Tyler Randell

Claude Julien closes in on Bruins milestone after victory over Hurricanes

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Matt Beleskey scored goals in the first and third periods, leading the Boston Bruins to a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

It was the 388th regular-season victory for Boston coach Claude Julien, who needs two wins to tie Art Ross as the Bruins’ career leader.

The Hurricanes lost in regulation for just the third time in their last 16 home games (10-3-3). But, Carolina has lost in regulation on back-to-back nights.

Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston in the first period, and Brad Marchand added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds. Tuukka Rask stopped 39 shots.

Noah Hanifin had Carolina’s lone goal.

Hurricanes center Brad Malone, who is currently on waivers, played in his first game since Jan. 24.

The Bruins led 2-0 after a first period in which the Hurricanes had 12 shots on goal to Boston’s 11.

Bergeron put the Bruins ahead at 10:26 of the first, taking Brett Connolly‘s pass low in the right circle and roofing the puck over Ward’s right shoulder.

Beleskey doubled the lead on the power play at 12:38, scoring on a rush by lining the puck over Ward’s glove from the left circle with Torey Krug on the helper.

Carolina outshot the visitors 10-6 during a second period played without a penalty.

Hanifin halved the lead at 3:00 of the third, lighting the lamp by ricocheting the puck off Rask’s skate. But Beleskey got his second goal of the night at 6:24, beating Ward from the low slot on an assist from Ryan Spooner.

NOTES: The Hurricanes host St. Louis on Sunday before playing their next two on the road. … Boston hosts Tampa Bay on Sunday in the opener of a four-game homestand. … Carolina D Justin Faulk (lower body) missed his second straight game, while C Andrej Nestrasil (back) C Jay McClement (upper body) and D Justin Faulk (lower body) were also out. … C Max Talbot, RW Tyler Randell and D Zach Trotman were all healthy scratches for the Bruins. … Boston D Dennis Seidenberg was a member of the Hurricanes’ 2006 Stanley Cup champions. … The teams’ other meetings this season are in Boston on March 10 and April 5.

Roman Josi fights and scores as Preds beat Bruins

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Boston Bruins fans who were unaware of Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi are probably well-aware of his presence after Monday night.

The game is still going on, but the Swiss-born blueliner has already made quite an impact.

He started off with the first fight of his NHL career (naturally against antagonist Brad Marchand):

Josi already has two goals – could he join Shea Weber as Predators blueliners scoring hat tricks? – including this impressive effort:

Granted, Josi didn’t produce the best bit of pugilism in this game, as Tyler Randell vs. Eric Nystrom takes the cake.

Update: The Predators managed a 3-2 win.

Boston’s fourth-liners have been breaking the first rule of the fourth line

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The number-one rule for any fourth line is a simple one:

Don’t get scored on.

That rule again?

Don’t get scored on.

Yes, it’s also important to create energy and wear down the opposition with a few hits. Maybe even chip in with a goal now and then.

But never forget:

Don’t get scored on.

Bruins coach Claude Julien would like Zac Rinaldo, Joonas Kemppainen, and Tyler Randell to start abiding by that rule.

“Randell has three goals in 10 games, but when you look at the defensive side of it they’re getting scored [on] too much,” said Julien, per CSN New England. “They need to have a better balance. With the fourth line the first thing is not to get scored on.”

The Bruins, of course, no longer have a fourth line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell, and Dan Paille, a.k.a. the Merlot Line.

In 2010-11, the season Boston won the Stanley Cup, Thornton led all Bruins forwards with a goals-against-per-60 of 1.38. Campbell wasn’t much worse at 1.61; Paille’s was 1.97.

It was a good defensive line that Julien could trust.

This year, Randell is a team-worst 4.42, Rinaldo is next at 3.83, and Kemppainen is third-worst at 3.19.

Not that Julien doesn’t appreciate what they’ve contributed offensively.

“Anytime they score it adds to your depth and is a great thing,” he said.

“But you need to end up on the positive side of the equation, and that’s what they’ve got to work on right now. They need to be a little more conscientious about what they need to do in the D-zone.”

Bergeron rallies late to push Bruins past Coyotes

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Patrice Bergeron scored twice in the last 11 minutes to lift the Boston Bruins to a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.

Tyler Randell, Dave Krejci and Brad Marchand also scored to help the Bruins win their second straight. Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots for his first win of the season, and Krejci and Torey Krug each had two assists.

Shane Doan had a goal and two assists, and Tobias Rieder and Kyle Chipchura also scored for Arizona. The Coyotes have lost two straight after opening the season with three wins.

Rieder and Chipchura scored 2 1/2 minutes apart in the third quarter to tie the score with about 13 1/2 minutes to go.

Bergeron then redirected a pass from Ryan Spooner into the net for the go-ahead power-play score at 9:10 of the period. Bergeron then added his third of the season with 1:06 left to seal the win.

Marchand’s short-handed breakaway goal at 4:44 of the third period extended Boston’s lead to 3-1 before the Coyotes rallied to tie it.

Doan gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with his first goal of the season at 2:12 of the first period. He forcing a rebound off the skate of Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller and under Rask’s leg pads. The goal was reviewed after Boston coach Claude Julien used his challenge but the ruling stood.

The unassisted goal marked Doan’s 900th career point, making him the second player in franchise history to reach that milestone.

The Bruins failed to capitalize on their first three power plays of the game, but spent much of the night peppering Coyotes goalie Mike Smith with shots.

Boston outshot Arizona 10-1 at one point in the first period, but Smith was sharp in goal early, turning away several quality Bruins chances. Smith stopped shots from David Pastrnak at 16:48 of the period and Krejci during a power play, finishing with 38 saves.

The Coyotes had chances to add to their lead in the first period but could not convert on their two power plays.

Coyotes center Joe Vitale, involved in some physical play early in the game, was given five minutes for fighting in the second period along with Boston’s Miller. Miller had the better of the scrap with Vitale but the Bruins couldn’t convert on the resulting power play after Oliver Ekman-Larsson was given two minutes for roughing in the skirmish.

Vitale went into the locker room after his time in the penalty box and did not return.

The Bruins finally solved Smith at 8:42 of the second after Smith has stopped two shots by Bergeron and a wrister from Colin Miller. Randell finished a pass from Krejci with a left backhand to tie the score at 1.

Less than a minute later, Rask stretched to stop a shot by Rieder.

Krejci put Boston ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal with 4:41 to go in the second.

NOTES: Marchand returned from a concussion suffered on Oct. 10 against Montreal. … RW Brett Connolly, a healthy scratch, missed his first game of the season . … A good portion of the crowd of 13,411 inside Gila River Arena wore Boston’s black and yellow. It was the Bruins’ only visit to Arizona of the regular season. … Coyotes C Antoine Vermette played after suffering a lower body injury in Thursday’s loss to Minnesota. … LW Jordan Martinook has a lower body injury and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Gustavsson expected to get start over struggling Rask

The Boston Bruins are expected to have three new faces on the ice when they try to get their first win of the season tonight in Denver against the Avalanche.

Most notably, Jonas Gustavsson appears to be the starting goalie. No huge surprise there after Tuukka Rask allowed 14 goals in Boston’s first three games, all losses. Gustavsson signed a one-way contract with the B’s earlier this month. He had a .933 save percentage in two preseason appearances, but only got into seven contests last year for Detroit (.911).

The two other new faces are forward Tyler Randell and d-man Tommy Cross, both of whom will be making their NHL debuts, according to Bruins radio announcer Dave Goucher. Veteran Max Talbot will be scratched for Randell. Cross was called up yesterday after Joe Morrow was put on IR.