It was Milan Lucic’s homecoming weekend of sorts in Vancouver. The Bruins power forward spent his formative junior hockey seasons playing for the Vancouver Giants in the WHL and while they did their part to honor him, Lucic did his own job in making sure his Bruins made the Vancouver faithful go home unhappy tonight.
Lucic had a goal and two assists in the Bruins 3-1 win over the West leading Canucks. Lucic’s goal turned out to be the game-winner snapping a 1-1 tie with under five minutes to play in the third period. Lucic then assisted on Patrice Bergeron’s empty net goal to ice it. Lucic helped set up Nathan Horton for his 16th goal of the season midway through the second period that tied the game at one. Manny Malhotra notched Vancouver’s lone goal in the first period.
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty caught up with Lucic afterwards and he was beaming over the win.
“That’s almost a perfect ending to a perfect couple of days in Vancouver for myself. From start to finish it’s been a hell of an experience,” said a beaming Lucic.
Making it all standup, once again, was Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. Thomas made 27 saves on the night including his usual array of incredible stops to make it all stand up in the win column for Boston. Roberto Luongo was less busy on the night stopping 23 shots in the loss.
With the win, the Bruins move to 4-0-0 on their road trip with a game in Edmonton set for Sunday. The Bruins close out their six game swing with a battle in Ottawa on Tuesday. The win also helps the Bruins stay ahead of the Canadiens who are doing their part to stay on the Bruins heels, especially after their 4-3 win over Carolina earlier this evening.
More importantly, the win over Vancouver helps set the tone that the Bruins are, indeed, for real in the Eastern Conference. After all, beating the West’s top team comes with a lot of caché. Vancouver all year long has been the class of the NHL and for Boston to go into Rogers Arena and take out the Canucks says a lot about where they’re at. If the Bruins make a deep run in the playoffs and play for the Stanley Cup, people will look back on this game as the warning signal that they’re for real.
No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.
Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.
They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.
On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.
Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.
Perhaps some of that has to do with health?
Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.
“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”
He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.
You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.
Here are the handy links for the two contests.
First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.
Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.
“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”
Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.
Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.
Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.
Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer