The Bruins’ playoff hopes looked a little better Tuesday night as the Panthers, their top competition for the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, traded forward Sean Bergenheim to Minnesota. The Bruins still have to win games, however.
While the effort was light years better than they displayed for most of their recent road trip, the B’s returned to Boston Tuesday night with a 2-1 loss to the Canucks.
The game saw the Bruins get ample scoring chances but fail to get more than one goal past Eddie Lack. Ironically enough, the Bruins’ only goal was scored by Daniel Paille, who had been as snakebitten as any Bruin of late and had been taken out of the lineup for the two games prior to Tuesday.
Lack made 40 saves in the win for Vancouver, as the B’s outshot Vancouver, 41-28.
The loss dropped the Bruins to 29-22-9 on the season. The Panthers, who have one game in hand, were idle Tuesday night.
Here are four more things we learned Tuesday:
PAILLE RETURNS (AND SCORES)
The news that Gregory Campbell will be out for at least a week with an upper-body injury meant that Paille returned to the lineup after serving the previous two as a healthy scratch.
Paille skated in Chris Kelly‘s place, as Kelly moved to the fourth line to center Jordan Caron and Brian Ferlin. The lineup was as follows:
Paille scored his first goal since Nov. 21 when he buried a Loui Eriksson rebound in front of the net early in the first period. It was just his second goal of the season, both of which have come skating with Eriksson and Soderberg.
CANUCKS CATCH A BREAK
Rule 67.4 reads, “If a defending player, except a goalkeeper, while play is in progress, falls on the puck, holds the puck, picks up the puck, or gathers the puck into his body or hands from the ice in the goal crease area, the play shall be stopped immediately and a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team.”
Somehow, the officials didn’t feel that applied here. No penalty shot (or infraction at all) was called.
After Paille sent rebound of an Eriksson shot on net with crowd in front, puck went off Eddie Lack and was then covered up two different times by Ryan Stanton. As the Vine above shows, Stanton literally pulled the puck off the goal line the second time.
RASK MAKES IT 18 STRAIGHT, 27 OF 28
By starting Tuesday night, Tuukka Rask took to the pipes for the 18th consecutive game and 27th time in the Bruins’ last 28 games.
The Bruins won’t play next until Friday, when the team faces the Devils in New Jersey. The Devils were the Bruins’ opponent the last time Rask had a night off, as Niklas Svedberg had a 14-save shutout on Jan. 8.
KASSIAN KEEPS SCORING
Zack Kassian, who once upon a time looked like he could become one of the league’s premier power forwards but has had a disappointing career with the Canucks, has been mentioned in trade speculation at points this season.
With the Canucks in line for a playoff spot in either the Pacific or as a Wild Card, they should be happy they haven’t moved the 24-year-old winger.
With a blast past Rask in the third period, Kassian has now scored seven goals in his last nine games. He had a pair of assists against the Bruins when the teams met in Vancouver earlier this month.