Bruins

Seguin appears to be healthy scratch again

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Seguin appears to be healthy scratch again

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

MONTREAL With all of the Brad Marchand Habs bashing there was a worthy distraction away from Tuesday nights game at the Bell Centre, but it in fact a gigantic game in the standings.With a win the Bruins would pull seven points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens in the Northeast Division, and essentially lay a claim on the crown for the second time in two years. They also might pull into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers as top seed in the Eastern Conference standings.All fighting, slew-foots and heated rivalries aside, its an important game for both teams that should be bring out the best rather than the worst with a first round matchup in the playoffs possible.Last game here we had a two-goal lead in the last three minutes that we blew before losing it 3-2, said coach Claude Julien. Besides that last game, I think both teams have stabilized themselves defensively and its the pride of our team.When we play well defensively that usually provides better offensive chances for our team, and thats how weve always approached it. Tuukka Rask took a blast from Dennis Seidenberg in the collarbone area in the final minutes of practice, and gunned his stick over the boards and deep into the stands in pretty clear frustration.Hes fine, said Julien. Assistant coach Doug Houda caught it as a souvenir. Tim Thomas appeared to take a shot to his right glove hand during practice, and was spotted shaking his left hand and recoiling a bit in pain toward the end of practice at the Bell Centre. Barring any serious problem it appeared thatThomas will get the start against the Canadiens on Tuesday night.Thomas is a goaltender that acknowledges maybe his style of play in goal is more tiring than others, said Thomas. I dont want him playing 70 games. At one point you could sense him getting tired a little bit, and Tuukka Rask took over for a while there.Then you could see Timmy come back in better shape with more energy. Its really paid off. Zdeno Chara was not on the ice for practice with the rest of his Bruins teammates, but it appeared to be nothing more than a veteran option for a player late in the regular season. Mark Recchi and Patrice Bergeron were both with the Bruins for their morning skate, and it appeared both would be fully ready to go against the Canadiens. Tyler Seguin was the last forward off the ice, and it looks like hell be scratched in favor of Daniel Paille.

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

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.