Talking Points: P-Bruins blank IceCaps, 3-0

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Talking Points: P-Bruins blank IceCaps, 3-0

PROVIDENCE, RI The Providence Bruins (3-5, 6 points) have been searching all season for a win they can point to as a complete game, and they finally got it in a 3-0 shutout of the St. Johns IceCaps on Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

P-Bruins energy line brawler Bobby Robins finished with a goal and an assist and Swedish goaltender Niklas Svedberg made 18 saves for his first AHL shutout in a white-washing of the IceCaps. Even better the P-Bruins penalty kill shut down St. Johns power play in seven chances, and Providence chipped in a power play goal in a solid special teams display.

This kind of effort hasnt been common enough in a 3-5 start for Providence this season, but clearly P-Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy will take it.

It was our most complete game of the year, and I thought the Christian Hanson line with Robins and Lane MacDermid dominated from beginning to end, said Cassidy. They set the tempo, Niklas Svedberg made a big save when we needed it in the second period and the power play chipped in with an important goal. That was just a good, complete win from beginning to end.

Robins started the scoring by snapping in a goal just 22 seconds into the contest to give the Bruins both the lead and the momentum, and Providence just kept right on pushing. That included a shorthanded breakaway in the second period with the team still clinging to a one-goal lead: Maxine Macenauer hopping on a loose puck and sped the other way with a chance all alone against Svedberg, and the Swedish goalie calmly kicked away the bid with a flick of his leg pad.

Minutes later the P-Bruins power play cashed in when Ryan Spooner fed a cross-ice pass to Carter Camper, and the Bruins forward slammed the puck into the empty net to double the lead. The P-Bruins tacked on one more in the third when MacDermid pounced on the rebound of a Robins rocket, and made a diving stab for the insurance goal.

GOLD STAR: Bobby Robins has earned plenty of respect while piling up 33 penalty minutes in Providences first six games of the season built mostly on hockey fights and hustle plays. On Sunday afternoon the energy winger contributed to the scoreboard with his first goal of the season just 33 seconds into the first period, and a smoked shot from the slot in the third period that set up Lane MacDermids insurance goal. Robins went into the game scoreless in his first six games of the season and hes not expected to be a big offensive performer in his grinding, energy role and came through at a big time for Providence.

BLACK EYE: Justin Florek took a delay of game penalty early in the game and didnt have a shot on net when the game was over, and wasnt any kind of a factor in a game that featured many standouts for Providence. Florek is now scoreless in five games with a minus-2 rating on the season and hasnt yet made much of an impact in his first full AHL season in the Bruins organization.

TURNING POINT: Niklas Svedberg only needed to make 18 saves in a game where the ice seemed titled in favor of Providence much of the time against a weary St. Johns team, but his biggest save came with the game on the line. Maxime Macenauer shot in toward the Providence net all alone on a shorthanded breakaway with Providence clinging to a slim one-goal lead, but Svedberg calmly kicked the shot away with his right pad. Minutes later Carter Camper potted a power play goal to double Providences lead, and the Bruins were in the drivers seat.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 the number of players with a positive plusminus rating for the Providence Bruins through eight games: Christian Hanson, Lane MacDermid and Bobby Robins are all a plus-1 and defensemen Zach Trotman and Garnet Exelby are a team-best plus-3.

QUOTE TO NOTE: Whether the energy comes from big hits, fights, a goal like tonight or some kind of veteran leadership, its my job to create energy that gets the rest of the guys all riled up before and during the game. Bobby Robins, who used his offensive touch (two points) to help the P-Bruins to victory on Sunday afternoon.

First impressions: Ortiz moves past pregame ceremonies, hits game winner for Sox

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First impressions: Ortiz moves past pregame ceremonies, hits game winner for Sox

BOSTON -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-3 win over Toronto:

* What's left to say about David Ortiz?

Ortiz acknowledged before Friday's game that the pre-game ceremonies and the attendant fuss over his pending retirement have created a challenge for him. Sometimes, it's hard to go from being feted to trying to win a game.

Not that you would know it by Friday night.

In his first at-bat, he singled home the first run of the game. Two at-bats later, he lined a bullet that was right at Jose Bautista.

But he saved his best for the seventh when, after the Red Sox tied the game at 3-3, Ortiz promptly untied it with a laser down the line, landing in the right field seats.

One more clutch hit from Ortiz in a career full of them.

* Brock Holt's defense at third has stood out.

John Farrell is looking for someone to step up with the third base job, given that Travis Shaw is hitting under .200 since the All-Star break and Aaron Hill has had difficulty hitting righties.

Holt, meanwhile, has seized the job somewhat by default, with a .319 average in the last 24 games.

But since starting the last four games at third, Holt has also contributed with his glove.

On Friday night, Holt made a fine stop with his backhand, on the third base line, and fired to nail Devon Travis on a close play at first.

Later, he came on a slow roller to gun down Josh Donaldson out at first.

* The Red Sox have done a better job of late capitalizing on opponents' mistakes.

Last week in Baltimore, the Red Sox were handed a gift by the Orioles when a throwing error by Chris Davis resulted in five runs being scored -- all of them unearned. It took exactly two pitches for the Red Sox to pounce on the opportunity.

On Friday night, it happened again.

Trailing 3-1, the Red Sox used a throwing error by Russell Martin to score one run and put another runner in scoring position. A groundout and single by Mookie Betts tied things, and Ortiz's homer broke the tie and gave the Red Sox a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Good teams take advantage of mistakes. Two of the last six Red Sox wins are prime examples of that maxim.

Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

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Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

The Bruins will add another veteran defenseman to their training camp group fresh off the World Cup of Hockey as German D-man Christian Ehrhoff is headed to Boston on a PTO (professional tryout agreement). CSN has confirmed that Ehrhoff has indeed agreed to a PTO with the Bruins, and he'll report to the team sometime this weekend.

The 34-year-old Ehrhoff had three assists in six World Cup games for Team Europe, and had two goals and 10 points in 48 games for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks last season while clearly starting to slow down a bit. He’s clearly no longer the player that averaged 14 goals and 47 points for the Vancouver Canucks from 2009-2011, and is another left-shot defenseman to add to a team that already has Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.

But it behooved the Bruins to bring in at least one “name” veteran D-man on a tryout basis during this training camp with so many needs for upgrades on the back end, and with a host of young players that might not be ready for prime time. This might also be a warning sign for young veteran Joe Morrow, a left shot D-man that has struggled a bit in training camp after coming off an erratic first full season at the NHL level.

Clearly the Bruins need more than Ehrhoff, however, even if he’s somehow re-energized with the Bruins after playing pretty well in the World Cup. The Kings were down enough on his game to put him through waivers last season, but he was a top-4 defenseman for the previous eight seasons for San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo and Pittsburgh prior to getting bounced around between the Kings and Blackhawks last season.

The added bonus with taking a look at Ehrhoff is that there’s no risk associated with a PTO, and the Bruins can simply walk away with no cost if the B’s coaching staff decides he’s not a good fit for the group in Boston. On the other hand, bringing in a Kris Russell-type would cost a great deal in terms of money and term in a free agent contract, and it might not benefit the Black and Gold club in the end result.