Boston Bruins – Press Herald Sun, 26 Feb 2017 15:36:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bruins blast Kings 4-1, continue strong start for Cassidy Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:08:25 +0000 LOS ANGELES — The Boston Bruins figured their road swing against the NHL’s three tough California teams would be a strong indication of their ability to contend for a playoff spot.

Interim coach Bruce Cassidy thinks the Bruins are leaving the Golden State in great shape.

Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak scored their 26th goals of the season, and the Bruins improved to 5-1-0 under Cassidy with a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.

Anton Khudobin made 27 saves in his second start since Christmas for the Bruins, who nursed an early lead to their first win in Los Angeles since March 24, 2012. The Bruins won two of three in California, with a competitive loss to Anaheim sandwiched between wins over the Sharks and Kings.

“It’s not easy to do in this league, playing big, heavy teams like this back-to-back,” said Cassidy, who played under Kings coach Darryl Sutter with the IHL’s Saginaw Hawks and Indianapolis Ice from 1988-90. “We did what we had to do. These are three tough buildings to win in, and I know the Bruins have had their struggles out here.”

Pastrnak punctuated a strong all-around game with his seventh power-play goal of the season early in the second period. Dominic Moore ended his 26-game goal drought with an empty-net score, and David Krejci added another empty-netter with 7.2 seconds left.

“This trip is a really good indicator of how we match up against certain types of teams,” Marchand said. “They play a really difficult style of game … and we responded to it really well.”

Boston’s unbeaten start under Cassidy ended one night earlier in Anaheim, but the Bruins responded with another strong defensive game in front of their backup goalie. Khudobin was solid in just his ninth start of the season for the Bruins, who have relied heavily on All-Star Tuukka Rask in net.

“I got tired in the second, and (the Bruins) picked it up for me,” Khudobin said. “And then (Los Angeles) didn’t have many shots in the third period. Perfect game for me.”

Kevin Gravel scored his first NHL goal and Peter Budaj stopped 21 shots for the Kings, who have lost six of eight. Los Angeles’ playoff hopes have taken a hit during the rough stretch including just five goals in its last four games.

“Can’t chase the lead,” Sutter said. “(Giving up an) early goal is just a constant theme. Chase the lead. Put some production on the top end of your lineup to overcome that.”

The Kings have a home-heavy schedule down the stretch, but they’ve lost seven of 11 at Staples Center.

After Marchand put the Bruins ahead early on a 2-on-1 rush, Gravel scored on a rebound of rookie Adrian Kempe’s shot. Gravel’s goal was the defenseman’s first of his 45-game career with the Kings, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2010.

“It was a long time coming on that one,” Gravel said. “I had nothing but net to shoot at, so I just basically tapped her in. Obviously, I want that one to come in a win, but the first goal is a special moment, for sure.”

Pastrnak reclaimed the lead for Boston early in the second. He broke his stick on the one-timer, but the changeup effect on the puck fooled Budaj just enough. The 20-year-old Czech forward tied Patrice Bergeron for the team lead in power-play goals.

Los Angeles managed just one shot in the first 15 minutes of the third period, and Moore sealed it with 1:02 to play on his first goal since Dec. 20.


Boston F Riley Nash was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. He scored 10 points while playing in all 60 games for the Bruins this season, but had just one assist in the last eight games. … Sutter coached his 1,263rd game, passing Jacques Lemaire for sole possession of 13th place in NHL history. … Jeff Zatkoff was the Kings’ backup goalie. Los Angeles placed Zatkoff on waivers earlier in the week, but didn’t send him to the AHL after he cleared.


Bruins: At Stars on Sunday.

Kings: Host Ducks on Saturday.

]]> 0, 24 Feb 2017 18:54:36 +0000
Bruins’ post-Julien win streak ends with 5-3 loss to Ducks Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:44:15 +0000 ANAHEIM, Calif. — Rickard Rakell is perhaps the only Anaheim Ducks forward who should feel good about his offensive game lately, and even he was mired in a five-goal goalless streak when the surging Boston Bruins visited.

Rakell came through with two scores in a game that reminded the Ducks they can still fill a net on occasion.

Rakell scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:34 to play, and the Ducks snapped Boston’s four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks, giving him 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

The Ducks had scored just five goals in their previous four games during an up-and-down February, and they had just four goals in 258 minutes before Kase scored early in the second. They can’t afford much of a slump in the Pacific Division race with San Jose and Edmonton, but the Ducks are keeping pace.

“It was nice to get the bounces tonight,” said Rakell, who tapped home a loose puck for the game-winning goal. “We’ve been having a tough time over the last couple of games to get something going. It was nice that we were able to help the team.”

The Ducks killed five Boston power plays, but Frank Vatrano slipped behind Manson and scored on a breakaway with 8:25 left.

Rakell then scored after the puck deflected off Corey Perry, who had two assists. Cogliano got credit for an empty-net goal with 48.7 seconds left when Torey Krug hooked him to the ice with a clear path to the net.

“Five is a nice number, but three is the better number,” Anaheim assistant coach Paul MacLean said. “Our defensive game was a real big reason why we ended up winning the game. We had a couple of goal posts that helped us as well.”

The Bruins hadn’t lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots as Boston lost to Anaheim for the seventh straight time.

“I thought we played hard to get back into the game against a good hockey team that defends well,” Cassidy said. “I think the guys are frustrated. The positive with that is we knew we could have won that hockey game if we just took care of a few things here or there. Nothing worse than going out of a game thinking you had no chance. We definitely had our chance.”

Bernier started his second straight game in place of John Gibson, a late scratch with a lower-body injury. He made a handful of jaw-dropping saves, including a diving stop of Patrice Bergeron with his stick.

“You don’t want to make those saves, because it means you’re out of position,” Bernier said.

Forward Nic Kerdiles made his NHL debut for the Ducks, becoming the first player from Orange County to suit up for Anaheim.

Kerdiles lived in Irvine for most of his childhood and regularly attended games at Honda Center before the club drafted him in 2012. The 23-year-old scorer missed several months earlier this season with a concussion, but has played 10 outstanding games for the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in San Diego.

Matt Beleskey returned to the Bruins’ lineup after sitting as a healthy scratch in two of the previous three games. The longtime Ducks forward, who got a $19.8 million contract from Boston after scoring a career-best 22 goals for Anaheim in 2014-15, hasn’t had a goal in 17 games since Nov. 19.


The Ducks recalled Jhonas Enroth from San Diego to back up Bernier. Enroth, acquired from Toronto in December, has suited up for five NHL teams in just over two years. … Boston F Tim Schaller was scratched for the second time in three games. … Chara played his 798th game for the Bruins, the most by a European player in franchise history.


Bruins: At Kings on Thursday.

Ducks: At Kings on Saturday.

]]> 0, 23 Feb 2017 05:53:01 +0000
NHL roundup: Bruins win in OT Mon, 20 Feb 2017 04:32:34 +0000 SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Sharks missed a chance to build more of a cushion in the Pacific Division standings Sunday night before they begin their bye week.

As has been the case four other times this month, the loss came after regulation time.

Brad Marchand scored with 2:24 left in overtime as the Sharks lost, 2-1, to the Boston Bruins on Sunday at SAP Center.

Prior to Sunday, the Sharks had lost in shootout to the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 4 and in overtime to Buffalo on Feb. 7, Philadelphia on Feb. 11 and most recently, Florida on Feb. 15.

The Sharks will enter their five-day break with a four-point cushion over the second-place Edmonton Oilers.

Patrick Marleau scored the Sharks’ only goal, netting his 21st this season and the 502nd of his NHL career with 2:23 to go in the second period.

On a 4-on-4 situation, a shot from Brent Burns went off the leg of Torey Krug right to Marleau, who had a mostly open net as Tuukka Rask was unable to get over in time.

The Sharks allowed the first goal on home ice for the third straight game as Ryan Spooner was left alone right beside Martin Jones.

A shot by Adam McQuaid toward the Sharks’ net was collected by Jimmy Hayes, who spun around and put a shot wide. The puck came off the end boards right to an open Spooner, who tapped it in for his ninth goal of the season at the 11:05 mark of the first period.

Joe Thornton remained on the cusp of perhaps his most historic achievement as he’s still just two assists away from 1,000 for his NHL career. The Sharks’ next game is Feb. 25 in Vancouver.

Thornton had 285 assists in seven-plus seasons with the Bruins from 1997-2005. Since coming to the Sharks on Nov. 30, 2005 in the biggest trade in team history, Thornton has 713 assists, including 34 this season.

Thornton entered Sunday on a five-game point streak. He had assists in four straight games and scored Feb. 9 against the Bruins at TD Garden.

The Sharks did not make any changes to their forward group from Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes, as Nikolay Goldobin dressed for his second straight game. Goldobin played 11:53 against the Coyotes and finished with four shots on goal, but was a spectator in the third period as coach Pete DeBoer shuffled his lines.

Melker Karlsson played on the second line with Marleau and Logan Couture and Chris Tierney played with Tomas Hertl and Joel Ward on the third line. Goldobin had 7:46 of ice time through two periods. Mikkel Boedker, who was also benched for the third period, had 9:13 of ice time through 40 minutes.

PREDATORS 4, BLUE JACKETS 3: After Columbus fought back from a two-goal deficit to tie the score early in the third period, Nashville kept up their intensity and Mattias Ekholm got them a win.

Ekholm scored his third goal of the season when he snapped off a shot from the slot after being set up nicely by Filip Forsberg 9:09 into the third, and the Predators held on for a victory in Colubmus, Ohio.

Backup goalie Juuse Saros stopped 35 shots in his sixth win of the season, and Nashville improved its position in a crowded race for the two Western Conference wild cards.

ISLANDERS 6, DEVILS 4: Ryan Strome had two goals and an assist to lead New York to a victory over New Jersey in New York.

John Tavares, Andrew Ladd, Casey Cizikas and Jason Chimera also scored to help the Islanders improve to 9-0-2 in their last 11 at home.

BLACKHAWKS 5, SABRES 1: Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist in his annual homecoming, leading Chicago to a win in Buffalo, New York.

Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews broke it open with second-period goals for Chicago, which won for the seventh time in eight games.

JETS 3, SENATORS 2: Josh Morrissey scored early in the third period to give Winnipeg a two-goal lead, and the Jets won in Ottawa, Ontario.

Morrissey made it 3-1 at 2:33 when his wrist shot from the blue line.

RED WINGS 5, PENGUINS 2: Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek scored early third-period goals to lead Detroit to a victory in Pittsburgh.

Nick Jensen and Steve Ott also scored and Luke Glendening added a late empty-netter for the Red Wings, who completed a back-to-back sweep of Washington and Pittsburgh, two of the top teams in the league. Petr Mrazek made 24 saves for his second win in as many days.

RANGERS 2, CAPITALS 1: Mats Zuccarello scored a third-period goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves in host New York’s victory over Washington.

LIGHTNING 3, AVALANCHE 2: Jonathan Drouin stole the puck and scored 2:27 into overtime, and Tampa Bay recovered after blowing a two-goal lead to beat Colorado in Denver.

MAPLE LEAFS 4, HURRICANES 0: Connor Brown scored twice, Auston Matthews had a highlight-reel goal on a backhander as he was twirling down to the ice, and Toronto beat Carolina in Raleigh, North Carolina.

]]> 0 Press/Jeff Chiu Boston's Riley Nash, right, and San Jose's Brenden Dillon, 4, shove each other during the second period Sunday in San Jose, Calif. Boston won in overtime, 2-1.Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:08:05 +0000
Canadiens fire Michel Therrien, hire Claude Julien as coach Tue, 14 Feb 2017 23:56:38 +0000 In the midst of losing their grip on first place, the Montreal Canadiens abruptly fired coach Michel Therrien on Tuesday and hired Claude Julien in hopes of getting their season back on track.

Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin made the announcement two days into his team’s bye week. Julien was fired as coach of the Boston Bruins last week and predictions that the veteran wouldn’t be out of work for long proved true.

At 1-5-1, the Canadiens are the NHL’s worst team since the start of February, including a 4-0 loss to the Bruins. They next play Saturday against Winnipeg.

Therrien, 53, was in his fifth season of his second tour of duty as Canadiens coach and had three playoff appearances with a trip to the 2014 Eastern Conference final. They missed the playoffs last season after goaltender Carey Price injured his knee in November.

Owner Geoff Molson tweeted Tuesday afternoon: “Michel Therrien, merci beaucoup pour tout, thank you for giving everything you had to our team.”

Therrien went 194-121-37 as coach of the Canadiens this time around.

He was also fired and replaced by Julien 46 games into the 2002-03 season. This time, it took 58 games.

“The decision to remove Michel from his coaching duties was a difficult one because I have lots of respect for him,” Bergevin said in a statement. “I came to the conclusion that our team needed a new energy, a new voice, a new direction.”

That will come from Julien, who returns to Montreal, where he coached from 2003-2006. He won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 and was the longest-tenured coach in the NHL until last week.

Julien has coached 997 regular-season games and will hit the 1,000 milestone behind the Canadiens’ bench on Feb. 23.

Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz joked that Julien would find another job within five minutes. It took seven days. The Canadiens had to get permission to speak with Julien before hiring him because the 56-year-old was still under contract.

“Claude Julien is an experienced and well-respected coach with a good knowledge of the Montreal market,” Bergevin said. “Today we hired the best available coach and one of the league’s best. I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track.”

The Canadiens are atop the Atlantic Division with 70 points at 31-19-8 and have a six-point lead on the Bruins and Ottawa Senators. But they’ve played six more games than Ottawa and have struggled lately despite getting Alex Galchenyuk and other previously injured players back in their lineup.

Therrien is the fifth coach fired this season, following Julien, Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders and Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers. It’s the 39th time an NHL coach has been fired midseason over the past 10 years, more than the NFL, NBA or MLB over the same time span.

This is the third time Therrien has been fired during the season. The last time came in the winter of 2009 when the Pittsburgh Penguins replaced him with Dan Blysma and went on to win the Cup four months later.

Therrien is the first coach to be fired with his team leading its division this late in the season since Ottawa’s John Paddock on Feb. 27, 2008.

The quick move is reminiscent of 2011, when Bruce Boudreau took over as coach of the Anaheim Ducks two days after being fired by the Capitals.

A team spokesman said the Canadiens would hold a news conference Wednesday to discuss the franchise’s sixth in-season coaching change over the past 16 years.


DEVILS 3, AVALANCHE 2: Defenseman Andy Greene scored the go-ahead goal on a power play and Kyle Palmieri converted on an odd-man rush with Taylor Hall to lead host New Jersey over struggling Colorado, which has lost four straight and is 4-22-1 in its last 27 games.

SABRES 3, SENATORS 2: Robin Lehner made 39 saves against his former team and Matt Moulson and Justin Bailey scored in the third period to rally visiting Buffalo past Ottawa.

Lehner is 4-0-2 against the club that drafted him in the second round of the 2009 NHL draft. He was traded away with David Legwand in June 2015 to Buffalo for the 21st overall pick in that year’s draft.

PENGUINS 4, CANUCKS 0: Evgeni Malkin scored and picked up an assist in his return from a lower-body injury, Sidney Crosby got his 999th career point with an assist and Pittsburgh rolled by visiting Vancouver.

DUCKS 1, WILD 0: John Gibson made 37 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, rookie Joseph Cramarossa scored his fourth goal and Anaheim won in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Gibson stalled the league’s fourth-highest scoring team, beating Minnesota and former coach Bruce Boudreau for the first time in three meetings.

The Wild were 0 for 5 on the power play and lost in regulation for the first time in six games and the fifth time since the start of December, a span of 34 games.

MAPLE LEAFS 7, ISLANDERS 1: Auston Matthews scored twice, Frederik Andersen earned his 100th NHL win and Toronto routed visiting New York. The Maple Leafs moved three points ahead of the Islanders for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

]]> 0 Bruins head coach Claude Julien speaks at a news conference at TD Garden after the Bruins failed to reach the playoffs for the second straight year. The Montreal Canadiens have fired coach Michel Therrien and hired Claude Julien to replace him. Associated Press/Bill Sikes, FileTue, 14 Feb 2017 23:48:12 +0000
Bruins roll by Canadiens, 4-0 Mon, 13 Feb 2017 03:48:40 +0000 BOSTON — Tuukka Rask posted his first career regular-season home win over Montreal by making 25 saves for his sixth shutout, 39-year-old Zdeno Chara had an impressive move on his short-handed goal and the Boston Bruins improved to 3-0 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy with a 4-0 victory over the Canadiens on Sunday night.

Adam McQuaid, David Krejci and Frank Vatrano also scored for Boston, which won for the sixth time in eight games. Rask entered 0-9-3 at TD Garden during the regular season against Montreal.

Cassidy replaced fired coach Claude Julien earlier in the week. Julien was in his 10th season with the team and led them to the 2011 Stanley Cup.

