Bruins

Haggerty: 15 thoughts on Bruins-Sabres

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts on Bruins-Sabres

Here are 15 thoughts after the third period with the Bruins falling to the Sabres by a 7-4 score after 60 minutes of play at TD Garden.

FIRST PERIOD1) Shawn Thornton had a lengthy chat with big John Scott during pregame warm-ups and it was pretty clear the two were planning out a bout once things got started. Thornton tried to get a hold of Scott so he could grapple with the 6-foot-8, 260-pound brute, but Scott landed a series of overhand right punches that sent the Bs enforcer tumbling to the ice. He skated off to the dressing room as soon as his penalty was over and never returned to the bench in the first period. He won't return to the game tonight. Not good.2) Scott meanwhile skated a grand total of 27 seconds of ice time and managed to throw an elbow at Rich Peverley on a check against the boards that sent him right back off to the penalty box. It remains to be seen if anybody else for the Bruins will answer the bell if Scott keeps lowering the boom when he gets out on the ice for his one-per-period shift.3) Good job by Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara against the Jason PominvilleThomas Vanek line thats been so good for Buffalo this season. Pominville got behind Chara once to squeeze off a shot from the right wing with Boychuk closing in on him, but that was the only quasi-quality chance either player enjoyed in the first period.4) Three shots on net in 7:34 of ice time for Tyler Seguin to lead all skaters in the first 20 minutes. Seguin said before the game that its time for his game to get going now that the team is past the five-game mark on the season, and it looks like hes turning up the offensive aggressiveness dial just a little bit.5) Patrice Bergeron has won six of seven face-offs and is working Steve Ott in the face-off circle. Thats a stark contrast to last years game against Dallas when Ott owned David Krejci on the face-off dot. Good work in the first period, but no score as the Bruins couldnt close on a number of good chances for Daniel Paille, Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara.

SECOND PERIOD
1) So much for the Bruins doing a good job of holding down Thomas Vanek. He explodes for two goals and an assist in the second period and wreaks havoc on the Boston defense with his 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame in front of the net. It shouldnt be a surprise as his career numbers against the Bruins are very good. He finished off two plays with natural goal-scoring moves and then made a really nifty pass as he was being taken down by Andrew Ference, and found a wide open Tyler Ennis for the game-tying score.2) Brad Marchand is still fanning on shots that hed normally bury as he works on his hands, but he had himself a hell of a period. In both instances the plays were started by Patrice Bergeron hunting the puck, but Nose Face Killah scored on a backhanded dangle through Tyler Myers and Jordan Leopold and then scored another goal from the slot as Tyler Seguin battled with the 6-foot-7 Myers in front of the net. The goal might eventually go to Seguin, but it not Marchand leads the Bruins with five goals scored on the season.3) The third line kick-started the offense for the Bruins as a dogged shift with Chris Kelly fore-checking in the corner turned into Daniel Paille taking a few whacks at the puck in front of the net to create a little chaos. From there Rich Peverley picked up the loose puck and squeezed it through Ryan Miller for his first goal of the season. The third line breakthrough has been a long time coming for Peverley and Kelly after an ineffective first six games.4) A game-high six shots on net for Rich Peverley in the game and hes won six out of eight face-offs in addition to the first goal. Peverley has been getting chances for the last couple of games, so it seemed this was only a matter of time for No. 49.5) A minus-2, one shot on net and no hits for Zdeno Chara through two periods. Its one thing if the Bruins dont want to trade Chara for John Scott in a battle of the goliaths, but the big defenseman needs to at least stop the Buffalo top line from scoring on them. Big Zee needs to be more of a factor.

THIRD PERIOD
1) Dougie Hamilton took a nasty Drew Stafford elbow to the chops in the middle of the third period, left the ice momentarily but returned to play rest of period. Tough kid and a dirty play from Stafford.2) Tyler Ennis is a dirty little bugger. Was whacking David Krejci with his stick as both players skated off the ice for a line change and almost got whistled for too many men on the ice when he got so preoccupied with carving up the Bs center like he was Dr. Hook.3) Thomas Vanek played a huge part in five of Buffalos six goals including the game-winner. He is playing the best hockey of his career along with Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville, and there was nobody even close for the Bruins despite Marchands two goals. It was his eighth career hat trick and his second five-point game of the season. Fifty four career points in 46 games against the Bs.4) Bruins power play hurt them tonight when they couldnt do anything with the 5-on-3 four minute power play midway through the third period. A Dennis Seidenberg tripping call wiped out half of the power play and the Bruins couldnt get anything past Ryan Miller with the rest of the man advantage.5) Ryan Miller deserves props for his performance in the third period. He stoned Patrice Bergeron from point blank range when the Bruins were still trailing by only a goal and made 14 saves in the final 20 minutes as they tried to play catch-up.

Bruins take down Islanders, extend point streak to 15 games

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Bruins take down Islanders, extend point streak to 15 games

GOLD STAR: Who else but Patrice Bergeron? The Bruins center finishes with three goals and his second hat trick in a span of six games, and now has 11 goals scored in his last 11 games during a wicked goal-scoring spree. Bergeron clearly wasn’t just about the goals as he also finished with four shots on net and won 12-of-18 face-offs in his 15:39 of ice time, but it’s amazing how he’s been able to get into so many great scoring positions while always facing the other team’s best defensive players. It speaks to just how good he is when he gets those chances in the slot, and how good both Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are at getting the puck to him in the spots where he can do his offensive damage. Bergeron now has 19 goals on the season and continues to roll out some serious offensive numbers for a Bruins team that’s just destroying their opponents. Bergeron is the first Bruins player to score two hat tricks in the span of six games since Rick Tocchet did it in five games back in 1996 for the Black and Gold.  

