Snowed under

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Snowed under

MONTREAL Just when it seemed like it couldnt get any worse for the Bruins it totally did.

The Bruins needed to show intensity, focus and desperation, but instead walked into a hornets net at the Bell Centre and lost their seventh game of the season in 10 tries by a 4-2 count at the Bell Centre.

Tyler Seguin potted a goal with the pulled goaltender in the final minute to make things interesting, but Tomas Plekanec banged home his second goal of the night with an empty-netter to salt away the victory.

Its difficult to imagine the same roster of players and exact coaching staff suits up for the Bruins when they take to the ice against the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at the Garden, but that will be for the Bs front office brass to determine.

The Bruins came out with some pretty good jump, but once again showed too much frustration after both Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand hit posts in the early going. The Canadiens took advantage with a pair of goals to close out the first 20 minutes. Brian Gionta tipped a Tomas Plekanec point shot past Tuukka Rask, and Lars Eller took advantage of a Nathan Horton stumble to beat the Bs goaltender high to the glove side.

Montreal continued the Bs pre-Halloween nightmare with a David Desharnais power play rebound goal off an Andrew Ference retaliation penalty while jostling with P.K. Subban behind the net.

Milan Lucic got the Bruins on the board in the second period off a Lars Eller turnover in the Montreal zone for his third goal of the season, but the Bruins didnt have enough in the end.

GOLD STAR: Tomas Plekanec finished up with a pair of points and set up Montreals first goal with a perfectly placed shot from the high point with traffic in front. Then he finished out the Bs scoring with an empty netter that finally closed down the Bruins in the third period. Plekanec led the Habs with 21:45 of ice time on a night when he played steady hockey from the center position and made plays all over the ice for Montreal as the games best player out there. Its rare for an opponent to get top billing in the Talking Points, but Plekanec deserved it.

HONORABLE MENTION: Dennis Seidenberg played 26:19 and was the only plus-1 with four blocked shots and three hits in a solid game for the Bruins that once again showed the defensemans all-around value. He was the only Bs player with a positive rating for the evening and there was extremely good reasons for that while so many other players around succumbed to frustration or bad judgment. Its too bad hes not racking up more points because Seidenberg is still playing a pretty good brand of hockey for the Bruins.

BLACK EYE: Nathan Horton finished with a single shot on net and an assist in 13:31, but missed multiple open nets while taking a long time to get his shot off in front of a group of Montreal defenders jumping in front of pucks. To make matters worse Horton became frustrated in the third period after wrestling with 6-foot-7 behemoth Hal Gill in front of the net, and took an extremely ill-timed penalty when the Bruins were attempting to come back in the third period. Paired with his penalty in the third period meltdown against Carolina, Horton is showing a really alarming propensity to take bad penalties at the worst possible time.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins had the play flowing their way early in the first period, but once again couldnt finish off plays while watching Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand ring posts. Then the Bruins got out of their system of attack, started playing ragged hockey and found themselves down 2-0 while taking bad penalty after bad penalty with the occasional blown call tossed in there for good measure. The pattern of losing games has to stop before it drives everyone around the Bs mad.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 the number of goals per game that the Boston Bruins are supporting Tuukka Rask with in three starts this season. Not exactly a scoring bonanza for the Finnish netminder.

QUOTE TO NOTE: When we all get on the same page and we start trusting each other... that's when things will get better. There is hesitation in our play right now." - Claude Julien talking about some of the more basic problems he sees affecting his hockey club right.

Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

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Nash stepping up when Bruins need him most

BROOKLYN -- It took most of his first season in Boston, but Riley Nash is hitting his groove with the Bruins at exactly the right time.

Nash came up huge in a must-win game Saturday night against the Islanders, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over the Isle. The unheralded Nash and equally unheralded backup goalie Anton Khudobin were the two most important performers in the tight, playoff-style win that snapped a four game losing streak while pushing the B's back into playoff position.

"That's part of [a big win], right? Big performances,” said interim coach Bruce Cassidy. "Generally you look to your best players, but [Nash] did a really good job. He's got a sneaky shot, so hopefully he uses it a little bit more. You can't say enough about those goals. We needed them tonight.

"Generally our top guns have been good offensively and have come through. But tonight it was the lesser lights for us in terms of offense, so good for us.”

Both Nash goals were titanic. The first came on the first shift following the Islanders goal in the first period. The fourth-line winger stripped Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield in the neutral zone and then flipped a shot past Thomas Greiss to the short side that tied the game at 1-1. Then in the third period, Dominic Moore hit Nash in stride as he sped into the offensive zone, and Nash weaved through defenders before sneaking one past Greiss for the game-winner.

The two goals give Nash four goals and six points in 21 games since the All-Star break, in line with his normal offensive output during his NHL career, and a step up from the three goals and nine points in his first 52 games this season.

The affable Nash was more than happy to contribute in a big win, and enthused at seeing the offense finally starting to flow on a semi-regular basis when the Bruins can really use it.

"It's quite the output as opposed to the season I've had so far, so I'll take it and be happy that we won the game,” said Nash. "I think everyone in here knew that was the biggest game of the year. It was going to be a really big uphill battle if we lost that one.

"Both teams came out desperate in a pretty tight, playoff-style game, but that's what it's going to be like for the rest of the season. So we've got to hunker down and take it one game at a time as the saying goes.”

With the Bruins third line fading a bit in these tight, physical games where players have to battle for their ice, it's been vital that Boston's fourth line step up and provide big minutes at both ends of the ice. Nash and Co. did more than that on Saturday night by potentially saving the season with his biggest, best game in a Bruins uniform.

 

Morning Skate: Old friend Warsofsky called up by Penguins

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Morning Skate: Old friend Warsofsky called up by Penguins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting for the next wave of announcements that the Bruins have signed college players out of the NCAA tournament.
 
-- Former Wild goaltender Josh Harding is finding his way after his MS diagnosis forced him out of the NHL prematurely.

-- Young D-man Seth Jones is becoming the “hoss” defenseman that the Blue Jackets will need come playoff time.

-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has Wild coach Bruce Boudreau calling a loss to the Canucks “embarrassing” as the hard times continue for Minnesota.  

-- Backup goalie Curtis McElhinney is ready to step up for the Leafs after they lost Frederik Andersen to injury.
 
-- Old friend David Warsofsky has been recalled from the AHL and will be with the Penguins as crunch time hits ahead of the playoffs.

-- USA Hockey is now reportedly reaching out to rec league and former Division III women’s hockey players to find a replacement roster for the world championships as the USA women continues their boycott.
 
-- For something completely different: We have an honest-to-goodness think piece about pulling the “Irish Exit.” Well, okay then.