Fifteen thoughts from Bruins-Sens regulation

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Fifteen thoughts from Bruins-Sens regulation

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

OTTAWA Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Senators locked in a scoreless tie after 20 minutes at Scotiabank Place in the first full exhibition game for both squads this season.

1) Some definite first game sloppiness for both sides. Lane MacDermid grabbed a gift turnover in the high slot area, and fumbled the puck away before he could attack the net and create a scoring chance. The Bruins went on a couple of power plays, but couldnt move the puck crisply enough to get any shots on net. Maybe that isnt a preseason problem given last years struggles. Either way the Bruins didnt do much to impress in the first period.

2)The Bruins young players showed a little of their inexperience on a delayed penalty call going against Andrew Ference. The Senators got the extra attacker on the ice, and Jamie Tardif, Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron couldnt earn a whistle for more than a minute as Ottawa turned things into a shooting gallery.

3)Four shots on net for former Merrimack superstar Stephane DaCosta in the first period as the Ottawa Senators rookie seems to be making a statement out on the ice. DaCosta could be given a lot of offensive responsibility this season and has shown an unwillingness to aggressively shoot the puck in the past. He looked good in the first 20 minutes.

4)Chris Kelly and Andrew Ference donned the As as alternate captains for tonights game along with Patrice Bergeron, and may give some insight into the teams preference for this seasons alternate captain. Or the Bs could simply opt for a rotating A throughout the season as Claude Julien has done in the past.

5)Twelve saves for Tuukka Rask, who has looked good so far and made several nice stops as the Senators attacked the net during the delayed penalty call. Rasks big spot on Erik Condra midway through the first was the save of the game thus far.

Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins and Senators locked in a 1-1 tie after 40 minutes at Scotiabank Place in the first full exhibition game for both squads this season.

1) Lane MacDermid playing extremely well in each of the first two preseason games for the Bruins, and showing just how much he wants to be in the mix for the Black and Gold. MacDermid is a guy that you dont hear much about during the year, but hes producing offense while proving toughness and a willingness to drop the gloves. He flubbed a great offensive chance in the first period, but he made up for that by knocking in a Shawn Thornton rebound in the second for his second goal in as many nights.

2)Tuukka Rask was beaten by a Brian Lee screamer through heavy traffic in front of the net, but has looked stellar while making 21 saves tonight for the Bruins team thats played in their own end quite a bit. The glove save on Mark Parrish bombing down the left wing was a show-stopper.

3)Nothing to prove for a guy like Shawn Thornton tonight, but hes still skating hard, squeezing off shots and helped set up the first goal with a bid that handcuffed Craig Anderson and created a long rebound. A team-high three shots on net for No. 22.

4) Some good and bad for Colby Cohen tonight. Hes made some nice offensive plays and been generally very good in the offensive zone, but he made a very ill-advised back-handed flip through the slot area in the defensive zone that must have had Claude Julien averting his eyes on the bench. The trials and tribulations of a young defenseman in the NHL, I suppose.

5)Quiet night for Ryan Spooner in his hometown of Kanata, Ontario. A minus-1 in 9:48 of ice time with a pair of giveaways through two periods, and hasnt really been at all noticeable anywhere on the ice.

Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins and Senators locked in a 1-1 tie after 60 minutes at Scotiabank Place and headed for overtime in the first full exhibition game for both squads this season.

1) Not enough offensive punch from Tyler Seguin or Ryan Spooner in a game where they were given some offensive tools to work with. Seguin had a few rushes and a shot on net or two, but both players didnt do enough to create offense in a game where the Bs were outshot by a 30-17 margin.

2) Chris Kelly, Shawn Thornton and Lane MacDermid given some power play time in the third period a reflection from Claude Julien about how well they played as a line in the first preseason game.

3) Benoit Pouliot has shown what he has to offer in a full 60 minute preseason game. He was killing penalties ably with Patrice Bergeron and putting a little offense out there, but he also took a foolish penalty leaving his skates to clean out Brian Lee. The refs arent going to hesitate to call boarding after getting their directive from Brendan Shanahan and thats exactly what they did with Pouliot. Hes going to make his share of aggressive errors that will land him in the box.

4) Defenseman Matt Bartkowski has a knack for working the point on the power play. Hes made several nice cross-ice passes where finding the proper seam was key to making the play. Bartkowski can recognize those seams and create offense, and thats what hes done so far in the preseason. Good to see after it appeared that Steve Kampfer hopped in front of him on the development ladder after last season. Bartkowski led all Bs in ice time and its clear the coaching staff wants to take a long look at him.

