Anton Khudobin

Talking Points: Chara involved in both the good and bad vs. Blackhawks

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Talking Points: Chara involved in both the good and bad vs. Blackhawks

GOLD STAR: This just in. Patrick Kane is still pretty damn good. Kane scored the game-winner on the power play after getting set up at the top of the face-off circle and he snapped a wrist shot off the inside of the far post past Anton Khudobin. That third period PP strike with less than three minutes remaining really drove a stake into the Bruins, and ushered in the B’s loss that snapped a six-game winning streak. Kane finished with a goal and two points in 21:44 of ice time, had five shots on net and seven shot attempts and was his usual dangerous self for the Blackhawks. It was a big contrast to Saturday at TD Garden when Kane was mostly held down with the Bruins taking turns throwing big hits at the small-bodied, skilled winger. Kane won the battle on Sunday, and consequently so did the Blackhawks.

BLACK EYE: Zdeno Chara scored the only goal for the Bruins, but he was also right at the heart of the plays that lose the game for Boston at the very end. Chara took a four minute high-sticking call when he nailed John Hayden around the Boston net, and then watched as Patrick Kane scored the game-winner during the ensuing four minute power play for the Blackhawks. When Chara was finally allowed out of the box he skated to the bench with the Blackhawks enjoying full possession in the Bruins zone, and Brent Seabrook was able to score on a wide open shot right at the spot where Chara had hopped onto the bench with his back turned to the play. It was a read that Chara had to make immediately, and he made the wrong one going to the bench with the Bruins running around in their own end. That gave the Blackhawks their insurance score, and essentially sunk the Bruins in a game where they never held a lead. On the plus side, Chara only played 18:54 of ice time in an afternoon that couldn’t have been too, too taxing.

TURNING POINT: It was the third period for the Bruins where they usually come through and actually tied things up with a legit chance to get at least a point, but then the Chara high-sticking penalty in the final minutes doomed them. It was Jonathan Toews vs. Tim Schaller in the offensive zone draw for the Blackhawks on the PP, and that set them up to get exactly what they wanted with Kane at the top of the left circle ready to snap away with traffic in front of the net. Once the Bruins were in that position it was going to take a miracle for them to get out of with something positive from the game, and this time around it just didn’t happen. This was truly a case of “you can’t win them all”, however, given that they were missing Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes and Brad Marchand (upper body injury and a final hour scratch) from the lineup.

HONORABLE MENTION: The other half of the Blackhawks’ dynamic duo also enjoyed a day with many of the big names out of the Boston lineup, and there was no doubt it had something to do with a three-point game from Jonathan Toews. He won 16-of-21 face-offs with no Patrice Bergeron opposing him on the other end of the face-off dot, and it was Toews that cleanly won the draw in the offensive zone on the PP just ahead of Patrick Kane’s game-winning goal. It was the seventh time this season that Toews has won at least 70 percent of his draws. In all Toews finished with the three assists, a shot on net, a takeaway and face-off dominance in his 21:23 of ice time, and had a nice flashback effort with Kane on Sunday afternoon.

BY THE NUMBERS: 9-2-1 – the Bruins record in the third game of stretches where they’ve played three games in four days this season, as they dropped only their third of those games in that situation in Chicago on Sunday.

QUOTE TO NOTE:  “Playing with 11 forwards, a little challenge for the coach to keep the guys fresh… We were in it. We were in it till the end. Maybe not as many chances at either end as [on Saturday] but I thought it was a decent game.” –David Krejci, to reporters in Chicago following the 3-1 loss to the Blackhawks.


Rask returns for B's after missing two games

File photo

Rask returns for B's after missing two games

BOSTON – More bodies will be missing for the Bruins tonight, so more changes will be coming to the lineup.

The most significant is probably Tuukka Rask returning between the pipes against the Philadelphia Flyers after sitting for the past two games. The respite has Rask on track for roughly 58 starts, which is exactly where they wanted their No. 1 goalie to be when they targeted a range of  55-60 games when the season began.

The short refresher this week should be exactly what the doctor ordered for both Rask’s “minor lower body injury”, and the .888 save percentage that Boston’s No. 1 goalie has posted in his past six appearances. 

“He’s in tonight and he’s ready to go. With Tuukka we’ve always talked about trying to define the number of starts he gets to be within an actual number we’ve used of 58 [games] give or take a couple,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I think we’re on target to not be over that. A couple of injuries and [Anton Khudobin’s] strong play have contributed to that. But we will monitor it down the stretch, and makes sure he gets enough work too. A little less maybe than other years, but will be on [Rask] talking to us about how he feels as much as anything. It’s also obviously the urgency of the points down the stretch here as we get closer to April.”

The Bruins are already without Patrice Bergeron (broken foot) and Charlies McAvoy (knee), but there’s also David Backes beginning his three-game suspension for a late hit on the Detroit Red Wings' Frans Nielsen and Tommy Wingels getting inserted back into the lineup as the third-line center after playing mostly wing since his arrival at the trade deadline.

On the back end, the Bruins will be sitting Nick Holden after he put together a couple of strong games and Adam McQuaid is back in after the veteran defenseman had been a healthy scratch the past week. McQuaid exited morning skate early Thursday after taking a puck to the face, but the expectation was that he’d still be good to go against the Flyers with perhaps a little more snarl to his game than usual.

Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings based on the morning skate:










Another overtime goal from Marchand lifts Bruins to victory

Another overtime goal from Marchand lifts Bruins to victory

BOSTON – Brad Marchand truly is the king of overtime. 

He capped off an offensive slugfest by scoring his third goal of the game in overtime to lead the Bruins to a 6-5 overtime win, and give him sole possession of the all-time franchise record with his 11th OT game-winner of his career. Marchand finished with three goals and five points, and now has a ridiculous 66 points in 51 games this season. 

The Bruins got things off with a bang scoring a pair of goals in the first minute of the game, and that kicked off a goal-scoring party for both sides throughout the game.

Torey Krug scored on a bomb from the point to open things up offensively, and Jake DeBrusk followed 15 seconds later with a goal that deflected in off a Detroit defender in front of Red Wings goalie Jared Coreau. Detroit responded with an offensive outburst of its own, however, as Frans Nielsen and Mike Green scored to tie things up by the mid-point of the first period.

Krug gave the Bruins a lead at the first intermission when he scored his second of the game after crashing backdoor on the power play, and snapping home a pass from Brad Marchand. Brad Marchand extended the lead in the second period when got a return favor from Krug on a slick pass from the high point on another PP goal. 

That Marchand goal actually kicked off a stretch in the second period where Marchand Red Wings youngster Anthony Mantha started alternating goals, and ended the second period with the Bruins holding a slim 5-4 lead. It didn’t last too long, unfortunately, as Martin Frk scored midway through the third period after his slot shot deflected off a diving David Krejci and then past Khudobin for the game-tying strike.