Final, Bruins 1-0: Despite the fact that David Krejci hit the post on an empty-net bid, the Bruins were able to hold on.
They just became the second team to beat the Sharks on their home ice in regulation all season.
Third period, 18:55, Bruins 1-0: The San Jose net is empty, and the Bruins just took their timeout following an icing.
Third period, 18:00, Bruins 1-0: Tommy Wingels tried to retrieve a loose puck in front of the Boston net, but Zdeno Chara was having none of it.
He worked Wingels off the puck, and the Bruins were able to clear the zone. Chara just outmuscled the San Jose forward.
Third period, 16:00, Bruins 1-0: You gotta be good to be lucky, and lucky to be good. The Bruins have been both tonight, and that’s part of the reason they’re holding the late lead.
The Sharks just had Brent Burns and Joe Thornton poking at a puck in the Boston crease when the whistle blew the play dead. It sure looked like the whistle might have been a little bit early, but the Bruins will take it to get them out of dodge.
Third period, 12:25, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins have the game’s first goal.
Carl Soderberg was in the right place at the right time when Loui Eriksson tried to put a shot on goal. That shot was blocked by Scott Hannan right in front, but Soderberg followed the play into the slot and he was there to get the puck after it was blocked. He beat Antti Niemi, and the B’s have the lead.
Third period, 11:00, 0-0: For the first time in what seems like quite a while, the Sharks just had a scoring chance.
San Jose won an offensive zone faceoff, which ultimately allowed Patrick Marleau to pass the puck to Tommy Wingels. The forward had a chance in the slot, but he ended up missing just wide of the net. It looks like Adam McQuaid may have gotten a piece of the shot in front.
Third period, 8:18, 0-0: Nothing came of the power play for the Bruins, although they did put a couple of shots on goal and got some net-front traffic.
Still, nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
Third period, 6:03, 0-0: The Bruins don’t have a shot on goal during their two power plays, but they’re going to try and turn that around in the next two minutes.
Jason Demers was just called for holding, and the B’s are back on the man-advantage.
Third period, 4:00, 0-0: The Bruins just had their best chance of the night.
Torey Krug came down the left wing to pounce on a rebound that went straight at the young defenseman. Krug put the shot at net, but he couldn’t hit the cage and put the puck over the crossbar.
Third period, 2:00, 0-0: The Bruins certainly had some possession in the attacking zone during the power play, but the Bruins weren’t able to cash in.
In fact, the Bruins didn’t even get a shot off.
Third period, 0:01, 0-0: The third period is underway, and the Bruins have 1:59 of a power play to begin the period.
End second period, 0-0: Boston could not score with 1 second left, and the period is over.
Second period, 19:59, 0-0: The Bruins continue to bring it at the end of the period, and it will get them a power play they’ll be able to carry into the third period.
Patrick Marleau just caught Kevan Miller with a high stick for the penalty. The Bruins almost scored after bringing on the extra skater before the touch-up, but Antti Niemi made a kick save on a Zdeno Chara shot from the top of the slot.
The puck wasn’t touched up until there was 1 second left, so the Bruins will have 1:59 of power-play time to begin the third.
Second period, 18:00, 0-0: The Bruins have started to tilt the ice here late in the period.
It’s not producing a ton of scoring chances, but they are starting to get some sustained possession deep in the Sharks zone, which they had little of in the first period and much of the second.
Second period, 15:00, 0-0: The Boston power play just came to an end with the Bruins still looking for their first goal of the game.
Patrice Bergeron had a chance to get the Bruins on the board when he jumped on a puck in front of the net and shot as he spun around. He beat Antti Niemi, but the puck hit the post to Niemi’s left.
The Sharks did a nice job for the rest of the penalty kill of making it difficult for the Bruins to enter the zone. The entries have been a bit of an issue for the Bruins on the power play during this trip, which is part of the reason they have yet to cash in on the man-advantage during the California swing.
Second period, 13:36, 0-0: The Bruins are getting their first power play of the night.
Scott Hannan just got tangled up with Milan Lucic as the two went for the puck in the corner. Hannan pulled down Lucic, and that was enough for a penalty.