5) Reason No. 3,465 why this is preseason: Sens forward Nick Foligno had a 2-on-1 in the closing minute of a tie game and simply fell down before Ottawa could get any shots on Tuukka Rask.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Win vs. Islanders 'a nice building block' for Bruins

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Win vs. Islanders 'a nice building block' for Bruins

BROOKLYN, NY – It wasn’t particularly entertaining and it won’t be all that memorable down the ride aside from the timing and importance of the meeting between the Bruins and Islanders. But it was a solid 2-1 team win for the Bruins over the Islanders at the Barclays Center on Saturday night with the B’s grinding all the way down to the end while protecting a one-goal lead through much of the third period.

Nearly everybody across Boston’s roster contributed in the major victory over the team trying to bypass them in the wild card standings, and it was a beautiful thing. Anton Khudobin stepped up when Tuukka Rask couldn’t start Saturday night’s showdown with a lower body issue, and Riley Nash supplied both Boston goals from a fourth line that’s played some of their best hockey lately.

It was unlikely heroes all around for the Black and Gold in the tightly-wound contest, but that diversity of talent and production can be a very good thing for a team looking to make that playoff push.

“You have to stay with it. You have to stay in the moment and stay with the game no matter what’s happening during the game. That’s how you get results, and that’s how you find ways to persevere through adversity,” said Patrice Bergeron. “We just got back to playing stingy, especially in the neutral zone. We got away from it the last few games, and it was nice tonight to be back playing a low-scoring game like what we’re used to playing.”

When it was all said and done the Bruins only allowed 19 shots on net and also killed off six penalties in the kind of grinding defensive showdown that you haven’t seen all that much out of the Black and Gold lately. It was exactly what Cassidy was looking for to snap the four-game losing streak, and once again start pushing the Bruins upward into the playoff chase.

“That’s the type of win that goes a long way in the room when your goaltender is battling hard and fighting that hard to see pucks and find pucks and your D are blocking shots. And you kill that many penalties. It was a nice building block for us,” said Cassidy. “From the goalie on out, everybody was in there [in the win]. It was a tough game. It was a nice Bruins win. We had been doing it with offense earlier, and we’ve got to be able to do it both ways. You need to be able to win 2-1 hockey games, and it had been awhile.”

Now it’s simply up to the Bruins to be feeling good about their latest win while going back to basics, and looking for more next time around after ending their worst losing streak of the season.

Anton Khudobin battles for a huge win filling in for Tuukka Rask

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Anton Khudobin battles for a huge win filling in for Tuukka Rask

BROOKLYN, NY – Things didn’t go so well last season for the Bruins when Tuukka Rask suddenly wasn’t well enough to play in the last game of the season, so there was good reason for the B’s to be a little nervous when their No. 1 goalie again couldn’t answer the bell Saturday night vs. the Islanders.

Anton Khudobin had won four games in a row headed into Saturday night, of course, and in his previous start he’d helped snap a 10-game winning streak for the Calgary Flames. So perhaps it wasn’t all that surprising when Khudobin stood tall for the Bruins making 18 saves in a tight, nervy 2-1 win over the Isles at the Barclays Center.

“You don’t have that many shots, but maybe 10 scoring chances…that can be tougher than seeing 30 shots and same amount of scoring chances,” said Khudobin. “But I’m glad got the job done, we got our points and we got the ‘W’.”

It wasn’t wall-to-wall action in a game where both teams combined for 37 shots on net, but it was still impressive that Khudobin and the B’s special teams killed off six Islander power plays in such a tight hockey game. After the B’s backup netminder was lauded for the way he battled in the crease and competed for pucks like his team’s very life was on the line in a pivotal game.

“That’s the type of win that goes a long way in the room when your goaltender is battling hard, and fighting that hard to see pucks and your D are blocking shots. And you kill that many penalties. It was a nice building block for us,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I loved his performance. He’s a battler. He got swimming a couple of times, but that’s Dobby. He keeps it interesting for you. He’s a battler and he always has been. That’s what we needed tonight.”

One could spend days analyzing Cassidy's words and wondering much of that was deserved, appreciative praise for Khudobin, and how much of that might have been a veiled message to Boston's No. 1 goaltender sitting back home in Boston. 

The best save of the night probably won’t even count as a save for the Russian netminder. It was John Tavares, after having beaten Khudobin once in the first period, moving into the offensive zone with speed during a third period power play, and getting an open look at the net front in the high slot. Khudobin thought quickly and dropped into the unconventional double-stack pad save that seemed to throw Tavares off just a little, and the Isles sniper smoked the shot off the crossbar rather than tying up the game.

“I didn’t touch it. I didn’t really have time to get there, so the only thing I tried to do was the two-pad stack, old school Bob Essensa-style,” said Khudobin, who has now improved to 6-5-1 with a 2.60 goals against and an .899 save percentage this season. “Then he hit the crossbar. You need to get some luck in this league, and if you don’t get luck you’re going to lose games.”

A little luck and a little good, old-fashioned battling between the pipes was enough for Khudobin and the Bruins in Saturday night’s mammoth win. Now the questions become whether or not to go right back to Khudobin again on Tuesday at home against the Nashville Predators.