Bruins

Bruins sink Islanders, 4-2

989293.jpg

Bruins sink Islanders, 4-2

BOSTON -- It came down to the third period, but Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron's third-period goals helped the Bruins defeat the New York Islanders 4-2 on Friday night at the TD Garden.

Chara gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead just over seven minutes into the third period, after he sniped the top-left corner with a wrist shot from the left point.

Then, with 6:27 left in the game, Bergeron steps in on a breakaway and finishes with a deke to his right, slipping the puck past the extended left pad of Rick DiPietro, making it 4-2 B's. Bergeron finished a perfect breakout that started with a Dougie Hamilton cross-ice pass to Brad Marchand, who then found Bergeron wide open streaking down the middle of the ice.

The goal marked Hamilton's second assist of the game, and sealed the deal on Boston's third win of the season.

The Bruins tied the game at 2-2 with 6:18 left in the second period, after Greg Campbell knocked in a loose puck that had bounced out to him off the skate of Islanders defenseman Joe Finley. David Krejci caused the loose puck after throwing it towards the net from the top of the left circle. The puck never got to the net, and Campbell finished.

The Islanders scored two goals -- both by Keith Aucoin after Shawn Thornton had initially given the Bruins an early 1-0 lead, five minutes into the first period.

The first New York goal came with 8:47 left in the first period, as Aucoin busted down the middle of the ice and caught a pass in the slot from Colin McDonald. Aucoin caught pretty much all of the Bruins sleeping and flat-footed, and Aucoin beat everyone to open space and buried a one-timer to tie the game at 1-1.

Aucoin's second gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead midway through the second period. In similar fashion, Aucoin got a puck in open space and beat Tuukka Rask. Only this time, he was able to step into this slap shot and let go a rocket that beat Rask top-right.

GOLD STAR: The fourth line gets the nod as well a fourth line Fribble courtesy of Mike Felger after helping prop up the Bruins with a pair of goals in the first two periods while the rest of the team was out of synch according to Claude Julien. Shawn Thornton picked up his first strike of the season while shoveling in a backhanded rebound of a Dougie Hamilton shot, and Gregory Campbell flipped home another rebound after a David Krejci tester bounced off Joe Finleys skate right to the fourth line center. They also brought the thunder as displayed by Daniel Paille when he crushed Brian Strait in the corner prompting to Thornton to protect his linemate. Thornton earned a 10-minute misconduct for intervening, but the Bruins energy line lived up to their billing after kicking themselves for a goal allowed in Wednesday nights loss to the Rangers.

BLACK EYE: Another unproductive night for the Bruins third line as they allowed a goal while they were on the ice and managed to cobble together only a single shot combined between Chris Bourque, Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Peverley did hit a post in the third period on the first real signs of offensive life for him on the season, but Kelly has been very quiet thus far for the Bruins. Bourque made a nice play to break up a scoring attempt for Keith Aucoin in the first period on a hustling back-check and showed good life and jump on the second power play unit, but now only has one shot on net in four games for the Bruins.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dougie Hamilton was given No. 1 star honors for the first multi-point game of his career and its tough to argue with the choice given how much he factored in the offense. It was one of his long bombs from the right point that created a rebound Shawn Thornton was able to pounce on for the Bs first goal, and his heads up outlet pass created some fast break hockey in the third period that ended with a Patrice Bergeron partial breakaway for a goal. He also nearly had a goal on a third period rocket, but instead the shot clanged off Rick DiPietros head, so the search for his first NHL goal will go on.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins finally got untracked in the third period after looking sluggish and lackadaisical for the first 40 minutes, but perhaps that was bound to happen with the Bs catching the Islanders on the second night of a back-to-back situation. They managed to turn up the pressure on the Islanders, and finally broke open the tie with Zdeno Charas game-winner from slot little more than seven minutes into the third period.

BY THE NUMBERS: 10 the number of combined hits and blocked shots totaled by Dennis Seidenberg in his first game back after missing two games with a lower body injury. The Bruins miss his toughness and willingness to sacrifice his body when hes not in there.

QUOTE TO NOTE: It definitely wasnt our best game here tonight, those first 40 minutes. But we were able to grind it out and keep it 2-2 after two, and give ourselves a chance to win in the third. It was good to see us have that killer instinct and go out there and win the game. Milan Lucic on a game from the Bruins that wont win any beauty contests, but still got them the two points.

Joe Haggerty contributed portions of this story.

No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

No hesitation from Chara in scoring after scary incident in Montreal

BOSTON – Less than 48 hours after one of his legendarily hard slap shots put a Montreal Canadiens forward in the hospital after striking him in the head, Zdeno Chara didn’t hesitate when given the chance to wind up and blast away on Monday afternoon.

It was the 40-year-old Chara that rocketed a slapper past Kari Lehtonen at the end of the second period, and in doing so energized the Bruins while getting them on the scoreboard. The Chara goal helped earn the Black and Gold a point in overtime before eventually falling to the Dallas Stars by a 3-2 score at TD Garden on Monday afternoon.

The Bruins captain had been texting with the felled Montreal winger on Monday, and was fully aware that Phillip Danault was out of the hospital and doing well aside from understandable concussion symptoms after a puck to the head. Perhaps that eased Chara’s mind just a little when it came time to lean into another wind-up slapper on Monday, but it was also certainly aided by the lack of brave bodies willing to front one of his heavy, hard point blasts.

