Haggerty: 15 thoughts from the Bruins-Devils

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from the Bruins-Devils

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Devils by a 2-1 score after the first 20 minutes of hockey at the Prudential Center.

1) So much for Nathan Hortons December struggles. After netting only three goals in 12 games over the last month, Horton gets a power play goal on the doorstep off a nice feed from David Krejci to get his new month off and running. As some other offensive players cool off, the Bs could really use a nice offensive streak from Horton over the next few weeks.

2) Gritty work by Gregory Campbell in front of the net as he won the one-on-one battle with Mark Fayne in front of the net as an Andrew Ference shot glanced off the skate before landing in the net. Ference gets the assist and the Bruins are 11-0-0 this season when the defenseman registers a point tops on the team in the undefeated category.

3) The Bruins have won 16 out of 18 face-offs in the first period including a perfect 8-for-8 for David Krejci. Thats complete and utter domination for the Czech centerman and its also a far cry from the Dallas game when he had a rough night on draws.

4) Fifteen saves for Tim Thomas in the first period as he looked on point as the Devils threw barrage after barrage at him early in the game. He was at his best turning New Jersey back on their power play until an over-aggressive Brad Marchand play turned into a clean look and power play goal for David Clarkson. Can you believe he leads the Devils in goals?

5) A pair of delay of game penalties for pucks getting thrown over the boards. Is there a more ridiculous penalty more frequently called than this, and should it even be called when a team is on the penalty kill?

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Devils by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes of hockey at the Prudential Center.

1) Rich Peverley still looking a little rusty after a couple of games back in the lineup. He walked right in from the right point all alone and missed David Krejci on the backdoor as he opted to fling a puck at the net that missed wide. It looks like the instincts and the quick reactions still are a little off for him, but thats to be expected after missing a handful of games.

2) Three giveaways each for Adam Henrique and Ilya Kovalchuk, who are also getting destroyed in the face-off circle by David Krejci and the Bruins. Theyre treating the puck like its made of plutonium purchased from Libyan terrorist. What movie?

3) A ten-minute misconduct for chirping with the refs for Benoit Pouliot in the second period. Pouliot has done some very good things for the Bruins this season, but he is very much a wild card as a player for them. Youre never quite sure what hes going to do out there.

4) A perfect example why Patrice Bergeron is a worthy candidate of the Selke Trophy award this season. He blocks the Adam Larsson shot at one end, turns it into a breakaway and then beats Martin Brodeur on the ensuing breakaway while waiting him out in front of the net. He should just send that tape to the hockey voters as proof of his candidacy.

5) Three shots on net in 12:54 for Brad Marchand, who doesnt have any points but has been pretty active including the over-aggressive play that led to New Jerseys only goal.

NEWARK Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins taking down the Devils by a 6-1 score after 60 minutes of hockey at the Prudential Center.

1) A pair of goals from the Bs fourth line. When that happens it means Boston is doing some damage as they were on Wednesday night.

2) The Bruins continue their third period domination this season. Its become their victory signature to impose their will and really discourage teams in the final 20 minutes of their hockey games.

3) Two assists for Milan Lucic in a quietly great evening for No. 17.

4) When Patrice BergeronBrad MarchandTyler Seguin are attacking with speed and tenacity there are few forward combos that can hang with them and that was the case tonight with New Jersey.

5) David Krejci won 13-of-17 face-offs in the wins and has a six-game point streak going on for the Bruins after a quiet start to the evening.

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

Game notes: Celtics look to extend Kings’ Boston losing streak to nine

BOSTON – Here are a few odds and ends to keep an eye on heading into tonight’s game against the Sacramento Kings: 
 
· The Celtics have won eight in a row over the Kings in Boston, with the last loss to Sacramento at the TD Garden coming on Jan. 19, 2007. Current Celtic Gerald Green was in the starting lineup that night. 

· Only six times in franchise history have the Celtics launched 38 or more 3-pointers in a game, four of which came in the month of November this season. 

· Speaking of 3-pointers, 36.2 percent of Boston’s shots are 3s. That ranks fifth in the league behind Houston, Cleveland, Brooklyn and Golden State.

· Don’t be surprised if Avery Bradley gets off to a good start tonight, especially from 3-point range. He’s shooting 59.1 percent on 3s in the first quarter which ranks second in the league. 

· Isaiah Thomas tallied 395 points scored in November, the most by a Celtic since John Havlicek had 406 points in November during the 1971-1972 season. 

· Boston leads the NBA in points scored (46.3 per game) by second-round picks. The Celtics’ second-round picks include Isaiah Thomas; Jae Crowder; Amir Johnson; Jonas Jerebko; Demetrius Jackson and Jordan Mickey.

· The Celtics are 5-0 this season when they outrebound an opponent. 

· Tonight’s game will be Boston’s fifth set of back-to-back games this season. In the first game, they are 3-1 this season. On the second night, they are 2-2.

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

Beyond the numbers: Kings offense will test Celtics defense

BOSTON – When it comes to defense, the Celtics are quick to claim that it is indeed the foundation for which their team is built upon. 
 
Still, far too often this season, we have seen cracks in their usually Teflon-tough defense, the kind that ultimately means the difference between winning and losing.
 
The Celtics’ defense will once again need to step up and play well tonight against a Sacramento squad that has shown it can fill it up offensively of late. 
 
Sacramento (7-11) has scored 100 or more points in eight of their past 10 games. In that span, their 107.2 points per game ranks ninth in the league. 
 
In that same span, the Celtics have allowed opponents to score 100.3 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA in fewest points allowed.
 
And when it comes to winning, limiting teams to less than 100 points has been huge in Boston’s win total. 
 
The Celtics have held eight opponents to 100 points or less this season. 
 
Their record in those games? 8-0.
 
Within that limited scoring, Boston must also make sure teams don’t get into a nice groove shooting the ball. 
 
Boston is 0-5 this season when an opponent shoots 48 percent or better from the field. 
 
While there are several things Boston must do to be successful, having the right kind of defensive disposition ranks at or near the top of that list in their efforts to play with the kind of defensive success that gave so many hope that this would the year Boston would hold court among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end and not let a team come in and get comfortable,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.