With three regulation defeats in their last four, including last night’s 5-3 home loss to Dallas, “negativity” has crept back into the Boston Bruins’ mindset — just in time for a five-game road trip that starts Friday in Vancouver, before stops in Calgary, Edmonton, St. Louis and Chicago.
“You’re feeling so good, and everything is positive, and it kind of all goes the other way again… a lot of negativity in the room, I guess, this last weekend,” said d-man Dougie Hamilton, per CSN New England. “That’s what happens when you’re losing, and we have to find a way to change that obviously on this road trip.”
Not even two weeks ago, the B’s were ending the month of January on an 8-1-1 run. At the time, they had themselves a comfortable nine-point playoff cushion.
Today, that cushion has dwindled to just four points over the Florida Panthers, who also hold two games in hand.
“It is disappointing,” captain Zdeno Chara said after the Stars game, in which the B’s surrendered two short-handed goals and went 0-for-3 on the power play.
“We know that it was our last game for a while at home and now we have a long road trip.”
Dallas Stars forward Antoine Roussel will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Thursday.
Roussel was ejected from Tuesday’s game against the Boston Bruins after he threw a vicious cross check on defenseman Adam McQuaid less than four minutes into the opening period.
Earlier this season, Roussel was handed the maximum fine for a sucker punch on Justin Braun. He’s gained a reputation in the NHL since coming into the league two years ago, although he admitted in November he doesn’t care about that.
Things got ugly early in Boston tonight, as Dallas forward Antoine Roussel was given a five-minute cross checking major and game misconduct for this shot on Adam McQuaid:
Roussel, who was fined earlier this season for a sucker-punch on San Jose defenseman Justin Braun, could find himself back in front of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for this incident:
McQuaid appeared to be shaken up on the play and left momentarily, but returned to take regular shifts and finished with 5:30 TOI at the end of the opening frame.
Looks as though Steve Mason will go under the knife to try and solve his problematic right knee, according to CSN Philadelphia:
After multiple MRIs — more than three — the Flyers and Mason have decided they will scope his right knee to find the source of pain and why it’s been locking up on him, a source told CSNPhilly.com.
Mason’s latest injury came Sunday at the bench during a timeout at the Flyers-Capitals game. The 26-year-old goalie went to bench to stretch, then his right knee buckled.
He left the game and did not return while backup Ray Emery picked up a 3-1 victory in relief.
This is the third time since Jan. 6 that Mason has injured his right knee.
Losing Mason for any significant length of time would be disastrous for the Flyers, who have inched back onto the brink of playoff contention — just nine points back of Boston — thanks to a 6-3-1 record over their last 10 games. Mason has been a big reason for the improved play; as Brough wrote in his recent praise piece, Mason’s .924 save percentage ranks 6th in the NHL and puts him ahead of the likes of Semyon Varlamov (.923), Henrik Lundqvist (.922), and last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, Tuukka Rask (.921).
With Mason sidelined and veteran Robb Zepp injured in AHL Lehigh Valley, the Flyers have recalled Anthony Stolarz — the 21-year-old will back up Ray Emery for the time being, beginning with Tuesday’s game in Montreal.
After losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the 2014 playoffs, the Boston Bruins couldn’t weren’t able to get revenge at any point during the 2014-15 campaign. Montreal earned a 3-1 victory against Boston tonight to complete their 4-0-0 sweep of the regular season series.
As was the case in the previous two meetings, Carey Price stood tall against the Bruins. He kicked out 34 of 35 shots, frustrating Boston’s shooters all game. It wasn’t until 15:29 of the third period that 18-year-old David Pastrnak just barely beat the Canadiens goaltender by knocking the bouncing puck towards the crease.
That ended Price’s shutout streak against the Bruins at 159:25 minutes, per Boston’s Twitter feed. It gave the Bruins hope in the final minutes of the game, but Boston couldn’t even things. Instead, Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov fired on the empty net with 31 seconds left in regulation time to give Montreal all the insurance it needed.
Max Pacioretty also came up big for the Canadiens tonight with an assist and the game-winning goal on a breakway.
Although the books are closed on the regular season meetings between Boston and Montreal, we might not have to wait much longer to view the next chapter of this rivalry. It’s entirely possible that the Bruins will end up facing the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. Of course, for that to happen, Boston needs to hold onto its postseason spot. With a 28-18-7 record, the Bruins have a six-point cushion in the Wild Card race.