Carey Price had 32 saves for the Canadiens, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

The 51-year-old Cassidy was with the team’s AHL club in Providence for nine seasons before becoming an assistant with Boston this season. He also coached the Washington Capitals from 2002-04.

For the second time in the last three games in the Boston area, fans had to travel through a major snowstorm to get to the Garden. The building was surprisingly about three-quarters full and they were treated to another entertaining effort with Cassidy at the helm.

It was a spirited contest early when Boston defenseman Torey Krug and Montreal center Andrew Shaw dropped the gloves and got into a fight 55 seconds in.

The Bruins jumped ahead 1-0 midway into the first when rookie Peter Cehlarik set up McQuaid for a one-timer from the left circle that beat Price on the stick side. It was Cehlarik’s first NHL point.

The Bruins made it 2-0 on Chara’s goal early into the second. The 6-foot-9 captain made a nifty shift around Alexander Radulov in the slot before firing a wrister into the net.

Krejci had power-play score came with just under five minutes to play in the second for Boston’s season-high eighth straight game with a power-play goal.

NOTES: It was Rask’s 36th career shutout, moving him out of a tie with Frank Brimsek for second on the club’s all-time list. … Canadiens RW Brendan Gallagher was back in the lineup after being out since Jan. 7 with a broken hand. … Bruins LW Matt Beleskey was in the lineup after being a healthy scratch Saturday. … McQuaid played his 400th career game. … The organist played ‘Let It Snow’ during the second intermission. … It was the last regular-season meeting between the teams this season.


Canadiens: host Winnipeg on Saturday.

Bruins: open a four-game road trip next Sunday at San Jose following their five-day bye week.

]]> 0 Canadiens' Paul Byron and Bruins' Kevan Miller battle for the puck during the first period in Boston on Sunday.Sun, 12 Feb 2017 22:50:33 +0000
Late goal by Pastrnak lifts Bruins over Canucks Sat, 11 Feb 2017 21:03:20 +0000 BOSTON — One thing interim coach Bruce Cassidy emphasized when he took over the Boston Bruins was that he wanted his defensemen to look to do more offensively.

It worked well Saturday in his second game.

David Pastrnak scored the tiebreaking goal with two minutes left, defensemen Colin Miller and Kevan Miller each had a goal and Boston won its second straight under Cassidy with a 4-3 victory against the Vancouver Canucks.

“We’ve asked them to get involved,” Cassidy said. “It’s a matter of finding them and (a) matter of finishing.”

Miller knows it’s a fine line between when to go to the offensive end or stay back.

“You’re playing with fire sometimes,” he said. “You’ve got to be careful. I think that’s something we’re going to learn.”

Cassidy took over earlier in the week when the Bruins fired Claude Julien, who was in his 10th season and coached the team to a 2011 Stanley Cup win. Boston also won in Cassidy’s debut, 6-3 over San Jose on Thursday.

Frank Vatrano added a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who posted their fifth win in seven games.

“He expects a lot out of his players,” said Vatrano, who played under Cassidy at Providence of the AHL. “He wants you to play to your capabilities and expects the guys to compete night in and night out.”

Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin made 29 saves for Boston. Ryan Miller had 26 for the Canucks.

“To give it up with two minutes left is hard,” Vancouver Coach Willie Desjardins said.

The Canucks had made it 3-3 on Markus Granlund’s goal with 5:37 remaining.

“I thought we battled hard enough to win,” said Canucks forward Loui Erikssson, who spent three seasons with the Bruins before signing a $36 million, six-year deal with Vancouver during the offseason.

Pastrnak took a pass along the left wing, slid the puck backward to himself before recollecting it and slipping a wrister past Ryan Miller.

Bo Horvat scored for Vancouver, giving him 100 career points. He’s the first Canucks player to reach that mark at 21 years old or younger since Petr Nedved did it at 21 in 1993.

Alexandre Burrows had the other goal for the Canucks.

Colin Miller one-timed Jimmy Hayes’ drop pass with a rising shot into the net, pushing Boston ahead 3-2 early in the third.

Down 2-1, the Canucks tied it on Burrows’ goal out of a scramble with six-tenths of a second left in the second, his first since Dec. 31.

BEFORE THE game, the Bruins honored the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Fourteen members of the team walked onto center ice wearing Bruins jerseys with their names and numbers on the back.

Running back James White – who scored three touchdowns in New England’s 34-28 comeback win over Atlanta last Sunday, including the game-winner in the first Super Bowl to go into overtime – dropped the first puck. Special teams captain Matthew Slater, and linemen Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer, were a few of the notable players who participated.

There was a video package of highlights played on the Jumbotron before they entered.

]]> 0's Markus Granlund, left, and Boston's' Adam McQuaid battle for the puck during the first period of Saturday's game in Boston. The Bruins won, 4-3. (Associated Press/Michael Dwyer)Sat, 11 Feb 2017 19:31:47 +0000
Bruins win in debut of new coach Fri, 10 Feb 2017 02:55:37 +0000 BOSTON — David Pastrnak made sure Bruce Cassidy’s Boston coaching career got off to a winning start.

Pastrnak scored a pair of power-play goals to help the Bruins beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 in Cassidy’s first game behind the bench Thursday night.

“We came a little more energized and we wanted to get the win for Butch,” Pastrnak said.

Cassidy was named interim coach after the team fired Claude Julien after 10 seasons Tuesday. Cassidy joined the team as an assistant last May after spending five seasons coaching Providence in the AHL.

“It’s been a busy two or three days,” Cassidy said. “I’ll tell you this: I’m going to sleep well tonight. … But yeah, who doesn’t enjoy a win?”

Cassidy, a 51-year-old Ottawa native, also coached the Washington Capitals to a 47-45-9-6 mark in two seasons from 2002-04.

But his heart has always been in Boston.

“When I went out to the bench, the first thing I did was look up at the (Stanley Cup) banners,” Cassidy said. “I’ve been a lifelong Boston Bruins fan since I was (little). My first pair of skates were black and gold and I’ve loved Bobby Orr ever since.”

Patrice Bergeron had a goal and three assists, David Backes added a goal and an assist, and Tim Schaller and Brad Marchand also scored to help Boston end a two-game skid. Tuukka Rask made 23 saves.

Joe Thornton, Justin Braun and Timo Meier scored for San Jose. The Sharks have lost three straight and 4 of 6 following a season-high six-game winning streak.

“We’re a confident group, we know we can win hockey games,” goalie Martin Jones said.

Thornton’s goal was his fourth of the season and moved him past Mike Modano for 23rd on the NHL’s career points list with 1,375.

Jones allowed three first-period goals and had nine saves before Sharks backup Aaron Dell relieved him to start the second. Dell finished with 18 saves as San Jose was outshot 33-26.

“They just made a couple plays today, and we just weren’t really sharp,” Jones said.

Backes scored 52 seconds in, and Bergeron and Pastrnak also had goals in the first period. Thornton ended a 10-game stretch without a goal with his first-period goal to tie it after Backes’ goal.

Braun notched his 100th career point with his goal 1:08 into the second to bring the Sharks within one, but Schaller restored the two-goal advantage late in the period. Pastrnak flipped a wrister past a diving Dell with 48.4 seconds left in the third for his second goal.

Meier scored with 2:37 remaining to make it a two-goal game again, but Marchand tossed in an empty-netter with 29.3 seconds left to seal it.

“We re-established some urgency in this building,” Cassidy said.

San Jose hosts Boston on Feb. 19 to conclude the two-game season set.

NOTES: Julien thanked Bruins fans in a statement Thursday. “Your devotion, unmistakable passion, energy and support is what makes Boston the best sports city in the entire world,” Julien wrote. … Boston D Zdeno Chara (illness) did not have “enough strength to play,” Cassidy said. Chara is day-to-day and Cassidy is hopeful he will return Saturday.

]]> 0's David Pastrnak, 88, celebrates his first-period goal with Brad Marchand, 63, and Patrice Bergeron in Thursday's game against the San Jose Sharks, in Boston.Thu, 09 Feb 2017 23:04:11 +0000
Commentary: Julien put Bruins back on the map Thu, 09 Feb 2017 02:00:02 +0000 This is what happens when you are currently in last place in a four-team race.

You act like you are in last place.

Much has been made of the Boston Bruins’ decision to hold a major, franchise-changing press conference while a million people were going wild only a half-mile away at Government Center.

The Bruins have nothing on the former Massachusetts State Senate President Bill Bulger, who was a master of releasing bad news when most people were drinking on Friday nights.

But this isn’t about the Bruins’ bad optics. The franchise, which appeared to be on Patriots-like solid ground only three years ago, is back to its old tricks – in turmoil.

This is about collateral damage, aka the former Bruins head coach, Claude Julien.

The Bruins didn’t have to do it this way, in the middle of a celebratory parade. Firing Julien was expected. That’s what happens to NHL coaches more often than in any other sport.

The team was stale. The players weren’t listening. And as Theo Epstein said, when the Bruins were great, “10 years is a long time. Sometimes you need a change.”

Among the things Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney said at the press conference was this: “We know Claude will get a job. … He’s a good coach.”

Yup. He is. Julien will get a few months to recharge his batteries and multiple offers will come his way.

Good, though, might not be strong enough. He leaves Boston as its winningest coach – 419-246 with 97 overtime/shootout losses, surpassing the legendary Art Ross.

But his best work was as part of the rebuilding process – with former general manager Peter Chiarelli, who hired him – which was by no means overnight. Hired in 2007, the Bruins were on a 12-year run in which they missed the playoffs five times and won only one playoff series.

Julien’s first three years were steppingstones, losing to the Canadiens in seven games in Year 1, winning one series in each of the next two years before guiding the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup since 1972.

It wasn’t just that they won, but the way they did – with defense, grit, a scorching hot goalie and, well, more grit. The Bruins beat the snot out of Vancouver, which was by far the most talented team that year.

Julien doesn’t fit our mold. We adore Type-A personalities who aren’t afraid to throw sticks on the ice when they don’t get their way (see Harry Sinden, Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, etc.).

Julien was nothing of the sort. While he was’t afraid to curse out a referee, he’s usually apologizing afterward.

He talked about “respecting the game” and had a disdain for flopping on the ice. When a Bruin did it, he said it was wrong.

Basically, a good, honest guy.

About 11 months ago, when there was talk about Julien being fired, Bruins legend Bobby Orr stepped up, calling Julien one of the best coaches in the NHL, period.

“I didn’t really know Claude before he came here,” said Orr. “I ended up chatting with him a few times. I like his style. His teams are very disciplined. I don’t know why people would question Claude. Look at the Bruins’ performance since he arrived. Look at the respect he gets from his players. They play hard for him. That’s how you measure a coach.”

The Bruins have had their issues above Julien, with Chiarelli missing on a few guys and trading away Tyler Seguin, and that dip hasn’t really improved much since Don Sweeney took over in May of 2015.

Something had to be done.

The Bruins have looked bad too many times this season. While there have been a few bright spots, including David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, others haven’t brought their “A” games often enough.

The Bruins needed some changes. And the coach is usually the first to go.

Bruce Cassidy, who was very successful in Providence before being added to the Bruins bench as an assistant, will get a shot as the interim coach. Maybe he will inject some life into this strange team, which at times has looked like it could go deep into the spring.

With Chiarelli long gone, Julien has been on borrowed time. His emphasis on defense never sat well with his bosses, who almost demanded he focus more on goal production. But offense, he always argued, was usually a product of good defense.

He won a lot of games, helped win a Stanley Cup and almost won another in 2013, losing in six games to the Blackhawks.

Julien deserves a first-class goodbye. And don’t feel bad for him. His record of achievement – including making Jeremy Jacobs appear to be a good owner for a few years – will land him somewhere soon.

]]> 0 Claude Julien, fired by the Bruins on Tuesday, is the franchise's winningest coach at 419-246-97.Wed, 08 Feb 2017 21:17:04 +0000
Boston Bruins fire Coach Claude Julien Tue, 07 Feb 2017 13:29:19 +0000 BOSTON — The Bruins felt they needed to a change at the top, even if it meant doing it on a day when the city was celebrating a championship.

Boston fired Stanley Cup-winning coach Claude Julien on Tuesday, just hours before a downtown parade in honor of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victory.

General Manager Don Sweeney apologized for the timing, but said the team’s two-day break between games provided time to recover from the emotions of Julien’s dismissal. He said he wasn’t oblivious of the optics, but added “I’m not going to make a decision just based on that.”

With the team in danger of missing the playoffs for a third straight season, Sweeney felt he had little choice. Boston has lost two in a row and 6 of 9 and fallen out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Assistant Bruce Cassidy was named interim coach.

“I had come to a conclusion that in moving this group forward with an eye toward the plans that have been put in place, that I wasn’t willing to commit to a longer term basis with Claude,” Sweeney said.

He also said there is time before the March 1 trade deadline to make adjustments that could get the Bruins in position to make the playoffs.

“There’s no question I think this group has a chance to get in,” Sweeney said.

Bruins left wing Brad Marchand said he’s hopeful the change will give the team a jolt.

“At the end of the day it falls back on the players,” he said. “We’re not the ones that are executing on the ice and hopefully we have to realize that this is not going to fix everything. We have to go out there and do the job.”

Julien is the fourth coach to be fired this season following Ken Hitchcock in St. Louis last week , Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers in November and Jack Capuano of the New York Islanders in January. Four of the past eight Stanley Cup champions have made a coaching change midseason.

Julien was the longest-tenured current coach in the NHL, starting with the Bruins in the 2007-08 season. He went 419-246-94 over nearly 10 seasons, including two trips to the NHL finals and a Stanley Cup title in 2011. The Bruins lost in the finals two years later, and the year after that earned 117 points and the Presidents’ Trophy before losing in the conference semifinals to archrival Montreal.

But in 2014-15, Boston was eliminated from the playoff race on the final day of the regular season – the first time in Julien’s tenure they missed the playoffs. Last year, the Bruins had a chance to reach the playoffs heading into the final week, but they lost nine of their last 12 games to finish ninth in the East.

The Bruins hadn’t kept a coach who missed the playoffs two straight years since 1965, when Milt Schmidt was given a third year before he was replaced by Harry Sinden.

Julien was spared in 2015 when team president Cam Neely decided to fire GM Peter Chiarelli instead, replacing him with Sweeney. Sweeney gave Julien another chance, saying “He’s the coach of the Boston Bruins as of today, for sure.”

Julien said at the time that he had little room for error.

“It just means that I’m probably the next one to fall off the totem pole, right?” the former Canadiens and Devils coach said last summer. “I’m going to try to make it last as long as I can.”

Again last summer, the Bruins spared him, with Sweeney saying Julien was the right coach to guide the team through a “bumpy transition.” Last season, Julien became the all-time Bruins leader for wins by a coach.

Cassidy, 51, is not a newbie to the Bruins, having spent nine years in the organization. He completed his fifth season as head coach of the Providence Bruins in 2015-16, having spent the three previous seasons with the club as an assistant.

This will also be his second stint as an NHL head coach, having previously coached the Washington Capitals from 2002 to 2004 and helping the team to a postseason berth in his first season there. Asked what he can get out of the team that Julien couldn’t, Cassidy said “We’re going to find out soon enough.”

“I think that the team is not that far away from winning games,” he said. “There’s a quote out there that ‘We’ve found more ways to lose instead of win.’ That means you’re generally close. So we’ve got to flip the switch on a few of those plays throughout the course of the game to go in our favor.”

]]> 0 Claude Julien and Bruins players yell at the officials after having an apparent goal disallowed in the third period of Thursday night’s game against the Florida Panthers. The Bruins ended up losing their fifth straight game, 4-1.Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:50:39 +0000
Bruins’ Backes working to get out of recent rut Tue, 07 Feb 2017 02:44:00 +0000 BOSTON — David Backes has been in the NHL for a long time, and he takes an immense amount of pride in his game. He knows when he’s earned a day off and when he hasn’t.

That’s why, when most of the Bruins’ top guns were given a holiday Sunday, Backes was on the ice at Warrior Ice Arena in the morning going through an hour’s worth of what looked like fairly tedious skating and puck drills.

Things are going that badly for him right now.

In Backes’ last 12 games, he is minus-11 with just one assist. The last time he was a plus player was Jan. 10 in a win in St. Louis against his old team. His last goal came on Dec. 27 in Columbus, before he missed three games with a concussion. He is minus-5 in his last three games, including minus-2 in Saturday’s maddening, 6-5 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Garden.

Skating on his line with Frank Vatrano (another attendee Sunday) and David Krejci, Backes coughed up the puck at his blue line, which led to the Maple Leafs’ first goal.

And so Backes decided that a mental and physical break was not what he needed.

“There have certainly been lulls in my game at times and you try to make them as short and brief as possible,” Backes said, “but I think the saving grace a lot of the other times was that the team was winning and I was finding ways to contribute, with screens in front and pucks were going by you and you were able to celebrate some goals. But we haven’t produced much secondary scoring at all. One of the reasons I’m here today is to get better, put some work in. I take full responsibility for the first goal against Toronto. We want to be a positive contributor to this team and help us win games. That’s what our focus is on and needs to be, starting Thursday (against San Jose.). We’ve had long enough without contributing.