“I obviously spoke to Phillip a number of times. I talked to him right after the game and wanted to make sure he was okay, and he texted me back that he’s doing fine. He’s been released [from the hospital] and that’s very positive, good news,” said Chara. “It’s obviously very unfortunate that it’s something that happens quite often, but it’s something you never want to see with somebody getting hit and hurt. I’m very happy he’s going to recover fully and hopefully he’s back on the ice and playing hockey [soon] like we all do.”

Was there any hesitation to Chara winding up and stepping into a 100-mph slap shot so quickly after the ugly incident in Montreal?

“It’s something that doesn’t happen very often where you have that clean [shooting] path to the net where you can settle the puck, take a look and take a full slapper,” said Chara. “Usually teams play so well structurally that there’s already somebody fronting it, and you’ve got to get it through him with bodies in front. It does happen, but it’s nice that you have that time to put everything on it.”

That’s exactly what the 6-foot-9 defenseman did in sparking the Bruins to come back from a 2-0 deficit and push for the overtime point while extending their point streak to a season-best 13 games and counting.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Overtime heroics a reminder of what Bruins gave up in Seguin

cp-bruins-stars-seguin-011618.jpg

Overtime heroics a reminder of what Bruins gave up in Seguin

BOSTON – The Tyler Seguin trade from the Bruins is pretty much ancient history at this point.

It was almost five years ago, all of the good-but-not-great players Boston received in the deal from Dallas are long gone. The Bruins general manager that engineered the big trade is now dealing with totally different brush fires while running a star-crossed Edmonton Oilers group.

But the one Stars visit per season to Boston usually serves as a reminder of what the B’s dealt away in the Fourth of July trade, and for perhaps the first time ever Seguin looked like a legit, all-around No. 1 center in the Stars 3-2 overtime win over the B’s at TD Garden. Seguin made the highlight reel with an overtime game-winner after dangling through the entire Bruins group on the ice, and watching bemusement as Bruins kept diving at him trying to stop him.

The gassed trio of Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak and Matt Grzelcyk were on the ice hemmed into the D-zone for a long time, and simply couldn’t get the puck away from the Stars once a delayed penalty was called on Grzelcyk.

“I felt like everyone was just sliding at me, and the whole time I wanted to pass, so I was just kind of looking for the right play and just kept holding it,” said Seguin, who is on pace for 39 goals and 75 points this season with the Stars. “I just kind of shot it and luckily it went in.”

It was more than luck as Anton Khudobin had already dropped into a crazed double-pad stacked save attempt while Seguin was still holding patiently onto the puck.

“That’s really tough, to be honest. He has the puck there, and all the way, all the way, going, going, going, going and I mean, guys were laying down and trying to block the shot,” said Khudobin. “He had a lot of patience and I think it went between my legs or something like that and it’s just tough. Good goal by him.'

“Nothing is impossible. You know, [Seguin] is a good player and he scored a pretty good goal. But at the same time I can stop that. But I didn’t this time and overtime is not really easy because it’s 3-on-3.”

But all the overtime heroics aside, Seguin was solid throughout the game. It was almost enough to make Bruins fans go through the entire gamut of emotions again at one of a number of trades where the organization cut bait on a talented player at a very young juncture of their career.

“I think he’s through testing. I think he has made himself to be a very good player, and he’s accountable in every situation. He’s really matured. I think he’s a guy that we don’t even worry about anymore,” said Dallas head coach Ken Hitchcock. “Everyone talked about, ‘Can you make him a one?’ Well, quite frankly, he’s a [No. 1 center], and he’s playing like a one. He’s played six games in a row like this, and this is what you want in a number one center. He’s doing the job.

“He’s killing penalties, he’s out there taking key face-offs, he’s quarterbacking the power play, and he’s playing against the other team’s best player. To me, that’s what a [No. 1 center] does, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

Mostly matched up against the Perfection Line that he used to be a part of, Seguin managed a 12-for-21 performance in the face-off circle while holding Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak off the board offensively. Even better for Seguin and Dallas, he was on the ice for the second Stars goal against the Bergeron trio for only the second even strength goal they’ve given up all season.

Seguin killed penalties, he finished with four shot attempts, had a couple of takeaways and played the kind of mature, 200-foot game that most wondered if he’d ever be capable of in his NHL career.

So credit where it’s due for Seguin showing all of that while clearly still in a headspace where coming to Boston is special for him.

“It’s special and it’s weird playing here still. You know, I enjoy the anthem, and looking up and seeing the banner for the team that I was a part of. It’s always going to be special, you know, playing here and having old teammates on the team,” said Seguin. “I’ve been thinking a lot more of defense, a lot more of face-offs, and a lot more of, you know, the little things. I’ve been judging my performances based on those things more than goals and assists. That’s been the biggest change for me, trying to put the work in, and [against the Bruins] it worked out for me.”

The Bruins have long since chalked up dealing a horse (Seguin) for ponies (Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow) as a big fat loss considering it never got them any closer to another Stanley Cup, and it didn’t give them any players still of use to the organization less than five years later.

But Monday afternoon’s overtime loss to Seguin and the Stars was a different kind of frustrating while watching a more mature, seemingly changed Seguin that would have fit in very nicely with the direction that the Bruins are headed these days.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE