Bruins

Bergeron notches hat trick as Bruins defeat Islanders, 5-2

bruins_islanders.jpg

Bergeron notches hat trick as Bruins defeat Islanders, 5-2

NEW YORK -- A day after going without a shot on goal, Patrice Bergeron regained his scoring touch for the rolling Boston Bruins.

Bergeron scored three goals Thursday night for his second hat trick in less than two weeks, leading Boston to a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders that gave the Bruins at least a point for the 15th consecutive game.

Brad Marchand had a goal and two assists as Boston improved to 11-0-4 since its last regulation loss Dec. 14 against Washington - its best stretch since going 15-0-1 from March 2-30, 2014.

Bergeron had at least three goals in a game for the third time in his career and just 12 days after a four-goal performance at home against Carolina. He hadn't scored since that five-point night, but had four assists in four games, including two in a win at home against Montreal on Wednesday night.

"Last game was one of those nights where I was trying to find my wingers," the 32-year-old center said. "Tonight I was getting the looks again and I was trying to take them."

With 19 goals in 39 games this season, Bergeron is on pace to eclipse his career high of 32 set two season ago.

"I feel like I'm shooting just as much, maybe I get some better looks and Brad is finding me a little bit more in the slot," Bergeron said. "Puck goes in sometimes and sometimes it doesn't, and right now it is so I'm going to try to keep shooting and keep trying to find the back of the net."

Ryan Spooner had a goal and an assist, and Anton Khudobin stopped 22 shots as the Bruins improved to 20-3-4 since Nov. 15 and pulled within five points of first-place Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division.

Jordan Eberle and John Tavares scored for New York, which has dropped seven of 10 - with each of the losses coming in regulation. Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves.

Bergeron completed the hat trick when he took a pass from Marchand, spun and fired from the left circle at 3:45 of the third period.

"When he's playing the way he is right now, it's fun to watch," Marchand said. "It's fun to be on the ice with him."

Tavares' 25th pulled the Islanders within two with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining. Marchand capped the scoring with his 20th, an empty-netter with just over a minute to go.

Boston took control with two goals in the second period and sealed it with two more in the third.

Spooner put Boston ahead 2-1 near the midpoint of the second. Off a faceoff in the Islanders' zone to Halak's left, Spooner backhanded the puck past the goalie for his seventh at 9:47.

Just 15 seconds after New York's Anders Lee was sent off for tripping, Bergeron got the puck on the right side after Torey Krug's shot went off Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech's leg and beat Halak with 6:11 left in the middle period. Krug got his 200th career point on the play.

"They got a break on the second goal," New York coach Doug Weight said. "The (power-play goal) slapped us in the face and we got away from our game. We got frustrated in the third (period)."

Eberle gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead 7:35 into the game when he beat Khudobin for his 15th. Mathew Barzal got his 32nd assist and 48th point on the play - both tops among all NHL rookies.

The Bruins tied it with 6:19 left in the first when Bergeron fired it past Halak from the inside edge of the right circle.

NOTES: Barzal has eight assists and 11 points in the last five games. ... Islanders F Josh Bailey, headed to his first All-Star game, returned to the lineup after missing four games with a lower-body injury. He had an assist on Tavares' goal. ... The Bruins swept the three-game season series, also winning 3-1 at home on Dec. 9 and 5-1 in New York on Jan. 2. ... Boston has won seven straight on the Islanders' home ice since a 3-1 loss at Nassau Coliseum on Nov. 2, 2013. That includes five visits to Barclays Center, the Islanders' home since the start of the 2015-16 season. ... Bergeron has nine goals and 14 points in his last eight games. ... Marchand, the Bruins' leader in goals, assists and points, has five goals and nine assists in his last seven games.

UP NEXT

Bruins: At Montreal on Saturday to wrap a two-game trip.

Islanders: At Chicago on Saturday to open a three-game road trip heading into the All-Star break.

For the Bruins, watching Olympic hockey "stings a bit"

germany_hockey_olympics.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Photo

For the Bruins, watching Olympic hockey "stings a bit"

TORONTO – It’s no secret that NHL players weren’t happy about being barred from participating in the Winter Olympics wrapping up in South Korea this week. 

Instead the NHL continued their regular season with business as usual while skipping the Olympics for the first time since 1998, and college hockey players, minor league players and players already playing overseas in Europe were utilized to comprise the teams for the US, Canada and others participating in the Olympic Men’s Hockey tournament. 

MORE BRUINS

The lack of NHL participation has made for a wide open tournament at this month’s Olympics, and led to the major upset of Canada actually losing to Germany on Friday in a match to play for the gold medal game this weekend. That was bad news for former Bruins forward Chris Kelly as the captain of Team Canada at the tail end of his hockey career, but great news for fellow former B’s forward Marco Sturm as the head coach of Team Germany. 

