Bruins fourth line brings the energy in loss

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Bruins fourth line brings the energy in loss

ST. PAUL, MN While the Bruins couldnt have been happy about the results after losing their sixth game in nine tries during the month of February, there was one group of players that had nothing to hang their heads about.

The Bs fourth line totaled nine shots in the game and generated a handful of prime scoring chances in the first period when the game was still very much in question. Their play quickly proved Bruins coach Claude Julien correct for reuniting Daniel Paille, Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell after breaking them up during Friday nights loss to the Winnipeg Jets.

The best shot in the first period was Pailles breakaway midway through the first period when he split a pair of Minnesota defenders, but fired his shot straight into Niklas Backstroms chest in the 2-0 loss at the Xcel Energy Center.

The missed chances early by Bostons Merlot Line had their members kicking themselves after it was all over.

Weve got to put a couple of those in and maybe its a different game, said Thornton. I always say its never a lack of effort with us, but sometimes maybe its a lack of execution. I dont want to put too much pressure on us, but I think creating energy and keeping the puck out of the net is our job. Then again look at the opportunities were getting . . . we should be able to chip a few of those in.

Paille wasnt the only that couldnt get his shot to fall with Backstrom making 48 saves in the shutout against the Black and Gold, improving the Wild to 10-1-1 in their history against the Bruins. Theyve also outscored the Bs by a 35-16 margin during that time period, so the Bs knew theyd have to come up with something special.

Thornton attempted that in the third period when he challenged 6-foot-5 Minnesota brawler Matt Kassian to a fight designed to get his stagnant bench back into the game. Thornton and Kassian battled to a draw after the Wild enforcer had landed a couple of heavy punches early in the bout, and Thornton screamed a challenge at the Bruins bench as he skated off to the penalty box.

I thought it was a good plan to get the bench going with a lot of time left on the clock, said Thornton. That was the plan.

Unfortunately the emotion didnt carry over into the scoreboard, and instead Thorntons long heavyweight bout turned into one of the few Bs highlights in their fourth shutout defeat in the last 11 games. Julien appreciated the effort from his fourth line and it served as one of the few gleaming positives in a game that ended with Milan Lucic splintering his stick in a series of angry swings at the boards while heading to the bench.

There was some energy from that line. You can always count on those guys to play with that. They were good and Paille had that breakaway. They spent a fair amount of time in the offensive zone and some shots, said Julien. Theyre certainly doing their job, but they also see what were going through and want to contribute to what were doing in the offensive end."

Red Sox clinch AL East with Orioles victory over Blue Jays

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Red Sox clinch AL East with Orioles victory over Blue Jays

NEW YORK -- The Boston Red Sox have won the AL East, clinching the division championship when the Toronto Blue Jays lost to Baltimore.

David Ortiz and the Red Sox, who had already secured at least a wild-card spot in the playoffs, will open their postseason schedule Oct. 6 seeking a second World Series crown in four years. The team's first opponent has not been determined yet.

Boston's game against the New York Yankees in the middle of the ninth inning Wednesday night when the Orioles finished off their 3-2 victory at second-place Toronto. The Red Sox began the night needing a win or a Toronto loss to wrap up their eighth AL East title.

Bruins defense struggles in 5-1 loss to Red Wings

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Bruins defense struggles in 5-1 loss to Red Wings

BOSTON – The Bruins are clearly getting the kinks out a couple of games into the preseason.

The B’s defense struggled all night, and allowed 39 shots on net and five goals in a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden. The loss provides plenty of video material for the Boston coaching staff to look at over the next few days.

The Bruins actually started off well in the opening half of the first period, but then the bottom fell out when they couldn’t cash in on a power play chance. That led to a Ryan Spooner face-off penalty and then the Wings scoring on the power play to get things going. The Winged Wheels then scored on a Drew Miller-to-Steve Ott connection 19 seconds later to double Detroit’s lead, and really showed some collapse for the Bruins group on the ice Wednesday night.

Impressive youngster Austin Czarnik scored in the second period after a nice feed from Ryan Spooner crashing to the net, but that was the lone highlight for the Black and Gold against a Detroit team that was ready to go. Luke Glendening scored on a play right in front of the net in the second period as well, and Anthony Mantha made it a 4-0 lead for Detroit until Czarnik cracked the score sheet with his first goal of the preseason.

Drew Miller added a goal in the third period when Linus Arnesson vacated the front of the net to leave it wide open for the NHL veteran, and that was a pretty symbolic play for a Bruins group that never got a defensive foothold all evening.