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Bruins welcome Eriksson, Thornton back to lineup

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The Boston Bruins haven’t had Loui Eriksson and Shawn Thornton in the lineup since Dec. 7, but they’ll get both of them back against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.

It’s odd that the two forwards sat out the same 15 games, as Thornton served a suspension for confronting Brooks Orpik, whose hit concussed Eriksson.

The Bruins managed decently without the duo at first, but with losses in four of six and their defense ailing and/or having twins, their return will be welcomed that much more.

Eriksson, 28, has suffered through an injury-ravaged debut season with the Bruins, scoring 14 points in the 28 games he managed to play. Thornton, 36, may very well be in his last campaign with the Bruins. He said that he doesn’t want to change the way he plays despite that stern reprimand from the league.

The Bruins sent Justin Florek down to the AHL to make room for the two forwards.

Julien wants ‘everybody’ on the Bruins to be better

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Bruins coach Claude Julien had some stern words for his team after last night’s 4-2 loss in Los Angeles.

“It took us almost a period-and-a-half to get going here,” Julien said, per CSN New England. “We spotted them a 3-0 lead. Puck management, missed assignments . . . those kinds of things are going to end up costing you. We’re getting exposed in those areas right now [and] we’re going to [have to] get better.

“We definitely could use more from our team, from the goaltender on out. We need big saves; we need our guys to manage the puck better. The mistakes that we’re making are very costly. Everybody needs to be a little better. We didn’t get much from our top two lines tonight, and you need that if you’re going to win some hockey games. They were pretty quiet.”

Last night’s loss was the Bruins’ fourth in the six games they’ve played since defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was lost for the season with a torn ACL/MCL in his right knee.

That certainly won’t quell the speculation that general manager Peter Chiarelli will try to land an experienced d-man prior to the March 5 trade deadline. (The Rangers’ Dan Girardi is reportedly a possibility.)

Boston takes on the Sharks in San Jose tomorrow night.

Related: Bruins’ Rask pulled in second period against Kings

Bruins’ Rask pulled in second period against Kings

Tuukka Rask
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In a battle of two big, bruising teams from different conferences, it was the L.A. Kings that got off to the fast start against the Boston Bruins.

And that meant goalie Tuukka Rask was given the hook early in the third period after allowing three goals on 18 shots. The team in front of him didn’t give Rask much help – the shots at one point were 23-7 for L.A.

The Kings got goals from Justin Williams and Alec Martinez just one minute and one second apart in the second period to gain a 3-0 advantage over the Bruins. That spelled the end to Rask for the evening. Chad Johnson came into the game in relief.

Svedberg sent back to the minors after winning NHL debut for Bruins

NiklasSvedberg
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Niklas Svedberg is back on his way to the American Hockey League, but only after a victory in his National Hockey League debut in goal for the Boston Bruins.

Svedberg made 33 saves on 35 shots, helping the Bruins defeat the Nashville Predators 3-2 in overtime. Brad Marchand scored the winner in the extra period.

No sooner had the 24-year-old Svedberg earned the career-milestone win, he was then officially sent back to Providence in the AHL, as per the Bruins in a statement released by the club.

“We’re comfortable [with him],” said Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien, as per CSNNE.com. “I didn’t see him being much different from the first until the third, but I thought in the second – when they did throw a lot of pucks at him – he stood tall and made some good saves.

“I liked his game tonight, he was good and he just showed us that he’s a guy we need to look at and keep an eye on. He’s going to head back to Providence [on Friday], but there’s a good chance you’re going to see him here again very soon.”

Bruins’ Krug: ‘I’ve never been a player USA hockey liked all that much’

Dallas Stars v Boston Bruins
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The reaction continues to filter in from those supposedly in the running to make the U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team.

Boston Bruins’ defenseman Torey Krug one of the latest to voice his disappointment at being kept off the squad.

The 22-year-old undrafted Krug, you’ll recall, had played three NHL games prior to last spring but then burst onto the scene in a big way during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.

His name would be entered into the record books, becoming the first ever NHL defenseman to score four goals in his first five playoff games.

Despite being perhaps a bit undersized – he’s listed at five-foot-nine-inches tall and 181 pounds – Krug can not only skate but has shown an offensive upside for the Bruins. His eight goals coming into Thursday’s game against Nashville were only two fewer than Erik Karlsson’s 10, which lead all NHL blue liners.

“They can say all they want, but I never really had a sniff. I’m a younger guy, and coming into the league at my age gives you more opportunities to put yourself in a position to be considered for an Olympic team,” Krug said Thursday, as per CSNNE.com.

“But I’ve never been a player that USA hockey has liked all that much, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s a size thing? I don’t know. I’m just worried about things that are going on with the Bruins.

“If down the road I’m considered for such a thing it would be pretty special, and pretty cool. I’ll just keep working hard, and if they do send the call my way then that would be cool.”

Of course, there was even great controversy to come from the U.S. hockey announcement at the conclusion of Wednesday’s Winter Classic.

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle wasn’t named to the team, despite 27 points in 39 games this season. He called the decision, “…a tough pill to swallow.”

Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan was also left off the team, ripped by Brian Burke and left to respond by calling his former general manager “gutless.”