Bruins

Snowed under

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Snowed under

MONTREAL Just when it seemed like it couldnt get any worse for the Bruins it totally did.

The Bruins needed to show intensity, focus and desperation, but instead walked into a hornets net at the Bell Centre and lost their seventh game of the season in 10 tries by a 4-2 count at the Bell Centre.

Tyler Seguin potted a goal with the pulled goaltender in the final minute to make things interesting, but Tomas Plekanec banged home his second goal of the night with an empty-netter to salt away the victory.

Its difficult to imagine the same roster of players and exact coaching staff suits up for the Bruins when they take to the ice against the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at the Garden, but that will be for the Bs front office brass to determine.

The Bruins came out with some pretty good jump, but once again showed too much frustration after both Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand hit posts in the early going. The Canadiens took advantage with a pair of goals to close out the first 20 minutes. Brian Gionta tipped a Tomas Plekanec point shot past Tuukka Rask, and Lars Eller took advantage of a Nathan Horton stumble to beat the Bs goaltender high to the glove side.

Montreal continued the Bs pre-Halloween nightmare with a David Desharnais power play rebound goal off an Andrew Ference retaliation penalty while jostling with P.K. Subban behind the net.

Milan Lucic got the Bruins on the board in the second period off a Lars Eller turnover in the Montreal zone for his third goal of the season, but the Bruins didnt have enough in the end.

GOLD STAR: Tomas Plekanec finished up with a pair of points and set up Montreals first goal with a perfectly placed shot from the high point with traffic in front. Then he finished out the Bs scoring with an empty netter that finally closed down the Bruins in the third period. Plekanec led the Habs with 21:45 of ice time on a night when he played steady hockey from the center position and made plays all over the ice for Montreal as the games best player out there. Its rare for an opponent to get top billing in the Talking Points, but Plekanec deserved it.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dennis Seidenberg played 26:19 and was the only plus-1 with four blocked shots and three hits in a solid game for the Bruins that once again showed the defensemans all-around value. He was the only Bs player with a positive rating for the evening and there was extremely good reasons for that while so many other players around succumbed to frustration or bad judgment. Its too bad hes not racking up more points because Seidenberg is still playing a pretty good brand of hockey for the Bruins.

BLACK EYE: Nathan Horton finished with a single shot on net and an assist in 13:31, but missed multiple open nets while taking a long time to get his shot off in front of a group of Montreal defenders jumping in front of pucks. To make matters worse Horton became frustrated in the third period after wrestling with 6-foot-7 behemoth Hal Gill in front of the net, and took an extremely ill-timed penalty when the Bruins were attempting to come back in the third period. Paired with his penalty in the third period meltdown against Carolina, Horton is showing a really alarming propensity to take bad penalties at the worst possible time.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins had the play flowing their way early in the first period, but once again couldnt finish off plays while watching Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand ring posts. Then the Bruins got out of their system of attack, started playing ragged hockey and found themselves down 2-0 while taking bad penalty after bad penalty with the occasional blown call tossed in there for good measure. The pattern of losing games has to stop before it drives everyone around the Bs mad.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 the number of goals per game that the Boston Bruins are supporting Tuukka Rask with in three starts this season. Not exactly a scoring bonanza for the Finnish netminder.

QUOTE TO NOTE: When we all get on the same page and we start trusting each other... that's when things will get better. There is hesitation in our play right now." - Claude Julien talking about some of the more basic problems he sees affecting his hockey club right.

Talking Points: Khudobin's effort helps B's snap losing streak

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Talking Points: Khudobin's effort helps B's snap losing streak

GOLD STAR: Anton Khudobin continues his stretch of picking up points in all of his games for the Bruins as he made 27 no-nonsense saves in a straight-up, blue collar kind of hockey game between the B’s and the Kings. Perhaps even more encouraging the Bruins dominated much of the final 20 minutes while protecting a third period lead, so Khudobin was forced into making just five saves against Los Angeles in something a little less than a frenzied, frenetic between the pipes performance that we’re sometimes used to seeing out of the backup. The big period for the Russian backup was the middle 20 minutes when he was making 17 big saves and eventually improving to 4-0-2 on the season while just simply winning all the time these days.  

 

BLACK EYE: Just one shot on net and three giveaways for Anze Kopitar in 22:08 of ice time for the Kings, who did have an assist on Drew Doughty’s power play goal in the second period during the loss. Kopitar had three giveaways in a bit of a sloppy effort taking care of the puck, and he lost 12-of-22 face-offs as well while facing off directly against his Selke Trophy winning competitor in Patrice Bergeron. Kopitar has never been really all that impressive going up against No. 37 over the years, and he hasn’t really been a killer when it comes to facing the Bruins. That sort of thing played out again for the Kings against the Bruins this season with guys like Kopitar and Doughty not quite enough against Boston. 

