Bruins fourth line happy to be back together again

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Bruins fourth line happy to be back together again

WILMINGTON, MA Its back to business as usual for Bostons fourth line as Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton have returned to health in the last two games. That allowed them to reunite with center Gregory Campbell, and give the Bruins their full compliment of forwards while taking three of a possible four points against the Sabres and Rangers in the last two games.

There were some games that we really contributed to early in the season, said Gregory Campbell. We want to continue that. Its a tough league to be consistent in that area of bringing energy, and I have so much respect for lines that are able to bring that same level of energy night after night.

We just want to be a line that Claude Julien and the rest of the coaching staff can be proud of.

The fourth line has been kept under 10 minutes of ice time in those last two games during five-on-five play, but Campbell feels like they are on the verge of getting back into their early season impact. The fourth line kicked in goals in early season wins against the Rangers and Islanders, and the center is looking for more opportunistic offense now that the familiar forwards have been brought back together.

I really enjoy playing with them and I think we offer a lot to the team, said Campbell, who has a goal and three points along with a minus-3 in 11 games for the Bruins. We just want to keep adding to the teams success and keep contributing. Some nights it might be on the scoresheet, but most nights it might not be.

Well take any form of contribution from our line. Those guys are great to play with, we know each other well and Im happy to see them healthy again.

The Bruins also have extra forward Jay Pandolfo wearing a Merlot practice jersey at Ristuccia Arena, and lending a little experience and depth should injuries or circumstances break up the fourth line again. But for now its all about Campbell, Paille and Thornton getting back into their familiar role of providing emotion, intensity, energy and occasional offense in a job they take very seriously.

The fourth line had a great start, but after that its hard to evaluate because both Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille missed some games, Gregory Campbell moved up. Its hard for me to evaluate where they are at this moment, but Im certainly pleased with the start of their season, said Julien. They obviously showed early on that they were back to what they were before. They scored some important goals for us, certainly gave us the energy they used to. Its a matter now of seeing that they continue doing that throughout the whole season.

For Julien and the fourth line its about getting back to what they were when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup two years ago, and now they can at least aspire to that with all three components of the line finally healthy again.

Bruins score early, Rask holds strong in 4-1 win over Predators

Bruins score early, Rask holds strong in 4-1 win over Predators

BOSTON – The Bruins needed to follow up last weekend’s win over the Islanders if they truly wanted it to be a turning point, and they followed up in victorious fashion on Tuesday night.

The Bruins scored a pair of goals early and then hung on for dear life behind a strong return effort from Tuukka Rask in a 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators at TD Garden. Rask stopped 24-of-25 shots for his 34th win of the season and looked both rested and recharged after taking last weekend off from on-ice action.

The win gives the Bruins two in a row, and improves their record under Bruce Cassidy at the Garden to a dominant 8-3 in 11 games.

Patrice Bergeron opened the scoring just a couple of minutes into the game when he knocked home the rebound of a Zdeno Chara point blast from long distance, and scored his 18th goal of the season. Boston’s other frontline center, David Krejci, scored 10 minutes later after taking a slick entry pass from David Pastrnak and beating Pekka Rinne five-hole.

Rask made 15 saves in the first two periods including an excellent stop on Viktor Arvidsson following a David Backes turnover on the half-wall in the second period, but the Preds finally busted through in the final period. Craig Smith tipped home a Roman Josi point shot that squeezed through Rask’s leg pads, and both Rask and the Bruins scrambled and scrapped their way through while clinging to a one-goal advantage late in the game.

A 3-on-1 odd-man rush late in the game led to Riley Nash feeding Rhode Island native Noel Acciari for his first career NHL goal in his 43rd game with 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.