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Thread: Boston Bruins 2018/19 Season Chatter

  1. #26
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    Game # 25

    1 SO

    Donato nets shootout winner in return, Bruins best Isles 2-1


    Ryan Donato fakes out Robin Lehner and backhands one home to give the Bruins a 2-1 win over the Islanders in a shootout.

    BOSTON -- Ryan Donato knew he couldn't afford to let a golden opportunity to get himself back into the fold pass him by.

    Donato, recalled Wednesday after a demotion to Providence of the AHL, grabbed the puck and charged toward the net on the Boston Bruins' fourth attempt in a shootout Thursday night.

    The 22-year-old left wing deked right and tucked the puck past New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner to give Boston a 2-1 win.

    Donato hopes that will be enough to earn himself another extended look with the big club.

    "It was big. You want to make sure you have an immediate impact on the game, show the coaches and staff that you developed in your time (at Providence)," Donato said. "I tried to do that to the best of my abilities, and hopefully I proved that to them today."

    Donato was sent to Providence on Nov. 1 after a disappointing start to his second NHL season, scoring just one goal in 11 games. The former Harvard standout had five goals and four assists in 12 games a season ago.

    "We know he can score, so he was going to be in the rotation. We just weren't sure where," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Clearly Tuukka (Rask) obviously gave him that chance to go, and he took advantage of it."

    Rask stymied the Islanders with 28 saves and Brad Marchand scored in regulation for the Bruins, who ended up in their first shootout this season.

    Anders Lee had a goal and Lehner made 35 saves for the Islanders, who lost their second straight game.

    Lehner allowed just one goal in regulation after giving up three or more in four consecutive starts.

    "Tuukka had a great game and kept us out of it, but so did Lehnny," Lee said. "He played an incredible game. It comes down to the shootout, one of those things. Worst-case scenario, (it's) a point on the road."

    New York had a goal waved off with 3:47 to play in overtime after Anthony Beauvillier fell behind Rask in the crease before Mathew Barzal flipped the puck over the goaltender.

    Lee, the Islanders' captain, netted his eighth goal of the season with 7:43 left in the first period, poking a rebound through Rask's pads after Scott Mayfield sent the puck on net from the right circle.

    Lee's goal came seconds after a delayed penalty drawn by Barzal.

    Marchand tied it for Boston with 7:51 to play in the second following Nick Leddy's high-sticking penalty. Marchand rocketed a one-timer from the right circle off a feed from David Pastrnak.

    Marchand's tally snapped a seven-game goal drought and was his first since scoring once in a 4-1 win against Vegas on Nov. 11.

    The Islanders and Bruins meet twice more this season, next on Feb. 5 in Boston.

    Game notes

    The Bruins retired longtime right wing Rick Middleton's No. 16 before the game. Middleton, nicknamed "Nifty," spent 12 seasons (1976-88) with Boston and ranks third in team history in goals (402) and fourth in points (898).
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  2. #27
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    Game # 26

    4

    Nielsen, Howard help Red Wings beat Bruins 4-2

    Frans Nielson finds the back of the net to put the Red Wings ahead in their 4-2 win over the Bruins.

    BOSTON -- Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard looked like he had enough of Brad Marchand, looking to get at the Bruins' forward after getting slashed.

    The rest of his Red Wings teammates had enough of losing in Boston, too.

    Frans Nielsen scored his first goal of the season to break a tie with 8:07 left in the third period and Howard made 37 saves, lifting the surging Red Wings past the Bruins 4-2 on Saturday night.

    It snapped Detroit's nine-game losing streak in TD Garden. It was the Red Wings' first win here since Oct. 14, 2013. Also, the Bruins had gone 15-1-2 in their last 18 games overall against Detroit.

    "It's been a tough place for us to play; really to come up with a point," said Howard, who tried to square off with Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask after the exchange with Marchand.

    Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin had second-period goals, and Gustav Nyquist added an empty-netter for the Red Wings, who improved 11-4-1 in their last 16 games after opening the season with just one win (1-7-2) in their first 10.

    "This team's done a lot where they've been physically intimadating over the years," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said "We want to do that. We have some bigger bodies now."

    The Bruins were still trying to match the Red Wings' hard checking despite missing two of their bigger defensemen: captain Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller, both sidelined with injuries.

    "Everyone's stepping up," Marchand said. "We've still got some guys that can throw their weight around."

    Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said some teams "could be" more physical against his team with some of the tougher player sidelined.

    David Backes and Ryan Donato had Boston's goals, and Rask stopped 22 shots. The Bruins lost for just the third time in 12 home games this season.

    Nielsen, positioned in the slot, tipped Danny DeKeyser's shot from the left point for his first goal since March 27th.

    Howard and Rask nearly squared off during a second-period scrum, but were stopped by the referees.

    Trailing 2-1 with the Bruins on a power play, Donato took a perfect cross-ice feed from David Pastrnak and beat Howard with a wrister inside the left post.

    Recalled from the minors before Thursday's win over the New York Islanders after being sent down on Nov. 1, Donato scored the lone goal in the shootout.

    The Red Wings tied it 1-1 early in the second period when Bertuzzi tipped a shot over Rask.

    They took a 2-1 edge with 2:24 left in the period on Larkin's power-play goal. Seconds after Anthony Mantha fired a shot squarely off the right post, Larkin scored off a rebound out of a scramble with Rask down in front of the crease.

    The Bruins had jumped ahead 1-0 on a gift goal late in the closing seconds of the opening period when Backes backhanded the puck toward the goal from along the boards and it hit Detroit defenseman Dennis Cholowski's stick before bouncing over Howard into the net.

    Play became chippy late in the second period and escalated to both goaltenders leaving the crease and trying to square off during the scrum in front of the benches.

    It started when Marchand and Bertuzzi were jawing behind play and became heated when Marchand slashed at Howard's blocker as the goalie was skating off for a delayed penalty. At that point, Howard tried to get at Marchand and Rask attempted skate at Howard. Both threw off their gloves and blockers, but one referee each grabbed a goalie as the rest on the ice paired off without any punches thrown.

    "I was just going to go to the bench and he kind of slashed Howie," Bertuzzi said.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  3. #28
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    Game # 27

    0 5

    Luongo gets 77th shutout as Panthers blank Bruins 5-0

    Mike Hoffman nets two goals in the second period and the Panthers cruise to a 5-0 win over the Bruins.

    SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers are glad to have Roberto Luongo back in goal.

    Luongo, who returned to the lineup after missing five games with a knee injury, earned his 77th career shutout and the Panthers beat the Boston Bruins 5-0 on Tuesday night.

    Luongo made 33 saves and passed Ed Belfour and Tony Esposito for sole possession of ninth place on the NHL's shutout list.

    "It was great for Lou to be back in there," Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. "His rebound control was amazing. I'm happy for Lou -- he moved into ninth all-time and he did it in nice fashion."

    Mike Hoffman scored twice. Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists, and Mike Matheson and Evgenii Dadonov also scored. Aleksander Barkov had three assists and Keith Yandle added two.

    "The boys did a great job," Luongo said. "There weren't a lot of breakdowns, a lot of odd-man rushes, breakaways, stuff like that. It really helps my game when we play like that defensively and it also translates in offense for our club. Take more of those, hopefully."

    The return of Luongo was a game-time decision, and it turned out to be the right call.

    "It was a huge boost for the team," Hoffman said. "He's a solid goaltender. He definitely was a big part of this win."

    Jaroslav Halak made 39 saves as the Panthers had a season-high 44 shots on goal. The Bruins lost for the third time in four games.

    "Tonight, it was men against boys at times, it looked like," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Some of our younger players had their hands full."

    Huberdeau made it 3-0. His shot from the left circle was blocked by Halak, but the puck trickled through his pads at 15:14 of the second period. Huberdeau has six consecutive multipoint games, one short of the franchise record set by Pavel Bure.

    "Everything is working right now. It's unbelievable," Huberdeau said. "I want to try to keep it simple out there and it's been working. I just want to keep doing that game after game."

    Hoffman's second goal with five seconds left in the second on a power play made it 4-0. Hoffman has 26 points in his last 24 games.

    "Tonight, we just didn't execute in the second period and that cost us the game," Halak said. "And we just have to regroup. That's the bottom line. We need to find a way to win."

    Dadonov's power-play goal with 5:34 remaining in the third made it 5-0.

    Hoffman scored the first goal of the night. With traffic in front, Halak lost track of the puck, which was sitting on his left side at the goal line until Hoffman poked it in at 4:21 of the second.

    Matheson gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead when he brought the puck down the length of the ice and beat Halak on the stick side with a shot from the right circle at 13:13.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  4. #29
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    Game # 28

    2 3

    Lightning beat Bruins 3-2 for 5th consecutive win

    Mathieu Joseph fakes right and scores left early in the third, and later Anthony Cirelli nets the third and final goal to give Lightning a 3-2 win over the Bruins.

    TAMPA, Fla. -- It was a pair of players in their first full NHL season that sent the Tampa Bay Lightning to their latest victory.

    Mathieu Joseph and Anthony Cirelli scored early in the third period and the Lightning won their fifth consecutive game by beating the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Thursday night.

