Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Senators

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Haggerty: 15 thoughts from Bruins-Senators

Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Senators tied up at 1-1 after the first 20 minutes of play at TD Garden.

1)Plenty of offensive energy that period for the Bruins with some very good saves by Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson. Twelve shots on net, and many of them from Bruins players in exactly the spots they wanted to take them. Benoit Pouliot also rang a shot off the right post after an arms-and-legs move to dangle through a Senators defender.

2)Shawn Thornton with one of his best fights of the year pounding Chris Neil with a barrage of right-handed bombs, but it appears that it came at a price. Thornton with some serious bags of ice on his right hand before exiting midway through his five minutes into the penalty box with a trip straight to the dressing room. It looks like his right hand might be getting treated.

3)Bruins power play looked very good in the first period. Both units playing with energy and quick passing that helped set up Zdeno Charas power play strike through a Milan Lucic screen. The score pulls Chara into a tie with Nathan Horton for the team lead with six power play strikes this year.

4)Three shots on net in 7:14 for Brad Marchand, who also drew the penalty that led to Charas power play goal by taking it hard to the net. A beauty of a saucer pass from Tyler Seguin set the whole thing up for Marchand.

5) Colin Greening is turning into one heck of a player for the Ottawa Senators. It was his second effort that allowed him to pop the rebound of his own shot past Tim Thomas. Greening and Daniel Alfredsson both lead the Senators with three shots on net apiece.

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Senators by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of play at TD Garden.

1)Five shots in the second for the Bruins as they were badly outplayed by Ottawa in all phases of the game. Its funny. The second period has actually been Bostons weakest period all season long and that was the case again tonight.

2)Despite their weak second period, Milan Lucic was able to bury a sizzling wrist shot from the slot with 46 seconds left in the period to make it a 3-2 game headed into the third period. Thats a gigantic goal for the Bruins after getting outplayed for most of the 20 minutes and it really shows some of Ottawas immaturity still shining through.

3)Despite the big bag of ice and repairs in the first period after his fight with Chris Neil, Shawn Thornton was out there taking regular shifts with his fourth line in the second. That NHL enforcer thing is a tough gig, man.

4)A big mistake by Zdeno Chara trying to step up into a play that led to a 2-on-1 and Erik Karlssons goal in the second period to give Ottawa their current lead. Of all the players on the ice for the Bruins, Chara and Tim Thomas have looked the weakest after their weekend All-Star appearances.

5)Soft goals from Tim Thomas in his first game back from the break. Strange to see given his normal domination of Ottawa, but perhaps Thomas was a little distracted prior to the game tonight wondering what kind of reception hed receive.

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins taking down the Senators by a 4-3 score after 60 minutes of intense Northeast Division play at TD Garden.

1)Dennis Seidenberg with the rare 90-foot goal when he fired a puck from the center ice face-off dot that skimmed off the ice and beat Craig Anderson for the game-winner. Third period win for Bruins shows their poiseexperience and make it clear Ottawa still has some growing up to do before theyre for real.

2)Six points and a pair of goals from the Bs defensemen crew tonight. The goal from Seidenberg was a big one.

3)Nine shots on goal for the Seguin, Marchand and Bergeron line, though they were on the ice for a pair of goals against as well. A very mixed bag night for them.

4)Four hits from Jared Cowen, who literally tossed Dennis Seidenberg off his skates during a battle in the corner. Hes another impressive young player for the Senators along with Colin Greening.

5)Two power play goals for the Bruins including 5-foot-8, 180-pound Brad Marchand beating out 6-foot-3, 220-pound Chris Phillips for a rebound in front of the net that ended up being the game-tying goal. Thats simple Little Ball of Hate desire winning out in a one-on-one battle.

Mookie Betts' injury likely just a short-term issue

Mookie Betts' injury likely just a short-term issue

BOSTON -- After leaving Friday night’s game with right knee soreness, structural damage has been ruled out regarding Mookie Betts, but he could still be out for a bit.

Testing was done on Betts’ knee, removing any doubt of a deeper issue, revealing it was just build-up of fluid, causing swelling in his knee.

“Day-to-day is the status. It may take a couple for him before he’s back to us.” John Farrell said. “Everything points to this being a short-term situation.”

Betts explained that his condition had improved from Friday night, but -- much like Farrell -- doesn’t know how quickly he can bounce back. He wouldn’t make a definitive statement on whether or not he’d be available Sunday.

“It feels pretty good now,” Betts said. “We’re going to do some treatment on it, make sure everything is good and hopefully get back out there.”

Betts joins the list of pivotal players unavailable in Saturday’s game, including Craig Kimbrel and Koji Uehara who are both on the DL.

