Bruins look like stars in L.A.

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Bruins look like stars in L.A.

LOS ANGELES, CA The Bruins didnt put their best foot forward in the San Jose loss that started their California trip, but they put together a very solid hockey game the next time around.

The Bruins started a little slowly against the Kings, but they finished with a rock-solid, gritty 4-2 victory over Los Angeles at the Staples Center that featured heavy hitting, opportunistic goal-scoring and a heavy dose of Tim Thomas highlight stops between the pipes.

That sounds an awful lot like the tired and true winning blueprint the Bruins used for the Stanley Cup last season, doesnt it?

It was a good thing the Bs rediscovered the winning formula as the Ottawa Senators also wound up victorious with a decisive victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Bruins started off the scoring on the penalty kill when Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron trapped Drew Doughty in his own end, and Marchand set things up with speed and tenacity before Bergeron snapped home the rebound chance for his 20th goal of the season. Doughty atoned for his error by finding Colin Fraser wide open cutting to the net to tie things up in the second period, but it all Bruins in the final period.

Bs skaters like Dennis Seidenberg and Milan Lucic stepped up the physicality to match a willing Los Angeles bunch, and Lucic was rewarded with a five-hole shot that somehow slipped through Jonathan Quicks pads. The Bs third followed with yet another goal as Chris Kelly who dropped the gloves in a rare fight during the third period redirected a Benoit Pouliot pass for the insurance strike.

The Kings close it to a one-goal game, but a Brad Marchand empty-netter closed out the scoring for the Bruins.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

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Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.