Video: Bruins’ Smith roofs a shot on Scrivens

Bruins’ forward Reilly Smith had a beauty of a goal late in the first period tying things at 1-1 late in the frame.

Oilers’ goaltender Ben Scrivens had no chance on the shot. The goal was Smith’s third of the season.

Bruins play it safe with Krejci

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The Boston Bruins would love to get David Krejci back, but they’re not going to rush him. If that means that he can’t play against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, then so be it.

“If he’s ready then I’d want him in the lineup. Why sit him out a game if he’s ready?” Head coach Claude Julien told CSNNE.com on Wednesday. “If he’s not then I guess the weekend would certainly help him because it’s more days. That’s what we’ll have to see here. I’m going to talk to our trainers tomorrow morning, and if there’s any doubt then he won’t be playing. But if he’s okay to play then I don’t want him watching tomorrow.”

To their credit, the Bruins are finding ways to win even with significant injuries to players like Krejci and Zdeno Chara.

Still, it’s not as if they’re blowing out opponents during a three-game winning streak with overtime wins against Buffalo and Florida (along with a two-goal win versus Ottawa).

As CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty notes, it’s obvious that Boston’s offense isn’t exactly buzzing without the 28-year-old.

It’s clear that the absence of Krejci is impacting to different forward lines: the Lucic-Kelly-Griffith line went without a single shot on net in Tuesday’s win over the Panthers, and the reconfigured third line wasn’t much of a factor either. His longtime left wing in Milan Lucic undoubtedly misses Krejci, but also understands that it’s not worth pushing it in early November.

Julien alluded to a schedule that indeed seems friendly to Krejci healing up. Following tonight’s match against Edmonton, the Bruins don’t play again until Monday (Nov. 10). That provides some useful flexibility, as they can either play him tonight (knowing that he doesn’t face a quick turnaround) or give him that extra rest until Monday.

Even with these injury issues bothering him to start the 2014-15 season, the Czech-born center has been productive when he manages to play; Krejci has nine points in as many games so far this season.

Video: Bruins honor Shawn Thornton

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Former Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton is playing in his first game back at the TD Garden as a member of the Florida Panthers tonight.

During the first period, the Bruins payed tribute to Thornton, who spent seven seasons with Boston winning a Stanley Cup in 2011.

Thornton signed a two-year, $2.4 million contract with the Panthers in the summer.

Bruins’ Julien is ‘still very hungry to win another Stanley Cup’

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Few NHL coaches enjoy the success and job security that Claude Julien’s managed with the Boston Bruins.

He’s currently in his eighth season behind the B’s bench, and with a multi-year contract confirmed, he could very well be this team’s head coach for more than a decade.* Even with rare job security, Julien told CSNNE.com that his drive hasn’t faded.

“As a coach, personally, it’s about understanding that if you think you have it all figured it out then you’re in trouble,” Julien said. “You keep learning, and every year or so there are things that change in our game. The thing that I feel the most is that no matter what we’ve accomplished, I still feel very hungry to win another Stanley Cup.”

The veteran coach added, “as long as I have that fire in the belly, I’m extremely happy being in this organization as long as they’ll have me.”

It’s difficult to see why the Bruins would opt against keeping Julien (and GM Peter Chiarelli) around for the foreseeable future.

Even with a tough 7-6-0 start to 2014-15, the Bruins’ record with Julien at the helm is pretty stunning: 317-169-65, with a Stanley Cup, two championship round appearacnes and a steady run of postseason success.

The timing of the extension is pretty clever, too.

Julien can focus on getting the most out of a battered Bruins blueline without the stress of wondering about his long-term financial future. He has his work cut out for him with 6-foot-9 safety net Zdeno Chara out of the mix for quite some time, yet this is also a chance to once again prove that Boston can shake off the challenges that frequently surface during an 82-game regular season.

He certainly has a sterling record of succeeding in that regard, so far.

* – Sports will teach you that a coach’s contract isn’t the sturdiest shield when a team starts to think about making a change …

Rask surprised to learn Bruins have won five of seven

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For as tumultuous as Boston’s start has been, the team has played reasonably well of late and secured 10 of a possible 14 points.

All of which came as news to Tuukka Rask.

“We won five out of seven? Oh yeah?” Rask said, per the Boston Herald. “It doesn’t feel like it. It feels like we have been losing and winning.

“But you know it’s better, it’s good, the right way.”

The B’s started the year 2-4-0 and things hit their lowest on Oct. 16, when Rask was hooked after allowing five goals on 23 shots in an eventual 6-4 loss to Montreal. Losing to their heated rival after last year’s playoff ouster was one thing, but Boston looked downright rattled — and nobody embodied that frustration more than Milan Lucic, who received a misconduct penalty at the end of regulation and was later fined $5K for making an obscene gesture towards Montreal fans.

Since then, though, things have improved.

Lucic has been better, scoring six points in his last six games, but the real story has been the less-heralded individuals that’ve stepped in and provided quality efforts.

In Saturday’s 4-2 win over Ottawa, Matt Fraser was a late insertion for the injured David Krejci and stole the show, scoring a pair of goals while finishing as the game’s first star. Rookie Seth Griffith has five points in his last six games, and first-year backup Niklas Svedberg has a 1.66 GAA and .940 save percentage.

Much credit here is due to head coach Claude Julien, who has done well in keeping the team afloat despite a depleted blueline (Zdeno Cara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller all out with injures) and the departures of Johnny Boychuk and Jarome Iginla.

It makes sense, then, that Boston rewarded Julien with a three-year contract extension this weekend, with one of the club’s veteran presences — Dennis Seidenberg — shedding light on how Julien has gotten his new, inexperienced players to perform at a quality level.

“He’s proven in the past that he knows how to coach,” Seidenberg said, per the Herald. “He knows how to teach a young team to play a system.

“I really enjoy playing for him and I think all the guys in here do.”