Peverley, third line one of few bright spots for Bruins


Peverley, third line one of few bright spots for Bruins

It was only a matter of time for Rich Peverley and the Bruins third line.

Things finally broke through offensively against the Buffalo Sabres after a struggle through the first six games of the season. Of course the offense came at a cost as the Bs lost the game by a 7-4 score at TD Garden on Thursday night, but Peverleys offense became a high point in an otherwise forgettable evening of hockey for the hometown team.

The goal was a thing of beauty for the entire third line with new left wing Daniel Paille helping to create a dogged mindset where they were hunting pucks and attacking the net.

It all started with a strong shift culminating in a Chris Kelly fore-check in the corner that doubled as complete harassment of Buffalo defenseman Alexander Sulzer.

Kellys tireless work ended with the center popping a bouncing shot at the side of the Buffalo net that had trouble written all over it. The puck landed near the left post, and Paille immediately went into attack mode while whacking the loose biscuit with defenders swarming all around the net.

The puck finally deflected out to Peverley in the slot, and the crafty right winger waited, waited and waited patiently until Ryan Miller dropped in anticipation of the shot. Thats when Peverley cranked it into the upper portion of the open cage for Bostons first goal that got things chugging for a Black and Gold attack that fell short in the end.

We had a lot of chances Thursday night, and I thought our energy level was good, said Peverley. Weve been getting some chances, our line, in the past couple games and its good to get a goal, but we have to defend better.

The Peverley score represented the first goal for Bostons third line for an entire season thats now seven games old, and the first goal of the season for the third line right winger.

There was no jubilation or relief, however.

There was only an air of disappointment in Peverley at the opportunities the Bruins skaters couldnt capitalize on when it was still a one goal game in the third period. But the third line right wing also led the Bruins with six shots on net, and has 15 shots on net in the last three games for Boston.

So Peverley was due.

It was a matter of time, they were getting some chances and its nice to see Rich Peverley score, Said Claude Julien. I think he had a great opportunity shortly after he could have had two quick goals there.

Those are encouraging signs. If we can rectify the defensive part that cost us tonight and keep working on the offensive game that our guys are producing, then well be okay.

What remains to be seen is how the third line will be comprised when they again take the ice Saturday night in Toronto against the Maple Leafs. Paille went off after absorbing a high-stick to the face at the end of the third period, and that could prompt Chris Bourques return to the mix with Peverley and Kelly as it had been in the previous six games. Or it could be Jamie Tardif just called up from Providence on Friday morning as an emergency recall.

If they can keep up the intensity and dogged, energetic style of play that characterized their shifts Thursday night, theyll do just fine with anybody lucky enough to be riding shotgun with them on the left wing.

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


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:




Familiar faces get the best of the Bruins in Vegas


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.


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.