Bruins

Highlights from Bruins 5-4 OT victory over the Kings

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Highlights from Bruins 5-4 OT victory over the Kings

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 5, Kings 4 (OT)

IN BRIEF: Patrice Bergeron scored on a power play in overtime to give the Bruins a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in a Saturday matinee at TD Garden. After trailing 2-1 entering the third period, the Bruins scored three unanswered goals to take a 4-2 lead before L.A. came back to tie it a 4 and send it to OT.  BOX SCORE 

BRUINS RECORD: 30-17-8, 68 points, tied for third in the Atlantic Division with the Montreal Canadiens. 

HIGHLIGHTS:

BERGERON PREGAME TRIBUTE VIDEO:

AND THEN DOING BERGERON THINGS - FEEDING McAVOY TO PUT B'S ON BOARD:

THE OT WINNER:

FROM JOE HAGGERTY:

*The 10th career 20-goal season for Bergeron, who gets the top corner snipe in OT on the day he was honored with a great pregame tribute video and a roomful of gifts for playing in his 1,000th game earlier in the week. He is just too damn perfect. Perfect Patrice finished with a goal and three points along with a plus-3 rating, had a team-high seven shots on net and won 13-of-24 face-offs on his way to getting the First Star of the Game.

*Danton Heinen finished with a goal and an assist in 15:01 of ice time and continues to look like a much-improved player skating on the top line with Bergeron and Brad Marchand. It was Heinen that helped spearhead a third-period comeback when he shoveled the rebound of a Charlie McAvoy shot back into the net in the final 20 minutes to help the Bruins earn the OT win. Heinen also had a strong shift in the second period that eventually led to Bergeron feeding McAvoy for Boston’s first score of the game. It remains to be seen if he’s being showcased to raise his trade value or if this is just the spot where the B's think he can succeed, but Heinen is playing his best hockey of the season. 

*Good to see McAvoy picking up the offensive pace in this one. McAvoy cut to the net and finished off a great pass from Patrice Bergeron for Boston’s first goal and has three shots on net, five shot attempts and a couple of hits in 14:22 of ice time after the first two periods. Some of it might be about playing the guy he’s modeled his game after in LA defenseman Drew Doughty, but some of it is also about McAvoy perhaps starting to show a little more urgency in his game when it comes to creating offensively for a B’s team that desperately needs secondary offense. McAvoy also then picked up an assist on Danton Heinen’s goal in the third period as well when the Bruins staged their big comeback entering things own a goal.

*Great tribute video from the Bruins honoring Patrice Bergeron for his 1,000th game played prior to puck drop. Plenty of Bruins players past and present were shown testifying to how great Bergeron is as a person as well as Claude Julien calling No. 37 “the best two-way player I ever coached.” Of note were many Bruins players from the 2011 Stanley Cup team including Mark Recchi, Shawn Thornton, Chris Kelly, Adam McQuaid and Johnny Boychuk among others. David Ortiz, Julian Edelman and Paul Pierce all got into the act as well to congratulate one of Boston’s iconic athletes.

*The Bruins came in 1-14-2 when trailing after two periods this season. Wow, that is an indictment on how positively “meh” they’ve been in third periods, whether it’s coming back, or simply locking down leads entering the final 20 minutes. The blown leads have been an issue lately. Almost on cue the Bruins came back and scored three goals in the third to take a lead and then blew that lead later in prime third-period fashion. 

UP NEXT:

Vs. Avalanche, Sunday, 3 p.m. NESN
Vs. Blackhawks, Tuesday, 7 p.m., NESN

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Brad Marchand laments not 'being the guy that's a difference-maker' in Game 7

Brad Marchand laments not 'being the guy that's a difference-maker' in Game 7

BRIGHTON, Mass – It’s no secret to say that the Bruins best players were simply not that when it came to winning and losing time in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Not only was the Perfection Line, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, held off the scoreboard in the 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in the decisive game of the Cup Final, but a key mistake by Marchand led to the backbreaking goal. Marchand opted to head to the ice for a line change with 10 seconds left on the clock in the second period, and in doing so allowed the Blues an odd-man rush where Jaden Schwartz fed Alex Pietrangelo for the game-winning goal.

“The more you think about it, I think it just gets harder,” said Marchand. “You start to pick apart everything that you’d like to change. You start thinking about the ‘What ifs.’ It just makes it tough. This is going to hurt forever. You’re never going to get over it.

