Peverley a rare constant for B's

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Peverley a rare constant for B's

The top six forwards have been challenged by their coach to step up their production.

That much was pretty clear after the lines were thoroughly rearranged at Bruins practice on Friday morning.

But the one player out of that player group that doesnt have anything to hang his head about after the last couple of games is Rich Peverley. The shifty winger now leads the Bruins with a pair of goals scored in the last two games, and has three or more shots on net in three of the four playoff games against the Washington Capitals.

Ive been able to sneak a couple through, but we lost the last game so it doesnt really matter, said Peverley.

So Peverley was skating with Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille at practice while Brad Marchand was dropped to the fourth line, and Tyler Seguin was similarly demoted to the third line with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot.

Theres no real thought about one particular guy with the changes. Its more about moving guys around and trying to give lines a spark more than the individual. Right now were not getting the production wed like to, but were doing a good job, said Claude Julien. Were not playing a bad game. Were breaking out of our own end no problem, were going through the neutral zone no problem and were getting pucks in deep no problem.

At the end of the day its just trying to resolve the situation of capitalizing on our chances and that kind of stuff. So, thats the only problem area.

It also seems that Bruins coach Claude Julien wanted to get a little more experience and poise under pressure balanced throughout the forward lines, but Peverley is perhaps the only Bs forward that is playing his best hockey of the last month in the postseason. Most of the last month was spent getting back on track after missing six weeks with a sprained right knee, and now Peverley is there.

The faked move to pass on the odd-man rush that led to Bostons only goal in Game 4 spoke to a skilled forward thats getting a little swagger back into his game. Many of his teammates could use the exact same thing right about now.

They blocked a lot of shots. We could definitely use more net-front presence. We had a few chances and there were definitely a few that rolled off to the side and we couldnt get there to bang them in, said Peverley. We definitely need to do that if were going to win this series. Braden Holtby likes to glove the puck and hold on to everything. He saw everything Thursday. Thats for sure. We need to get more bodies in front of him.

Most of the goalies in the league will stop it if they can see it. Hes another example.

Holtby has been doing a lot of that against the Bruins during their four playoff games, and more Bs skaters need to take a page out of the Peverley book if theyre to start generating some more needed offense.

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

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Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.