Boston Bruins

Rask, Lundqvist in net for Bruins-Rangers

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Rask, Lundqvist in net for Bruins-Rangers

The Bruins appear back to business as normal in their third and final meeting of the regular season with the New York Rangers at TD Garden. Claude Julien has returned Tyler Seguin to his normal line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, and the Bruins will have all their players back to full health with Tuukka Rask getting the nod between the pipes. Hell be opposed by New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who has been back to his King Henrik ways in the last couple of games.

Lundqvist has allowed one goal in his last two games, and the Rangers have won three of their last four tilts while finally righting the ship after looking ill prepared to begin the season.

The line combinations and defenseman pairings according to the pregame skate looked a little something like this:

Lucic-Krejci-Horton

Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin

Bourque-Kelly-Peverley

Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk

Seidenberg-Hamilton

Ference-McQuaid

Rask

Morning Skate: Markov's time with Canadiens likely up

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Morning Skate: Markov's time with Canadiens likely up

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading while once again shaking my head reading the news headlines this morning. 

 

*Congrats to FOH (Friend of Haggs) Aaron Portzline, who is another esteemed hockey writer joining up with The Athletic’s Cleveland bureau

 

*Eric Engels says that the Habs signing Mark Streit to a short term deal means that Andrei Markov’s time in Montreal has come to a close. 

 

*The writers for the Pittsburgh Penguins have provided what they call “an Intimate Portrait” of Sidney Crosby from his closest boyhood friends. 

 

*Longtime NHL head coach Bruce Boudreau is trying something a little different out as an owner of a junior hockey team. 

 

*The Nashville Predators are expecting a decision to come soon on Mike Fisher as to whether or not he’s going to keep on playing in Music City. 

 

*Sounds like Mika Zibanejad is going to be filling a No. 1 center role for the New York Rangers after signing a big contract with the Blueshirts. 

 

*For something completely different: Jay Baruchel is looking to revive the Canadian superhero scene after growing up with Captain Canada and Alpha Flight. 

Spooner, Bruins settle on one-year, $2.825 million deal

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Spooner, Bruins settle on one-year, $2.825 million deal

Ryan Spooner and the Bruins never made it to arbitration, settling on a one-year, $2.825 million contract ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the agreement. 

Spooner and his camp sought a $3.85 million deal, while the Bruins submitted $2 million as their number. Settling outside of arbitration locks in the player at an affordable number while avoiding a potentially messy process. 

Though Spooner now has a contract, his future with the Bruins isn’t much clearer than it was at season’s end. The 25-year-old center was a healthy scratch for the last two games of Boston’s playoff run, as then-interim coach Bruce Cassidy grew less hesitant to utilize the 2010 second-round pick than Claude Julien had been. 

After the Bruins were eliminated by the Senators, the often candid Cassidy said that Spooner's lack of offense was what cost him ice time. 

"It was well-documented with Claude he didn’t like his defensive game and some of the other things. For me, I didn’t like his offensive game at the end," Cassidy said on Toucher and Rich. "He wasn’t playing to his strengths, and that bothers me about players, if they’re not able to play to their strengths when the temperature of the game goes up. 

“We can work with him on his weaknesses. We’re there to coach up the defensive part of it, but he wasn’t attacking and that was disconcerting to me, that he’s a guy that should be creating offense in the series where offense was hard to find and we weren’t getting enough of it, so we made the switch.” 

On the season, Spooner totaled 11 goals and 28 assists for 39 points, a statistical regression from the 49 points (13 and 36 assists) he posted in the 2015-16 season. Assuming he remains with the club, Spooner will face competition from 2015 second-round pick Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson for Boston’s third-line center job. 

Coming off his entry level contract in 2015, the Bruins re-upped Spooner on a two-year contract with a $950,000 cap hit. His new deal will pay him nearly $2 million more.