Final, Bruins 5-3: Tyler Seguin scores his first goal of the season, and it’s of the empty-net variety. That should do it.
Things got real weird after the play, though, as the mild-mannered Patrice Bergeron was fighting mad over something with Jeff Skinner.
The Bruins were playing with fire there for a while, after coughing up the two-goal lead. But they once again deserve credit for sticking to the plan and coming up with plays when they needed them. They needed it big time in the third, and the first line stepped up and did first line kind of things.
We’ll have more on this game in a bit.
Third period, 18:10, Bruins 4-3: The Bruins’ first line continues to produce at a high level, and this time it’s with a little help from the kid.
The B’s take the 4-3 lead late in the game when Hamilton makes a beautiful pass to find David Krejci for the go-ahead goal. It was the exclamation point on a fantastic shift from the first line that opened up a couple of opportunities with Krejci eventually scoring the potential game-winner.
Third period, 14:14, 3-3: The Bruins have upped their pressure in the Carolina end, but Cam Ward has picked his game up late and he’s not giving the Bruins anything.
The B’s have done a much better job moving the puck from zone to zone in the third, which has allowed them to slow down the Hurricanes. However, Boston is one poor decision from springing the Canes, so it’s imperative that they stay strong and smart with the puck in the game’s final minutes.
Third period, 12:17, 3-3: The Bruins looked to be in good position as the Hurricanes iced it late in a shift.
With the Carolina bench locked, Claude Julien had his choice of which line to put on the ice against a tired Canes line, and he opted to send out the fourth line.
The fourth line has been pretty good this season and Julien loves to use all four of his lines at pretty much any point, but it’s a little odd to see the fourth line sent out there in that situation.
Third period, 8:27, 3-3: Once again, the Bruins are able to kill off the penalty. Boston is now 23-for-23 on the PK.
Carolina couldn’t even muster a shot on that power play.
Third period, 6:23, 3-3: The Bruins’ power play was looking fairly sharp with some good puck movement, but the man-advantage comes to an abrupt end when Chris Bourque gets his stick tangled up in some skates and gets called for tripping.
Third period, 4:43, 3-3: The B’s go on the power play when Jay Harrison is called for hooking.
This would be a good time for Boston to turn in another solid power play.
Third period, 3:16, 3-3: The Bruins get a chance when Daniel Paille, at the end of a long shift, makes a nifty tip to Dougie Hamilton, but the rookie defenseman’s wrist shot goes right into Cam Ward’s gut.
Third period, 0:23, 3-3: The third period is under way.
Second period reaction: If the Bruins end up losing this game, they’ll only have themselves to blame, thanks to a couple of lapses late in the second period.
The B’s had all the momentum in the world after a beautiful goal from Nathan Horton, but they got sloppy in their own end, and the Hurricanes were more than willing to make them pay.
Shawn Thornton had some issues in his own zone and into the neutral zone that led directly to Jeff Skinner’s goal, and then Chris Kelly made a bad decision to try and move the puck up the ice and out of his own zone that led to a turnover that set up Eric Staal’s goal.
Boston has allowed 24 shots through the first two periods, and they could easily see themselves trailing. Anton Khudobin made some nice saves in the second period, though, to make sure it’s a 3-3 game heading into the third.
Other than that, it was nice to see Horton score a goal scorer’s goal there to push the lead to two before everything else started to fall apart.
It goes without saying that the B’s will need to be much better to open the third, especially considering the fact that Carolina will likely come out inspired after a strong finish to the second.
End second period, 3-3: That’s not the way the Bruins wanted to end the second period, not by a long shot.
Boston was about as sloppy as you’ll ever see them, and it costed them dearly.
First it was Shawn Thornton who got muscled off the puck just outside his own zone that helped set up Jeff Skinner’s’ goal. Then a poor decision from Chris Kelly led to a costly turnover in setting up the Eric Staal goal.
We’ll have some more reaction in a few.
Second period, 18:45, 3-3: Not only was the Bruins’ two-goal lead short-lived, they just lost the lead completely.
First it was Jeff Skinner who scored a gorgeous goal. Just 50 seconds later, the B’s got sloppy in their own end, and Eric Staal made them pay in a big way. The forward took a pass from Alexander Semin and beat Anton Khudobin five-hole to tie things up. Not a good sequence of events at all for the Bruins, who are now on their heels.
Second period, 15:52, Bruins 3-1: Nathan Horton is healthy, and that’s great news for the Bruins.
The forward’s individual effort just gave the B’s a two-goal lead. Horton carried the puck through the neutral zone and around just about every red sweater before walking in on Cam Ward and beating the goalie with a wicked wrist shot to the top left corner of the net just under the bar. It was a beauty to say the least.
Second period, 14:30, Bruins 2-1: Not a ton to report from the last couple of minutes, but the pace has really picked up in this game in the second period.
