Author: Cam Tucker

Bruins defeat Devils for 3,000th franchise win

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) The Boston Bruins had everything they needed to get back on track – a road game against the banged-up New Jersey Devils, a team they have owned lately.

Rookie Frank Vatrano scored early, Jonas Gustavsson made 19 saves and the Bruins continued to play well away from home, beating the Devils 4-1 on Friday night for the 3,000th win in franchise history.

“It’s always special when you look at 3,000,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “It means that that team has been around for a while. I have always been proud of being part of an original six team. This team has done a lot of things in the past and we hope we can follow it up in the future.”

Ryan Spooner, Jimmy Hayes and Colin Miller also scored as the Bruins snapped a two-game losing streak and won for only the second time in seven games.

The game was the start of a five-game road trip, and that might be the best place for the Bruins. They are now 12-3-2 on the road and 9-11-2 at home. Boston also has won its last five against New Jersey and 17 of 20.

None of the Bruins could explain the disparity in records.

“Maybe we keep it a little more simple on the road,” Gustavsson said after beating the Devils for the second time this season.

Bobby Farnham scored for the Devils, who have dropped three straight games in regulation for the first time since the start of the season. Cory Schneider finished with 27 saves.

“We’re definitely fighting it a little bit,” Schneider said. “I can do more.”

Vatrano jump-started this trip, scoring 2:02 into the game. Miller took a shot from the right point that Schneider stopped. The puck, however, lay in the crease and Vatrano collected it and scored his sixth goal, his first since a hat trick against Pittsburgh on Dec. 18.

“Obviously we talked about starting on a good foot with a big road trip coming up,” Vatrano said. “We couldn’t look past this game. I wouldn’t say we were struggling but we just weren’t getting in the win column of late. It was good to start off the game with a goal and get us started.”

Spooner stretched the lead to 2-0 almost five minutes into the second period. He wristed a shot from the blue line that Schneider seemingly did not see with Matt Beleskey screening him.

Farnham cut the margin to 2-1 at 11:57 of the second period with a shot from the right circle that Gustavsson simply missed. New Jersey’s Jordin Tootoo nearly tied the game minutes later but his shot hit off the post shortly after a Bruins penalty ended.

Boston restored the two-goal lead late in the second period with their league-leading power play and Miller iced it early in the third.

Hayes got his ninth of the season with 1:25 left in the period with period, tipping a shot by Zdeno Chara.

Miller tallied his third at 6:33 of final period, beating Schneider with a slapshot.

With leading scorer Mike Cammalleri missing his fourth straight game with an upper body injury and defensemen John Moore and David Schlemko also out, the Devils called up three players from Albany on Friday. Forward Paul Thompson, 27, made his NHL debut and defensemen Jim O’Brien and Marc-Andre Gragnani played in the league for the first time since 2013.

“I’d say this is the first time where we had a little bit of a challenge, where there wasn’t a character response,” said Devils coach John Hynes, who was disappointed with his team’s mental toughness.

Forward David Pastrnak played in his first game for the Bruins since sustaining a foot injury on Oct. 31.

NOTES: New Jersey starts a four-game road trip in Minnesota on Sunday. …. The Bruins are in Ottawa Saturday. … Boston D Adam McQuaid (upper body) missed his first game this season. … Boston forward Brad Marchand served the third and final game of a suspension for a hit in a game against Ottawa last week. …Devils F Jiri Tlusty left the game with an undisclosed injury.

Blues’ Bouwmeester, Stastny leave game with upper-body injuries

The St. Louis Blues suddenly had their bench shortened during Friday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and center Paul Stastny both left the game and would not return after sustaining upper body injuries — on separate players — in the first period, the Blues reported via Twitter.

Replays show Bouwmeester took a hard hit from Ryan Getzlaf, while Stastny had a puck deflect and hit him up high, around the side of his face.

Not only did those two players leave the game, but with a 2-1 lead in the second period, goalie Jake Allen left the ice, giving way to Brian Elliott.

‘I’m pretty sure it was dirty’: Blue Jackets’ Foligno hurt on Malone hit (Video)

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Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno left Friday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes in the third period and did not return after being on the receiving end of a Brad Malone hit that Foligno’s teammate, Brandon Dubinsky, has taken issue with.

Foligno had just made a pass inside the Carolina zone off the rush, when he was hit by Malone.

Foligno remained down on the ice for a few minutes as he was tended to by a member of the Blue Jackets’ training staff. He did manage to skate off mostly under his own power.

There was no call on the play.

Adding insult to injury, the Blue Jackets lost the game by a final score of 4-1.

 

Video: With scouts watching and trade speculation swirling, Drouin scores twice for AHL Crunch

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It didn’t take long for Jonathan Drouin to make an instant impact for the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch on Friday.

And he did so with reportedly plenty of scouts in attendance and speculation swirling after his request to be traded out of Tampa Bay became public on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Drouin, selected third overall by the Lightning in the 2013 draft and reassigned to Syracuse last weekend, scored twice for the Crunch in the first period — the goals coming just over seven minutes apart — against the Albany Devils.

He finished the game with a team-high five shots on goal.

Both goals were beauties, too.

Using his speed, he split the Albany defense to gain a breakaway, snapping a shot low, stick side on Yann Danis for his first goal. He then knocked down a pass and deked to the backhand, beating Danis once again later in the period.

Here’s goal No. 1:

Here’s goal No. 2:

Video: Ryan Johansen scores on his first shot in Predators debut

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Welcome to the Nashville Predators, Ryan Johansen.

Making his debut for the Predators on Friday, following a blockbuster trade from Columbus earlier this week, Johansen scored on his first shot on goal, beating Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov with a wrist shot from a difficult angle on the power play.

It didn’t take a long time to make an impact. First shot, first goal, which came 2:35 into the game.