Bruins Notes: ‘Playoff’ Atmosphere In B’s-Blues; Max Talbot Talks Suspension


December 23, 2015

BOSTON — The Bruins faced one of their toughest tests of the season Tuesday in the form of a strong, physical St. Louis Blues team.

Boston hung with St. Louis for two periods before the Blues took over in the third, getting late goals from Vladimir Tarasenko and Robby Fabbri to clinch a 2-0 win.

“It felt like a playoff game out there,” said goalie Tuukka Rask, who had his personal five-game win streak snapped in the loss.

The Bruins, like the rest of the NHL, now will enjoy a three-day Christmas break before returning to action Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.

Some notes from Tuesday’s action:

— The Bruins own the NHL’s top-ranked power-play unit, but they have not had many occasions to trot it out of late. Boston did not receive a single power-play opportunity against the Blues after seeing just one Sunday against the Devils.

“It’s starting to get annoying a little bit,” defenseman Torey Krug said. “But there’s nothing we can do too much about that. We just keep working hard and work even harder. You’ve got to force the other team to take penalties, and obviously, we’re not doing a great job of that. Maybe if we do get dirtier in those areas, we force teams to react and draw penalties. And if we’re not, then maybe we’re scoring goals. So, obviously it shows that we could always work a little harder.”

— Max Talbot sat out the game as he served the first half of his two-game suspension.

The ban, which came down as a result of Talbot’s hit Devils forward Jiri Tlusty, represented the first supplemental discipline the veteran forward had received in his 11-year NHL career.

?It?s not something you want,” Talbot told reporters Tuesday morning, via “I take pride I think in playing the game the right way. You know, you never want to be in that situation.?

Talbot’s suspension came at an inopportune time for both him and the Bruins, as the 31-year-old had just begun to find a rhythm on the ice. He had played in six consecutive games for Boston and recorded his first goal of the season last Wednesday.

?That?s the most frustrating thing, that I was starting to feel better on the ice and kind of got a rhythm going,? he told reporters. ?And you can?t be out there for two big games, so you feel like you let your teammates down in that way.?

Beyond that, Talbot chose not to share his thoughts on the punishment.

?Well, I have my own opinion on it,” he told reporters. I have to respect their decision, and I?m going to leave it at that. I?m glad (Tlusty) is not hurt. It?s a tough job they?ve got to do, and you?ve got to respect it.?

Talbot will be eligible to return to the lineup Sunday, when the Bruins visit the Ottawa Senators.

— The NHL on Monday announced the musical acts that will be performing at next Friday’s Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.

“The Voice” champion Jordan Smith will sing the national anthem, while American Authors — an indie rock band that got its start at Boston’s Berklee College of Music — and the Boston Pops will play during the pregame festivities and fun. lead singer Nate Ruess will perform during first intermission.

Longtime TD Garden anthem singer Rene Rancourt was not mentioned in the league news release, though Bruins fans surely hope he will be involved in the event in some capacity.

— Speaking of Rancourt, he spent second intermission serenading the Garden crowd with Christmas carols from the Bruins’ bench.

— Your goal of night came courtesy of Providence Bruins forward Brandon DeFazio, who scored this beauty against Portland:

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask
Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand
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