Bruins

Beleskey brings energy to a Bruins team in need of it

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Beleskey brings energy to a Bruins team in need of it

BRIGHTON, Mass – It wasn’t a hat trick or a dominant performance at the offensive end of the ice, but Matt Beleskey showed he’s still got some fight to his game when given a chance. 

Beleskey finished with a strong three shots on net and a couple of hits in the Bruins' 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild Monday night at TD Garden, but it was the rugged way he posted those stats that mattered the most to the Black and Gold.

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Beleskey brought energy from his very first shift and gave a nice boost to the Bruins after they jumped on the Wild with the early lead. Beleskey and Matthew Dumba looked like they were going to drop the gloves and square off after the veteran Bruins winger started a little static with the big-bodied D-man, but instead rookie Luke Kunin stepped in to fight Beleskey at the last minute. Beleskey dropped Kunin with a couple of big right hands, and then waved his hands up in the air to get the home crowd going as he skated to the penalty box with a big grin on his face.

The sequence allowed the Bruins to keep powering through with the momentum they’d built after a strong start and it gave the Beleskey the hard-nosed, blue-collar impact he’s been looking to make as a bottom-six winger this season.

“I’m definitely feeling better out there. Skating better. It’s confidence and it’s building, so that’s what I’m trying to do,” said Beleskey. “Just keep working, stick to the process and hopefully, you know, hopefully, start getting a couple bounces, but I think when I’m playing defensively sound it’s easier for Butch [Bruce Cassidy] to keep me on the ice.

“You’ve got to have some fun. It’s fun here in the Garden. They get loud, so you know, you

get into the game, and if I can get people out of their seats that’s a good thing.”

Beleskey, 29, doesn’t have any points yet and any kind of offensive breakthrough hasn’t arrived for him nine games into the season. Still, Beleskey is at least flexing some muscle and playing with a little tough-guy swagger with David Backes out of the lineup. Those qualities can’t ever be ignored into a Bruins uniform as long as he can continue to keep up with the ever-increasing speed of the game.

“Matt did a good job all around the ice. He was really solid defensively, you know he’s getting pucks behind [the Minnesota] defenseman and he’s another guy that had missed some games so he wants to prove that he belongs in there every night,” said Bruce Cassidy. “That’s a great attitude for those guys instead of worrying about other stuff, they just went out when their number was called and played and played hard.

“So. good job for Matt [Beleskey] and that’s something that he can do for us. He has that ability, when the abrasive play starts, he can answer the bell.”

Beleskey answered the bell against Minnesota for an undermanned Bruins and the hope is that he can keep right on doing it for the Black and Gold after a very disappointing season last year. 

Bergeron walks out of ACC wearing a protective right boot

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Bergeron walks out of ACC wearing a protective right boot

TORONTO – Patrice Bergeron led all forwards in ice time in Saturday night’s loss to the Maple Leafs and played the final 90 plus seconds in the 4-3 defeat, but the 32-year-old center was spotted walking out of the Air Canada Centre with a protective boot on his right foot.

It certainly wasn't a fashion statement as many Bruins fans are probably hoping postgame, but instead it appears that No. 37 suffered some level of right foot injury after the hard-fought loss to the Leafs. 

Bergeron walked out of the arena under his own power with the boot on his right foot, and there was no update from the Bruins on his condition as it wasn’t known until after team availability was over for the night. It appeared that Bergeron was hit in the leg with a puck during the second period that caused him some discomfort, but No. 37 still finished 19:15 of ice time, a couple of assists, a plus-2 rating, six shot attempts and won 15-of-22 face-offs.

So it didn’t appear to hamper Bergeron’s game against the Leafs as he was his typically excellent two-way self, but there’s also the possibility that the possible injury didn’t really swell up on him until after he removed his skates postgame. It will be telling to see if Bergeron is good to go on Sunday as the Bruins are playing less than 24 hours later in a 5 p.m. start against the Sabres at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

The Black and Gold currently don’t have an extra forward on the road trip with them as they’re carrying an unwieldy nine defensemen with the addition of Nick Holden to a group that was already eight defensemen strong. So the Bruins would need to either play with seven D-men against the Sabres or call somebody up from the P-Bruins if Bergeron’s right boot is anything more than a precautionary measure after a tough game.  

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Bruins lose 4-3 heartbreaker to Leafs

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Bruins lose 4-3 heartbreaker to Leafs

TORONTO – In a tight game all the way through, the Bruins ended up falling a little short in their parting game with the Leafs before the playoffs.

Ron Hainsey scored in the final couple of minutes in the third period on a long distance shot from the point where it appeared that Zach Hyman interfered with Tuukka Rask in front of the net. But the refs overruled the goalie interference challenge from the B’s, and the Maple Leafs came away with a 4-3 win at the Air Canada Centre.

The Leafs took three of four games against the B’s in the regular season series, and won all three without the services of Auston Matthews.  

The Bruins and Leafs traded goals through the first couple of periods in true back-and-forth fashion between the Atlantic Division rivals. Brad Marchand got the B’s on the board first when he sniped one past Frederik Andersen while left all alone in the high slot with all day to shoot, and then a minute later Mitch Marner scorched one past Tuukka Rask from the left face-off circle.

It was Toronto that got a quick lead on the Bruins later in the first when Kadri popped home an open PP chance after a nifty tipped JVR pass from the net-front, and then the Bruins responded again less than five minutes later. It was Marchand again this time in tight close to the net with a filthy finish under the bar after a slick backhanded dish from David Pastrnak below the goal line.

Jake DeBrusk put the Bruins out on top again in the second period when he out-skated JVR to the front of the Toronto net to redirect a Ryan Spooner pass beyond Andersen for his 12thgoal of the season. Once again the Maple Leafs power play got the equalizer in the final minute of the second period when Kadri rocketed home a shot from the high slot after playing give-and-go with Marner at the top of the PP formation.

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