Bruins

Highlights from Bruins' 3-1 win over the Ducks

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Highlights from Bruins' 3-1 win over the Ducks

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 3, Ducks 1

IN BRIEF: The Bruins earned their second straight win on Thursday night, defeating the Ducks 3-1. David Pastrnak, Torey Krug, and David Krejci all notched goals for the B's. Krug and David Backes earned their 200th and 300th career assists respectively, and Krejci racked up his 600th career point on his goal. BOX SCORE.

BRUINS RECORD: 17-12-4

FROM JOE HAGGERTY:

1. Four goals in the last seven games for Torey Krug, who continues to post big numbers and spur on the Boston offense with his recent hot streak. Once again he was a shooter on the power play while dropping to the face-off circle and smashing one into a basically open net after a couple of criss-cross passes opened up a seam for him. The Bruins offense really does grow by a dimension once Krug really gets into a playmaking and goal-producing hot streak, and that’s exactly where he’s at right now. It certainly comes at a time when the Bruins really need it too as the offense hasn’t been bountiful or plentiful against the Ducks tonight. The nine shot attempts make for a super active night for No. 47.

2. Twenty-two goals in 35 games for David Pastrnak after finishing off a one-timer chance earlier in the period as well. Could Pastrnak score 50 goals this season? It’s certainly possible as he continues to produce and get to the scoring areas where he’s going to do the most damage as he did against the Ducks earlier in the second period. With Patrice Bergeron coming back that’s also going to open up a lot of offensive chances for him as well once Boston’s super line gets back up and running at full strength, which could happen as early on Saturday afternoon.

3. Five straight shutout periods for Jaroslav Halak dating back to Monday night’s win over the Canadiens in Montreal. We’ll see if he can get to six, but he was good in the first period without being tested much at all. He did have a great, heads-up play on the penalty kill when a puck took a weird bounce toward him in the crease. He corralled the puck and then flicked it the length of the ice for a clear the B’s needed at the end of their penalty kill. Halak is definitely a player with his head in the game, which is a strength for a goalie in situations like that.

4. Five straight shutout periods for Jaroslav Halak dating back to Monday night’s win over the Canadiens in Montreal. He couldn’t get to six periods as he was touched up by a Josh Mahura goal in the third period, but he was good all three periods in the B’s win without being tested much at all. He did have a great, heads-up play on the penalty kill when a puck took a weird bounce toward him in the crease. He corralled the puck and then flicked it the length of the ice for a clear the B’s needed at the end of their penalty kill. Halak is definitely a player with his head in the game, which is a strength for a goalie in situations like that.

5. David Krejci scored a goal in the third period for the 600th point of his NHL career with the Black and Gold, and now has 5 goals and 11 points in eight games since getting slotted as the center between David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. The playmaking center has stepped in very ably to Patrice Bergeron’s spot and makes one wonder how he’s going to operate starting Saturday when No. 37 comes back into the B’s lineup. It also makes you wonder how much longer the B’s are going to go without making certain there are quality goal-scoring wingers on both sides of him after watching him play some of his best hockey over the last few weeks. 

HIGHLIGHTS

PASTRNAK STRIKES FIRST

On Pastrnak's goal, Torey Krug notched his 200th career assist to pass Mike O'Connell for most by a U.S.-born player in team history. David Backes earned his 300th career assist on the play.

STELLAR SAVE BY HALAK

KRUG MAKES IT 2-0

KREJCI SCORES, NOTCHES 600th CAREER POINT

Krejci's goal extended his point streak to eight games, and he became the 10th player in franchise history to record 600 career points with the B's.

UP NEXT:

Vs. Predators, Saturday, 1 p.m. (NESN)

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NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bruce Cassidy says Bruins need to be 'better defensively' to snap losing streak

Bruce Cassidy says Bruins need to be 'better defensively' to snap losing streak

TORONTO — The Bruins aren’t necessarily going to change anything with their offensive philosophies based on the major amount of injuries that have hit their roster over the last few weeks. But the influx of Providence players combined with the offensive firepower of Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk missing for the lineup has taken a toll on Boston’s goal-scoring capabilities, and that can hurt when the Bruins defense has allowed 15 goals (3.75 goals per game) over their current four-game losing stretch.

Certainly, that’s less of a problem with all of their offensive weapons healthy and operational, but it’s still something they were doing much better in October when it comes to defending and stopping pucks at the net.

It’s about fewer risky offensive chances for their defensemen trying to join the rush, and it’s about a better penalty kill after that special teams unit sprung a leak over the last week. That doesn’t mention the goaltending, but that could also stand to be much, much better with Rask starting vs. the Leafs and struggling through the month of November to this point.

