Habs forward Dale Weise was awarded a penalty shot early in the second period after being hauled down by Bruins’ Dennis Seidenberg.
On Wednesday morning while trying to avoid questions about Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, Bruins coach Claude Julien said, “I don’t think tonight’s a real emotional game”.
On Wednesday night, his team’s game lacked emotion.
The second period wasn’t four minutes old and Boston was in the hole 4-0, starting goaltender Tuukka Rask pulled, presumably to rest for the more emotional tilt Thursday against the Canadiens.
Toronto added two more extending its’ win streak to three games with a 6-1 win. The Leafs also improved to 5-1-1 since an embarrassing 4-1 home ice loss to the Bruins on Oct. 25.
Boston saw its’ five game win streak come to an end and lost for just the second time since losing captain Zdeno Chara to a knee injury.
“We just stunk the joint and right now, it’s a matter of moving on, getting ready for tomorrow because there’s nothing great to talk about today,” Julien said post-game.
Former Bruins first round pick, Phil Kessel, who entered the game with just three goals in 27 career games against Boston, opened the scoring with his ninth of the season at 6:46 of the first period. Kessel added the game-winner 18 seconds into the second period.
“I haven’t scored many goals on him,” Kessel said of Rask. “Tonight I was a little fortunate to get a couple past him.”
Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly and forward Tyler Bozak scored less than two minutes apart forcing Julien to make a goaltending change. Rask, who was 10-2-0 in his previous 12 games against the Leafs, allowed four goals on 16 shots.
“I take a lot of blame for getting scored on three times in three minutes,” said Rask. “It’s never good. I’m there for keeping it tight. It wasn’t my night”
James van Riemsdyk and Peter Holland rounded out the scoring for the Leafs.
“Tonight I felt was one of our best starts of the year,” said Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle. “We were on the puck and we were skating, we were directing pucks at the net. Phil’s (Kessel’s) goal was a big goal early. Then we started out the second period the same way.”
Dennis Seidenberg scored the lone Bruins goal while Niklas Svedberg made 15 saves in relief.
Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves in the win.
Zdeno Chara. Torey Krug. Kevan Miller.
And now, David Warsofsky.
That’s the full, updated list of injured Boston blueliners — the latest, Warsofsky, was announced on Friday as the team said he’d be out “a while” with an undisclosed ailment suffered during Thursday’s win over Edmonton.
The Krug-like Warsofsky (still Brough’s best headline ever, by a mile) drew into the Boston lineup on Oct. 30 and has played well, averaging 17:46 TOI in four games while notching his first point of the season against the Oilers.
With Warsofsky gone, Boston’s top six blueliners project to be Dougie Hamilton, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski, Joe Morrow and Zach Trotman. If that is upsetting to B’s fans, don’t fret — the team is 5-1-0 in its last six and the defense is playing so well, some think now is the time to trade Chara. I am not one of those people, for the record.
For as tumultuous as Boston’s start has been, the team has played reasonably well of late and secured 10 of a possible 14 points.
All of which came as news to Tuukka Rask.
“We won five out of seven? Oh yeah?” Rask said, per the Boston Herald. “It doesn’t feel like it. It feels like we have been losing and winning.
“But you know it’s better, it’s good, the right way.”
The B’s started the year 2-4-0 and things hit their lowest on Oct. 16, when Rask was hooked after allowing five goals on 23 shots in an eventual 6-4 loss to Montreal. Losing to their heated rival after last year’s playoff ouster was one thing, but Boston looked downright rattled — and nobody embodied that frustration more than Milan Lucic, who received a misconduct penalty at the end of regulation and was later fined $5K for making an obscene gesture towards Montreal fans.
Since then, though, things have improved.
Lucic has been better, scoring six points in his last six games, but the real story has been the less-heralded individuals that’ve stepped in and provided quality efforts.
In Saturday’s 4-2 win over Ottawa, Matt Fraser was a late insertion for the injured David Krejci and stole the show, scoring a pair of goals while finishing as the game’s first star. Rookie Seth Griffith has five points in his last six games, and first-year backup Niklas Svedberg has a 1.66 GAA and .940 save percentage.
Much credit here is due to head coach Claude Julien, who has done well in keeping the team afloat despite a depleted blueline (Zdeno Cara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller all out with injures) and the departures of Johnny Boychuk and Jarome Iginla.
It makes sense, then, that Boston rewarded Julien with a three-year contract extension this weekend, with one of the club’s veteran presences — Dennis Seidenberg — shedding light on how Julien has gotten his new, inexperienced players to perform at a quality level.
“He’s proven in the past that he knows how to coach,” Seidenberg said, per the Herald. “He knows how to teach a young team to play a system.
“I really enjoy playing for him and I think all the guys in here do.”
Boston’s thinned-out blueline suffered another hit on Tuesday night, prompting a quick response Wednesday morning.
After Torey Krug was hurt late in yesterday’s 4-3 loss to Minnesota, the B’s recalled a pair of defensemen from AHL Providence today: Joe Morrow and David Warsofsky, per the Providence Journal.
UPDATE: The Bruins have made the moves official, along with news that Krug will miss the next 2-3 weeks with a broken finger.
More, from CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty:
Morrow & Warsofsky recalled by B’s. Torey Krug took shot off foot & had part of pinky finger tip sliced off from slash. That’s a tough night
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) October 29, 2014
Krug finished the Wild game with a whopping 24:07 TOI, but wasn’t out in the final moments when the B’s pulled Tuukka Rask for an extra skater while looking for the equalizing goal. The 24-year-old leads all Boston d-men in scoring this season, with six points in 11 games.
The Bruins are already without the services of Zdeno Chara — sidelined 4-6 weeks with a torn PCL in his knee — and Kevan Miller (dislocated shoulder); they also traded away Johnny Boychuk just prior to the start of the regular season due to a salary cap crunch.
The result is that Boston could now head into Thursday’s game in Buffalo with a top-six defense of Dennis Seidenberg, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Zach Trotman, Matt Bartkowski and either one of Warsofsky or Morrow.