Boston Bruins – Press Herald Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:45:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bruins edge Islanders, move back into playoff picture Sun, 26 Mar 2017 02:01:49 +0000 NEW YORK — Riley Nash scored twice and backup goalie Anton Khudobin made 18 saves as the Boston Bruins beat the New York Islanders 2-1 Saturday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.

Nash broke a 1-1 tie with his second goal of the contest at 4:12 of the third period, beating Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss from the slot for his seventh goal of the season. Dominic Moore assisted on the decisive goal, which lifted Boston two points ahead of the Islanders for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

John Tavares scored for New York and Greiss finished with 16 saves.

Tavares had a golden chance to knot the score with just over six minutes left in the third period but rang the puck off the crossbar with the Islanders on their sixth power play of the game.

New York is now 0-3-1 on home ice since earning points in 11 straight (9-0-2), their longest such streak at home since 1982.

Tavares opened the scoring at 10:05 of the first, rifling the puck past Khudobin after skating through and around the Boston defense. Tavares’ 28th goal this season tied the captain with Bob Nystrom for eighth place on the franchise list with 235 goals.

Nash quickly answered, beating Greiss low on the stick side 36 seconds later. The unassisted goal brought loud cheers by many Bruins fans scattered throughout the sellout crowd of 15,795 at Barclays Center.

The Islanders outshot the Bruins 8-3 in the brisk first period.

The playoff-like pace continued throughout the second. Greiss made a number of acrobatic saves and also stopped Drew Stafford and David Krejci on point-blank chances with just under five minutes left.

The chippy play led to several skirmishes particular after Bruins forward David Pastrnak clobbered Islanders forward Stephan Gionta in front of the home team’s bench with about four minutes left in the period. Pastrnak received only a 2-minute roughing penalty.

It was the home team’s third power play of the second but they couldn’t convert against Khudobin, who started in place of starter Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins had a 10-5 shots advantage in the middle period as the score remained tied at 1 heading for the third.

The Bruins had a goal waved off with 4:16 left in the first period when it was ruled that forward David Backes made contact with Greiss.

NOTES: The Islanders won both road games this season against the Bruins, 4-2 on Dec. 20 and 4-0 on Jan. 16, which proved to be Jack Capuano’s last game as Islanders coach before he was replaced by Doug Weight. … The Islanders are 2-10-0 in their last 12 home games against the Bruins, including 0-5-0 in the last five. … The Islanders entered the contest with consecutive road wins over the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins. … The Bruins are 13-7-0 since Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien as coach on Feb. 7. The Islanders were without defenseman Johnny Boychuk for the 11th straight game.

]]> 0 York Islanders right wing Joshua Ho-Sang controls the puck as he skates against Boston Bruins defenseman Colin Miller during the second period of their game in New York on Saturday night. The Bruins won 2-1. (Associated Press/Mary Altaffer)Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:16:35 +0000
Lightning gain on Bruins, who lose 4th straight game Fri, 24 Mar 2017 03:30:24 +0000 BOSTON — Nikita Kucherov had his third career hat trick to lead Tampa Bay to a 6-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, snapping the Lightning’s three-game losing streak.

Jonathan Drouin had a goal and two assists, Brayden Point had a goal and an assist and Anton Stralman also scored to help the Lightning pull three points behind the Bruins for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Peter Budaj finished with 28 saves for the Lightning to earn his 29th win of the season. Ondrej Palat had three assists, and Jake Dotchin and Victor Hedman added two each.

Riley Nashy had a goal and an assist for Boston, and David Pastrnak and Zdeno Chara also scored. Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots as Boston, which won seven of the first eight games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, has now lost four straight and six of 11.

CAPITALS 2, BLUE JACKETS 1: T.J. Oshie scored the shootout winner as Washington overcame a stellar performance from Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky for a victory at home.

Despite 44 saves from Bobrovsky, the Capitals reached 104 points and extended their lead atop the Metropolitan Division standings.

Maple Leafs 4, Devils 2: Auston Matthews had two assists and William Nylander had a goal and an assist as Toronto beat visiting New Jersey.

Flyers 3, Wild 1: Matt Read scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period, Steve Mason stopped 24 shots and Philadelphia won at St. Paul, Minnesota.

Senators 2, Penguins 1: Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan scored in the shootout to lift Ottawa over visiting Pittsburgh.

HURRICANES 4, CANADIENS 1: Lee Stempniak scored twice and Carolina won at Montreal to extend its point streak to nine games and keep its playoff hopes alive.

PANTHERS 3, COYOTES 1: Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals and James Reimer made 38 saves to lift Florida at home.

Predators 3, Flames 1: Pekka Rinne made 24 saves to lead Nashville over visiting Calgary.


SABRES: The NHL suspended defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen for three games following his blindside hit that led to Penguins forward Jake Guentzel’s sustaining a concussion.

MAPLE LEAFS: Defenseman Roman Polak was suspended two games by the league for boarding Columbus forward Oliver Bjorkstrand on Wednesday.

BLACKHAWKS: Chicago signed rookie forward Tanner Kero to a two-year contract extension.

OLYMPICS: International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel told The AP he needs to know by the end of April whether NHL players will be cleared to play in the South Korea Olympics next year.

]]> 0 defenseman Kevan Miller looks to protect the puck from Ondrej Palat of the Tampa Bay Lightning during their game Thursday night in Boston. The Bruins lost their fourth straight, 6-3.Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:11:00 +0000
NHL roundup: Bruins can’t afford a passive Pastrnak Thu, 23 Mar 2017 03:07:08 +0000 David Pastrnak had his 11-game point streak snapped Monday night in Toronto, and Tuesday night the Ottawa Senators held him off the scoresheet as well.

It might be hypercritical to say that he’s hit a slump after just two games, but the Boston Bruins winger has had his troubles in both. Just about every time he’s tried to dangle defensemen, Pastrnak has lost the puck. He fanned on another one-timer attempt in the third period of the 3-2 loss to Ottawa.

