The Bruins started the All-Star break early, relinquishing a third-period lead and suffering a 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche Wednesday.

The shootout loss gave the Bruins three of a possible four points on their two-game road trip and gave them a 25-16-7 record at the break.

The Bruins started the All-Star break early, relinquishing a third-period lead and suffering a 3-2 shootout loss to the Avalanche Wednesday (box).

The shootout loss gave the Bruins three of a possible four points on their two-game road trip and gave them a 25-16-7 record at the break.

Ryan O’€™Reilly scored with 1:45 remaining in regulation, as Patrick Roy pulled Semyon Varlamov early. Nathan MacKinnon scored the only goal of the shootout, with Reilly Smith, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron all failing to score for the B’€™s.

The Bruins will now break for the All-Star Game, which will be played Sunday. Patrice Bergeron is the Bruins’€™ only participant. They will return to game action a week from Thursday against the Islanders.

Here are five things we learned Wednesday:

MARCHAND RETURNS AND SCORES

Brad Marchand punctuated his return from a two-game suspension with a big goal to give the B’€™s the lead in the third period.

Marchand, who sat out Saturday’€™s game against the Blue Jackets and Tuesday’€™s contest in Dallas for slew-footing Derick Brassard last week, took a feed from David Krejci during a third-period line change and fired a wrist shot past Semyon Varlamov to break a 1-1 tie. The goal was Marchand’€™s team-leading 13th of the season.

The veteran left wing also took a roughing penalty early in the third period and logged over two minutes of shorthanded time as the Bruins were carried by strong penalty killing for the second straight night.

HAMILTON FINALLY DROPS THE GLOVES

An early third-period fracas between multiple members of each side brought about something we’€™ve yet to see: Dougie Hamilton’€™s bare hands.

Hamilton earned his first career fighting major as he dropped the gloves with fellow 2011 top-10 pick Gabriel Landeskog. Both players landed shots in the bout, which ended when Hamilton lost his balance while swinging for a gigantic right.

Hamilton fought twice during his four OHL seasons. His first NHL fight came in his 154th regular-season game.

PENALTY KILL SHINES AGAIN

A night after killing off six penalties, the Bruins put their penalty-killing abilities to the test when they took three second-period minor penalties in succession that left them shorthanded for a 4:58 span from 9:34 to 14:32, including a pair of five-on-threes.

Not only did the Bruins hold Colorado off the scoreboard during that stretch, but they actually limited Grade-A chances. In the nearly five-minute shorthanded stretch, the Bruins allowed only five shots on goal.

The B’€™s held the Avalanche to 0-for-5 on the power play on the night.

RASK GOES BACK-TO-BACK

After Rask gave up just one goal Tuesday in Dallas, the Bruins went back to him for the second game of a back-to-back. Rask appeared to have repeated the feat until Ryan O’€™Reilly tied the game at two goals apiece with Varlamov pulled late in the game and an extra attacker on the ice.

Rask stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced on the night, coming up big late in the game as Colorado dominated play. He was also helped out in overtime when Brad Stuart got a clean look and hit the post.

This week marked Boston’€™s ninth set of back-to-backs this season. The Bruins have started Rask in both games in four of them.

BRUINS ALLOW ANOTHER BUZZER-BEATER

The Bruins controlled play in the first period, but it seemed as though they’€™d head to the intermission scoreless. In hindsight, they would have gladly taken that.

Old friend Jarome Iginla slipped free of Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg in front of the Bruins net in the final second of the period to jam a rebound past Tuukka Rask with 0.3 seconds remaining.

If that sounds familiar, it’€™s because it was. The last time the teams met, Daniel Briere slipped away from Matt Bartkowski and scored the game-winning goal for Colorado in the final second of the teams’€™ Oct. 13 meeting.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins playing the Stars will always bring up Tyler Seguin storylines, but on Tuesday it was the product of the Phil Kessel trade that the

Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

The Bruins playing the Stars will always bring up Tyler Seguin storylines, but on Tuesday it was the member of the Phil Kessel trade that the Bruins kept who made the difference.

Dougie Hamilton had a two-point night, including his career-high eighth goal of the season in the third period, to give the B’€™s a 3-1 victory over the Stars in Dallas.

The victory was the Bruins’€™ sixth in their last seven games, giving them points in 11 of the last 12.

It was also the second and final game of Brad Marchand‘s suspension. Marchand will be eligible to return Wednesday against the Avalanche, which is the Bruins’ final game before the All-Star break.

Here are four more things we learned Thursday:

BRUINS TRADE CHANCES AND PENALTIES

Players went three places Tuesday: Up the ice for a scoring chance, down the ice to defend one and to the penalty box.

From the opening shift of the game, when Jamie Benn was sprung on a breakaway and then tripped by Adam McQuaid, the Bruins and Stars swapped both scoring chances and penalties.

The B’€™s took six penalties on the night and killed off each of them, while Hamilton’€™s power-play goal came on Dallas’€™ fourth penalty of the night.

Standing tall for the Bruins throughout it all was Tuukka Rask, who made timely saves and got some help from the post.

SODERBERG LINE UP TO ITS OLD TRICKS

The Bruins got their first goal of the game thanks to some brilliant passing by the Carl Soderberg line. Chris Kelly sent a nice pass out front for Carl Soderberg, who fooled everyone on the ice by not shooting.

Instead, Soderberg wheeled around and sent a behind-the-back pass to Loui Eriksson, who fired the puck past both Jamie Benn and a diving Kari Lehtonen.

The goal made up for a missed opportunity earlier in the second period, as Eriksson failed to lift the puck on a rebound bid off a point shot, allowing Lehtonen to get his stick on Eriksson’€™s attempt.

CAMPBELL ALMOST HAS A TWO-GOAL NIGHT

Gregory Campbell scored two goals Tuesday. Though only one of them counted, it was still one more than he usually scores.

Jordan Caron knocked the puck away from Jamie Oleksiak in the offensive zone midway through the first period, with Campbell jumping on the puck and sending a wrister past Lehtonen. The celebration was short, as Caron was called for a hook on Oleksiak on the play, with Campbell’€™s shot serving to do nothing more than signal the whistle.

Campbell would get another chance, however, as he jumped on a puck in front following a Craig Cunningham shot and sent a rebound bid through the legs of Lehtonen to give Boston a 2-1 lead.

The goal was Campbell’€™s first in 10 games and fifth of the season.

KREJCI LINE QUIET AGAIN

It wasn’€™t until David Pastrnak put a harmless shot from high in the zone on Lehtonen in the opening minutes of the third period that he had his first shot on goal of the game.

Actually, it was his first shot on goal of the last two games, and it was more than David Krejci could say.

That’€™s right — two members of Boston’€™s first line nearly went two straight games without a shot on goal, and Claude Julien, who hasn’€™t been afraid to mix up his lines this season, did something about it.

Beginning late in the second period, Julien sent a number of different wingers out with Lucic and Krejci, as Reilly Smith, Craig Cunningham and Daniel Paille all took turns in Pastrnak’€™s place, with Pastrnak still getting shifts of his own with the line. Krejci finished the game with no shots on goal, while Lucic and Pastrnak each had one.

The Lucic-Krejci-Pastrnak line has come down to earth since last week’€™s three-goal game against the Lightning, but it deserves time to develop chemistry given its offensive upside. That said, they need to shoot if they want to score.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Tyler Seguin is flourishing in Dallas.</p>
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WILMINGTON –€” While the rest of the world calls it the Super Bowl, Milan Lucic calls the upcoming Seahawks-Patriots match something else.

“My West Coast team against my East Coast team,” the Bruins’€™ left wing said with a smile Monday.

Lucic, a native of Vancouver, grew up rooting for the Seahawks but has become a Patriots fan since coming to Boston. Lucic says his allegiance to the Pats, which grew as he nursed an ankle injury in the 2009-10 season, will win out when he watches Super Bowl XLIX.

“Since ‘€™09 when I had that high ankle sprain, I’€™ve kind of converted into a Patriots fan,” he said. “I’€™ve got to stick with my team now and keep cheering for the Pats.”

Lucic, the Bruins’€™ resident sportscaster/statistician, watched both the NFC and AFC title games Sunday, the first of which resulted in a comeback/collapse by the Seahawks and Packers, respectively, when the Seahawks, with just one timeout remaining, scored a touchdown to bring them within five points, recovered an onside kick on a botched blocking assignment, took the lead on a touchdown and two-point conversion and, after the Packers forced overtime with a field goal, won on a 35-yard touchdown pass.

Lucic thought the game was over when Russell Wilson threw his fourth interception of the game with 5:04 left and the Seahawks trailing by 12.

“I even congratulated some of my cousins from Milwaukee who are huge Green Bay fans for the win,” he said.

But then the Seahawks made their push and the Packers went to the bathroom in their pants. If the way that game ended reminded you of the Leafs blowing a three-goal lead in the final 10:42 of Game 7 of the first round against the B’€™s back in 2013, you aren’€™t alone.

“Obviously it brings back memories of the Game 7 against Toronto that we had,” Lucic said. “You kind of know the feeling that [the Seahawks are] feeling today and how excited they are to pull something like that off. I think looking back, the run that we went on having a comeback like that, because you’€™re so high and it seems like nothing can go wrong when you’€™re able to come back from something like that. I’€™m pretty sure that the Seahawks are feeling that right now. I think it’€™s going to be a real, real fun Super Bowl to watch.”

Between the Patriots’€™ six Super Bowl appearances since 2002, the Red Sox‘€™ three World Series titles since 2004, the Celtics‘€™ two recent NBA Finals appearances, the Revolution’€™s MLS Cup appearance last season and the Bruins’€™ Cup Finals appearances in 2011 and 2013, Boston fans are used to seeing title games and Boston athletes are used to playing in them.

