Bruins

Noel Acciari excited to return home, face Bruins as member of Panthers

Noel Acciari excited to return home, face Bruins as member of Panthers

Noel Acciari will return to TD Garden Tuesday night as a member of the Florida Panthers, and the Johnston, R.I. native is pretty excited. 

"I'm excited to be here. A different side, but still excited to be back. Expecting a really good game," Acciari said, according to BostonBruins.com's Eric Russo. "We'll see what happens. There's still a couple more things for me to go over to see if I can play, but if I can, it's gonna be very exciting. It will be fun for me. It will be different, that's for sure.

"Boston and New England is what I knew, but I had a great opportunity here in Florida. I thought it was the best opportunity for me and my family. I thought it was the next step in my career and I'm happy with my choice."

The grinder has missed the past three games for the Panthers with a lower-body injury, and head coach Joel Quenneville is looking forward to getting the gritty 27-year-old back in the lineup.

"He's been a real good fit for us right from the outset," Quenneville said, according to FloridaPanthers.com's Jameson Olive. "He's a real good pro. He does everything you'd expect or want. He came from a real good organization, as far as doing things the right way."

And what exactly does Acciari do right? Quenneville detailed why the fourth-liner has been so reliable for his squad. 

"He's technically sound and has that responsibility and takes pride in being a defensive-type of guy," Quenneville said. "He takes a lot of D-zone faceoffs, kills penalties and blocks shots. He has scored some key goals for us as well. I think the priority for him and for us is to get those [tough] assignments."

Acciari isn't the only former Bruin returning to Boston Tuesday. Frank Vatrano, also a New England native, will take the ice in his third season with the Panthers. Brett Connolly, who spent 2014-16 with Boston, also will suit up. 

The B's will be looking to snap a three-game skid by grabbing two points at the Garden against a new-look Panthers squad. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

 

Talking Points: Krejci, DeBrusk answer the bell in Bruins' win over Panhters

bruins.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Talking Points: Krejci, DeBrusk answer the bell in Bruins' win over Panhters

Here are my talking points from tonight's 4-2 Bruins win in South Florida . . .

GOLD STAR: David Krejci didn’t have a single point during the five-game losing streak. But on Saturday night he stepped up and, lo and behold, the Bruins took home two points. It was Krejci helped kick-start the transition game for Jake DeBrusk’s goal in the first period, and then scored one of his own in the second on a strike from the top of the faceoff circle. Krejci finished with a goal and two points and a plus-2 rating in 16:20 of ice time. He also had five shot attempts and won 9-of-14 faceoffs in a game where the second line providence plenty of offense and pressure. Bruce Cassidy slipped Charlie Coyle up to second-line right wing with Krejci and DeBrusk at the outset of the game, and it seemed to work well for the Black and Gold.

See the highlights from Boston's 4-2 win>>>

BLACK EYE: Jonathan Huberdeau is having a very good season for the Panthers, but he wasn’t able to bring out his “A” game for Florida against the Bruins. Huberdeau didn’t get a single shot on net in the 21:25 of ice time that he played. He finished with three giveaways and a minus-1 against the Bruins. He was part of the line set to contain the Krejci line, but instead allowed them to march right up the ice on DeBrusk’s first period scoring play. Huberdeau was also on ice in the third, when Florida coach Joel Quenneville pulled the goalie with more than two minutes to go, only for David Pastrnak to quickly notch an empty-netter that sealed the game. Not a good night for a very good player.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins weathered the storm in the third when the Panthers came hard after them and carved out a couple of goals to cut the lead to 3-2. Considering that the Bruins blew a 4-0 third period lead against the Panthers at home just a month ago, there was certainly some nervous, anxious moments, with the Bruins looking like they’d blow a three-goal lead in the third period this time. But the B’s stiffened after Jaro Halak gave up a soft goal on a Keith Yandle point shot to make it a one-goal game. They didn’t allow Florida to take advantage of any other breakdowns. Instead the B’s hung in there, patiently waiting until the Florida net opened up the winning scoring chance for them.

A NJ Devil be heading to Boston. It might not be Taylor Hall>>>

HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk was at the heart of some of the criticism from Bruce Cassidy after the loss in Tampa when the second and third lines weren’t getting much of anything done. DeBrusk was also one of the players that responded in a big way this weekend by scoring the game’s first goal, a pretty nifty dangle through Florida defenders before beating Sergei Bobrovsky in tight close to the net. DeBrusk also fed David Krejci for his second period goal, finishing with five shot attempts and a couple blocked shots in 15:38 of ice time while posting a plus-2 rating. Perhaps just as important, DeBrusk was winning 50/50 battles for the puck and playing a competitive brand of hockey rather than doing fly-bys in a lot of areas while hunting the puck. If DeBrusk played with the same kind of speed, skill and tenacity on more nights, he’d be a difference-maker for the Bruins more often.

BY THE NUMBERS: 28 – The number of goals for David Pastrnak after collecting two scores against the Panthers, and putting himself in a position where he’s easily going to have 30 goals before the Christmas break.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I thought we did a really good job. Every line played well. We moved some guys around, but right up and down the lineup all 12 forwards, 6 [defensemen] and Jaroslav Halak were all really good.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN when asked his assessment of the win that snapped the longest B’s losing streak (five games) since he took over as head coach.  

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Highlights: B's snap losing skid vs. Panthers

jake_debrusk_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Highlights: B's snap losing skid vs. Panthers

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 4, Panthers 2

IN BRIEF: Oh not, not this again? After the Bruins’ epic third-period collapse in their last meeting with Florida, they nearly repeated themselves after going up 3-0 after two periods. Keith Yandle’s goal with 11 minutes left made it 3-2, Boston fought off the Panthers long enough for David Pastrnak to get an empty-netter that sealed it. And so, after coach Bruce Cassidy called out their attention to details earlier in the week, the Bruins snapped their losing skid with a solid all-around effort.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 21-7-6 (48 points, 1st in Atlantic Division)

HIGHLIGHTS

DEBRUSK’S 100TH CAREER POINT IS A BEAUTY

KREJCI MAKES IT 2-0

PERFECTION LINE MAKES IT LOOK EASY

UP NEXT:

vs. Los Angeles, Tuesday, 7 p.m., NESN

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.