Second period, 10:27, 0-0: Kevan Miller just picked up his first career NHL fight.
He dropped the gloves with Mike Brown at center ice in what was a pretty spirited scrap. It looked like Miller was giving Brown some lip after the end of the fight.
Second period, 9:20, 0-0: It’s turning into the Tuukka Rask Show.
Joe Thornton just made a really nice centering pass from behind the Boston goal line to Joe Pavelski who was camped out in front. Pavelski immediately put the puck on net, but Rask was able to make a big save from point-blank range.
Second period, 6:45, 0-0: The Bruins aren’t doing a ton to limit the shots for the Sharks, who had 12 in the first period and have five here in the middle period.
Tuukka Rask remains impressive, though, and he has this game in a scoreless tie still.
Second period, 4:00, 0-0: Not a ton going on in the second period, but the Sharks are continuing to do a really good job of limiting the Bruins’ breakout.
The B’s have had to make the adjustment of getting the forwards a little bit more involved, as they have to come back to the puck to begin the breakout.
Second period, 0:01, 0-0: The second period is underway in San Jose.
End first period, 0-0: The Sharks just showed why they’re the best first-period team in the game with a pressure-filled first 20, but Tuukka Rask came up big.
The Bruins goalie is bouncing back nicely so far after being pulled Thursday in Los Angeles.
First period, 19:00, 0-0: The Bruins have gotten a little lucky so far in that they haven’t been victimized by some poor breakouts.
The Patrice Bergeron line just got hemmed in after a turnover from Matt Bartkowski in the Boston end, but Patrice Bergeron was eventually able to intercept a pass in the slot and clear it before anything could come of the chances for the Sharks.
First period, 15:00, 0-0: The Bruins’ third line is looking pretty sharp so far with the addition of Loui Eriksson.
The winger chased down a puck and simultaneously spun and threw it in front for Ryan Spooner who tried to push it home, but Antti Niemi made the save.
First period, 13:12, 0-0: Shawn Thornton just showed a little rust, we’ll call it. He was up against the boards in the Boston zone and just whipped a backhanded pass toward the middle of the ice.
San Jose defenseman Jason Demers stepped right into the slot and stole the puck and then put a shot on goal that Tuukka Rask kicked aside with a left pad save.
First period, 11:00, 0-0: More positives out of Tuukka Rask.
He just made a nice kick save on Brent Burns who was able to chase a loose puck into the Boston zone and behind Zdeno Chara. Rask came out and took away the angle before kicking the puck to the side when Burns put it on net.
First period, 9:01, 0-0: The Bruins’ fourth line just got caught in its own zone at the end of a really long shift, but Tuukka Rask was there to bail them out.
Matt Nieto got a chance from the left faceoff circle, but Rask made a right pad save to keep the game scoreless.
First period, 6:37, 0-0: The Sharks, as mentioned earlier, are the league’s best first-period team, and they are proving that here in the first period.
San Jose is starting to up its pressure on the Bruins, who have been able to keep this game scoreless because of Tuukka Rask. The Bruins goalie has bounced back nicely through the first few minutes of this game.
First period, 4:30, 0-0: The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty, thanks in large part to Loui Eriksson.
The winger was out there on the kill in his return to game action, and he made a nice play late in the two minutes when he lifted a stick and started a 2-on-1 between he and David Krejci.
First period, 2:20, 0-0: Carl Soderberg is heading to the penalty box for a penalty that looked to be Loui Eriksson’s.
Regardless, Soderberg is in the box for boarding, and the Sharks are getting the game’s first power play.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: The final game of this three-game California road trip is underway.
10:15 p.m.: Once again, Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton are going to be back in the Boston lineup.
For Thornton, he’s back where he’s always been on the Bruins’ fourth line. He’ll skate alongside regular Merlot Line linemates Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille.
Eriksson, on the other hand, is on the third line. He had been skating on the second line before being injured, but Reilly Smith has been so good on that line that it would be hard to argue anything other than keeping Smith there.
Here are the rest of the lines and defensive pairs based on the pregame warmups.
