BruinsLightning: 5 thoughts from the first

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BruinsLightning: 5 thoughts from the first

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Lightning wrapped in a scoreless tie during Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals with a Stanley Cup Finals date on the line at TD Garden.1)Adam McQuaid wins the award for the Most Nervous Looking Game in Conference Final Game Seven. He had issues keeping his skates early in the period and nearly coughed up a puck with Lightning players close to the Boston net. Luckily Tim Thomas was able to support his defenseman. McQuaid also whiffed on a puck later in the period and looked a little shaky in his 4:52 of ice time.2)Nathan Horton is hurt. It appeared that he collided with Blair Jones as he attempted to hold onto a puck at the blue line in the offensive zone, and then stumbled again as he tried to get on his skates and get toward the bench. He moved very gingerly, didnt return to the ice and left the bench for the dressing room with about seven minutes to go in the period. Michael Ryder moved up in his place during most of the missed shifts.3)Claude Julien mixing things up early and substituting Rich Peverley for Mark Recchi on the Brad MarchandPatrice Bergeron line when it was pretty clear Recchi didnt have his legs. Recchi and Peverley have alternated shifts with that line since then, but its looking more and more like there isnt much left in the 43-year-olds tank after a long and glorious run.4)No penalties in the first 20 minutes of the game despite a physical tone and plenty of intense action on both ends. It looks like the refs have put the whistles away and theyre letting the boys play and that is to the Bruins distinct advantage.5)Fifteen shots on net in the first period for the Bruins. Two things about that: Dwayne Roloson has looked sharp making those 15 saves, and thats more shots than the combined output of the second and third period of Game 6. Rolosons closed pad stop on a Milan Lucic breakaway midway through the first period off a sweet Peverley feathered pass has been the play of the game thus far. Andrew Ference leading the way with three shots on net.Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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

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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.