Bruins notes: Patrice Bergeron in good spirits, Tyler Seguin to play wing

While the Bruins wait out the Western Conference to finish things up so they can really gear up for their Eastern Conference finals matchup against Tampa Bay, there’s a few things they’ve got to get sorted out ahead of time. With one big injury and a lineup spot to fill and work around, Claude Julien’s job is going to be a bit busy in the days leading up to the East finals.

With Patrice Bergeron set to miss the start of the series thanks to a concussion, the team is hopeful they’ll get their leading scorer in the playoffs back at some point. With Bergeron’s concussion history the prospects don’t appear to be too good for that to happen quickly. There is some positive news from Bergeron today as his agent Kent Hughes gives CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty an update on how Bergeron is feeling.

There’s no telling when Bergeron will be feeling good and cleared for skating again after suffering his third concussion in the last 3 ½ years, but Hughes had one more piece of good news when asked about his spirits when the agent did speak with him.

“Pretty good, actually,” replied Hughes in an email.

Spirits being good is one thing compared to how he’s actually doing. Given that Bergeron’s injury was described as a “mild concussion” similar to the diagnosis Sidney Crosby got for his, expecting a timetable to be set for Bergeron’s return would be unwise.

As for Bergeron’s replacement in the lineup, Tyler Seguin was back at practice today and working out with his likely linemates. Bergeron had been working out as one of the team’s top two centers along with David Krejci, but Seguin won’t be playing center nor will he be put in the unenviable position of having to equal Bergeron’s game. Haggerty has more from Bruins practice about who he’ll be lining up with.

Tyler Seguin has joined the group of 12 forwards at practice, and is skating on the wing with Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder on Boston’s third line. The top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton remain intact and Chris Kelly stepped in for Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi.

Seguin lining up with Ryder and Peverley makes it a virtual line of misfit toys as Ryder is/was vilified by fans and Seguin was parked in the press box all through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Peverley’s been a solid trooper all around since coming over from Atlanta at the trade deadline. I’ll be worth watching to see if this line can get things going at all and give the Bruins some scoring depth and help they’ll need to break through the Tampa 1-3-1 defense as well as Dwayne Roloson.

If Seguin is slow to get going or can’t get his offense going at all and the Bruins struggle, expect the grumbling to pick up substantially from the fans who have been calling for Seguin to play all along and worry about his development as a potential cornerstone player. Winning cures all ills and so far the Bruins rolling along in the playoffs have kept the fans happy, but if trouble strikes, the grumbling will begin and it will be loud.

The Buzzer: William Karlsson’s wild night; Hart Trophy race intensifies

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Players of the Night: 

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche: MacKinnon’s MVP campaign got a serious boost on Sunday, as he picked up two goals and an assist in a win over the Detroit Red Wings. The Avs forward is now riding a 12-game point streak. He better start making room on a shelf for a Hart Trophy.

William Karlsson, Vegas Golden Knights: Karlsson continues to be one of the biggest surprises of the 2017-18 season. His natural hat trick against the Flames puts him at 39 goals on the season. Who would’ve thought that we’d be talking about him as a 40-goal scorer?

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning: Even though MacKinnon is rolling right now, Kucherov won’t go away quietly in the race for the MVP crown. The Lightning forward picked up two goals in Sunday’s win over the Oilers. Kucherov has 36 goals and 93 points in 70 games this season.

Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks: DeBrincat scored his third hat trick of the season in a losing effort. The rookie has 25 goals and 45 points in 73 games this season. He has a chance to score 30 this year.

Alex Pietrangelo and Vincent Dunn, St. Louis Blues: The Blues came away with a huge comeback win over the Chicago Blackhawks. Patrik Berglund scored the game-winner in overtime, but Pietrangelo and Dunn each had four points in the victory.

Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets: Laine has been a scoring machine of late. He found the back of the net twice in Sunday’s win over the Dallas Stars. He’s now scored 43 goals in 72 games this season. Laine’s picked up at least one point in 15 consecutive games.

Highlights of the Night: 

A wicked one-timer from Wild Bill:

That’s an incredible backhander from MacKinnon:

Here’s an unorthodox save from Fleury

Factoids of the Night: 

Dunn Deal


Oh and Laine is a teen sensation

DeBrincat’s having an impressive rookie season:


Avalanche 5, Red Wings 1
Golden Knights 4, Flames 0
Lightning 3, Oilers 1
Hurricanes 4, Islanders 3
Flyers 6, Capitals 3
Blues 5, Blackhawks 4 (OT)
Jets 4, Stars 2
Ducks 4, Devils 2

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Blues keep playoff hopes alive with big OT win over ‘Hawks


The St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks have played games with more significance, but that didn’t take away from the excitement of St. Louis’ 5-4 win in overtime.

‘Hawks forward Alex DeBrincat opened the game with two first-period goals before the Blues managed to tie the game in the second frame thanks to a pair of power-play tallies by Alexander Steen and Vincent Dunn, who also assisted on Steen’s marker.

The Blues thought they went ahead late in the second, but this goal was called back:

Chicago went up 3-2 heading into the second intermission after David Kampf put them back ahead.

Dunn collected his third point of the night when Vladimir Sobotka scored the equalizer at the 15:24 mark of the third period, but again, DeBrincat scored just over one minute later.

Alex Pietrangelo, who assisted on St. Louis’ first two goals, managed to tie the game with 18:38 remaining in the third period to force overtime. Dunn registered an assist on the game-tying marker to give him four points on the night.

Pietrangelo then helped set up Patrik Berglund‘s game, so he also finished the game with four points when it was all said and done.

Here’s the OT winner:

Despite being sellers at the deadline, the Blues now find themselves just one point behind Anaheim for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. St. Louis has four more regulation/overtime wins than the Ducks, which could be key down the stretch.

As for the Blackhawks, well, they’re done like dinner.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Video: Ben Bishop injured after making terrific glove save
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After missing five games with a lower-body injury, Ben Bishop made his return to the Stars lineup on Friday night against Ottawa. Unfortunately for Bishop, he seems to have run into some more injury trouble tonight.

The veteran netminder was hurt after he made a fantastic glove save on Jets forward Bryan Little on Sunday night. The Stars Twitter account already confirmed that he suffered a lower-body injury and that he wouldn’t be returning to the game.

Kari Lehtonen is now between the pipes for Dallas.

The Stars are currently sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Bruins sign Olympic standout Ryan Donato to entry-level contract

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The Boston Bruins have a plethora of young players coming through the pipeline, including Ryan Donato who they signed to a two-year, entry-level contract on Sunday night.

The Bruins drafted Donato in the second round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The 21-year-old spent each of the last two seasons at Harvard. In 2017-18, he finished the year with 26 goals and 17 assists in 29 games with the Crimson.

Donato also represented the United States at this 2018 Olympic Games, where he had had five goals (tied for the tournament lead) in five games.

The team has already announced that he’ll join them right away. He’s eligible to suit up in tomorrow’s game.

“It came together in pretty short order,” GM Don Sweeney said, per the Bruins’ Twitter account. “We had always been committed to providing the opportunity to Ryan if and when he decided to leave school…I think it was an opportunity on both sides to explore with Ryan and see where he’s at.

“He’s a kid that’s got a confidence about himself, a talent level, and he’s got some details he’s gonna have to work on – all young players do. But he’s a player that has hard skill. We’re looking forward to having him…get immersed and get a taste.”

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.