“That one line with (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak) has put everyone on their backs. We need secondary help for them and that’s got to come from guys like Krech and I and all the way down the lineup.”

Backes, a natural center, was on board with being a high-priced utility man when he signed a five-year, $30 million deal with the Bruins last summer. If the situation called for him to be a winger, then he’d play on a wing. If the Bruins needed a center, that’s what he’d be.

But lately, he hasn’t looked all that comfortable at either position. He’s played mostly as Krejci’s right winger, and was minus-3 in his one game at center during this rough patch, at Detroit on Jan. 18 with Ryan Spooner and Austin Czarnik on either side.

Backes feels his struggles have nothing to do with whatever his role.

“It doesn’t matter where I’m playing,” he said. “I just need to be a better player on the ice and I’ll help wherever I’m playing, whoever I’m playing with, and be productive and help us win games. If that’s on the right with Krech, or that’s at center or that’s moving all around, if I’m winning battles and doing what I do well when I’m playing well, then we’re going to be a better team. That’s on me and I own that.”

When he signed in the summer, it would have been reasonable to be concerned about the last couple of years of the deal. Having always preferred to go through the brick wall than around it, Backes, 32, has some hard miles on his body. But now, age cannot fully explain the difference between Backes today and the player who was so effective in the playoffs for the Blues last spring, or the guy who had two goals and an assist, and was plus-5, on opening night in Columbus.

But a crisis of confidence can hit the most accomplished of players. And right now, his thought process is slowing him down a lot more than his legs.

“I don’t know if it’s confidence, or not feeling it at times and not having the assurance that when you have (the puck) that something great’s going to happen,” Backes said. “That’s more of a mental thing that I need to wrap my head around, that every time I touch it something great’s going to happen, not letting something poor happen.

“I’m fighting it a little bit, no question, and that’s why I’m out there today, to hopefully make that little black puck my friend.”

]]> 0's David Backes, top, had a great playoff for the St. Louis Blues last season, but he's scuffling for the Bruins right now. "I'm fighting it a little bit, no question," he admits.Mon, 06 Feb 2017 22:18:43 +0000
NHL roundup: Five goals not enough for Bruins Sun, 05 Feb 2017 03:27:41 +0000 TORONTO — James van Riemsdyk scored his second goal with 1:36 remaining in regulation, breaking a tie and lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins.

William Nylander scored three goals and Auston Matthews had three assists for the Maple Leafs, who opened a 4-1 lead and chased starting goalie Tuukka Rask in the second period.

David Pastrnak scored two goals for the Bruins, while Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists. Bergeron tied the game with 2:54 remaining.

KINGS 1, FLYERS 0: Peter Budaj posted his NHL-leading seventh shutout, Jeff Carter scored midway through overtime at Philadelphia and Los Angeles won its fifth straight.

Budaj, who wasn’t even on the Kings’ roster on opening night, extended his shutout streak to 144 minutes, 5 seconds. He made 17 saves.

Anze Kopitar set up the winning goal at 2:35 of overtime with a backhand pass across the crease to Carter, who whizzed a wrist shot past Michal Neuvirth.

It was the 27th goal of the season for Carter, who entered trailing Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh by two goals for the NHL lead.

Neuvirth made 27 saves for Philadelphia, including a sensational glove stop in the second period.

CAPITALS 3, CANADIENS 2: Nicklas Backstrom scored in the third period at Montreal as Washington won the third and final meeting between the teams this season.

Jay Beagle and Andre Burakovsky also scored for Washington (35-11-6).

Braden Holtby stopped 19 shots. He’s won his last 10 starts.

Alexander Radulov and Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal (30-16-7). Carey Price made 27 saves.

AVALANCHE 4, JETS 2: Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist, and Colorado won at Denver.

Matt Nieto scored twice and Matt Duchene added three assists, helping Colorado stop a nine-game losing streak. Nathan MacKinnon and Carl Soderberg also scored, and Calvin Pickard had 23 saves.

SABRES 4, SENATORS 0: Robin Lehner made 37 saves, Kyle Okposo scored his 16th goal and Buffalo won at home to snap a three-game skid.

The Sabres also got goals from Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart and Marcus Foligno. Jack Eichel had two assists.

Lehner got his fourth career shutout and first this season. His first two came with the Senators, who traded him to Buffalo before last season.

Mike Condon allowed four goals on 25 shots before getting pulled in the third period. The Senators have lost 4 of 6.

Buffalo is 5-0-1 in its last six home games and has earned a point in seven straight games against Ottawa.

Devils 5, Blue Jackets 1: Taylor Hall scored twice, Travis Zajac had a goal and an assist and New Jersey won at Columbus.

Jacob Josefson and Seth Helgeson also scored and Cory Schneider had 31 saves for the Devils, who won their sixth straight road game.

]]> 0's Radko Gudas, right, checks Los Angeles' Drew Doughty into the boards during the third period of the Kings' 1-0 win in overtime Saturday in Philadelphia. Los Angeles won its fifth straight game and goalie Peter Budaj posted his NHL-leading seventh shutout.Sat, 04 Feb 2017 22:37:51 +0000
No surprise, Bruins beaten by Capitals again Thu, 02 Feb 2017 03:52:50 +0000 WASHINGTON — Nicklas Backstrom had three points and Alex Ovechkin continued to climb the NHL’s goal-scoring charts as the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 5-3 on Wednesday night.

The Bruins’ winning streak ended at three, and they got a scare when center Patrice Bergeron took a slap shot off his right leg. League-leading Washington extended its winning streak against Boston to eight.

Backstrom had a goal and two assists, setting up T.J. Oshie and Ovechkin, who passed Ron Francis for 27th on the all-time list. Brett Connolly and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals, who got 29 saves from Braden Holtby.

Despite allowing two power-play goals to fellow All-Star Brad Marchand and a late goal to David Krejci, Holtby improved to 11-2-0 against the Bruins in the regular season.

Bergeron blocked a shot from Washington’s Matt Niskanen 2:33 into the second period and needed to be helped off the ice and down the tunnel. The alternate captain who once played a 2013 Stanley Cup Final game with a broken rib and a punctured lung, returned for two shifts before leaving again.

It was that kind of night for the Bruins, who like the Capitals were playing the second half of back-to-back games.

Backstrom, who threaded a pass through two Boston defenders for Oshie’s 19th goal of the season on a breakaway 3:06 in, seems to be at his best versus Boston. Beating goaltender Tuukka Rask with a one-timer and contributing a secondary assist to Ovechkin’s goal, Backstrom has 34 points in 30 career games against the Bruins.

As much as Backstrom tears up the Bruins, Ovechkin is doing so to the entire NHL lately. He has 17 points in his past 12 games, and his 25 goals are second to only longtime rival Sidney Crosby.

Scoring on a deceptive wrist shot on the power play late in the second period, Ovechkin moved past Wayne Gretzky and tied Joe Sakic for 14th all time with his 205th career power-play goal.

An influx of offense from the top line of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Oshie was enough to offset Marchand’s third two-goal game in his past four. He’s the first Bruins player to do that since Hall of Famer and current team president Cam Neely in 1992.

Marchand, who has been criticized for a recent spate of trips and slew foots, assisted on Krejci’s goal and has nine points in his past four games.

]]> 0 defenseman Matt Niskanen checks Boston's Brad Marchand into the boards in the first period Wednesday night in Washington.Wed, 01 Feb 2017 23:54:03 +0000
Bruins beat Lightning 4-3 Wed, 01 Feb 2017 03:45:31 +0000 TAMPA, Fla. — Zdeno Chara scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, Tuukka Rask made 18 saves and the Boston Bruins beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Tuesday night for their first three-game winning streak since early December.

Boston also got goals from Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Frank Vatrano. Brad Marchand had two assists late in the second after possibly getting away with a penalty.

Alex Killorn scored twice and Brayden Point also had a goal for the Lightning, who are 3-8-2 in their last 13 games. Victor Hedman had three assists, and Ben Bishop 31 stopped shots.

Chara’s shot from the top of the left circle made it 3-2 at 7:51 of the third. Vatrano added a power-play goal later in the period.

Point got his goal late in the third.

After Bergeron tipped home Adam McQuaid’s shot 18:08 into the second, Krejci put Boston up 2-1 with 0.9 seconds left in the period.

Marchand assisted on both goals and has 20 points, including nine assists, over his last 13 games. It appeared he tripped Anton Stralman from behind with his leg with 2 1/2 minutes left in the second, but no penalty was called.

Marchand avoided a suspension but was fined $10,000 by the NHL last Thursday for what the league termed “a dangerous trip” of Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

Killorn opened the scoring at 8:41 of the second and tied it at 2 early in the third.

Boston defenseman Colin Miller saved a goal in the first period when he swiped the puck off the goal line after Jason Garrison’s shot trickled past Rask.

Miller also had two assists.

NOTES: Hedman stopped a four-game point drought and has 34 assists this season. … Bergeron has 13 points in his last 13 games. … Point (hand-wrist injury) returned after missing 14 games.


BRUINS: Complete their ninth set of 14 back-to-back games Wednesday night at Washington.

LIGHTNING: Play the second of a four-game homestand Thursday night against Ottawa, which is coached by former Lightning coach Guy Boucher.

]]> 0, 31 Jan 2017 22:50:41 +0000
Bruins’ chances for playoffs don’t look that bright Tue, 31 Jan 2017 03:30:43 +0000 BOSTON — So they’ve finally had a rest. The Bruins reported to practice Monday afternoon after three full days off skates, and don’t play a game for the fourth straight day – the longest break since the season started on Oct. 13.

Will that down time, plus other lengthy breaks in February, be enough to help them avoid taking the longest rest of all – the offseason – immediately after their final regular-season game on April 8?

Not impossible, but doubtful.

The Bruins were in a decent state of mind at the All-Star break after comeback wins in their last two games – at TD Garden, of all places. Those four points pushed them back into the third and final Atlantic Division playoff slot, two points behind the Senators and one ahead of the Maple Leafs.

This, as many know, is a bit of a mirage. Because the Senators and Leafs have already had their one-week bye, and faced a slightly less compacted schedule than the Bruins beforehand, they’ve both played five fewer games than the Bruins. It hardly seems feasible that both teams won’t be ahead of the Bruins (leads to be determined), while the Bruins spend a good portion of February not playing.

That makes a wild-card berth a more likely path to the playoffs, and the Bruins aren’t in such bad shape there. The Flyers owned the second of two berths at the break with the same 56 points as the Bruins, with a cluster of teams (discounting the Leafs, whom it’s assumed will jump to third in the Atlantic at some point) 4-6 points behind. Games in hand are a factor, but not like the situation the Bruins face within their division.

OK, so those are some of the key numbers. Let’s revisit one of them – the Bruins’ 56-point total through 52 games. That’s six points fewer than the 62 they’d earned through 52 games last season, seven less than the 63 in 2014-15 – and, as we know, the Bruins were bumped out of a berth on the season’s final weekend both years.

Nobody knows for sure how many points it will take to qualify this season, but with 93 (last year) and 96 (’14-15) falling short in the last two years, it’s logical to assume a team must at least approach that level to stay in the conversation. So the Bruins, with 60 points still on the table, can pretty much bet on having to collect between 37 and 40 points down the stretch to have a shot.

That’s a winning percentage between .616 and .667 over the final 30 games. Their winning percentage through 52 games is .538, which works out to about 88 points.

Which is not enough.

Mathematically, it’s possible. The problem is that it’s hard to see the Bruins, despite beating the Red Wings and Penguins before the break, as a team trending upward.

They’re more like a team treading water.

As the Senators proved with their 23-4-4 finish two years ago, teams can get hot enough to qualify. The Bruins, however, haven’t had what amounts to a hot streak in months: Since a 7-2-0 run between Oct. 29 and Nov. 13, followed by a 4-0-2 streak from Nov. 27 to Dec. 7, they’ve had consecutive wins only twice.

That same back-and-forth, up-and-down team is what the Bruins take into the stretch, and for all the breaks ahead in the next month, the schedule still doesn’t help. Three chances to make up ground on the Senators lie ahead – but not until March, when there’s every chance it could be too late.

The Bruins come out of their Feb. 13-17 bye with a three-game trip to California, where an 0-3-0 experience last season significantly damaged their playoff run.

And while six of their 11 games between Tuesday night and the March 1 trade deadline are on the road, that’s not necessarily the positive news it was earlier in the season: The Bruins are 3-4-2 in their last nine away from the Garden.

The grind, and the pressure, begin immediately. Back-to-back road games against the Lightning (Tuesday), which is in worse straits, playoffs-wise, than the Bruins, and the Capitals (Wednesday), who went 13-1-2 before the break, are followed by Saturday’s critical home date against the Leafs, who are 2-0-0 against the Bruins this season.

So we’re already there. If this week doesn’t go well, talk of a playoff push could justifiably be replaced by talk of a tear-down.

]]> 0 react along with Bruins left wing Brad Marchand after his second-period goal Thursday night against the Penguins in Boston.Mon, 30 Jan 2017 22:52:42 +0000
He’s still a pest, but Marchand is gaining respect Mon, 30 Jan 2017 03:27:48 +0000 LOS ANGELES — The question wasn’t even out before Michel Therrien broke into his familiar throaty laugh.

So, the Montreal Canadiens coach was asked, what it is going to be like coaching well-known Bruins irritant Brad Marchand in Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game?

“Well, you know what? He’s a guy in the last two years who has really impressed me,” said Therrien, once he stopped chuckling. “First of all, he still plays with an edge. And I think he has to play like that. But you look at what he did for Team Canada, winning the gold medal, it’s pretty impressive. You grow as a hockey player. We’ve had some battles, Montreal-Boston. We’ve had some rivalries with our hockey club, but the one with Boston has been pretty special over the years. You build a rivalry in the playoffs and we’ve played them so many times.

“It’s going to be fun (coaching Marchand). First of all it’s a privilege, for coaches as well as the players, and it gives the players and coaches an opportunity to get to know each other instead of always fighting.”

The appreciation of Marchand’s skill level has never been higher. After scoring a career-high 37 goals last season, he pulled off a spectacular star turn for Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey, where he could have, and probably should have, been named the MVP instead of Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby. With four goals in his last two games to keep the Bruin’s season afloat, Marchand is currently ranked fifth in league scoring.

Marchand’s All-Star status is no fluke.

“Good for him,” former linemate Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars said. “His career is just getting better and better it seems. It’s been getting (better) in Boston, then at the World Cup and now he’s here at his first All-Star Game. It’s well deserved.”

So is Marchand’s reputation as a pest who sometimes crosses the line of being feisty to being dirty. He has been suspended four times and fined twice in his career. And lest anyone forget, Marchand kept it fresh in everyone’s memory when he clipped Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall from behind with a dangerous trip last week. He was very fortunate to escape with just a fine from the league.

Don’t hold your breath on his ever changing, some say. It is who he is.

“And I don’t think he wants it to be fully changed,” Seguin said.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds played with Marchand on the 2008 world junior team for Canada that won gold.

“Marchie’s always been the same player,” Simmonds said. “He was on our first line with Claude Giroux (Flyers) and Kyle Turris (Ottawa Senators). He’s always been that guy who’s probably always been told he’s not going to make it because of his size. But then you look at him and he’s probably one of the toughest guys in the league.

“Just the way he plays the game, I always try to hit him and he never goes over. I’m probably the one that’s falling over trying to hit him.”

]]> 0 MARCHANDSun, 29 Jan 2017 22:36:09 +0000
Marchand scores twice as Bruins top Penguins, 4-3 Fri, 27 Jan 2017 03:17:36 +0000 BOSTON — Brad Marchand got fined, but avoided a suspension – and led the Boston Bruins to a victory.

Marchand scored two second-period goals in a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, hours after he was docked $10,000 by the NHL but not ordered to sit out any games for slew-footing Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall on Jan. 24.

“He skated like he was $10,000 lighter,” teammate David Backes said with a laugh. “He was flying around and doing what he does best playing the game and playing hard.”

Because of his multiple past on-ice transgressions, Marchand knew his fate could have been worse.

“They let me off with one probably,” Marchand said. “Felt fortunate to be playing tonight and it was great to be part of a big win.”

Riley Nash and Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins, who won consecutive games for only the third time in their last 36 games.

Justin Schultz and Phil Kessel gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead after the first period. Patric Hornqvist scored midway through the third period to cut Pittsburgh’s deficit to 4-3, but the Penguins couldn’t get the equalizer.

Boston stormed back to take a 3-2 lead after two with three unanswered goals while outshooting the Penguins 16-4.

Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan appeared irritated when he was asked whether he was surprised Marchand was allowed to play.

“The league is going to do what they do and we do what we do,” Sullivan said. “We need to worry more about being in the right mindset and being ready to play.”

Marchand scored his third short-handed goal of the season at 1:38, and then tied it at 2 when he slammed home the rebound of David Pastrnak’s shot at 6:27.