The Hurricanes have the speed advantage, so you have to think they like this pace. Regardless, it makes for a very entertaining game, which this one certainly has been so far.
Second period, 12:00, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins kill off the Johnson penalty, and they use the momentum on the ensuing couple of shifts.
They almost made it a 3-1 game when Johnson took a slap shot that went wide to Cam Ward’s left. The puck bounced off the endboards directly to Milan Lucic, but the big forward couldn’t control it enough, instead sending the puck through the crease behind Ward.
Second period, 8:52, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins’ penalty kill has obviously been really good this season, and maybe it’s because they’ve gotten so many chances to use it.
They’ll get another one here in the second with Aaron Johnson being called for cross-checking.
Second period, 5:09, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins kill off both penalties, thanks in large part to Anton Khudobin who made a few big save on the PK.
Jamie McBain makes a bad turnover in the neutral zone and Rich Peverley tried to make it hurt, but Cam Ward makes a point-blank save on the B’s forward.
Second period, 2:48, Bruins 2-1: A suspect hooking call on Patrice Bergeron gives Carolina 16 seconds of 5-on-3.
Second period, 1:04, Bruins 2-1: The Hurricanes come out firing in the second period, but Anton Khudobin makes a couple more good leg saves.
However, the Bruins get caught in a bad change and they’re called for two many man on the ice.
First period reaction: Arguably the Bruins’ best start of the year gives the B’s a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
Boston came out firing on all cylinders and once again used the penalty kill to build momentum. This time it wasn’t a tide-turning kill, but it was a shorthanded goal by Brad Marchand that got things going. The B’s came back a few minutes later and scored the rare power-play goal when Zdeno Chara scored with a wrist shot from the blue line. Great puck movement set that up, and Milan Lucic did a terrific job of getting in Cam Ward’s line of sight. The Carolina goalie had no chance of seeing the puck, let alone stopping it. It all started with the puck movement, though, as the Bruins moved it from side to side with ease, pinning the Hurricanes back on their heels.
Give credit to the Canes, though. Tim Gleason got his club going by trading some big punches with Lucic, and it paid off a few minutes later. Jamie McBain does a nice job of getting to the net and Eric Staal rewards him for it with a nice pass into the slot. Carolina actually brought it pretty good for a while there, too, but Anton Khudobin used a couple of pad saves to keep the B’s lead intact.
I’m getting the feeling that the Boston power play won’t be the only drought that gets snapped in this one. Tyler Seguin looks poised to finally break through and find the back of the net. He was flying early on in the first and had a couple of scoring chances before getting another chance on a power play. If he doesn’t find his scoring touch, maybe it will be the Boston third line. They’ve been kept quiet so far, but they had a very nice shift late in the fist that might get things going for that line.
End of first period, Bruins 2-1: The first period comes to an end with the Bruins putting some good pressure on the Canes.
Zdeno Chara had himself a first period with a pair of points and made a bid for a third, by jumping into the offensive zone and unloading a slap shot, but that was stopped by Cam Ward.
We’ll be back in a few minutes with some analysis.
First period, 14:50, Bruins 2-1: The Gleason-Lucic fight may have done just the trick for the Hurricanes, who just cut the Boston lead in half.
Jamie McBain gets the Canes back in the game after he works a little give-and-go with Eric Staal. McBain took the puck atop the offensive zone and passed it to Staal on the right wall. McBain went right to the slot from there where Staal found him with a slap pass that McBain deflected by Anton Khudobin.
First period, 14:00 Bruins 2-0: The Bruins remain perfect on the penalty kill after they kill off a Brad Marchand hooking penalty.
First period, 11:05, Bruins 2-0: There’s a lot going on in the early going down in Carolina, and we can add a fight to that.
Milan Lucic continues to play his physical brand of hockey, answering the bell against Carolina’s Tim Gleason in front of the penalty box.
It was a good bout, a long one at that, that was pretty even, despite Lucic’s late efforts to score the win.
Carolina is hoping that will turn things around after a sluggish start.
First period, 6:14, Bruins 2-0: Claude Julien said Sunday that he saw good things out of the Bruins’ power play, and that while the results weren’t there, they would be fine.
Apparently he was onto something.
Just a few minutes after scoring a shorthanded goal, the Boston power play got in on the fun. This time it was Zdeno Chara, who was pretty much uncontested at the blue line, who was able to fire a shot from the point by Cam Ward. There was plenty of good puck movement from the B’s, and just as importantly, net-front traffic. This time it came from Milan Lucic, who has done as good a job as anyone on the B’s roster in that department this season.
First period, 5:00, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins get their first chance on the power play. Let’s see what they can do with it.
First period, 3:16, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins’ power play has had issues, but the penalty kill has been fantastic. They took that to another level in the first period against Carolina.
