BOSTON – (Special Preview for Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning were both cruising along seemingly on their way to an Eastern Conference playoff spot a week ago before ill-timed losing streaks made them wonder where their next win will come. The Atlantic Division rivals each attempt to snap demoralizing three-game slides when the Bruins host the Lightning on Thursday night.
Brad Marchand (63)
Tampa Bay registered at least a point in 15 of 17 games (12-2-3) despite an injury-depleted roster, but gave up five goals apiece in its last three contests – all on home ice – and sit five points behind Boston for the second wild card spot with a game in hand. “It’s back to the drawing board,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman told reporters after Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to Arizona. “. … We can’t lay down. We can’t fold. We just have to refocus.” The Bruins went 12-3-0 in their first 15 games after Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien as coach, but allowed seven goals at Edmonton last Thursday and followed that up with losses to division foes Toronto and Ottawa to stand just two points ahead of the New York Islanders for the final playoff position. “I think at this point of the season, there’s no time to kind of feel sorry for ourselves,” Boston goalie Tuukka Rask told reporters. “We just go out there and make something happen and the results will happen. If we don’t, then it sucks, but we just have to believe that it will.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVAS, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (34-29-9): Tampa Bay won a lot of games with its power play this season, but it converted once in 11 tries over the last four games and failed on two late opportunities Tuesday. Right wing Nikita Kucherov continues to put pressure on the league leaders with three goals and an assist in the last two games to push his team-leading point total to 73 while Hedman reached 60 for the first time in his career Tuesday. Centers Tyler Johnson and Cedric Paquette are still likely out with lower-body injuries, but forward Vladislav Namestnikov scored in his return Tuesday.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (38-29-6): Brad Marchand was kept off the scoresheet in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Ottawa after posting 10 points (five goals) in the previous four games to push his total to a career-high 80. David Pastrnak has also cooled off, going without a point the last two contests after recording at least one in 11 straight outings, while David Krejci boasts five goals and a pair of assists in the past seven games. Four of Boston’s eight goals in the last three games came with the man advantage – two by Krejci – but the Bruins surrendered five power-play tallies in the same span.
1. Rask, who allowed 10 goals on 67 shots the last three outings after winning his 200th game, is 3-0-0 against Tampa Bay this season.
2. Tampa Bay F Jonathan Drouin, who is third on the team with 45 points, recorded nine assists but no goals in the last 12 contests.
3. The Bruins won four straight meetings – all three this season, including a 4-1 triumph in Boston on Nov. 27.
Boston 6, Vancouver 3
When: 10:00 PM ET, Monday, March 13, 2017
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC
VANCOUVER, BC -(Special to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – Brad Marchand lived up to his villain’s role in Vancouver on Monday night. Marchand, who is loathed on the West Coast for helping the Bruins beat the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, scored three goals, including the winner, and assisted on another as Boston doubled up the Vancouver Canucks 6-3 at Rogers Arena.
“Yeah, (I have) lots of great memories in this building, so it is fun just to come in here and reminisce — and when you have a night like that, it just adds to those memories,” said Marchand. “We are enjoying playing the game right now, and this is just another step in the way.”
He scored all of his goals in the third period as the Bruins overcame a 3-2 second-period deficit with four unanswered goals.
“We’re obviously in a tight playoff race and we need every single point right now, so it was great that the team rallied and had a big third,” said Marchand. “It’s what we need, a good way to start the road trip, and we want to keep building now.”
Marchand recorded his second career hat trick and moved into a tie with Sidney Crosby for the NHL goal-scoring lead with 35 markers on the season. In addition, Marchand moved into second in the league points race with 74, just one behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.
The Bruins (37-26-7) won for the 11th time in 14 games since Bruce Cassidy replaced Claude Julien as coach. The Canucks (28-32-9) suffered their fourth consecutive loss and are now 12 points below the playoff bar.
“(Marchand) came to play,” said Cassidy. “This is a leader of our hockey team that knows the urgency of where we are in the season, game in and game out, and he wants to extend the season (into the playoffs), no doubt about it.”
David Backes, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci also scored for the Bruins, while Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak both had two assists. Pasternak extended his points streak to nine games.
Markus Granlund scored twice for Vancouver, and Alexander Edler added a goal. Daniel and Henrik Sedin both had two assists.
“It’s disappointing — really disappointing,” said Canucks coach Willie Desjardins about the loss. “We took a penalty at the end of the second and that hurt us (going) into the third. But saying that, we were still in a good enough position. We just didn’t finish that game.”
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask posted 26 saves for his 200th NHL career win. Canucks counterpart Ryan Miller made 38 saves as Boston outshot Vancouver 43-29.
Marchand forged a 3-3 deadlock on a power play at the 58-second mark of the third period as he backhanded in Pastrnak’s rebound after Miller stopped him on a partial breakaway and was caught facing his net. About 12 minutes later, Marchand notched his second goal as he stole the puck from Henrik Sedin in the corner, slipped it through the legs of Alex Edler and then around Miller.
“I just pulled it off the wall, one of the Sedins lost it in their feet and when I was going to the net I just had a little bit of speed and (Edler) was stopped,” said Marchand. “So I figured if I could just get it on the other side of him and try to get a whack at it, I might have a chance — and, luckily it, went in.”
“It was my mistake on the fourth one, which cost us the game,” said Henrik Sedin. “Up until that point, I didn’t feel that we were panicking in the third. They played well the whole game. I don’t think we played well enough today. We were lucky to be in it after the first.”
Krejci padded the Bruins’ lead before Marchand completed his hat trick with an empty-netter in the final minute.
Backes put the Bruins on the scoreboard first, at 6:48 of the opening period, as Patrice Bergeron’s pass went in off his skate. But Granlund put the Canucks ahead with a pair of goals 1:18 apart late in the first period.
Chara drew the Bruins even at 2-2 just under 14 minutes into the second period as his harmless-looking point shot sneaked through Miller. But Edler restored Vancouver’s lead 21 seconds later as he put in his own rebound off a shot from the wing.
Marchand, who now has 25 goals in his past 28 games, said a hostile environment motivated him to play well.
“That’s kind of when I get into it more — and (it’s) not a good idea for them,” he said.
NOTES: Several Bruins fans attended the game, and some threw hats on the ice after LW Brad Marchand’s third goal. … Canucks G Ryan Miller played the 700th game of his NHL career. … F Drew Shore earned an assist as he made his debut with the Canucks after signing as a free agent Sunday for the remainder of the season. He travelled to Vancouver from Switzerland, where he played his final game for Kloten on Saturday. … Canucks D Chris Tanev missed his second consecutive game due to food poisoning. F Markus Granlund returned after missing one game with the same problem. … Earlier Monday, the Canucks signed junior-age D Jalen Chatfield, 20, to a three-year entry-level contract. He will remain with Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League.
Carolina 3, Boston 2
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, December 23, 2016
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
RALEIGH – Special to Digital Sports Desk by Sports Xchange) – Teuvo Teravainen did something he had never done and he enjoyed the rewards. He scored an overtime goal, sending the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-2 comeback victory against the Boston Bruins on Friday night at PNC Arena.
“First overtime goal ever,” said Teravainen, a 22-year-old right winger. “I never scored one (at any level). It’s a pretty cool feeling.”
Jordan Staal and Justin Faulk scored in regulation for Carolina, which is 9-0-1 in its last 10 home games.
The Hurricanes (15-11-7) have a three-game winning streak and a five-game points streak.
“We’re comfortable with where our team game is,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said.
The Hurricanes are 4-7 in games decided in overtime, but they’ve won four times in 10 outings when they’ve trailed after two periods.
Ryan Spooner and Brad Marchand scored in regulation for Boston, which led 2-0 and dominated for stretches of the game. The Bruins fell to 15-0-1 when leading after two periods this season.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said. “We were in control. It’s two games in a row the third period we weren’t playing aggressive. We started panicking.”
Carolina goalie Cam Ward, playing for the second night in a row after the team’s four-day layoff, made 31 saves.
“We scratched and clawed because it wasn’t pretty out there,” Ward said. “It’s a great feeling to finish that one off.”
Anton Khudobin made 20 saves for the Bruins in only his eighth outing of the season, but his third appearance in Boston’s last five games. He has only one win seven decisions.
Teravainen’s tally was the only shot on goal in overtime for either team, coming with 1:59 remaining in the extra session. He has nine goals this season, with four of them coming this month.
“I was coming (toward the net) and seeing if I had something,” he said of the final sequence during which he burst into the offensive zone and veered to the left for a shooting angle.
The Bruins (18-14-4) were aiming for their third victory in their last four games after a 1-3-1 stretch, but instead were stuck with frustration going into the holiday break.
“With the condensed schedule, it has been hard on everybody,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “We’ll be (in need of) the break and then they have to be ready to get back to work.”
The Hurricanes picked up the pace by holding a 10-4 lead in third-period shots.
A few minutes into the third period, Boston had a 31-13 advantage in shots but the Hurricanes went on a power play 4:42 into the period. Carolina produced four shots in the next two minutes without scoring.
But six seconds later, Faulk converted off a faceoff with 13:12 remaining after receiving a pass from Elias Lindholm. Faulk has four goals in the last five games.
Staal cut Carolina’s deficit to 2-1 midway through the second period with a short-handed goal, negating much of Boston’s dominance across the first 30 minutes.