    "It's hard to play with a team with four lines rolling like this," Joseph said. "We're a team that has a lot of depth and it's huge."

    After Joseph scored at 2:40, Cirelli put home a short-handed backhand 1:23 later to make it 3-1.

    Lightning star Steven Stamkos didn't get an assist on Cirelli's goal but played a key role by swatting the puck out of danger in the defensive zone with his glove after losing his stick. The puck went to Cirelli off a Boston player.

    "I just saw a chance and went for it," Cirelli said.

    Boston pulled to 3-2 on David Krejci's goal with 1:45 remaining.

    Brayden Point also scored and Louis Domingue made 33 saves for the Lightning, who have the NHL's best record at 22-7-1.

    David Pastrnak had a goal for Boston, and Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots. The Bruins have lost three in a row and four of five.

    Boston was coming off a dismal 5-0 loss Tuesday night at Florida.

    "Tonight is a little more disappointing (than frustrating), to be honest with you," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We were right there."

    Point got his 21st goal, including seven over his last eight games, to tie it 1-all with 5:01 left in the first. Nikita Kucherov set up the goal with a backhand pass and has 20 assists and 25 points in his last 12 games.

    Pastrnak got his 20th goal in his 28th game this season on a rebound 2:04 in. Jaromir Jagr -- on four occasions -- is the only Czech-born player to reach the 20-goal mark in fewer games.

    Domingue made a pad save on a late first-period breakaway by Pastrnak, who went to his backhand.

    "I was pretty lucky," Domingue said. "I probably should have known that he didn't have the room to cut to his forehand. Sometimes you've got to be lucky to be good."

    Pastrnak also had an assist.

    Boston activated defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who had been sidelined since Oct. 20 due to a concussion. The injury-depleted Bruins are still without center Patrice Bergeron (ribs), and defensemen Zdeno Chara (lower body), Kevan Miller (throat) and Urho Vaakanainen (concussion).

    "We weren't quite there yet, but much better than Florida," Cassidy said. "We had a few passengers. You can't afford that against the No. 1 team."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  5. #30
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    Game # 29

    6 3

    Krejci moves up Bruins' scoring list in 6-3 win over Leafs

    Brad Marchand sends a pass to David Backes, who snaps a wrist shot past Frederik Andersen for the power play goal, giving the Bruins a 2-0 lead.

    BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins were tired of being pushed around.

    David Krejci had a goal and assist to move past Hall of Famer Cam Neely for 10th on the Bruins' all-time scoring list, and Boston snapped a three-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

    Earlier in the week, Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said teams "could be" playing more physical against his more skilled players with a pair of bigger defensemen -- Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller -- sidelined by injuries. They seemed to respond.

    "That's how we were going to win tonight," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said. "We had that edge and I think it brought a lot to the table. You look at our lineup and I think that's what we need right now. We're bringing that to the table. We need that to win."

    Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, David Backes, Ryan Donato, Danton Heinen and Krug also scored for the Bruins. Jaroslav Halak stopped 29 shots.

    Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen was pulled early in the third after giving up six goals on 28 shots. He entered with an 11-1 record and 2.08 goals against in his career against Boston. Auston Matthews, Travis Dermott and Andreas Johnsson each had a goal.

    The game became more heated after Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy took what the Bruins felt was a late hit by Zach Hyman midway into the third. McAvoy missed 20 games with a concussion before returning earlier this week.

    "You hate to see that," said teammate Matt Grzelcyk, who fought with Hyman. "Hopefully Charlie's okay."

    The Maple Leafs felt the extra hitting early.

    "That's hockey, and it's our job to respond to that," Matthews said. "Obviously they made a push back and we didn't respond."

    Leading 1-0, the Bruins appeared to be more physical and determined when they scored twice in the second period.

    Less than a minute after McAvoy hit the post -- Boston's second shot off iron in about a 3 1/2-minute span -- Brad Marchand set up Backes in the slot, where he fired a rising shot past Andersen's glove and inside the right post for a power-play goal at 8:54.

    Krug's first goal first of the season made it 3-0 just under nine minutes later. After a flurry of chances, he scored on a wrister from the left point.

    Heinen collected a puck along the boards early in the third, split a pair of Toronto players before flipping a shot over Andersen to make it 4-0 at 1:47.

    Dermott beat Halak with a shot from the mid-slot area 4:03 into the third, but Krejci made it 5-1 only 34 seconds later. Donato scored at 6:13, sending Andersen to the bench to a chorus of jeers and cheers. Garret Sparks replaced him and stopped all four shots he faced.

    Toronto has allowed 11 total goals in its last two games.

    "We talked about the importance of defending. It's just going out there and executing," center John Tavares said. "It's difficult to do it over 82 games. There's adversity you face."

    The Bruins had taken a 1-0 edge 11:20 into the game when Forsbacka-Karlsson redirected a pass and tapped in his own rebound.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  6. #31
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    Game # 30

    2 1 OT

    Krug scores in OT to lift Bruins over Senators 2-1


    David Krejci skates around back of the net and feeds Torey Krug for a game-winning goal to lift the Bruins past the Senators, 2-1.

    OTTAWA, Ontario -- Torey Krug felt like the Boston Bruins were "still in their pre-game nap" during their game against the Ottawa Senators.

    Tuukka Rask helped the Bruins stick around, and Krug gave Boston the jolt it needed for a road victory.

    Krug took a cross-crease pass from David Krejci and beat Mike McKenna with a one-timer 3:07 into overtime to lift the Bruins over the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Sunday night.

    "It was a tough game for us," Krug said. "It took us a while to wake up there."

    Krug deferred credit to Krejci on the winner.

    "It's a highly, highly skilled player making a great pass," Krug said. "He sees things that other guys can't see, even from up in the press box. He made a great play and I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of it."

    Brad Marchand had the regulation goal for the Bruins (16-10-4), and Rask made 27 saves.

    Mark Stone scored in regulation for the Senators (13-14-4), who got a career-best 42-save performance from McKenna, including a diving two-pad stack save against Sean Kuraly in overtime.

    The third period finished with a frantic seven minutes, starting with a game-saving glove save by Rask against Stone on a 2-on-1 when the Senators were short-handed and a delayed penalty was coming to the Bruins.

    McKenna stopped Marchand in close before turning aside David Pastrnak on a breakaway. McKenna stopped 14 shots in the third period as the Bruins outshot Ottawa 14-4.

    "I felt like myself and I felt like I've had a lot of good work leading up to this to be ready for it," McKenna said. "Credit to our goalie coaching, credit to my teammates and all that, but I felt like myself out there. It might have been the most (saves) in the NHL, but I've had games like that in other places before."

    Stone put Ottawa on the board 12:51 into the first who he one-timed a circle-to-circle pass from Colin White.

    The Senators failed to capitalize on a 5-on-3 advantage for one minute, including the final 50 seconds of the first period.

    Marchand tied it at 1, beating McKenna at 7:49 of the second period as the Senators played a man short following an instigator penalty to Ben Harpur.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  7. #32
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    Game # 31

    4 3

    Marchand has 2 goals, 1 assist as Bruins beat Coyotes 4-3


    Brad Marchand finds the back of the net twice in the Bruins' 4-3 win over the Coyotes.

    BOSTON -- In a span of five minutes, the Boston Bruins turned a two-goal deficit into a two-goal lead.

    David Krejci was just happy to be along for the ride.

    Moving up to Boston's top line to fill in for the injured Patrice Bergeron, Krejci assisted on three of Boston's four goals during a second-period flurry that put away the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Tuesday night.

    Brad Marchand scored twice, and David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists for the Bruins -- all during the five-minute span midway through the second.

    "Those are two world-class players," Krejci said. "They make lots of skilled plays, so they kind of make it easy for you. ... I've just got to be at the right time at the right place, and the puck will find you."

    Arizona led 2-0 before Danton Heinen and Pastrnak scored 33 seconds apart. Marchand gave the Bruins the lead two minutes later, and then added another two minutes after that to make it 4-2.

    "It was those three minutes. We played a good hockey game for 50," Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. "Two-nothing, there, we backed off."

    Tuukka Rask stopped 30 shots for Boston, which beat the Coyotes for the 14th time in a row. The Bruins have won three in a row after snapping a three-game losing streak.

    Coach Bruce Cassidy said the victory over Toronto on Saturday night was key.

    "It can go in a hurry," he said. "Three can turn into five or six, and all bets are off and it's panic mode."

    Nick Schmaltz and Nick Cousins scored 40 seconds apart for Arizona in the first period, and Darcy Kuemper made 22 saves for the Coyotes. Michael Bunting, who was making his NHL debut, scored an unassisted goal cut the deficit to 4-3 with 5 minutes left in the second.

    "The guys bounced back really well," Bunting said. "You can feel bad for yourself and pack it in. We didn't do that."

    The 2014 fourth-round draft pick admitted to jitters before the game, and snapped out of it during the national anthem.

    "I was like, `All right, I'm in an NHL game now," he said. "It's pretty special. It's something I'm going to remember for the rest of my life."

    The Coyotes had a shorthanded breakaway midway through the third period, but the Bruins got back to keep them from getting a shot off. Arizona also pulled the goalie with 75 seconds left but managed just one shot on net, as time expired.