Boston just finished killing off the penalty, and they have a goal to show for it as well. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron did a tremendous job of putting pressure on the Canes in the Carolina zone. That allowed Zdeno Chara to jump into the play at the left point. Chara put a shot on net that Bergeron was able to corral the rebound of before passing it back to Chara. The defenseman then did a tremendous job of finding Marchand in the right faceoff circle, and the B’s forward slammed home a one-timer by Cam Ward.
The bullet gets the Bruins the early lead.
First period, 1:40, 0-0: The Bruins waste no time going down a man, as Anton Khudobin gets the team shorthanded early on.
He was called for a delay of game penalty, putting the B’s perfect PK to work.
6:59 p.m.: We’re just moments away from getting going down in Raleigh. One thing to keep in mind as this one gets going.
The Carolina penalty kill has been “Ehhh” at best this season, having allowed five power-play goals. Maybe that’s something that can help flip the switch on the Boston power play.
6:44 p.m.: Some other work (this), a late dinner (pancakes covered in peanut butter, thanks for asking) and some snowy weather mean we’ll go without a skate around the NHL for this one.
Let’s take a quick look at the Hurricanes instead then, OK?
The Canes are 2-2 as we mentioned, and that comes on the heels of decimating the Sabres last week in a home-and-home.
Take a look at the stat sheet, and you won’t be surprised by the names you see atop of the points column.
The Staals — Eric and Jordan — already have four points apiece. So does Jeff Skinner, as the Hurricanes showcase some of the best forward depth in the game.
That depth took a boost this offseason when the Canes picked up former Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin. The 28-year-old has a goal and an assist so far.
Meanwhile, Cam Ward has looked a little shaky in net, having allowed at least three goals in each of his three starts. He looked a little better on Thursday in a winning effort, stopping 30 of 33 shots. He hasn’t played since then, so he’ll be rested and ready to go in this one.
6:36 p.m.: There was a chance, albeit a small one, that Dougie Hamilton would be sent back to juniors this season after five games.
That, of course, isn’t going to happen. The Bruins just announced that Hamilton will stay with the big club this season and moving forward. He’s an NHLer now.
6:30 p.m.: One quick programming note: Bruins pregame coverage just began on NESN. Be sure to check that out as Dale Arnold and Billy Jaffe are on showing off the new NESN set. Spoiler alert: It looks good.
4:30 p.m.: The Hurricanes will be down a defenseman on Monday night, with Justin Faulk out of the Carolina lineup. He’s got an upper-body injury.
That obviously favors the Bruins, and when it comes to playing the Canes, they need all the help they can get. Boston struggled mightily with Carolina last year, losing all four matchups with the artists formerly known as the Hartford Whalers. The B’s were outscored 14-5 in those games, too.
One of those games was at least pretty interesting for Bruins fans. When the two teams met in Boston on Oct. 18, the two teams combined for 80 penalty minutes. Highlights can be found right here.
With Khudobin starting, it looks like we won’t get to see Tuukka Rask challenge Cam Ward to a fight again.
4:15 p.m.: It’s time to get to a couple of links.
Here’s a little something on the Bruins’ power play. It has not been very good whatsoever, and despite that, Claude Julien is asking for patience.
Anton Khudobin will start tonight. Here’s a look back (in video form) at his start against Ottawa last April. It was a true gem.
2 p.m.: Like we said, this is a busy week for the Bruins, which means we’ll get to see Anton Khudobin. We’ll see the young goaltender make his first start of the season on Monday night in Carolina.
Khudobin was the first goalie off the ice at morning skate Monday, which indicates he’s likely be in goal for the Bruins.
It will mark only the eighth NHL appearance of the 26-year-old’s career, and it will be his second in a Bruins uniform.
Khudobin was incredibly impressive in his lone start with the B’s last year, stopping 45 shots in a win over the Senators late in the season.
8 a.m. ET: The Bruins got a mini-vacation this weekend, with two days off, a rarity in an action-packed schedule. That ends abruptly Monday when the B’s open a busy week.
Boston heads to Carolina on Monday night for the first of four games in a six-day stretch, taking on the Hurricanes. It’s the first of a back-to-back, as the B’s return home Tuesday to take on the Devils.
But first they’ll have to take on a Canes team that is coming off a two-day hiatus of its own. Carolina beat the Sabres on Friday, sweeping a home-and-home series with Buffalo. After being outscored 9-1 in their first two games, the Hurricanes bounced back to outscore the Sabres 9-4 in their two wins.
The Bruins will have to open their busy week without defenseman Adam McQuaid. McQuaid missed Sunday’s practice, and he won’t travel with the team to Carolina. He’ll miss action due to personal reasons. That means that journeyman blue liner Aaron Johnson will likely rejoin the mix. He saw time recently in the absence of Dennis Seidenberg, but Johnson was a scratch Friday when Seidenberg returned to the lineup.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday night.