Spooner opened the scoring, with the last three of his four goals this season coming in road games. That gave Boston 22 first-period goals this season, the same number it has allowed in the opening 20 minutes of games.
Marchand’s 10th goal came when he redirected Spooner’s blast on a second-period power play. It was Marchand’s second power-play tally this season.
The Bruins had 15 shots in the first 13 minutes, but only one goal to show for it. Their shot advantage grew to 28-12 through two periods.
It was Staal’s second goal in five games since returning from a concussion.
NOTES: The Hurricanes announced that the makeup date from Monday night’s scheduled home matchup with Detroit is March 27. Ice problems caused this week’s game to be nixed. … After making his season debut with the Bruins on Thursday night, C Frank Vatrano was in the lineup again. He had foot surgery in September. … G Eddie Lack was the backup for Carolina, suiting up at home for the first time in more than a month because of a concussion sustained in practice. … Boston’s next game is Tuesday at Columbus, marking the third of four consecutive road games. … The Hurricanes are back in action Wednesday at Pittsburgh.
COLUMBUS – (Wire Service Report) – With the normal opening night excitement palpable, the Boston Bruins overcame two, two-goal deficits to top the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night.
“I didn’t think we played that bad,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “We had two mistakes that were costly (first period), and that was unfortunate. But it was just a matter of getting ourselves back in the game.”
Brad Marchand and his linemates were the Bruins catalysts in the comeback. Marchand dished out three helpers in the second period before scoring two goals in the third to seal the victory.
“It was a good way to start the year,” Marchand said. “The big thing from tonight that we have to take away is the character we showed. It’s a lot of fun when you come back from a two-goal deficit and win.”
Marchand’s linemates, offseason addition David Backes (two goals and an assist) and David Pastrnak (two goals and two assists) also played a large role in the victory.
“You could see some of the nerves and the squeezing of the sticks in the first period,” said Backes. “They got the 4-on-4 goal and then it doesn’t take them long to score on the power play. But I think we responded really well and showed a lot of the character in this room.”
Seth Jones had a goal and an assist and Alexander Wennberg and Cam Atkinson scored a goal each for the Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets scored just 2:58 into the first period when Wennberg carried the puck through the neutral zone before sniping the puck past Bruins’ goalie Tuukka Rask. Jones and rookie Zach Werenski got the assists.
“I thought he played a good game tonight,” Jones said of his defensive partner Werenski, “and moved the puck very well. Obviously, we’re going to have to communicate more in some areas, but it is (just) the first game. I thought we were pretty good, but obviously we can be better.”
TORONTO – (Wire Service Report – Special to Digital Sports Desk) – Brad Marchand went from just happy to be here to scoring the winning goal in the World Cup of Hockey. Marchand and Boston Bruins teammate Patrice Bergeron scored with less than three minutes left as Team Canada snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by topping Team Europe 2-1 in Game 2 of the final series Thursday in Toronto.
Trailing 1-0 late in the third period, Bergeron scored the equalizer on the power play with 2:53 remaining before Marchand scored the winner shorthanded with 43.1 seconds left.
“Yeah, I think the whole thing has been a bit of a whirlwind,” Marchand said after scoring his fourth goal of the tournament. “When you come into a tournament like this, you’re just trying to take everything in. It’s the biggest stage in the world right now, and to be a part of it is an incredible honor.”
Marchand’s and Bergeron’s center for the tournament, Sidney Crosby, was unanimously voted tournament MVP, becoming the third player to win NHL MVP, the Conn Smyth as playoff MVP, and World Cup MVP. He joins all-time greats Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr.
Crosby, who is the reigning Stanley Cup, World Cup and Olympic champion for another unprecedented trifecta, had three goals and seven assists to go along with a plus-8 rating in the tournament. His line combined for 25 points.
“Everyone wants to be playing for Team Canada,” Crosby said. ” There’s a lot of expectations. We play here, we understand that. But it’s an unbelievable atmosphere to play here at home, to be a hockey player playing for Team Canada and be with this group of guys has been a lot of fun. To be able to win it is special for a lot of reasons, but yeah, it’s just been a great month.”
Zdeno Chara, another Bruins staple, gave Team Europe a 1-0 lead at 6:26 of the first period when he took a feed from Andrej Sekera in the left circle and whipped a shot off Canada goalie Carey Price’s arm and in.
Price made 32 saves.
It looked like that scored would hold up as Team Europe (3-3), made up of players from eight different countries, put a stranglehold on the game that Canada only broke with a late power play.
Anze Kopitar, Europe’s best penalty killer, was called for holding Corey Perry with 3:35 left in the third period.
Canada made him pay, when Bergeron deflected Brent Burns’ shot from the point past Jaroslav Halak (32 saves) to tie the game at 1.
