B's look for answers amidst third period struggles

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B's look for answers amidst third period struggles

WINNIPEG, MB The Bruins have been the NHLs best team in the third period over the last two years, but even that is now failing them.

The Bs were able to withstand the third period collapse against the Montreal Canadiens while still pulling out a shootout win earlier this week, but the bottom dropped out in a 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the DTS Centre on Friday night.

The Bs have been outscored 4-1 over the last two third periods though theyve still outscored the opposition by a 77-45 margin over the course of the entire season. A pair of Bryan Little goals cinched things for the Jets after it appeared David Krejci had awoken the Black and Gold giants with a game-tying strike early in the third. The Bruins dont have enough in the gas tank when it matters most, and thats a concerning development when its only the first two games of a long six-game road trip winding through destinations in both the Eastern and Western Conference.

After failing to score a single point during the month of February perhaps Krejcis score off a Tyler Seguin dish can spark him into a hot stretch creating offensive chances. The Bruins need something to a little more closely resemble the team that was crushing the oppositions spirit in third periods during the months of November and December.

Thats not our game, said David Krejci. Our game is to be the best third period team in the league. The last few games it hasnt happened, you know? Weve got to find a way to be the same Bruins as we used to be.

Its not hard. Its in us. Its in this dressing room, but somehow we have to find it again. We have to start showing that killer instinct in the third period again.

Its time for the Bs to take stock and find some answers, but its going to be challenging when the Bruins are veering so far away from just about everything thats made them successful over the last few years. There is little urgency, flagging physicality and blaring inconsistency for a team thats supposed to be among the best the NHL has to offer in either conference.

We got that big goal in the third period that we thought would give us some momentum, but it really didnt go that way. Were very proud of the way weve always come out in the third. The bottom line is weve got to find a way to get back to our game, lamented Patrice Bergeron. We gave them way too much space in our zone.

Weve got to find a way and find answers. There are way too many ups and downs right now. Its not even close to the effort we need. It hurts us so much when we get away from our game and our system.

The answers for the Bruins lie in simply getting back to the things that have made them successful, and it will be easy to spot when they get there: the Bs will start winning those third periods again that have become a Boston bugaboo over the last few games.

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

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Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.