Pastrnak has had a terrific third pro season, becoming a 30-goal, 30-assist player at the age of 20. But he did have a 17-game goal drought earlier in the season, with a seven-game pointless streak within that period in December.

The Bruins can ill afford another long skid.

“I don’t know if frustrated is the right word,” interim coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It looks like the puck’s not cooperating with him, and that happens to goalscorers. He’s just got to play through it. He did earlier this year. Clearly we don’t want it to be as extended as it was then. I don’t think it will be. He’s a more mature player and person, but he’ll have to find his way through it. Sometimes you have to score an ugly goal, get a greasy one to get out of those things.

“We’ll see how it plays out, but he’s got to keep pushing. We need him. We’re relying on him to score. He’s not the only one but we’re relying on him.”

Tuesday night, Pastrnak was tagged with three giveaways.

“I’ve got to be better and I’ve got to make more plays,” he said.

As with most skilled players, especially ones like Pastrnak who play with a certain abandon, he has found himself on the receiving end of some physical play. So far he’s responded with a few face washes after the play.

“It’s part of the game, you know?” he said. “The guys are going to hit. I just need to stick with it and not let it frustrate me.”

In his previous two games, Zdeno Chara – a plus-17 in the 17 games he has played under Cassidy – was taken off the ice by opponents who were very glad to see him in the penalty box.

One instance followed a fighting major for a bout against Zack Kassian in Edmonton (the Oilers scored a power-play goal with Chara in the box), and the other came on a third-period matching minor with Matt Martin of Toronto (no harm done).

Cassidy looks at police work as part of Chara’s job.

“I think in Edmonton we were looking to re-establish ourselves,” Cassidy said. “That’s fine. That’s a couple of big bodies. I think they mixed it up the last time they were in here. . . . (In Toronto,) Z might have been protecting his little brother (defense partner Brandon) Carlo.

“So we have no problem with that. You’ve got to look out for one another.”


MAPLE LEAFS 5, BLUE JACKETS 2: William Nylander and Leo Komarov each had a goal and an assist, and Toronto won at Columbus, Ohio.

Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri also scored, and Frederik Andersen had 32 saves as Toronto stayed in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Atlantic Division.

ISLANDERS 3, RANGERS 2: Andrew Ladd scored the tiebreaking goal with about 71/2 minutes remaining as the visiting Islanders beat their crosstown-rival rivals at New York.

]]> 0 Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins has gone two straight games without a point after scoring in 11 straight. Now the team wants him to get a goal – good goal, bad goal, it doesn't matter – before the pressure starts to build.Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:07:08 +0000
Senators beat Bruins 3-2 to end four-game skid Wed, 22 Mar 2017 02:13:26 +0000 BOSTON — Kyle Turris scored twice and Craig Anderson made 33 saves as the Ottawa Senators beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Tuesday night to end a four-game losing streak.

Mike Hoffman had two assists for the Senators, who moved six points ahead of Boston for second place in the Atlantic Division with their first win since March 11.

Tom Pyatt also scored for Ottawa, which never trailed and went up for good on Turris’ goal 4:04 into the third period.

Torey Krug had a goal and an assist, and David Krejci also scored in Boston’s third straight defeat. The Bruins were coming off a 4-2 loss at Toronto on Monday night and never recovered from a flat start back at home Tuesday.

Tuukka Rask made 19 saves for Boston.

The Bruins remained in playoff position, third in the division with nine games to play, but missed out on another chance to widen their lead over the pack of teams pushing for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Both teams were physical all night, with several hits after the whistle and some more pushing and shoving after the final horn. The officials separated the players before the postgame scrum turned into anything more.

After facing just eight shots in the first period, Anderson frustrated the Bruins with 18 saves in the second as the Senators held onto a 2-1 lead after two.

Krug tied it 17 seconds into the third, taking the puck end-to-end and skating through a pair of Senators before beating Anderson for an unassisted power-play goal. The Bruins opened the period with the man advantage after Dion Phaneuf was called for unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the second following scrums among several players on the ice.

Phaneuf made up for the mistake later in the third with an assist on Turris’ game-winner. Turris tipped a shot by Phaneuf and the puck changed direction again when it hit Boston captain Zdeno Chara on its way to the back of the net.

Pyatt tipped in a shot by Cody Cici to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead 4:09 into the game.

The Bruins tied it at 8:57 on a power-play goal by Krejci, who beat Anderson with a slap shot from the blue line with an assist from Krug.

Turris scored a power-play goal 1:34 into the second period, putting the Senators back up 2-1 with Boston’s Adam McQuaid serving a tripping penalty.

]]> 0 Senators left wing Tom Pyatt, second from left, is congratulated by Mike Hoffman (68) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) after his goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. At right skating past is Bruins defenseman Colin Miller. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Tue, 21 Mar 2017 22:23:05 +0000
Maple Leafs close in on Bruins with 4-2 win Tue, 21 Mar 2017 02:47:32 +0000 TORONTO — Tyler Bozak scored the go-ahead power-play goal with less than two minutes left and the Toronto Maple Leafs earned a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday night.

The win pulled the Leafs (81 points) within one point of the Bruins (82 points) for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Toronto, holding the final wild-card position in the Eastern Conference, also has a game in hand.

Morgan Rielly, William Nylander and Nazem Kadri also scored for the Leafs, who swept the season series with Boston. Frederik Andersen was sharp with 32 saves, James van Riemsdyk added two assists.

David Backes and Dominic Moore scored for the Bruins, Tuukka Rask allowed two goals on 27 shots.

A malfunctioning clock briefly delayed the start of the game and wasn’t used until the start of the third period.

Game time was announced at stoppages by the public address announcer and displayed in a corner of the videoboard – issues that were most apparent during power plays with no time counting down penalties.

The opening 20 minutes were choppy as a result of the malfunctions but also entertaining. The two teams traded chances with playoff positioning on the line.

The Bruins opened the scoring though just over seven minutes in.