With less than two minutes to play, Europe got a power-play chance when defenseman Drew Doughty high-sticked Tobias Rieder in the Canada defensive zone. But Europe, which did not score a power-play goal the entire tournament, allowed Marchand to take a nifty pass from Jonathan Toews and rip it past Halak.
TORONTO – (Wire Service Report) – Fresh off signing an eight-year, $49 million contract extension with the Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand continued his strong play in the World Cup of Hockey for Team Canada.
Marchand (goal, assist) teamed with linemates Sidney Crosby (two assists) and Patrice Bergeron (goal, assist) to help Team Canada earn a 3-1 win in Game 1 of the best-of-three final series against Team Europe in Toronto on Tuesday.
“They’re good, and they’ve had a good tournament,” Canada coach Mike Babcock said of his top line. “They’ve played real well. They’ve got three elite players on it and all different types of players, but they’ve been really good.”
The extension Marchand signed killed rumors that Crosby’s NHL team, Pittsburgh, would pursue the pesky winger, given his chemistry with the Penguins’ star. The Marchand-Crosby-Bergeron line has been the best in the tournament. Marchand opened the scoring just 2:33 into the game by getting behind the defense after stepping out of the penalty box. The goal was his tournament-high fourth in five games. Steven Stamkos scored his first of the tournament, converting a pass from Ryan Getzlaf on a two-on-one break at 13:20, to give Canada (5-0-0) a 2-0 advantage after the first period.
Tomas Tatar continue his hot streak, scoring his third goal in the past two games, seven minutes into the second period to bring Team Europe (3-2-0) within a goal heading into the third period. However, Marchand, Crosby and Bergeron struck again in the third, with Crosby earning his fourth assist of the tourney on Bergeron’s first goal at 9:24 to provide the insurance.
“I think if you cut the goals out of the videos, there’s an even chance opportunity here for us with Canada, which we’re proud of that effort, and the creation of it, but we’re very frustrated, of course, with what and how we gave up the goals we did,” Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger said.
“Just a little bit too much risk at the wrong times and the power of Canada is that, to take opportunities and jam them into the net.”
Canada goaltender Carey Price made 32 saves while Europe’s Jaroslav Halak made 35 in the losing effort.
Game 2 is Thursday, with Europe needing to win to extend the series to a Game 3 on Saturday.
“Well, we’ve done well with adversity in this month,” Krueger said. “We’ve had a few situations of it, and I think knowing these players, this will give us more fuel for Game 2, and we’ll come out of this stronger.
“Again, we’re here to continue to grow and to learn and evolve, and we’re very angry right now, which is a good thing. But we also are confident with what we felt today, and it makes us that much more frustrated at the moment. I’m sure we’re going to come out fighting very strong in Game 2.”
BOSTON – (Wire Service Report) – The Boston Bruins signed forward Brad Marchand to an eight-year, $49 million contract extension through the 2024-25 season. The team announced that the deal is worth an average annual value of $6.125 million. Marchand, 28, completed his seventh NHL season with the Bruins in 2015-16, establishing career-highs in goals (37) and points (60), while adding 90 penalty minutes and a plus-21 rating in 77 games. His 37 goals ranked sixth in the NHL and were the most by a Bruins player since Glen Murray (44) in 2002-03.
“This is an extremely exciting day for me and my family,” Marchand said. “I have been a Bruin since the start of my pro career and there is no place I would rather play. I look forward to doing everything I can to help our team achieve success and bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston.”
In 2014-15, the 5-foot-9, 181-pound Marchand played in 77 games, posting 42 points (24 goals, 18 assists) and 95 penalty minutes. Marchand played in all 82 games for the Bruins in 2013-14, with 25 goals, 28 assists and 64 penalty minutes.
For his career, Marchand has played in 454 NHL games, all with the Bruins, accumulating 288 points (153 goals, 135 assists) and 434 penalty minutes.
Marchand has appeared in 66 postseason games with the Bruins from 2010-14, compiling 16 goals, 23 assists and 81 penalty minutes. During the Bruins’ Stanley Cup championship run in 2011, Marchand had 11 goals.
Marchand is playing for Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. He has three goals and five points in four games playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Bruins teammate Patrice Bergeron. Team Canada will face Team Europe in the best-of-3 final beginning Tuesday night.
After Canada’s 5-3 win over Team Russia on Saturday, Marchand was asked about his contract and the possibility of going to the Pittsburgh Penguins to join Crosby. Marchand scored twice in the game while Crosby added a goal and assisted on Marchand’s tallies
“That’s a long ways away, but there’s a championship games here, we got to think about that first,” Marchand said. “But we’ll deal with whatever needs to be dealt with down the road. But it’s a lot of fun playing with Sid, there’s no question about that. But for now we’ll keep that to here.”
The Halifax, Nova Scotia, native was originally selected by the Bruins in the third round (71st overall) of the 2006 NHL draft.