BLACK EYE: The Barclays Center shouldn’t be housing NHL hockey games, and thankfully won’t be in the near future when the Isles move out of Brooklyn. That being said, it had to demoralize whatever fans have made the move to Brooklyn to see so many Bruins hats get tossed on the ice from Boston fans after Bergeron scored his third goal of the game. The Islanders games have always felt like de facto home games for the Black and Gold given the huge contingent of B’s fans that make the trip to New York for these games. But it’s all the more of a gut punch when it turns into those road warrior Bruins fans loudly and animatedly celebrating goals, wins and hat tricks in front of the Islanders players and coaches. That’s a tough spot for them to be in during what’s supposed to be a strong home ice presence, but that’s life at a Barclays Center that makes me pine for Nassau Coliseum. 

TURNING POINT: The Bruins gave up the first goal of the game on a bad Brandon Carlo turnover in the D-zone, and it could have gone against them in the second night of a back-to-back on the road. But the Bruins dug in, reversed the momentum and instead found the Bergeron line to lead the way with their first goal scored in the game. After that they just continued to pour on the hard work, the offense and the Bergeron goals as he scored three overall and the Bruins rode the momentum wave into five goals and a strong finish in the third period. In two straight games the Bruins have given up the first goal, and it doesn’t even cause them to bat an eyelash. 

HONORABLE MENTION: On the second  night of a back-to-back game Zdeno Chara logged 25:32 of ice time, blocked four shots including a couple during a penalty kill that left him shaking his right hand in pain on the bench and threw three hits while holding the high-powered Islanders to just a couple of goals in the game. It wasn’t a particularly dazzling night of work for the 6-foot-9 defenseman, but the Isles really had limited offensive looks thanks to Chara playing big, strong and powerful in the defensive zone. The big ice time number is perhaps most impressive of all coming after Chara also played a big role in Boston’s win over the Habs at the Garden on Wednesday night. We’re still a long way away from Chara proving he can do this kind of thing night after night in the playoffs as a 40-year-old, but he showed a little something on Thursday night. 

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 – the number of consecutive games with a point for the Bruins as they’ve posted an 11-0-4 record over those games, and matched a 15-game point streak from the 2011-12 season in the year after they won the Cup. 

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I like the way we closed out the game in the third period. In a back-to-back there were issues at the beginning and ending of the game, and we fought through it and didn’t let the game get away from us. In the third period in their building they were going to make a push, and I thought we were really, really good in terms of generating the offense and keeping the puck away from the front of the net. I was proud of the guys for that. That was a good, strong finish.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN postgame about what we liked most in the 5-2 win over the Isles. 

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Bergeron notches hat trick as Bruins defeat Islanders, 5-2

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Bergeron notches hat trick as Bruins defeat Islanders, 5-2

NEW YORK - Patrice Bergeron scored three goals to lead Boston to a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night, giving the Bruins at least a point for the 15th consecutive game.

Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists as Boston improved to 11-0-4 since its last regulation loss Dec. 14 against Washington - its best stretch since going 15-0-1 from March 2-30, 2014. Ryan Spooner had a goal and an assist, and Anton Khudobin stopped 22 shots.

Jordan Eberle and John Tavares scored for New York, which has dropped seven of 10 - with each of the losses coming in regulation. Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves while facing fewer than 35 shots for the first time in his last 11 games.

Bergeron completed his third career hat trick - just 12 days after a four-goal, five-point night at home against Carolina - when he took a pass from Marchand, spun and fired the puck in from the left circle at 3:45 of the third period. It was his 19th goal of the season.

Tavares pulled the Islanders within two with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining with his 25th goal. Marchand capped the scoring with his 20th with just over a minute to go.

Boston won for the second straight night after giving up the first goal of the game in the first period. The Bruins did the same thing in a 4-1 win at home against Montreal on Wednesday night.

In this one, they took control with two goals in the second period and sealed it with two more in the third.

Spooner put Boston ahead 2-1 near the midpoint of the second. Off a faceoff in the Islanders' zone to Halak's left, Spooner backhanded the puck past the goalie for his seventh at 9:47.

Just 15 seconds after New York's Anders Lee was sent off for tripping, Bergeron extended the Bruins' lead to 3-1. After Torey Krug's initial shot went off Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech's leg, Bergeron got the puck on the right side and beat Halak for his 18th of the season with 6:11 left in the middle period. Krug got his 200th career assist.

Eberle got the Islanders on the scoreboard 7:35 into the game. Mathew Barzal intercepted Brandon Carlo's pass in the Bruins' zone and passed to a streaking Eberle, who beat Khudobin from the inside edge of the right circle for his 15th. Barzal got his 32nd assist and 47th point - both tops among all NHL rookies.

The Bruins tied it with 6:19 left in the first when Bergeron took a pass from Marchand and fired it past Halak from the inside edge of the right circle.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE