|12.13.13 at 12:09 am ET|
The Bruins continued what’s been a successful road trip Thursday with a 4-2 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place.
Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a first period in which Dennis Seidenberg scored on one of his famous fake dump-ins, Jarome Iginla sent a puck past both a screening Milan Lucic and Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk, and Brad Marchand tallied a shorthanded goal.
Dubnyk was replaced by Jason LaBarbera at the start of the second period, and the Oilers got back in the game with a pair of goals from David Perron. After the Bruins were able to kill off a pair of late penalties in the third period, Iginla sealed the win for the B’s with an empty-netter.
Picking up the win for the Bruins was Chad Johnson, who improved to 6-1-0 on the season. Johnson made a career-high 39 saves in the win.
The Bruins will wrap up their West Coast road trip Saturday with their first trip back to Vancouver since winning the Stanley Cup there in 2011.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Johnson gave up a couple of bad goals in the second period, but he came up huge with a glove save on Nail Yakupov from the slot five minutes into the third period on a play that could have tied the game. He then made another stop on a Jordan Eberle shot with the Oukers on a man advantage midway through the third.
– The Bruins came up big on that third-period interference penalty on Marchand, as a unit of Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk silenced the Oilers on a very lengthy possession that saw Boychuk block a one-timer from Eberle.
The Bruins had an easier time on a Dennis Seidenberg penalty with just over three minute to play, as the B’s cleared the puck regularly against a desperate Oilers team late.
– The occasionally sneaky Seidenberg was up to his old tricks again for the Bruins’ first goal. Taking the puck through the neutral zone, Seidenberg looked to be dumping the puck into the offensive zone until he fired a wrist shot at the blue line that fooled Dubnyk. Remember, this is the same guy who had a pair of center-ice goals over the last few years, one of which came when he gained the red line and, faked a dump-in and threw a wrist shot past Mike Smith back on Dec. 2, 2010.
– It isn’t necessarily a good thing given that it took Lucic off the ice, but Lucic said recently that he expected to get to his usual six or seven fights a season and he meant it. Though his Nov. 30 fight against Dalton Prout was just his first bout of the season, Lucic’s fight Thursday with Luke Gazdic marked his third fight of the season, all of which have occurred over the last six games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The B’s had another injury scare when Seidenberg got hit up high by a shot from the point. Seidenberg turned his head in time to not get hit in the face by the puck, but he was still down for a few moments, with trainer Don DelNegro tending to him on the ice. Fortunately for the banged-up Bruins, Seidenberg stayed in the game.
– The Oilers stepped up their game big-time in the second period, and it was capped by a bad goal late. Johnson, making a save off a puck Perron had tipped from Eberle, poked the puck with his blocker right back to Perron at the side of the net, with Perron then scoring on a wraparound.
– On the subject of Perron’s goals, neither of them were good goals for Johnson to allow. Perhaps Seidenberg was screening him on the Oilers’ first goal, as there’s no other excuse to not stop the wrist shot that beat him stick side high.
– His line was used as a fourth line, but Ryan Spooner‘s struggles at the faceoff dot weren’t an issue. Why? Because his line was only on the ice for one faceoff and he won it. That’s one way to solve the problem. Spooner was given only two shifts in the third period and didn’t play the final 12 minutes of regulation as Claude Julien shortened his bench in a one-goal game.
Campbell took most of the faceoffs for the Bruins, going 11-for-23. Spooner finished with just 8:16 of ice time.
|12.12.13 at 12:17 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni via phone from Edmonton, where the B’s play Thursday night, for his weekly discussion about the team.
“No question he crossed the line, he’s aware of that, and the league will obviously discipline him, use him as an example,” Brickley said. “This is the type of stuff that’s a hot-button issue in the National Hockey League — injuries, concussions, bad decisions, bad hits in the game. That’s what they’re trying to clean up, and it’s an opportunity for the league to really make an example of him, which they probably will do.
“Certainly in the moment, when we were doing the broadcast, when the initial hit [by Orpik on Loui Eriksson] was made and then Eriksson was concussed, obviously, no penalty on the play, I thought it was a borderline hit, could have been a penalty, could not have been a penalty. I have a hard time even with my experience knowing what’s a penalty and what’s not a penalty anymore. …
“When the first hit by Orpik was made on Eriksson, then he was challenged initially, if you remember, by Dougie Hamilton — no response. Then Shawn Thornton had the opportunity to challenge Orpik — no response. That’s when you know, because you’ve been there, that this is going to get ugly. Because if you’re not going to handle it the way the Bruins feel it should be handled, then people were going to start crossing lines and the game was going to get ugly. You knew it was going to happen, and I think that’s where it started to break down.”
Brickley said Orpik, who is known as a hard hitter but someone who does not fight, could have handled the situation better.
“This kid, he’s a good player, he’s a good hitter, he likes to hit in open ice,” Brickley said. “But he’s also got a reputation for a guy that hits the Loui Erikssons, the Jeff Skinners. He broke Erik Cole‘s neck from hitting him from behind. … When you have a reputation like that, you have to answer for those types of hits if you’re going to play that way. It’s plain and simple. That’s code. If you want to talk code, that’s code.”
Added Brickley: “Just flip it around if you want to have this kind of conversation. If Johnny Boychuck stands up and knocks Chris Kunitz on a borderline hit, interference, on-the-puck play, if you want to call it that, and Deryk Engelland comes over and challenges Boychuck, what does Boychuck do? … That’s how those plays get defused and you don’t get into the nasty anymore.”
|12.11.13 at 12:09 am ET|
The Bruins scored two late goals to come from behind and beat the Flames, 2-1, Tuesday night in Calgary.
