Bruins shoot down Ducks, 3-2


Bruins shoot down Ducks, 3-2

ANAHEIM, CA The Bruins wanted to finish their Pacific road trip on a positive note, and they managed to do that with a little help from their stripe-shirted friends.

The Ducks appeared to have the game-tying goal in the third period on a Matt Beleskey wrist shot through an Andrew Cogliano screen after the Anaheim forward had camped himself in the crease. But the referees ruled that Cogliano illegally blocked goaltender Marty Turco, and the goal was waved off much to the chagrin of an irate Bruce Boudreau on the Anaheim bench.

With the call behind them the Bruins hung on for the 3-2 victory over the Ducks at the Honda Center, and Turco earned his first victory as a member of the Bruins. The victory gave them a perfect weekend of hockey against the Kings and Ducks on the West Coast, and sends them back to Boston with four out of a possible six points against the California teams.

The Bruins had opened up an early second period lead when Zdeno Chara notched his 12th goal of the season off a Francois Beauchemin turnover. Charas shot skidded off Sheldon Brookbanks stick en route to the back of the net to elude Jonas Hiller.

Benoit Pouliot made it a two-goal lead when he teamed with Chris Kelly to fire a sizzling wrist shot to Hillers blocker side in another score for the Bs red-hot third line.

Teemu Selanne got one back with a power play goal midway through the second period, and the Ducks appeared to tie the game before the refs overturned things with their in the crease call.

Brian Rolston added a one-timer for his seventh goal of the season in the third period that closed things up as the insurance marker turned game-winner for the Bruins. Best of all Turco turned his game around and looked solid with 25 saves in his first career victory with the Bruins.

Report: Cavs. Pacers, Nuggets discuss deal involving George, Love

Report: Cavs. Pacers, Nuggets discuss deal involving George, Love

Don’t count the Cleveland Cavaliers out of the Paul George sweepstakes just yet.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Haynes, the Cavaliers are still working on a way to get George with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Ohio.

The latest rumor involves a three way deal being discussed between the Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Denver Nuggets. According to Hayes, the deal would send George and Kenenth Faried to Cleveland and Kevin Love to Denver.

Presumably, Indiana would end up with good picks and a few young assets.

Click here for the complete story.

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

Will the Harris signing mean more time on the edge for Hightower?

David Harris is expected to be a savvy middle linebacker who will line up his teammates when they help. He's expected to provide some level of leadership, even in his first year in New England, as an accomplished-but-hungry 33-year-old who has not yet reached a Super Bowl. 

What Harris is not expected to do is improve the Patriots pass rush. He was in on one sack in 900 snaps last season.  

But in a roundabout way he might. 

MORE: How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

There are dominos to fall now that Harris has been added to Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's defense. How much will Harris play, and whose playing time will he cut into? Those questions don't yet have answers, but one of the more intriguing elements of the Harris acquisition is how he will benefit Dont'a Hightower's game.

If Harris can pick up the Patriots defense quickly -- and all indications are that there should be few issues there -- he could take some of the all-important communication responsibilities off of Hightower's shoulders. 

Ever since taking the reins from Jerod Mayo as the team's signal-caller, Hightower has had to be on top of all requisite pre-snap checks and last-second alignment changes. It's a critical role, and one that Hightower performs well, but those duties place some added stress on the player wearing the green dot. Perhaps if part of that load can be heaped onto Harris' plate, that might allow Hightower to feel as though he's been freed up to focus on his individual assignments.

Harris' presence might also impact where on the field Hightower is used. Hightower may be the most versatile piece on a Patriots defense loaded with them, but with Harris in the middle, Hightower could end up playing more on the edge, where he's proven he can make a major impact (see: Super Bowl LI).

For Belichick and his staff, having the ability to use one of their best pass-rushers -- and one of the most efficient rushers league-wide, per Pro Football Focus -- on the edge more frequently has to be an enticing byproduct of the move to sign Harris. Especially since there are some question marks among the team's end-of-the-line defenders behind Trey Flowers and Rob Ninkovich. 

We'll have to wait for training camp before we have an idea of how exactly Harris fits in with the Patriots defense. But the effect he'll have on his new teammates, and Hightower in particular, will be fascinating to track.