    BLOOD ON THE ICE

    Bruins forward David Backes rushed himself off the ice after taking a skate blade to the face in the first period. Backes was to the side of the net when he pushed Oliver Ekmann-Larsson aside and the Arizona defenseman went to the ice, kicking up his left skate on the way down.

    It caught Backes in the face and he went down before skating on his own quickly to the Bruins bench and out the tunnel. He returned for -- and won the opening faceoff to start the second period.

    Backes did not speak to reporters after the game, but he told The Boston Globe that he had a cut on the side of his nose that needed a few stitches and some ointment.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  8. #33
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    Game # 32

    3 5

    DeSmith shines with 48 saves as Penguins slip by Bruins 5-3


    Zach Aston-Reese has a two-goal night against the Bruins to fuel the Penguins to a 5-3 win on their home ice.

    PITTSBURGH -- Casey DeSmith is not the highest-paid or most accomplished goaltender on the Penguins. Yet he's playing like it, a development that's helped Pittsburgh keep its season from unraveling.

    The backup thrust into a starting role while two-time Stanley Cup winner Matt Murray recovers from a lower-body injury and shaky play stopped a career-high 48 shots as Pittsburgh fended off a third-period Boston rally to slip by the Bruins 5-3 on Friday night.

    DeSmith improved to 7-2-1 in his last 10 starts, keeping his cool even after the Bruins erased a two-goal deficit in the third period by scoring twice in 54 seconds. Jake Guentzel restored Pittsburgh's lead by tipping home Kris Letang's point shot with 9:13 to go, and DeSmith did the rest.

    "It's always fun, though, when you're getting peppered as long as you come out on the right side of things," DeSmith said. "It was a little (chaotic) there at the end but glad we pulled it out."

    The Penguins appeared to be firmly in control after Zach Aston-Reese's short-handed goal -- Pittsburgh's first down a man in 57 games -- with 58 seconds to go in the second period made it 3-1.

    Boston's Chris Wagner and David Krejci drew the Bruins even when they beat DeSmith less than a minute apart in the third. But the Penguins executed perfectly on a faceoff in the Boston zone, with Sidney Crosby winning the draw and then sending the puck back to Letang. He shot it and Guentzel extended his stick to get a piece of it. The puck slid by Jaroslav Halak for Guentzel's 13th of the season.

    "I know he's going to shoot it," Guentzel said. "I just put my stick there and hit it. We run that (play) in practice. Sid kind of gave the nod so we knew it was coming. Obviously a great play by Sid."

    Brandon Carlo scored for the first time in 115 games for Boston and Halak stopped 24 shots but the Bruins had trouble with DeSmith, who has filled in capably with Murray spending most of the first two months of the season dealing with injuries or a serious dip in form.

    The team activated Murray on Wednesday but coach Mike Sullivan has chosen to stick with DeSmith, though Murray is likely to make his first start since Nov. 17 on Saturday night when the Kings visit. DeSmith insists he won't change his approach now that he's engaged in a full-on competition battle for playing time.

    "I think when I get a game, I go out there, try to win, try to play my best," DeSmith said. "(Just) keep working hard in practice, doing all the same things. That's the way to keep having success is to not change anything once you get a hold of it."

    The Bruins dominated for long stretches thanks in part to sloppy play by the Penguins, but DeSmith managed to keep Pittsburgh in it.

    "He's a good goalie, but I thought our scoring chances weren't A scoring chances, especially in the first period," Krejci said. "But that's how it goes sometimes."

    DeSmith's flashiest stop came in the first. He was sliding to his right when Brad Marchand picked up a bouncing puck and moved to DeSmith's left. The goaltender reached back with his glove and plucked a shot out of midair to keep the game scoreless.

    "I just kind of fell over and stuck something over there and thankfully it went in my glove," DeSmith said. "That was not technique."

    Derek Grant gave the Penguins the lead shortly after DeSmith's save on Marchand. Phil Kessel, playing in his 277th consecutive game with the Penguins -- the fourth-longest streak in franchise history -- and 723rd straight overall, doubled Pittsburgh's advantage 1:56 into the second period.

    The Bruins responded by pressing Smith, who eventually relented when Carlo fired a laser from the top of the right circle 11:53 into the second for just the seventh goal of his career and first since March 4, 2017, against New Jersey.

    "It had been a long while," Carlo said. "But I feel like with the way that I'm starting to put the puck to the net a little bit more, the opportunities were coming for me to shoot the puck, tonight especially."

    Though Boston eventually pulled even, Pittsburgh still ended up pulling away, with Aston-Reese putting in an empty-netter with six seconds left to ice it.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  9. #34
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    Game # 33

    2 4

    Skinner, Eichel score twice as Sabres top Bruins 4-2


    Jack Eichel finds Jeff Skinner for the game's first goal, then Eichel and Skinner connect again late in the 3rd period to give Buffalo a 3-2 lead.

    BOSTON -- Jack Eichel fondly remembers sitting with his dad in the TD Garden stands, watching his favorite hockey players.

    The 22-year-old from nearby North Chelmsford was the star attraction Sunday night, and he didn't disappoint.

    Eichel had two goals and two assists, including the primary helper on Jeff Skinner's winning goal with 3:13 remaining, to lead the Buffalo Sabres past the Boston Bruins 4-2.

    "I just picture myself in the crowd watching guys that I loved watching when I was a kid," Eichel said. "You know, coming here to watch Sid (Crosby) or (Alex Ovechkin). I picture myself in the same situation. It's always special coming back home."

    Eichel set up Skinner's second goal of the night and his team-leading 24th of the season with a feed behind the net. He added an empty-net goal with 24.2 seconds left to help Buffalo salvage its two-game road trip after a 4-3 shootout loss Saturday at Washington.

    "It's a big win for our group in the point of the season that we're at," said Eichel, who played at Boston University before being drafted No. 2 overall by the Sabres in 2015. "I thought we played a really good game after less than 24 hours."

    Linus Ullmark had 35 saves for the Sabres (20-9-5), who had dropped five of seven before taking three of four points on the road.

    "(It says) that we're a terrific team. Top of the league," Ullmark said. "So we've got to stick with it."

    Steven Kampfer and Torey Krug scored, and Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for the Bruins (17-12-4). Boston has allowed three or more goals in three straight games, including Saturday's 5-3 loss in Pittsburgh.

    "To be honest, maybe we're giving up a little bit more (chances)," Krug said. "But it's just big momentum shifts in the game where we need a big play, and all of the sudden it's a big play for the other team."

    Eichel drew cheers from some hometown fans after his wrist shot beat Rask to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead with 14:17 remaining. He has five goals and five assists in six games as a visitor to TD Garden.

    "I just couldn't match up his speed," Rask said of Eichel's first goal. "He was coming so fast and I don't know if I got flat footed or what, but he's a good player."

    Krug tied it with 6:49 to play, scoring his third goal in five games off David Krejci's pass through the slot.

    Moments after Ullmark's diving glove save on Ryan Donato astonished the crowd, Skinner scored his first goal with 16:42 left in the second period off Eichel's pass from behind the net.

    The Bruins tied the game exactly 2 minutes later after Joakim Nordstrom wrapped around the Sabres' net and fed a charging Kampfer for his first goal since rejoining the Bruins in an offseason trade.

    Brad Marchand appeared to give Boston a go-ahead goal with 8:02 left in the second after poking the puck past Ullmark during a scrum, but the refs had blown the whistle and deemed it a non-reviewable play.

    Donato drew a penalty shot with 3:29 left in the opening period after Matt Hunwick tripped him on a breakaway. On the penalty try, Donato slipped and jammed the puck against Ullmark's pad.

    "If I got it up, I would have scored," Donato said.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 34

    4 0

    Halak gets third shutout, Bruins beat Canadiens 4-0


    Joakim Nordstrom scores on a wrister in the first period and Brad Marchand find the net on the power play in the Bruins' 4-0 win over the Canadiens.

    MONTREAL -- Jaroslav Halak had a strong game against Montreal and former teammate Carey Price, and helped the Boston Bruins get a big road win.

    Halak stopped 22 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-0 on Monday night.

    Halak got his 45th career shutout and improved to 5-0-0 when facing Price.

    "It's always nice to get a shutout," Halak said. "From the drop of the puck, we played pretty good. For 60 minutes, we didn't give them much. Our (penalty kill) did an outstanding job not to give them anything. ... It was a team effort from top to bottom."

    Joakim Nordstrom, Colby Cave, David Krejci and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins, who snapped a two-game skid and leapfrogged the Canadiens for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston was on the second game of a back-to-back after losing 4-2 in Buffalo on Sunday.

    Price, vying for his 300th career victory, finished with 31 saves as the Canadiens lost for just the second time in seven games. Montreal was shut out for just the second time this season, and first time since Oct. 11 against Los Angeles.

    "I don't think there's a whole lot that needs to be said," Price said. "There's no excuse for that. It was a perfect opportunity to get a big win for our team but we're going to have to park that one real quick."

    The Canadiens failed to capitalize on three power plays, extending their slump to 0 for 25 over nine games dating back to Dec. 1. Montreal turned the puck over 24 times and their 22 shots on goal were a season low.

