B's hope to kick off second half with win

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B's hope to kick off second half with win

The Bruins are ready to kick off the traditional second-half of the year with a Northeast Division tilt against the Ottawa Senators. The B's had turned into something of a .500 team just before the All-Star break as a seven games in 11 days stretch - with six of those games on the road - had begun weighing down the team.

Five days off can work wonders for hockey players in the middle of their season. That's what the Bruins - aside from Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin - have headed into a game against a young, hungry Sens team coming off the momentum of hosting NHL All-Star weekend.

"Most of the young guys went to South Beach; I went to Palm Beach where all of the old people hang out," said Chris Kelly of his activities during the All-Star break. "I don't care who you are, if you're a hockey player you can use that break in the middle of the season."

"It's the toughest part of the year. The points are just as important in the middle of the season as they are for the first 10 games of the season and the last 10 games of the season. We need to go out and bring that consistent effort now that our break is over."

The second half starts against a Senators team that surprised many in the first half of the season, but Ottawa will truly have to prove their playoff mettle now that February has arrived. The NHL trade deadline is right around the corner, and points become much more difficult to come by over the final two months of the season.

The Bruins have three games at home to start their stretch run up, but have one eye trained on an 11-day, 6-game road trip this month and a West Coast trip to face each of the California teams in March.

First things first, however.

The B's need to shake off the post-Christmas malaise that hit its crescendo in Florida two weeks ago, and entrench themselves into the best possible playoff position. That begins at home vs. Ottawa, and it begins without Nathan Horton (concussion) and Andrew Ference (suspension) in the lineup on Tuesday night.

"We've been looking for that consistency since Christmas," said Claude Julien. "We've played some good games since then, but we really haven't consistently played the way we did over that two-month stretch.

"We know we're capable of it, and it's up to us to get the proper rest, eat the right things, take care of our bodies and get ready for a difficult stretch of the schedule. We're in a grind here going forward, and we need to treat it that way."

The Bruins hope their 34-game grind kicks off with a win tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

Draw with Earthquakes extends Revolution's winless streak

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Draw with Earthquakes extends Revolution's winless streak

SAN JOSE, Calif. - David Bingham had his sixth shutout of the season and the San Jose Earthquakes tied New England 0-0 on Wednesday night, extending the Revolution's winless streak to five games.

Bingham, who was tied for second in MLS soccer with 12 shutouts last season, had three saves - including a stop on Diego Fagundez's shot in the 86th minute.

The Revolution haven't scored since a 3-1 victory over Chicago on Aug. 9, a stretch of more than 270 minutes.

New England (6-11-8) had beaten San Jose three straight times.

San Jose (7-7-10) has just one loss in its last seven matches. 

Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

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Quotes, notes and stars: Ortiz the oldest to hit 30 home runs in a season

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:

QUOTES:

"It's one of those freak things. You don't plan on it happening, but it's one of those things. So we'll just see what the results say and move on from there.'' - Andrew Benintendi on his knee injury.

"That's kind of a routine 3-1 play. Unfortunately, it comes at a time when you've got two outs and a guy on the move. But that's a routine play.'' - John Farrell on the deciding play in which Heath Hembree couldn't hold onto the ball at first.

"I felt good. I felt strong.I felt good out there the whole game.'' - Rick Porcello, asked how he felt going back out for the eighth inning.

"I think everybody in the ballpark knew that that ball was leaving.'' - Porcello, on the hanging curveball to Evan Longoria.

 

NOTES:

* The loss snapped a five-game winning streak against the Rays for the Red Sox.

* Three of the four Red Sox walk-off losses this season have occurred because of errors.

* The homer by Evan Longoria was his first off Rick Porcello in 40 career at-bats.

* Rick Porcello has now pitched seven innings or more in six straight starts, the longest run for a Red Sox starter since John Lackey did it in 2013.

* David Ortiz is now the oldest player to ever hit 30 homers in a season

* Ortiz has now reached the 30-homer, 100-RBI level 10 times with the Red Sox, including the last four years in a row.

* The loss was the first of Heath Hembree's career, in his 67th major league appearance.

* Dustin Pedroia tied a career high with two stolen bases, the 12th time he's swiped two bases in the same game.

 

STARS:

1) Evan Longoria

The Rays were down to their final five outs when Longoria struck, hitting a game-tying homer off Rick Porcello.

2) Brad Miller

Miller's two-run double in the third enabled the Rays to stay close until Longoria's homer tied things up five innings later.

3) Rick Porcello

Porcello gave the Sox length and was brilliant in getting out of some early jams before settling in through the middle innings.