“Letting up the short-handed goal was a big turning point,” Penguins goalie Matt Murray said. “They came out flying after that.”

Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for Boston, which avoided being swept in the season series and is unbeaten in its last six home games against the Penguins.

Murray made 33 saves for the Penguins, who have dropped two straight and is 5-5 in January.

Pastrnak had two assists for Boston.

NOTES: Marchand has 22 short-handed goals for his career, three short of the franchise record set by Rick Middleton. … Crosby’s first-period assist extended his streak to 63 games of not going back-to-back games without scoring a point. … Evgeni Malkin missed the game with a lower body injury and will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break. … Rask has made nine consecutive starts for Boston. … Schultz has a career-high 35 points. … Carlo left with a lower-body injury in the third period.

]]> 0 react along with Bruins left wing Brad Marchand after his second-period goal Thursday night against the Penguins in Boston.Thu, 26 Jan 2017 23:43:25 +0000
David Pastrnak scores late in OT, Bruins beat Red Wings 4-3 Wed, 25 Jan 2017 03:34:00 +0000 BOSTON – David Pastrnak scored with 46.9 seconds left on the clock in overtime as the Boston Bruins rallied to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Pastrnak beat Detroit goalie Jared Coreau with a high slap shot and ended the Bruins’ four-game losing streak (0-3-1).

Brad Marchand had two goals, Kevan Miller also scored, and Pastrnak also had an assist for Boston. Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots.

Mike Green had a goal and assist for the Red Wings, who extended their point streak to six straight games. Andreas Athanasiou and Tomas Tatar also scored and Henrik Zetterberg added two assists.

Coreau finished with 45 saves in his second start against the Bruins in less than a week. He was pulled just 5:13 into the Red Wings’ 6-5 shootout win at home last Wednesday after allowing three goals on eight shots.

This one also appeared headed for a shootout until Pastrnak ended it with his 20th of the season.

Marchand’s second goal of the game tied it 3-3 with 11:40 left in the third period on a rebound after Coreau stopped Patrice Bergeron twice from in front.

The Bruins had the first 12 shots of the game and took a 1-0 lead 3:39 in on a wrist shot by Miller from the left circle. It was the first goal of the season for Miller, who returned after missing four games with a concussion.

Detroit didn’t have a shot on goal until Athanasiou scored on a breakaway at 10:59 to tie it at 1.

Marchand put Boston up 2-1 with a power-play goal late in the first period. Detroit was down a man after Jonathan Ericsson was called for playing the puck with a broken stick at center ice to prevent a breakaway for the Bruins.

Boston outshot Detroit 21-7 in the first period and had a 33-16 advantage in shots after two, but entered the third trailing 3-2 after the Red Wings scored twice in the second.

Green tied it at 2-all with a shot that deflected in off Miller’s skate 6:25 into the second. Gustav Nyquist got an assist, the 100th of his career.

Tatar gave Detroit its first lead with 8:09 left in the second with his 11th goal of the season, getting just enough on a shot between Rask’s legs for the puck to trickle through. Henrik Zetterberg assisted on both second-period goals.

NOTES: Detroit was without C Dylan Larkin and LW Thomas Vanek, who were tied for the team lead with 12 goals apiece.

Detroit placed Larkin on seven-day injured reserve with an upper-body injury and Vanek was out with a lower-body injury. … Miller’s goal was Boston’s first at home since Marchand scored on an empty net with 54 seconds remaining in a 6-3 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 14. The Bruins were shut out by the New York Islanders (4-0) and Chicago Blackhawks (1-0) in their previous two home games, a stretch of 1:24:33. … C Dominic Moore assisted on Miller’s goal for his first point since getting an assist Jan. 8 against Carolina.


Red Wings: Host Toronto on Wednesday night.

Bruins: Host Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

]]> 0 Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou (72) is held back as he threads between Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) and center Frank Vatrano, rear, during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Tue, 24 Jan 2017 23:06:38 +0000
Bruins lose fourth in a row Sun, 22 Jan 2017 23:13:58 +0000 PITTSBURGH — Conor Sheary is in the midst of a career-best stretch – and he enjoyed another big game against his hometown team.

The Pittsburgh forward scored two goals, Sidney Crosby added his league-leading 28th and the Penguins won their fourth straight game, 5-1 over the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

“It’s fun to play against your hometown team,” said Sheary, a native of Winchester, Massachusetts. “There’s a lot of people watching and you kind of get up easy for these games. It’s fun to be a part of.”

Sheary scored his 17th goal and has nine goals in nine games. The 5-foot-8 forward, who signed with Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent in July 2015, equaled a career-best four-game point streak.

“I felt strongly that Conor could be a good player in this league,” Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan said. “I’m not going to suggest that I thought he’d have 17 goals halfway through the season, but I knew he could be a solid player at the NHL level.”

Pittsburgh led 2-1 through two periods before breaking out in the third with three goals in a span of 2 minutes, 57 seconds.

Bryan Rust added his 12th and Patric Hornqvist his 11th for the Penguins, who have won a season-high seventh in a row at home. Pittsburgh, the NHL’s best home team, is 13-0-1 in its last 14 home games.

Evgeni Malkin had two assists for a season-best seven-game point streak. Crosby added two assists for a three-point game.

Matt Murray made 44 saves to win his fourth straight game. Murray has stopped 90 of 93 shots in his last three starts.

David Krejci scored his 11th goal for the Bruins, who have lost four straight and five of their last six. The Bruins hadn’t lost in regulation in their previous nine games at Pittsburgh and had won their last seven before Sunday’s loss.

Tuukka Rask stopped 20 of 22 shots for Boston before he left the game in the second period because of a migraine. He was replaced by Zane McIntyre, who stopped 11 shots.

“We got away from being on our toes for a few shifts and you can’t do that against them because they’re going to make you pay,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. “We had the start we wanted, but not the result.”

NOTES: Sullivan said defenseman Brian Dumoulin, a Biddeford native, may play before the All-Star break. He has missed 10 games because of a broken jaw. … Murray is 13-0-2 in his last 15 home starts. … Boston scratched forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Kevan Miller, while Pittsburgh sat forward Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Steve Oleksy.

]]> 0's Sidney Crosby tries to shoot in front of Bruins defenseman Torey Krug and goalie Tuukka Rask during Sunday's game in Pittsburgh. Crosby had a goal and two assists in a 5-1 win.Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:12:50 +0000
Blackhawks score a late goal, deal Bruins third straight loss Sat, 21 Jan 2017 02:43:27 +0000 BOSTON — Blackhawks backup Scott Darling insists he isn’t trying to take playing time away from No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford.

“I don’t know if you guys know who my goalie partner is,” Darling said with a smile after beating the Boston Bruins 1-0 on Friday night. “He’s one of the best goalies in the world, hands down, no arguments. So I’m just pretty happy to get any games I can.”

Marian Hossa scored with 1:26 left to break a scoreless tie, and Darling stopped 30 shots to post his second shutout of the season. Darling is 12-4 and he brought a 2.34 goals-against average into the game, even better than Crawford’s 2.54.

“He seems huge there; he’s always making key saves,” Hossa said. “It’s unreal just the way he’s always been ready when he hasn’t played for a long time. And when he got the chance, he wasn’t afraid of it.”

A three-time All-Star and two-time Stanley Cup champion, Crawford had started five straight games before taking a night off as the Blackhawks prepare for a six-game trip that will start at the end of the month.

Chicago Coach Joel Quenneville wouldn’t commit to a starter for the Blackhawks’ next game but said of Darling, “He certainly helped himself.”

Tuukka Rask made 21 saves for Boston, which has lost three straight games and four of its last five. The Bruins were shut out at home for the second game in a row.

“The winning goal goes through three of our guys and it’s in our net with a minute and a half left,” Bruins Coach Claude Julien said. “We have to stand there, take the responsibility for our own actions. It’s unfortunate because that minute and a half that was left in the game kind of tarnished everything we had done for the first 58 minutes.”

It was a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals, when Chicago scored twice in the final 76 seconds of the third period in Game 6 to overcome a one-goal deficit and claim the NHL title.

This time, the game was scoreless before the Blackhawks made their final charge.

Vinnie Hinostroza picked up the puck at the red line and skated it in, sliding to his right to avoid traffic as he crossed into the Boston zone. He pushed it up to Tanner Kero on Rask’s left, and he backhanded it across the crease for Hossa.

“The clock starts ticking down and you think, OK, maybe we are going to play some extra hockey,” Darling said. “But, I mean, what a goal.”

NOTES: Bruins forward Matt Beleskey played for the first time since Dec. 3. He missed 23 games with a right knee injury. … There were five penalties in the game, none in the first period. … The Bruins outshot Chicago 17-6 in the first. … Many of the Blackhawks’ fathers were in the stands, wearing their son’s uniform sweaters.

]]> 0's Austin Czarnik tries to cut between Chicago's Dennis Rasmussen, 70, and Brian Campbell in the second period Friday night in Boston.Sat, 21 Jan 2017 00:01:06 +0000
Bruins squander three-goal leads twice, lose in shootout Thu, 19 Jan 2017 04:25:29 +0000 DETROIT — Thomas Vanek and Frans Nielsen scored in a shootout, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a comeback 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

The Red Wings rallied from 3-0 and 4-1 deficits in the first period, and with 3:04 remaining in regulation, Gustav Nyquist scored to tie the game.

In the shootout, Tuukka Rask and Petr Mrazek stopped the first shots they faced before Vanek scored for the Red Wings and Brad Marchand countered with a goal for the Bruins. Nielsen, who like Vanek joined the team last summer as a free agent, scored on the team’s third attempt and Vatrano missed the net with a chance to extend the shootout.

The Bruins were dominant early before blowing a chance to keep Detroit at a distance in the Atlantic Division standings.

Detroit’s Jared Coreau was pulled 5:13 into the game after giving up three goals on eight shots and was replaced by Mrazek, who played well enough to keep his team in the game. Mrazek finished with 23 saves in a performance that might give him a much-needed boost of confidence.

Vatrano scored twice within the first nine minutes as Boston built a three-goal lead. Patrice Bergeron had a goal and two assists in the opening period, helping the Bruins restore their three-goal cushion.

Detroit’s Xavier Ouellet, Tomas Tatar and Andreas Athanasiou scored three straight goals to tie it, but 21 seconds later Adam McQuaid’s go-ahead goal gave Boston the lead again with 5-plus minutes left in the period.

Rask made 20 saves for the Bruins, who were coming off a 4-0 loss at home to the New York Islanders in which their top goaltender was benched after giving up three goals over the first two periods.

The Bruins were aggressive early and it paid off with Vatrano’s goal 44 seconds after the first puck dropped. Brandon Carlo scored less than 2 minutes later and Vatrano scored a season-high second goal at the 8:50 mark of the first period.

The lead, though, wasn’t large enough against a team that rallied from a two-goal deficit to rout Pittsburgh 6-3 and shut out Atlantic-leading Montreal 1-0.

NOTES: Boston D Kevan Miller missed his second straight game with a concussion and D Colin Miller was out for a fourth consecutive game with a lower-body injury.

]]> 0 goalie Tuukka Rask stops a shot by Detroit's Tomas Tatar in the first period Wednesday night in Detroit.Wed, 18 Jan 2017 23:42:37 +0000
Lowly Islanders beat Bruins in Boston again, 4-0 Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:38:47 +0000 BOSTON — Nikolay Kulemin scored two of New York’s three second-period goals, Thomas Greiss made 32 saves for his first shutout this season and the Islanders beat the Boston Bruins 4-0 on Monday.

Josh Bailey and Jason Chimera also scored for the Islanders, who have lost 13 of 19 road games this season (6-9-4), but defeated the Bruins twice in the TD Garden.

Chimera has scored in three consecutive games for New York, which entered the game with the fewest points in the Eastern Conference.

Boston starting goaltender Tuukka Rask was pulled after two periods. He gave up three goals on 15 shots. Backup Zane McIntyre gave up the other goal.

The Bruins lost at home against one of the league’s worst teams for the third time this season. On Dec. 8, Colorado came in with the league’s poorest record and beat Boston. The Islanders were also last in the East when they won 4-2 on Dec. 20.

After a scoreless and penalty-free opening period, the Islanders moved ahead 1-0 at 13:18 of the second. Kulemin took Casey Cizikas’ pass in front of the net and slipped a wrist shot past Rask.

They made it 2-0 less than 2 minutes later when Bailey took a seemingly harmless shot from the bottom of the right circle and the puck slipped between Rask’s left pad and the post. It snapped a 14-game goal-less stretch for the winger.

New York increased the lead to 3-0 late in the period. Rask stopped Cizikas on a clean breakaway, but the center collected his rebound and passed it to Kulemin, who fired a wrister past Rask at 18:38.

The Bruins left the ice to a smattering of boos after the second period. After pulling Rask, Boston barely mustered any threat to score.

Chimera scored an unassisted short-handed goal on a breakaway.

Boston’s Brad Marchand hit the left post with a backhand a few seconds before Kulemin’s first goal.

]]> 0 Kulemin of the Islanders scores one of his two goals against Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask during a 4-0 victory Monday afternoon at TD Garden.Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:13:48 +0000
Marchand’s five points propel Bruins by Flyers Sat, 14 Jan 2017 20:56:40 +0000 BOSTON — Brad Marchand was fortunate that the puck found its way into the net without him getting off a shot.

The way he’s feeling now, it doesn’t seem to matter.

Marchand had two goals – one short-handed, the other an empty-netter – and had three assists to lift the Boston Bruins to a 6-3 win over the slumping Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Playing in his 500th game, Marchand stole the puck from Sean Couturier near the blue line in the defensive zone and skated in while being hooked by defenseman Ivan Provorov. The puck slid off Marchand’s stick for a short-handed goal, tying the game 1-1 at 7:48 of the first period.

“I think that’s just how hockey goes sometimes – pucks bounce your way and other times they don’t,” he said.

When asked if it’s nice when you score without even getting a shot, he said: “Yeah, things are going well, but I would have got it on the penalty shot.”

He added an empty-netter with 54 seconds to play, giving him seven goals and five assists in six games. He has 17 goals this season.

“Well, I think right now he’s ‘feeling,'” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “That’s the word I use when I talk about Brad.”

The win improved Boston’s record to .500 at home (10-10) in its first game of a stretch of five of seven at TD Garden heading into the All-Star break at the end of the month.

Tuukka Rask was back in goal for Boston after leaving the previous game – a loss at Nashville on Thursday – because he was hit in the throat area by a shot in the opening period. He made 21 saves.

He said he felt fine.

The Flyers lost for the eighth time in 10 games (2-6-2).

“I think puck management is the key for us right now – turnovers at their blue line, our blue line is really shrinking the ice in half and making it tough to play,” Philadelphia defenseman Michael Del Zotto said.

Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Torey Krug and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins. Krejci’s was his 500th point.

Boston defenseman Kevan Miller was helped off the ice with what the team called an upper-body injury after he crashed into the backboards hard following a check by Jakub Voracek, who was given a major for boarding.

Wayne Simmonds, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Brayden Schenn had Philadelphia’s goals. Michal Neuvirth stopped 33 shots.

“They like screening and tipping,” Neuvirth said. “I don’t know how many goals were scored by tipping. It was a tough one.”

Krejci fired a wrist shot into the top far corner of the net from the left wing to move Boston ahead for good two minutes into the second. Austin Czarnik jumped to keep the puck in at the point before sending a cross-ice pass to Krejci for his power-play score.

Krug scored four minutes later when he redirected Marchand’s cross-ice pass from the edge of the slot.

The Flyers cut it to 3-2 on Schenn’s goal five seconds into a power play before Marchand set up Bergeron for a power-play goal at 13:04.

Chara one-timed David Pastrnak’s pass to make it 5-2. Marchand made a drop pass to Pastrnak, setting up the play.

Simmonds’ goal came with 3.2 seconds left in the second. The Flyers were skating with a two-man advantage.

]]> 0's Brad Marchand celebrates his first-period goal during Saturday's 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in Boston Marchand finished with two goals and three assists. (Associated Press/Michael Dwyer)Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:35:45 +0000
Predators beat Bruins, 2-1, as Rask leaves with injury Fri, 13 Jan 2017 04:00:29 +0000 NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Filip Forsberg scored with 2:24 left in the second period, and the Nashville Predators beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Thursday night after Bruins’ All-Star goalie Tuukka Rask was knocked out of the game.

Rask, named an All-Star on Tuesday for the first time in his career, lasted only 12:49. The 2014 Vezina Trophy winner came in having won his last two starts, but took a puck off a shot by Nashville defenseman Roman Josi off the bottom right of his mask near his jaw and neck.

Rask immediately shook off his right glove and pulled his mask off. Once he got up, Rask skated to the bench and went straight to the locker room. He was replaced by Zane McIntyre.

Austin Watson also scored a goal for Nashville, and Juuse Saros made 35 to improve to 4-3-1.

Torey Krug scored a power-play goal for Boston.