    "I don't think we were good anywhere on the ice tonight," Canadiens captain Shea Weber said. "There's no excuse for that. We're letting each other down. Guys have to look at each other in here and know that we all have to be better for each other."

    The Canadiens looked sloppy in the first period, turning the puck over 11 times over the first seven minutes.

    The Bruins responded with their first goal at 2:21 after Michael Chaput's turnover in his own zone. What followed was a give-and-go between Cave, David Backes and Nordstrom, who beat Price from the slot for his fifth.

    Boston made it 2-0 late in the second period when Cave scored his first NHL goal with 26 seconds left. The 23-year-old, playing his 16th career game, was left alone in the slot with the teams playing 4-on-4.

    The Bruins' David Pastrnak scooped up the puck after the goal and brought it to the bench.

    "It feels really good, especially in a winning effort," Cave said. "We played an unreal game as a team tonight. We rolled four lines, all three defensive pairings played good and Jaro was a brick wall back there. A recipe for success."

    The Bruins picked up right where they left off in the third, scoring 46 seconds in. A defensive collapse by the Canadiens gave Krejci time and space at the side of the net for his sixth.

    The Bruins added to their lead when Marchand scored Boston's fourth, on the power play, at 5:06. David Pastrnak made a clever pass on the goal, his second assist of the game
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 35

    3 1

    Halak, Pastrnak lead Bruins to 3-1 win over Ducks


    David Pastrnak gets a nice pass from Torrey Craig and follows up by scoring a quick goal.

    BOSTON -- Playing without two key injured stars, the Boston Bruins have relied on their goaltending to get wins lately.

    Jaroslav Halak stopped 24 shots, and David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists to lead the Bruins to a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

    "I really wanted him to get another shutout," David Krejci said. "Both goaltenders have been really good with (Zdeno Chara) and (Patrice) Bergeron out of the lineup."

    Bergeron has missed the last 15 games and is anticipating a return this weekend. Chara has missed the last 16 games while Boston has gone 9-6-1 in that span.

    Torey Krug had a goal and an assist and Krejci also scored to help Boston snap a nine-game losing streak to Anaheim and win for the fifth time in seven games.

    "We don't see them too often so it was nice to flip the script," Krug said.

    Ducks defenseman Josh Mahura got his first career goal with 4:16 remaining to spoil Halak's bid for a second straight shutout. John Gibson finished with 28 saves as Anaheim lost its second straight after winning nine of 10.

    "We didn't play anywhere near we were capable of," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "Didn't think we had much pushback in the third which was disappointing."

    Pastrnak's power-play goal broke a scoreless tie when he one-timed Krug's pass past Gibson at 7:19 of the second period. With his assists on the other two goals, he has 14 points in his past eight games.

    Halak made the save of the game with 6:31 remaining in the second when he stoned Brandon Montour robbing him with a glove save.

    Krug increased Boston's lead to 2-0 on the power play when he converted a feed from Brad Marchand past Gibson with 1:55 remaining in the second.

    "We didn't have the same intensity as we've had," Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. "No excuse.We are a few games away from Christmas break and we let a few games get away after we had a good thing going."

    Krejci added an insurance goal 5:21 into the third to cap the scoring for Boston, which shut out Montreal in its previous game.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 36

    5 3

    Bergeron scores twice in return as Bruins beat Predators 5-2


    Patrice Bergeron scores two goals and adds an assist in the Bruins' 5-2 win over the Predators.

    BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron explained to his teammates they should be thankful anytime they're able to play.

    And they should be even more grateful he's back with them.

    Bergeron scored two goals to reach 300 for his career, returning to the lineup Saturday after missing 16 games and leading the Boston Bruins past the Nashville Predators 5-2.

    "When you're in it for a while, it's game whatever," he said. "You don't appreciate it as much. I told them to be thankful because I've been missing it for so long."

    He also set up Brad Marchand's tie-breaking score and finished with two assists to help send Boston to its sixth win in eight games.

    "This shows why," said Marchand, who called Bergeron one of the game's best players. "It's tough to jump in after five weeks and feel good. He's an incredible leader and player and showed that again."

    David Pastrnak had his team-leading 23rd goal and added two assists. Marchand had two assists and defenseman Charlie McAvoy set up Bergeron's first goal

    Making his third straight start for the Bruins, Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 shots and assisted on Sean Kuraly's empty-netter.

    Ryan Johansen and Kyle Turris scored for Nashville, which lost its fourth straight (0-3-1) for the first time this season. Pekka Rinne made 27 saves.

    "We came in to get a win and go into the break on a good note, and obviously that didn't happen." Johansen said. "We'll take this break for some much-needed rest and get back to what makes us successful."

    The Predators completed a winless four-game road trip.

    "I think right now, where we're at, especially on the road, it's about those one or two or three extra things in the course of a game that we could clean up," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said.

    With Ryan Hartman off for tripping, Bergeron sent a pass to Marchand, who one-timed a shot into the net with 8:37 left in the game. Pastrnak completed a 2-on-1 break with Marchand for a goal with 5:51 to go.

    The Bruins had a two-man, power-play advantage for 65 seconds to start the third period. At the end of the first penalty, Rinne made a pad save on Torey Krug and stuffed Marchand's rebound bid.

    But on the ensuing shift, Bergeron scored out of a scramble from just outside the crease, lifting puck over the goalie to make it 2-1 at 1:44 of the period.

    "He just gives an emotional boost around practice yesterday knowing he's going to come back in the lineup," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said.

    Turris fired a shot from the top of right circle that caromed into the net off the left post, making it 2-2 with 10:53 left in the third.

    Sidelined because of a rib injury since mid-November, Bergeron had pushed the Bruins ahead 15:10 of the opening period. McAvoy fired a pass to Bergeron in the slot, where the center cut toward his left, stopped and shifted quickly before flipping a shot under the bar.

    Boston had a goal overturned midway into the second period. A replay review for goaltender interference prevented the Bruins from going up 2-0.

    In a second period filled with steady end-to-end play, Nashville tied it at 13:01 when Johansen fired a wrister from the right circle that appeared to hit Boston defenseman Matt Grzelcyk's stick and change direction before slipping into the net through a small space between the post next and Halak's left arm.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 37

    3 5

    Aho leads Carolina past Bruins 5-3 on Whalers Night


    Sebastian Aho records his fourth career four-point night and his second in five games to lead the Hurricanes to a 5-3 win over the Bruins.

    RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes brought back the Hartford Whalers for a night, and two of their younger stars kept "Brass Bonanza" seemingly playing on repeat.

    Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen each had two goals and two assists and the Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 5-3 on Sunday while wearing Whalers uniforms for the first time since moving 21 years ago.

    Aho, a 21-year-old who was born three months after the Whalers' final game, had his fourth career four-point night and his second in five games, while it was the third for his linemate Teravainen. They assisted on each other's two goals.

    "Obviously, when you're scoring, you get more confidence. That's how it goes," Aho said. "It's maybe a little bit easier to score when you get a couple of goals. I'm feeling pretty good right now, but it's not just me. My linemates are helping me out a lot."

    The Hurricanes scored four straight goals -- three in the second period -- to erase an early 2-0 deficit and snap a two-game losing streak that had left them two points out of last place.

    "You could see from the start, they were engaged, even when we got down," coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "That was nice to see the level of engagement for 60 minutes. ... (The Bruins are) going to have their moments, and they did, but I felt like we just kept battling, and we got the win."

    Justin Faulk also scored for Carolina, which scored two short-handed goals for the first time since 2013.

    Ryan Donato had two goals, Steven Kampfer also scored and Brad Marchand had two assists for the Bruins, who had won three straight and six of eight.

    Tuukka Rask made 32 saves for Boston, which pulled to 4-3 on Donato's blast with 3:55 left in the second period. But the Bruins goalie made a critical miscue in the third, turning the puck over near the left post, and that led to Teravainen's short-handed goal that put Carolina back up by two with 12:40 remaining.

    "Huge mistake by me, and there's the game," Rask said. "The way I see it, it was just an early Christmas gift to the fellow Finns."

    Petr Mrazek stopped 27 shots for the Hurricanes, who broke out the throwbacks to celebrate their Hartford Whalers heritage, donning jerseys with the whale-tail logo for the first time since they moved to North Carolina in 1997 and left plenty of hurt feelings back in Connecticut.

    While former owner Peter Karmanos Jr. preferred to leave the Whalers in the past, his successor, Tom Dundon, has fully embraced the organization's old identity -- stating his desire for a turn-back-the-clock game within weeks of buying the team in January.

    And when Teravainen cut the Hurricanes' deficit to 2-1 with 7:05 left in the first, they piped "Brass Bonanza" over the PNC Arena speakers.

    "We wanted to just put everything out there, and work as hard as we can, and thank God we made it happen this time," Teravainen said.

    That catchy tune blared again three times in the second, twice courtesy of Aho. He tied it with a short-handed goal 89 seconds into the second, then scored the go-ahead goal with a kneeling-down shot from the slot at 7:11.

    The nostalgia ran deep throughout this one, with chants of "Let's go Whalers" occasionally breaking out during the game. And the latest twist to the Hurricanes' post-victory celebration on the ice -- after their coordinated claps, the players flopped to the ice as if they were beached whales.

