Phil Kessel is bringing the second-worst scoring slump of his NHL career with him as he and the Maple Leafs take on the Bruins Tuesday night at TD Garden. A popular target among fans given the trade that sent him Toronto prior to the 2009-10 season, Kessel said he isn't worried about entering a hostile environment riding streak of 14 straight games without a goal. 

 

"No," Kessel said when asked about it. "Like I said before, it doesn't bother me very much. It's been a year and a half now, so I don't think it's that big a deal.   

Tim Thomas was the first goaltender off the ice in the Bruins' morning skate Tuesday, an indication that he will get the start when the B's take on the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night. 

 

Thomas, 36, leads the NHL with a .940 save percentage and 1.97 goals-against average and is tied for the league lead with seven shutouts. He has seen a dip in his production of late, allowing 11 goals in his last seven periods. 

 

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 The Bruins announced Monday that they have assigned rookie forward Jordan Caron to Providence. Caron played in three games since being called up last week, registering a combined zero points and a minus-1 rating against the Canadiens and two contests vs. the Red Wings. 

 

The Bruins announced following Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Red Wings that they have assigned center Zach Hamill to Providence. Hamill played in three games since being recalled last week, picking up an assist on a Michael Ryder goal in Wednesday's 8-6 victory over the Canadiens.

 

Hamill did not play for the B's on Sunday. He was a healthy scratch in favor of rookie center Tyler Seguin. The eighth overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft, Hamill has 28 points (3 G, 25 A) in 44 games for the team's AHL affiliate this season.

 

 The Bruins dropped a 4-2 decision to the Red Wings on Sunday and have now lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since Dec. 15 and 16, when they dropped contests to the Sabres and Canadiens in succession.

 

Todd Bertuzzi had two goals for the second straight game against the Bruins, with Pavel Datsyuk and Kris Draper also beating Tim Thomas. Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand provided the scoring for the B's.

 

In a bit of a surprising move, the Bruins have scratched Ann Arbor native Steven Kampfer for Sunday's tilt with the Red Wings in Detroit. Zach Hamill was also scratched, allowing for Mark Stuart and Tyler Seguin to return to the lineup. Stuart and Seguin had been healthy scratches for the last eight and two games, respectively. 

 

Kampfer, who also attended the University of Michigan, recently expressed his excitement to play an NHL game. He was expecting 40 friends and family members to be at the game, including his parents, who flew in from Florida. 

Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart, a healthy scratch for the last eight games, said he has not been thinking about the possibility of being traded. A free agent at season's end, Stuart hopes he gets the opportunity to get back in the Bruins' lineup rather than being in another one. 

 

"I would love to [stay] here. I've been here my whole career, and I love it here," Stuart said Saturday in a conversation with WEEI.com. "There's always rumors, but I'm not packing my bags yet or subletting my apartment until I get the call."

 

Friday night was ugly for the Bruins, a dead effort in which the Red Wings dominated them to the tune of a 6-1 score. Two nights after their 8-6 beatdown of the Habs on Wednesday, they were outraced and outsmarted in every facet of the game. The lesson? Maybe these guys just shouldn’t have so many statement games. 



Bruins coach Claude Julien understandably didn't like what he saw from his team in Friday night's 6-1 loss to the Red Wings at TD Garden. The Bruins came out flat against a highly skilled Detroit club with great puck-moving ability, and the Wings dominated throughout the night as a result.

 

"We weren't skating tonight. We were second on the puck. Even when they had the puck, I just felt they had lots of time to make plays," Julien said, adding, "it just seemed that nothing was going to go our way." 

 

Tuukka Rask admitted after Friday's 6-1 loss to the Red Wings that he did not have one of his finer performances of the year and that he deserved to get pulled after allowing five goals on 18 shots in two periods. Rask, who fell to 5-11-1, said he had no criticism of coach Claude Julien, who started Tim Thomas in goal to start the third. 

 

"I'm not going to start analyzing that," Rask said. "I thought I deserved to get pulled. I didn't play to my level today."