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Reilly Smith
Carl Soderberg — Ryan Spooner — Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara — Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski — Kevan Miller
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid
10 p.m.: Warmups are underway in San Jose, and Tuukka Rask will indeed start for the Bruins. Antti Niemi will start for the Sharks, so it’s a battle of Finnish goalies.
8:30 p.m.: This will likely be confirmed in about two hours, but it looks as if Tuukka Rask will be the starting goalie for the Bruins in this one. He was the first off the ice at morning skate, so it appears he’ll start all three games on this West Coast road trip.
In other lineup news, Kevan Miller will be active on the Boston blue line. The defenseman will be in for Johnny Boychuk who is back in Boston for personal reasons.
6:40 p.m.: One thing that will be really important for the Bruins tonight will be to have a good start because if they don’t, it’s probably going to be the start of another long night.
The Sharks are one of the best home teams in the league, and they’re also one of the NHL’s top first-period teams. San Jose comes into its meeting with the Bruins having outscored its opponents 51-22 in the game’s first 20 minutes. That’s the best rate in the league, as no one has scored more first-period goals, and the Sharks are tied for the league lead in the fewest amount of goals allowed in the first. They have even tied a franchise record having scored six times in the first minute of a game this season as well as having scored 10 times in the first two minutes of a game.
When the Sharks score first, 19-2-5, as opposed to just 9-9-1 when the opponent nets the game’s first goal.
“They come out hard, they come out ready to play,” Claude Julien said after the team’s morning skate Saturday. “It’s going to be important for us to be good in that first period, a lot like we talk about when going to Montreal. That’s always been a key to our games there. When we have good first periods, the game ends up being a good one. We’ve gotta do the same thing here. we’ve gotta look at our game as a hole and where we need to be better.”
5:30 p.m.: When the Bruins take the ice on Saturday night in San Jose, they will be doing so with reinforcements.
Forwards Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton are both expected to play, as both have been out since Dec. 7, albeit for very different reasons. Eriksson has been out since that game against the Penguins with a concussion suffered on a hit from Brooks Orpik. That hit led to Thornton to seek retribution, which ultimately led to the Boston winger attacking Orpik after a play. That earned Thornton a 15-game suspension, which he finished serving Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Before suffering his second concussion, Eriksson spent the majority of his season on the Boston second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. He took line rushes at morning skate on the third line, however, which is where he’ll likely be Saturday night. Thornton, meanwhile, was back on the fourth-line right wing, which is his normal spot.
If both of those players are in and at those positions, it would mean that Matt Fraser and Justin Florek would be healthy scratches.
8 a.m.: The Bruins had a chance to make a statement this week with a three-game road trip against a trio of Western Conference contenders. Instead, the B’s will just try to salvage whatever they can out of the trip in the final leg on Saturday night.
The three-game swing through California has not gone to plan. After dropping the first two games of the West Coast swing by a combined score of 9-4, the B’s will wrap up the trip Saturday night in San Jose against the Sharks. Losses to the Ducks and Kings began the trip for the Black and Gold.
Heading home with a win under their belts won’t be easy for the Bruins. The B’s haven’t won in San Jose since 2010 with that win coming in a shootout. Boston did snap a three-game losing streak against the Sharks earlier this season with a 2-1 win over at TD Garden. The Bruins won the game when David Krejci tipped home the game-winning goal in the final seconds to hand San Jose its first regulation loss of the season.
The Sharks have been one of the best home teams in all of hockey. They enter Saturday night’s game with a 16-1-3 record at SAP Center. Overall, San Jose has won seven of its last 10 games.
The Bruins will once again be shorthanded on the blue line. Johnny Boychuk is back in Boston after leaving the team on Friday. The veteran defenseman most likely returned to Boston for the birth of his twins, as his wife is pregnant and was expected to be due in January. Boychuk’s absence likely means that Kevan Miller will be back in the Boston lineup.
Additionally, Saturday night could mark the return of Shawn Thornton. The B’s enforcer’s 15-game suspension has come to an end, and he is eligible to return against the Sharks. The road trip finale might also mean the return of Loui Eriksson. The winger has traveled with the team for the entire trip, but he’s yet to return from a concussion. He’s certainly close, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be back on the ice against San Jose.
Puck drop from SAP Center is slated for 10:30 p.m. ET.
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