Boston Bruins v Philadelphia Flyers

Giroux calls Flyers’ 6-1 loss to Bruins ’embarrassing’

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There was nothing positive for the Philadelphia Flyers to take from Saturday’s 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. It was the classic case of from bad to worse.

“It has to be the most embarrassing game I’ve been involved with,” said Flyers’ captain Claude Giroux, as per Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News.

The Flyers, who had battled back into the thick of the Metropolitan Division standings after a bad start to the season, have only three wins in their last 10 games. According to CSN Philadelphia, Flyers’ head coach Craig Berube called his team “fragile” following this latest defeat.

Led by Jarome Iginla and his four-point night – two goals, two assists – the Bruins jumped out to a four-goal lead after 40 minutes and added two more on the power play in the third, nullifying any faint hopes of a Philadelphia comeback.

The Bruins were rested, with a four-day break. The Flyers were playing their third game in four days. One team was refreshed, the other not so much.

“Right from the first shift we were into it,” Iginla told NHL.com. “Every line was ready to go. You don’t get many breaks during the season, and when you get them you want to make the most, show coach you can handle it too.”

Bruins clear Kelly, Hamilton for contact

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The Boston Bruins received some good news on Friday as injured forward Chris Kelly and sophomore defenseman Dougie Hamilton were cleared for contact, according to CSNNE.com.

Hamilton (concussion) appears to be closer to return than Kelly (broken right ankle), but both traveled with the team on their upcoming road trip to Philadelphia and Long Island. B’s head coach Claude Julien suggested both could be game-time decisions when Boston takes on the Flyers tomorrow.

Hamilton, 20, has suffered through an injury-plagued season, having already missed a month with a sprained MCL. His return will be big, especially since veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is done for the year with a torn ACL. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he’s going to be patient with his current defensive group before deciding to make a move to replace Seidenberg, meaning Hamilton will have a chance to prove he can handle a bigger load.

As for Kelly, there’s not a huge rush to get him back in. The Bruins miss his penalty killing and veteran leadership, but have gotten nice returns from a number of young replacement forwards this year, namely Ryan Spooner.

“[Kelly] has missed six weeks,” said Julien. “The game shape is the real question. We need to continue to do some battle drills with him.”

Bruins hand Kevan Miller a two-year, $1.6M extension

kevanillerap
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The Boston Bruins inked defenseman Kevan Miller to a two-year, $1.6 million extension on Tuesday.

The one-way deal is worth $750K in 2014-15 and $850K in 2015-16, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Miller, 26, would have been a restricted free agent this summer had he not signed this extension.

The Bruins now have most of their defense locked up through at least 2014-15, although Torey Krug’s RFA negotiations could provide some challenges.

Miller has played in 16 games with the Bruins this season, his first making it at the NHL level. He’s averaged 16:53 minutes per appearance in 2013-14.

Discuss: ‘Hawks beat Bruins 3-2 in shootout in Stanley Cup Final rematch

Brandon Bollig
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Patrick Kane sealed the deal in a shootout as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 in a shootout. Kane and Jonathan Toews each scored in the skills competition while Brad Marchand was the only Bruin to tally.

What’s there to talk about from this one? Some food for thought:

— We know it wasn’t a playoff game and the Stanley Cup wasn’t on the line, but that sure felt like a playoff game.

— Who knew the game’s weirdest penalty would go to Toews? A 10-minute misconduct for tossing part of his broken stick in the crowd takes the cake.

— Brad Marchand showed a bit of everything he can do. He scored twice, was able to get under the Blackhawks skin drawing their attention and a penalty and scored in the shootout. Solid day.

— Outstanding work from Tuukka Rask in goal for Boston and Corey Crawford for Chicago. Rask had a couple of flashier stops to keep the ‘Hawks off the board.

— Rask would like one of them back though. Brandon Bollig’s goal from the goal line near the corner with no angle doesn’t look pretty, but it counted nonetheless.

— Matt Bartkowski might want a do-over on his hit on Ben Smith with 4.6 seconds left that put Chicago on the power play to start overtime. At least it didn’t cost Boston the game. Silver linings, people.

Here are the highlights from today’s game:

Get your game notes: Bruins at Blackhawks

Toews with Cup
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This afternoon on NBC, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Boston Bruins starting at 12:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Chicago is the only team in the NHL to have three players ranked in the top 10 in points (Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Jonathan Toews) and assists (Duncan Keith, Kane, and Toews).

• Meanwhile, the Bruins have seven different players that have netted at least 10 goals (Reilly Smith, Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, and Torey Krug).

• Although Tuukka Rask has been among the league’s top goaltenders this season, he has a 3.71 GAA and .876 save percentage since Dec. 28.

• The Blackhawks’ offensive success in regulation hasn’t translated to the shootout. Despite leading the league in goals per game, their 24.4 shootout shooting percentage ranks 24th. They are 0-4 in the skills competition since Dec. 6.

• If history is any indication, then the Boston Bruins should be considered the favorites in this rematch against the 2013 Stanley Cup finalists. Since 2006-07, the losing team in the finals has gone 4-1-1 in their first contest against the defending champions.

• Chicago is 25-0-4 when they score first while the Bruins are 21-5-1 when they take the initial lead.

• The Blackhawks are tied for the league high in Olympic selections with 10.

• Chicago has a chance to become the first team since the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup three times in five campaigns. Edmonton did it in 1987, 1988, and 1990.