Rask, Lucic lead Bruins over Florida, 4-0

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Rask, Lucic lead Bruins over Florida, 4-0

By Danny Picardand Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Dennis Wideman made his return to Boston Thursday night, but Tuukka Rask and Milan Lucic kept him and his Florida Panthers from getting the last laugh.

Wideman was traded to the Panthers in exchange for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell, and Horton picked up three assists on the night, including what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the first period.

But it was both Rask and Lucic who won the game for the B's. Rask made 41 saves in picking up his first win of the season, while Lucic scored the first three Bruins goals in the 4-0 win.
"It feels good. It feels good to not let your team down 'cause we are on a winning streak now, and keep that thing going," said Rask. "But it'sjust a win, though. Not the first gameI've won with the Bruins, but it feels good."

Lucic gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with 4:23 left in the first period, after he took a Horton drop pass in the right circle, cut out front and wristed a laser past Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun that hit the top-right corner of the post and went in.

He made it 2-0 by sniping the top-left corner from the right circle on a 2-on-1 with 5:18 left in the third period. He picked up the hat trick by putting in the rebound off of a Patrice Bergeron miss, just 15 seconds later.

Shawn Thornton made it 4-0 with 3:54 left in regulation to finish things off.GOLD STAR: Got to give it to Tuukka Time taking its first starring role of the season. Nobody would have predicted that it could have taken five-plus weeks for Tuukka Rask to record his first win of the season, but there it is. Rask finished with 41 saves and managed to avoid any of the funky bounces or strange goals that seemed to bite at him in his five other previous efforts. He again looked like the calm, confident phenom that dominated through long stretches of last season.BLACK EYE: Claude Julien joked after the game that David Booth's arms were going to be sore on Friday after hoisting 14 shots on net from all over the ice, and seemed intent on trying to beat the Bruins all by himself. He finished a minus-2 on the night, and Booth, Stephen Weiss and Cory Stillman all were badly outplayed by the B's "heavy" line.TURNING POINT: Protecting a 1-0 lead, the Bruins took a couple of penalties in the second period and allowed Florida several opportunities to get back into the game. But the B's penalty killers killed off both Panthers' power plays and Boston ended up snuffing out all five Panthers power plays over the course of the win. The kills, and Tuukka Rask, ended up setting the tracks for the third=period explosion that turned into Milan Lucics crazy fedora party.BY THE NUMBERS: 10 the number of goals for Milan Lucic this season, which is one more than he had all of last season and now leads the Bruins. To put it in perspective, Lucic is tied with Alex Ovechkin in goals scored this season and appears to be well on his way toward ascending to another level of hockey stardom this season.QUOTE TO NOTE: "Rask keeps an upbeat attitude the whole time. Hes happy for what's going on here. He doesn't put himself ahead of anyone. So we talked before the game that we wanted to get one for him." Shawn Thornton, talking about the team pulling together to get Tuukka Rask his first win of the season.INJURY UPDATE: Patrice Bergeron blocked a shot with his left leg in the first period and left the ice shortly, but returned and played the rest of the game. Shawn Thornton had his nose bloodied after fighting Darcy Hordichuk, but finished out the game and appeared to be fine postgame aside from spitting a little blood. But thats nothing to a hockey player.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
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Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

Bruins don't extend qualifying offer to Joe Morrow

With free agency just around the corner, the Bruins have officially cut ties with former first-round pick and last bastion of the Tyler Seguin trade, Joe Morrow.

The 24-year-old Edmonton native arrived in Boston along with Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser in exchange for Seguin when he was shipped to Dallas, and now all of those players have moved on from Boston as well. Boston does still carry Jimmy Hayes on their roster, a player traded from Florida in exchange for Smith, as a last remnant of the Seguin deal, but it isn't expected to be too long before Hayes moves on from Boston as well.  

The B’s announced on Monday afternoon that they hadn’t extended a qualifying offer to Morrow, as well as P-Bruins power forward Colton Hargrove, as a restricted free agent, and that both B’s youngsters were now free to sign with any of the 30 NHL teams as free agents.

The Bruins extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents in Noel Acciari, Linus Arnesson, Austin Czarnik, Zane McIntyre, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner and Malcolm Subban, and will retain the associated team rights with all of those players. Negotiations are ongoing between the Bruins and Pastrnak continue over a long term deal that would put him in the same $6 million plus per season level as teammate Brad Marchand, but one source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated it’s “not close” to being a done deal.

Some RFA’s like Spooner and Subban might not necessarily fit into the long term plan for the Black and Gold, but they need to maintain their rights if they hope to trade them as valued assets down the line.

Morrow never put together the talent that made him a former first-round pick while he was in Boston, and totaled just one assist in 17 games for the B’s before playing well in five playoff games after getting pushed into duty due to injuries. In all Morrow finished with two goals and nine points along with a minus-8 rating in 65 games over three seasons in Boston, but could never string together an extended run of consistent play at the NHL level.

With the Bruins in the market to bring on another left-shot defenseman into the Boston fold this summer, it was pretty clear that the time had come to move on from Morrow while allowing him to potentially develop as an NHL D-man elsewhere.