Boston Bruins

Better than nothing: Bruins salvage two points from West Coast swing

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OK, so the Boston Bruins didn’t play very well in California. Didn’t play well and didn’t get the results in what is arguably the most difficult tour on the NHL schedule.

But then they head to Arizona, home of the currently struggling Coyotes, and come away with a convincing 5-2 victory on Saturday, salvaging two of a possible eight points on this four game West Coast swing that saw them lose in Anaheim, L.A., and San Jose.

Brad Marchand scored twice in the win over the Coyotes and is now up 100 NHL goals for his career. It was an important win for Boston, which keeps pace with the Toronto Maple Leafs, also victorious on Saturday, in the Atlantic Division.

“There were two desperate teams here tonight (and) somebody had to be hungrier than the other, and it was nice to see that it was us,” said Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien, as per the club’s Twitter account.

Goalie nods: Luongo hopes to blank Buffalo once again

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Bobby Lou loves facing Buffalo

As many point out, Roberto Luongo has really pumped up his numbers against the Buffalo Sabres lately, as he carries a three-game shutout streak into Saturday’s game. That streak includes his past two starts versus Buffalo as a member of the Florida Panthers, so it’s not merely a matter of his days with the Vancouver Canucks.

Luongo’s been quite effective for Florida, in general, even if he hasn’t always received the best bounces (judging by the six in his 8-5-6 record). His .924 save percentage is a strong argument that he can make things work under most circumstances, even as people focus on a contract even he grew to hate.

The Sabres rode a hot streak with Jhonas Enroth pretty recently, yet it sounds like Michal Neuvirth will get the nod today.

Elsewhere …

Flyers at Kings: Steve Mason for sure on Philly’s end, probably Jonathan Quick for Los Angeles.

Capitals at Devils: Braden Holtby seems most likely, Cory Scheider for sure.

Canucks at Maple Leafs: Ryan Miller’s expected, Jonathan Bernier’s confirmed.

Rangers at Red Wings: Cam Talbot vs. Jimmy Howard.

Canadiens at Stars: Likely Carey Price vs. Kari Lehtonen.

Blue Jackets at Lightning: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Ben Bishop.

Blackhawks at Pekka Rinne: Best guess right now is Scott Darling vs. Pekka Rinne.

Bruins at Coyotes: Possibly Tuukka Rask, definitely Devan Dubnyk.

Sharks at Flames: Expected Antti Niemi vs. Karri Ramo.

Dale Weise is a first-line winger now

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Montreal forward, and Milan Lucic’s BFF, Dale Weise will be in a unique role tonight when the Habs visit Chicago — he’ll be playing on the club’s first line alongside Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais.

More, from NHL.com:

The Canadiens had the same line combinations at their morning skate that they used in the third period of a 2-1 loss Wednesday at the Minnesota Wild. That means forward Dale Weise gets a chance to log top-line minutes at right wing, while PA Parenteau moves to right wing on the third line.

“I liked the way we played in that third period when we made those line changes,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. “Hopefully we’re going to build on that. [Weise] has got an opportunity tonight and it’s up to him to make sure he’s got a solid game.”

Weise’s career has really taken off since getting traded to Montreal last season. After getting stymied by John Tortorella in both Vancouver and New York — Torts wasn’t a fan of Weise’s game — he’s flourished under Therrien, with four goals and 10 points through 24 games this year. That puts Weise on pace for a career-high 14G-34PTS, which would be extremely good value given Montreal’s only paying him $1.025 million annually this year and the next.

Eberle rumors swirl as Bruins’ offense struggles

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The Boston Bruins, when they’ve been at their best in recent seasons, have been one of the top defensive teams in the NHL.

Everyone knows that. (Lest we forget Claude Julien’s beloved “layers,” and how those layers helped the B’s stifle the high-scoring Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 playoffs and the high-scoring Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.)

What occasionally gets forgotten, however, is that the Bruins have been a pretty high-scoring team themselves. In that 2010-11 championship year, Boston finished the regular season with the NHL’s fifth-ranked offense. The B’s finished third in the league last season, averaging 3.15 goals per game.

Hence, the growing concern about the state of the current team, which ranks 22nd in offense, averaging just 2.41 goals per game.

While injuries to David Krejci and Zdeno Chara are surely to blame for some of the Bruins’ scoring woes, that’s not stopping the rumor mill from churning. The latest speculation involves a possible deal with the Edmonton Oilers for winger Jordan Eberle.

According to CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, it’s believed that Eberle has “always been the desired top line target for the Black and Gold,” even if it didn’t sound today like the Oilers were on the verge of making a big trade.

Why Eberle?

Well, the salary cap-limited Bruins did not, if you’ll recall, bring in a replacement for departed winger Jarome Iginla this offseason, opting instead to hope Loui Eriksson could be “better than he was last year.”

And how’s Eriksson done?

Well, he has just three goals in 27 games, so…yeah.

Consider also: Boston’s leading goal-scorers are Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith, each with six. Currently, there are 92 players in the NHL with more than six goals.

The Bruins lost their third straight last night, falling 7-4 to the San Jose Sharks in a game where, let’s be honest, the offense was the least of their problems. But before that they were shut out by the Kings, 2-0, marking the third time this season that they’d been blanked.

Boston is in Arizona Saturday to play the Coyotes.

Related: (Video) PHT Extra: Why Bruins fans should be worried

Video: Rask talks about getting cut for six stitches

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Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask had the night off Tuesday in L.A., but that didn’t stop him from getting involved in the action.

Rask took an errant puck to the head early in the first period and was cut for six stitches.

On Wednesday, Rask admitted he was bragging about the stitches.

Boston continues its’ four-game road trip Thursday night in San Jose.