bruins in the playoffs. To hear the interview, visit the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Bourque said that not only are hits to the head more noticeable now because of the NHL’s crackdown, but also because it seems like there are just more of them. “I think some of the stuff has changed,” Bourque said. “You might’ve seen certain hits that were similar in our day, but it seems like there were less head shots.

“Just flagrant elbows to the head, you’re seeing a lot more it seems like, like [Matt] Cooke a few times that he’s done,” Bourque continued. “I don’t think you used to see that as much. I’m not sure why you’re seeing more of that now, if it’s lack of respect for each other out there or what. I’m happy that they’re really trying to cut it down.”

Bourque also discussed Mark Recchi’s comments about the Canadiens embellishing the severity of Max Pacioretty’s concussion after Zdeno Chara‘s hit on him. Bourque said that sometimes it’s necessary for a veteran leader to step up and take some pressure of a teammate.

“That was a nice veteran move and great leadership in terms of taking a little of the pressure off and moving it on him and bringing some things up for question that were being talked about,” he said.

The guys asked Bourque about Seguin and some of the challenges he’s facing as a rookie, particularly when it comes to the physical play in the NHL. “Well, I think that’s a big part of it, the physical part of the game,” Bourque said. “But also, he’s such a young guy. You’ll look at this kid three years from now, in terms of maturity mentally and physically, he’s going to be in a different place. That’s what he has to gain and he has to grow.

“And he’s in a different situation than Taylor Hall,” Bourque added. “Taylor Hall, [the Oilers] can play him all they want. He can make mistakes and they can keep throwing him out there. That’s not the case with the Bruins. The Bruins are going for something here. Every shift is an important one for them.”

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Mark Recchi sees Tyler Seguin becoming a ‘good pro’ late in his rookie year at 4:34 am ET
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The 43-year-old likes what the 19-year-old has been doing. (AP)

Tyler Seguin might not be showing up on the score sheets, but he’s certainly been leaving a positive impression with his play of late. The rookie isn’t shying away from contact the way he had earlier in the season, and took it a step further Thursday.

Seguin, a skill player, has avoided scrums on the ice, as many skill players do. Yet Thursday, with Mark Recchi getting caught up with Paul Mara after the whistle in front of Carey Price‘s net, Seguin came to his teammate’s aid, exchanging a few shoves with Habs blueliner Brent Sopel. There was no shortage of praise from Recchi after the game.

“His growth the last month has been wonderful,” Recchi said after the game. “He’s really learning how to be a good pro. His work ethic is awesome. He’s really stepped up. He’s using his speed, he’s using his skill, and he’s really learning to battle hard, and it’s great to see.”

In eight games from Feb. 18 to March 15, Seguin played more than 12 minutes just once, totaling 12:13 on March 5. Since March 15, he has played at least 12:30 in all four games. Claude Julien has further expressed his faith in the youngster by giving him time on the second power play unit.

The bump in responsibility still hasn’t led to increased production (he has just one point, a goal, in his last 11 games), but Seguin has certainly shown in recent games that he is coming along. With each  game, it seem he is making a stronger and stronger case to eliminate any talk of future healthy scratches.

“He’s a great kid, and he’s getting better and better,” Recchi said. “This has been a good process for him.”

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Bruins hold optional skate 03.22.11 at 11:20 am ET
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After two days of high-energy practices, Claude Julien elected to make Tuesday’s morning skate optional. Just about everyone on the team agreed with this logic, as only Tuukka Rask and Daniel Paille took the ice.

Reading into things, this could mean that Paille might be the healthy scratch among the forwards. Brad Marchand is eligible to return vs. the Devils after a two-game suspension, while Tyler Seguin‘s recent play has made him hard to sit. The last two practices have featured both Marchand and Michael Ryder on the wing opposite Mark Recchi, so if Paille is the scratch, Marchand could be a candidate to reunite with the Merlot line.

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Bruins take the ice for Sunday practice 03.20.11 at 11:21 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Ah, the rare Sunday practice. After an ugly 5-2 loss in Toronto Saturday, the B’s took the ice here at Ristuccia Arena in attempt to work out the issues that have made them losers of six of their last seven games (1-3-3).

The Patrice Bergeron line is the one to feature an extra man this time around, with Michael Ryder donning the gold sweater.

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand/Michael Ryder – Patrice Bergeron – Mark Recchi
Rich Peverley – Chris Kelly – Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

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Tim Thomas pulled as Maple Leafs add to lead 03.19.11 at 8:50 pm ET
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The five-goals or less party continued at Air Canada Centre in the second period, but unfortunately for Tim Thomas, no Bruins players were participants, and the Leafs have a 5-1 lead.

Twenty-nine seconds after Joey Crabb buried a rebound past Thomas to make it 3-1, Mike Brown beat the B’s netminder five-hole from the left face-off circle, giving the Leafs a three-goal lead. Claude Julien then elected to yank his starter, putting Tuukka Rask in. Rask looked good for the most part but was beaten by Keith Aulie on a shot he never saw. He seemed upset following the play, as he was screened by Dennis Seidenberg.

Of the six players to score goals between the two teams tonight, none of them had more than three goals on the season entering the game.

The period featured some more encouraging signs from Tyler Seguin. The 19-year-old is playing a more confident game and was robbed by James Reimer earlier in the period on a breakaway. For the second straight game, he has gotten time on the power play, and his style of play really fits with the speed of Rich Peverley, with whom he’s skated of late.

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Patric Hornqvist not suspended for elbow on Tyler Seguin 03.18.11 at 1:17 pm ET
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The Predators announced that forward Patric Hornqvist was fined $2500 by the NHL Friday for his elbow on Bruins forward Tyler Seguin in Thursday night’s game. He was not suspended.

Hornqvist was tossed from the Predators’ 4-3 overtime win with 2:30 remaining in the first period when he hit Seguin in the ear with an elbow. Seguin left the ice and received stitches in his ear but did not leave the game.

The initial reaction here? Hornqvist’s case in his hearing with Mike Murphy was probably that he couldn’t possibly have expected Seguin to get rid of the puck that quickly. Still, Seguin had a pass to make on the play, and he made it, while Hornqvist led with his elbow. Given all the suspensions of late, you might have expected Hornqvist, who was tossed from the game for the play, to miss a game or two. At any rate, his argument held up.

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