Bruins-Predators Live: Claude Julien Earns 400th Career Victory As B’s Cruise to 6-2 Win

Torey KrugFinal, Bruins 6-2: That’s it, and that’s all. The Bruins head into the Christmas break on the winning note, as Claude Julien picks up career win No. 400.

Third period, 15:54, Bruins 6-2: The Bruins were in trouble when they went down 3-2 early in the third. Now it looks like they’ll cruise to an easy win.

Reilly Smith just made a brilliant play out of the defensive zone by tipping a puck around Seth Jones before getting it into the neutral zone. Brad Marchand eventually caught up to Smith on a 2-on-1 and Smith, showing incredible patience, waited until the last second to give it to Marchand. The winger took it from there as he waited out the goalie and then put it under the bar to give the B’s a four-goal lead.

Third period, 15:00, Bruins 5-2: The Bruins are doing that thing where they don’t get too aggressive and they tighten up in all three zones, especially the neutral and defensive zones.

As a result, we haven’t had much action in the last few minutes, which is exactly what the B’s want.

Third period, 10:00, Bruins 5-2: Brad Marchand almost pushed the lead to four goals, but Marek Mazenec was able to make the save and bail out his defensemen after Marchand got behind them.

The Bruins haven’t been especially sharp in this one, but they are making the most of their chances, and it looks like that will be enough to hold on.

Third period, 5:50, Bruins 5-2: Ryan Spooner and his linemates are having one heckuva night.

Spooner just showed off his trademark speed by flying up the left wing with the puck. He eventually found Carl Soderberg as the Swedish forward barreled down the slot. Spooner put it right on Soderberg’s tape, and he finished teh power-play goal.

Third period, 5:01, Bruins 4-2: Jarome Iginla is starting to get hot.

He just made an incredible play on a David Krejci pass that was intended for Milan Lucic. Krejci looked off the D by looking toward the blue line before firing a pass through slot that Iginla tipped by the goalie to push the lead to two.

Third period, 4:44, Bruins 3-2: It’s going to be a 5-on-3 for the Bruins for quite some time.

Paul Gaustad was just called for cross-checking after dumping Torey Krug in the corner of the offensive zone.

Third period, 4:21, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins will get a chance to get one back on the power play. Nashville was just called for too many men on the ice.

Third period, 3:25, Bruins 3-2: The Predators are within a goal. 

Craig Smith just scored his second goal of the game when he was able to shoot a puck through traffic from the top of the slot. Nick Spaling made a nice play to find Smith out near the blue line, and he was able to get the puck on net and by Tuukka Rask to cut the lead to one.

Third period, 1:58, Bruins 3-1: It’s been an adventurous start to the third for the Bruins, and not in the good way.

The first line just got hemmed in its own zone with some effective play on the part of Mike Fisher and Gabriel Bourque. Both were able to get shots on Tuukka Rask from inside the hash marks, but the Bruins goalie was able to make the saves and preserve the two-goal lead — for now.

Third period, 0:01, Bruins 3-1: The third period is underway.

End second period, Bruins 3-1: The horn just sounded on the second period, and the Bruins will take the 3-1 lead back to the dressing room.

Second period, 19:01, Bruins 3-1: Paul Gaustad almost made it a one-goal game.

He was driving to the net when he was fed a centering pass that he tried to tip by Tuukka Rask. The Bruins goalie was able to go post to post and make the save, though.

Second period, 18:41, Bruins 3-1: Boston is starting to turn up the pressure late in the period.

David Krejci just carried the puck behind the Nashville net while holding off a defender before pushing a pass to Johnny Boychuk at the right point. The defenseman rocketed one at the net, but Marek Mazenec made the stick save deflecting the puck over the glass.

Second period, 13:00, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins almost made it 4-1, but Marek Mazenec made arguably his most impressive save since entering the game.

Patrice Bergeron did some hard work to get to the front of the net just in time to deflect a Carl Soderberg shot from the high right wing. Bergeron’s deflection was stopped by Mazenec, though.

He’s made 14 saves on 15 shots since coming in for Carter Hutton.

Second period, 11:35, Bruins 3-1: This one isn’t over just yet.

Craig Smith just scored a power-play goal to make this a 3-1 game. Smith was camped out in front of the net when Seth Jones uncorked a slap shot from the left point. Rask made the original save, but Smith was there to bang home the rebound to get Nashville on the board.

Second period, 9:43, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins are going to have to kill off another power play here.

Patrice Bergeron was called for hooking, and he’s gone for two.

Second period, 8:25, Bruins 3-0: We just saw Tuukka Rask’s finest saving of the evening.

Patric Hornqvist got behind the Boston defense through the neutral zone, and he was able to walk in all alone on Rask. However, the Boston goalie was able to make a beautiful pad save while closing up the five-hole to keep the three-goal lead intact.

Second period, 8:00, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins were able to keep the seventh-ranked power play off the board, and we’re back to even strength.

The Predators generated some solid chances, but they weren’t able to convert any of those.

Second period, 5:39, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins are getting their first non-fighting penalty of the evening. Zdeno Chara was called for delay of game, and the Predators’ power play gets its first chance.

Second period, 5:00, Bruins 3-0: It’s been a pretty sleepy start to the second period, but the Bruins’ first line just generated a couple of chances, thanks in large part to the defense pair on the ice.