Emerging Hart Trophy candidate Brad Marchand set up Backes for the goal, one he fired as two Leafs defenders – Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev – converged without effect.

Marchand earned his 80th point of the season on the play, duking it out with Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Patrick Kane, among others, for MVP as well as the Art Ross Trophy for the league’s top scorer.

Marchand was selected as the first star for last week by the NHL after getting five goals and nine points in three games. Backes, meanwhile, was questionable to even play after missing the morning skate with an illness.

There was a playoff-like vibe to the evening with intensity and scrappy play to match.

Connor Carrick, who was returning from an 11-game absence because of an injury, traded feisty blows at one point with David Pastrnak. The Bruins were perturbed a short while later when Nikita Soshnikov hit Patrice Bergeron from behind in the corner of the Boston zone.

Bergeron leaped up after the hit and grabbed Soshnikov with both players drawing minor penalties.

The Leafs gained energy as the period went on.

After nearly scoring on a pass from van Riemsdyk, Mitch Marner dished to Rielly for the game-tying goal with less than six minutes remaining in the first. Rielly’s initial attempt was stopped by Rask, but the defender’s momentum carried him and the puck (off his leg) into the goal.

It was the sixth goal of the season for Rielly and third in the past five games.

Toronto had a two-man advantage for more than a minute late in the first, but failed to score. Brian Boyle’s tip of a point shot was stopped as was Auston Matthews’ shot on a drop feed from Kadri.

Marchand’s pesky ways were apparent early in the second, the Bruin goading Zaitsev into a cross-checking penalty. The Russian defenseman, noticeably frustrated, first hacked Marchand’s leg after the whistle and then shoved him into the sideboards.

The Leafs nearly went ahead in the opening minutes of the third – seconds on the clock successfully ticking down on the scoreboard – Zach Hyman’s shot from in tight was stopped by Rask with Matthews unable to get his stick on a rebound. A few minutes later, Marner spun around and dished a one-time feed to van Riemsdyk, who whistled a shot wide.

Then Boston proceeded to nearly score when Andersen bobbled a shot off the rush, the Bruins circling for the rebound.

Bergeron drew the ire of the Leafs when he bumped Andersen – with help from a shove from Leo Komarov. Komarov and Bergeron traded chirps and shoves between whistles.

The Leafs got a power play with less than three minutes to go in the third when Moore was whistled for interfering with Soshnikov. A day after his 31st birthday, Bozak beat Rask from the slot for the go-ahead goal – his 17th of the season.

Nylander extended his point streak to eight games by scoring his 19th of the season into an empty net.

]]> 0 Leafs right wing Connor Brown dives for the puck as Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (47), goalie Tuukka Rask and defenseman Adam McQuaid watch during the second period Monday night in Toronto. The Maples Leafs went on to a 4-2 winMon, 20 Mar 2017 23:59:15 +0000
NHL roundup: Heads-up play proves painful for Bruins winger Sat, 18 Mar 2017 02:36:13 +0000 EDMONTON, Alberta — It has been a year to forget for left winger Matt Beleskey. He started slowly, then suffered a knee injury that kept him out of the lineup for almost seven weeks.

His return from that injury has been anything but smooth.

And Thursday night, his buzzard luck returned when he took a hard snap shot from Patrice Bergeron off his head when he was standing in front of the net with 11 seconds to play in the Bruins’ 7-4 blowout loss to the Oilers.

But he’s showing signs of breaking through. He scored the big insurance goal early in the third period in Calgary on Wednesday and also chipped in on the penalty kill that did not allow the Flames a shot on net in three tries.

Interim coach Bruce Cassidy was pleased with the pace of his game on Wednesday.

“We want to see it there for a consistent period of time. (Wednesday in Calgary) was by far his best game, not just because he scored. I loved his backchecking efforts, his reloads, he was on the puck, he was physical, he was involved in the penalty kill. (David Backes) gets hurt, so he gets a little power-play time and he goes to the front of the net. All facets of the game,” said Cassidy.

It was his gritty play that got him dinged Thursday night when, with the game out of reach, he had parked himself in front of the net and took the brunt of the Bergeron shot off the side of the head. He needed some assistance to get off the ice and he was bleeding.

“I don’t have an update on Matt. He’s a hard-nosed kid and hopefully he’s all right,” said Cassidy. “That’s very unfortunate for him.”


PANTHERS 4, RANGERS 3: Aleksander Barkov scored a third-period goal and added the winner in the shootout as Florida won at New York.

Jaromir Jagr had two assists and passed Hall of Famer Gordie Howe for the most points after turning 40 with 269.

PENGUINS 6, DEVILS 4: Sidney Crosby scored twice to move into a tie for the NHL lead with 37, and Pittsburgh won at home against New Jersey.

]]> 0 Fri, 17 Mar 2017 22:37:39 +0000
Oilers break Bruins’ four-game winning streak Fri, 17 Mar 2017 04:19:06 +0000 EDMONTON, Alberta — Patrick Maroon scored twice, Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Connor McDavid added three assists as the Edmonton Oilers beat up on the Boston Bruins 7-4 on Thursday night.

Benoit Pouliot, Anton Slepyshev, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic also scored for the Oilers, who moved one point ahead of Calgary for third place in the Pacific Division.

David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Dominic Moore and David Krejci had a goal each for the Bruins, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

The Oilers jumped to an early 2-0 lead on a pair of goals 59 seconds apart by Maroon, who upped his career-high goal total on the season to 24.

Edmonton got another goal three minutes later as David Desharnais hooked around the net and sent the puck in front to Pouliot, who poked it past goalie Tuukka Rask. It was Pouliot’s second goal in two games after breaking a 28-game scoreless drought against Dallas on Tuesday.

Boston got one back on a power play with 71/2 minutes remaining in the opening period when Marchand made a perfect pass to set up Pastrnak at the side of the net for his 31st goal of the season, and fifth in his last five games.

