Bruins

Notes: Peverley finds his goal-scoring touch

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Notes: Peverley finds his goal-scoring touch

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

NEWARK Rich Peverley had two goals in his first 20 games with the Bruins. But he matched that total with two goals in his last two games of the regular season, a good sign headed into a playoff run where his scoring services will be desperately needed.

Peverley arrived in Boston via a deal with Atlanta that sent Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Thrashers. Hes admitted it's been an adjustment period for him, but he bagged himself a pretty goal in the third period against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday and added a rebound score in front of the net during Sundays first period.

Hes got good speed, hes got decent hands, and weve seen him score some of those highlight goals by taking it to the net. Hes usually pretty good at that, said coach Claude Julien. I think, moving forward, you want to be able to have that kind of depth . . . If your first or second line doesnt score, then youve got the third and even the fourth to score for you.

Right now, I think it feels comforting to know that other lines are contributing. So hopefully that gives us more depth.

It appears Peverley has found his goal-scoring confidence at the right time. Hes the veteran of exactly one other NHL playoff series, with the Nashville Predators a couple of years ago, so he knows what awaits him when he laces them up against the Canadiens on Thursday night.

I think that were all trying to drive the net a little more, and shoot the puck and take the puck to the net, said Peverley. I think in the playoffs its not going to be the nice goals all the time. Its when you can read the rebounds and take the puck to the net. With Peverley's natural skatingspeed and nose for the net finally kicking into play in Boston, it appears the B's might just be tapping into another offensive source at just the right time -- in a series against fellow skilled, undersized forwards suiting upall over the ice for the Montreal Canadiens. What appeared to be several thousand members of Quebec Nordiques fans made the road trip from Quebec City to New Jersey to take in Sundays regular-season finale between the Devils and Bruins at the Prudential Center.

Nordiques Nation cheered and started chants intermittently throughout the game, blew air horns and created a constant flow of noise in a hockey building thats usually pretty sedate, and even presented Tim Thomas with the Quebec Nordiques Draft Day sweater that he never received following Sundays loss. As a ninth-round pick during the 1994 draft, Thomas never attended the draft or received a jersey with his name on the back following his late-round selection and the loyal Nordiques group managed to get their way into the dressing room to present the sweater to the Vezina Trophy favorite following the game. The Bruins left captain Zdeno Chara and veteran Mark Recchi in Boston so they could get an extra day off before the series with Montreal. It was the first game missed by either of those veteran players this season, and means that no Bs player suited up for all 82 games this season. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk took an awkward-looking tumble into the boards behind the New Jersey net in the second period that also took down Milan Lucic, and limped toward the Boston bench. But Boychuk returned to the ice later in the period and appeared no worse for the wear.Reports out of Providence said that young B's defensemanSteve Kampfer was spotted after Saturday night's Providence Bruins' game limping around on crutches after suffering an injury against the Springfield Falcons.

Kampfer didn't play in Sunday's season finale for the P-Bruins.
The injury would certainly jeopardize Kampfer's standing on the Boston roster for the playoffs, and his availability as one of the "Black Aces" potentially called upon for duty should injuries hit Boston's blueline. Kampfer was sent down to the AHL last week, and had just returned to action with the P-Bruins before the injury hit. Steve got tangled up in the neutral zone there earlier in the game with a Springfield player, said P-Bruins coach Rob Murray to radio man Adam Kaufman on Saturday night. Its still being determined what the extent of his injury is, but he came back, he played one shift after that, and he didnt feel he could go, so we shut him down for the game. Hopefully its not too serious.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Khudobin can't save Bruins' goaltending situation

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Khudobin can't save Bruins' goaltending situation

The entire concept of Tuukka Rask getting pushed by one of his backups is based on the backup consistently performing at a high standard, and that wasn’t the case for Anton Khudobin over the weekend.

Just as it isn’t solely the fault of Rask when the Bruins lose, it wasn’t solely the fault of Khudobin that Boston squandered leads of 3-0 and 4-1 in an overtime loss to Buffalo on Saturday night. But Khudobin couldn’t step up and carry the B's when they clearly started losing their edge in the second half of the game, and that inconsistency will certainly make the Bruins pine for a sooner-rather-than-later return of a concussed Rask.

“Erratic,” said coach Bruce Cassidy when asked to describe Khudobin postgame. “He battles. We love that about him. He battled to the end. He certainly made his share of saves. We need to be better in front of him. But there were times that, there were fires that needed to be put out that shouldn’t have been necessary. But that happens sometimes.”

It was certainly too much to expect Khudobin to be perfect, but they just needed him to be good enough to pull them through while they were getting waylaid in the second half of the game. That proved to be a major challenge, given the players the Bruins are missing and the extremely rough night suffered by Torey Krug (minus-3 on Saturday night, and minus-8 for the season). Khudobin finished with 37 stops as a defense corps without Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller wilted in the third period and the overtime, but he couldn’t make the clean saves for whistles when the team really needed them. Case in point was a Rasmus Ristolainen tester in overtime while the Bruins were in the midst of being outshot by a 6-0 margin in the extra session. Khudobin got a glove on it but couldn’t cleanly catch it for a badly needed stoppage in play at a time when Krug, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand had been caught on the ice for over two minutes.

"The start was great, and the game was great until we scored the fourth goal, and I think after that, we thought it was an easy game,” said Khudobin. “[The high volume of shots] wasn’t that much difficult, I like shots, like probably every other goalie, but they were crashing the net. They were going hard. There were a lot of deflections, a lot of rebounds, a lot of scrums in front of the net, which were . . .that’s the dangerous part, not just the shots.”

Khudobin, 31, has taken five of a possible six points in the games he's played this season and is off to a solid start with a 2-0-1 record, a 2.98 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. He looks like he’s going to be a perfectly fine backup, enabling the Bruins to hold Rask to the 55-60 games they’ve forecasted for his peak performance this season.

But Saturday night was a major blow to any hopes that Rask would be pushed competitively by his backup, and that a Khudobin hot streak could spark a slow-starting, and now injured, Rask when he does return.

Instead the Bruins are left to hope they can survive while missing Rask along with a number of other key players, and that the goalie returns sooner than later to a team that can’t survive too many morale-crushing defeats like the choke job against the lowly Sabres.

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Morning Skate: 'After Hours'? Injured Jagr is open

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Morning Skate: 'After Hours'? Injured Jagr is open

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering if it shouldn’t be more of an issue that potential Red Sox manager Alex Cora was good buddies with Dustin Pedroia when the two played together in Boston.

*Jaromir Jagr suffers a lower-body injury and then goes on Hockey Night in Canada’s “After Hours” program to show once again how wonderful it is to be “The Jagr.”

*The Ottawa Senators get Erik Karlsson back this week, but now they’ve lost power forward Bobby Ryan for a month with a broken finger.

*The Montreal Canadiens are getting exposed for the very flawed team that they are during a brutal start to the 2017-18 season.

*Keep an eye out on the Los Angeles Kings now that they’ve suffered an injury with Jeff Carter and do appear to be in the running for the playoffs this season.

*New Jersey Devils fans help a singer belt out the national anthem after there might have been a case of forgetting the words.

*Doug Gilmour might not have always enjoyed the prying eyes while playing in Toronto, a case that gives you an idea what it’s like to be a pro hockey player in a market like Toronto where everybody knows your name.

*For something completely different: There’s no doubting that Aaron Judge has brought life and energy back to the Yankees and that’s something that’s very good for baseball.