The Bruins took a break from blowing third-period leads against bad teams by coming back against a bad team Thursday. Either way, two points is two points.

After allowing the game’€™s first goals, the Bruins came back to force overtime and eventually take a 3-2 shootout victory over the Sabres as they bounced back from Tuesday’€™s ugly overtime loss to the Maple Leafs.

Ryan Spooner, who scored his 11th goal of the season during regulation, scored the only goal of the shootout as Tuukka Rask stood tall against all three of Buffalo’€™s shooters. The victory moved the Bruins into sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division, as they now trail only the Lightning and Panthers in the division.

The Bruins survived a Patrice Bergeron penalty in overtime that saw Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg play the entire two minutes of 4-on-3, with Seidenberg making a diving save on Ryan O’€™Reilly with Tuukka Rask recovering from a previous save.

Here are four more things we learned Thursday:


Brad Marchand‘€™s 23rd goal of the season will surely end up on his highlight reel. Marchand got the puck in the Bruins’€™ zone at the tail end of a Sabres power play and proceeded to wheel around and skate past four Buffalo players before sending a backhander past Chad Johnson.

Marchand now has eight goals in his last eight games, with last Tuesday’€™s loss to the Ducks the only game in that span in which he hasn’€™t scored.


For the second straight game, Claude Julien moved Landon Ferraro up to the right wing of David Krejci‘€™s line in place of David Pastrnak late in the third period.

Pastrnak had a bit of a wonky night, with a mixup between the young forward and Kevan Miller resulting in a goal against. With the Bruins in the offensive zone in the first period, Pastrnak went hard after a loose puck but backed off when a pinching Miller wound up for a slap shot. They both ended up backing off the puck, allowing the Sabres to the take the puck the other way. Shortly after Brian Gionta hit the post, Evander Kane scored to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead. 


Pointing out when Loui Eriksson’€™s production has dipped is like pointing out when Patrice Bergeron‘€™s production has dipped: points are only part of the reason they’€™re star players.

Still, this has been a very good offensive season for the three-zone player and Eriksson hasn’€™t gone quiet often. With no points on Thursday, however, he now has just one point (an assist) over his last six games. Eriksson has not score a goal in nine games.


In going 0-for-4 on the power play, the Bruins have just two power play goals to show for their last nine games, a span in which they’€™ve been 2-for-27 on the man advantage.

The Bruins had a power play in overtime as a result of a slashing penalty against Kane, but failed to convert. Patrice Bergeron nearly but the game away during the man advantage but was robbed by Johnson.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins activated goaltender Jonas Gustavsson from injured reserve and returned Malcolm Subban to Providence on Thursday. Gustavsson is expected to back up Tuukka Rask Thursday night against the Sabres.

The Bruins activated goaltender Jonas Gustavsson from injured reserve and returned Malcolm Subban to Providence on Thursday. Gustavsson is expected to back up Tuukka Rask Thursday night against the Sabres.

Gustavsson had to leave last Tuesday’€™s game against the Ducks after one period and go to Mass General hospital, where he stayed overnight due to an elevated heart rate. He was released from the hospital the next day but has been on IR since the B’€™s returned from the All-Star break.

Subban did not play in any games during his callup, backing up Rask on Tuesday.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — The Bruins are currently in playoff standing in a bad division. Even with all their flaws, they shouldn’€™t be particularly scared of anyone in the Eastern Conference outside of Washington. Despite that, they’€™re not close to being a Stanley Cup contender.

WILMINGTON — The Bruins are currently in playoff standing in a bad division. Even with all their flaws, they shouldn’€™t be particularly scared of anyone in the Eastern Conference outside of Washington. Despite that, they’€™re not close to being a Stanley Cup contender.

Things get complicated when considering that the Bruins could very well end up trading one of their better players in Loui Eriksson, which could bump them out of being a playoff team altogether. That could trigger a bigger rebuild, which the team would have to hope wouldn’€™t take up too much of players like 29-year-old David Krejci‘€™s prime years.

Krejci, who has centered Eriksson and enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, wants the team to re-sign the veteran wing. He does not want the team to move big pieces and fall out of the playoff picture.

“You don’€™t want that, especially after last year, but I thought they did a good job of bringing guys. We’€™re still a playoff team,” Krejci said. “You don’€™t to be sitting with many games and just going through the motions, out of the playoffs. We still have a playoff team, and in the playoffs, you never know.”

