Talking Points: Canucks 4, Bruins 3

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Talking Points: Canucks 4, Bruins 3

The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Bruins 4-3 on Saturday afternoon, thanks to Cody Hodgson's bomb from the top-right circle as he burst into the Bruins' zone 1:09 into the third period put the Canucks up 4-2.

David Krejci cut Vancouver's lead down to 4-3 just 42 seconds later as he slid home a rebound out front, but it wouldn't be enough.

The Canucks scored all four of their goals on the power play, in a game that had the same intensity of last year's Stanley Cup Final.

Cory Schneider made 36 saves and picked up his ninth win of the season, while Tim Thomas made 32 saves and picked up his seventh loss of the season.

Vancouver entered the third period with a 3-2 lead, after scoring two unanswered goals to end the second.

Boston broke a 1-1 stalemate 7:12 into the second, thanks to Rich Peverley's snipe from the left circle, when he picked up a loose puck on a Vancouver turnover, and let one rip top-left. The goal gave the B's a 2-1 lead, but the Canucks tied it back up at 2-2 with 4:39 left in the period.

While on the power play, Alex Burrows stood out front and tipped a Cody Hodgson shot from the left circle, that beat Thomas five-hole.

Vancouver added another with 12.3 seconds left in the second period, moments after Brad Marchand received a game misconduct for a low hit. Henrik Sedin stood in the slot and re-directed an Alex Edler shot from the right point that beat Thomas and gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead entering the third period.

It marked Vancouver's second lead of the game, as they initially had taken a 1-0 lead nearly six minutes into the game, as Ryan Kesler scored on a wrester from the left circle while on a 5-on-3 power play.

The two-man advantage came as a result of an absolute melee in front of the Canucks' bench. Milan Lucic was ejected from the game after the donnybrook, as he was ruled to have been the team's sixth man off the ice.

The league will rule, after the game, whether or not Lucic had made a legal or illegal line change. If it is deemed illegal, then Lucic could face a 10-game suspension.

The brawl started as Shawn Thornton appeared to be coming off the ice, but just before entering his own bench, he responded to something the Canucks were saying in front of theirs. Thornton skated over and every Canucks player on the ice went after Thornton, resulting in an all-out brawl.

Boston tied the game at 1-1 after Marchand finished a perfect cross-ice pass from Tyler Seguin, from the right point down to Marchand at the low-left circle. Marchand took the puck across the top of the crease, and slid it past Schneider.

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

Julien: 'A lot of problematic things' in Bruins loss to Avalanche

BOSTON – The Bruins simply weren’t ready to play on Thursday night when the puck was dropped against the Colorado Avalanche at TD Garden. 

They fell down quickly by a 2-0 score, had a couple of completely inept power plays in the first period that sucked all the game’s momentum away from them and received some subpar goaltending from Anton Khudobin on the way to a 4-2 loss to the lowly Avs. About the only B’s person above reproach in this one was David Pastrnak after scoring a pair of goals in the second period to get Boston back into the game, but it all fell short in a very frustrating, lackadaisical loss to a Western Conference team that isn’t very good. 

Needless to say B’s coach Claude Julien wasn’t too happy after a loss where the Bruins might have had more success with a smarter approach to holding the puck. 

“There were a lot of problematic things [in the loss]. No doubt that the power play could have helped us in the first period, and failed to do that. They’ve got to be better,” said Julien. “We needed some saves tonight, and we didn’t get them. [Anton Khudobin] has got to be better. 

“A lot of things here that we can be better at, and take responsibility [for]. But at the same time, you got to move on here.  It’s one of those nights that had we been smarter from the get go, we would have had a chance.”

Clearly it was about a lacking group effort when dissecting the loss, and the minus-3 for David Krejci on Thursday night marked back-to-back negative performances from the playmaking Czech center in big spots. The goaltending was shoddy with Anton Khudobin allowing four goals on 22 shots for Colorado, and unable to make plays on a couple of Colorado shots from outside the painted area that built up the Avs lead in the first place. 

But it was also very much about the inability of the Bruins to generate consistent offense outside of David Pastrnak’s offensive burst in the second period, and the complete breakdown of the Boston power play in the opening 20 minutes. The Bruins struggled to enter the zone in their first PP possession of the game, and then allowed a Nathan MacKinnon shorthanded goal after Torey Krug futilely dove at the blue line to try and keep the puck in the offensive zone. 

The Krug misplay at the offensive blue line gave MacKinnon a clear path the net, and he buried a wrist shot past Khudobin to get the one-sided loss rolling. Beyond the costly mistakes that ended up in the back of the net, the Bruins looked sloppy and slow-reacting in their breakouts and more than willing to settle for outside perimeter shots.

That doesn’t exactly make for a winning combo even when it comes against a flawed, underachieving team like Colorado, and especially when it comes less than 24 hours after a hard-fought road game in Washington DC. 

“I think we were still sleeping there early in the game and they were able to capitalize on their opportunities. We couldn’t claw our way back,” said Brad Marchand, who picked up an assist on David Pastrnak’s second goal of the night on a perfect dish for the one-timer. “I think it was definitely a mental [block]. You’re able to battle through that physical fatigue. It was more the mental mistakes and not being prepared right off the hop of the start of the game. Again, that’s kind of where we lost it.”

The sleepwalking Bruins lost Thursday night’s valuable two points as soon as the opening puck was dropped against the Avalanche, of course, and the Bruins never got out of lollygag mode at a time when intensity should have been automatic.