    "You're laughing, so I guess (the idea) was good," Aho said.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 38

    2 5

    Blackwood stops 40 shots in 1st win, Devils beat Bruins 5-2


    Damon Severson beats Jaroslav Halak, Blake Coleman scores on a breakaway and Nico Hischier scores just a few minutes later in New Jersey's 5-2 win.

    BOSTON -- Mackenzie Blackwood hardly looked like a rookie in net for New Jersey.

    Blackwood stopped 40 shots for his first NHL victory, Blake Coleman scored twice and the Devils beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Thursday night.

    Blackwood had plenty of help, even with leading scorer Taylor Hall out of the lineup, as the Devils took the lead 25 seconds into the game on a goal by Damon Severson.

    "The team played awesome for me -- really made my job a lot easier," said Blackwood, who was making his second career start and playing in his fourth NHL game.

    Kyle Palmieri added his team-high 19th goal for the Devils, who won on the road for just the fourth time this season.

    Nico Hirschier had a goal and an assist and Andy Greene had a pair of assists as New Jersey got its first win in Boston in five years.

    "We did a good job for the most part playing with the lead and I thought we were pretty consistent throughout the game," Devils coach John Hynes said. "It was nice to see Blackwood get his first win."

    Hynes said Blackwood, who's 6-foot-4, covers a lot of area and has shown tremendous composure in his limited duty.

    "Now you have a big mountain of a man who's in the net and has great athleticism but also plays with poise and is in good position. That's tough to beat," Hynes said.

    Patrice Bergeron and Chris Wagner scored for Boston, and Jaroslav Halak had 28 saves.

    Severson's early goal on a wrist shot from the right circle gave Blackwood a lead the Devils never relinquished.

    "Obviously we didn't want to start the way we started, giving up a goal in the first minute of the game," Halak said. "It's always hard to keep the focus after that."

    Hall, who has 11 goals and 26 assists, was out with a lower-body injury and did not make the trip. The Devils were outshot 42-33 but adjusted to his absence.

    The Bruins had their biggest advantage in the second period with 19 shots to New Jersey's nine, but only Wagner got one past Blackwood -- a one-timer 15:07 into the period to pull Boston within 2-1.

    "When they had some pushes, he made some big saves so it was great to see," Hynes said.

    Coleman got the two-goal lead back for the Devils after he blocked a slap shot by Torey Krug at the blue line and outraced Brandon Carlo to the rebound for a breakaway, getting Halak with a backhand 4:15 into the third.

    Hischier scored 12:43 into the third and Coleman scored into an empty net with 46 seconds remaining.

    "We just need to learn from this one," Halak said. "We kind of kept chasing the game and when you're doing that, it's usually losing hockey."

    The Devils went up 2-0 with 4:35 left in the first on a power-play goal by Palmieri, whose slap shot from the right point bounced off Halak and hit Carlo, then bounced back over Halak into the net.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 39

    3 2 OT

    Kuraly scores in OT to give Bruins 3-2 win over Sabres

    Sean Kuraly rebounds his own shot and scores to lift Boston to a 3-2 win vs. Buffalo.

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Looking for a rare comeback victory, the Boston Bruins swarmed the Buffalo Sabres in the third period on Saturday night.

    In overtime, an unlikely source did it all by himself.

    Sean Kuraly scored 3:44 into the extra session to give the Bruins a 3-2 win. It was Boston's first victory this season when trailing through two periods after going 0-11-1 previously.

    "I just wanted to get it on net, really," Kuraly said. "I got more on it than I really thought."

    Kuraly's third goal of the season came on a terrific one-man effort. His initial shot from the top of the left circle led to a big rebound, and Kuraly followed up with speed to chip the loose puck into the net with one hand on his stick.

    "I saw it was a forward I was coming down on," Kuraly said. "I just wanted to get there first. ... I was just going on like, whatever, intuition I guess."

    Jake DeBrusk and Noel Acciari scored in regulation for Boston, which improved to 21-14-4 ahead of Tuesday's Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks at Notre Dame Stadium. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.

    "To be able to come back, that's another feather in our cap for being able to do it that way," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We needed it a lot. We wanted to enjoy these two days. Let's face it, for a lot of guys it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go up to South Bend. ... You want to go there and enjoy it."

    Johan Larsson and Marco Scandella scored for Buffalo. Carter Hutton stopped 38 shots.

    "I thought we played a very strong 60 minutes," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "You can't fault our effort. We attacked the game. It's going to be like this for the rest of the season where it's going to be tight."

    The Sabres had a prime opportunity to win with a power play in overtime but were unable to test Rask in the extra session.

    "It goes to overtime and it can go either way," Larsson said.

    The Bruins poured it on in the third, outshooting Buffalo 18-5, and were rewarded with DeBrusk's power-play goal with 2:29 remaining. With Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen in the box for kneeing, DeBrusk capped a critical Bruins power play by tipping home Torey Krug's long shot from the point to make it 2-all.

    Scandella opened the scoring 4:40 into the game after a big effort by Sabres leading scorer Jeff Skinner. He raced around Zdeno Chara for a partial breakaway, which was stopped by Rask before Scandella buried the rebound.

    A giveaway by Skinner, however, led to Boston tying it five minutes later. Acciari's ensuing shot was off target but ricocheted off Ristolainen for Acciari's first goal of the season.

    Buffalo regained the lead on a short-handed goal 5:43 into the second. With Jack Eichel in the penalty box, Evan Rodrigues connected with Larsson on a 2-on-1 for Larsson's fourth goal.

    It was the eighth short-handed goal allowed by the Bruins this season, most in the NHL. It was also Buffalo's first short-handed goal.

    The teams split the final two periods of regulation, with Buffalo dominating the second and Boston dominating the third.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 40

    4 2

    Rask, Bruins top Blackhawks in Winter Classic

    Makes 36 saves, Kuraly scores winner in third at sold-out Notre Dame Stadium; Chicago falls to 1-5 in outdoor games

    by Dan Rosen / NHL.com Staff Writer

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Tuukka Rask made 36 saves and Sean Kuraly scored in the third period to lift the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in front of a sold-out crowd of 76,126 at Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday.

    Kuraly scored the winning goal with 9:40 remaining for the Bruins, who improved to 2-1-0 in the Winter Classic. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime in 2010 at Fenway Park, and lost in to the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 in 2016 at Gillette Stadium.

    Kuraly, who scored in overtime at the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, scored his fourth goal of the season on a backhanded shot from the slot after Matt Grzelcyk's shot from the left point hit Chris Wagner in front and the puck bounced directly to Kuraly.

    David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron each had a goal and an assist for Boston (22-14-4).

    Brendan Perlini and Dominik Kahun scored, and Cam Ward made 32 saves for the Blackhawks (15-21-6), who lost in regulation for the second time in seven games since Dec. 18.

    Chicago lost in regulation for the fourth time in as many Winter Classic games and is 1-5 in regular-season outdoor games

    Perlini gave Chicago a 1-0 lead at 8:30 of the first period, when he scored on a one-timer from between the circles and below the hash marks.

    Pastrnak's 24th goal of the season and 11th on the power play tied it 1-1 at 12:38.

    The Blackhawks took a 2-1 lead at 11:24 of the second period when Kahun redirected Erik Gustafsson's shot from the point.

    The Bruins tied it 2-2 at 18:48 of the second with their second power-play goal when Bergeron scored with a backhanded shot off a pass from Pastrnak that deflected off Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook.

    Twenty-two seconds earlier, Bergeron stopped David Kampf on a breakaway by stripping the puck from him.

    Brad Marchand scored an empty-net goal with 33 seconds remaining to make it 4-2.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 41

    6 4

    DeBrusk, Marchand lift Bruins over Flames 6-4

    Brad Marchand gives Boston the lead and David Pastrnak takes advantage of a power play for a second goal as they beat Calgary 4-3.

    BOSTON -- The Bruins slowed down Johnny Gaudreau just enough Thursday night, and that got them past the high-scoring Calgary Flames.

    Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand each had two goals, and Boston built off its Winter Classic victory by beating the Western Conference-leading Flames 6-4.

    Boston has won three in a row and six of eight. Jaroslav Halak stopped 33 shots, and John Moore and David Pastrnak also scored.

    "We have been offensively challenged for quite some time," Krug said. "We've had to win a lot of tight, low-scoring games, so it was nice to win one like this."

    Even in a high-scoring game, Boston needed a few key stops on Gaudreau. The former Boston College standout scored from a tight angle with 9:27 left to cut Boston's lead to 4-3 and also had an assist, but he failed to convert on two breakaways. The diminutive All-Star was coming off consecutive four-point games.

    "Gaudreau is a special player with his height and how he came into the league," DeBrusk said. "He's so nifty."

    Mike Smith had 21 saves for Calgary, which has dropped five of eight. Michael Frolik, Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund also scored.

    Pastrnak, David Krejci, Torey Krug and Patrice Bergeron each had two points for Boston. Krejci was all smiles after he and his wife had a baby boy Thursday morning.

    "It was a special day," Krejci said. "They (Calgary) are really good and to get the two points was a cherry on top."

    After Gaudreau's goal, DeBrusk quickly stretched the lead off a pass from Krejci with 6:14 to play. Backlund scored less than three minutes later to make it 5-4, but Marchand iced it with an empty-netter with 1:50 left.

    "Caught him (Smith) off guard," DeBrusk said. "It was lucky, but I'll take it."

    Frolik got Calgary going with a short-handed goal 7:46 into the game. He charged out of the box after he and Lindholm were called for penalties five seconds apart and beat Halak.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 42

    2 1

    Wagner, Fourth Line Lead Bruins

    Forward scores one day after grandfather's death as Boston beats Buffalo

    by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

    BOSTON - Chris Wagner remembered back to the countless drives to the rink and the endless support, from his youth hockey days on the South Shore all the way up to his Winter Classic appearance on New Year's Day.

    Whether it was from the stands or from a TV thousands of miles away, his grandfather was always watching.

    So when Wagner's goal just 20 seconds into Saturday night's game with Buffalo was wiped off the board for goalie interference, the Walpole native had a pretty good idea of what his grandfather's reaction would be.

    "He's probably laughing after that first goal was disallowed," Wagner said with a smile as he remembered his late grandad, Jim Phelan of Norwood, who passed away on Friday morning.

    Wagner was, no doubt, playing with some added purpose and plenty of emotion, thus it was no surprise when the 27-year-old popped one in for real just under 10 minutes later to open the scoring in Boston's 2-1 victory over the Sabres at TD Garden.

    "This was a special game for me. Maybe he was watching out for me, making the puck follow me around. Who knows? He would drive me around when my parents couldn't, went to all my games, watched all these games even up until the Winter Classic the other day, so it means a lot," said Wagner, who pointed skyward during both celebrations in tribute of his maternal grandfather.

    "I was giving him a little tribute. He would probably be a little upset that I even acknowledged him. He was a humble guy and I'm going to miss him a lot."

    From babysitting me, to driving me to school, practice and games when my parents couldn't, to just simply being there from the beginning and supporting me every step of the way... I enjoyed every second with you. You will be missed even more than you could have imagined. We love you Grampy R.I.P. Rom 14:8


    Wagner certainly did his grampy proud. On the whole, it was one of the hometown boy's better games in Black & Gold since signing as a free agent in July, as the winger landed a team-high six shots on goal in 14:26 of ice time.

    "Chris Wagner's effort tonight, in the rears of his grandfather passing is - that's a pretty special night. You couldn't be more happy for the guy," said David Backes, who notched Boston's other goal, the eventual winner just two minutes into the second. "You kind of clench your teeth a little bit when the first one gets called back…almost an identical shot on the second one and those are the things you can rally around."

    Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, looking to establish some early puck possession and energy against the Sabres, went with a different approach to start things off on Saturday night, opting to deploy his fourth line of Wagner, Sean Kuraly, and Noel Acciari for the game's first shift.

    "I think we talked a little bit about trying to establish a little more consistency in the second half and maybe that's a line that starts games at home to establish puck possession early and tilt the territorial advantage," said Cassidy. "A lot of times it's [Patrice Bergeron's] line that gets the start, but maybe that's something we can look at going forward, and they certainly earned their keep tonight."

    It was indeed a sound decision. The trio burst out of the gates and surged into the Sabres end off the opening draw, immediately seizing control when Wagner slapped home a Kuraly rebound just 20 seconds into the game.

    But the goal was waved off for goaltender interference. Cassidy challenged, but the call on the ice was upheld after review.

    "Luckily we got another chance. We kept getting chances, too," said Wagner. "I thought we played a pretty solid game tonight and it was nice getting off to a good start even though that goal didn't count."


    The triumvirate was clearly unfazed by the disallowed goal and continued to cause havoc in the Buffalo end. And at 10:10 of the first period, they struck once again, this time for keeps.

    With Buffalo attempting to exit the zone, Acciari forced a turnover and poked the puck back into the slot. Wagner was there to pick it up and unleashed a wrister by the glove-side of Buffalo goalie Linus Ullmark, putting the Bruins ahead, 1-0, with his fifth of the season, while also providing the perfect tribute.

    "We knew he was hurting and it was really cool - unfortunately the first one didn't count - just being able to follow up with another one," said Acciari, who picked up his second assist of the season and landed six hits.

    Overall, Boston's fourth line combined for 10 shots on goal and 10 hits, continuing their strong stretch of play, which included Kuraly's game winner in the Winter Classic against Chicago on New Year's Day.

    "They were our best line. I don't think there's any doubt," Cassidy said of the trio's performance against Buffalo. "They've been real good together. I think Chris Wagner's game has really come along and Kuraly's as well. Noel's a good fit in there."

    The success has coincided with Cassidy's tweak of the line's personnel, which had Kuraly switching to the wing and Acciari moving back to center.

    "Noel's reliable back there. He is smart and in the right spots," said Kuraly, who also tallied the overtime winner in Buffalo last Saturday. "We know he is going to take care of our end, so when he is back there, personally I'm feeling good about the D side of it.

    "When I get the puck it's got a little more energy than when I have played center so it's all about holding on to it and keeping the puck in their zone…I know when we are playing offense that they are not going to score on us. So, that's what we try to do and try to play downhill."

    Cassidy believes that the grouping - which has seen time together at various points of the season - is beginning to read off of each other better, particularly on the forecheck, providing them with more opportunities and, thus, more confidence in the offensive zone.

    "Earlier in the year I'm not sure they had that nailed down," said Cassidy. "[Wagner's] a good player in the league. I think maybe early on it took him a while to find his rhythm with his linemates. Maybe the puck's just finding him now and he's in one of those streaks where he's playing more."

    Whatever the reasons, it all clicked on Saturday night. At the perfect time.

    "It's been obviously a tough couple of weeks for my family. Going through some struggles," said Wagner. "Sports is a great outlet and [my grandfather] loved sports so [tonight] definitely meant a lot."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 43

    4 0

    Rask stops 24 shots, Bruins shut out Wild 4-0


    Patrice Bergeron shoots the puck from the point and it deflects off Jake DeBrusk's chest and into the net.

    BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask was happy to share the credit after his first shutout of the season.

    The veteran goalie stopped 24 shots for his 250th career win as the Boston Bruins beat the Minnesota Wild 4-0 on Tuesday night.

    "Our team defense the past few games has been very good and I think it shows on the scoreboard and in the points," Rask said. "We're eliminating the offense of the opposing team very well and then getting rewarded at the other end. That's a great sign."

    Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each had a goal and two assists. Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk also scored as Boston won its season-high fifth straight game. John Moore and Torey Krug had two assists apiece.

    Alex Stalock finished with 23 saves for Minnesota.

    The Wild, who played Monday night in Montreal, managed just six shots in the first period and never recovered after Boston took a 2-0 lead on goals by Heinen and Marchand.

    "You could tell that there was a little bit of fatigue," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They had a good game plan. They came out right after us."

    Rask earned his first shutout since blanking Tampa Bay on the road last March 17. He wasn't tested often, but did come up with a big glove save on Eric Staal with 5:42 left in the first. After stopping 12 more shots in the second period, Rask faced only seven from the weary Wild in the third and completed his 42nd career shutout.

    Rask needs three wins to break Cecil "Tiny" Thompson's club record of 252.

    "I've been lucky enough to be part of good teams," Rask said. "That's pretty much what it comes down to, I think. I've been fortunate to play here."

    Boston jumped on Minnesota early and never let the Wild get much going offensively.

    Heinen tipped in Moore's shot from the point 5:23 into the game and Marchand scored from nearly the same spot on a rebound off the end boards after a shot by Bergeron with 8:31 left in the period.

    DeBrusk added a power-play goal with 45 seconds left in the first when the puck bounced off his chest. The assists went to Bergeron and Marchand, who combined again for Boston's next goal.

    Minnesota's Zach Parise was called for tripping 6:05 into the second and the Bruins scored just 19 seconds into the power play when a shot by Marchand glanced off Bergeron's skate into the net.

    Bergeron was credited with the goal, while Marchand and Krug both picked up their second assist of the night.

    "Sometimes the puck luck comes in cycles and we'll take it," Bergeron said. "We got the bounces, but I thought we played really strong -- especially early in the game. We were on the puck and creating our chances."

    The Wild, playing the second night of back-to-back games, wrapped up a 3-1 road trip.

    "We're not going to make excuses. We've played some good teams," Staal said. "When you get behind against a solid team like the Bruins, it's going to be a tough night. We just didn't have enough momentum to carry us through."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 44

    2 4

    Backstrom helps Caps win 14th straight over Bruins, 4-2

    Ovechkin finds the back of the net twice in the Capitals' 4-2 road win in Boston.

    January 10, 2019
    BOSTON -- Nicklas Backstrom is a believer in puck luck, something the Capitals have had plenty of against the Bruins in recent years.

    Backstrom and his teammates had luck on their side again Thursday night as he scored the third-period winner to help Washington win its 14th straight over the Boston Bruins with a 4-2 victory.

    "Sometimes hockey isn't fair," Backstrom said after the Capitals won despite being outshot 41-22. "Even if they win the shots, we got the win. It's weird sometimes."

    Backstrom, who sat out Wednesday's game against Philadelphia with an illness, glided in to the Bruins' zone and ripped a left-circle wrister past Jaroslav Halak for the go-ahead goal with 14:14 remaining.

    Alexander Ovechkin netted his NHL-leading 31st and 32nd goals of the season, and also had the highlight hit of the game when he sent Zdeno Chara -- the NHL's tallest player ever at 6-foot-9 -- flipping head over heels into the Capitals' bench on a shove late in the first period.

    The TD Garden crowd gasped, but play continued and there was no immediate on-ice retaliation. The Bruins captain tumbled back onto the ice quickly and rejoined the play.

    Ovechkin declined to speak with reporters after the game about the hit.

    Jakub Vrana also had a goal for the Capitals, whose streak against the Bruins dates to March 29, 2014.

    "Didn't happen again against this team. Have to get over that hurdle," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "A lot of nights that would be good enough for points, if not two points, but not tonight."

    Ryan Donato and David Krejci each had goals for Boston. The Bruins suffered a season-opening 7-0 blowout loss at Washington on Oct. 3 when the Capitals celebrated last season's Stanley Cup title.

    "That was a different night, but at the same time you know they're always coming out hard at home," Backstrom said. "I feel like they're way more physical at home than maybe on the road."

    Halak had 18 saves for Boston, which had its five-game win streak snapped.

    "I didn't make a save on the third goal. That's the bottom line," Halak said. "I got outplayed by their goalie, and you know, they got a win, so we just need to be better."

    Washington led 1-0 after the first period despite being outshot 17-5. T.J. Oshie grabbed a giveaway by the Bruins and flipped the puck from the Capitals' end to a wide-open Vrana, who beat Halak with 13:22 to play.

    Tensions boiled over in the second when Washington's Lars Eller and Boston's Brad Marchand got tangled up during a play. Eller, whose celebration in front of the Boston bench after scoring the Capitals' seventh goal in the opener drew postgame criticism from Marchand, was sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct.

    Donato tied it at 1 with 5:49 to play in the second. But, Ovechkin quieted the TD Garden crowd 39 seconds later when he converted after a feed from behind the net to make it 2-1.

    Krejci ripped the tying power-play goal past Holtby from the right circle with 15:23 remaining in the third.

    Ovechkin scored into an empty net with 1:35 left to seal the victory.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 45

    Pastrnak's goal sends Bruins past Maple Leafs 3-2

    3 2


    David Pastrnak scores in the 2nd period as Boston beats Toronto 3-2.

    TORONTO -- A pair of miscues proved costly for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Boston Bruins.

    Sean Kuraly and David Pastrnak pounced on mistakes by Toronto defensemen Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev late in the second period and turned a deficit into a lead as Boston grabbed a 3-2 victory Saturday.

    "We came out and played the game we wanted to," said Toronto winger Mitch Marner, who scored his 17th goal of the season. "Just made a couple of mistakes and they didn't miss."

    Kuraly set up both Pastrnak and David Krejci for the first three-point game of his career for Boston.

    Tuukka Rask made 30 saves as the Bruins won the season series 3-1 and moved two points back of the Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division.

    "Two big points," Kuraly said. "There was no other way to look at it."

    Andreas Johnsson also scored for Toronto. Michael Hutchinson stopped 26 shots.

    The Bruins beat the Leafs 5-1 at home on Nov. 10. Toronto countered 16 days later with a 4-2 victory at Scotiabank Arena. Boston won the third matchup 6-3 on Dec. 8 in a game that had 98 minutes in penalties.

    It's only January, but it's there's a good chance the clubs could meet in a rematch of last spring's playoff series that went the distance -- a task Nazem Kadri said the Leafs would gladly welcome.

    "We're always looking forward to playing these guys," the center said. "They're a great hockey team, they're well-coached.

    "Tons of credit goes to them, but we're a good team, too."

    Down 2-1 in the second, Boston got even at 14:47 when Gardiner fanned on a breakout attempt before having the puck stolen by Chris Wagner, who fed Kuraly, who scored his fifth.

    Kuraly then intercepted Zaitsev's soft pass behind the net before feeding Pastrnak, who buried his 26th past a surprised Hutchinson with 13.7 seconds left.

    Pastrnak, who took a puck off the cheek in warmup, now has 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) in 15 career regular-season games against Toronto -- including six goals and three assists in four outings this season -- after scoring five times and setting up eight against the Leafs in the 2018 playoffs.

    Boston's top line of Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand entered Saturday with a combined 117 points in 122 regular-season contests against Toronto.

    Hutchinson scrambled to stop a chance by Pastrnak early in the third to keep his team in it before Kadri missed the net from a difficult angle at the other end midway through the period.

    Auston Matthews, who has just one goal in his last nine games, had Rask down with four minutes to go, but the puck rolled off his stick on what would be Toronto's best opportunity to tie.

    "You've got to push through it," Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said. "A little struggle in your life never hurt anybody. Just dig in."

    Boston led 1-0 after the first, but the Leafs got even at 7:37 of the second on a strange play. Johnsson's quick shot went off Rask, off Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller and dribbled into the net for the winger's 10th.

    Toronto's dormant power play -- 1 for 36 over its last 13 games when removing a 3-for-3 effort against Florida on Dec. 20 -- came to life 1:53 later to give the Leafs their first lead when Marner blasted a slap shot past Rask on the short side.

    Hutchinson, who spent three seasons in the minors with the Bruins after getting drafted 77th overall by Boston in 2008, got his fifth straight start for Toronto with No. 1 netminder Frederik Andersen -- sidelined since Dec. 28 with a groin injury -- out with the flu and backup Garret Sparks still recovering from a concussion.

    "We knew it was going to be a close, hard-fought game right," Hutchinson said. "It was just that."

    Krejci opened the scoring with 1:39 left in a first period where Toronto carried the balance of play after an early Boston surge.

    Kuraly turned back in the offensive zone and fed Krejci, who scored his ninth.

    The Bruins had two golden opportunities to take the lead early, but Marchand missed a wide-open net and Bergeron fired wide on a 2-on-1 break.

    Rask, who improved to 5-0-0 with a .955 save percentage and a 1.28 goals-against average in his past five starts, then stopped Kadri on a wraparound before Zach Hyman's deflection went just wide.

    Kasperi Kapanen had another great chance for Toronto prior to Krejci's opener, but Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk blocked his effort.

    "For the most part we were pretty dominant," Kadri said. "A couple costly mistakes that we just need to shake off."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 46

    2 3 OT

    Petry swats in OT winner to lead Montreal past Boston 3-2

    BOSTON -- Somewhere along the way, Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry must have learned a little baseball, too.

    The son of major league pitcher Dan Petry scored the game-winner just 15 seconds into overtime on Monday night, batting the puck out of the air and past Tuukka Rask to give Montreal a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.

    "That bloodline of Jeff Petry in the baseball world," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said with a smile, "he showed his talent on that goal."

    Carey Price stopped 41 shots for the Canadiens, but he allowed David Krejci's 6-on-4 goal with 38 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Once there, Montreal didn't need a lot of time to regain the lead.

    After winning the opening faceoff, the Canadiens gathered in their own zone before Max Domi carried the puck over the blue line and then waited for Petry to get into position in front of the Boston net. Domi's shot went off Rask's glove and into the air, where Petry swatted it into the net with his backhand.

    "We lost the draw and then all of a sudden, we never touch it," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said.

    Paul Byron scored a short-handed goal, and Brendan Gallagher also scored to help Montreal earn its third victory in four tries.

    Rask made 19 saves but lost for the first time in his last six starts. A year after the Bruins swept their Original Six rivals in the season series -- winning six matchups in a row in all -- the Canadiens managed to split their four meetings this season.

    "It's our No. 1 rival, lot of history here," Byron said. "And every time you come in this building and win, it's huge."

    Brad Marchand scored for Boston, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead about six minutes into the game. Julien said the turning point was when Nicolas Deslauriers and Boston's Kevan Miller dropped their gloves late in the first period.

    Although it was the Canadiens defenseman who lost his helmet and wound up on the bottom when the two went to the ice, Julien said it gave his team a boost.

    "I think it helped," Julien said. "We scored afterward, and I think when you look at the kind of fight it was, there's no doubt it gave us a spark. ... It's the kind of thing we don't see much anymore, but I think the players and the coaches appreciated what he did."

    Gallagher tied it about two minutes later. Late in the second, with Victor Mete off for hooking, Byron outskated Boston's Patrice Bergeron to a loose puck at the blue line and went in on the net, switching to his backhand before flipping it past Rask's glove for the go-ahead goal.

    It stayed that way until Montreal's Michael Chaput was called for delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass with 2:05 left. Rask came off 30 seconds later, and the Bruins worked their two-man advantage and got the puck to Krejci, who wristed it into the net to assure Boston one point.

    "We got one. Krejci got a big goal there late to get us that point," Marchand said. "Would have been nice to get the second with Toronto losing tonight."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 47

    3 4

    Couturier hat trick rallies Flyers past Bruins 4-3


    Sean Couturier scores three unanswered goals, as Philadelphia edges Boston 4-3.

    PHILADELPHIA -- The doors to the Philadelphia Flyers locker room opened and Lionel Ritchie's "All Night Long" was cranked at full volume. Raise the roof and have some fun? Sure, the Flyers could afford to cut loose for a change and enjoy a rare string of success in an otherwise waste of a season.

