Tonight was a bummer for the Bruins

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For Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien, Thursday went from humbling to grumbling.

The Florida Panthers beat his Bruins 4-1 tonight, moving to first place in the Atlantic Division, at least for the time being.

It wasn’t just a loss for the Bruins; it was also a fifth defeat in a row. Add in an injury and a frustrating call or two, and Julien’s franchise wins record is probably not on the tip of many tongues.

The injury

John Michael-Liles suffered a lower-body injury and was unable to return. It’s unclear how bad it might be beyond that.

The insult

A goal review almost left Julien’s face blue:

One other result: some unease among the locals.

Hey, if Julien showed anything in setting a new benchmark for Bruins coaches, it’s that he can roll with the punches. That’s good, because the Panthers landed a few on his kisser this time around.

Video: Belichick, Ortiz, other Boston notables honor Bruins’ Julien

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The Boston Bruins gave one great salute to head coach Claude Julien on Thursday, celebrating the fact that he now owns the franchise’s record for coaching wins.

(It seems fitting that it comes against Roberto Luongo‘s team in a big game, doesn’t it? Even if it’s with the Florida Panthers this time … maybe?)

Anyway, one of the highlights was a video tribute, which included Boston sports icons like David “Big Papi” Ortiz and Bill Belichick. Also interesting to see other coaches pop up and praise Julien:

The veteran head coach said he’s humbled by the great response:

It wasn’t the only noteworthy presentation by the Bruins, as they also held a moment of silence for the attacks in Brussels.

Brassard, Lundqvist and the Rangers hand Bruins their fourth straight loss

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The New York Rangers jumped out to an early lead, received solid goaltending once again from Henrik Lundqvist and handed the Boston Bruins their fourth consecutive defeat.

Lundqvist made 39 saves in the win. But none were better than this spectacular glove save in the third period to maintain his team’s two-goal lead at the time.

He reached back to stop the puck on the goal line — the play was reviewed to see if the puck completely crossed the line, but there wasn’t conclusive evidence to overturn the call — and deny Lee Stempniak on the rebound.

The Rangers went on from there to defeat the Bruins by a final score of 5-2 to stay four points ahead of the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.

Meanwhile, the Bruins are losers now in four straight, which includes three in a row during a recent trip through California.

Derick Brassard scored the winning goal for New York. He ripped a perfect slap shot over the glove of Jonas Gustavsson into the top corner, just under the cross bar, in the second period.

 

 

Video: Rangers, Bruins observe moment of silence for victims of Brussels attacks

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Prior to the beginning of Wednesday’s NHL game at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers, their fans, and the Boston Bruins observed a moment of silence for the victims of the attacks in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday.

NHL on NBCSN: Bruins, Rangers tangle on Rivalry Night

Dylan McIlrath, Matt Beleskey
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Tonight on NBCSN, the New York Rangers host the Boston Bruins in a classic Eastern Conference grudge match. You can catch the game on TV, or watch online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some notes ahead of tonight’s affair:

• Boston concludes a 4-game road trip tonight. The B’s were swept in their previous 3 games by the California teams, scoring just 3 total goals.

• The Bruins have not lost 4 straight all season and hope to gain ground on Tampa and Florida in the division race. They have a crucial matchup against the Panthers on Thursday.

• The Rangers also struggled on a recent trip to California (1-1-1 in those games), but bounced back on Monday with a 4-2 win over Florida at MSG. The Blueshirts sit 2 points ahead of Pittsburgh for 2nd place in the Metropolitan.

• Even though the Bruins have lost 3 straight on the road, a major reason for their likely return to the playoffs this season is their performance away from TD Garden. The B’s are just a .500 team at home (16-16-5), but one of the league’s top road teams.

• The Bruins are 3 road wins away from tying the franchise record of 26, set in their Cup-winning 1971-72 season. Tonight is one of 5 remaining road games for the Bruins.

• The trademark of previous Claude Julien-led Bruins teams was their defense – over the first 8 seasons of Julien’s tenure, the Bruins allowed the fewest goals/game in the NHL. That number has slipped considerably this season, but the team has still found success due to a spike in offense – the Bruins are the 3rd-highest scoring in the NHL this season.

Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves against Florida to pick up his first win since February 27 (snapped an 0-3-2 stretch). It was his 32nd win of the season and the 371st of his career. Lundqvist is 1 win away from tying former Bruin Andy Moog for 15th all-time, and he has a realistic chance to finish the season alone in 14th place (former Ranger John Vanbiesbrouck is currently 14th with 374 career wins).

Rick Nash snapped a 14-game goal drought on Monday night with his first goal since Dec. 30. Nash has been injury plagued this season, most recently missing 20 games with a bone bruise. After his best season as a Ranger last year, Nash’s production has suffered in 2015-16.

Brad Marchand has a team-leading and career-high 34 goals this season (T-4th in NHL), though he’s currently riding a 5-game goal drought. He joins a short list players – all with notable tenures in Beantown – that have scored 30 goals in a season for Boston since the lockout.

• The Bruins’ most recent call up is also known for scoring. Massachusetts native Frank Vatrano played college hockey at UMass-Amherst, and his first full pro season has been a success, with 39 goals between the AHL and NHL.

• Leads AHL with 33 goals in 33 games for the Providence Bruins

• Scored 6 goals in 30 games with the Bruins earlier this season (last played Jan. 19).

Eric Staal has only produced 3 points (1 G, 2 A) in his 11 games with the Rangers since being acquired near the trade deadline.

Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello lead the team with 25 and 23 goals respectively, but have both struggled of late.

• Brassard: 3 goals in last 14 games.

• Zuccarello: 3 goals in last 15 games (goal Monday night vs. FLA).