The Bruins won their fifth straight game Saturday to surpass the Capitals for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. With Boston’€™s 2-0 victory over the Penguins and and Detroit’€™s loss to the Flyers, the B’€™s now trail the Red Wings by three points for the third spot in the Atlantic Division.

The win, which came thanks to a Tuukka Rask shutout, a Milan Lucic first-period goal and a clutch empty-netter from Zdeno Chara, sets up a big meeting between the B’€™s and Capitals Sunday in the nation’€™s capital.

The Penguins had an uphill climb the whole game, as Sidney Crosby was a late scratch (see below) and Evgeni Malkin was limited to just five shifts all game due to an early injury suffered on a hit from Chris Kelly.

Here are four more things we learned Saturday:

SPOONER LINE STRIKES AGAIN

The Bruins’€™ third line of Ryan Spooner between Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak produced the game’€™s only goal, with Lucic beating Thomas Greiss from the left circle at 9:53 of the first period.

The goal was the Spooner line’€™s sixth five-on-five goal in 10 games. It also gave Lucic eight points (four goals, four assists) since the line was united following David Krejci‘€™s knee injury.

The production for Spooner’€™s line is very encouraging and proves that the young center could very well take over for Carl Soderberg next season if the veteran center walks in free agency. The team should still prioritize returning Lucic and Pastrnak to Krejci on the first line once Krejci’€™s back, as Lucic-Spooner-Pastrnak would fare far worse if given the assignments that Lucic and Krejci usually have.

RASK GETS THE SHUTOUT

Rask earned his third shutout of the season and continued a stretch of impressive play of late.

With Saturday’€™s performance, Rask has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. The Bruins’€™ last loss (a shootout defeat against the Flames on March 5) marks the only time since Feb. 18 that Rask has allowed three goals.

The Bruins can do more damage in the standings with a win over the Capitals Sunday, so Claude Julien would be wise to go back to Rask in that contest.

WHERE’€™S CROSBY?

Sidney Crosby was a late surprise scratch for the Penguins and there was some confusion as to whether the Bruins could put Craig Adams in the game in his place after a lineup was submitted with Crosby playing and Adams sitting.

The change was deemed legal, as officials reviewed and approved the change. The NHL sent out the following explanation Saturday afternoon:

Sidney Crosby took pre-game warmup but determined that he could not play in the Bruins/Penguins game and was replaced by Craig Adams. Since Crosby was in the previously submitted starting line-up, this change had to be made according to Rule 7.1 which states that changes to the starting line-up must be reviewed and approved by the Referee prior to the start of the game. Proper procedure was followed by the Penguins and Adams is now in the game.

TROTMAN BACK TO PROVIDENCE

The Bruins returned Zach Trotman to Providence Saturday. The team had recalled the defenseman Friday for their two-game road trip to Pittsburgh and Washington.

With Trotman now back on the AHL roster, the B’€™s have only their six healthy defensemen for blueline options.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins won their fifth straight game Saturday to pull even with the Capitals for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. With Boston’€™s 2-0 victory over the Penguins and and Detroit’€™s loss to the Flyers, the B’€™s now trail the Red Wings by three points for the third spot in the Atlantic Division.

The win, which came thanks to a Tuukka Rask shutout, a Milan Lucic first-period goal and a clutch empty-netter from Zdeno Chara that went the length of the ice, sets up a big meeting between the B’€™s and Capitals Sunday in the nation’€™s capital. Both teams sit at 82 points on the season, though the Bruins have a game in hand.

The Penguins had an uphill climb the whole game, as Sidney Crosby was a late scratch (see below) and Evgeni Malkin was limited to just five shifts all game due to an early injury suffered on a hit from Chris Kelly.

Here are four more things we learned Saturday:

SPOONER LINE STRIKES AGAIN

The Bruins’€™ third line of Ryan Spooner between Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak produced what was the game’s only goal until Chara’s dagger, with Lucic beating Thomas Greiss from the left circle at 9:53 of the first period.

The goal was the Spooner line’€™s sixth five-on-five goal in 10 games. It also gave Lucic eight points (four goals, four assists) since the line was united following David Krejci‘€™s knee injury.

The production for Spooner’€™s line is very encouraging and proves that the young center could very well take over for Carl Soderberg next season if the veteran center walks in free agency. The team should still prioritize returning Lucic and Pastrnak to Krejci on the first line once Krejci’€™s back, as Lucic-Spooner-Pastrnak would fare far worse if given the assignments that Lucic and Krejci usually have.

RASK GETS THE SHUTOUT

Rask earned his third shutout of the season and continued a stretch of impressive play of late.

With Saturday’€™s performance, Rask has allowed two goals or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. The Bruins’€™ last loss (a shootout defeat against the Flames on March 5) marks the only time since Feb. 18 that Rask has allowed three goals.

The Bruins can do more damage in the standings with a win over the Capitals Sunday, so Claude Julien would be wise to go back to Rask in that contest.

WHERE’€™S CROSBY?

Sidney Crosby was a late surprise scratch for the Penguins and there was some confusion as to whether the Bruins could put Craig Adams in the game in his place after a lineup was submitted with Crosby playing and Adams sitting.

The change was deemed legal, as officials reviewed and approved the change. The NHL sent out the following explanation Saturday afternoon:

Sidney Crosby took pre-game warmup but determined that he could not play in the Bruins/Penguins game and was replaced by Craig Adams. Since Crosby was in the previously submitted starting line-up, this change had to be made according to Rule 7.1 which states that changes to the starting line-up must be reviewed and approved by the Referee prior to the start of the game. Proper procedure was followed by the Penguins and Adams is now in the game.

TROTMAN BACK TO PROVIDENCE

The Bruins returned Zach Trotman to Providence Saturday. The team had recalled the defenseman Friday for their two-game road trip to Pittsburgh and Washington.

With Trotman now back on the AHL roster, the B’€™s have only their six healthy defensemen for blueline options.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins recalled defenseman Zach Trotman on an emergency basis Friday, giving them a seventh defenseman for their two-game road trip.

Trotman has played 17 games for the Bruins this season but has spent the majority of the 2014-15 campaign in Providence. In 35 games for Providence, he has two goals and 10 assists for 12 points.

The 24-year-old posted four assists with the NHL club earlier this season, as he played for Boston from late October through mid-December over multiple callups while the B’s dealt with injuries on their blue line.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Bruins forward Max Talbot joined Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the team’s recent strong play. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Max Talbot

Max Talbot

Bruins forward Max Talbot joined Middays with MFB on Friday to discuss the team’s recent strong play. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Talbot joined the Bruins at the trade deadline. Since he arrived, the team is 4-1-0 after struggling in the month leading up to the deadline.

“[The Bruins are] a team that’s won before and that’s still very hungry to win,” Talbot said, adding: “We know what it takes to win and to be a good team, and that it’s crunch time. That’s the feeling you like to have. It’s not just, ‘OK, we win, let’s move on.’ It’s, ‘We can do better, let’s be better,’ and that’s obviously the sign of a great team.”

The Bruins are the fourth team that Talbot has played for in his 10-year NHL career.

“I didn’t really expect to be traded, it was kind of a surprise,” Talbot said, adding, “When I learned it was to Boston, I got pretty excited because of the team. I’ve competed for eight, nine years against the Bruins, and I don’t think there was one easy game.”

Talbot is not known as someone who shies away from confrontation on the ice. In the past, he has had several run-ins with current Bruins.

“I had a couple fights against [Gregory] Campbell before, I remember Chris Kelly as well, and you know, obviously a couple chirping matches against [Brad Marchand],” Talbot said, adding: “Usually the guys you get in battles with on the ice are usually the guys that are more welcoming.”

For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler
Recent Bruins acquisition Maxime Talbot joins the show to talk about the team's recent success and his transition to Boston. He also give Christian goalie advice.

[0:04:29] ... you bring it in perspective because you know for awhile. Go into trade deadline is this team needs so much right through to the BA championship type a roster since you bending at that one should ...
[0:06:52] ... and I think you know are not. Next Ottawa this from the Boston Bruins house tomorrow going to be Max you over that whole going back to Pittsburgh thing not to play with the flyers and ...
[0:08:29] ... it stopped what I think. I think six years in associate two Super Bowl in Pittsburgh I think I'm wired is still the still a little bit but Hampshire hello all become. I. Ago Max tonight because we got some money on the line here the three of us Christian who played the during the patriots won Super Bowls the New England Patriots popped off on the air the other day. And he said that anybody could plague going out on audits anybody at bat ...





The Bruins have finally hit their stride. And they couldn’t have picked a better time.

They’re even winning shootouts. After winning their first two shootouts of the season, they lost their next seven such contests, prompting their head coach to say shootouts “suck” and giving thanks they end with the regular season. Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Tampa Bay Lightning ended the skid and gave many inside the dressing room and organization reason to hope.

Their critics will point to the up and down play of key players like Dougie Hamilton, who, by his own admission, had an off night Thursday. The critics will say the Bruins, even during the four-game winning streak, haven’t displayed the consistent 60-minute-plus effort it takes to win in the playoffs.

But wins are wins and Thursday was the seventh straight time the Bruins took the ice and gained points. Boston has won four straight, 6-of-7 and 7-of-9 since their six-game skid that put their playoff position in serious peril. Now, the Bruins have 80 points, six points better than ninth-place Florida with 15 games left.