 

TURNING POINT: The Bruins scored the game’s first goal in the first period, and that proved to be one of the big difference-makers in the eventual victory for the Black and Gold. Charlie McAvoy’s early goal put the Bruins on the board and forced the LA Kings to start chasing the game a little bit more in a strange sequence of events that hasn’t been the norm with the Bruins much as of late. Once McAvoy darted in after the offensive zone face-off and scored in the first, the rest was up to a Bruins team that’s managed to score the first goal of the game for just the seventh time in 18 games this season. Given the real lack of depth on the roster for the B’s due to injuries, it’s vital to take an early lead and force the Kings, or any other opponent, to respect their game plan a little bit more armed with an early lead.    

 

HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie McAvoy was a beast for the Bruins while topping 27 minutes of ice time, scoring the game’s first goal in the first period and not depriving himself of any of the physical play over the 60-minute course of the game. It was McAvoy that took the puck in a win on an offensive zone face-off, and darted straight to the front of the net where he was able to lift a backhanded a shot past Jonathan Quick for the early goal. It was his second goal of the season, and his first score since lighting the lamp on opening night vs. Nashville. Above and beyond that McAvoy had a goal and a plus-1 rating in 27:53 of ice time, and filled out the dirty work portion of his job description with four blocked shots and four registered hits to go along with his skill contributions. 

 

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the alarming number of giveaways for Zdeno Chara in the win while also registering the game-winning goal in the second period amongst his 26:53 of ice time on the second night of a back-to-back game.  Chara was obviously far from perfect, but he was digging deep for the win. 

 

QUOTE TO NOTE: “No passengers. I think everybody pulled on the rope today. A lot of guys blocked shots and took hits to make plays, and that’s what it took.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN on what the difference was in Thursday night’s win over the LA Kings. 

Bruins snap four-game losing streak with 2-1 win over Kings

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Bruins snap four-game losing streak with 2-1 win over Kings

LOS ANGELES -- The Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings were two teams going in the wrong direction, the losses suddenly piling up for both of them.

Something had to change when they met Thursday night and it did for the Bruins, who made Zdeno Chara's tiebreaking goal in the second period stand up for a 2-1 victory over the Kings.

"Our guys were sick of losing," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said after his team snapped a four-game skid.

The Kings, however, continued their unexpected spiral. After starting the season 11-2-2 for the best record in the Western Conference, they have dropped four in a row.

"We're going to have to dig down," coach John Stevens said. "You can't have part of your lineup going. You need your whole lineup going if you're going to win. It doesn't matter who you're playing."

The Kings won in Boston on Oct. 28 in the last second of overtime off a faceoff. This time, the Bruins returned the favor.

Patrice Bergeron won a faceoff for Boston in the first period and the puck went to Charlie McAvoy, who skated across the crease and lifted a backhand over the shoulder of goalie Jonathan Quick.

"I thought we played a much more complete game," McAvoy said. "We really wanted to get a win. It's been a while. We put together a complete 60 minutes."

Los Angeles tied it 1-all at 4:33 of the second on a power play. Jussi Jokinen found Drew Doughty open in the middle and the defenseman flicked in his fourth of the season.

Boston regained the lead at 13:16 when Chara fired a slap shot from outside the lower part of the circle that deflected off the stick of Los Angeles' Trevor Lewis a few feet in front of the net. The puck nicked the back of Quick's jersey and went in for Chara's second goal this season.

"I'm real happy with the way we played," Chara said. "We battled and deserved to win."

But the Bruins still had to hang on to preserve the victory, with almost 27 minutes yet to play.

"It's been an issue for us, closing out games," Cassidy said. "We did it well, comfortable. We didn't look scrambly. We didn't look like we lost our composure or poise."

The Kings never got another puck past backup goalie Anton Khudobin, who stopped 27 shots and improved to 4-0-2.

Quick made 28 saves for Los Angeles.

"You had that sense we did not want to let it go," Chara said. "You had that feel on the bench."

The Kings aren't sure what to feel after getting off to such an impressive start and now suddenly reeling.

"I don't think we're playing a 60-minute game," Anze Kopitar said. "Parts of the games, we play like we need to be, where we're in their zone making plays, creating chances.

"And in parts of the games, we're just pretty much non-existent out there. That's got to change. We have to have a better effort from everybody for a full game."

NOTES: Boston center David Krejci returned after missing 11 games with an upper-body injury. He played 18 minutes. "I felt pretty good for my first game back," Krejci said. . Kopitar assisted on Doughty's goal, extending his point streak to a career-best nine games. . The Kings had one four-game losing streak all last season. . The Bruins earned their second road win of the season.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Head to San Jose to play the Sharks on Saturday.

Kings: Stay home Saturday to host the Florida Panthers.

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