Naturally one couldn’t help but wonder what was going through the minds of players like Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, who certainly would have both been on Team Canada, watching Hockey Canada fall short of the gold medal game. 

“Obviously you cheer for your country and that’s what we were all doing. I got up early to catch a little of the game,” said Bergeron. “It’s too bad. I thought Germany played a really good game, and there’s a part of me that’s very happy for Marco [Sturm] since he’s a friend of mine. We played together for a long time.

“It was tough. You wanted to be out there and you wanted to be able to compete. It’s too bad that we didn’t have a say in it. That’s probably the biggest thing for me. That’s my biggest disappointment that we had no say in being a part of it. It was different. The last two Olympics I was in it, and now being able to watch it on TV it’s actually been a lot of fun to be able to watch different events at any time of the day.”

MORE BRUINS

While Bergeron has his two gold medals from each of the past two Olympic Games to go along with his memories, Marchand might have missed his one chance to be a part of Team Canada at the Olympics during the peak of his hockey career. Coming off last season’s stunning performance from Team Canada at the World Cup, Marchand would have been close to an automatic for the Olympic roster, but instead it’s an experience he may have simply missed the boat on given that he’ll be 33 years old the next time around. 

“Obviously you get over it, but it was more about it being an opportunity lost, I think,” said Marchand. “It was a potential opportunity lost, but it allows other guys to have opportunities. I couldn’t be any happier that a guy like Chris Kelly gets to be there. It’s a huge opportunity. A lost opportunity for us is a huge opportunity for other guys…but it would have been nice to be there and be a part of it. It’s the biggest stage in the world.  

“The biggest reason it stings is that I never thought I would even be potentially be looked at for a team like that. With how things have played out the last couple of years, I might have been able to crack that [Olympic] lineup. So I think it stings a little more for that reason…to have the rug pulled out from under you for no reason. It does sting a bit, but that’s how it goes.”

That stinging feeling from the league pulling out of the Olympics will no doubt be revisited the next time the NHL and NHLPA go to the bargaining table for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. But that’s a different story for a different day as the first Winter Olympics without NHL players in 20 years finally goes into the books this weekend.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

boston-bruins-jake-debrusk-100617.jpg
File Photo

DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

TORONTO – Jake DeBrusk has heard about the trade rumors. Heck, the 21-year-old has actually been traded before in his hockey career as he was dealt in junior hockey from Swift Current to the Red Deer Rebels in his final season. It’s a little different, however, when DeBrusk hears his name involved in trade rumors with New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, and reports indicate that DeBrusk is a name that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton wants included in any deal. 

MORE BRUINS

It makes perfect sense with DeBrusk off to a strong start to his NHL career with 11 goals and 29 points in 54 games while playing a top-6 role next to David Krejci, and just scratching the surface of how good he can be with the Bruins. Brandon Carlo has likewise been mentioned prominently as well as a young NHL player being sought after in trade talks. 

But the bottom line for all the Bruins youngsters is that they don’t want to go anywhere, and are doing their best to block everything out while preparing to go out and do their best. 

“I got traded in junior, so I know a little bit about it…but it’s a little different when it’s the magnitude of the NHL,” said DeBrusk. “We’re just focusing on getting wins, and doing everything I can do to help the team win. At the same you’re keeping an eye out and looking [at the rumors] secretly. But it is what it is. You can’t control it. You can only control your play, and do anything I can to help the team win now. You can only take it day by day. 

“I love being with these guys and we’re a pretty tight group. So whatever happens is going to happen, but at the same time whoever is on the ice we’ll go to battle with them.”

MORE BRUINS

Clearly DeBrusk wants to stick with the team that selected him 14th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, and the Bruins would do well to keep a talented, likable and bright youngster that could be a meaningful member of the organization for a long, long time. But he’s also drawing whatever positive that he can out of the situation, and the biggest one is that other NHL teams are clearly taking notice of what he’s done this season as a rookie. 

Being the primary name mentioned in a deal for a player like the captain of the New York Rangers means you must be doing a lot of things right. 

“When you’re a rookie with your name being thrown around and the other guy has some pretty high stature in the league, it’s a compliment. But I don’t look too much into it,” said DeBrusk. “I love being a Bruin. I just want to continue to get better, continue to improve and I’ve got lots of room to grow. I’m just taking it shift-by-shift.”

That’s a smart kid with a good answer as he focuses on his game on the ice, and learns on the job to navigate through his first NHL experience that’s now included being at the heart of a juicy trade rumor for the Black and Gold.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE