Bruins

Talking Points from Bruins' 5-4 loss to Canadiens: Offside call the turning point

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Talking Points from Bruins' 5-4 loss to Canadiens: Offside call the turning point

GOLD STAR: Victor Mete was a solid, solid player for the Habs in this one. He opened the scoring in the first period with a nice shot off a deflected puck in front of the Boston net, and then he closed out the second period with a goal that featured bodies flying all around Tuukka Rask in the crease. The goals were Mete’s second and third of the season, and acted as the cherry on top of the sundae on a night when he finished with five shots on net and seven shot attempts in 20:53 of ice time to go along with three blocked shots. Mete was strong at both ends of the ice for Montreal and is part of a Canadiens back end that’s helped the Habs step up their offensive attack this season.

BLACK EYE: Tuukka Rask was not good in this one. It was his worst game of the year as he allowed all five goals on 31 shots and simply missed with his glove on the final Ben Chiarot shot from the face-off circle that he got a clear look at. He was similarly beaten in the first period for a pair of goals within 31 seconds of each other after David Pastrnak scored to tie up the game, and got sucked into some contact in front of the net at the end of the second period instead of battling to try and stop a Victor Mete goal as well. For a guy that’s been pretty much invincible this season between the pipes, Rask finally showed cracks and did it as the well-rested guy behind a team that battled their way to a comeback over Pittsburgh 24 hours earlier. Rask simply didn’t give the B’s a chance to win in Montreal.

TURNING POINT: The turning point was very clearly the third period when Zach Senyshyn fed Charlie Coyle for a goal that would have put the Bruins ahead 5-4 in the third period, and would have finally given them a foothold in a game they were chasing all night. Instead, Coyle was perhaps offside depending upon the interpretation of the rule and it took three minutes for the officials to decide whether or not to overturn the play. Once the goal was taken off the board, the Habs got one more soft goal past Tuukka Rask and that was all it took for the Canadiens to hold on in the third period at a raucous Bell Centre. Afterward, the Bruins were understandably miffed about a questionable challenge review costing them an important divisional game, but then again they also allowed five goals. So they didn’t exactly deserve to win either.

HONORABLE MENTION: Anders Bjork had a hell of a night for the Bruins. He scored his second goal of the season, was in the middle of the third period score that got overturned and led the Bruins with six shots on net in the game. He also a plus-3 in just 12:07 of ice time and was part of a third line with Charlie Coyle and Zach Senyshyn that Bruce Cassidy said was his best line all night in the Tuesday night showdown with the Habs. That is very good news for Bjork as he’d seemed to quiet down a little bit in the last couple of games, and it was natural to wonder if he was regressing a little after an adrenaline-filled start to his stint in Boston. Nope. He played with speed and aggressiveness and scored his goal by getting his nose dirty around the net for a rebound goal. That’s something he was not doing in the last two seasons when he was in Boston.

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 – the number of goals in 15 games this season for David Pastrnak, the fastest a Bruins player has gotten to the 15-goal mark since Peter McNab did it for the B’s way back in 1976-77.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The rule was specifically put in place for egregious [examples]. They were over there for 3 minutes. You think 'What's the purpose of this rule?' Either you find something or you don't...3 minutes. So now you're looking for something to be offsides.” –Bruce Cassidy, not a fan of the coach’s challenge for being offside that overturned a Charlie Coyle goal in the third period that ended up being the difference in the game.

WATCH: Controversial offsides call erases Coyle goal>>>

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Patrice Bergeron set to return to Bruins lineup after missing seven games

Patrice Bergeron set to return to Bruins lineup after missing seven games

With the Bruins appearing a little out of focus in the last few games, they will get one of their important leaders back for Monday night’s road game with Patrice Bergeron returning against the Ottawa Senators.

Bergeron has missed the previous seven games while working back from a lower body injury that’s forced him to miss nine of the Bruins' last 11 games, and over the last week, he slowly ramped up to his return to his rightful place this morning centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Bergeron has eight goals and 24 points in 21 games this season while centering two of the top scorers in the league, and is obviously still one of the top two-way centers in the NHL at 34 years old. But amazingly the Bruins went an impressive 6-1-2 in the nine games that Bergeron has missed with injuries as of late, and they pulled off a number of third-period comebacks without their No. 1 center.

That being said, the Bruins have forced Bruce Cassidy to mix and match the lines as of late as Pastrnak’s offensive binge has slowed down and the offense has scored just 13 goals in the last six games while missing a key part of their top line and top power play unit.

Bergeron should help all of these things upon his return while allowing David Krejci and Charlie Coyle to slot into their normal spots in the lineup. But it will be interesting to watch how fully Bergeron has healed up his lower body injury, and whether or not it’s something that might continue to dog him like the chronic groin issues he’s battled over the last few years.

With Bergeron set to make his return, here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings against the Ottawa Senators based on Monday’s morning skate:

PROJECTED LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk David Krejci Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork Charlie Coyle Brett Ritchie
Joakim Nordstrom Sean Kuraly Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug Brandon Carlo
John Moore Matt Grzelcyk

STARTING GOALIE

Tuukka Rask

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Extra defenseman Steven Kampfer placed on waivers by the Bruins

Extra defenseman Steven Kampfer placed on waivers by the Bruins

With the return of John Moore to good health and a general lack of tight focus to the team recently, the confluence of events pushed the Bruins to make a move ahead of a four-game road trip next week.

The Bruins announced that they have waived veteran defenseman Steve Kampfer at noontime on Sunday for the purpose of sending him down to the AHL. It was clear the B’s were going to opt for the 31-year-old Kampfer rather than Connor Clifton, who just a couple of weeks ago passed the 60 NHL games played barrier that would also require waivers for him to be sent down to the AHL.

There’s a far greater chance that a team would put a claim in on the 24-year-old Clifton, who has two goals and a plus-5 rating in 24 games for the Black and Gold this season.

The final straw for Kampfer was the healthy return of Moore, who missed the first 28 games of the season coming back from shoulder surgery. But Moore has played in back-to-back games for the Bruins and collected an assist in Saturday night’s 4-1 loss to the Avalanche while showing that he’s all the way back from an injury suffered during last spring’s playoff run.

Kampfer has played in just four games for the Bruins this season as their seventh defenseman after putting up three goals and six points in 35 games as their spare D-man last season. While there’s a chance that a team could put a claim in on Kampfer, the likelihood given his age and experience level is that he’ll head to Providence to stay sharp for when another round of injuries inevitably hit the Bruins on the back end.

There’s also no question that a player being put on waivers that’s been with the Bruins for the last couple of seasons might be enough to also shake the complacency out of a B’s group that’s been sleepwalking against opponents over the last couple of weeks. They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, of course, but they have needed a handful of third period comebacks after making slow starts the norm as of late.

There’s also the chance that the Bruins need the cap savings associated with Kampfer’s $800,000 cap hit after Moore’s $2.75 million cap figure was added back onto Boston’s books once he got healthy earlier this week.

Hagg Bag Mailbag: Any worries about the B's? Let's hear 'em>>>

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