David Krejci broke up Reto Berra’s shutout bid on a power play by tipping a Torey Krug shot past the Flames goaltender with 6:11 remaining. Shortly after, Reilly Smith capped a rush by beating Berra to make it 2-1.
Jiri Hudler got the Flamers on the board in the second period with a wrist shot from the outside that beat Tuukka Rask. The teams hit the second intermission with the Flames outshooting the B’s, 22-9, as the Bruins mustered just five and four shots on goal in the first and second periods, respectively.
Rask made 26 saves in the win, helping keep the game a one-goal contest until the Bruins were able to find some offense in the third.
The Bruins’ road trip will continue Thursday when the B’s take on the Oilers in Edmonton.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- As was expected, the Saddledome was all about Jarome Iginla Tuesday night. In addition to a nice pre-game ceremony and video tribute, the longtime Flames captain was named the game’s third star so he could take another postgame lap around the ice. As he tried to get off the ice, his Bruins teammates stood at the door and pushed him back out, making him take three laps in front of a roaring crowd that included his parents.
- Claude Julien switched up the Bruins’ second and third lines in the third period by putting Smith back on the third line with Spooner and Soderberg. Spooner fed Smith before he took off on the rush on which he scored the game-winner.
- Johnny Boychuk returned from a back sprain for the B’s, which is a good sign for a team that is seeing its players drop like flies.
- Kevan Miller was once again used with the opponent having their goalie pulled. The B’s used him there with Zdeno Chara against the Penguins two weeks ago, but unlike when Sidney Crosby tied it in that game, the B’s closed the door against the Flames.
- The Bruins woke up for the third period after a sluggish opening 40 minutes. After killing off the remainder of a too-many-men penalty, the B’s opened the third period by getting 10 of the first 11 shots on goal.
- Old friend Joe Colborne didn’t help the B’s a ton by helping land them Tomas Kaberle, but he helped them Tuesday when he took the delay of game penalty that led to Krejci’s goal.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Hudler’s goal was not the Bruins’ finest moment. The play started when Reilly Smith couldn’t get the puck deep into the Calgary zone, and after the puck went the other way and Dennis Seidenberg kept Hudler to the outside, Rask couldn’t grab Hudler’s wrist shot glove side.
- What has three forwards and can’t win faceoffs? Boston’s third line. Ryan Spooner got off to another awful start in the faceoff circle, losing his first five draws, and saw Carl Soderberg take over responsibilities for the second straight game. Soderberg lost two of three he took in the second period, with the line hitting the second intermission 1-for-8 at the dot. Spooner finally won his first draw of the last two games about midway through the third period.
|12.10.13 at 3:58 pm ET|
Danielle Paille is out with an upper-body injury, with no timetable for his return, according to the team.
Paille’s injury is the latest in what’s been a magnificent run of ailments for the B’s. The team recalled forward Nick Johnson on Tuesday. Here’s where the Bruins stand injury-wise:
Loui Eriksson: out indefinitely (concussion)
Chris Kelly: out four-to-six weeks (broken right fibula)
Dougie Hamilton: out two-to-four weeks (lower-body)
Daniel Paille: out indefinitely (upper-body)
Johnny Boychuk: day-to-day, expected to play Tuesday (sprained back)
Adam McQuaid: day-to-day (lower-body)
Shawn Thornton: out indefinitely (suspended)
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|12.10.13 at 2:59 pm ET|
“Obviously, it’s not the smartest decision I’ve ever made,” Neal said. “I’m glad he’s OK. Going forward here, I need to learn from it. It’s something I can’t do, and I know that. I respect what the NHL’s done, but I’ve got to put it behind me and move forward here.”
Marchand was down on the ice after being tripped by Sidney Crosby, at which point Neal skated by, stuck out his left leg and hit Marchand in the head. The suspension is the third of Neal’s career.
It was at that whistle that the scrum between Brooks Orpik and Gregory Campbell, among others, took place and Shawn Thornton attacked Orpik with a slewfoot and two punches to the head. Orpik is out indefinitely with a concussion and has memory loss. Thornton’s in-person hearing with the league over the play is scheduled for Friday.
After the game, Neal had initially offered little about the play in which he hit Marchand, saying he hadn’t seen the replay. Marchand stayed in the game.
“I mean, what do you want me to say? That I was trying to hit him? No, I’m going by him, I don’t get out of the way like I said,” Neal said following the game. “I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but I’m not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that.”
|12.10.13 at 2:00 pm ET|
The Bruins announced a pair of roster moves Tuesday, placing Loui Eriksson on injured reserve and recalling forward Nick Johnson from Providence on an emergency basis.
Eriksson suffered a concussion in Saturday’s win over the Penguins. Placing a player on injured reserve means they can’t play for the seven days following the injury, meaning Eriksson won’t be eligible to return to the Bruins’ lineup until next Tuesday against the Flames at the earliest.
Johnson’s call-up comes with a number of Bruins battling the flu. Johnson, 27, has 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points this season with a plus-seven rating.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
|12.10.13 at 12:18 pm ET|
Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf has been suspended two games for hitting Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller from behind late in the third period of Sunday night’s 5-2 Bruins win.
Miller went face-first into the boards on the hit and looked shaken up as he left the ice. He is expected to play Tuesday night, though. Phaneuf had no suspension history prior to this.
This marks the second suspension to come out of a chaotic weekend for the Bruins. On Monday, Pittsburgh’s James Neal was suspended five games for kneeing Brad Marchand in the head Saturday night.
The longest suspension of all is still to come, though. Shawn Thornton will have an in-person hearing with Brendan Shanahan on Friday afternoon, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. On Saturday night, Thornton took down Brooks Orpik from behind and punched him twice while he was on the ice. Orpik was knocked out cold and had to be taken off on a stretcher. He has since been placed on injured reserve with a concussion.
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