“There are a few things there [on the play]. A little more awareness to know there was only seven seconds left. I just would have been more aware of the guys coming up the ice because I thought [Jaden Schwartz] was all by himself. I thought the play was dead, but it obviously wasn’t. It was a bad read and I could have read the situation a little differently. That was the difference. One play can really change the outcome of a game. Unfortunately it was costly.”

So not only did the B’s top line not create any productive offense, but a glaring mistake proved to be the breaking point for the Black and Gold.

A couple of days later Marchand lamented the mistakes made in Game 7, and the inability to bring the same game to the postseason that allowed him to be a 100-point scorer during the regular season. Unfortunately for Marchand his Cup Final performance was about turnovers, bad decisions at both ends of the ice and an unwillingness at times to shoot the puck, and that’s not who No. 63 was for pretty much all of the regular season.  

“It’s definitely something you think about. Part of why we’re such a good group is that we all expect to be good in the big moments and we all expect to come through,” said Marchand, who had just a single 5-on-5 assist in the seven game series versus the Blues with two goals and five points overall to go along with a minus-2 rating. “I think personally I definitely have that thought where I would have liked to have been the guy that would be a difference-maker…be better in that situation. That’s how it plays out sometimes.”

Marchand admitted following the series that he was dealing with groin, oblique and hand injuries during the Stanley Cup Final, but it doesn’t sound like any of those things are going to require surgery. So there are no injury excuses here and instead Marchand and his linemates simply didn’t get it done against a big, strong and heavy St. Louis Blues defensemen core.

The question now becomes whether it was simply a bad stretch for Boston’s top line, or if there is a change that needs to come for Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak. It sure felt like by the end of the Cup Final that the trio simply didn’t have enough size and strength to get to the front of the net, and needed at least one member of their line that could win more battles with oversized D-men in the scoring areas.

The Bruins top line had the same issues with the big, strong Lightning defensemen corps a year ago as well, and a playbook is certainly there against Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak given the right kind of personnel on the back end.

That will be a story for the offseason for the Black and Gold, however. The story this week was about Boston’s best players not being able to get it done when it mattered most, and that most definitely includes Marchand. 

David Pastrnak knows he needs to toughen up>>>

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Zdeno Chara thanks fans on Instagram, says Bruins 'will be back'

Zdeno Chara thanks fans on Instagram, says Bruins 'will be back'

Zdeno Chara was one of the biggest stories of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final for the Boston Bruins. In Game 4, Chara suffered a broken jaw after taking a puck to the face. Despite that, he came back to play in Games 5-7 and did everything he could to help the Boston Bruins win.

Unfortunately, the Bruins couldn't come through. They dropped Game 7 of the Cup Final and the St. Louis Bruins became the NHL champions. It was a disappointing end to the season, but it certainly didn't take away from Chara's warrior-like performance that topped the Bruins' laundry list of injuries.

On Sunday, Chara took to Instagram to thank the Bruins fans for their support during the team's playoff run and ended the post with a strong message: "We will be back..."

View this post on Instagram

It’s been only few days, but I can still hear the overwhelming cheers and applause from our fans. I knew we had the best fans ,but I didn’t realized how special and remarkable you are till I stood in front of you before Game 5.It was an unbelievable experience to have your support. I couldn’t help to fight back tears, but so happy to respond to adversity and be there with my teammates. It was unbelievable feeling of pride and honor to be a Bostonian. We as Bruins fell short of our team goal, but we’re so grateful that we made you proud.This group of players and coaches are very special.I can’t say enough about how many times our team responded the right way to adversity and embrace the challenges. We believe in hard work.We treat each other equally and with respect.We trust each other and depend on each other, but mostly we love to play for this community. On behalf of all of the players and from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of our fans for your support and loyalty this year. We never could have made it this far without you. We will be back...

A post shared by Zdeno Chara (@zeechara33) on

This was a great gesture by the 42-year-old captain and long-time Bruin. It's no surprise that he acknowledged the fan support and in particular, the rousing applause he got before playing in Game 5 with the broken jaw. He truly loves the Boston and fans, and the feeling is mutual.

Chara will return to the Bruins for at least one more season in 2020. He signed a one-year, $2 million extension midway through last season and will try to help the Bruins go on another deep playoff run in 2020.

HAGGERTY: Don't fall in love with this Bruins team>>>

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