Both teams came in 2-2-1 over the past five games with the Predators playing their last game in Nashville before heading out on a five-game trip, and the Bruins wrapping up a four-game swing of their own.

The slap shot was the third shot Rask faced, then McIntyre faced only three more himself the rest of the first period. This was just McIntyre’s fifth career NHL appearance, and he now is 0-3-1.

The Predators managed only one shot in the final 4:29 of the period after Anton Blidh was given a 5:00 major for interference. Blidh hit Josi high, knocking the defenseman’s own stick into his face and dropping him to the ice. Josi didn’t return with what the Predators called an upper-body injury, leaving Nashville without its top two defensemen with All-Star P.K. Subban on injured reserve.

The Bruins started the second by killing off the penalty, then Watson scored his fourth goal this season from in front at 1:02 of the period. For Watson, he now has a goal in a career-best three straight games. The Bruins tied it up at 8:08 off a wrister from Krug near the blue line when Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson cleared the puck straight to the defenseman for his third goal this season.

Forsberg put Nashville ahead skating up and past Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo. He kicked the puck to his stick, then beat McIntyre for his 10th goal with a wrister.

Saros made that stand up as he made stop after stop, including smothering a shot from David Pasternak in the final minute with McIntyre pulled for an extra attacker.

]]> 0 left wing Filip Forsberg, center, celebrates with center Mike Fisher (12) after Forsberg scored what proved to be the game winner late in the second period. Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo skates by after the goal.Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:03:18 +0000
Brad Marchand scores twice as Bruins beat Blues 5-3 Wed, 11 Jan 2017 04:04:09 +0000 ST. LOUIS – Brad Marchand scored twice, including an empty netter, and David Backes got into a fight in his return to St. Louis as the Boston Bruins beat the Blues 5-3 on Tuesday night.

Frank Vatrano, Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug also scored for the Bruins, who improved to 2-0-1 in their last three games. Tuukka Rask made 14 saves.

Backes, who spent his first 10 seasons with St. Louis before signing with Boston as a free agent, fought with former teammate Joel Edmundson late in the second to the delight of the Scottrade Center crowd. Backes dropped the gloves in retaliation for a hit on Bruins teammate David Krejci by Jori Lehtera.

Colton Parayko, Patrik Berglund and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Blues. Jake Allen was pulled for Carter Hutton after allowing three goals on 11 shots in the first period. Hutton finished with 26 saves,

The Blues haven’t won two games in a row since Dec. 1.

Boston scored four goals on its first 13 shots.

Vatrano put the Bruins up 1-0 with a power-play goal at 8:19 in the first period. It was the sixth straight game the Blues gave up the first goal.

Carlo made it 2-0 with 4:40 left in the first on a lucky bounce. Carlo’s slap shot went wide, but caromed off the end boards and off Allen’s leg and into the net.

Marchand scored his fourth goal in his last three games to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead with 2:08 left in the first. Marchand extended his points streak to four games.

The Blues allowed more goals (3) than they had shots (2) in the first period.

The Bruins went up 4-0 when Krug scored his first goal in 30 games on a power play early in the second period. It was Boston’s sixth goal with the man advantage in six games.

Bruins defensemen Adam McQuaid (upper body) and Colin Miller (lower body) left the game in the first and third period, respectively.

NOTES: Blues fans gave Backes a standing ovation following a video tribute during the first period. … F Vladimir Tarasenko, the lone Blues player selected to the All-Star Game, played in his 300th game. . Rask and Marchand will represent the Bruins in the All-Star Game.


Bruins: At Nashville on Thursday night.

Blues: At Los Angeles on Thursday night.

]]> 0 Bruins' Frank Vatrano, left, celebrates after scoring a goal as St. Louis Blues' Alexander Steen skates nearby during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in St. Louis. (Associated Press/Billy Hurst)Tue, 10 Jan 2017 23:09:20 +0000
Bruins lose to Hurricanes in overtime Mon, 09 Jan 2017 00:59:50 +0000 RALEIGH, N.C. — Sebastian Aho seems to be coming along nicely in his rookie season with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The 19-year-old Finnish winger scored his second goal of the game 1:34 into overtime to lift Carolina to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Sunday.

It was the second two-goal game of the season for the slender second-round pick from the 2015 draft, who has been a key reason Carolina has been so dominant (12-4-1) at home this season.

“He’s a good player and a smart player,” Hurricanes Coach Bill Peters said. “He’s had a steady progression in his development. Hanging onto pucks, making plays. It would be nice if he became a little more selfish, took it to the net more and looked to be a shooter. But he’s a 19-year-old kid and his progression is right where you expect it. “

Derek Ryan and Jay McClement also scored for the Hurricanes, and Cam Ward finished with 32 saves.

Carolina won two of the three meetings between the teams, with all three going beyond regulation.

Tim Schaller, David Backes and Brad Marchand scored for Boston and Zane McIntyre stopped 26 shots in his first career appearance against Carolina.

The Bruins, who won 4-0 on Saturday at Florida, fell to 1-6-1 in the second games of back-to-backs this season.

“It was one of those momentum-shift games, and in the third period I thought we came hard and played really well,” Boston Coach Claude Julien said. “You could tell we wanted to win the game. But when you play back-to-backs you need everybody going, and tonight we didn’t have everybody going.”

Marchand tied the score at 7:43 of the third period as he beat Ward through traffic with an assist from Patrice Bergeron. That came just 23 seconds after McClement gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead, taking a pass from Viktor Stalberg from behind the goal line and flicking it around McIntyre.

Boston led 1-0 after the first period despite being outshot 13-8. Schaller put the Bruins ahead on a spin move from the right of the crease with 6:50 left.

]]> 0 Aho, right, celebrates with Joakim Nordstrom after scoring in overtime Sunday to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins.Sun, 08 Jan 2017 22:44:11 +0000
Marchand, Rask lead Bruins past Panthers Sun, 08 Jan 2017 02:53:49 +0000 SUNRISE, Fla. — Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins are on quite a run against the Florida Panthers.

Rask made 25 saves, Brad Marchand scored two goals and the Bruins beat the Panthers 4-0 on Saturday night.

Riley Nash and David Backes also scored, helping Boston improve to 4-0 against Florida this season. Rask got his fifth shutout of the season.

Rask is 19-3-1 against the Panthers with four shutouts.

“I like Florida. It’s warm and sunny here,” Rask said when asked about his success against the Panthers. “I don’t know. No particular reason, I don’t think. We’ve played some good games against them throughout the years.”

For some of the Panthers, the answer is simple.

“He’s a great goalie. He’s had our number for a while,” defenseman Aaron Ekblad said.

Florida’s James Reimer made 33 saves in his fourth straight start. Roberto Luongo, who missed Friday’s 2-1 victory against Nashville because an upper-body injury, is day to day.

Marchand’s second goal made it 3-0 at 9:40 of the second. Torey Krug’s power-play shot from the high slot was blocked, but Marchand swept in the rebound.

Marchand, who leads Boston with 12 goals and 34 points, also scored a short-handed goal at 12:48 of the first. He grabbed the puck from Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle, skated in and backhanded the puck between Reimer’s glove and the post.

“A couple of fortunate bounces. Nice to get them,” Marchand said.

The Bruins went ahead 2-0 when Backes tipped in a shot from David Krejci at 4:13 of the second. Backes missed the previous three games because of a concussion.

Boston had lost two in a row, but the win gave the Bruins sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of Ottawa and Toronto and four ahead of Tampa Bay and Florida.

“We’ve had some tough nights where we’ve worked hard and we haven’t got the results,” Coach Claude Julien said. “This is one of the few games that we’ve been able to extend a lead and get ourselves a win that we feel much better about.”

Nash poked in the puck off Reimer’s body and into the net at 4:59 of the third.

The Panthers have lost six of their last eight games.

“At 2-0 the game is not over, at 3-0 the game is not over,” said Jonathan Marchessault, Florida’s leading scorer. “We just stopped working. It started on October 13th. Our consistency is terrible. It’s the same thing tonight.”

The injury-riddled Panthers took another hit when forward Greg McKegg left in the second period because of an upper-body injury.

“We’ve got an awfully large list of injured guys out,” Panthers interim coach Tom Rowe said. “We ask our guys to give it everything they can and they have and they will continue to do that. Tonight was one of those nights playing a real good team with a full lineup and a structured system.”

]]> 0 left wing Brad Marchand, center, celebrates with teammates Patrice Bergeron, left, and Ryan Spooner after scoring his second goal against the Florida Panthers in the second period of Saturday's game at Sunrise, Fla. (Associated Press/Alan Diaz)Sat, 07 Jan 2017 23:36:02 +0000
Maroon scores three times as Oilers drop Bruins, 4-3 Fri, 06 Jan 2017 03:03:23 +0000 BOSTON — Patrick Maroon interrupted his scoring onslaught to accept an invitation to fight 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

“‘Z’ asked me to go. I respect ‘Z.’ I said, ‘Yeah,'” Maroon said on Thursday night after scoring his first career hat trick to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-3 victory over Boston.

“He’s a big man. I really don’t enjoy doing it. You kind of face it. I kind of knew going in there I wasn’t going to come out with a ‘W’ so I just kind of show up.”

Chara might have gotten the better of Maroon in the first-period fight, landing at least two solid hits to the head, but the 6-foot-3 Oilers forward won the scoring battle. He scored 68 seconds into the game, added another in the middle of the second and then made it 4-2 with nine minutes to play.

Only about a half-dozen hats came onto the ice for the visiting Oilers, and they were quickly picked up by the officials.

“Growing up and when I first stepped into the league, I never thought I’d score an NHL hat trick for a big guy like me,” said Maroon, who had just his fourth career multigoal game. “But I did it, and my linemates were really good tonight.”

Cam Talbot stopped 33 shots for the Oilers, who have won five of their last eight. Edmonton took a 4-2 lead into the final four minutes before David Krejci scored on a rebound of Patrice Bergeron’s shot in the last two seconds of a five-on-three advantage.

But Talbot killed off the rest of the power play with the Oilers one man down. He then blanked Boston for another minute with goalie Tuukka Rask pulled for an extra skater.

Bergeron and Colin Miller also scored for the Bruins, and Rask stopped 21 shots.

The night opened with a ceremony to honor “the ultimate Bruin,” former Boston captain, coach and general manager Milt Schmidt, who died on Wednesday at 98.

Schmidt’s No. 15 was painted on the ice behind the nets. The Bruins also wore patches on their sweaters in memory of the hall of famer.

The Bruins dipped Schmidt’s retired No. 15 from the rafters in the pregame ceremony and played a video of his career highlights. In lieu of the usual moment of silence, the announcer asked for “a moment of celebration and applause,” and the crowd responded.

But a little more than a minute after the ceremony ended, Connor McDavid slid around Chara and sent a backhand pass to Maroon, who one-timed it past Rask’s right skate.

“It’s a goalie’s nightmare,” Rask said.

Boston tied it seven minutes later when Miller’s slap shot from the right point went in off Talbot’s pad. The Bruins took a 2-1 lead midway through the second when David Pastrnak found Bergeron in the slot, and he wristed it in on the stick side.

But the Oilers tied it with seven minutes left in the second on another goal from Maroon, who backhanded it under Rask’s right pad. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins broke a 2-2 tie just 14 seconds into the third.

NOTES: Bruins F David Backes sat out his third straight game with a concussion. He practiced on Wednesday. … A dozen or so people, including many media members, were stuck in the elevator from the press box to the locker rooms after the game. … The Bruins had won nine of the last 11 times the Oilers visited Boston, but Edmonton won last season’s meeting.

]]> 0 center Connor McDavid crashes into Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in the first period Thursday night in Boston.Thu, 05 Jan 2017 23:13:29 +0000
Commentary: Win one, lose another won’t cut it for Bruins Thu, 05 Jan 2017 01:55:08 +0000 In the parity of today’s NHL, one good run can go a long way for a team.

Last year the Philadelphia Flyers used a 9-3-2 record in March to sneak into the playoffs after it looked like they would be an also-ran. Two years ago the Ottawa Senators went on an incredible 22-4-3 run to end the regular season. Both the Flyers and Senators nudged the Boston Bruins out of the playoffs essentially by one game.

This season the Bruins might not need a historic streak but they certainly could use an extended run of success.

“That’s what we have to do, especially in the position that we’re in, fighting for our lives,” winger Brad Marchand said after an anemic 3-0 loss to the Devils on Monday. “We do have to get on a roll, put a few wins together and get on a streak.”

But are these Bruins capable? At 20-16-4, they seem in a constant mode of two steps forward, two steps back. They have two three-game winning streaks and prevented a third with a head-scratching, no-show performance in New Jersey against a team that had a minus-28 goal differential and was missing two centers in Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson.

The Bruins responded with their most lifeless performance since willingly playing into the Ottawa Senators’ 1-3-1 defensive system in a Nov. 24 loss.

“I just don’t think we were sharp mentally. Whether it’s hitting the net or not seeing plays out there, I think our focus wasn’t there,” defenseman Torey Krug said. “It’s one of those things where you have to expect more out of yourself and hold yourself accountable to the team. If everyone does that, we’re better overall.”

You might expect games like that every now and then. With forwards Matt Beleskey (knee) and David Backes (concussion) out, the Bruins dressed a half-dozen players in their first or second NHL seasons.

But the veterans were every bit as culpable as the younger players in Monday’s loss.

“First and foremost, we’re all in this together,” Krug said. “You can’t have anyone, old or young, falling behind and dragging the team down. It doesn’t matter if you’re a superstar or a first-year player, fourth-line guy, we have to do a better job playing together as a team and holding yourself accountable.

“Your teammates have to know what they’re going to get out of you every single shift when you jump over the boards. If we do that and guys stick to their roles, we’re a good team. It just wasn’t there (on Monday).”

The Bruins got back to practice Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s tough home game against the Edmonton Oilers.

If there’s a lack of focus, as Krug suggested, bringing in some new blood from Providence can have a way of snapping players to attention. There are a couple of prospects.

Peter Cehlarik, who had a good training camp, leads Providence with 14 goals in 27 games. Jake DeBrusk, one of the Bruins’ three first-round draft picks in 2015, also is heating up. While averaging more than three shots a game, he’s getting rewarded for it with six points (four goals) in his past six games.

However the Bruins plan to address their woeful performance – and it’s important not to overreact to one game – everyone must know that what happened Monday is unacceptable.

Maybe then they can go on that one big run.

]]> 0's game against the New Jersey Devils was symbolic of the way things have gone for the Boston Bruins. In a totally winnable game against a depleted opponent, goalie Tuukka Rask got no help from an anemic offense.Wed, 04 Jan 2017 21:15:18 +0000
Boston Bruins legend Milt Schmidt dies at 98 Wed, 04 Jan 2017 22:27:48 +0000 BOSTON — Milt Schmidt, the hockey hall of famer who led Boston to two Stanley Cup championships as the center what was then known as the “Kraut Line,” served Canada in World War II and returned to the NHL to win its MVP award and two more titles as the Bruins general manager, has died, Bruins spokesman Matt Chmura said Wednesday.

He was 98 and he had been the oldest living NHL player.

No other details were immediately available about Schmidt’s death.

Schmidt is the only Bruin in franchise history to serve as on-ice captain, coach and general manager. His Boston teams won the Stanley Cup in 1939 and in ’41, and when he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force two months after the Pearl Harbor attack along with linemates Woody Dumart and Bobby Bauer, they were carried off the ice on the shoulders of the archrival Montreal Canadiens.

“When they grabbed Bobby, Woody and myself, we felt like saying, ‘What are they doing?’ Well we found out in a hurry that they all grabbed us and carried us off the ice,” Schmidt said before a 2016 ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of his NHL debut.

“That goes to show you that you have friends, although you are bitter enemies, you had friends in the National Hockey League,” he said. “Not necessarily on the ice, but off the ice.”

A native of Kitchener, Ontario, who was born on March 5, 1918, Milton Conrad Schmidt played with Bauer and Dumart in the junior leagues before they were reunited as the “Kraut Line” in the NHL for the 1936-37 season. With the three players of German heritage, the Bruins won NHL championships in 1939 and again in ’41, when Schmidt led playoff run with 5 goals and 6 assists in 11 playoff games.

During the war against Germany, Schmidt considered changing his name – to Smith – but decided against it. (The Bruins held a contest that came up with the suggested “Buddy Line,” but it didn’t stick.)

Schmidt missed three full seasons during the war, but returned to score career highs of 27 goals and 62 points in the 1946-47 season. He won the 1951 Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player after totaling 61 points in 62 games.

Schmidt played four more seasons before retiring at the age of 36 with 229 goals, 346 assists and 466 penalty minutes to his credit. He also scored 25 goals and assisted 48 more in 86 playoff games.

Taking over as coach in 1955, Schmidt’s teams reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1957 and ’58. But he had left the bench and taken over as general manager when the young phenom Bobby Orr made his debut in 1966.

At the trade deadline that season, Schmidt orchestrated the trade that brought Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Fred Stanfield to Boston from the Chicago Blackhawks. With the future hall of famers Orr and Esposito, the Bruins went on to win the Stanley Cup in 1970 and again two years later.

Schmidt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. The Bruins retired his No. 15 in 1980. At the age of 98, he was back in the new Boston Garden on opening night of the 2016-17 season, when the team celebrated the 80th anniversary of his first game and the 50th anniversary of Orr’s debut.

Before the game, the two argued playfully over who was the franchise’s biggest gem.

“I would go with you, Milty, being the greatest Bruin ever,” Orr said.

“He’s got to say that because I’m sitting right beside him,” Schmidt replied.

“He wasn’t very big, but his heart was this big on the ice,” Orr said, spreading his hands wide. “And that’s how he played. He was great player and he’s a wonderful individual. He’s a great man and a great friend to all of us.

After pushing Schmidt to center ice for a ceremonial puck drop, Orr helped Schmidt raise his hand to acknowledge the cheering crowd. They were joined there by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, and other players skated over to pay their respects.

“It’s very special for me, being here my whole career, and having the chance to see them once in a while,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. “Realizing how much they mean to the Bruins — but also to hockey, and to Boston, it’s very special to me to have a chance to take a few seconds to go shake their hands.”

Schmidt’s coaching record during two stints on the Bruins bench was 245-360-121 in 726 games.

He was also the first general manager of the expansion Washington Capitals, who in 1974-75 set the NHL’s record for futility by going 8-67-5. Schmidt took over as coach late in the 1974-75 season, posting a 5-34-5 record, including an 0-22-3 stretch that spanned 57 days and cost him both jobs.

]]> 0 this October 1945 file photo, Boston Bruins manager "Uncle Arthur" Ross is pictured with his players, from left, Milt Schmidt, Porky Dumart and Bobby Bauer, known as the team's "Kraut Line", during hockey practice at Boston Garden in Boston. Schmidt, a hockey hall of famer, has died at the age of 98. Schmidt, the NHL MVP in 1951, was the league's oldest living former player.Wed, 04 Jan 2017 21:22:05 +0000
Bruins shut out 3-0 by a hot goalie Tue, 03 Jan 2017 04:00:30 +0000 NEWARK, N.J. — PA Parenteau scored his fifth goal in eight games, Cory Schneider made 22 saves and the slumping New Jersey Devils beat the Boston Bruins 3-0 on Monday night.

Sergey Kalinin added an insurance goal early in the third period and set up Taylor Hall’s empty-netter as the Devils won for only the third time in 13 games (3-9-1).

Tuukka Rask had 23 saves for the Bruins, who lost to New Jersey for only the second time in eight games (6-2).

Schneider was the difference in picking up his second shutout of the season, and second in his last four starts. He stopped a power-play redirection in front by Tim Schaller with 1:20 left in the first and made an outstanding stick stop on a rebound try by Patrice Bergeron with 3.3 seconds left in the period following a giveaway by Parenteau.

The puck lay on the goal line for a second or so before Schneider slapped his glove on top of it inches from being a goal. The play was reviewed and the no-goal ruling was confirmed.

Parenteau put the Devils ahead 4:12 into the game with the help of just recalled rookie defenseman Steven Santini and Hall, who returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a lower-body injury.

Santini, a former Boston College product playing in his second NHL game and first this season, took a shot from the right point. Rask pushed the rebound to the left circle and Hall shot it off the goalpost. Parenteau swatted the loose puck off the post and then into the net for his 11th goal. It was Santini’s first NHL point.

Kalinin gave New Jersey breathing room 1:44 into the third period. Miles Wood, another Boston College player, set up the goal with a rush along the right boards into the Bruins’ zone. Kalinin took his centering pass and beat Rask in close for his second goal.

NOTES: Bruins RW David Backes missed his second straight game with a concussion. … This was first of five of six on the road for Bruins. … Torey Krug and Ryan Spooner had five-game point streaks snapped. … Boston killed off all six New Jersey power plays. … Devils centers Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefson were out because of illness.

]]> 0 Tue, 03 Jan 2017 08:06:57 +0000
Bruins top Sabres, sweep season series Sat, 31 Dec 2016 21:38:05 +0000 BOSTON — A fast start and another solid outing by goaltender Tuukka Rask made for a fairly easy afternoon for the Boston Bruins.

Patrice Bergeron and Tim Schaller scored second-period goals Saturday to help the Bruins beat Buffalo 3-1 and complete a sweep of home-and-home games against the struggling Sabres.

“We played much better – better start,” Bruins Coach Claude Julien said. “We were playing with the lead, which makes a big difference. In the third period we played smart.”

The victory also gave Boston a sweep of its four-game season series against the Sabres. Buffalo was the only team the Bruins had never swept during a regular season. Buffalo lost 4-2 at home to Boston on Thursday.

Boston opened a 3-0 lead and Rask took care of the rest. He made 26 saves.

“It’s something we’ve talked about,” Rask said. “We want to get that first goal more often. I thought we came out really strong today – like we wanted to. It paid off today. It’s something we have to do more often.”

On Thursday, the Bruins fell behind 2-0 in the opening period.

Frank Vatrano scored the other goal on Saturday for Boston, which had lost five of its previous nine games but improved to 12-1-2 in the last 15 meetings against the Sabres.

Jack Eichel, a former Boston University star and Hobey Baker winner, scored for Buffalo. Robin Lehner made 25 saves. It was the ninth loss in 11 games for the Sabres (2-5-4).

After the game, Eichel was visibly upset, slamming his equipment as he packed his bag, knocking a clock above his locker to the floor during his tirade. He didn’t speak to the media.

“I think every one of us should be,” Sabres Coach Dan Bylsma said of Eichel’s feelings. “We should all find that desperation, that urgency, that anger.”

With Boston leading 1-0, Bergeron one-timed Ryan Spooner’s pass past Lehner from the right circle for a power-play goal 7:04 into the second. Schaller scored 2:25 later when he came charging down the right wing and fired a backhander that slipped into the net between Lehner’s body and the near post.

Eichel scored his seventh goal with 21.2 seconds left in the second when he one-timed a shot from the right circle.

Vatrano slipped a wrister inside the left post 1:28 into the game.

NOTES: Bruins winger Brad Marchand spoke to the media before the game about standing up to a Twitter user who attacked him with a homophobic slur on Thursday. Marchand said he thought it important to go public and reply directly to the person who wrote it. The player said it struck home because he has a “few friends that are in same-sex relationships.” Marchand replied to the Twitter user, writing: “This derogatory statement is offensive to so many people around the world.” … Boston forward David Backes is out “indefinitely” because of a concussion from a hit Thursday, the team announced during the game. … The Bruins honored Denna Laing, a former women’s professional hockey player who suffered a career-ending spinal injury when she crashed into boards at Gillette Stadium the day before the 2016 NHL Winter Classic. Laing, 25, came onto the ice in her wheelchair and dropped the ceremonial puck.

]]> 0's Tim Schaller, third from right, celebrates his goal with teammates Colin Miller (6), Torey Krug (47), Austin Czarnik (27) and Jimmy Hayes (11) during the second period Saturday's game against Buffalo in Boston. (Associated Press/Michael Dwyer)Sat, 31 Dec 2016 17:43:21 +0000
Spooner scores twice in third as Bruins top Sabres, 4-2 Fri, 30 Dec 2016 03:09:26 +0000 BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ryan Spooner scored twice in the final four minutes and the Boston Bruins beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Thursday night.

Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci also scored in the opening game of a home-and-home series. Krejci also had an assist, and Tuuka Rask made 31 saves to help the Bruins snap a two-game losing streak.

Spooner broke a tie with 3:53 remaining. He took a cross-ice pass from Krejci and beat Robin Lehner with a straightaway slap shot. Spooner scored again into an empty net in the final minute.

Marcus Foligno and Kyle Okposo scored for the Sabres. Matt Moulson assisted on both goals, and Lehner made 34 saves. Buffalo has just one regulation win in its last six games.

Boston went 2-1-1 on a four-game trip and has earned 10 of its 19 regulation victories this season against Atlantic Division opponents, including three wins over Buffalo.

The Bruins scored twice in the second period to overcome a 2-0 deficit.

Brad Marchand fed Bergeron in front of the net for Boston’s first goal 3:50 into the period. Marchand leads the Bruins with 20 assists and 30 points.

Krejci tied it at 2 on a power play with 3:47 left in the second period. Krejci pounced on a loose puck in front of the net and lifted a backhand over a sprawling Lehner. Sabres Coach Dan Bylsma challenged that Boston’s Tim Schaller interfered with Lehner but the goal was upheld on replay.

Buffalo controlled the early action, putting nine shots on goal in the opening five minutes and 16 by the end of the first period.

Jack Eichel’s backhand pass from the corner set up Foligno for a one-timer from the slot 1:32 into the game. Okposo scored his team-leading 10th goal on a power play with 1:50 remaining in the first period.

Bruins forward David Backes left the game late in the first period after getting hit by Buffalo’s William Carrie in front of the Sabres’ bench. Backes laid on the ice with his eyes closed for over a minute before being helped to the dressing room. Carrier was penalized for an illegal check to the head

As soon as Carrier left the penalty box, Boston’s Adam McQuaid skated off the bench and instigated a fight with Carrier, leading to Okposo’s goal on Buffalo’s third power play of the period. Carrier injured his right hand during the fight and did not return.

NOTES: Bruins D John-Michael Lines (concussion) participated in Thursday morning’s optional skate but Coach Claude Julien said there is still no timetable for Lines return. He has missed 15 games.

]]> 0's David Krejci celebrates his second-period goal against the Buffalo Sabres Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y.Thu, 29 Dec 2016 22:10:23 +0000
Red-hot Blue Jackets beat Bruins with third-period goal Wed, 28 Dec 2016 03:12:19 +0000 COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nick Foligno scored a power-play goal midway through the third period, Sergei Bobrovsky had 37 saves and the NHL-leading Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to 13 games.

Scott Hartnell, Seth Jones and Matt Calvert scored to put the burgeoning Blue Jackets up 3-0 in the first period, but they were outplayed from there by the more aggressive Bruins. Columbus stayed in the game thanks to the latest stellar performance by Bobrovsky, who got his first career victory in eight games against Boston.

David Backes, Austin Czarnik and David Krejci scored for the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask had 18 saves.

Columbus hasn’t lost since Nov. 26 on this franchise-best winning streak. It leads the brutal Metropolitan Division a season after finishing in last place.

Foligno scored the winner with a wraparound goal 10:46 into the third period off a pass from Alexander Wennberg. The Blue Jackets then killed a power play with less than four minutes left and held off a rush by the Bruins after they pulled their goalie with about 1½ minutes remaining.

Columbus opened the scoring 3:02 into the first when a wrist shot by Lukas Sedlak bounced off Rask’s pads. Hartnell skated in front of the net after being checked to the ice and poked it in for his ninth goal of the season.

Jones scored from the middle of the left circle at 8:47 after taking a pass from Hartnell from behind the net just after a Jackets’ power play expired. Less than a minute later, Calvert got a steal and scored after getting his own rebound off Rask’s pads.

Boston then got two goals in quick fashion. Backes charged through the slot and shot the puck over Bobrovsky’s right shoulder for his ninth goal at 11:05, and 55 seconds later, Czarnik scored in traffic off a rebound.

After Bobrovsky turned away a fierce barrage for most of the second period, Boston evened the score at 3 when Krejci got a put-back tally off a blocked shot by Ryan Spooner. Bobrovsky stopped 17 shots in the period.

The Blue Jackets haven’t gone without a point since the day before Thanksgiving in a 2-0 loss to Calgary, and have won seven in a row at home. The Blue Jackets are only the ninth team in the 99-year history of the NHL to have won 13 games in a row.

]]> 0 goalie Sergei Bobrovsky makes a save against the Bruins' Brad Marchand in the first period of the Blue Jackets' 4-3 win Tuesday night.Tue, 27 Dec 2016 22:24:22 +0000
Bruins waste 2-goal lead, lose Sat, 24 Dec 2016 03:38:35 +0000 RALEIGH, N.C. — Teuvo Teravainen scored 3:01 into overtime and the Carolina Hurricanes rallied past the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Friday night to win for the ninth time in their last 10 home games.

Justin Faulk and Jordan Staal also scored for the Hurricanes, now 9-0-1 in their past 10 at home. Staal scored his 15th career short-handed goal in the second period.

Ryan Spooner and Brad Marchand had the goals for the Bruins, who squandered a two-goal lead.

Boston went ahead midway through the first when Spooner scored on a tip-in from the top of the crease. The Bruins added to their lead early in the second when Marchand scored on a power play. He deflected a slap shot from Spooner by goalie Cam Ward at 3:17.

Staal cut Boston’s advantage in half with 9:48 left in the second.

]]> 0's Jordan Staal celebrates after scoring a short-handed goal against Boston in the second period of the Hurricanes 3-2 win in overtime Friday in Raleigh, N.C.Fri, 23 Dec 2016 22:41:22 +0000
Jagr takes over second place on all-time scoring list, but Bruins win Fri, 23 Dec 2016 03:39:28 +0000 SUNRISE, Fla. — Jaromir Jagr broke a tie with Mark Messier for No. 2 on the NHL career points list. Afterward, he was upset about the two standings points the Florida Panthers let slip away with a 3-1 loss to Boston.

“You want to win the hockey game,” Jagr said. “The best thing is to put this behind us, and the whole team can now be concerned about winning. … I’ve learned that hockey is a team game. Only team victories count. I wish it had happened in the first period, or it was a goal to give us the lead.”

Florida interim coach Tom Rowe understands Jagr’s team-first mentality.

“(Jagr’s) upset. He’s second in history in NHL scoring and he doesn’t even care about that right now,” Rowe said. “The two points were more important to him.”

Jagr got point No. 1,888 with an assist with 6:40 left to break the tie with Messier.

“I appreciate everything … over my hockey career, and I thank the fans,” Jagr said in a brief ceremony during which he was given a golden stick.

Only Wayne Gretzky, with 2,857 points, has more than Jagr. Aleksander Barkov was credited with the goal that deflected off the 44-year-old Czech star.

In a video, Gretzky offered congratulations. “You play the game the right way,” he told Jagr.

The game was stopped for a celebration, and Jagr came onto the ice to accept the commemorative golden stick from the Panthers. He waved to the crowd, got congratulatory stick-taps from both teams, and the game – his 1,663rd in the NHL – resumed.

The Bruins, whom Jagr played 22 games for back in 2013, were fine with the brief stoppage of play to honor No. 68.

“He deserves that attention. We didn’t mind that at all,” Boston Coach Claude Julien said. “He played for us so it was nice to be a part of it.”

Frank Vatrano, Patrice Bergeron and David Backes scored for Boston, and Tuukka Rask made 29 saves.

Rask improved to 18-3-1 against Florida, and the Boston is 16-2-1 in its last 19 games with the Panthers.

Rask was thrilled to have been a part of a night that not only included the win but also Jagr’s history making achievement.

“You don’t get to be (on the ice) with that kind of a legend very often so it was great to see that,” Rask said. “I’m very happy for him; it’s great.”

Vatrano, called up this week from Providence of the AHL, scored in his first game and on his second shot as a Bruin on a wrister from the slot at 2:09 of the second period.

“You aren’t a part of something like that every day,” Vatrano said about Jagr’s memorable assist. “He’s a tremendous player, one of the best in the game and it’s awesome.”

Bergeron followed 3 minutes later with a power-play goal that beat goalie James Reimer off a perfect feed from Torey Krug, who also assisted on Vatrano’s score. It was Bergeron’s fifth goal this season.

After being outshot 12-8 in the first period, the Bruins took control at both ends with a 16-5 advantage in the second en route to a two-goal advantage.

Reimer faced 33 Boston shots in the loss.

Backes scored an empty-netter with 1:23 remaining to close out the scoring.

]]> 0's Patrice Bergeron, 37, celebrates his second-period goal with David Pastrnak, 88, Brad Marchand, 63, obscured, and Torey Krug in Thursday night's game at Sunrise, Fla.Fri, 23 Dec 2016 08:03:44 +0000
Bruins’ rally in third period falls short Wed, 21 Dec 2016 03:27:43 +0000 BOSTON — Thomas Greiss stopped 48 shots, Anders Lee scored twice and had an assist, and the New York Islanders beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 Tuesday night to snap a five-game winless streak.

Thomas Hickey and Nikolay Kulemin also scored for the Islanders in their first win since beating St. Louis on Dec. 8. New York was outscored 24-12 while going 0-4-1 in the five games since.

Greiss took a shutout into the third period and was able to hold off the Bruins after they pulled to 3-2 on goals by Anton Blidh and Dominic Moore. Greiss made 23 saves in the third period and got a little cushion when Lee scored a power-play goal with 6:58 left to put the Islanders back up two.

Blidh’s goal 3:04 into the third was the first of his career and Moore scored at 7:12.

