Late goal gives Canucks 1-0 win over Bruins

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Late goal gives Canucks 1-0 win over Bruins

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

VANCOUVER The Bruins were 18.5 seconds away from an overtime period with the Canucks when their chances of stealing Game 1 vanished.

Ryan Kesler beat Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the puck at the blue line and fed a pass across ice to Jannik Hansen. Hansen fed Raffi Torres streaking to the net, and Torres put an unstoppable shot past Tim Thomas -- who had to come out and protect the shooting angle against Hansen -- to give the Canucks a 1-0 victory Wednesday night.

Thomas made 33 saves, several of them spectacular, in a mano-a-mano battle with Canucks goalie Robert Luongo.

Both netminders were dazzling. In the third period, Luongo made a great concentration stop on Michael Ryder swooping in front the left wing on one end. Moments later, Thomas stoned Maxim Lapierre on a breakaway at the other end.

The statements were set early for both goalies as the Bruins and Canucks both had six power plays in the first two periods of play, and each team enjoyed plenty of scoring chances in the back-and-forth action. The game itself had little flow due to the penalties, but a couple of things were clear: The Canucks were more physical than their reputation that had preceded them, and the Bruins were a bit faster on their skates than perhaps Vancouver had anticipated.

The intensity and Stanley Cup Final frenzy spilled over multiple times on the ice with thunderous hits and hate-filled scrums between the two teams. That new-found vitriol was punctuated by a skirmish between Alexandre Burrows and Patrice Bergeron at the end of the first period that ended with Bostons even-tempered center losing his cool.

Replays of the incident at the end of the first period revealed that Burrows bit into Bergerons gloved right hand and his index finger, and it appeared that No. 37 showed the referees his bloodied finger after the two combatants were separated.

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

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

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Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.

"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."

Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.

"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

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Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft.