Bruins top Panthers in shootout, 3-2

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Bruins top Panthers in shootout, 3-2

SUNRISE, FL. The Bruins have made a habit of winning some games perhaps they havent deserved over the last few weeks.

They allowed some breakaways and missed some offensive chances, but a David Krejci five-hole bid in the shootout was the difference-maker in a 3-2 win over Florida at BankAtlantic Center.

The Bruins took an early lead in the first period on an energetic Benoit Pouliot shift in the Florida zone that ended with the gangly forward disrupting the play, and helping set up a Patrice Bergeron blast from the high slot.

The Panthers answered in the second period with a Jay Garrison blast from the left point that bounced off Dennis Seidenberg before ricocheting directly into the open net. The Bruins marched back with a power play goal from Bergeron again. This time it was Tyler Seguin wheeling the puck through the PP formation before he found Bergeron in the low slot for the easy goal.

But the Bruins immediately fell asleep on the continued power play. Shawn Matthias got behind Andrew Ference and the Boston defense after hopping out of the penalty box and beat Tuukka Rask with a five-hole bid to tie things up. Rask was tested with several uncharacteristic breakaways throughout the game, and turned away a Michal Repik bid in the final minute of the third period when he managed to sneak behind Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara. Repik missed the shot, however, and the Bruins managed to push the Panthers into the extra session.

The Bruins allowed four breakaway chances to Florida on the evening, and its pretty clear they still have some tightening up to do on the defensive end.

Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

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Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

FOXBORO – A fleet of Patriots have expiring contracts after this season but Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the two most prominent on that list.

With the sport being the way it is – a nearly 100-percent casualty rate every season – it’s never comfortable for a player to enter a contract year without knowing his long-term future. And it’s especially uncomfortable for players whose first contracts are expiring because the second NFL contract is usually the bonanza.

Both Hightower and Collins can entertain thoughts of contracts worth more than $50M if good fortune sticks with them.

The question as it pertains to both of these players is whether they get contract extensions this summer or whether they go into the year with contract pressure bearing down and ultimately become free agents.

Neither player was very forthcoming after their OTA practice Thursday.

With Collins, that’s often the case. He’s never been expansive with media. It was very uncharacteristic for Hightower to be so clipped in his answers, though.

Every question posed to Hightower was met with a variation of, “I’m just trying to get better.”

Asked about his contract, Hightower replied, “I ain’t got nothing to do with none of that. I’m just out here trying to get better with my teammates.”

When it was pointed out that Hightower does indeed have say on his contract, he answered, “That might be. But there’s a time and place for everything and I’m just out here trying to get better.

“If I get better I feel like that’ll take care of everything else,” he added. “If I get better each and every day that’s all I can ask for.”

Asked whether he’s at all focused on his deal, Collins replied, “No, I come out here and I handle my business and I let the rest speak for itself … My first priority is me. So I’m gonna handle me."
 

Ravens forfeit one week of OTAs, fined by NFL

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Ravens forfeit one week of OTAs, fined by NFL

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens have forfeited one week of offseason practices for violating the labor agreement on such workouts.

The NFL also fined the team an undisclosed amount Thursday.

When the Ravens had rookies and first-year players don pads at a minicamp, it was a violation of the CBA rules. The team acknowledged that on Thursday, saying: "We made a mistake and we are sorry for that. We accept the NFL discipline."

Baltimore's June 1-3 voluntary workouts have been scrapped. The team will have OTAs on June 6-9 and a mandatory minicamp June 14-16.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.