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Tuukka Rask shines in overtime loss for the Bruins

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Tuukka Rask shines in overtime loss for the Bruins

Here are some talking points from the Bruins' 1-0 overtime loss to the Stars on Friday night. . .

GOLD STAR: Give Tuukka Rask credit, he was excellent in his first game back between the pipes after taking a personal leave of absence last weekend. Rask looked a little rusty early in the game when he needed Torey Krug to shovel a puck off the goal line after it squirted past him, but he made 36 saves in all and had things scoreless into overtime with an injury-plagued blueline corps for the B’s. The only puck that got past him was a 2-on-1 in overtime with just Matt Grzelcyk back as the lone line of defense for the Black and Gold. He even made the first couple of saves in that sequence before Jason Dickinson finally poked a loose puck past him. If Rask can heat up and have one of his trademark November months the rest of the way, that will put the B’s in some really good shape with their goaltending situation at a time when their defense is very injury-challenged.

BLACK EYE: As much as you like Brad Marchand’s spirit and the way he constantly fights and scraps his way to great performances much of the time, he can’t keep taking 10-minute misconducts while taking issue with the on-ice officials. Marchand took a slashing penalty after just tapping Ben Bishop in the leg with his stick while alone in front of the net on the fore-check. Bishop winced and play-acted his way into drawing a penalty from the ref, Trevor Hanson, on the far end of the play, and that part was unfortunate. It should have been two minutes for slashing and two minutes for embellishment in matching calls, or it should have been nothing at all.  Instead Marchand was whistled for the slashing minor, and then was slapped with a 10-minute misconduct for his behavior in the penalty box while clearly unhappy with the call. It’s the second time this season that has happened to him, and that’s two times too many. Especially with the B’s missing so many players to injuries right now, they can’t afford to be missing Marchand for 10 minutes because of that kind of stuff.

TURNING POINT: It felt pretty evident that the Bruins were happy just getting to overtime and getting the point with the banged up, undermanned crew. Because they were outshot by Dallas by a 6-0 margin in the overtime session and eventually lost when Matt Grzelcyk was caught in a 2-on-1 and Jason Dickinson eventually tapped in a third effort shot after Tuukka Rask had contained the first couple of shots on the Boston net. Although it was a little disappointing for the Bruins to end up on the losing end of the overtime decision, give the B’s full credit for keeping it a low-scoring game and getting a point while missing so many of their D-men with injuries right now.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tyler Seguin didn’t score and he didn’t really factor into the win/loss ultimate decision of the game, but he also had himself a pretty darn good game against his old team. Seguin finished with five shots on net, nine shot attempts and a surprising five hits in 22 minutes of ice time while getting involved in a lot of what was going on in all three zones. He even won 11-of-16 face-offs while the Stars took full advantage of a banged up Patrice Bergeron, who stopped taking draws in the second period once he returned to the ice from an apparent upper-body injury. If Seguin played the way he did on Friday night a little more consistently, the Dallas Stars would be an even better team than they are right now.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the first career NHL games for both Connor Clifton and Jakub Zboril on Friday night against Dallas with so many injuries on Boston’s back end, and Clifton even got in his first NHL fight dropping the gloves with Jason Spezza in the third period.  

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the video review guys nail him for a 10 one of these times.” --Bruce Cassidy to NESN, as he clearly wasn’t happy with one of the linesmen slapping Brad Marchand with a 10-minute misconduct in the second period after he showed his displeasure with a phantom slashing call. 

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Julian Edelman has dinner with David Pastrnak, Sean Kuraly, Charlie McAvoy

Julian Edelman has dinner with David Pastrnak, Sean Kuraly, Charlie McAvoy

It looks like Julian Edelman is enjoying his offseason by hanging out with a few of his friends from the black and gold. 

David Pastrnak, Sean Kuraly, and Charlie McAvoy joined Edelman for dinner at Monica's Trattoria in the North End before their matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.

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Oh, and did we mention some members of the Golden Knights were there ahead of their Tuesday night clash with the Bruins? Talk about a popular restaurant.

It's always nice to see members of the Boston teams intermingle, especially when it brings guys like Edelman and Pastrnak together. We just have one question, though... did Pastrnak order the pasta?

Haggerty: These blown leads are concerning

 

Positive news for Kevan Miller as he skates on his own for first time

Positive news for Kevan Miller as he skates on his own for first time

The Bruins got some encouraging health news this week as injured B’s defenseman Kevan Miller was able to skate on his own for 15 minutes Sunday at Warrior Ice Arena while the rest of the team was in Pittsburgh.

The 32-year-old Miller has been out all season while trying to return from two different kneecap injuries suffered last season that kept him out of the entire postseason and limited him to just three games since the beginning of March. Miller underwent a procedure to assist in the healing process last month when he underwent a setback while trying to return earlier this season, so Sunday’s twirl was his first chance to get back on the ice and skate.

For a player that hasn’t played in almost a year now like Miller, any news is good news.

“That’s step one,” said Bruce Cassidy. “That’s a positive.”

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Certainly, it’s good news, but it’s also the very beginning of a recovery process that Miller has already experienced setbacks to a couple of times. Given the normal timetable for players just returning to the ice from an injury, it would be at least 7-10 days before Miller would be anywhere close to returning to game action.

The Bruins will have their All-Star break and bye week over the next 10 days, so it would be at least a few weeks before Miller would be ready to return barring the kind of setbacks that have plagued him since suffering the kneecap injuries.

It remains very much an uphill battle for the rugged D-man in the last year of his contract with the Bruins, but he’s also a tough-minded player that the B’s have absolutely missed during last year’s playoff run and this season. Some of the perceived ability to push these Bruins players around on the ice is because they don’t have the hardnosed 6-foot-2, 210-pound Miller out there to protect his teammates.

Given Zdeno Chara’s age and Charlie McAvoy’s inconsistency this season, Brandon Carlo has ably carried a very heavy load for the Bruins as a big-bodied shutdown defenseman that’s playing big minutes and in all situations for the Black and Gold. Adding Miller to the Bruins group would Carlo some company in the tough guy category and would also limit the amount of ice time they have to give to John Moore, who has been inconsistent for the Black and Gold since returning from shoulder surgery last month.

Haggerty: B's blown leads are concerning