That pairing was Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug, with Chara putting a shot on net that was stopped with a pad save. The deflection went to Krug who was pinching down, and he tried to find Milan Lucic in front for a deflection. Lucic wasn’t quite able to do that, though, and the puck skidded through the slot.

Second period, 0:01, Bruins 3-0: The second period has begun with the Bruins in front 3-0.

End first period, Bruins 3-0: The first period has concluded with the Bruins leading 3-0.

Despite the big lead, it wasn’t the sharpest of periods, but the B’s took advantage of the chances, and that’s obviously the biggest reason for the big lead.

First period, 18:56, Bruins 3-0: Tuukka Rask hasn’t really been tested much in this one, but he did just make a nice save on one of the few scoring chances for the Predators.

A shot went intentionally wide and bounced right to Mike Fisher on the doorstep to Tuukka Rask’s left, and the goalie was just able to get his skate and pad to the post before Fisher could jam it by the goalie.

First period, 15:00, Bruins 3-0: The good news for the Predators is that they haven’t allowed a goal in about five minutes. So that’s something.

For the Bruins, they also appear to have dodged a bullet. Adam McQuaid went to the dressing room after his fight with Eric Nystrom, and the Boston defenseman wasn’t back once his major penalty expired. He has since returned, though. That’s a good thing for him, obviously, as it would have been kind of a bummer if he injured himself again just a couple of minutes into his return.

First period, 10:47, Bruins 3-0: And this one is getting ugly.

The Bruins just showcased some absolutely incredible puck movement on the power play from the second unit, and it results in a goal for Reilly Smith. He was able to roof one over Marek Mazenec who was diving out of the crease to try and make a play on the puck.

Carl Soderberg made a gorgeous pass from behind the goal line and through the slot to find Smith on the left wing.

First period, 9:03, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins are going to get a power play to try and extend their lead to 3-0.

Seth Jones was just called for hooking Matt Fraser, and the Bruins will get the game’s first power play.

First period, 5:59, Bruins 2-0: Matt Fraser has his first goal as a member of the Bruins, and it’s going to chase Carter Hutton.

The Bruins dumped the puck in, and Hutton just misplayed it in a big way. That allowed Fraser to beat Hutton to a loose puck, and Fraser puts it over Hutton’s glove to give Boston a two-goal lead before we even reach a TV timeout.

Marek Mazanec is the new Predators goalie.

First period, 2:40, Bruins 1-0: Welcome back, Adam McQuaid.

The Bruins defenseman didn’t even wait three minutes to get back into the thick of things when he dropped the gloves with Eric Nystrom in the Nashville zone. It was a helluva scrap, too, with Nystrom feeding McQuaid some big blows early on but with the Boston D-man fighting back (literally) late in the bout.

First period, 1:16, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins’ first line picked up right where it left off on Saturday against Buffalo.

Jarome Iginla just did a very nice job of getting in front of Carter Hutton, and Iginla was rewarded for that with a goal. Iginla tipped a Zdeno Chara shot by the Nashville goalie, and the B’s jump out to an early 1-0 lead.

First period, 0:01, 0-0: Hey, the hockey game has started, and we’re off.

8:01 p.m.: Adam McQuaid is officially back in the Boston lineup. He’ll be replacing Matt Bartkowski, not David Warsofsy, on the Bruins’ blue line.

7:50 p.m.: Tuukka Rask will indeed make the start for the Bruins, and UMass-Lowell product Carter Hutton will get the nod for the Predators.

7:30 p.m.: We’re just moments away from the pregame warmups getting underway in Nashville, where it’s expected that Tuukka Rask will get the start in net for the Bruins. That obviously makes sense considering the Bruins have a three-day break coming up and that Rask is, you know, good.

4:30 p.m.: According to the Bruins’ Twitter feed, Adam McQuaid said after morning skate that he will indeed be in the lineup for this one. We’ll know for sure in about three hours.

4 p.m.: All that separates the Bruins from a three-day break in the action is a stop in Nashville to take on the Predators. The B’s will make that stop Monday night.

Boston and the rest of the league is about to enjoy a three-day break around Christmas, but they have some business to take care of first. The Bruins will be hoping they can head off on the holiday break on a good note, and they will get a chance to do that against the Preds on Monday night in Nashville.

Monday’s matchup certainly seems like a pretty favorable one for the Bruins. They come in with the Atlantic Division’s best record, while the Predators currently sit in last place in the Central division. However, the Bruins wouldn’t be very wise to take an opponent for granted, especially less than a week after losing to the Buffalo Sabres.

It’s not like the Predators don’t have any talent, either. They have taken their share of lumps this season with the injury to goaltender Pekka Rinne standing out the most. However, they still have some talent, especially on the back end where Shea Weber remains the anchor on the blue line. He’s been joined by lottery pick Seth Jones who figures to have an extremely bright future. The young defenseman has struggled some lately, but he comes in with 3-7-10 totals in his first NHL season.

The Bruins, meanwhile, are probably eagerly anticipating their Christmas break. The B’s remain banged up, but they are starting to get healthy slowly but surely. They could finally see the return of Adam McQuaid on Monday night, which would be a welcomed sight for a team whose blue line has been more of a black and blue line this season. McQuaid has missed the last nine games with a groin injury, which caused him to miss another eight games earlier in the season before a brief return sandwiched in between. If McQuaid is able to go, that might make David Warsofsky the odd man out.

We’ll pass on more information as the night goes on with puck drop from Nashville set for 8 p.m. ET.

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