Tag: Boston Bruins

Spooner goal

Video: Sens, Bruins get off to wild start with three goals in four minutes

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With just four points dividing the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins in the battle for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, it was fair to expect their game tonight to be a good one. Few would have predicted this eventful of a start though.

Kyle Turris needed just 19 seconds to give the Ottawa Senators a 1-0 lead thanks to a juicy rebound surrendered by Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask.

Ottawa didn’t get to enjoy the lead for long as Boston forward Carl Soderberg even the score less than a minute into the contest. Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond, who briefly left the ice just before the start of play due to a minor skate issue, didn’t look particularly good on this one.

Ryan Spooner netted his fourth goal of the season at 4:04 to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.

Hammond has tied a 76-year-old record by allowing less than three goals in each of his first 12 career starts. If he wants to claim sole possession of that record, he’ll need to be perfect for the remainder of the game.

Of course, given the importance of this game for Ottawa, he doesn’t need to look to the record books to find reasons to stay motivated.

Goalie nods: Panthers return ‘our MVP’ Luongo for key tilt versus Wings

Roberto Luongo

All the latest from the blue paint…

Luongo back for Florida

Roberto Luongo will play for the first time since Mar. 3 when the Panthers host the Red Wings in Sunrise this evening.

Luongo, who’s missed the past six games with a shoulder injury, draws back in looking to keep Florida’s playoff hopes alive. The Panthers went an impressive 3-2-1 during his absence with journeyman Dan Ellis in goal, but know their chances of making the postseason are increased greatly with Bobby Loo in net.

“[Luongo] has been our MVP all year long,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said, per NHL.com. “He’s been a great player for us and a great leader and a great character. He’s going to come in tonight and try to do his best.

“He’ll work hard and compete hard and I’m sure the guys will be excited to see him.”

Florida heads into tonight’s action seven points back of Boston (the Bruins take on the Sens in Ottawa tonight), but still has three head-to-head matchups remaining against the B’s.

For Detroit, Petr Mrazek gets the call in net tonight.


Sharks at Leafs: Antti Niemi vs. Jonathan Bernier

Canes at Habs: Anton Khudobin vs. Carey Price

Bruins at Senators: Tuukka Rask (probable) vs. Andrew Hammond

Blues at Jets: Brian Elliott vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Caps at Wild: Braden Holtby vs. Devan Dubnyk

Pens at Stars: Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Kari Lehtonen (probable)

Flyers at Flames: Steve Mason vs. Karri Ramo

Jackets at Canucks: (No Columbus starter yet) vs. Eddie Lack

Avs at Coyotes: Semyon Varlamov vs. Louis Domingue

Rask sees positives in Bruins already facing playoff-like urgency

Tuukka Rask

When it comes to the final stretch of recent seasons, the Boston Bruins usually had a playoff spot locked up, using seeding as a source of motivation. This time around, they’re fighting for a wild card berth.

Tuukka Rask doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing, actually, as he told CSNNE.com.

“We’ve got a lot of big games coming up,”Rask said. “It feels like every game is a playoff right now, so when the playoffs come we won’t have to be mentally prepared. Or be scared that we’re going to fold because we won the President’s Trophy and stuff like that. I think we can make this work for us.”

Head coach Claude Julien backed up that notion, arguing that big games can bring out the best in a team.

We’ve certainly seen more of Rask’s best lately, too.

The 28-year-old started the season on a down note – at least according to his lofty standards – especially with just a 4-4-0 record and an usually bad .899 save percentage in October. He’s been looking a lot more like a defending Vezina winner since 2015 came around, something that’s seen most obvious in March: he’s 4-1-1 with an outstanding .952 save percentage.

Maybe pushing that hard can be a little taxing – he already sat out one game this week with “general soreness” – yet it keeps the Bruins and their franchise goalie sharp. One imagines it may be refreshing to play more of an underdog role after a stretch of ranking among the East’s favorites.

All of that said, this CSNNE.com article argues that the Bruins aren’t totally out of the woods just yet:

Along with the general softness across this team’s roster and the intermittent offensive droughts, there are times when the Bruins want things to be easy. It’s a natural human trait, to be sure, but it’s also the sign of a team that doesn’t consistently set the bar high enough. The intensity, desire and compete level of the recently great B’s teams hasn’t been there on most nights.

That column is a reminder that, with all the scrappy talk, the Bruins still face considerable pressure to succeed.

On the bright side, the team and especially Rask seem to be responding to this challenge (at least so far).