Daniel Paille, Blake Wheeler and Steve Begin scored three short-handed goals in an NHL-record 64-second span at the start of the second period and then the Bruins held on for a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. The Bruins used the goals to build a 3-0 cushion before Carolina cut it one with two goals late in the second period. But Tuukka Rask stopped all eight shots in the third period as the Bruins clinched no worse than a seven seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, meaning they will not have to play Washington in the opening round. For more, visit the Big Bad Blog.
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched five strong innings in his season debut for the Pawtucket Red Sox on Saturday afternoon. Matsuzaka was scheduled to throw 80 to 85 pitches in the outing but finished with 73 pitches (43 strikes) striking out three batters while only issuing two hits in the outing.
When told he only threw 73 pitches, Matsuzaka said he probably would have been available for another innings worth of work if allowed to by the coaching staff.
Matsuzaka cruised through the first four innings but got himself into a little trouble in the top of the fifth. Rochester loaded the bases without registering a hit in the inning. He walked the lead off man and hit two batters before Matt Tolbert fouled out to the third baseman ending the threat. Matsuzaka said he felt healthy and the issues in the fifth weren't related to fatigue.
"It was more technical issues," Matsuzaka said. "I think...
Alan Embree, speaking to Pawtucket Red Sox broadcaster Dan Hoard, reiterated that he almost surely would excercise the opt-out clause of his minor league contract with the Red Sox if he is not added to the major league roster by April 15. By that point, Embree suggested that he will have had about 10 in-game appearances, which is usually enough for him to get ready for the season.
His hope, of course, is that the Sox will add him to the big league roster. If that doesn't happen, however, he would rather explore other big league opportunities than remain in Triple A.
"Hopefully, things go well and I get enough appearances that on the 15th, that won't be an issue. The issue will be I'm going to Boston, which is ultimately what the goal was," Embree told Hoard. "I’m very grateful the Red Sox gave me the opportunity they did. ... That being said, baseball is a business. If for whatever reason they didn...
On the verge of clinching a playoff berth, the Bruins scored three short-handed goals to open the second period against Carolina in an NHL-record span of 64 seconds, breaking a scoreless tie and sending TD Garden into pandemonium as the Bruins claimed a 3-0 lead. Daniel Paille scored 32 seconds in, followed by a goal from Blake Wheeler at 1:21 and Steve Begin at 1:36.
The three shorthanded goals in 64 seconds is by far the fastest and the first-ever trio of goals on a single minor penalty in NHL history. The previous record was four minutes, 44 seconds by Winnipeg against Vancouver on April 7, 1995.
The last time the Bruins had three short-handed scores in the same game was March 27, 1994 at Washington, when Bryan Smolinski had a pair and Adam Oates scored once. It also marked the three fastest goals since a trio in 52 seconds on Dec. 20, 2001 vs. Montreal.
Bruins coach Claude Julien was cautioning against counting any playoff berths before they're clinched prior to Saturday afternoon's matinee with the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden. With a win, the Bruins clinch a playoff spot and no worse than a No. 7 seed in the East and avoid the Washington Capitals in the first round. "We're not there yet," Julien said. "This is an opportunity for us to control our own destiny. For me, we need to take care of business today. It's as simple as that. We need to be ready to go. And hopefully we are."
Meanwhile, Julien said defenseman Mark Stuart is still more than a few days away from returning to action after surgery to treat a finger infection. Tuukka Rask starts in net for the Bruins. Should the Bruins not clinch today, they finish up the season on Sunday afternoon in Washington against the Capitals.
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