Bruins

Notes: Bruins burned by penalties

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Notes: Bruins burned by penalties

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON It was the question that nobody in the Bruins dressing room wanted to answer, but it was also biggest single factor in their 4-3 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night at TD Garden.

The Sabres were handed seven power play chances including a huge 5-on-3 advantage in the third period that allowed Buffalo to climb back from a 3-2 deficit and push the game to the extra session before a winner from Brad Boyes.

I dont know. I mean theyre tough, tough to swallow; especially when youre down a man or two even, said a frustrated Adam McQuaid, trying his best not to be controversial. I dont know. Im not going to say too much.

Take your pick at the questionable referee call that the Bruins seemed to take serious exception toward after the fact: the Zdeno Chara boarding call, the Tomas Kaberle tripping call, the Brad Marchand tripping call or the Johnny Boychuk hooking call.

All were safely organized into the highly debatable category, and both Ian Walsh and Brad Watson were getting the hairy eyeball from Claude Julien all evening long. The Bs coach felt an honest nights worth of effort was wiped out by the chronic whistle-blowing going on throughout the game.

I think right now with what our team went through in the last couple of days, I like the way our guys reacted, said Julien. They came out, they played with a lot of passion and they worked hard.

Until those penalties happened, we were in control of the game. It was our game and we were the better team out there. So unfortunately those penalties happened and you have to live with those and you move on and you prepare for the next game. Youre wasting a lot of energy being frustrated with whats happened here tonight.

Tomas Kaberle has hit a little bit of a wall for the Bruins since arriving, and the All-Star defenseman has only a single assist in nine games with the Bruins and hasnt registered any points at all in his last six games for Boston.

Plenty of fight in the Bruins coming off a bad loss to the Canadiens, and the grudge match against the Sabres saw Gregory Campbell, Adam McQuaid and Milan Lucic all drop the gloves against Buffalo players. Campbells bout came early in the game during a scoreless tie, and was the centers way of grasping hold of the game.

It was a big game. The coaches all stressed how big the first ten minutes were going to be, so I just tried to get some energy, said Campbell. Obviously it wasnt that good of a fight, but thats going to happen. My intentions were there, and thats that.

The Bs center took a good shot or two from Buffalo tough guy Cody McCormick, but Milan Lucic later avenged his teammate by dropping the Buffalo winger twice with huge right hands to the face.

The only regular that didnt drop the gloves was Shawn Thornton, who was trying to engage through the game but couldnt find a dance partner.

Tuukka Rask turned 24 years old on Thursday, and spent the day in a backup goaltender role thats become very familiar for the Finnish youngster this season.

Shawn Thornton and his teammates will be shaving their heads for charity just in time for the playoffs on Thursday, April 7 as part of the 4th annual Cuts for a Cause event. Tickets to the event are on sale now and can be purchased for 20 by emailing tickets@985thesportshub.com. Fans will be able to bid on the opportunity to shave the Bs players heads beginning Monday, March 21 on 985thesportshub.com.

The Bs will pay tribute to Bruins legendary radio personality Bob Wilson on Saturday, March 26 during the BruinsRangers game at the TD Garden. At 11:30 a.m., the Bruins will dedicate their home radio broadcast booth to Wilson by renaming it the "Bob Wilson Radio Booth." The Bruins will also install a silver microphone encased in a black and gold frame on the TD Gardens level 9 faade beneath the home radio broadcast booth, which will be permanently displayed. Wilson recently celebrated his 82nd birthday on Wednesday, March 9.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

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Backes and Bergeron return to Bruins practice, may be back in action soon

BRIGHTON -- It was good news when word first filtered out that David Backes had resumed skating last weekend while the Bruins were on the West Coast, and even better news Tuesday when he returned to practice. Backes skated without any restrictions in a spot on the third line with Riley Nash and Tim Schaller, and appeared to be recovering nicely from his bout of diverticulitis.

Backes was initially diagnosed with the inflammatory colon ailment in the first few days of October, with the team estimating a three- to four-week recovery period. If he'd needed surgery rather than the  prescribed rest and medication, he could have been facing a lot more missed games.

Patrice Bergeron was also back skating on Tuesday morning while centering Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork, still sporting a maroon no-contact jersey while taking some light contact during the practice session.

Backes and Bergeron look like they’ could be returning to the lineup soon.