The Bruins made it 3-2 with two minutes left in the first, as Marchand was left alone at the side of the net to score his 37th goal of the season and 12th in his last 11 games.

The Oilers scored again with 51 seconds remaining when Slepyshev batted the rebound of McDavid’s shot out of the air and past Rask.

Edmonton made it 5-2 two minutes into the second on the power play as Drake Caggiula’s pass went off Bruin forward Riley Nash’s skate and into the net. Rask was replaced in the Boston net by Anton Khudobin.

Boston fought back a couple minutes later, getting a short-handed goal from Moore.

Draisaitl made it 6-3 Edmonton seven minutes into the second, picking off a pass at mid-ice and going the distance to score his 60th point, the most ever in an NHL season by a German-born player.

Edmonton added another power-play goal with five minutes left as a puck hit Lucic and got past Khudobin. It was the second game in a row that the Oilers have scored seven goals, and the first time they had done that at home since 1988.

Krejci scored on a Boston man advantage with 32 seconds left in the middle period.

NOTES: There was no scoring in the third, but a brief scare when Boston forward Matt Beleskey was hit in the right side of the head with a shot from Patrice Bergeron in the game’s final minute. He was slow to get up, but skated off with the assistance of Bergeron.

]]> 0's Ryan Spooner crashes into Oilers goalie Cam Talbot in the first period Thursday night in Edmonton, Alberta.Fri, 17 Mar 2017 00:28:23 +0000
Bruins end Flames’ 10-game winning streak with 5-2 win Thu, 16 Mar 2017 04:18:30 +0000 CALGARY, Alberta —  Brad Marchand scored his league-leading 36th goal of the season and David Backes returned after getting hurt to score the winner and the Boston Bruins defeated Calgary 5-2 on Wednesday night to end the Flames’ 10-game winning streak.

Marchand is also tied with Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the top spot in the NHL with 76 points.

Backes got tied up with Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and was taken into the corner boards 12 minutes into the game. He was favoring his leg as he was helped off the ice.

But he returned seven minutes into the second period and on his second shift back he broke a 2-2 tie. Backes took a pass from David Krejci on a three-on-two and from 30 feet whipped a wrist shot over the glove of Chad Johnson.

David Pastrnak scored twice, and Matt Beleskey also scored for Boston. The Bruins’ fourth straight win moves them within three points of the second-place Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division.

Alex Chiasson and Dougie Hamilton scored for Calgary.

One of the best players during Calgary’s franchise record-tying win streak had been goaltender Brian Elliott. He had nine of the victories and in those nine appearances had a 1.74 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.

However, Elliott woke up with the flu Wednesday morning and was told to stay home. Johnson got the start instead with Jon Gillies called up from Stockton (AHL) to be the backup.

Elliott’s absence was felt.

Pastrnak’s first goal at 11:47 of the first slipped through Johnson’s pads to tie the game 1-1.

Marchand’s goal 6:04 into the second, that gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead, was a bad misplay by Johnson, who failed to catch a puck lobbed toward the net by Colin Miller, enabling Marchand to corral the rebound and fire it into the vacated net.

While Johnson would want that goal back, same could be said for Anton Khudobin on Hamilton’s goal just 1:10 later. From about 70 feet away, the Flames defenseman beat the Boston goaltender with a wrister over his pad.

The Bruins added an insurance goal 3:36 into the third. TJ Brodie’s turnover at the Boston blue line led to a two-on-none for the Bruins and they made no mistake with Ryan Spooner neatly setting up Beleskey for a one-timer and a 4-2 advantage.

As a result, the Flames trailed by two goals for the first time since Feb. 13.

Pastrnak added his second into an empty net in the closing seconds of the game.

Khudobin finished with 21 saves to win his fourth straight decision. Johnson had 27 stops.

]]> 0's David Pastrnak, center, celebrates his goal with Zdeno Chara, left, and Drew Stafford in the first period Wednesday night in Calgary.Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:26:50 +0000
Bruins score late, beat Flyers Sat, 11 Mar 2017 21:40:34 +0000 BOSTON — Drew Stafford scored with 5.6 seconds left in the third period when his dump-in shot tipped off Philadelphia defenseman Brandon Manning’s stick, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Flyers on Saturday.

David Pastrnak had a power-play goal, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves for Boston, which improved to 10-3 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy, who replaced fired Claude Julien on Feb.7.

Jordan Weal had the Flyers’ goal, and Steve Mason stopped 25 shots. Philadelphia may be sliding out of a chance at a playoff berth with its ninth loss in 14 games (5-8-1).

Stafford had the puck along the right boards, spun around and just shot a seemingly harmless attempt at the net. Manning skated in front and it slipped past Mason after hitting his stick. The defenseman put his hand to his helmet in disbelief.

Trailing 1-0 early in the second, Philadelphia tied it when Weal scored out of a scramble. The score stood after a challenge by the Bruins, who felt the Flyers were offside.

Philadelphia controlled play for lengthy stretches in the second, holding the Bruins to four shots on goal. Many times during the game, chants of “Let’s Go Flyers!” could be heard echoing around the balcony seats.

Boston led 1-0 after a first period that featured solid end-to-end play, a couple of break-ins for good scoring chances, a long Flyers’ two-man advantage and a fight that saw Boston’s Matt Beleskey send Manning to the ice with a right-handed punch.

Pastrnak’s one-timed Patrice Bergeron’s pass by Mason for his 28th goal, making it 1-0 with 1:22 left in the period.

Rask made a splendid right-skate stop on Jakub Voracek, who collected a pass and broke in alone when the Bruins were caught on a line change midway into the period. Mason dropped to stop Pastrnak’s close bid a few minutes later.

Philadelphia had seven shots on goal during the power plays that lasted 1 minute, 43 seconds – the best was Wayne Simmonds’ rebound from the edge of the crease that Rask made a pad save on.

