Bruins can't take advantage of early gift

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Bruins can't take advantage of early gift

BOSTON -- The Bruins caught an early break on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. They thought it would lead to a win at home.

Instead, that early break was followed up with a major breakdown midway through the third period, resulting in a 2-1 Montreal win.

The B's had gone six straight games without scoring the first goal. They went 2-4 during that span. The last time Boston put the first puck in the net was back on Oct. 8 -- the second game of the regular season -- in a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. It marked their first win of the year.

Thursday night marked the Bruins' sixth loss of the season. They couldn't take advantage of the good fortune they received on the first goal of the game.

"We were definitely hoping," said Bruins forward Brad Marchand. "When you get breaks like that, you want to find a way to build off it, and build some momentum. But after that, he seemed to tighten up and make some big saves."

That early break came in the form of what soccer fans would call an "own goal" off the stick of Canadiens center man Tomas Plekanec.

Plekanec won a face off in his own zone a little too cleanly, apparently, as his draw back to Montreal goaltender Carey Price went under the 'tender's stick, off the inside of his right skate, and into the net, for a 1-0 Bruins lead with 5:55 left in the first period.

"I just Bill Buckner'd it," said Price after the game. "Just a mental lapse. I just went to go play the puck, and I didn't let go of my stick, and it was in the back of the net."

Bergeron was credited with his second goal of the season, but that would be all Boston would get on this night.

"A few times this year, we've started out games behind, so when you can get a bounce like that and get out ahead, you're hoping it can be something that cascades into something else," said Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. "But it didn't happen."

Thursday night started with an early break. It ended with a late breakdown, which ultimately cost the Bruins the game.

Midway through the third period, the luck didn't go Boston's way, as defenseman Adam McQuaid's attempted breakout pass through the neutral zone didn't go as planned, and it ended up on the stick of the Canadiens.

Following the neutral-zone turnover, Plekanec turned and took the puck down the right wing and into the Bruins' zone.

With McQuaid in his face, Plekanec took an initial shot that got past the B's defenseman and was saved by Thomas. Plekanec then skated right by McQuaid, and put home his own rebound on a quick snap shot.

"He took the shot from 10 feet away, he's a goal scorer," said Thomas.

"I was looking to try and hit Bergy up the middle there," said McQuaid. "I passed it a little too far in front of him, and they made a quick transition. So a bad pass on my part."

McQuaid had missed the previous four games with a headneck injury. And while it would be easy to point the finger at that late mishap, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn't about to throw any one player under the bus.

"It's his first game back," said Julien. "The way we're playing right now, it's too easy to jump on guys. And I'm not going to do that."

Perhaps the only thing that went right for the Bruins on Thursday night was the goal credited to Bergeron in the first period.

"We got the start that we wanted," he said afterwards.

They just didn't get the finish they were hoping for.

Bruins assign Noel Acciari to Providence

Bruins assign Noel Acciari to Providence

After sitting out the last month with a lower body injury, Bruins fourth liner Noel Acciari has been assigned to Providence presumably to get up to speed after missing a considerable length of time. It also means that Acciari has likely been cleared medically to play after appearing in B's practice over the last few days after missing the last 14 games. 

The 24-year-old former Providence College standout has appeared in 12 games with the Bruins this season after breaking camp with the team, and recorded two assists for two points with four penalty minutes and a plus-one rating before suffering a lower body injury.

By all accounts Acciari was a good energy player on a surprisingly good fourth line to start the season, wasn’t afraid to throw around his body for impactful hits and was having plenty of success aggravating opponents into losing their cool and taking penalties. Fellow rookie forward Anton Blidh has stepped in and played a similar role on the fourth line over the last couple of games for the Black and Gold, so that gives the Bruins plenty of time to get Acciari back up to speed at the AHL level without their fourth line’s level of play dropping in the meantime.

The Acciari demotion to Providence does mean that the Bruins head into Washington with 12 forwards, so it should again be Blidh, Dominic Moore and Jimmy Hayes as the fourth line barring any last minute wrinkles from Claude Julien.