Bruins finally allow power-play goal after 24 straight stops


Bruins finally allow power-play goal after 24 straight stops

BOSTON -- The unthinkable happened on Tuesday night.

The Bruins allowed a goal while on the penalty kill.

Alright, so that's an exaggeration. A power-play goal isn't exactly an outrageous stat. But statistically-speaking, these Bruins simply just don't allow them.

The B's entered the game with the NHL's top penalty-killing unit, having killed off all 23 of their opposition's power plays. After killing off their first of the night in the first period of Tuesday night's 2-1 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils, the Bruins 24-straight kill streak ended, when David Clarkson re-directed a Marek Zidlicky shot from the left point midway through the second period, with 53 seconds left on a Devils power play.

The shot got by Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, and marked the first power-play goal the Bruins have allowed all season, snapping Boston's longest season-opening penalty-kill streak since 2001-02.

"Obviously the goal they scored, Rask couldn't really prevent," said Zdeno Chara. "That was a deflection. And other than that, he had a very strong performance."

"I didn't know who it was," said Rask. "I saw it hit a shaft of a stick. I saw it all the way, but then those kind of deflections, there's nothing really you can do. It either hits you or it doesn't. And this time it went in."

The Bruins went on to kill three more penalties, and are now 27-for-28 on the penalty kill this season. So even though they've allowed one, it still remains a solid unit.

That's because of their best penalty-killer.

"When you talk about being able to win games on a consistent basis, you have to rely on your goaltender," Julien said of Rask.

"He really made the key saves at the right time and kept us in the game, and allowed us to stay in the game."

"He was the difference-maker, especially in that first period," said Chara. "He made some good saves. He was very solid."

And even though they allowed a power-play goal, the penalty-kill remains very solid.

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.