Bruins

Bruins drop second straight to Avalanche, 6-3

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Bruins drop second straight to Avalanche, 6-3

DENVER -- Alexander Kerfoot scored his first NHL goal with some part of his lower leg.

Doesn't really matter which part - a first goal is a first goal and it's a "great feeling," he said.

Kerfoot's goal and two more by Sven Andrighetto, the second an empty-netter with 1:34 remaining, helped the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-3 victory over the Boston Bruins in their home opener Wednesday night.

It was the second meeting between the teams in three days. The Avalanche beat the Bruins 4-0 in Boston on Monday.

Colorado broke things open in the second period, with Nail Yakupov, Andrighetto and Matt Duchene all beating goalie Tuukka Rask, who was replaced by Anton Khudobin for the third period.

Trailing 4-1 midway through the third, the Bruins made things interesting with goals from Tim Schaller and Torey Krug in a 1:27 span. Andrighetto and Tyson Jost responded with empty-net goals to seal it.

"Fun game," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I know our players had fun playing it. The crowd was fantastic."

In the second period, there was a scary scene for the Avalanche: Jost crawling toward the bench after taking a hit from Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid. Jost slid hard into the boards and McQuaid was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking.

Moments later, Andrighetto scored to make it 3-1. And when McQuaid stepped out of the box, Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov was there waiting to fight. They each landed several punches before being sent to the box.

Jost later returned to the game with his usual burst.

"It was just a dangerous play," Bednar said. "Fortunately, he's not hurt. To see him bounce back, our guys are pretty excited to see him come back out there."

Semyon Varlamov stopped 20 shots to help the Avalanche start on the right foot at the Pepsi Center. The team went a dismal 13-26-2 at home a season ago when it finished with an NHL-worst 48 points.

Yakupov had three goals in the two games against the Bruins. A former No. 1 overall draft pick, Yakupov is trying to resurrect his career in Colorado.

Brad Marchand also scored for Boston, which has dropped two of three to start the season.

"We didn't get anything going. We woke up a little too late, when it was 4-1," Rask said. "Very tough game."

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy seconded that sentiment.

"They were better than us again, the second time in three days," he said.

Kerfoot scored at 8:19 of the opening period when a pass from Tyson Barrie appeared to bank off his leg and bounce over Rask. The 23-year-old Kerfoot signed a two-year deal with Colorado after becoming a college free agent in August. He was a co-captain for Harvard last season.

"To get a goal is pretty special," Kerfoot said.

Duchene set up Kerfoot's goal with a feed out front to Barrie. Duchene has two goals and three assists this season as he tries to keep his focus on the ice with his name being mentioned in trade talks since last season.

"Same message I've preached all camp and all season so far - I'm just here to be the best I can be for this team," Duchene said after the morning skate.

Bednar will gladly take more of this from Duchene.

"I haven't thought about Matt's situation, his circumstances, whatever you want to call it, since we opened training camp, to be honest," Bednar said. "He's anchoring that line with Kerfoot and Yakupov, and they're good every night. As long as they stay competitive and keep working like that, that's all I care about."

NOTES: C Patrice Bergeron missed a third straight game with a lower-body injury. Bergeron's next one will be his 900th game with the Bruins. ... RW David Backesremains out with diverticulitis. ... Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon had two assists in the second period.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Play the second contest on a three-game trip in Arizona on Saturday.

Avalanche: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Friday before traveling to Dallas on Saturday.

Morning Skate: Want any cheese with that whine, Isles?

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Morning Skate: Want any cheese with that whine, Isles?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while trying to figure out when exactly I’m going to be able to go see the new Star Wars movie.

*The New York Islanders were crying in their beer over the fact that Brad Marchand side-stepped a suspension and claimed it was because John Tavares didn’t writhe around, kick and scream on the ice like a soccer player. The truth is the play wasn’t the kind of thing that’s going to injure a player under normal circumstances but was clearly a late, uncalled for hit. That’s why it got the five-minute major penalty and nothing more. Threatening to give an award-winning acting performance next time in order to try and get a suspension for an opposing player just sounds like crybaby soup from the Isles. Buckle the chin strap and get ready to play a contact sport next time, particularly if you’re Tavares, who was hacking at Charlie McAvoy’s legs with your stick like you’re Paul Bunyan chopping at a piece of wood. It works both ways, you know?

*The Winnipeg Jets continue to be one of the excellent, unsung stories of the NHL’s first half as they really take hold at the top of the Western Conference.

*Here’s a good piece on Jonathan Quick and what his good health has meant to a resurgent Los Angeles Kings team this season.

*Former Boston College standout goalie Thatcher Demko is way ahead of schedule in the Vancouver Canucks organization, but they’re not looking to rush him.

*Here’s a great video of a youngster playing the Star-Spangled Banner on the violin prior to a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. Well done, young lady!

*Pro Hockey Talk as the details of the Ducks and Red Wings getting into a fight on Monday night ahead of the Bruins traveling to Hockeytown for a Wednesday night showdown.

*For something completely different: A list of the 10 actors who could replace Ben Affleck as Batman now that DC has given up the charade that they’re not intending to replace him underneath the cowl.

 

Spooner travels with Bruins but questionable for Detroit

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Spooner travels with Bruins but questionable for Detroit

BRIGHTON, Mass – Ryan Spooner has practiced in each of the past two days, but his status is still in question for the back-to-back Bruins games against the Red Wings and Capitals over the next couple of days.

Spooner has missed the past couple of games with a lower-body injury after playing in the previous five contests following a month-long layoff with a groin injury. The current injury is believed to be similar in nature to the original groin problem and that’s the reason the Bruins are treating it cautiously as they approach Wednesday night’s game in Detroit.

MORE BRUINS:

“He’s practicing fully with the team, and the long and short of it is that he’s still day-to-day. We’ll decide [on Wednesday] but we just want to keep moving forward with him,” said Bruce Cassidy, who also mentioned that Kevan Miller was missing from practice to be with his wife for the birth of their child. “We’ve had a couple of stops and starts with him, so we’re going to manage it to the best of our ability so we’re moving forward [in his recovery]. He’ll travel with the team, and if we decide that he’s in the lineup [vs. the Red Wings] then Donnie [Sweeney] and I will talk about how that’s going to affect our roster.”

Spooner has played 10 games this season, with a goal and four points in the intermittent action. It’s too bad as Spooner has been pretty good when healthy and has played with speed and a higher level of competitiveness this season when he’s actually suited up.

The problem with Spooner’s return at this point, however, is that the Bruins have a third line of Danton Heinen, Riley Nash and David Backes that’s been gaining traction in recent days and had a monster game vs. Arizona last week. A return from injured reserve for Spooner would mean that the Bruins finally have to make a tough roster choice. Either put a player such as Frank Vatrano on waivers or send a young player such as Sean Kuraly down who deserves to stay based on his performance.

With Spooner’s status in question for the next two games, here are the line combos and D-pairings from Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena with Tuukka Rask set to get the start Wednesday night in Detroit:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Bjork

Heinen-Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Vatrano-Spooner-Beleskey

 
Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Postma

McQuaid

 
Rask

Khudobin