Bruins strike three times in first period in 5-3 win over Blues

Bruins strike three times in first period in 5-3 win over Blues

ST LOUIS – The Bruins were looking to author a big time performance in David Backes’ emotional return to St. Louis, and they came through for their new teammate.

Powered by three first period goals and their first multi-power play goal game since the beginning of November, the B’s hammered the St. Louis Blues by a 5-3 score at Scottrade Center. This is a hockey game the B’s dominated from beginning to end, and included a David Backes fight in the second period with Blues D-man Joel Edmundson.

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It all started in the first period as the Bruins dropped three scores on the Blues and chased Jake Allen from the game after the opening 20 minutes. Frank Vatrano opened up the scoring midway through the first period when he sniped a power play strike top corner for his third goal of the season. Brandon Carlo followed seven minutes later with a weird point shot that banked into the net off the end boards and the back of Allen’s leg.

Brad Marchand closed out the first period scoring when David Pastrnak fed him wide as the trailing winger, and notching his 14th goal of the season on another top corner sniper job at the Blues net.

Torey Krug made it a four goal lead for the Bruins in the opening minutes of the second period when he smoked another PP point shot that went bar down through a screening Blues defender. St. Louis got one back on a Colton Parayko blast that seemed to snap Tuukka Rask out of a comfortable nap with all the action going on at the other end of the ice.

But that was it for the Blues until a Berglund goal from the slot beat Rask for a power play score midway through the third period to make it a respectable final score. Backes dropped the gloves with Edmundson in the second period after two Blues players caught David Krejci in between them for a crunching hit. Backes came to the defense of his center, and perhaps also showed the St. Louis fans what they’re missing a little bit now that the former Blues captain has signed in Boston.

Brad Marchand added the empty net goal in the closing minute to put things away for the Black and Gold. 

Bruins recall McIntyre on emergency basis, but perhaps not for Rask

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Bruins recall McIntyre on emergency basis, but perhaps not for Rask

UPDATE: The Boston Herald reports McIntyre is with the team as a replacement for Anton Khudobin, who is said to be suffering from a minor injury, and not Tuukka Rask, and that Rask will start as scheduled against Nashville.

BOSTON -- Even though he's been proclaiming himself healthy and able for the last two days, Tuukka Rask may not be as ready to go as everybody thought.

The Bruins announced a couple of hours prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Nashville Predators that rookie goalie Zane McIntyre had been recalled on an emergency basis. He spent the weekend with the team in the same capacity, filling in for Rask while Rask battled a lower body injury.

So the logical assumption is that something has recurred that will prevent Rask -- who on Tuesday night told interim coach Bruce Cassidy he was ready -- from playing tonight.

Rask is 8-8 with a 2.91 goals against average and an .892 save percentage since the NHL All-Star break, and gave up five goals in a loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday night. He missed Saturday's big game vs. the Islanders with a lower body issue that just “popped up.”

We’ll find out for sure during pregame warm-ups, but the only way an emergency recall can be made is if a player is injured or suffering from an illness. Anton Khudobin looked fit as a fiddle while practicing with the Bruins on Tuesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena, so stay tuned for the latest.

Some clarification on why Bruins may opt for ATO with Charlie McAvoy rather than playing him in the NHL

Some clarification on why Bruins may opt for ATO with Charlie McAvoy rather than playing him in the NHL

The second BU’s season ended, Bruins fans were champing (it’s champing, not chomping; look it up) to get sophomore defenseman Charlie McAvoy to the NHL. 

So when word emerged from Bob McKenzie that it’s looking like McAvoy will join Providence on an amateur tryout, eyes rolled. Why not sign McAvoy to his three-year entry level contract, have him stay in Boston and get some NHL experience. After all, we hear over and over that as long as you don’t play 10 NHL games, a year doesn’t get burned. 

The answer is because that 10-game thing doesn’t apply to everyone. It applies when talking about teenagers who are coming from the CHL, which is when the issue most commonly pops up, a la Tyler Seguin in 2010-11. 

Yet much like it didn’t apply to Torey Krug when he signed with the Bruins in 2012, it doesn’t apply to McAvoy now. The reason some kids can play nine games and then go away without a year being burned is because their contract slides. Players who are 18 or 19 years old as of Sept. 15 of their signing year see their deal moved back a year as long as they don’t play 10 NHL games, including the playoffs. 

For players who are 19 as of Sept. 15 of the year they sign (not season) and turn 20 between Sept. 16 and Dec. 31, their contract does not slide. This is all explained neatly here. 

If you’ve fallen asleep by this point, wake up right quick. McAvoy is 19 and will turn 20 on Dec. 21. That means that if McAvoy and signs and plays an NHL game this season, one year will be burned off his entry-level deal, making him up for a new deal after the 2018-19 season rather than the 2019-20 season. Same goes for Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, who already is 20. 

The Bruins actually used this drawback to their advantage when they signed Krug. The B’s let the 20-year-old Krug play in an NHL game after he signed, which got him to restricted free agency a year earlier. The promise to play him and burn that year was likely a reason Krug chose to sign with the B’s as an undrafted free agent. 

So for now, yes, an ATO is the safe play for the Bruins if they want to maximize the value of McAvoy’s entry level deal. His NHL career might have to wait until the fall.