Boston Bruins

Goalie nods: Luongo starts again after facing 50 shots vs. Preds

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Florida sticks with Luongo

No rest for the weary.

That’s the story for the Panthers tonight when they host the Wild at Sunrise, as Roberto Luongo will start for the fourth straight game, just 48 hours after his busiest game of the season.

On Saturday, Luongo faced a whopping 50 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss in Nashville. It marked the first time Luongo faced 50 or more shots this season; the last time saw a similar workload was in March of last season, when he stopped 52 of 54 shots in a 3-2 win over San Jose.

Overall, the 35-year-old veteran has been tremendous for Florida this season and is arguably the club’s MVP. He’s 6-4-5 with a 2.36 GAA and .926 save percentage, with one shutout.

For the Wild, Niklas Backstrom will start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Pens at Bruins: Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh, Tuukka Rask likely for Boston.

Flyers at Isles: Steve Mason vs. Jaroslav Halak

Sens at Wings: Craig Anderson vs. Jimmy Howard

Horvat catches fire, just as Schneider arrives for visit

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They’re raving about Bo Horvat in Vancouver.

And in an interesting twist, they’re doing it just as New Jersey’s Cory Schneider, the goalie the Canucks traded to draft Horvat, is in town for a game Tuesday.

They’re also doing it just as Horvat, 19, is set to play his ninth NHL game, after which management will have to decide on keeping him, burning the first year of his entry-level contract in the process, or sending him back to junior.

Chances are, they’re going to keep him. After scoring his first NHL goal Thursday versus Anaheim, Horvat had three assists in last night’s 4-1 victory over Chicago. On top of that, he went 13 of 16 in the faceoff circle, with a few wins over one of the NHL’s best, Jonathan Toews.

“Believe it or not, that is my idol,” Horvat said of Toews, per the Vancouver Sun. “That’s the guy I want to model my game after, that’s the guy I watched growing up playing in the NHL. And to take a faceoff against him a couple of times and to be on the same sheet of ice as him, it’s pretty cool.”

Horvat has also drawn comparisons to Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. Considering the Canucks only recently traded Ryan Kesler — like Toews and Bergeron, a former Selke Trophy winner — the growing excitement in Vancouver about Horvat, though possibly a tad premature, is understandable.

“I wouldn’t believe he was 19 if I didn’t already know that,” linemate Derek Dorsett said. “The way he carries himself on and off the ice, it’s like he has played five or 10 years as a pro already.”

NHL on NBCSN: Bruins seek perfect game vs. Penguins

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Boston Bruins host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the TD Garden at 7:00 p.m. ET tonight. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The Bruins have been doing more than just holding their own lately, but a 2-0 loss to Montreal on Saturday cost them an opportunity to close the substantial gap between Boston and the Atlantic-leading Canadiens. Bruins head coach Claude Julien felt the team’s effort was sound, but the reality is that the injuries Boston is coping with have taken their toll.

“It’s unfortunate but this is where we realize that right now when you play a team that’s healthy and that’s going extremely well, it almost takes a perfect game [to get a win],” Julien said.

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If that’s what it would have taken to beat Montreal, then the bar should be set similarly high against Pittsburgh tonight. The Penguins aren’t completely healthy of course. They lost a great and versatile player when the future of Pascal Dupuis’ career was unfortunately put into question because of a blood clot in his lung. Following that serious revelation, Pittsburgh lost back-to-back games against the New York Islanders.

Pittsburgh is still relatively healthy though compared to the rest of the league. As has been the norm with the Penguins for years, they’ll enter this game with an opposing group of star forwards at their disposal, including Sidney Crosby, who has 35 points in 25 career regular season games against Boston. He didn’t record a point in the two contests against the Islanders, but he hasn’t been held off the scoresheet for three straight regular season games since Oct. 31-Nov. 10, 2009.

Taking a step back from Crosby and looking at the big picture, the gap between Pittsburgh and Boston’s offenses this season becomes more blatant. Pittsburgh has recorded a league-leading 3.53 goals per game while the Bruins sit in 20th place with an average of 2.50. To make matters worse, the Bruins have missed forwards David Krejci and Brad Marchand lately.

It’s with that backdrop that the Bruins have reportedly decided to summon David Pastrnak. The 18-year-old was taken with the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and while most other top prospects that age are tied to a Canadian junior team and are consequently forced to either play in the NHL or CHL, Pastrnak was previous in the Swedish hockey system and was able to immediately start playing in the AHL. He’s flourished at that level with five goals and 18 points in 17 contests.

It’s unfair to hope for too much from him in his NHL debut, if that even comes tonight, but the Bruins certainly can use all the help they can get. They swept the Penguins in the 2012 Eastern Conference Final, but that was under different circumstances. As Julien said, they’ll likely need a very strong effort to come away with two points tonight and they might get just that.

Report: Bruins’ recall Pastrnak from AHL (confirmed)

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The Boston Bruins have reportedly recalled 18-year-old forward David Pastrnak from the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins.

Pastrnak, Boston’s first-round pick (25th overall) in 2014, has five goals and 18 points in 17 AHL games this season.

Update: The recall has been confirmed on the AHL’s transactions page.

It’s Pastrnak’s first season in North America after spending the past two seasons in Sweden’s second-tier professional league.

Boston reassigned forwards Jordan Caron and Matt Lindblad on Sunday.

Additionally, defenseman Zdeno Chara (knee) was placed on long-term injured reserve.

Julien: ‘It almost takes a perfect game’ for Bruins to win

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Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien seemed pretty happy with his team’s effort after a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. His discomfort only really stems from the feeling that there’s very little margin for error.

Basically, he thinks the injury-ravaged Bruins have to be at the top of their games all the time to overcome a skeleton roster, as he told CSNNE.com.

“I thought, you know, we played hard, we competed, we were smart and we didn’t give them much,” Julien said. “It’s unfortunate but this is where we realize that right now when you play a team that’s healthy and that’s going extremely well, it almost takes a perfect game [to get a win].

“I credit my players for just going out there and competing hard and well, and giving ourselves a chance. The one thing, as you know, we’re not scoring goals easily these days. So we’ve really got to get our noses dirty in front of the net, and throw some pucks in areas where we can jump on those loose pucks.”

In some ways, it should get easier soon.

The Bruins sent Jordan Caron and Matt Lindblad back to the AHL today after recalling them on Saturday, indicating that there’s a chance a forward or two (maybe David Krejci and/or Brad Marchand) might be able to return to the mix again soon.

On the other hand, Boston faces another tough opponent tomorrow, as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

After trying to avoid making mistakes against Montreal, the Bruins will be tested to contain Pittsburgh’s potent attack. Either way, they’ll need to push themselves to the limit with key players out of the lineup.