Seguin buffaloes Sabres

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Seguin buffaloes Sabres

By Jessica Camerato & Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins extended their winning streak to five games with a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, who also entered the game winners of four straight, on Saturday night at TD Garden.

The Sabres (10-6-0) struck first, as Thomas Vanek scored his 11th goal of the season just under six minutes into the first period. Jason Pominville assisted on the goal, snapping Tim Thomas shutout streak at 80 minutes and 34 seconds. Thomas had not allowed a goal since November 1.

The Bruins (8-7-0) reclaimed the game in the second period. Rich Peverley, who missed the previous two games with an undisclosed injury, tied the game on an assist from Chris Kelly less than eight minutes into the period. Tyler Seguin then gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead off an assist from Brad Marchand, and Nathan Horton added another goal (assisted by Johnny Boychuk and Zdeno Chara) 16 seconds later. The goals by Seguin and Horton marked the fifth time in four games that the Bruins have scored two goals in less than 30 seconds.

The Bs continued their offensive attack in third period, doubling their total to six goals. First it was Kelly who scored from Peverley, with Seguin scoring from Patrice Bergeron and Marchand less than two minutes later. Less than three minutes after, Marchand scored a goal assisted by Seguin. The Sabres fought back with a power play goal from Marc-Andre Gragnani, assisted by Christian Ehrhoff and Luke Adam.

With two goals scored, Seguin matched his total of 11 from his rookie season. He and Marchand extended their point streaks to six and five games, respectively.

The Bruins will face the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday at TD Garden.

GOLD STAR: Tyler Seguin, Tyler Seguin. I hope you aren't tired of seeing his name in this spot because he'll certainly be back. Seguin had two goals in Boston's 6-2 Thursday night win. The scores give him 11 goals on the season, which matches his final rookie tally. Go ahead and double-check the calendar because it IS only November. Seguin is currently on pace for 61.

HONORABLE MENTION: It could be Brad Marchand (one goal, two assists), but let's not let one line have all the glory. Rich Peverley had a goal and a helper in his first game back from an undisclosed ailment. Peverley missed a few practices and Boston's previous two games (Islanders and Oilers) but showed no rust in his return. His goal tied the game at 1-all and opened the Bruins' offensive floodgate.

BLACK EYE: Benoit Pouliot has taken a step back from backward. He scored in Boston's 6-2 win over the New York Islanders, but followed up with a goose egg against Edmonton. Head coach Claude Julien no doubt felt he had to look elsewhere with only one point from Pouliot in 10 games; the winger sat on Level 9 Thursday as a healthy scratch in favor of Zach Hamill.

TURNING POINT: Seguin's first goal, at 13:29 in the second period, gave the Bruins a 2-1 edge. It also triggered a trademark Boston quick-strike as Nathan Horton potted a wrister just 16 seconds later. The Bruins went on to score three more goals unanswered. Fun fact? Boston has scored two goals in less than one minute nine times this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 30: goals Boston has scored in its five-game winning streak. The Bruins scored 22 times in its opening 10 games, a stretch in which the team went 3-7-0. This is the opposite of a coincidence.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I just stuck around because I just want to say what a piece of expletive I think Milan Lucic is," spit Ryan Miller. The embattled Sabres goalie let this little gem go after the game, a clear reference to being taken down by Lucic in the first period. Once a netminder leaves his crease he can be hit by an opponent, but the wallop unleashed by Lucic -- after Miller came out to rob the Bruin of a breakaway -- drew a charging penalty. And Miller's unprintable ire.

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want. 

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

Playoff run ends for Providence Bruins, but some promising signs

It was the longest run that the P-Bruins have had in a few years and another unmistakable sign that the future is brightening for the Black and Gold, but the Bruins AHL affiliate has ended their playoff push in the Calder Cup semi-finals. 

The Providence Bruins fell by a 3-1 score to the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday night to lose to the Crunch in five games when the best-of-seven series was set to return to Providence this coming week. The P-Bruins had vanquished the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears in the first two rounds of the Calder Cup playoffs before finally exiting against Syracuse. 

Though it’s over, it’s clear some of the Bruins prospects made a nice step forward over the second half of the AHL season and then into the Calder Cup playoffs. With the Calder Cup Finals yet to start, B’s forward prospect Danton Heinen stands as the second-leading playoff scorer in the entire AHL with nine goals and 18 points in 17 playoff games after really struggling in the first half of his first pro season while bouncing back and forth between the NHL and the AHL. 

This could bode well for the skilled Heinen and his hopes to make the leap to the NHL in the near future after a stellar collegiate career at the University of Denver. AHL journeymen-types Wayne Simpson and Jordan Szwarz were the next two top scorers for the P-Bruins in the playoff run, but Jake DeBrusk had a strong playoff season as well while popping in six goals in 17 games. DeBrusk led all Providence players with his 54 shots on net in the 17-game playoff run for Providence, and he headlined a group that included B’s prospects Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn, Matt Grzelcyk, Peter Cehlarik (who succumbed to shoulder surgery during the playoffs), Emil Johansson and Robbie O’Gara all getting some vital playoff experience. 

Both Heinen and DeBrusk will be strong candidates for jobs on the wing with the Boston big club when training camp opens in the fall after strong showings in the postseason. 

On the goaltending side, Zane McIntyre was solid for the P-Bruins at times while in 16 of their 17 playoff games with a .906 save percentage. But it was Malcolm Subban that was playing at the very end of the playoff run for Providence and featured a sterling .937 save percentage in the four AHL playoff games that he appeared in this spring after an up-and-down regular season. McIntyre had an .857 save percentage and 4.37 goals against average in the final series against Syracuse, and looked a little spent like many of the other P-Bruins players once they’d unexpectedly made it to the third round of the AHL postseason.  

The only unfortunate part of Providence’s run is that newly signed youngsters Charlie McAvoy and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson couldn’t be a part of it after signing and then appearing in NHL games following a cut-off date for AHL playoff rosters. Both missed on an experience that could have been very conducive for their professional development, and uncovered a wrinkle in the NHL/AHL transaction process that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for a developmental league.