“We just become less of a threat with that third line where it’s just ‘go out and check well and hopefully you get rewarded.’ We’ll see how [Trent Frederic] fits in there. We try not to change too much, but what we do need to do is be better defensively,” said Bruce Cassidy, who was acknowledging that the third line probably isn’t going to be a big offensive threat right now with Frederic, Par Lindholm and Danton Heinen filling it out. “We were for 40 minutes the other night [against Florida] until it completely fell apart. So that will be our goal tonight. We’re missing some guys that could typically help us at one end and so that’s our approach in that regard [on defense].”

Patrice Bergeron didn’t see it as a change of mindset for the B’s to get more conservative while missing their top-goal scorer behind the Perfection Line, and missing their top offensive defenseman in Krug. Instead it’s simply a return to the style of play that brought them tremendous success in the first month of the season, and what they did in allowing just 12 shots on net through the first 40 minutes against Florida before there were soft goals aplenty in the third period.

“It always comes back to playing the right way, having good defensive layers and a good forecheck. When you start moving forward and playing north/south, that’s when you get the most success and that’s when things open up to make the tougher plays,” said Bergeron. “Even when everybody is in the lineup, I think that is how we’re successful.

“We’ve been at our best when we don’t force things and let the play come to us, and have layers defensively. Then you can go back on the attack and do the damage. Obviously when you’re missing key guys it’s about everybody bringing it, being ready to play and our depth, and how important it is to rely on everybody in this locker room.”

Now would be the best time for the Bruins to snap back into place defensively as they travel to Toronto for a Friday night showdown with the rival Maple Leafs, and play more like the team that still ranks fourth in the NHL averaging just 2.50 goals per game allowed this season.

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Bobby Orr calls Don Cherry's firing 'disgraceful' says his former coach is 'not a racist'

Bobby Orr calls Don Cherry's firing 'disgraceful' says his former coach is 'not a racist'

Days later, the argument over Don Cherry’s comments on Hockey Night in Canada that sparked his dismissal is still going strong. Now, the NHL’s greatest player has weighed in. 

Bruins legend and Hall of Famer Bobby Orr stood up for Grapes when chatting with the Toronto Sun and WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" show in separate interviews Thursday and called his former coach's firing “disgusting” and “definitely unfair.”

Cherry was fired on Monday by Rogers Sportsnet in Canada after his comments over the weekend on his "Coach’s Corner" segment on "Hockey Night in Canada" when he went on a diatribe about people not buying poppies to support Canadian military veterans.

The former Bruins coach - Orr played for him in the 1974-75 and '75-76 seasons - didn’t just stop with a statement supporting the military, and regrettably segued into singling out immigrants to Canada as a group not supporting the military enough publicly. Cherry, 85, started it all off by saying “you people that come here” and that set off a firestorm of criticism in the US and Canada against the analyst who has been part of Hockey Night in Canada telecasts for almost 40 years.

Cherry said on the Nov. 9 telecast: “You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

Orr’s words carry a lot of weight in the hockey world in Boston, where he won a pair of Stanley Cups while revolutionizing the game, and all over Canada, where he’s still revered as the greatest hockey player of all time.

And he’s sticking by his buddy, nicknamed Grapes, which is admirable.

“He got fired on Remembrance Day. That is just wrong,” said Orr to the Sun. “The whole thing is unbelievable. Don Cherry is a good man and to do this to him is disgusting. I know what he was saying. We all know what he was saying. He was saying we should buy a poppy. All of us. You can take it any way you want, but he isn’t a bigot.

“Yes, he’s my friend. But I have known him a long time and I know he is not a bigot or a racist. He is the most honest and generous guy there is. He’s very good to the veterans, the police, the firefighters, minor hockey players and fans. They all know what he meant and I know what he meant.”

Orr told WEEI: "What they’ve done to him up there is disgraceful, it really is. It's a new world, I guess. Freedom of speech doesn't matter." He added that Cherry is "hurt, but he's going to be fine. He's getting some nice calls from his friends here in Boston. He is getting some wonderful support."

It’s still unknown exactly what awaits Cherry after his departure from Hockey Night in Canada, and it remains to be seen what Sportsnet will do to replace him with Brian Burke, Ray Ferraro and Mike Milbury mentioned as possible replacements for the bombastic analyst. 

While it was probably never going to matter when it comes to his ultimate fate with a corporate entity such as Rogers Sportsnet after Cherry's divisive, offensive language, it’s good to see that No. 4 still has Cherry’s back.

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