    Heck, even Gritty shook his beastly belly and danced with NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr.

    Sean Couturier had his first regular-season hat trick and rookie Carter Hart stopped 39 shots in another bright outing to lead the Flyers past the Boston Bruins 4-3 on Wednesday night.

    "It's not something I was thinking about," Couturier said. "The pucks find their way in. It's nice to have them."

    Couturier scored twice within 90 seconds in the second period and sealed the win with his 19th goal late in the third. "Coots" gave the Flyers hat tricks in consecutive games for the first time in 16 years after James van Riemsdyk kicked it off in Monday's win. Couturier's only two previous hat tricks had come in the postseason.

    The Flyers could open their own Lids franchise with the hundreds of hats collected this week.

    The Flyers entered in 30th place in the NHL and got a rare comeback victory in front of another sparse crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. The fans that showed up caught a slice of franchise history: Claude Giroux got his 500th career assist and joined Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke (852) as the only Flyers to hit that milestone.

    "I've been lucky to play with really good players and (am) lucky to be able to give the puck to all these players," Girous said. "It's a great accomplishment, but we just have to keep going here."

    Hart, the 20-year-old rookie goalie, had another solid game as he tries to meet the hype that surrounded his call-up last month. Hart may not get the Flyers to the playoffs, but he at least helped them win consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 18-20.

    "We still have to find a way to have some fun," Hart said. "When I got called up here, we were in a bit of a slide and things weren't going too well. But they welcomed me with open arms."

    Peter Cehlarik scored in his first game of the season and David Pastrnak scored in the first period to stake Boston to a 2-0 lead. Pastrnak scored on the power play just 4:29 into the game. Cehlarik made it 2-0 on a slapper where no Flyer was anywhere near him.

    The Flyers didn't even take their first shot until nearly 12 minutes into the game, and it seemed like it was shaping up to be another sorry game for the fallen franchise.

    They salvaged a goal in the first period when Giroux snagged a loose puck at the blue line and fed to Oskar Lindblom for his fifth goal of the season. Lindblom scored for the first time in 31 games.

    Couturier took over from there and sparked the Flyers to one of their more memorable wins of the season. He tied it on a tip-in past Jaroslav Halak and got the feed from Wayne Simmonds -- after Carter turned away the puck off an odd-man rush -- for the 3-2 lead.

    "They were more opportunistic or the goaltending was better at their end. Sum it up either way," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.

    Hart made the lead stand in a ferocious third where the Bruins got a second goal from Cehlarik to make it 4-2 with 1:06 left.

    "He's a mature kid. He prepares himself pretty well and does a lot of little things away from the rink that helps the team on the ice," Couturier said. "He's pretty calm back there. It's what you want from your goalie."

    Halak had 15 saves.

    "I had to make that one big save in the third and I wasn't able to," Halak said.

    Couturier has 18 goals and is one of the few untouchables -- along with Giroux and Hart -- the Flyers have as they trudge toward the Feb. 25 trade deadline. Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher, hired in November, will surely look to shake up the team and perhaps undergo a true rebuild.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 48

    5 2

    Rask ties Bruins record for wins in 5-2 victory over Blues


    Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson springs Chris Wagner with a long pass, and Wagner outmuscles his defender for the goal in Boston's 5-2 win over St. Louis.

    BOSTON -- Tuukka Rask always tries to focus on the next win. This time, he made an exception.

    The 31-year-old goaltender tied a Boston record with his 252nd career victory as the Bruins beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 on Thursday night.

    Rask made 28 saves and matched the franchise mark set by Cecil "Tiny" Thompson, who was 252-153 with 63 ties. Rask, the 2014 Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie, is 252-145-56 in 474 games over 12 seasons with Boston.

    Thompson won his 252nd game in his 11th and final season with the Bruins in 1938-39. He died at age 77 in 1981, six years before Rask was born.

    "It's an Original Six franchise. I've had the luxury to be here for many, many years, so it obviously means a lot," Rask said. "Many more to come, hopefully."

    Chris Wagner scored 5:27 into the third period to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead. Brad Marchand and Sean Kuraly added some insurance after earlier Boston goals from Torey Krug and David Backes.

    "We got the go-ahead goal and after that we were flying and didn't give them a whole lot," said Rask, whose team had lost three of four (1-2-1) after a season-high five-game winning streak.

    Ryan O'Reilly and Carl Gunnarsson had the goals for St. Louis. Jake Allen made 22 saves.

    Blues left wing David Perron extended his NHL-leading and career-best point streak to 13 games (six goals, 10 assists) with a secondary assist on O'Reilly's goal.

    St. Louis had won four of six (4-1-1) and earned at least one point in each of its previous five road games. The Blues finished a 2-1-1 trip after starting it with back-to-back wins over Dallas and Washington.

    "It's a disappointing loss," O'Reilly said. "We could have turned this into a great road trip and we didn't."

    Wagner's tiebreaking goal came after Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson's pass from the opposite blue line put him a step in front of Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo. Wagner deked to put Allen off balance before tucking the puck under his glove.

    "He kind of just chipped it to me, I tried to knock it around Pietrangelo and fortunately got by him and made a nice move and just tucked it in," Wagner said.

    Marchand ripped in a rebound after Charlie McAvoy's wraparound attempt bounced off Allen's pads to make it 4-2 with 6:48 remaining.

    Kuraly tacked on an empty-net goal with 51.5 seconds left.

    "(We) still had a chance in the third there," Pietrangelo said. "I can't let that guy get behind me on the breakaway."

    Krug's uncontested wrister from the slot gave Boston a 1-0 lead 3:31 into the second period.

    St. Louis tied it 53 seconds later when O'Reilly tucked in his own rebound from the right of the crease after Rask got a glove on his first attempt.

    Gunnarsson gave the Blues a 2-1 lead when he capped a give-and-go with Jaden Schwartz with a one-timer from the left circle with 6:24 to play in the second.

    Backes, a former Blues captain, got a piece of Zdeno Chara's slap shot to tie it again with four minutes left in the period. Backes' goal came with four seconds left on a Bruins power play following Robert Bortuzzo's cross-checking penalty.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  25. #50
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    Game # 49

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    Zibanejad, Lundqvist lead bangers past Bruins 3-2


    Mika Zibanejad scores two goals, including the go-ahead on a power play with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle.

    BOSTON -- Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist hopes his teammates take some time to think about how well they've played going into a long break.

    He'll also have some time to reflect on his climb up the NHL's career wins list.

    Lundqvist made 27 saves to take over sole possession of sixth place in wins and New York beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 Saturday night.

    "I'm very proud to be on that list," Lundqvist said. "It's not something you think about when you start your career or seven, eight, nine years into your career. When you reach top 10, that's probably the first time you look at that list."

    Mika Zibanejad scored two goals and Filip Chytil had the other for New York, and Lundqvist got his 446th win to break a tie with Terry Sawchuk and move eight behind Curtis Joseph for fifth. It was New York's fourth win in five games, and its eighth in the last nine meetings against Boston.

    The Rangers will now be off for nine days for their bye week and the All-Star break.

    "I think it's good to get a break and reflect why did we have a good week here," Lundqvist said. "Maybe we can do that on the beach somewhere and come back recharged."

    Danton Heinen and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins, who lost in regulation for just the second time in 10 games (7-2-1). Boston also lost starting goalie Tuukka Rask to a concussion late in the first period.

    "He's concussed and that's all I know, so he'll go into the protocol," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Best case scenario for those is next day he's up and running."

    Rask was hurt in a hard collision with Chytil, who was sent flying into his head by Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy after scoring a goal charging the net at full speed with 1 1/2 minutes left in the opening period.

    The hit sent Rask onto his back, where he was down for a while before being helped to the bench and down the tunnel to the locker room. He entered tied with Cecil "Tiny" Thompson as the winningest goaltender in club history with 252 victories and was 6-0-1 in his previous seven starts. Rask had six saves and backup Jaroslav Halak finished with 11.

    "It was scary," McAvoy said. "He seemed down and out. You saw firsthand the force that the guy went right into him. It didn't look good right away. I just wanted to make sure he was OK. He came back to and we got him off the ice. Just hopefully he's feeling all right."

    Zibanejad scored the go-ahead goal on a power play with wrist shot from the top of the left circle with 10:55 left in the third.

    "You want to go into the break with a good feeling especially when you're sitting with this game for nine days," he said.

    He became the second player in team history to score the winning goal in three straight games. Rod Gilbert did it in 1966.

    New York coach David Quinn, who led Boston University the last five seasons and played at the school, was back in TD Garden for the first time with the Rangers. Hanging above the ice was the Hockey East tourney championship banner the Terriers won last March.

    Trailing 2-1, Boston tied it on Marchand's goal when banged in a shot from the top of the crease off David Pastrnak's feed 3:24 into the third.

    With both teams facing the long layoff, the first period was somewhat surprisingly lackluster with limited hits, chances and rushes until Boston took a 1-0 edge on Heinen's goal with 2 1/2 minutes remaining.

    Chytil's goal tied it a minute later and Zibanejad redirected Brady Skjei's shot by Halak to give the Rangers the lead at 5:22 of the second.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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