Boston Bruins

Haggerty: Peverley, Ryder step in and step up

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Haggerty: Peverley, Ryder step in and step up

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON Its obvious the Bruins have turned the ultimate negative into a positive. They've taken Nathan Hortons severe concussion, the aftermath from the suspension received by Aaron Rome for the hit on Horton and the Stanley Cup Finals drama that has intensified it all, mixed it up into a giant hockey crockpot, and made it work for them big time over the last two games.

The Bruins have outscored the Canucks 12-1 since Rome's predatory cheap shot on Horton in the first period of Game 3. Both of the key forwards used to fill Hortons spot, Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder, stepped up and scored goals in their first full game without Horton. And left wingerMilan Lucic has similarly shifted into another punishing gear with his linemate down and out.

It was appropriate Peverley and Ryder both scored with the shifty Peverley potting two while filling in for the fallen Horton in Game 4. It was poetic when the concussed winger was present afterwards to present the 1980s-style Bruins Starter jacket, which the players give to the game's star, to Peverley.

An understandably emotional Horton walked into the Bs dressing room after the gameand said a few words before engaging in the jacket ceremony.

According to one player in the room, Horton said: "You guys played great. I'm happy to see you. Im kind of at a loss for words. Pevs, here you go."

With that he handed over the jacket and completed the circle of a job well done for Peverley, who paced Bostons offense in a4-0 win that evened up the series at 2-2.

Peverley was just as emotional, and beaming with as much pride as anybody else in the room.Peverley was tapped to start the game on the first line with Lucic and David Krejci, and he justified Claude Julien's faith by scoring the game's first goal in the first period.A second goal chased Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo in the third period.Peverley pointed out that both Ryder and Tyler Seguin also took an odd shift with Krejci and Lucic, but it was Peverley who took the chance and ran with it.

I think there were a few guys that were jumping in on that line, said Peverley. I just got an opportunity and Krejci made a good play to set up the first one. Lucic made a good play on the second one.Pretty simple in Peverley's eyes, but also probably short-changing his involvement in both scores.

It was most important that Peverley show some finishing touch after failing to bury some golden chances over the last few weeks. One in particular during Game 2 in Vancouver, which would have given Boston a 3-1 lead and some needed insurance, veered high and wide of the net.Peverleymissed a couple ofopen nets and stung a fewcrossbars while scoring only two goals in 21 playoff games leading into Game 4, but that all changed rapidly Wednesday night. The first goal was a clean breakaway after he used his speed to getbehind Raffi Torres in the offensive zone, and the second was a nice play to slam the puck home after Lucic threw it directly at the net with traffic all around the crease area.In both cases Roberto Luongo didn't know what hit him until it was too late. By the time Canucks coach Alain Vigneault tapped Luongo on the shoulder to remove him from the game in the third period. By then Peverley had done his damage.

Im sure it wasnt easy for Peverley, said Krejci about his new linemate. When he had the chance, he did very well. So hopefully we can keep it going. Peverley has got great speed. He played his game today, fast, and he didnt try to do extra or put any pressure on his shoulders. He just went there to play the game, and Lucic and I just helped him out.

Good for him. Hopefully we can keep it going.

Amazingly enough, Ryder also responded to the call with Horton out despite getting only intermittent chances to skate with Krejci and Lucic when Peverley was killing penalties.Ryder created some offense while skating with Seguin and Chris Kelly, and gave Boston scoring depth where there had been none in the first couple of games.
On his goal, Rydercollected a cross-ice Seguin pass and turned it into a deadlysnapshot from the outside of the right face-off circle.When Ryder is putting everything into one fluid shooting movement from one of the faceoff circles, there are few more purely beautiful hockey sights around -- and Ryder had it going on in Game 4. Thequick shooting motion allowed the shot to catch a bit of Sami Salos stick and the wobbly puck went right on underneath Luongos glove hand, which appears to be increasingly generous as the series wears on.
Ryder and Peverley are two players who can expose defenses and goaltenders just like Horton could, and now the challenge is on them to provide it consistently for rest of what is now a best-of-three series.