Eriksson has been Krejci’€™s most common linemate this season, as the two have been together for 465:31 of Krejci’€™s 589:14 of 5-on-5 time. The versatile winger is in the final year of his contract and the team is willing to trade the player if they feel there isn’€™t enough common ground to eventually extend him. Krejci, who is in the first year of a six-year contract, doesn’€™t want that to happen.

“It’€™s kind of out of my [hands], but I really love playing with him,” Krejci said. “It would be nice, but you kind of have to dig deep with where our management really wants to go in the next few years because Loui obviously isn’€™t looking for a one-year deal, right? I’€™m sure Loui would like to stay –€” I don’€™t want to speak for him – but I would love for him to stick around.”

Regardless of what the Bruins do, Krejci wants his prime years to be spent with the Bruins contending.

“This NHL right now, there’€™s so many young guys,” Krejci said. “Even if you get some new guys –€” if they’€™re the right guys, we should still be a playoff team.”

There isn’t an easy solution for the Bruins. Trading guys like Eriksson might make it a couple of years before they’re good again, though they would have more candidates to replace key players should they be moved via trade. If they do more of a soft rebuild, as this past offseason indicated, they might not get much better than what they are now.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

For a few third-period minutes on Tuesday, TD Garden was rocking.

David Krejci had shoveled in his 12th goal of the season, just 26-seconds after Brad Marchand had buried his 22nd of the year, and the Bruins were leading the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 3-1 in the team’€™s first game back after the All-Star break.

And then …

“€œWe let the lead slip away,”€ said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. “We didn’€™t defend well enough in front of our net. Usually we’€™re pretty good at that.”

The Bruins’ franchise this decade had usually been good at protecting leads, let alone net-fronts. In the past four seasons under Claude Julien, a two-goal Bruins’€™ lead was almost an automatic Bruins’€™ victory: the B’€™s were 158-9-7 over those four campaigns.

However, a season that began with three blown two-goals leads in the first six contests of October has been filled with a-typical B’€™s behavior.

“€œYou know what, I don’€™t know,” centerman David Krejci said when asked what the difference has been this year in holding leads compared to previous years. “€œ[Inexperience] shouldn’€™t be an excuse, because we’€™ve played 50 games already and everyone knows the game-plan. I think we are in good shape in [that] part of the game. We all know what to do. It’€™s just execution.”

Krejci continued: “We used to have a killer instinct when we were up two goals in the third [period], we’€™d go out there pushing for the next one. But today, a frustrating game, [Toronto] got two goals, two tips in the high slot. Nothing you can do about that.”

Some might disagree with that ending declaration. Julien, for example.

“Just before [Toronto] scored their second goal, we make a stretch pass in the middle, it kind of bounces, stops at the blue line,” explained Julien. “We’€™ve got two players that skate by it, don’€™t even bother to dump it in. They come back, and get a scoring chance. [Our] next line out there, again, another puck management issue and it ends up in our net. We shoot ourselves in the foot in those situations.”

It seems Julien was referring to a stretch pass made to winger Matt Beleskey, who had his pocket picked from behind by Nazem Kadri just upon entering the Toronto zone. Instead of making sure the puck got deep, Beleskey’€™s line-mates Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes headed for a line change. Kadri was then allowed free entry into Boston’€™s zone, and some 20 seconds later, Leo Komarov got position on Zach Trotman for a deflection that beats Tuukka Rask, cutting Boston’€™s lead to 3-2.

“€œThree of the [Toronto] goals were tipped in,”€ continued Julien. “That’€™s poor coverage. All three goals were kind of tipped from 10-to-15 feet from our net, so the slot area was not covered very well. We know they like to shoot for those tips. We didn’€™t do a good enough job of taking care of that. They did a good job of tipping those pucks, it’€™s something they work at. Again, the coverage wasn’€™t how it should have been.”

Defenseman Kevan Miller’€™s post-game analysis seemed to be somewhere in-between ‘€œnothing you can about that’€ and ‘€œthat’€™s poor coverage.’€

“€œGood goals, for sure,”€ said Miller. “They had a good couple of high tips that we need to sort out in our D zone. That’€™s something that we’€™ve been harping on a lot this year. We need to sharpen that up. You’€™ve got to read it, that’€™s the job as a defenseman to kind of scope out, find that guy. We got a little ahead of ourselves, with guys leaving the zone.”

On Toronto’€™s game-tying goal – a tip by Kadri who was alone in the slot – Trotman this time had a man occupied in front. Team captain Zdeno Chara, however, was caught in no-man’€™s land in the left wing circle with his eyes on the point.

It all left Julien searching for the proper descriptive terms to attach to Tuesday’€™s blown lead.