]]> 0's Brayden Schenn, center front, battles Boston's Patrice Bergeron, left, and Zdeno Chara, center back, for a rebound during the first period of the Bruins' 2-1 win Saturday in Boston.Sat, 11 Mar 2017 19:54:45 +0000
Bruins beat Detroit Red Wings 6-1 Thu, 09 Mar 2017 03:53:35 +0000 BOSTON — David Krejci scored twice and Drew Stafford had his first with Boston during a four-goal first period that carried the Bruins to a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

Brad Marchand had his team-leading 31st and 32nd goals, and David Pastrnak added a score for Boston, and Tuukka Rask made 26 saves. Boston improved to 9-3 since interim coach Bruce Cassidy replaced fired coach Claude Julien on Feb. 7.

Niklas Kronwall had his first goal of the season for Detroit. The Red Wings finished a five-game trip 1-3-1.

Detroit starting goalie Jared Coreau was pulled after giving up three goals during a 2:25 span in what’s likely his last game with the team before he’s shipped back to the minors.

Jimmy Howard, a regular goalie with the Red Wings the past eight seasons, finished his second two-game conditioning stint with Grand Rapids of the AHL on Tuesday. He’s scheduled to join the team this week.

Krejci gave Boston a 1-0 lead 11:07 into the game when he skated around defenseman Danny DeKeyser and slipped a wrist shot by Coreau’s glove.

Marchand skated quickly to a loose puck just inside the blue line and broke in alone before firing a shot inside the left post, making it 2-0 just 1:01 later.

Stafford, acquired for a conditional sixth-round pick from Winnipeg at the trade deadline, made it 3-0 at 13:32. Krejci stole the puck from defenseman Dylan Larkin in the slot and beat goalie Petr Mrazek with 14.9 seconds left. Marchand scored on a clean breakaway late in the second period.

NOTES: The 32-year-old Howard has been out since spraining his right knee on Dec. 20. Before the injury, he had a .934 save percentage and a 1.96 goals against average in 17 games. … It was Krejci’s first two-goal and three-point game of the season. … Bruins center Tim Schaller went hard – skates first – into the backboards and left the ice favoring his right leg in the first. He didn’t return. … Boston forward Ryan Spooner was out with a concussion sustained in Monday’s loss at Ottawa. Jimmy Hayes took his spot after being a healthy scratch the previous two games. … Henrik Zetterberg’s next goal will be the 324th of his career, moving him into a tie for sixth with Ted Lindsay on Detroit’s career list. … The Bruins are 10-1-1 in their last 12 against Detroit.

]]> 0 center David Krejci pokes the puck past Red Wings goalie Jared Coreau for a goal during the first period.Wed, 08 Mar 2017 22:56:51 +0000
NHL roundup: Dallas wins against Washington again Tue, 07 Mar 2017 04:28:18 +0000 Kari Lehtonen made 42 saves and Devin Shore, Radek Faksa and Jason Spezza scored and Dallas continued its puzzling domination of Washington with a road victory.

Despite struggling this season, Dallas extended its point streak in the series to 12 games and won for the sixth consecutive time in Washington.

The NHL-leading Capitals’ home winning streak snapped at 15 and their point streak at 17.

Despite Nicklas Backstrom’s 21st goal and T.J. Oshie’s 25th, they lost in regulation at home for the first time since Dec. 17 and in any fashion at home since Dec. 29.

The Stars chased reigning Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Braden Holtby with three goals on 11 shots and haven’t lost in regulation to the Capitals since 2006.

SHARKS 3, JETS 2: Joe Pavelski scored twice and San Jose won in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Joe Thornton assisted on Pavelski’s empty-net goal to give him 1,000 assists.

Aaron Dell stopped 31 shots in his 14th game for the Sharks.

Pavelski opened the scoring with his 22nd goal and Mikkel Boedker also had a goal for San Jose, which was coming off a 3-1 loss Sunday in Minnesota.

Josh Morrissey scored for the Jets in the first period and Mark Scheifele scored his 28th of the season with seven seconds left in game.

Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves in his 11th straight start for Winnipeg.

RANGERS 1, LIGHTNING 0: Mika Zibanejad scored 3:56 into overtime, Antti Raanta made 38 saves, and New York won in Tampa, Florida.

Zibanejad beat Andrei Vasilevskiy during a breakaway.

Raanta got his third shutout of the season.

Vasilevskiy stopped 33 shots and Tampa Bay, 8-2-3 over the past 13 games, moved within two points of New York Islanders for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers failed to score on three power plays, and are 1 for 36 over the past 14 games.

Tampa Bay, with NHL’s third-best power play, went 0 for 6.


GOLDEN KNIGHTS: The expansion Vegas Golden Knights have made their first player transaction, signing free-agent junior forward Reid Duke to a three-year contract.

Duke is the Brandon Wheat Kings’ top scorer with 35 goals and 32 assists this season.

He has played five seasons in the Western Hockey League with Lethbridge and Brandon.

]]> 0's David Pastrnak, center, crashes into Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson during the first period of the Bruins' 4-2 loss in Ottawa, Ontario.Mon, 06 Mar 2017 23:31:44 +0000
Shaky start dooms Bruins in 4-2 loss at Ottawa Tue, 07 Mar 2017 03:44:49 +0000 OTTAWA, Ontario — Mike Hoffman had a power-play goal early in the third period and the Ottawa Senators defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Monday night.

Derick Brassard, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Alex Burrows also scored as the Senators extended their winning streak to three games. Craig Anderson made 25 saves.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask made 25 saves.

Ottawa has a four-point lead on the Bruins in the Atlantic Division.

With just six remaining home games, the Senators gave the Canadian Tire Centre crowd something to remember in what could be a preview of a first-round playoff matchup should the standings remain as they are.

Ottawa took a 3-1 lead early in the third as Hoffman scored his 20th on the power play. It was Ottawa’s first goal with the man advantage in three games.

The lead was short-lived as less than two minutes later, the Bruins scored on the power play as Marchand picked up David Pastrnak’s rebound to score his 30th, giving him back-to-back 30-goal seasons.

There were no goals in the second period, but the Senators clearly held the edge, outshooting the Bruins 16-5.

Ottawa had a number of chances as the Bruins turned the puck over several times, but Rask was solid and got a little help when Dion Phaneuf rang a shot off the post.

The Senators got a strong start as they held a 2-0 lead after just 3:25.

Trailing 2-0, the Bruins cut the lead in half as Bergeron took a pass from Torey Krug in the slot and quickly turned and beat Anderson with a wrist shot in the final minutes of the period.

Brassard opened the scoring at 1:21 as he beat Rask with a turnaround shot through traffic and Ottawa took a 2-0 lead just three minutes into the game as Pageau redirected Phaneuf’s point shot.

]]> 0 Senators' Jean-Gabriel Pageau celebrates a goal on Bruins goaltender Tuuka Rask in the first period Monday night as the Senators jump out to an early 2-0 lead.Mon, 06 Mar 2017 22:52:58 +0000
NHL roundup: Spooner lift Bruins past New Jersey Sun, 05 Mar 2017 03:39:18 +0000 BOSTON — Ryan Spooner scored midway through the third period to lift the Boston Bruins over the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Saturday night for their eighth victory in 10 games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy.

Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug also scored for the Bruins, and backup goalie Anton Khudobin stopped 15 shots. Cassidy took over for fired coach Claude Julien on Feb. 7.

Kyle Palmieri and Devante Smith-Pelly had goals for the Devils, who lost their sixth straight (0-4-2) as their playoff hopes continue to fade. Cory Schneider made 37 saves.

Spooner one-timed Drew Stafford’s pass from the right circle for the winner 8:18 into the third.

Stafford, acquired from Winnipeg in a trade on Wednesday, nearly had a goal in his Bruins debut midway into the second when he poked a loose puck under Schneider, but it was overturned after a review because of goaltender interference.

CAPITALS 2, FLYERS 1: Nicklas Backstrom scored a power-play goal in overtime to lift Washington over Philadelphia and extend its franchise-record home winning streak to 15.

CANADIENS 4, RANGERS 1: Carey Price made 26 saves and Montreal extended its winning streak to five games with a victory at New York.

SENATORS 3, BLUE JACKETS 2: Zack Smith scored a short-handed goal in the third period and Viktor Stalberg got his first goal as a Senator after being acquired in a trade last week as Ottawa won at home.

LIGHTNING 2, SABRES 1: Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov scored in a shootout and Tampa Bay won at Buffalo, New York.

STARS 2, PANTHERS 1: John Klingberg scored the winning goal with 1:07 left and Dallas won at Sunrise, Florida.

]]> 0 Sat, 04 Mar 2017 22:39:18 +0000
Lundqvist saves Rangers in 2-1 win over Bruins Fri, 03 Mar 2017 03:20:36 +0000 BOSTON — With the Rangers struggling offensively, Henrik Lundqvist bailed them out with a vintage performance.

Lundqvist made 32 saves on his 35th birthday and New York got third-period goals from Pavel Buchnevich and Oscar Lindberg to beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 on Thursday night.

“You can never score on him,” said Rangers newcomer Brendan Smith, acquired from Detroit before the trade deadline this week. “I got to watch it on the opposite side and it was amazing to be a part of.”

Lundqvist bounced back after giving up nine goals in his previous two games. He earned his 403rd NHL win, tying Grant Fuhr for 10th on the career list.

“I tried to leave everything out there today,” Lundqvist said. “In the end we came up with some big plays, big blocks and we found a way.”

The Rangers have mustered only 17 goals in the last eight games and are 4-3-1 over that stretch.

“In the third we had a couple of chances that we buried and then we grinded it out,” Coach Alain Vigneault said. “The goaltender made some big saves and he found us a way to win.”

Boston was stymied on several outstanding chances as Lundqvist improved to 25-12-2 against the Bruins with a 1.93 goals-against average.

New York, which has beaten Boston five straight times, outscored the Bruins 12-5 while sweeping the three-game season series.

Brad Marchand scored his team-leading 29th goal for the Bruins to cut it to 2-1 at 12:56 of the third. David Backes just about extinguished any final hopes for Boston when he was whistled for goaltender interference with 2:22 remaining.

“I don’t agree with the call and you can watch the replay,” Backes said. “He initiated the contact and it is a frustrating way to finish the game.”

Buchnevich, called up from the minors earlier in the day, fired a shot over goalie Tuukka Rask’s left shoulder to put the Rangers ahead. Lindberg scored 4:25 later to make it 2-0 at 9:35 of the third.

Marchand tipped in a pass from David Pastrnak.

“I think the effort was there,” Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said. “We were playing a great team, but points are at a premium and we will need to bounce back Saturday against New Jersey.”

Rask made 19 saves for Boston, which lost for only the second time in nine games.

NOTES: New York has won 11 of 13 on the road and leads the NHL with 22 road wins. … The Rangers are 1 for 33 on the power play over the last 12 games. … New York swept the season series from Boston for the first time since 2006-07. … Marchand has 24 points over the last 15 games. … Rangers forward Derek Stepan hasn’t scored in 19 games. … Boston was held under two goals for the first time in 14 games.

]]> 0 center Oscar Lindberg celebrates his goal in front of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in the third period Thursday night in Boston.Thu, 02 Mar 2017 23:45:52 +0000
NHL roundup: Trade deadline mostly a dud Thu, 02 Mar 2017 04:19:18 +0000 Blame Vegas and an ever-tightening playoff race for turning the NHL’s trade deadline day into mostly a dud.

With teams jockeying to stay in contention and eager to preserve their protected lists to brace for the NHL expansion draft in June, there were only a few notable deals completed before the deadline struck Wednesday afternoon.

Officially, the NHL said, there were 18 trades completed involving 33 players, the lowest totals since April 2013, when 17 deals were made involving 30 players. Even so, quantity didn’t equate to quality on Wednesday, with 17 of the players dealt having been placed on waivers at one point this season.

