Bruins can't take advantage of early gift

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Bruins can't take advantage of early gift

BOSTON -- The Bruins caught an early break on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. They thought it would lead to a win at home.

Instead, that early break was followed up with a major breakdown midway through the third period, resulting in a 2-1 Montreal win.

The B's had gone six straight games without scoring the first goal. They went 2-4 during that span. The last time Boston put the first puck in the net was back on Oct. 8 -- the second game of the regular season -- in a 4-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. It marked their first win of the year.

Thursday night marked the Bruins' sixth loss of the season. They couldn't take advantage of the good fortune they received on the first goal of the game.

"We were definitely hoping," said Bruins forward Brad Marchand. "When you get breaks like that, you want to find a way to build off it, and build some momentum. But after that, he seemed to tighten up and make some big saves."

That early break came in the form of what soccer fans would call an "own goal" off the stick of Canadiens center man Tomas Plekanec.

Plekanec won a face off in his own zone a little too cleanly, apparently, as his draw back to Montreal goaltender Carey Price went under the 'tender's stick, off the inside of his right skate, and into the net, for a 1-0 Bruins lead with 5:55 left in the first period.

"I just Bill Buckner'd it," said Price after the game. "Just a mental lapse. I just went to go play the puck, and I didn't let go of my stick, and it was in the back of the net."

Bergeron was credited with his second goal of the season, but that would be all Boston would get on this night.

"A few times this year, we've started out games behind, so when you can get a bounce like that and get out ahead, you're hoping it can be something that cascades into something else," said Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas. "But it didn't happen."

Thursday night started with an early break. It ended with a late breakdown, which ultimately cost the Bruins the game.

Midway through the third period, the luck didn't go Boston's way, as defenseman Adam McQuaid's attempted breakout pass through the neutral zone didn't go as planned, and it ended up on the stick of the Canadiens.

Following the neutral-zone turnover, Plekanec turned and took the puck down the right wing and into the Bruins' zone.

With McQuaid in his face, Plekanec took an initial shot that got past the B's defenseman and was saved by Thomas. Plekanec then skated right by McQuaid, and put home his own rebound on a quick snap shot.

"He took the shot from 10 feet away, he's a goal scorer," said Thomas.

"I was looking to try and hit Bergy up the middle there," said McQuaid. "I passed it a little too far in front of him, and they made a quick transition. So a bad pass on my part."

McQuaid had missed the previous four games with a headneck injury. And while it would be easy to point the finger at that late mishap, Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn't about to throw any one player under the bus.

"It's his first game back," said Julien. "The way we're playing right now, it's too easy to jump on guys. And I'm not going to do that."

Perhaps the only thing that went right for the Bruins on Thursday night was the goal credited to Bergeron in the first period.

"We got the start that we wanted," he said afterwards.

They just didn't get the finish they were hoping for.

What we learned: Bruins 2, Sharks 1

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What we learned: Bruins 2, Sharks 1

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Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Morning Skate: Asking price on Shattenkirk should scare off Bruins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after watching the Boston Celtics take a hard pass on the Boogie. 
 
-- Bob McKenzie sits in with the good folks at TSN 1200 Ottawa sports radio and talks a little Claude Julien of the Montreal Canadiens

-- The Avalanche youth movement is set to begin as quickly as March 1, as Colorado may move some of its veteran players at the trade deadline. 
 
-- Ryan Johansen got snubbed in his return to Columbus for the first time as a member of the Nashville Predators. That’s too bad, but it’s also not exactly Wayne Gretzky returning to the Edmonton Oilers for the first time. 
 
-- The price tag for Kevin Shattenkirk is in and it includes a top prospect and a first-round pick, along with another piece, for a rental defenseman. That should be far too rich for the Bruins’ blood. The B's were already intent on avoiding the rental market ahead of the trade deadline, and the steep price -- even for a potentially useful short-term acquisition like the puck-moving Shattenkirk -- should make that even more of a certainty. 
 
-- Ken Campbell asks whether hockey agents have gone too far in chasing after prospective prospects before they even enter their teenage years. 

 -- Bobby Ryan has a hand injury that’s going to sideline him, another piece of bad luck for the Senators forward. 
 
-- For something completely different: On President’s Day, it seems only natural to go through the favorite Presidents in the history of the Marvel Universe.