But the injury news wasn't all good, as Ryan Spooner, Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen and Adam McQuaid were all missing from practice.

Spooner (lower body) and McQuaid (lower body) were both injured in Sunday night’s loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, and Czarnik and/or Heinen might be ticketed back to Providence soon if the Bruins have to make roster space for Bergeron and/or Backes ahead of Thursday night’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.

Here are the line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with a whole different look to things with some of the different bodies taking part in the skate:

Marchand-Bergeron-Bjork
DeBrusk-Krejci-Pasta
Schaller-Nash-Backes
Beleskey-Kuraly-Vatrano
White

Chara-Carlo
Miller-McAvoy
Krug-Postma

Rask
Khudobin

Familiar faces get the best of the Bruins in Vegas

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Familiar faces get the best of the Bruins in Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Perhaps part of the confused look from the Boston Bruins on the ice Sunday night in Las Vegas was a nagging feeling of déjà vu they never could shake. The Vegas Golden Knights took a 3-1 win over the Bruins for their fourth win in five tries this season, and handed the Bruins their third truly dreadful-looking defeat in five games played on the young hockey season.

It was tough to avoid the feeling that the Golden Knights were basically “Boston Bruins West”, and that was never too far away from notice as things played out on Sunday. Old friend and former Bruins play-by-play man Dave Goucher and ex-B's defenseman "Sheriff" Shane Hnidy are the friendly faces on the Vegas TV telecast, and were on the Jumbotron pregame in a skit with Carrot Top, of all people, to run down the arena's safety rules in a funny and well-produced video.

Former Bruins PR guru and Beverly native Eric Tosi is in charge of the media relations with the Golden Knights, and has been a busy, busy man along with the rest of the Vegas franchise getting the expansion club off the ground. He was even busier this past weekend, albeit with a relaxed smile on his face, as 20 members of the Tosi clan made the road trip out to Vegas to see the first NHL game between the two franchises.

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And there were the actual familiar faces on the ice with ex-Bruins Malcolm Subban and Colin Miller excelling against their old team. Subban only needed to stop 21 shots in the victory, but was able to finish his first NHL start and earn his first career NHL win against the Bruins franchise that left him unprotected on waivers just a couple of weeks ago.

The Bruins didn’t make the 23-year-old Subban sweat much during the game with pedestrian shots that hit the first-round pick squarely in the jersey crest, and pretty much zero attempts to beat his questionable glove hand.

"We know Malcolm well," said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. "He's a good first-shot goaltender for the most part. We wanted to put some stress on him and make him uncomfortable on those second ones, and I don't think we did a good job on that."

But give Subban credit for calming down his mental approach and refining his technique enough to play solid positional goaltending against the Bruins, and gaining some sweet revenge in the process.

Subban wasn’t gloating about it or basking in any kind of vengeance against his former team, but instead just expressed happiness at doing the job after stepping in for the injured Marc-Andre Fleury. It remains to be seen if Subban is going to be able to hold down the fort against the teams that will inevitably test him more than the hapless Bruins did, but he gave his team a good chance to win on Sunday.

"It's a great feeling. I made a lot of friends [in Boston], played with a lot of great teammates and (had) a great coaching staff. I'm just happy to get the win. The biggest thing was just not thinking, staying focused, and staying in the moment. It feels really good to get the first win in your first game," said Subban, "My first shot I got good control on it and that got me in the game a lot. You never know how the game is going to go in the NHL. It’s really technical. Sometimes you don’t get a lot of shots, so you gotta stay focused, and I felt I did that tonight.

“I thought I played pretty good. The biggest thing was my depth and not getting too deep in the net. Give myself the better opportunity to make the save. I feel like I did that (Sunday). There weren’t too many high chances. [There were] a lot of textbook saves and just having good rebound control. I’m happy to get the win.”

Miller didn’t factor into the scoring for the Golden Knights against the Bruins, but he was extremely active with three shots on net and eight shot attempts in 18:25 of ice time. He got plenty of power play time, was a plus player and looks like he might get the chance to develop his game in Vegas that hadn’t quite played out over the previous couple of years in Boston.

The Bruins won’t return to Vegas until next season, but the hope has to be those same Golden Knights’ familiar faces won’t get the best of the B’s when they come for their one-and-only visit to TD Garden at the beginning of November.

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