And of the 18 deals completed, only 12 involved NHL players. The others were limited to minor leaguers.

Colorado was one team to move a name player, trading veteran forward Jarome Iginla to the Kings for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft.

The only other notable move involved the Red Wings, who traded veteran forward Thomas Vanek to Florida for defenseman Dylan McIlrath and a conditional third-round pick in June.

It was a big step up in the standings for both Iginla and Vanek, who are suddenly playing for teams in the playoff hunt.

Veteran defenseman Mark Streit changed teams twice and stayed in Pennsylvania. First, Streit was traded by Philadelphia to Tampa Bay for forward Valtteri Filppula and two conditional draft picks. Then the Lightning dealt Streit to Pittsburgh for a 2018 fourth-round pick.

The Boston Bruins acquired forward Drew Stafford from Winnipeg for a conditional sixth-round draft pick in 2018. The pending free agent has four goals and nine assists in 40 games with the Jets this season.

More notable was the list of players staying put, including Arizona’s Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata, Buffalo’s defensive tandem of Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson, and Avalanche forwards Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog.

In being limited to protecting only eight players, teams placed an emphasis on keeping youngsters because they don’t have to be exposed in the expansion draft. One strategy will be to expose aging, high-priced players in hopes they’re taken by Vegas.

The Golden Knights officially opened for business Wednesday when the final installment of owner Bill Foley’s $500 million expansion payment was cleared. Vegas can begin making trades for draft picks and unsigned prospects, and sign free agents whose college or European league seasons are over.

The Canadiens were relatively busy, beefing up their Atlantic Division team by acquiring checking-line veteran Dwight King from Los Angeles.

In a deal struck just after midnight, the defending Western Conference champion Sharks acquired winger Jannik Hansen from Vancouver in exchange for prospect Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional fourth-round pick that becomes a first-rounder if they win the Stanley Cup.

BRUINS: Defenseman Colin Miller will not be suspended for his hit that forced Coyotes forward Alex Burmistrov to leave the ice on a stretcher Tuesday, according to a person with knowledge of the NHL’s decision.

Miller was given a charging major and a game misconduct.


LIGHTNING 4, HURRICANES 3: Victor Hedman scored his second goal of the game 46 seconds into overtime, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 28 saves and Tampa Bay won at home to improve to 7-1-2 in its last 10 games.

BLACKHAWKS 4, PENGUINS 1: Patrick Kane had his second hat trick in three games, Scott Darling made 36 saves and host Chicago won its fifth straight and 10th in 11 games.

]]> 0 Wed, 01 Mar 2017 23:20:29 +0000
Bruins stay hot, run over Coyotes Wed, 01 Mar 2017 03:57:35 +0000 BOSTON — The Arizona Coyotes got word from the hospital after the second period that center Alexander Burmistrov seemed to be doing OK.

By then, it was too late for them to get back into the game.

Riley Nash scored a short-handed goal after Colin Miller was ejected for a bone-rattling hit that sent Burmistrov off on a stretcher, and the Boston Bruins pulled away with a three-goal second period to beat the Coyotes 4-1 on Tuesday night.

“When it’s as serious as that, it maybe takes a couple of minutes for everyone to get back to playing hockey,” said Arizona goalie Mike Smith, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 14 shots and put the blame on himself.

“When the signal gets made, and the paramedics come on the ice, it’s always hard to deal with,” he said. “But that’s no excuse.”

Miller was given a 5-minute major and game misconduct for knocking Burmistrov onto his back in the second period. Burmistrov remained motionless on the ice for several minutes but gave a thumbs-up with both hands as he was wheeled off on a stretcher.

The Coyotes said Burmistrov was taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Captain Shane Doan said the team was told during the second break that Burmistrov seemed to pass the initial tests; it wasn’t clear if he would have to remain in Boston overnight.

“Everything up until this point is great,” Doan said. “Everything that you’re really worried about seems to be OK.”

Miller said he texted Burmistrov and explained he wasn’t trying to hurt him.

“He said he understood,” Miller said. “It’s a hockey play.”

With Miller in the dressing room and Boston a man down for three minutes, the Bruins scored three goals in the last 13 minutes of the second – including a pair jut 1:44 apart at the end of the period – to pull away.

“I don’t know if that helped the team or not,” Miller said. “But they did a great job killing it off.”

Tuukka Rask had 22 saves for the Bruins, who have won 6 of 7 games since firing Coach Claude Julien and replacing him with Bruce Cassidy.

Louis Domingue stopped all 11 shots he faced after replacing Smith to start the third period.

Burmistrov, 25, is a 2010 first-round draft pick from Russia who has one goal and 10 assists this season.

]]> 0 Tue, 28 Feb 2017 23:07:19 +0000
In NHL, in-season deals can deliver a Stanley Cup Tue, 28 Feb 2017 03:14:42 +0000 If an NHL general manager is looking to transform his team with a trade, his best bet would be to dismiss Wednesday’s trade deadline possibilities and look farther ahead. Most of the big team-shifting trades occur when the league convenes in late June for the entry draft.

But in-season trade deadline acquisitions still matter.

In the past few years, we’ve seen it all – the typical rental deals, futures deals and, yes, even the odd blockbuster. All you have to do is look back at the last half-dozen Stanley Cup winners to see how significant deadline pickups can be.

Now, for Bruins GM Don Sweeney, it is highly doubtful that by Wednesday he’ll find a deal that will make his team a Cup contender. But if he plays his cards right, he just might find a building block or two.

Here’s a look at the in-season deals the last six champions have made and how it helped them hoist the Stanley Cup:

 2015-16 Pittsburgh Penguins: The team went through as much overhaul as any champion in recent memory, both from within and outside the organization. The big change came when Mike Sullivan took over for Mike Johnston behind the bench after 28 games. Sullivan began integrating some of his AHL charges – Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl and, most importantly, goalie Matt Murray. But GM Jim Rutherford also obtained players who fit Sullivan’s speed game, acquiring defenseman Trevor Daley from Chicago for fellow blueliner Rob Scuderi. About a month later, Rutherford pulled off the move that put the Pens over the top, getting speedy Carl Hagelin from Anaheim for forward David Perron and defenseman Adam Clendening. Hagelin would form the HBK line with Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel that was so effective in the playoffs.

By the time deadline approached, the heavy lifting was done but there was still work to do. Rutherford acquired defenseman Justin Schultz from Edmonton for a third-round pick. He played the final 18 games of the regular season, logging a plus-7, and then all 15 playoff games, contributing four points.

 2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks were active around the trade deadline and landed an impact player. GM Stan Bowman acquired center Antoine Vermette for a first-round pick and middling defense prospect Klas Dahlbeck. Vermette was the kind of straight rental most often associated with deadline deals. After initial trouble fitting in, Vermette was a key contributor to the playoff run. In the Western Conference finals against the Ducks, Vermette scored the double-overtime winner in Game 4. Bowman also swapped bottom forwards with San Jose, obtaining Andrew Desjardins for Ben Smith and Desjardins has been a serviceable role player. The Hawks also picked up Kimmo Timonen from Philadelphia for a second-round pick. The veteran Timonen had not played to that point because of blood clots. He played in 16 regular-season games and 18 playoff games but did not have a point.

 2013-14 Los Angeles Kings: The Kings pulled off a whopper when they obtained Marian Gaborik, who was not playing well in Columbus, for Matt Frattin and second- and third-round picks. Gaborik netted 14 goals in the playoff run that produced the Kings’ second Cup in three years. LA also picked up defense prospect Brayden McNabb along with forward Jonathan Parker and two second-rounds picks for forwards Nicolas Deslauriers and Hudson Fasching. McNabb became a regular for the Kings while Deslauriers is a regular brawler for Buffalo.

 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks: In the lockout-shortened 48-game season, the Blackhawks made one move at the deadline, acquiring two-way centerman Michal Handzus from San Jose for a fourth-round pick. Handzus was near the end of a fine NHL career, but contributed to the Cup run, posting 3-8-11 totals in 23 playoff games, including a short-handed goal against the Bruins in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals, a Hawks win.

• 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings: The Columbus Blue Jackets contributed greatly to this Kings’ championship as well. A few days before the deadline, the Jackets traded Jeff Carter – who had cost Columbus the services of Jake Voracek less than a year before – to LA for defenseman Jack Johnson. Carter not only had a strong playoff campaign (8-5-13 totals in 20 games), but he helped cement the Kings’ heavy, hard-to-play-against identity that would earn them a second Cup in 2014.

• 2010-11 Bruins: Former GM Peter Chiarelli performed a fairly extensive facelift around deadline day. First, he acquired Chris Kelly for a second-round pick from Ottawa. Then a few days later, he obtained defenseman Tomas Kaberle from Toronto for Joe Colbourne, a first- and a second-round pick. Finally on deadline day, he shipped Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Atlanta Thrashers for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik (the latter a prospect who never panned out.) Kaberle seemed to be the big get at the time, but he didn’t have the impact most expected. But Kelly and Peverley joined Michael Ryder to form a third line that proved pivotal in the B’s getting past the Canadiens. Peverley then stepped in for the injured Nathan Horton on the first line in the finals against the Canucks.

Bottom line? If Sweeney wants to be a player in the market, it doesn’t mean he’s deluded into thinking this is the year for his team.

]]> 0 Bruins left wing Daniel Paille, right, celebrates a goal by Bruins center Rich Peverley against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals.Mon, 27 Feb 2017 22:47:03 +0000
Stars fall as Bruins glide to third road-trip win in Dallas Sun, 26 Feb 2017 22:13:54 +0000 DALLAS — Patrice Bergeron had two goals and an assist as the Boston Bruins beat the Dallas Stars 6-3 Sunday, improving to 6-1 under interim coach Bruce Cassidy.

The Bruins completed a 3-1 road trip.

Stars captain Jamie Benn and Boston forward David Backes began fighting just 2 seconds into the game and drew major penalties. They have a history between them – this was the first time they’ve faced each other this season, and it was the third straight year they’ve fought.

The Stars had tied the game in the second period after trailing 2-0. But Frank Vatrano and Bergeron scored on deflections 40 seconds apart in the second, and Bergeron added his 16th goal of the season in the third period.

Brad Marchand, David Krejci scored in the first period for the Bruins. Marchand had two assists and Torey Krug had three assists.

John Klingberg and Jiri Hudler had second-period goals for Dallas, and Tyler Seguin scored in the third.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask had 33 saves.

Kari Lehtonen made 22 saves for Dallas. Three of Boston’s goals came on deflections.

Vatrano deflected Kevan Miller’s drive from the right point through traffic past Lehtonen to break a 2-2 tie in the second. Bergeron and Dallas defenseman Jordie Benn became tangled in front of Lehtonen on the Bruins’ fourth goal.

Marchand scored from the left faceoff circle at 5:56 of the first period after taking a pass from behind the net from Bergeron.

Dallas made it 2-all on the first power play of the game. Hudler scored on a snap shot at 11:49 of the second.

Boston regained a two-goal lead less than 4 minutes later when Vatrano and Bergeron scored at 14:41 and 15:21.

NOTES: Dallas D Johnny Oduya returned after missing 15 games because of an ankle injury. … Miller and Dallas LW Curtis McKenzie also fought in the second period. … Marchand has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in his past 12 games. … Krejci has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past seven games. … Krug has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in seven career games against the Stars. … Hudler has 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 14 career games vs. Boston. …The visiting team has won the last seven games between the teams, dating back to 2013-14.

]]> 0 Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) is congratulated by teammate David Krejci (46) after scoring during the second period against the Dallas Stars on Sunday in Dallas. The Bruins won 6-3. (Associated Press/LM Otero)Sun, 26 Feb 2017 18:06:56 +0000
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