PITTSBURGH Things are getting bleaker and more difficult for a Bruins team thats trying to make it through the NHL grind intact.
The Bruins lost one of their games in hand over the Ottawa Senators and dropped another black-and-blue decision in a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins that saw three more players go down with injury at the CONSOL Energy Center.
Now the Bruins lead the Sens by only two points with just two games in hand as Ottawa continues to threaten the Bs in the Northeast Division.
Patrice Bergeron, Adam McQuaid and Max Sauve were all lost at different points during the game and the depleted Bs unit couldnt overcome a three-goal deficit in the first period that doomed them to defeat.
David Krejci powered a gutsy Bs comeback with a pair of goals in the second period that got Boston back into the game, but Pens top line players James Neal and Evgeni Malkin simply did too much damage.
The two goals allowed Krejci to cross over the 20-goal plateau for the first time since his 73-point season during the 2008-09 campaign.
Arron Asham set the tone with an early goal that got things going Pittsburghs way when a blocked shot hopped right onto his stick, and the MalkinNeal combo helped create two more goals before the period was over.
Bruins coach Claude Julien opted to pull Tim Thomas in favor of Marty Turco for the second period, and Turco only gave up one goal the rest of the way while making a solid debut for Boston. But a Penguins team thats won nine games in a row is playing far too well to be caught by a Bruins team simply looking for a foothold. Pascal Dupuis added the insurance strike for the Penguins that officially ended all hope for Boston in the third period.
Of the 34 players on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot, 19 are tied to the Red Sox or New York Yankees. Who deserves a nod this year?
Click here to view the gallery
FOXBORO -- Antonio Brown's live stream of coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech on Sunday had a ripple effect that traveled all the way to New England: Just in case Patriots players weren't familiar with the league's social-media policy, they were reminded of it this week.
"We were reminded of that," receiver Chris Hogan said. "I’m not sure what the timing is, but obviously, I don’t think we’ll see guys doing that in the locker room."
Players are prohibited from using social media in the locker room until media outlets have been given an opportunity to talk to players following games. Brown's Facebook Live video, which garnered national attention almost as soon as it went online, was shot well before the visitor's locker room at Arrowhead Stadium opened following Pittsburgh's win over Kansas City.
"We have a team policy on that," special teams captain Matthew Slater said. "Strictly enforced. We go from there."
Of course part of the reason the video became as widely disseminated as it did was because it caught Tomlin calling the Patriots "a--holes."
"I have a lot of respect for Coach Tomlin," Slater said when asked about Tomlin's speech. "I appreciate the way he prepares his team. I’ve had a good working relationship with him over the years, and it will continue to be that way."
Both Slater and Hogan insisted that their focus will be trained solely on preparing for what Tomlin and his players will do when they arrive to Gillette Stadium Sunday night -- not what they say leading up to kickoff.
"You come in here, you're automatically bought into what we preach here, what coach [Bill] Belichick preaches," Hogan said. "It's football. We're 100 percent football here. It's not about anything outside. Between the media or whatever it is outside of football, whatever we're doing. When we come here, it's 100 percent football. That's all we're focused on is the opponent we're playing that week."