Bruins lose McAvoy to lower body injury, hope it's not serious

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Bruins lose McAvoy to lower body injury, hope it's not serious

BOSTON – The Bruins have to be hoping for the best when it comes to 20-year-old defenseman Charlie McAvoy. 

The rookie D-man was done for the night after just 37 seconds of ice time in the first period of Boston’s comeback 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden, and left with a lower body injury that wasn’t specified after the game was over. It was difficult to tell what exactly happened with McAvoy when he was on the ice as he skated awkwardly by the boards, and then was tripped up by some stick-work from Brendan Gallagher right afterward. 


At that point McAvoy skated off the ice to the dressing room, and the Bruins were essentially forced to play with five defensemen for the entirety of the game. Afterward Bruce Cassidy didn’t have an update on McAvoy’s condition, but was hopeful that it wasn’t going to be a serious injury for his dynamic top-pairing defenseman. 

“Lower body. [He] obviously didn’t return. Tomorrow is a scheduled day off, so everyone will be off and Monday we will have a better idea of where he’s at,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Did he get his foot caught up with the other guy, or is it something maybe before that? I don’t have a good answer to that, to be honest.”

“It won’t be too hard to find out because he was out there for 37 seconds, so by the time we go through it [we should see it]. Hopefully it’s not serious. It didn’t look serious at the time, but I don’t really know.”

The Bruins ended up with a massive 50 shots on net for the game, but only began finishing on goals in the final three minutes of regulation, and then again for the game-winner in overtime. The B’s, minus McAvoy, had some difficulty moving the puck and setting things up offensively, and ended up playing Torey Krug much more on the power play without their dynamic rookie D-man. 

“Clearly we had some issues moving the puck out of our zone. Charlie is a transporter; he’s a mover, passer and all of the above. Offensive zone, he can create some space and get some shots through, and make some plays,” said Cassidy. “Then it wears on you from the opening shift defending. That’s 23 minutes a night that you’ve got to now have to parse out over for the full 59 minutes through five guys. “So I think some of our pinches were a little bit late because maybe we were fatigued, and that allowed a few more odd-man rushes than we would like. But for the most part, it’s that puck-moving, first pass that we missed [with McAvoy’s injury].”

It will be a lot more that is missed if the lower body injury turns out to be of a more serious nature for a rookie defenseman that’s been a game-changer for the Black and Gold. In fact the Bruins’ Cup aspirations would be in jeopardy if the McAvoy turned out to be anything that was potentially season-ending. There’s absolutely no indication of that right now, of course, and the best case scenario for McAvoy and the Bruins is that it’s a tweak that will plenty of time to be fully healed ahead of next month’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

That’s what the Bruins have to be hoping for after already losing Bergeron earlier this week to a fractured right foot that’s already starting to take a toll on the team’s goal-scoring abilities.


Bruins resiliency on full display in third-period comeback vs Stars

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Bruins resiliency on full display in third-period comeback vs Stars

GOLD STAR: Every once in a while Brad Marchand wills the Bruins to a win that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise had, and that happened again on Friday night with a three-point explosion for No. 63 in the final 20 minutes. Marchand finished with a goal and three points in 19:57 of ice time along with a plus-2 rating, and played a key role in the three-goal outburst that allowed the B’s to vanquish a 2-0 deficit. It was Marchand that opted not to shoot from the face-off dot with a look at the net in the closing seconds, and instead dropped it down low to David Pastrnak as he curled around the net and pushed a puck past Kari Lehtonen for the game-winner. Marchand finished with two shots on net, eight total shot attempts and a number of big plays in the third period redirecting pucks in close, kicking off shorthanded scoring plays and then setting up clutch game-winners in the final 15 seconds of the game. It’s the kind of night where Marchand played like an MVP even if he isn’t going to get much of a sniff at the Hart Trophy. 

