Hamilton scores first NHL goal in defeat

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Hamilton scores first NHL goal in defeat

BUFFALO Dougie Hamilton hasnt shown himself to be a very emotional hockey player in his rookie campaign with the Bruins.

But the 19-year-old couldnt help but get a little excited and treat himself to a giant pump fist after potting his first career NHL goal in the first period of Bostons 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. The rookie defensemans parents, his aunt and uncle and a slew of his close friends all came down from the Toronto area to catch Dougie doing his thing.

That might have made it a little nerve-wracking for Hamilton, but it also added to the celebration level when he cranked a shot into an open net for a power play goal.

David Krejci had fired a shot at the net near the right post that Ryan Miller made the initial stop on, and the rebound bounced right back to Krejci in the same spot. Instead of shooting again he dropped a pass to Hamilton rushing into the slot area, and the Bruins defenseman snapped a shot into the open area of the net.

It was a big goal at the time that tied the game at 1-1 in the first period, and it made Hamilton the youngest defenseman to score a goal for the Bruins (19 years old) since Jonathan Girard did it at the same age way back in 1999.

Milan Lucic made sure to secure the puck for the rookie, so hell always have a keepsake from that first NHL goal scored Feb. 15 against the Sabres.

You cant really describe it. Its such a dream come true, said Hamilton. I was still smiling when the second period started and I was still shaking from all of the adrenaline. It was just a lot of fun and I was so happy I was able to do it in front of my friends and family.

The goal snapped a six-game pointless streak for the teenaged rookie, and Hamilton followed it up with a heady play in the second period when he fired a point shot wide right of the net. The puck caromed off the end boards to Rich Peverley waiting in front of the net, and Hamilton picked up the assist when the third line winger scored the go-ahead goal.

So it was the rookies second multi-point game of his career sandwiched into 17:51 of ice time along with five attempted shots (three of which were blocked) and two blocked shots of his own. Unfortunately it wasnt in a winning effort for his hockey club, but that didnt stop his coach from being happy for him.

It was so nice for him to get that close to him. I thought he was in the right position and it was a good power play for us. Your first NHL goal is something you always dream of, said Claude Julien. Its unfortunate that it doesnt come in a win because that certainly makes for a better memory.

Hamilton certainly did everything within his power to try to push the Bruins toward a win in his big game, and he enjoyed a cool little moment that hell always remember. But with the goal in his rear view mirror now, things for Hamilton will become all about the team goals rather than the personal benchmarks as he keeps accumulating those rookie experiences.

Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

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Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins’ season has gone in extreme swings both up and down thus far through the first couple of months, and that was the case as they lost their third game in a row to the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Bruins couldn’t only scratch for one goal despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by a 32-20 margin, and fell by a disappointing 4-1 score to the young and talented Toronto club at TD Garden.

The Bruins never enjoyed a lead in the game against the Leafs, and were flirting with danger after failing to score in the first period despite out-shooting Toronto by an 11-2 margin in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Instead it was a David Pastrnak neutral zone turnover in the second period that was picked off by William Nylander, and ended with Auston Matthews firing a rocket over Tuukka Rask for his 12th goal of the season.

Toronto extended the lead with five minutes to go in the period when Zach Hyman tipped a wobbly Jake Gardiner point shot past Rask, and made it three games in a row that the Bruins have dug themselves a considerable hole. Brad Marchand got one goal back at the end of the second period on a nice hustle play as he sealed off Frederik Anderson’s clearing attempt and then stuffed the puck past the Leafs goalie on a second chance bid.

That’s the way the score remained until the third period when the Bruins couldn’t convert on a couple of offensive chances -- included a bang-bang shorthanded bid for Austin Czarnik in front of the net -- and then James van Riemsdyk scored in front as a Toronto power play expired. That was the backbreaker for a Black and Gold bunch that continues to scrap for goals, and has now scored two goals or less in 20 of their 20 games this season.

Connor Brown added an empty netter in the final two minutes of the game to truly put it out of reach for the Bruins. 

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.