Guys have to step up and thats what weve been doing, said Ryder. We got back to playing our game. Were really good when we play physical and are tough on the forecheck. We went down 0-2 in the series and we knew we had to win these games at home and we did that.

Ryder, Peverley, Lucic and the rest of the Bs know that it will take a full squadronof skaters pitching in just as they did in Game 4 if they're to get the two additional wins required to drink from Lord Stanleys Cup.

It may be that Romes act of recklessness toward Horton will be the turning point that allows the Bruins to win it all, but it will take Peverley and Ryder rolling up their sleeves for the remainder of the series if the B's are to have a chance.

On Wednesday night, they proved they were more thancapable of doing the work.

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

Beleskey happy to return from foot injury

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Beleskey happy to return from foot injury

BRIGHTON, Mass – It was absolutely an “uh-oh” moment for Matt Beleskey when he was hit on the foot with a shot Monday night in the Bruins' preseason opener against the Canadiens. Beleskey, 29, was just hoping that his foot wasn’t broken in what would have been another shot of bad luck coming off a tough season for the hard-nosed winger, so his hopes have been answered given his presence in the lineup for the preseason game Saturday night vs. the Detroit Red Wings.

Beleskey missed the past two preseason games and most of the practice time as well but returned to the ice on Friday before getting ready for tonight's game. With plenty to prove while coming off a down second season in Boston, Beleskey knows he needs a strong camp that can’t get derailed by injuries or assorted bumps and bruises.

“I definitely did not want a broken foot to start the year, so I’m glad that I was fine,” said Beleskey, who finished with three goals and eight points along with a minus-10 in 49 games last season. “I took a puck in the face during warm-ups and the shot to the foot in the third, so that’s quite a good start to the year. But hopefully, I’ve got those out of the way now.

“I felt really good in the last game. It was great to see some of the work I did in the summertime paying off, so now we build on that [against Detroit] and keep things moving. There are a lot of great players here [in camp] and there’s great competition. I’m just here to play my game and prove myself, and I’ve got all the confidence in the world I can do that.”

Now that he’s been given a full bill of health again, Beleskey will get just that chance skating with Sean Kuraly and Ryan Fitzgerald on Saturday night in Hockeytown amid a deeply competitive situation for Boston’s third line. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for the Bruins against the Red Wings in Boston’s fourth game of the preseason:

DeBrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak
Vatrano-Czarnik-Purcell
Beleskey-Kuraly-Fitzgerald
Schaller-Szwarz-Senyshyn

Miller-McAvoy
Grzelcyk-McQuaid
O’Gara-Zboril

McIntyre
Subban


 

Morning Skate: Sean Avery vs. Tortorella

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Morning Skate: Sean Avery vs. Tortorella

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while amazed at what has united Lebron James and Steph Curry in this wacky country of ours.

*Sean Avery has some brutal things to say about John Tortorella in his new “screaming for attention” book, but then again Avery is one of the biggest low-talent dirtbags that the NHL has ever seen. So you probably need to consider the source.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) John Shannon has a few thoughts on where the NHL needs to go in their relationship with China now that they’ve played preseason games there.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details as Steven Stamkos stood out in his preseason debut and the first game back from last season’s injury.

*The NHL has yet to determine whether or not Marian Hossa is eligible for LTIR with a skin issue that is expected to be career-ending.

*PK Subban talks about his rule of thumb while staying away from controversy with an active social media account.

*Mark your calendars for the annual Comics Come Home event on Nov. 18 to raise money for the Cam Neely Foundation. Here Neely talks with SI about his friendships with a number of local comics, and how the comedy event became a tradition in Boston.   

*For something completely different: Today marks the 40th anniversary of David Bowie’s classic “Heroes”, so it feels like a good time to get the story behind it.