“We keep pushing,” said Patrice Bergeron, who gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead early in the third period and scored the first shootout goal of the night.

“I see a lot of character and a lot of guys wanting to do the little things and little details in order to win. Everyone chips in doing what they have to and what they need to for us to be successful so we need more of that.”

Bergeron has always been a good barometer of the attitude of the Bruins, especially when his line plays with a sense of urgency as it did to open the third period after a sluggish and sloppy second.

“Yeah, it was really important,” Bergeron said. “We talked about it after the second period. It was still tied and I liked our chances if we were going back to playing the way we did in the first and I think we did that.”

As is usually the case, Bergeron’s coach agreed.

“We played really well in that first period and we did exactly what we had talked about doing, and in the second period there for some reason we started going back with the puck, our D’€™s were, our forwards were stretching out,” Claude Julien noted. “So instead of being a five-man unit, we were spread in two parts there, and that really hurt us a lot in the second period.

“But we were able to regain our game in the third period and made it an exciting third, and then the rest obviously you know what happened afterwards. But, it was one of those game where you have to play against teams that have had a lot of success, have a lot of confidence in themselves, and tonight we came out there and showed that we had a lot of confidence in our group and played like it.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

For Claude Julien, his opinion of shootouts hasn’t changed, but he likes to win, so Thursday night’s victory over the Lightning will do just fine.

Earning just their third shootout victory in 10 tries this season, the Bruins extended their win streak to four games, edging Tampa out in the skills competition with goals from Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Tuukka Rask posted 35 saves in the win and stoned both members of the Lightning he faced in the shootout.

And while getting that second point was big for a Bruins team that’s gaining ground in terms of playoff seeding, a couple of penalties in overtime displayed the probable future alternative to the shootout. With Chris Kelly off for holding and Lightning center Alex Killorn to the box for embellishment, the teams were left with three skaters apiece.

This situation isn’t unfamiliar to those playing at the AHL level. Teams needing more than regulation have a seven-minute overtime period where the first four minutes are played four-on-four, and the final three are played three-on-three. If all that doesn’t decide it, then the shootout is used.

Guys like David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner, who spent time in Providence this season, have experienced three-on-three play more so than their NHL counterparts. In fact, some of the most memorable chances for the Bruins in that stretch of play were created by the duo.

With Spooner by his side, Pastrnak was able to turn two chances on netminder Ben Bishop within the span of eight seconds, the first of which was flicked wide and the second was a backhand that required the Lightning goalie to make a stop.

But for guys who haven’t necessarily had that chance, it was definitely different.

“I was a little nervous out there actually,” Marchand said. “There was so much room you almost don’t know what to do with it, but it was fun for sure.”

The fun was cut a little bit short as Matt Bartkowski took a holding penalty 1:20 after Kelly and Killorn went off, allowing Tampa to add another player back to the equation.

But during that time, and before Bartkowski’s penalty, the B’s and Lightning took different approaches to what was in front of them. Julien and the Bruins went with two forwards and a defenseman, using combinations like Bergeron-Marchand-Torey Krug and Spooner-Pastrnak-Bartkowski, while Tampa opted for a more conservative two defenseman, one forward approach. Lightning coach Jon Cooper sent out the likes of Tyler Johnson with Jason Garrison and Mark Barberio, and Valtteri Filppula saw a shift with Victor Hedman and Andrej Sustr.

“I thought there was lots of room and if we would have kept, we went back to the four-on-three, but if we would have stayed like that something can happen because there’s so much room and there’s lots of skills on the ice,” Bergeron said.

Marchand also added that he’d definitely be in support of three-on-three being utilized before a shootout was.

“I think it would definitely allow for more goals and opportunities,” he said.

Though Julien didn’t offer much of an opinion of the three-on-three after the game, the sentiments he expressed in his pregame press conference on Thursday morning reinforced the idea that he would also rather have games decided by group play.

“Personally I’m more of a team-oriented coach I guess, which I always believe that this is a team sport and should be decided by a team,” he said. “I’d like to see it decided in a way that its more than just one player against a goaltender. Whether it’s four-on-four or three-on-three, it’s still a group. I think that’s the way games should be decided.

“For some reason we’ve decided that there needs to be a winner every game,” he added. “Sometimes a lot of people can go home really happy having seen a game that was well played, that was tight at the end of it, was exciting to watch versus people going home feeling like they didn’t do a great job because they lost in the shootout. It really tarnishes the outcome of the whole game. That’s my personal opinion on it.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

Carl Soderberg has gone 21 straight games without a goal. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)Carl Soderberg hasn’t had a slump like this since coming to Boston. 



Claude Julien doesn’€™t like to see a game end in a shootout, but at least he saw a 3-2 win for his team.