The Bruins lost for the fourth time in their last five at home, and now play nine of their next 11 on the road.

Boston outshot New York 50-29, but could not recover after the Islanders scored the first three goals.

Tuukka Rask started in goal for Boston but was pulled after Kulemin’s goal 6:18 into the second period gave New York a 3-0 lead.

Rask allowed three goals on just 13 shots, though the third goal took a funny bounce off the end boards and bounced right to Kulemin, who poked it between Rask’s pad and the post. Anton Khudobin stopped 15 of 16 shots in relief.

The goalie change did seem to get the Bruins’ attention. Boston played much of the rest of the second in New York’s zone and continued to pressure the Islanders throughout the third.

NOTES: RW David Pastrnak, who leads Boston with 19 goals, missed his second straight game after having surgery on his right elbow Friday. The Bruins said Pastrnak will be re-evaluated on a day-to-day basis. … Blidh made his NHL debut on Dec. 6 against Buffalo and scored his first career goal in his seventh game. … New York D Dennis Seidenberg played his first game back in Boston since signing with the Islanders as a free agent Sept. 28. The Bruins welcomed him back with a video tribute in the first period.

]]> 0 left wing Anders Lee, rear, catches Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask out of position as he pokes the puck in for a goal during the first period of the Islanders' 4-2 win Tuesday night in Boston.Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:34:30 +0000
Rask, Bruins shut out Kings, 1-0 Sun, 18 Dec 2016 20:55:31 +0000 BOSTON — Jimmy Hayes emerged as an unlikely source of offense for the Bruins.

Hayes scored the game’s only goal early in the first period and Tuukka Rask made 18 saves as Boston held on for a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.

Hayes’ goal was his first in seven games and only his second in 28 games this season.

“You try to help the team whenever you can, and today I got an opportunity so it’s nice to cash in on one,” Hayes said.

It was a much-needed boost with leading scorer David Pastrnak sidelined after having right elbow surgery on Friday. Pastrnak’s 19 goals rank second in the NHL behind Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (21).

“It’s going to be huge (for others to step up),” Hayes said. “A guy like that who’s been scoring for us, scoring some big time goals for us on a regular basis. You’re going to need other guys to step up and that’s going to have to be the mentality going forward.”

Bruins Coach Claude Julien hopes Hayes’ performance serves as a spark after his sluggish start. Hayes ranked ninth on the team with 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) last season.

“He resembled probably the older Hayes that we had at times last year than the one we’ve seen this year,” Julien said.

Rask recorded his fourth shutout of the season for the Bruins, who improved to .500 at home (8-8-0) after losing two straight games and five of six coming in.

“It’s one of those games that you only need one bad bounce or one really good chance for them to tie it, and today we didn’t even give them that,” Rask said.

Rask tied Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk for the league lead in shutouts, and now has 34 for his career.

Peter Budaj had 29 saves for the Kings, who had won their previous two games. Los Angeles was outshot 30-18.

“Hey, we just played our fourth game today in 61/2 days and we played our (butts) off again today,” Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said.

Sutter opted to sit the struggling Marian Gaborik, who has just one goal and three assists through nine games.

“We have that right in the locker room as players and coaches to have high expectations of players in terms of how they play,” Sutter said.

Colin Miller’s wrister from the top of the right circle caught a piece of Hayes’ stick and zipped past Budaj 4:20 into the opening period. Hayes was initially credited with an assist on Miller’s goal, but the call was changed. Dominic Moore also assisted on the goal.

“Just being in the right spot at the right time,” Hayes said about his timely score.

Hayes has gone 45 games without an assist dating to Feb. 22. He is three points shy of 100 for his career.

Kyle Clifford went to the locker room at 3:24 of the third after taking a hit from the Bruins’ Adam McQuaid while chasing a puck in the corner. He returned later in the period.

]]> 0 left wing Kyle Clifford, left, and Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller fight in the first period of Sunday in Boston.Sun, 18 Dec 2016 18:08:54 +0000
NHL roundup: Bruins’ Grzelcyk at home in TD Garden debut Sat, 17 Dec 2016 23:23:13 +0000 BOSTON — Making your NHL debut would be momentous for anybody, but Matt Grzelcyk’s first couple of days in the league were pretty darn special.

On Wednesday, he played his first game, and it was in Pittsburgh against the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins and some of the stars he grew up idolizing, including Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Thursday night at TD Garden, he made his home debut at the rink that’s just a short stroll across the bridge from his native Charlestown.

Before playing the Ducks, however, Grzelcyk did his best to play it cool.

“I kind of made it a point when I got called up not to put as much into it as I did in camp. I’m just trying to do my best to keep my mind off it,” he said.

Yet it wasn’t easy.

The young defenseman played many big games on the Garden ice in the past as a young man with Boston University and as a kid “whenever my dad could sneak me in.”

Grzelcyk’s father, John, is a member of the arena’s bull gang and was on the clock before Thursday night’s game. After watching his son’s NHL debut on TV with members of their extended family – and fielding many phone calls – John was expecting to enjoy the home-ice debut in person.

Matt, meanwhile, was hoping his previous Garden experiences would help guide him through this special moment.

“You’re not wide-eyed going around the arena. You know the ins and outs, played in some pretty big environments here. Hopefully stepping on the ice will give me a comfort level,” the younger Grzelcyk said.

It was a mixed bag for Grzelcyk Thursday night. He was on the ice for a Bruins goal – Austin Czarnik’s first-period score – and for one against the home team as Kevin Bieksa’s breakaway goal came as the Anaheim defenseman stepped out of the penalty box later in the first. The latter was a play Grzelcyk would like to have back.

“I think I wasn’t expecting it to take as crazy a hop as it did. But that’s something that’s kind of a teaching point for me,” Grzelcyk said after the 4-3 loss to Anaheim. “I have to recognize the guy is coming out of the box there. At that point in the game, you can’t be too risky.”

In 10:24 of ice time, Grzelcyk took four shots.


STARS 3, FLYERS 1: Adam Cracknell scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and Dallas won at home to end Philadelphia’s 10-game winning streak.

Radek Faksa and Jordie Benn also scored for the Stars and Antti Niemi stopped 31 shots, including three during a Flyers power play in the closing minutes.

Tyler Leier scored his first NHL goal in the first period for the Flyers.

WILD 4, COYOTES 1: Darcy Kuemper stopped 27 shots in his first start in nearly three weeks, and the Wild beat Arizona in St. Paul, Minnesota for their seventh straight win.

Ryan Suter and Tyler Graovac both ended goal-scoring droughts of at least 13 games, and Chris Stewart and Eric Stall also scored for the Wild. Minnesota has won seven in a row for the first time since March 2013.

]]> 0 Sat, 17 Dec 2016 19:37:45 +0000
Ducks beat Bruins, 4-3, on pair of second-period goals Fri, 16 Dec 2016 02:57:04 +0000 BOSTON — Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell scored second-period goals to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

Andrew Cogliano and Kevin Bieksa also scored for the Ducks, who won for the seventh time in nine games. Jonathan Bernier stopped 31 shots.

Zdeno Chara, Austin Czarnik and David Krejci had Boston’s goals. It was the Bruins’ fifth loss in six games (1-3-2).

Boston’s backup goaltender Anton Khudobin made 23 saves. The Bruins have won just one game that regular netminder Tuukka Rask hasn’t started.

After overcoming a 2-goal deficit in the first period, Anaheim moved ahead 3-2 just 55 seconds into the second when Manson scored off his own rebound.

]]> 0 defenseman Kevin Bieksa celebrates after scoring against Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin on a breakaway in the first period Thursday night in Boston.Fri, 16 Dec 2016 08:33:56 +0000
Rust lifts Penguins past Bruins, 4-3 Thu, 15 Dec 2016 03:40:05 +0000 PITTSBURGH — Bryan Rust flipped a backhander past Tuukka Rask 1:24 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

Racing down the slot, Rust took a swipe at Evgeni Malkin’s centering pass and the puck fluttered by Rask to give the Penguins their seventh straight victory. Conor Sheary, Nick Bonino and Justin Schultz also scored for Pittsburgh. Matt Murray stopped 41 of the 44 shots he faced to improve to 10-0-1 in his last 11 home starts.

Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh improved to 20-7-3 to take the overall NHL lead with 43 points.

David Pastrnak picked up his 19th goal for the Bruins. Brad Marchand and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins. Rask played spectacularly at times and finished with 33 saves.

The Penguins have hit their stride in December, and were coming off a 7-0 romp over Arizona on Monday night. Yet for all of his team’s considerable firepower, Coach Mike Sullivan stressed he was more impressed by his team’s effort on the other end of the ice in front of Matt Murray.

The Bruins, however, have typically found a way to hold the Penguins in check. Boston came in 7-0-1 in their last eight against Pittsburgh, with its last regulation loss to Pittsburgh more than three years ago.

Marchand gave the Bruins the lead 10:48 into the first with a wrist shot that banked off Murray’s left pad and slipped between the goaltenders legs. Schultz responded just over two minutes later, taking a cross-ice feed from Sidney Crosby then gliding through the slot before ripping a shot over Rask’s blocker.

Boston’s lackluster power play had a chance to break it open later in the period during an extended 5 on 3 but Pittsburgh’s beleaguered penalty kill – which began the night ranked 27th in the league – kept the Bruins at bay.

Boston went back in front when Krejci collected a rebound in front of Murray and kicked the puck to his stick for his fifth goal of the season 6:40 into the second period. Again, it didn’t take the Penguins long to tie it with Bonino’s shot from the top of the left circle knotting it at 2 just before the game’s midway point.

Sheary put the Penguins up 3-2 with his career-high eighth goal, a nifty redirect of a shot by Brian Dumoulin. But that was before Pastrnak jumped on a loose puck behind the Pittsburgh net, darted in front around a sprawled Murray then slipped the puck between the legs of a scrambling Bonino.

Rask stoned Sheary on a breakaway with 54 seconds remaining to salvage a point for the Bruins before Rust prevailed in overtime.

NOTES: Boston D Zdeno Chara played in his 1,300th game, becoming the 60th player in NHL history to reach that plateau. … The Bruins scratched D Colin Miller and Joe Morrow and C Danton Heinen.

]]> 0 goalie Tuukka Rask stops a shot by Penguins center Evgeni Malkin in the second period of Wednesday night's game in Pittsburgh.Thu, 15 Dec 2016 00:13:27 +0000
Spooner’s overtime goal gives Bruins 2-1 win over Canadiens Tue, 13 Dec 2016 03:46:23 +0000 MONTREAL — Ryan Spooner scored in overtime and his goal withstood a video review, lifting the Boston Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Monday night.

Spooner got his goal 3:20 into OT on a partial breakaway off a nice give-and-go with Torey Krug. Montreal challenged, claiming Spooner was offside, but the goal stood.

Austin Czarnik also scored for the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask made 30 saves while Boston handed Montreal a rare home loss.

Paul Byron scored late in the third period to salvage a point for the Canadiens. Carey Price stopped 27 shots in defeat, just his fifth loss in 21 starts this season.

David Krejci appeared to give the Bruins a victory 59 seconds into overtime, but officials determined David Pastrnak had interfered with Price.

The loss was only Montreal’s third at the Bell Centre this year (14-1-2).

The Canadiens and Bruins have a stormy history and it didn’t take long for the bad blood to spill over between the rivals

Alexei Emelin set the tone for the encounter 13 minutes in with a big shoulder-to-shoulder body check along the boards on Pastrnak.

Krug answered seconds later with an elbow to the head on Andrew Shaw in open ice in the neutral zone. The Habs winger went straight to the dressing room but was back for the start of the second period. There was no penalty on Krug on the play.

Brendan Gallagher took matters into his own hands, dropping the gloves with Krug with five minutes remaining in the first.

The second period featured fewer dust-ups and was more about Price and Rask repeatedly frustrating their opponents.

Price denied Czarnik on a partial break early in the frame. The Canadiens netminder then made a big pad save on Patrice Bergeron later on in the period.

Rask’s biggest stop in the second was when he went down and stacked the pads on Tomas Plekanec, just seconds after Pastrnak hit the post at the other end of the rink.

Czarnik broke the deadlock with 1:05 remaining in the middle frame. The 24-year-old beat Price for his third goal of the season when he fired a shot between Price’s pad and blocker while on a 2-on-1. Nathan Beaulieu was the lone defenseman back, but his sliding effort just missed Czarnik’s shot.

Rask kept his shutout bid alive until 16:48 of the third period when Byron scored on Montreal’s 29th shot on goal. After a scramble in front of Rask’s net, the goalie lost track of the puck as Byron backhanded home his 10th of the campaign.

NOTES: Price was denied his 250th NHL win. Rask is now 6-15-3 in his career versus the Canadiens. Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 18 goals.

]]> 0 Bruins' Austin Czarnik celebrates after scoring against Canadiens goaltender Carey Price in the second period Monday night in Montreal.Tue, 13 Dec 2016 07:56:57 +0000
Anderson leads Maple Leafs by Bruins Sun, 11 Dec 2016 03:22:25 +0000 BOSTON — Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman scored in the second period, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday night.

James van Riemsdyk scored in the third for Toronto, which was 0-2-1 in its last three games.

Connor Brown added an empty-netter and Andersen improved to 6-0-0 in his career against Boston.

Brad Marchand had the Bruins’ goal, and Tuukka Rask stopped 16 shots.

Former Bruins defenseman Matt Hunwick had two assists.

Boston lost to Colorado, then the NHL’s worst team, on Thursday night at TD Garden and followed that by losing to the team that entered as the Eastern Conference’s last-place club.

Boston had earned points in 12 of its last 13 meetings against Toronto (9-1-3).

After getting just two shots on goal in the opening period, Toronto moved ahead on Matthews’ goal 1:44 into the second. The NHL’s No. 1 overall draft pick last summer took a pass from William Nylander and fired a wrist shot over Rask’s left shoulder.

Hyman redirected defenseman Jake Gardner’s shot from the slot, and the puck dipped and fluttered by Rask to make it 2-0 with 4:46 remaining in the period.

Marchand took advantage of a turnover behind Toronto’s net, slicing it to 2-1 with 1:21 left in the second. Andersen misplayed a clearing attempt, firing the puck off a player where it dropped next to the rear boards. He had a second chance to clear or cover it, but Marchand beat him to it, circled and put in his own rebound.

The Bruins had the best chance in the first period when David Pastrnak’s one-timer from the left point caromed off the left post early into the game.

Tyler Bozak’s shot was tipped in by van Riemsdyk midway into the third.

NOTES: The Bruins recalled forwards Noel Acciari and Danton Heinen from Providence of the AHL before the game and assigned F Anton Blidh to the AHL. … The first game between the two clubs was just over 92 years ago: Dec. 3, 1924, when the Toronto St. Pats beat the Bruins, 5-3.

]]> 0's Noel Acciari falls on Toronto's Matt Marti during the first period of Saturday's game in Boston. Toronto won, 4-1. (Associated Press/Michael Dwyer)Sat, 10 Dec 2016 22:29:32 +0000
Pastrnak scores twice in Bruins’ 4-2 loss Fri, 09 Dec 2016 03:01:51 +0000 BOSTON — The Colorado Avalanche jumped ahead early and got yet another win in Boston – this time to end a recent skid.

Matt Duchene scored his 10th goal and John Mitchell got his first, lifting the Avalanche over the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Thursday night.

The Avs had lost four straight and 5 of 6, but again came out winners in Boston, where they’ve won 10 times in their last 11 visits.

“We were off to a good start in the first period. We got a couple quick ones and we rode that,” said Nathan MacKinnon, whose short-handed goal 12:57 into the game put Colorado up 2-0.

The last time the Avs lost a game in Boston was March 30, 1998, when MacKinnon was just 2 years old.

“I had no idea. I know we’ve been hot here my first three years,” MacKinnon said. “That’s cool.”

Matt Duchene, John Mitchell and Carl Soderberg also scored for the Avs. Duchene’s goal 5:30 into the game was the first of three unassisted tallies for Colorado, which shut down Boston in the third period after David Pastrnak scored twice in the second to pull the Bruins within 3-2.

The Avs hadn’t won since beating Columbus 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 21.

“We found a way to score first, which was nice,” Colorado Coach Jared Bednar said. “We haven’t done that much lately, especially on this losing streak.”

Boston, coming off an overtime loss the night before at Washington, ended a streak of six straight games with a point. The Bruins are 4-1-2 in their last seven.

Anton Khudobin had 18 saves for Boston, which fell behind 3-0 for the second straight night. The Bruins rallied Wednesday with three unanswered goals to force overtime before the Capitals won it 4-3. The Bruins didn’t seem to have the energy for another comeback Thursday, getting just eight shots on goal in the third period.

“Until you can find your legs, you’ve got to be smart, and we weren’t,” Boston Coach Claude Julien said. “We gave up some soft goals and certainly dug ourselves a hole.”

Pastrnak’s goals 1:20 apart in the second period briefly revived Boston, but the Bruins didn’t score again despite outshooting Colorado 31-22 for the game.

