Bruins-Jets: Five thoughts from the third

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Bruins-Jets: Five thoughts from the third

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Jets locked in a 1-1 tie after the first 20 minutes of a Monday afternoon matinee at TD Garden.

1) A much better game for Tyler Seguin this afternoon after he was just okay against the Rangers on opening night. Two shots on net to lead the Bruins in the first period and he used aggressive speed to intercept a puck near the Winnipeg blue line on a clear attempt and turned it into offense. Seguin bombed down the right wing to draw the Winnipeg defense toward him, and then found Brad Marchand open in front of the net for the deflection past Ondrej Pavelec. Very good jump from Marchand, Seguin and Patrice Bergeron this afternoon as theyve been Bostons best line early.

2) A much more determined opponent in Winnipeg than the New York Rangers proved to be Saturday night. The Chris Thorburn goal for Winnipeg was pure effort as the forward chased after a long rebound and fired a rebound past Tuukka Rask. The Jets are bringing their physicality and effort today, even if their leaky defense is giving the Bruins some pretty tasty offensive chances.

3) Strong period for Tuukka Rask as he was tested much more by the Winnipeg attackers today. His glove save on a partial Kyle Wellwood breakaway was better than any of the 20 stops he made against the Rangers, and should be a nice little confidence booster for the Finnish goalie as he builds things up early in the season. Ten saves for Rask in the first period.

4) Bryan Little, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler are minus-3 through four periods of hockey on the NHL season. Looks like Winnipeg might want to revisit that combination of players, especially if Dustin Byfuglien and his roving style of defense is combined with them.

5) So far, so good for Dougie Hamilton with 7:33 of ice time skating in a pairing with Zdeno Chara. Hes had a couple of hiccups that Chara has quickly covered for, but he also helped sustain possession in the offensive zone when he used good aggressiveness to pinch into a play. David Krejci alertly covered his position and should encourage the 19-year-old to continue to exploring how far he can push things offensively.

FIVE THOUGHTS FOR THE SECOND PERIOD: SCORE TIED, 1-1

1) A very good afternoon for Ondrej Pavelec, who has been the difference for Winnipeg through two periods in this one. Hes stoned Nathan Horton twice on point blank shots and was able to smother a Tyler Seguin ripped slap shot from the slot in the first 40 minutes among his 17 saves. Nice bounce back effort from the home opener for the Jets, and they needed it given the way their defense has performed in front of Pavelec.

2) The Bruins are all around the net, but are having finishing problems that weve seen in the past. Brad Marchand caught the post on a backhand with Pavelec sprawled out on the ice, and Aaron Johnson ripped one off the left post that Shawn Thornton couldn't finish. Bruins are all around it, but are getting too many offensive chances to not capitalize on something if it continues in the third.

3) Seven hits for Milan Lucic in 11:21 of ice time through two periods and one monstrous hit on Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd in the neutral zone toward the end of the period. Looch continues to play with the snarl that makes him one of the best when hes on his game. The LucicKrejciHorton line has been excellent in the first two games.

4) Nathan Horton tied with Patrice Bergeron for team lead with three shots on net, and has been doing all the right things out on the ice. Dont be shocked if he gets rewarded for that in the third period after Pavelec stoned him a few times in the first 40 minutes. Hockey seems to have a way of rewarding those that truly deserve it.

5) The Bruins have killed off the first six penalties against them for the 2013 season. Looks like that unit is in midseason form while the Bs PP is 20 seconds away from starting out the year 0-for-8. The more things change, the more they . . . well you know how the saying goes.

FIVE THOUGHTS FOR THE THIRD PERIOD: SCORE TIED, 1-1

1) Bruins are now 0-for-9 on the power play this season and couldnt cash in on a PP in the third period when they really needed it. Rich Peverley hit a post, and Ondrej Pavelec was able to make the stop on one-timers from Chris Bourque and Tyler Seguin. Same old story, same old song and dance.

2) Things got much more physical in the third period. Zdeno Chara dropped Blake Wheeler to the ice with a neutral zone hit, Evander Kane crushed Brad Marchand on the side boards before talking smack to him after the whistle and Mark Stuart leveled Tyler Seguin with a hit that knocked his helmet off after taking a shot at the net. Things definitely dialed up a notch. Things seemed to kick up after Lucic slammed Andrew Ladd toward the end of the second period.

3) Five posts hit by the Bruins this afternoon. Ondrej Pavelec has been good, but its tough to win when a team is catching that kind of pipe.

4) Three hits and three shots on net in over 22 minutes of ice time for Dougie Hamilton while paired with Zdeno Chara. He still isnt creating much offensively as he finds his range, but hes looked very steady in all other areas for a 19-year-old kid. He could be a very big addition for the Bruins this year if he can give them a steady 20 plus minutes of ice time each night with few mistakes and a little production.

5) PK getting it done for the Bruins when Johnny Boychuk picks up a high-sticking penalty at the end of the third period.

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

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Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.

Benintendi's MRI inconclusive; will under more tests Friday in Boston

Benintendi's MRI inconclusive; will under more tests Friday in Boston

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Andrew Benintendi saga will continue for at least one more day, as an MRI taken here Thursday morning was, in the words of John Farrell, "inconclusive" and the rookie left fielder will undergo more tests Friday in Boston.

"Our doctors want to get him back to a full exam with (team orthopedist) Dr. [Peter] Asnis," Farrell said after the 2-1 loss to the Rays, which concluded the team's 11-game road trip. "Hopefully, when I speak to you all [Friday] afternoon (at Fenway Park, prior to the team's game against Royals), there will be a little more information on this."

Farrell said Friday's tests "will include some other imaging".

The Sox placed Benintendi on the 15-day disabled list after he injured his left night while running the bases Wednesday night. 

"We're going to do some more tests tomorrow and take it day-by-day," he said. "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully the tests come back clean.''
 
Benintendi found one sliver of hope:
 
"The more I walk on it, the better it feels. I'm going to stay as positive as I can.'' 

Branch reinstated by Patriots after week-long suspension

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Branch reinstated by Patriots after week-long suspension

Alan Branch has been reinstated by the Patriots after the team suspended him prior to last week's preseason game with the Bears, according to Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran. 

When Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about Branch's absence last week, he replied, "It's a club matter."

What got Branch suspended by the team is still unknown, but he is expected to be a contributing player on the interior of the Patriots defensive line in 2016. He started in 17 games last season, including both playoff games, often lining up alongside fellow defensive tackle Malcom Brown. 

Through training camp the Patriots have also used Terrance Knighton, Vincent Valentine, Anthony Johnson and Joe Vellano on the interior of their defensive front. Branch, however, has consistently been used with the team's first defensive grouping. It's unclear how a week away from the team might impact his spot on the depth chart. 

Field Yates of ESPN was the first to report the news that Branch had been reinstated.