Bruins

Bergeron, Corvo uncertain for Game 6

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Bergeron, Corvo uncertain for Game 6

The back-to-back playoff games couldnt have come at a worse spot for the Bruins, who may now be without two of their regulars dinged up against the Washington Capitals in Game 5 Saturday afternoon.

Patrice Bergeron left the ice early in his second shift of the third period after taking an Alex Ovechkin hit near the offensive blueline that appeared to catch the Bs center in the head. Bergeron waved Bs trainer Donnie DelNegro off when he attempted to approach the center on the bench following the collision, but the two-way pivot only played one more shift for the rest of the contest.

Bergeron looked sluggish and labored during the only shift he hopped out for as a right wing, and he once again ended the shift early when things obviously didnt feel right.

With the Bruins missing their best all-around player from this season, they allowed a pair of third period goals and lost control of the game.

Claude Julien said that Bergeron was actually dinged up when his head smacked into the boards earlier in the game, and the Ovechkin hit was the final blow that got him off the ice.

Im not sure. You get into a game and youre told that a guy is a little injured at that point, and thats all I know, said Claude Julien of Bergeron. Im not quite sure whether it was the Ovechkin hit or a hit earlier where he kind of went into the glass. Thats where I think it started in my mind, but Im not 100 percent sure on that.

Joe Corvo went down in the second period after absorbing a Mike Green slapper to the knee that sent him down to the ice, and resulted in a goal when Corvo couldnt return to the play. The refs didnt blow the whistle when Corvo originally went down, and it essentially created a 5-on-4 situation when the Bs defenseman couldnt get back into the play.

Corvo is down, hes hurt and theres no whistle. So basically hes trying to get up and again, that supposedly is the referees discretion, said Claude Julien. The other night in Washington they felt that a quick whistle was the thing to do. Tonight they decided it wasnt.

The Bs defenseman returned to the bench, but never got back into the game. Benoit Pouliot was forced into playing some defense while the Bruins attempted to get by with five blueliners for 30 minutes of playoff hockey.

Both players were being treated following the Game 5 loss, so their status for tomorrows must-win Game 6 in Washington DC was unknown.

Talking Points: Signs point to Pastrnak busting out of mini-slump

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Talking Points: Signs point to Pastrnak busting out of mini-slump

GOLD STAR: David Pastrnak netted the game-winner in the third period after getting freed up for a breakaway chance, and then throwing a double-move at Matt Murray before tucking one under his glove hand. It was the first goal in six games for Pastrnak, and it capped off a day when he topped 22 minutes of ice time, had a team-high five shots on net and battled through some physical play from the Penguins to get toward his offense. The 21-year-old continues to set the pace for the Bruins offensively, and has shown all the signs in the last couple of games that he’s busting out of whatever mini-slump was holding him down. Everybody knows that Pasta isn’t good for Thanksgiving, but it is certainly good for Black Friday.

BLACK EYE: A tough afternoon for former Boston College standout Brian Dumoulin, who got rocked by a couple of heavy Noel Acciari hits later in the game, finishing with a minus-2 rating while sitting on the ice for a couple of goals against. Dumoulin finished with three giveaways in 20:03 of ice time, managed only a single shot on net and was one of the weaker links on the ice for Pittsburgh in a game where they didn’t play too badly in the final 40 minutes. Dumoulin seems to struggle a bit when he comes back to Boston, and Black Friday afternoon was no exception.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were outplayed in the second period despite outshooting the Penguins by a 14-8 margin, and they watched as Pittsburgh pressed them for three goals in the middle 20 minutes. But in what turned out to be a very important play in the game, Matt Grzelcyk finished off a broken play in front of the net to score his first NHL goal on the Garden ice where he grew up skating. That goal allowed the Bruins to move into the second intermission with a tied hockey game, and set things up for the third period heroics where David Pastrnak scored the game-winner on a breakaway strike.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk put together another strong performance, and his line played a giant role in the Bruins jumping out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. He set up the David Krejci goal that got the Bruins up and rolling in the first period, and then he also fed Krejci again in the second period on a shot attempt he fanned on in the slot. The puck drifted over to Matt Grzelcyk for Boston’s third goal, and it capped off a day where the rookie winger topped 18 minutes of ice time, had two assists and a plus-1 rating, finished with four shots on net and had a couple of hits in there for good measure.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3 – the placement the Bruins now have in the Atlantic Division after winning four games in a row, which puts them back into a playoff spot on the day after Thanksgiving. What a stunning turnaround it’s been over the last couple of weeks.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “it’s exciting. You’re on NBC, you’re playing against the Stanley Cup Champions, everyone is watching, let’s put our best foot forward. I know it’s one of 82, but it’s a bigger one of 82 the way I look at it, and I think they felt the same way coming out [in the first period].” –Bruce Cassidy, on the strong start from the Black and Gold. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Morris returns to Celtics starting lineup vs. Magic

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Morris returns to Celtics starting lineup vs. Magic

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics will turn to a familiar starting lineup as they try to get back on their winning ways following Wednesday’s loss at Miami.
 
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Marcus Morris will be in the starting lineup tonight against Orlando, joining the usual Celtics foursome of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.

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Morris’ availability tonight was not a given, similar to it being in question prior to Wednesday’s game against the Heat.
 
Morris has been dealing with soreness in his left knee which kept him out for the first eight games of the season and has limited his playing time since then.
 
Stevens said Morris will likely not play against Indiana on Saturday but no final decision has been made. Since returning to the lineup, the Celtics have played Morris with a minutes restriction in addition to not allowing him to play in any back-to-back games.

Morris has made it clear that he does not like having his playing time limited while not playing in any back-to-backs, but has repeatedly he understands why it is being done and won’t fight what the coaching and medical staff believe is best for him and the team.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE