Turco comes to the 'end of the line' with Bruins

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Turco comes to the 'end of the line' with Bruins

Marty Turco called Tuesday night's game the end of the line as far as his time with the Bruins goes.

Turco wasnt at his best while giving up five goals on 27 shots in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night including a pair of goals allowed to Sidney Crosby.

The 36-year-old goalie was clearly disappointed he didnt go out on a winning note, but theres also little denying the veteran jumped in and helped stabilize the team over the last month.

After the loss to the Pens, Turco seemed to be kicking himself just a little bit for opportunities lost.

I think by the end of the night with the chances, the amount of chances, that we had you feel like you deserve to win a hockey game. Those power play goals really ended up costing us . . . with those calls. But theres a lot to be taken from this game, said Turco.

For me, its the end of the line as far as the regular season goes and these guys, you know, they battle to be down twice like that and even though we went down 5-2 in the third, there was no give up in this bunch.

I think thats a huge thing for these guys to build on. Theyve been a tremendous third period team, everyone knows that real well. But to see them pour it on at the end and give us a chance was also a good sign, too. But at the end of the day its disappointing to lose anytime, never mind against a team like that.

Turco finished the season with a 2-2 record along with a 3.28 goals against average and .865 save percentage. None of those numbers scream success, but Turco helped stabilize things and gave Tim Thomas a few games of rest at a key point in the season.

Turco said he still hoped to play hockey after this point and wasnt sure whether hed be with the team during their playoff run but the Bruins were appreciative for the emergency help he provided when Tuukka Rask went down with a groin injury.

The start against the Penguins probably could have gone to Anton Khudobin to get him ready for a potential job backing up Tim Thomas if Rask isnt ready to start the playoffs. But the Bruins wanted to give Turco a chance to start a game in front of the home crowd in Boston before giving Khudobin the start against the Ottawa Senators Thursday night and then sharpening Thomas with the regular season finale against the Buffalo Sabres this weekend.

It was a gesture Turco appreciated.

This building has always been pretty special to me. I have fond memories from the Frozen Four of 98, my first shutout here and anytime you play this group theyre always going to battle. So it was fun coming in here, said Turco. I never started in that end, so I had to rethink that a little bit. But it was special. This is really unique franchise, not just what they did last year.

But being an Original Six team and the tradition that they have and not many teams have this. Their fan base has been unreal over the years and particularly strong this year. To just to feel that energy inside the arena and get a chance to play, period, never mind at home. I do owe a big debt of gratitude. And even though losing, 5-3, I think tomorrow Ill wake up and realize that the majority of it was pretty fun.

Turco has made fast friends with a lot of his teammates, and it was pretty clear the impression he left behind even if hes now retiring the electric yellow Kool-Aid pads for the rest of the season.

It was unfortunate to see Tuukka Rask go down but it gives a chance for Marty to step in and give Timmy Thomas some much-needed rest. Hes obviously a veteran guy that has been around for a long time and a good team guy that has seen a lot, as well, said Milan Lucic. Weve been happy with what hes brought to this hockey team and this organization. He definitely played well for us.

While the numbers werent all that compelling, Turcos ability to come in and spell Thomas during the month of March will be one of the key factors if the soon-to-be 38-year-old Thomas is able to go on another strong playoff run.

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Celtics-Magic preview: Orlando's poor offense gives C's chance to bounce back

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Celtics-Magic preview: Orlando's poor offense gives C's chance to bounce back

Talk about your basketball extremes.

After losing a 107-106 heartbreaker to Houston and their high-powered offense on Monday, the Boston Celtics will be in for a very different -- and less successful -- foe tonight in the Orlando Magic.

The Magic beat Washington 124-116 on Tuesday night despite John Wall’s 52-point effort, but have been one of the NBA’s most offensively challenged teams this season.

Orlando ranks near the bottom in scoring (29th, 94.6 points per game), field goal percentage (28th, .426) and Pace (24th, 96.71) this season.

But Frank Vogel’s crew has been a defensive force thus far in the East even if their record might suggest otherwise.

They rank among the league’s best in several defensive categories such as scoring defense (4th, 98.0 points per game allowed); opponent 3-point percentage (3rd, 33.0 percent), opponent 3-point attempts (4th, 23.6) in addition to allowing a league-low 8.0 made 3's per game.

That will be a stark contrast from the let-it-fly-all-night style Boston had to contend with against the high-scoring Rockets on Monday.

But this set of games is exactly why Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made of point of trying to put together a roster that was heavy on athleticism and versatility both in the frontcourt as well as on the perimeter.

Against Houston, Tyler Zeller recorded his first DNP-CD (Did not play -- coaches decision) of the season which made sense considering Houston basically plays void of a traditional center.

Orlando, that’s a different story.

Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic now coming off the bench form a physical triumvirate of big men that can cause lots of problems for a Celtics team that will look to attack the paint often.

When it comes to scoring in the restricted area, the Magic allow opponents to shoot 57.6 percent which ranks seventh in the league. They rank highly when it comes to defending mid-range shots (5-10th, 38.3 percent), corner 3's (6th, 34.5 percent) and above-the-break 3's (8th, 33.8 percent) as well.

And while they have had their issues offensively this season, their recent run of success has been in part aided by a much-improved offensive showing. In their last five games, they are shooting 48.5 percent from the field which ranks fifth in the NBA in that span. For the season, the Magic rank 28th while connecting on 42.6 percent of their shots.

Orlando’s improved shooting with a defense that’s stingy as ever, will make this a tough game for Boston to come away with a victory.

Just as the Magic seek to continue their successful ways, the Celtics come into this game with something to prove as well.

While the missed lay-ups by Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas in the final minute of Monday’s 107-106 loss certainly were factors in the game’s outcome, there were a series of miscommunications earlier in the quarter that fueled Houston’s late surge.

Following the game, Isaiah Thomas pointed out how he called out a play that Jonas Jerebko interpreted as another play the Celtics called.

The miscommunication led to a turnover and subsequent lay-up which in hindsight looms huge considering the margin of victory was just one point.

“The two play calls sound alike,” Thomas told reporters afterwards. “In the heat of battle, I have to do a better job of making sure everybody knows what play we’re running. He (Jerebko) handed the ball back to me when the play wasn’t to hand the ball back to me. That was one of the turnovers that was the key.

Thomas added, “It’s not his fault. As a group, as a point guard, I have to do a better job of letting my guys know what play we’re running. Those little things, especially on the road, those make you lose games. But that wasn’t the play that made us lose. I’m not putting this on Jonas at all.”

Indeed, this team’s success as well as their struggles are the collective efforts of all their core players, Thomas included.

And for them to get back on track, it won’t be one or two players that will make it happen.

It’ll be a team effort, the kind that will allow Boston to find success against different teams no matter how extremely different their styles of play may be.