Farrell couldn’t commit to a timetable for when he expects Uehara should be back, but hopes he’ll be available during the regular season.

“We’re hopeful of that,” Farrell said when asked if he thought Uehara would be back before the postseason. “There’s no number of day’s that says Koji’s going to put a ball back in his hand . . . To give you a time frame, it’s too early to tell.”

Kimbrel, on the other hand, has bounced back well, and is expected to throw his first bullpen Sunday or Monday. The hope is that he’ll throw twice off the mound before the trip to the West, which would set him up for a simulated game.

“We need to get some PFP involved -- just some change in direction, fielding the position,” Farrell said on Kimbrel. “But in terms of amount of time missed, and that fact that he’s able to as get aggressive right now in long toss. I would think it would be on the shorter end of appearances if it’s even more than one. He feels very good. If he wasn’t making the ultimate decision medically [he’d] probably say ‘Give me the ball tonight.’ That’s how good he feels -- that’s encouraging.”

 

Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

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Heinen looking to be dark-horse candidate for Bruins' roster

While much of the focus is going to be on the young D-men headed into Bruins training camp, it would be foolhardy to overlook a forward prospect Danton Heinen, who is in position for a real dark horse run at an NHL roster spot. 

The strong odds are that the former University of Denver star is going to be begin the season in the AHL for the Providence Bruins after putting up a couple of points in four games there at the end of last season.

Still, that certainly hasn’t stopped Heinen from setting his sights on an NHL spot out of this fall’s camp, most likely in a third- or fourth-line capacity to start things off, or perhaps at the top-six right wing spots that have given the Bruins some problems filling permanently over the past couple of seasons.

Either way, the 2014 fourth-round pick knows that his clock to fulfilling his dreams as an NHL player has started and that it’s up to him when he can start making that a reality.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to work toward my whole life, so I’m just going to try to keep getting better, have a good rest of the summer and then put my best foot forward to see what happens,” said Heinen, who had an assist and a sweet goal in the Friday scrimmage at development camp when he twisted D-man Cam Clarke around like a pretzel on a nifty rush to the net. “I just need to continue to get stronger this summer, and working on my skating to get a bit quicker.

“[The AHL] was a lot of fun to get in there and see what it was all about. It was a lot different than college hockey, and it was definitely good to get a taste of it. [Bruins officials] told me to have a really big summer getting faster and getting stronger, so that’s what I’ve been doing.”

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Heinen, 21, continued to show in development camp last week, however, that he has the playmaking skills and hockey IQ to flourish while surrounded by more accomplished players and in tighter situations. It’s exactly what he showed while posting 36 goals and 93 points in his freshman and sophomore seasons for the Pioneers and it was what he showed while finishing last week as one of the best forwards in camp.

“He’s looked really good at [development] camp. He’s a smart player, he’s committed and I think you’ll notice him in training camp. It will be up to him, but I think he’ll definitely be pushing some guys [for an NHL job],” said Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo, who was running the Bruins development camp. “He looked good [in Providence]. He fit in well. He’s the type of player that can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ, and he’s got really good skill.

“Anywhere you put him he’s smart enough to figure it out. You could tell in his first game there was a little bit of an adjustment for him, but the second time game it really looked like he’d been playing [at that level] for a long time. He’s a quick study, and he looked really good last year.”

The Black and Gold management hope he continues to look good at main NHL training camp in a couple of months, where he’ll undoubtedly be featured, and could be a lot closer than many people think as a polished skill forward coming out of a big-time college hockey program. 

Saturday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: Betts out with knee soreness

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Saturday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: Betts out with knee soreness

Mookie Betts is out of the lineup Saturday after leaving the game Friday night with knee soreness and Brock Holt moves into the leadoff spot for the Red Sox in Game 3 of their four-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park.

Manager John Farrell said Betts is day-to-day after the right fielder left the Red Sox' 2-1 loss in the fifth inning with pain in his right knee. There is swelling, but an MRI showed no structural damage.Michael Martinez will start in right on Saturday night. Betts had started in 93 of Boston's 94 games this season. 

Aaron Hill gets the start at third base for the Red Sox in place of Travis Shaw.  

Left-hander David Price (9-7, 4.36 ERA) makes his second start of the second half for the Red Sox. Price took the loss in a 3-1 defeat against the Yankees on Sunday night, allowing 11 hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innnigs. 

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.02) is on the mound for the Twins.

The lineups:

TWINS
Eduardo Nunez SS
Robbie Grossman DH
Miguel Sano 3B
Brian Dozier 2B
Max Kepler RF
Kennys Vargas 1B
Eddie Rosario LF
Kurt Suzuki C
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Ricky Nolasco RHP

RED SOX
Brock Holt LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Sandy Leon C
Michael Martinez RF
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David Price LHP