“€œI don’€™t think it was [that we were] relaxing,” said Julien. “€œRight now I don’€™t know if it’€™s a matter of you’€™re afraid to lose, playing it safe. We go out there in the third determined to win, we score two goals. [Then] we turn around and we get sloppy again. I don’€™t know if it’€™s relaxing or losing focus, but certainly not good enough for our hockey team to think that we can contend if we keep making those kind of mistakes.”

“€œWe have to be stronger coming out of our zone, making better plays so everything is a little cleaner,” explained Seidenberg. “If we do that the whole flow of the game changes. Cleaner, with more speed, and create more. I don’€™t know, it’€™s little things. Paying attention to details all over the ice. Sticking to the game plan. That should work.”€

Only too often, it’€™s not working for the Bruins.

“Anytime you lead 3-1 you want to keep the lead and end up winning hockey games,” Seidenberg said. ‘€œThat’€™s one one of those games we let slip out of our hands. Everybody is pretty annoyed right now.”

“€œThat’€™s extremely frustrating,” said Miller. “€œEvery team is capable of winning on any night but it’€™s games we should win, especially at home, we need to start getting that in order. It’€™s different things every time. We’€™re trying to sort that out. If it’€™s not one thing, it’€™s another.”

Blog Author: 
Ken Laird

The Bruins have lost five games in which they've led by two goals. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)When the Bruins blew a 3-1 lead in the third period against the Sabres and went on to lose in regulation on Dec.

Ken Laird and DJ Bean discuss a frustrating blown point by the Bruins against division cellar-d

Scoring in the third period isn’€™t a huge problem for the Bruins. Allowing goals in the third period is.

Scoring in the third period isn’€™t a huge problem for the Bruins. Allowing goals in the third period is.

The Bruins appeared to be home-free after a pair of goals early in the third period Tuesday gave them a 3-1 lead over the Maple Leafs, but the B’€™s faltered drown the stretch as Toronto scored twice to pull even in regulation before P.A. Parenteau scored a power play in overtime to give the Leafs a 4-3 victory. In the Bruins’€™ last six games, they have allowed as many third period goals (eight) as they’€™ve scored.

Though Tuessday’€™s result should be considered a huge disappointment, one point was enough to pull the Bruins even points-wise the Red Wings with 58 for third place in the Atlantic Division, though the Bruins have played 50 games to Detroit’€™s 49.

Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:


David Krejci can take over a game, as was evidenced early in the third. It was ultimately his holding penalty in overtime that led to Toronto’€™s game-winner, however.

In a matter of 26 seconds in the third, Krejci set up Brad Marchand to break the tie and then scored a goal of his own to give the B’€™s a lead they’€™d eventually relinquish.

Krejci’€™s two-point game gave the veteran center a four-game points streak (one goal, four assists) in what has been a very consistent stretch for him. Dating back to Nov. 25, Krejci has points in 15 of 20 games, registering four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in that stretch.


As long as he doesn’€™t get hurt or suspended for too long, Brad Marchand will post career-best offensive numbers with ease. A two-goal performance Tuesday brought Marchand to 22 on the season, putting him six goals shy of his career-high 28 (set in 2011-12) with 31 games to play.

Not only should Marchand set a career high, he could actually push for 40 goals with a strong enough stretch run. As is, he’€™s currently on pace for 38 goals, which would be the most by a Bruin in the Claude Julien era and most for the franchise since Glen Murray popped in 44 back in 2002-03.

That’€™s the good news for the Bruins’€™ first line. The bad news for Patrice Bergeron and friends is that they had a rare experience of getting torched possession-wise in regulation. Playing mostly against Nazem Kadri’€™s line, Bergeron had a Corsi For percentage of 25 through three periods, with only linemate Brett Connolly’€™s 21.74 mark ranking worse among skaters Tuesday night.


For the second time in the last five games, Joonas Kemppainen served as a healthy scratch for the Bruins. Max Talbot continued to center the Bruins’€™ fourth line with Kemppainen in the press box, as the Bruins used the following lineup:


Seidenberg-Colin Miller
Krug-Kevan Miller



Matt Beleskey picked up where he left off, as he followed his two-assist performance in the pre-break finale with a nifty play Tuesday that led to a Bruins goal. Beleskey wheeled around to make an impressive behind-the-back pass to Jimmy Hayes, leading to a shot that yielded a rebound on which Brad Marchand scored his 21st goal of the season.

The assist gave Beleskey 17 on the season, and with his eight goals he is now on pace for a career-best 42 points. Beleskey’€™s best offensive campaign was last season, when he registered 32 points in 65 games for the Ducks.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean