Krug signs with Bruins, will join team in Boston

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Krug signs with Bruins, will join team in Boston

ANAHEIM The Bruins will get another new face at practice and potentially in games after signing undrafted Michigan State defenseman Torey Krug to an entry level contract. Krug will meet the Bruins when they return back to Boston and will be with the team for Tuesdays morning skate prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Krug will practice and travel with the Bruins and potentially play with them as part of the negotiated deal with the Bruins, so one of his three contracted years will be burnt hanging with the Bruins for the final seven games of the season.

Peter Chiarelli said theres a chance that Krug could get into a game or two with the Bruins, but it could be tough given that his arrival makers nine healthy defenseman on the roster. At 5-foot-9 and 180-pounds Krug is clearly a puck-moving defenseman and power play quarterback, but the youngster wont be available for playoff roster consideration.

If theres a chance to play him I believe he might get a chance. But hes going to skate with the team and go through that experience, said Chiarelli. If circumstances dictate that hell play, and the coach decides hell play, then hell play.

The Krug signing sheds a little light on Bostons decision to trade Russian defenseman Yury Alexandrov to the New York Islanders for future considerations last week a move exacted to make room for Krugs contract on the organizational depth charts. Peter Chiarelli indicated the Bruins are at 49 contracts with a limit of 50 per NHL organization so theres still room to make one more signing prior to the playoffs if the opportunity presents itself.

Bruins coach Claude Julien indicated that the experience of watching Bostons push to the playoffs could be beneficial to a young player like Krug.

I knew it was in the works. Well head home tomorrow and talk to the front office. I havent seen him play, but a lot of good things are being said about this fella. I dont get a chance to watch a lot of college and junior hockey, said Julien. It makes for a lot of players, but you just wish youd had all those players a couple of weeks ago.

Its coming in and sometimes its a little bit of an initiation. Its not a bad thing. They come and spend some time with us, and it makes things a lot easier as far coming in next year. The strength requirements and the routine involved, and getting to know the rest of the guys . . . there are a lot of advantages. Anything that will make a player feel more comfortable headed into next year is a good thing.

Krug recently finished his junior season at Michigan State University after serving as captain for the second straight year.

In 38 games with Michigan State this year, he set career bests in goals (12), assists (22) and points (34) and was named the CCHA Player of the Year and a 2012 Hobey Baker Award Finalist. He led all CCHA defenseman in scoring, was selected as the Best Offensive Defenseman for the second straight season and shared the CCHA scoring crown with Notre Dames T.J. Tynan, becoming the first defenseman to capture a CCHA scoring title since 1986-87. He was also named to CCHAs First Team for the second year in a row.

In 114 career CCHA games at Michigan State, the 20-year-old finished with 26 goals, 57 assists and 83 points. The Bruins also announced that theyve signed former draft picks Zach Trotman and Justin Florek to entry-level deals and theyve already begun playing with the Providence Bruins.

Celtics force overtime, come up short in 127-123 loss to Blazers

Celtics force overtime, come up short in 127-123 loss to Blazers

BOSTON – For the second time in as many games, the Boston Celtics ran into a team that played with a greater sense of desperation.

And the result was yet another defeat as the Portland Trail Blazers, playing their second game in less than 24 hours, were able to get off their losing skid with a 127-123 overtime win over the Celtics.

Boston (26-17) has now lost back-to-back games at home, while the Blazers (19-27) snapped a four-game losing streak.

In the extra session, Portland jumped out to a 117-113 lead only for Boston’s Al Horford scoring on a bank-shot in the paint and Thomas draining a go-ahead 3-pointer for Boston.

Portland regained the lead when Al-Farouq Aminu made a pair of free throws with 59.3 seconds to play to make it a 119-118 game.

Boston soon fell behind 122-118, but a pair of Thomas free throws with 44.8 seconds to play made it a two-point game.

Mason Plumlee scored with 24 seconds to play in overtime, and an Al Horford miss – rebounded by Plumlee who was then fouled by Horford – essentially put the game away with 13.5 seconds to play.

Boston found themselves down late in the fourth quarter and seemingly headed towards defeat, only to get an unexpected lift in the final seconds from Terry Rozier.

Trailing by three points late in the fourth, Boston had one last chance to force overtime so who did they turn to?

If you were thinking Thomas which is what the Blazers and most fans were thinking, you would have been dead wrong.

The fourth quarter may be Thomas’ time to shine, but at that point in the game it was Rozier’s moment as he drained a 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left that ultimately forced overtime. He finished with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists off the bench.

The Blazers came into the game with the kind of potent scoring punch in the backcourt that strikes the fear into the heart of any defense, let alone one that has been as up and down as the Boston Celtics this season.

For most of the game, Portland’s 1-2 punch of Damian Lillard (28 points) and C.J. McCollum (35 points) lived up to the lofty billing as they combined for 63 points.

McCollum and Lillard both did their share of damage down the stretch, but it was their bench – specifically Meyers Leonard – whose play kept Portland in the game early on.

He finished with 17 points off the bench.

Boston led 65-56 at the half, but soon found itself in a 67-all game after McCollum made the second of two free throws.

But Boston countered with a put-back basket by Kelly Olynyk and a 3-pointer from Isaiah Thomas to push Boston’s lead to 72-67.

Once again the Blazers fought back and eventually took the lead 74-72 on a powerful put-back dunk by Haverill (Mass.) native Noah Vonleh.

Brad Stevens had seen enough of his team getting pushed around, as he called a time-out with 5:31 to play in the quarter.

It didn’t help as Portland continued to bully their way around the rim for second and third-shot opportunities with their lead peaking at 78-72 following a put-back basket by  Plumlee.

But the Celtics responded with a 7-2 spurt capped off by an end-to-end, driving lay-up by Rozier that cut Portland’s lead to 80-79 with 2:44 to play in the quarter. Boston continued to be within striking distance as the third quarter ended with the Celtics trailing 88-86.