Calvin Pickard made 29 saves for the Avs.

“I think the second period we could have tidied it up a little bit. We lost some momentum,” Duchene said. “I think there is still lots of room for improvement but a start like that – you get out to a 3-0 lead – it’s pretty tough to blow that. You’ve got to really play poorly and we played really solid in the third and especially in the first.”

Colorado led 2-0 after the first, then Mitchell made it 3-0 after forcing a turnover at the Colorado blue line and taking it the other way for a wrist shot that beat Khudobin on the stick side.

It was only the 11th shot of the game for the Avalanche, who took an early lead on Duchene’s 10th goal of the season and went up 2-0 when MacKinnon scored at 12:57.

Pastrnak got Boston on the board with a breakaway goal just after getting out of the penalty box, then struck again on a slap shot from above the circles, the 18th goal of the season for Boston’s 20-year old rising star.

]]> 0's Patrick Wiercioch trips up while battling Boston's Riley Nash, 20, and Ryan Spooner in the first period of Thursday night's game at Boston.Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:02:47 +0000
Bruins soar back from three-goal hole, but lose 4-3 in OT Thu, 08 Dec 2016 04:12:06 +0000 WASHINGTON — Nicklas Backstrom scored 1:36 into overtime, helping the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 after blowing a three-goal lead Wednesday night.

Justin Williams scored twice and Daniel Winnik also had a goal to put Washington ahead 3-0 about six minutes into the second period.

After Winnik’s tally, Washington went over 26 minutes without a shot on goal. Boston dominated the final five minutes of the second period, when Dominic Moore and David Pastrnak beat goaltender Braden Holtby. Colin Miller’s power-play score 8:19 into third tied it at 3.

Boston arrived in Washington 4-0-1 over its last five games with three wins in a row, including a 4-3 overtime triumph against Florida on Monday night.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists for the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin got his first point since Nov. 26.

Boston outshot Washington 34-20. The Capitals have won two straight following a three-game skid.

Backstrom patiently waited on the right side before firing the winner past goaltender Tuukka Rask, who entered second in the league with a 1.68 goals-against average. Rask allowed three goals in his previous outing, too.

Williams had two goals over the first 24 games this season, but he matched that total less than eight minutes in against the Bruins. He redirected Kuznetsov’s lofted centering pass past Rask for a 1-0 lead 23 seconds into the first period.

Matt Niskanen left with an upper-body injury and did not return. With the Caps down a defenseman, Boston outshot Washington 11-2 in the second period.

The Capitals’ second goal also occurred in front of the net. Williams emerged from a scramble with a shot that slithered under Rask.

NOTES: Boston assigned F Noel Acciari to the Providence Bruins of the AHL two days after the 24-year forward returned to practice. Acciari injured his right leg on Nov. 7. … Holtby improved to 10-2 career against the Bruins. His first career win came in relief against Boston in November 2010.

]]> 0's David Pastrnak trips Capitals defenseman John Carlson in the first period Wednesday night in Washington.Thu, 08 Dec 2016 08:03:49 +0000
Pastrnak’s overtime goal gives Bruins 4-3 win over Panthers Tue, 06 Dec 2016 03:00:52 +0000 BOSTON — David Pastrnak scored his second goal of the game 1:23 into overtime, and the Boston Bruins continued their recent success against the Florida Panthers with a 4-3 victory Monday night.

Pastrnak got his team-leading 15th goal by cutting in from the left wing, shifting around goalie Roberto Luongo and tucking in the game-winner.

David Backes and Tim Schaller also scored for the Bruins, who are 15-2-1 in their last 18 games against the Panthers. Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots to raise his record to 14-4-1 this season and 17-3-1 in his career against Florida.

Jaromir Jagr had a goal for the Panthers, the 754th of his career, and Luongo finished with 32 saves.

Florida’s Jason Demers slipped a shot under Rask, tying it with 1:29 to play, after the Bruins had moved ahead when Backes tipped in Ryan Spooner’s shot for the go-ahead goal with 6:52 remaining.

Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers.

David Pastrnak scored his second goal of the game 2:23 into overtime, and the Boston Bruins continued their recent success against the Florida Panthers with a 4-3 victory Monday night.

Pastrnak got his team-leading 15th goal by cutting in from the left wing, shifting around goalie Roberto Luongo and tucking in the game-winner.

David Backes and Tim Schaller also scored for the Bruins, who are 15-2-1 in their last 18 games against the Panthers. Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots to raise his record to 14-4-1 this season and 17-3-1 in his career against Florida.

Jaromir Jagr had a goal for the Panthers, the 754th of his career, and Luongo finished with 32 saves.

Florida’s Jason Demers slipped a shot under Rask, tying it with 1:29 to play, after the Bruins had moved ahead when Backes tipped in Ryan Spooner’s shot for the go-ahead goal with 6:52 remaining.

Aleksander Barkov also scored for the Panthers.

Boston improved to 4-0-1 in its last five games, sending the Panthers to their fourth loss in five on a six-game road trip, their longest of the season.

Backes, at the top of the crease, redirected Spooner’s wrister from the top of the left circle after Barkov had tied it with 12:06 to play.

Pastrnak’s first goal snapped a 1-all tie late in the second period. Brad Marchand hustled for a loose puck behind the net and fed it out front to Pastrnak, who snapped a quick shot into the net from just outside the crease.

Barkov tied it again by firing a rising wrister past Rask’s glove.

The Bruins had moved ahead 1-0 on Schaller’s goal late in the opening period.

Florida evened it on Jagr’s goal midway through the second when he one-timed Aaron Ekblad’s pass by Rask.

Rask was tested early when defenseman Michael Matheson broke in alone 2 minutes into the game with the Bruins on a power play. Rask made a blocker save on a wrister from about 20 feet out.

]]> 0 right wing David Pastrnak (88) is congratulated by teammates Torey Krug (47) and Brad Marchand after his goal against Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo in the second period Monday night in Boston. The Bruins went on to win 4-3 on an overtime goal by Pastrnak.Mon, 05 Dec 2016 22:39:01 +0000
Bruins hold off Sabres, 2-1 Sat, 03 Dec 2016 21:12:16 +0000 BUFFALO, N.Y. — Boston goalie Tuukka Rask has been hard to beat this season, and he was at his best against Buffalo again on Saturday.

“You start thinking, ‘how are we going to get one by this guy,”‘ Sabres Coach Dan Bylsma wondered aloud.

Rask nearly shut out the Sabres for the second time in a month, keeping them off the scoresheet for 21/2 periods and making 17 of his 35 saves in the third to help the Bruins hold on for a 2-1 win.

“Every team likes to have these kind of goaltenders and a lot of teams do,” Bruins Coach Claude Julien said. “We’re just fortunate enough that he’s been one of those guys that, whenever you slip a little bit, or lose a little bit of momentum, or you’re having a slow start or a tough night, those guys step up and help you win some hockey games.”

Over his last 11 starts, beginning with his 4-0 shutout over Buffalo on Nov. 7, Rask is 7-3-1 with a 1.36 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage. He leads the NHL with a 1.64 GAA for the season.

“I feel good,” Rask said. “I’m seeing the puck well. Guys are doing a great job keeping them on the outside and clearing the rebounds for the most part, so that helps out.”

David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron scored to give Boston a 2-0 lead, and the Bruins improved to 3-0-1 in their last four.

“We’re getting better as a team, we’re getting points and climbing up the standings,” said Krejci, who has 10 points in his last 12 games. “Hopefully we can keep it up.”

Evander Kane scored his first goal of the season for Buffalo. Robin Lehner returned after missing one game with a hip injury and made 32 saves.

The Sabres produced a total of nine goals in their previous two wins, but the NHL’s lowest-scoring team reverted to form from the first 21 games, when star center Jack Eichel was out of the lineup because of a high-ankle sprain.

“First two periods, we had a tough time generating some offensive chances,” Sabres defenseman Cody Franson said. “They kind of just stayed on top.”

Krejci got the Bruins on the scoreboard with 5:50 left in the first when he deflected Brandon Carlo’s slap shot from the point off the right post and into the net.

The Sabres appeared to tie the game late in the second, but replays determined Brian Gionta kicked the puck into the net.

Bergeron made it 2-0 at 7:44 of the third when he knocked in the rebound of David Pastrnak’s missed shot. Bergeron initially hit the puck with his forearm on the left edge of the crease and skated around the net to chase down the puck and flip a backhand past Lehner.

The Sabres answered two minutes later. Sam Reinhart’s feed off the rear wall set up Kane for a wrist shot from the slot that bounced in off Krejci.

Reinhart has five points in his last four games.

NOTES: Bruins forward Matt Beleskey was escorted to the dressing room in the final minute of the first period because of a lower-body injury and did not return. Julien said Beleskey will be evaluated when the team returns to Boston. … Forward Anton Blidh became the seventh Bruin to make his NHL debut this season after being recalled from the minors Friday. … The Bruins scratched forward Jimmy Hayes. Defenseman Zdeno Chara, the Bruins’ captain, missed his sixth straight game because of a lower-body injury. … Buffalo had just three shots on goal in the first period.

]]> 0 goalie Tuukka Rask reacts after being hit with a high stick during the first period against Buffalo. Rask made 35 saves and lead to Bruins to a 2-1 win. (Associated Press/Jeffrey T. Barnes)Sat, 03 Dec 2016 22:22:20 +0000
Bruins tie game late, win 2-1 in shootout over Hurricanes Fri, 02 Dec 2016 03:40:55 +0000 BOSTON — Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak scored in a shootout, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Jeff Skinner’s bid to extend the shootout fell short when he was stopped by Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin. Skinner also was turned away by Khudobin on a breakaway in the closing seconds of overtime.

Khudobin pumped his fists after earning his first win of the season and the first for a Bruins backup goalie.

Torey Krug scored in the third period for Boston, and Khudobin finished with 29 saves. Pastrnak made a pair of dekes and slipped the puck past Cam Ward for the winning goal.

Jacob Slavin scored in the shootout for Carolina, which lost for the fourth time in five games.

Krug was credited with the tying goal with 28.5 seconds remaining after Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen kicked the puck past Ward.

Hurricanes defenseman and Boston native Noah Hanifin scored at 7:37 of the first period on a slap shot from the blue line.

Hanifin’s first of the season came right after Carolina blew a 3-on-0 rush when Skinner missed a point-blank opportunity.

Ward made 34 saves and stoned the Bruins on several chances in overtime, including a nice stop on Krug 50 seconds in.

Carolina hasn’t won a regulation game against the Bruins in over three years.

Pastrnak and David Krejci also notched assists for Boston, which improved to 6-6 at home.

]]> 0 goalie Cam Ward watches as Bruins players celebrate the game-tying goal by defenseman Torey Krug (47) with seconds to go in the third period of Thursday night's game in Boston. The Bruins won, 2-1, in a shootout.Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:12:37 +0000
Bruins come back from 2 goals down but fall to Flyers in shootout Wed, 30 Nov 2016 04:15:29 +0000 PHILADELPHIA — Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored in the ninth round of a shootout to give Philadelphia a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.

Steve Mason made 45 saves through overtime, and defenseman Michael Del Zotto and center Claude Giroux scored in regulation for the Flyers, who won their second straight to improve to 11-10-3.

David Krejci and Brad Marchand had the goals for the Bruins (12-10-1), who lost for the fourth time in five games. Tuukka Rask turned aside 19 shots and seven of nine shooters in the tiebreaker. He dropped to 12-4-1.

Both goalies were outstanding in overtime. Mason snatched a shot by Krejci with about 30 seconds remaining, and Rask slid to his right to stop Giroux’s one-timer.

]]> 0 goalie Steve Mason blocks a shot by the Bruins' David Backes to end the overtime shootout and give the Flyers a 3-2 win Tuesday night.Wed, 30 Nov 2016 10:58:25 +0000
Bruins snap skid, beat Lightning Sun, 27 Nov 2016 22:24:18 +0000 BOSTON — Jimmy Hayes had a little fun after scoring his first goal of the season.

Hayes capped Boston’s three-goal second period, Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots and the Bruins snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on Sunday.

Hayes tipped David Krejci’s pass into the top right corner late in the second. He then reached over his shoulder and motioned as if he was removing his scoring drought from his shoulders.

“It was more of a joke that it was an elephant,” Hayes said when asked if he was throwing a monkey off his back. “I think I lost like 100 pounds there. It felt pretty good.”

Rask lost his bid for his fourth shutout with 2:39 to play when Victor Hedman scored. But he improved to 12-4.

“Good thing I don’t have a bonus for that stuff,” Rask said, smiling. “That’s all right, tough bounce.”

David Pastrnak had his team-leading 13th goal, and David Backes and Dominic Moore also scored. Boston scored just four total goals in its previous three games.

“I think just we went back to a lot of things that we had done so well before,” Bruins Coach Claude Julien said. “We were throwing more pucks at the net.”

Ben Bishop made 26 saves for Tampa Bay, which lost its second straight.

Julien coached his 726th game with the Bruins, tying Milt Schmidt – the oldest living member of the Hall of Fame at 98 years old – for second in team history.

After a listless opening period that had very few hits and less scoring chances, Boston jumped in front on Moore’s goal 2:24 into the second when he whacked at a loose puck with a two-handed chopping motion and it sailed past Bishop.

Many of the Lightning’s players were bothered by a weak start for the second straight game.

“We just got off to another slow start,” Bishop said. “We can’t wait until we’re down three-nothing before we start, you know, bringing it to them.”

With Jonathan Drouin in the penalty box for tripping, Backes tipped Torey Krug’s wrist shot from the right point into the net at 11:45.

“We started waking up and skating more in the third period. We’ve just got to do a better job from the get-go,” Drouin said. “Definitely some bad bounces didn’t go our way, but we’ve got to be better from the get-go.”

Boston defenseman John-Michael Liles crashed into the boards after tripping over Bishop cutting near the crease. He was on his back on the ice for a few minutes before being helped off. The team said he had an upper-body injury.

NOTES: Hayes’ last goal was on Feb. 24, a span of 35 games. … The Bruins are 0-6 in games not started by Rask. … Bruins D Zdeno Chara missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury after skating on his own in the morning. … Tampa Bay D Anton Stralman was out for the eighth straight game with an upper-body injury. . Boston D Colin Miller was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous six, replacing D Joe Morrow, who was a healthy scratch. “I definitely felt slow at the start, real slow,” Miller said.

]]> 0' goalie Tuukka Rask sprawls on the ice as Colin Miller, 6, defends against Tampa Bay Lightning's Erik Condra during the third period of Boston's 4-1 win Sunday in Boston.Sun, 27 Nov 2016 17:32:22 +0000
Bruins skid to third straight loss, 2-1 Sat, 26 Nov 2016 03:50:51 +0000 BOSTON — Chad Johnson made 35 saves and Alex Chiasson broke a tie at 7:05 of the third period in Calgary Flames’ 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Friday night.

Coming off a 2-0 victory Wednesday night at Columbus, Johnson allowed only David Pastrnak’s goal off a rebound at 5:55 of the third period.

Sam Bennett had a goal and an assist to help Calgary win for the third time in four games. Bennett set up winner with a backhand pass from behind the net right to Chiasson, who easily beat goalie Anton Khudobin as he scrambled to get back across.

Boston has lost three straight and 4 of 5.

Khudobin, recalled Friday from Providence of the AHL after a brief conditioning assignment, stopped 27 shots in his first start since Oct. 22.

Khudobin needed to be sharp early as Calgary outshot Boston 13-5 in the first period and took a 1-0 lead on Bennett’s goal at 8:36.Bennett skated through a pair of Boston players outside the blue line and got in alone on Khudobin, beating him with a wrist shot.

It was the only goal of the game until Pastrnak knocked in a rebound during a scrum in front of Johnson 5:55 into the third. John-Michael Liles and Tim Schaller assisted on the goal, Boston’s first since Pastrnak scored with 11 seconds left in the first period Thursday night in a 3-1 loss at Ottawa.

The Bruins had an apparent goal disallowed 3:01 into the second after Patrice Bergeron intercepted a clearing attempt by Johnson and shot it in from the right corner. Johnson was scrambling to get up off the ice after being knocked down by Mark Giordano and the Flames challenged, getting the goal overturned after a video review showed Boston’s Brad Marchand interfered by knocking Giordano into his own goaltender.

Notes: Boston played its second straight game without D Zdeno Chara, who left Tuesday night’s loss to St. Louis early in the second period with an undisclosed lower-body injury. … The Bruins sent G Zane McIntyre to Atlanta of the ECHL. … Calgary LW Johnny Goudreau missed his sixth straight game with a broken finger. … Johnson hadn’t allowed a goal since Anthony Mantha scored for Detroit at 7:59 of the third period Sunday.

]]> 0's Sam Bennett, 93, celebrates his first-period goal with Matt Stajan in Friday night's game against the Bruins in Boston. The Flames won 2-1.Fri, 25 Nov 2016 22:59:09 +0000