BLACK EYE: Jamie Benn scored a shorthanded goal for the Dallas Stars, but he also jumped up in the air and clobbered Brad Marchand from behind with a completely unnecessary hit in the third period that went without a penalty being called. Instead it seemed to incense Marchand, who never gave up in the final sequence and ultimately fed a pass to David Pastrnak down low for the game-winner with just 11.1 seconds remaining in the game. Benn finished a minus-2 for Dallas while being on the ice for a pair of goals against, had a brutal 1-for-7 performance in the face-off dot and really acted like a punk on the play with Marchand in the third period. Benn is a better player than that and shouldn’t be resorting that level on a fellow star player like Marchand. 

TURNING POINT: Once again the Bruins really turned things around in the third period while outscoring the Stars by a 3-0 margin, and really flooding the Dallas net with 10 of their 36 shots on net for the night. It all started with a relentless shift from Boston’s top line where Riley Nash made a pass from his knees before taking a big hit, and then Brad Marchand redirected a David Pastrnak shot from the slot off his leg and into the net for Boston’s first goal. That first score finally allowed the Bruins to begin building some momentum, score each of the next two goals as the game slipped away from Dallas and once again proved themselves as a hockey club that one doesn’t ever doubt in the third period. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask had a career-high 40 saves and turned away some really good looks from the Dallas offense while showing exactly what the Bruins can be capable of when their goaltending is on point. The only goals that beat Rask were a first period score with droves of traffic in front of the net, and a second period shorthanded score for Jamie Benn where he pulled one of those unconventional finishing moves on Rask at the very end. Rask made 11 saves on the Dallas power play alone during a trio of PP chances, and made a crucial leg pad save on Antoine Roussel in the third period that helped open things up for the goal-scoring outburst late in the game. Hopefully the strong, resounding performance from Rask answers some of the questions about some of his recent so-so performances between the pipes.   

BY THE NUMBERS: 29 – the number of goals this season for David Pastrnak as he readies to become only the ninth Bruins player to hit the 30-goal plateau in back-to-back seasons over the last 35 years of franchise history. 

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Resiliency. We didn’t want to go quietly for sure. We can live with the end result as long as we play the right way. The end result went our way again in the end, and I think that’s a credit to the guys.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN about another comeback win for the Black and Gold.

Pastrnak scores with 12 seconds left to lift Bruins over Stars, 3-2

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Pastrnak scores with 12 seconds left to lift Bruins over Stars, 3-2

DALLAS - David Pastrnak broke a tie with 12 seconds left and the Boston Bruins scored three straight goals in the third period to rally past the fading Dallas Stars 3-2 on Friday night.

A scramble followed a faceoff in the Dallas end, and Brad Marchand passed to Pastrnak in front. While falling down, he put the puck past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.

TALKING POINTS: B's resiliency on full display vs Stars

Tuukka Rask made a season-high 40 saves for the Bruins. Marchand scored Boston's first goal and also assisted on a short-handed goal by Tim Schaller that tied it midway through the third period.

The second-place Bruins won for the first time in three games (1-0-2) to move within four points of Atlantic Division leader Tampa Bay. Boston has already clinched a playoff berth.

The Stars are winless in their last seven games (0-5-2). They remained four points behind Colorado for the second Western Conference wild card.

Dallas led 2-0 on a first-period goal by Esa Lindell and Jamie Benn's short-handed score late in the second.

In the third, Marchand tipped in a shot by Pastrnak before Schaller scored on a 2-on-1 with Marchand.

Lehtonen finished with 33 saves.

Lindell scored 2:26 into the game. Jason Dickinson tried to deflect a shot from the right point into the net but the puck went wide right. Curtis McKenzie picked it up behind the goal line and passed to Lindell high in the left faceoff circle. His wrist shot went in off Rask's right arm.

Benn missed two good scoring opportunities early in the second period, but connected at 19:22. He took a pass from Tyler Seguin at the Dallas blue line and had a breakaway when Matt Grzelcyk fell down. Benn slid a backhand under Rask.