Lucic says the Pats going back to the Super Bowl provides motivation for the B’€™s to follow suit in their league.

“You know the feeling of being there and you know the feeling of winning and winning it all,” Lucic said. “You see the Patriots make it back to the Super Bowl again, it definitely gives you a little bit of a boost, just because you know that feeling and you want to do whatever you can to re-live that feeling.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins will host the Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, WEEI.com has learned from league sources.

The Bruins and Canadiens will meet in the 2016 Winter Classic. (Getty Images/WEEI.com)

The Bruins and Canadiens will meet in the 2016 Winter Classic. (Getty Images/WEEI.com)

The Bruins will host the Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, WEEI.com has learned from league sources.

The Jan. 1 meeting between the two clubs, which has long been speculated, will be the second Winter Classic the Bruins have hosted. The B’€™s defeated the Flyers in overtime at the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, have never participated in the Winter Classic and will become just the second Canadian team to compete in the annual outdoor game. The Maple Leafs beat the Red Wings in a shootout in the 2014 game at Michigan Stadium.

The Habs aren’€™t complete strangers to outdoor games, however, as they did play in the 2011 Heritage Classic against the Flames in Calgary.

It is unknown how preparations for the event will affect the Patriots, as Jan. 1 typically falls right around Week 17 of the NFL season.

After TSN’€™s Bob McKenzie reported in December that the Bruins were the favorites to host the game, Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy said that the Red Sox hoped to see the game return to Fenway Park, but acknowledged that Gillette’€™s seating capacity of 68,756 might make it difficult for the Sox and Fenway (37,400 capacity) to win the bid.

The NHL has yet to make an official announcement, but Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton said Monday that he would love to play in a Winter Classic soon.

“I think it would be awesome,” Hamilton said. “It’€™s something that you kind of follow every year. In [recent] years I watched the HBO show in juniors and kind of pictured what the NHL was like. Then watching the games, it’€™s obviously special with the different jerseys and the venue and the crowd and rivalries and everything; it’€™s something you’€™d really want to be a part of.

“I think when [speculation] came out last year and we kind of thought it was going to be this year, I think it was kind of disappointing that it wasn’€™t us. Hopefully we get it and have that chance. It [would be] something to really forward to next year.”€

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — The Bruins had perfect attendance as they practiced Monday in anticipation of a two-game road trip that will send them into the All-Star break.

The B’€™s will play Tuesday in Dallas and Wednesday in Colorado. By the looks of Monday’€™s practice, Daniel Paille will remain on Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line in Tuesday’€™s game as Brad Marchand serves the final game of his two-game ban for slew-footing Derick Brassard last week.

The lines in practice were as follows:

Lucic-Krejci-Pastrnak
Marchand (suspended)/Paille-Bergeron-Smith
Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson
Caron-Campbell-Cunningham

All defensemen and both goaltenders were present.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Normally a team wouldn’t be too disappointed with one loss after a five-game winning streak, but considering that the Bruins are still fighting for their playoff lives and the Blue Jackets are out of the playoff picture, Saturday’s 3-1 loss was pretty disappointing.

“I’m disappointed,” Claude Julien said after the game. “I don’t care, six wins in a row, whatever, we just can’t afford to have those kind of outings. Disappointed that we didn’t come to play harder than we did tonight and we wanted to take the easy way out. When we do that, we’re not successful.

“We’re a north-south type of team, we backcheck hard, we forecheck hard, and we make things happen by taking pucks to the net. Tonight we weren’t willing to do that. When we got into the battle you could tell they wanted it more than us. We’ve gotta accept the blame and the responsibility. We weren’t good enough tonight and we shouldn’t accept that.”

The Bruins did have 35 shots on goal in the game, but as multiple players pointed out, they didn’t do enough to make those saves tough ones for Columbus goalie Curtis McElhinney. There was a lot of settling for shots from the outside, not setting screens and not being in position to get rebounds. That lack of getting to the so-called dirty areas seemed to be more frustrating for Julien and the Bruins than the loss itself.

Technically, the Bruins can actually afford the loss. They’re still ahead of the Panthers, who suffered a shootout loss to Edmonton Saturday night, for the eighth and final playoff spot. In terms of points, the B’s have a four-point edge with the Panthers holding three games in hand. In terms of points percentage, it’s .587 for the B’s to .581 for the Panthers. The Bruins also hold a 22-15 edge in regulation and overtime wins, which could matter for tiebreak purposes if it comes to that.

The Bruins weren’t going to keep their winning streak going forever, but suffering a letdown and having it snapped against a non-playoff team doesn’t sit well. The Bruins will look to get back to playing the right way during a mini-road trip to Dallas and Colorado this week before heading into the all-star break.

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin