Bruins beat Flyers in o.t., take 2-0 series lead


Bruins beat Flyers in o.t., take 2-0 series lead

By Joe Haggerty

PHILADELPHIA David Krejci was the big star in Game 1, and he liked the role so much he decided to play it again in Game 2.

After both teams combined for four goals and a 2-2 tie after the first period, David Krejci was the next one to score with 5:52 left in overtime to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory at the Wells Fargo Center. The refs missed his one-timer from the high slot and play continued, but a replay after the next stoppage showed the puck had gone into the net.

Tim Thomas was just as large making 32 saves in the third period and overtime. He saved 52 overall in astonewall performance, and made his biggest stop for a right pad save on James van Riemsdyk off a faceoff in the closing seconds of the third period.

The Flyers got off to a furious start, spurred on by a boisterous crowd following the stirring rendition of God Bless America from Lauren Hart and the late Kate Smith (via video), and they seized a lead less than a minute into the game.

Van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux hopped into a two-on-one break, and van Riemsdyk managed to get a fanned pass beyond the reach of a diving Johnny Boychuk before snapping the puck past Thomas.

Philly made it 2-0 when van Riemsdyk banked a rebound off Zdeno Chara during a mad power-play scramble in front of the Boston net.

Chris Kelly banged home a Brian Boucher rebound after a Tomas Kaberle shot caused a scramble in front of the net. Kelly pushed the shot past Boucher after Michael Ryders follow was stopped.

The Bs continued to show their fight when Patrice Bergeron beat Scott Hartnell in a battle by the right post on a crossing pass deep in the Boston zone. That set the Boston transition offense, and Bergeron set up Brad Marchand for the tying goal on a snipe from the high slot area. Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy


Sweeney: 'Helpless feeling' hoping World Cup players return healthy

BRIGHTON, Mass. – It’s a bit of a helpless feeling for an NHL general manager watching their star players participate in an intense hockey tournament like the World Cup of Hockey that doesn’t directly benefit their respective teams.

Not helpless because of the tournament’s outcome, obviously, but helpless because players could return from Toronto dinged up, or even worse significantly injured.

Aaron Ekblad had to shut it down for Team North American with what many speculated was a concussion, and Pittsburgh goalie Matt Murray is out a month, or more, with a broken hand sustained playing for the same young guns team.

So, it certainly must have been an uneasy few moments for Don Sweeney when Brad Marchand was pulled from Team Canada’s last game for the concussion protocol after a nasty-looking collision with Team Europe forward Marian Hossa.

Marchand went through the testing, and ended up returning to the game no worse for the wear. But it could have been a lot worse for a Bruins team that can’t afford to be missing Marchand, Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara, who are still playing for teams alive in the semifinal round of the tourney.

“I would expect all of us to have been in a similar situation. For everybody - any general manager, coaches, staff, you're concerned about [injuries],” said Sweeney, talking about the World Cup and Marchand’s close call. “I mean, especially when you realize the stakes are going to go up as the tournament goes along. The pride involved - it's a risk. There's no question, it's a risk.

“But you also want to see them play their best hockey and they're not going to hold back. Yeah, it's a definite concern. You've got your fingers and toes crossed.”

David Pastrnak and Tuukka Rask have already returned to Boston fully healthy. David Backes should be joining the team anytime now after Team USA’s rude dismissal from the tournament. But Sweeney and the Bruins still have their sensors out for the three B’s players taking part that aren’t quite out of the woods yet before returning to B’s camp in one piece. 


Bruins lose Vatrano for three months after foot surgery


Bruins lose Vatrano for three months after foot surgery

BRIGHTON, Mass. – The first bad break of Bruins camp arrived on Saturday with the news that scoring winger Frank Vatrano will be out three months after tearing a couple of ligaments in his left foot.

The 21-year-old winger from UMass and East Longmeadow, Mass., sustained the injury training just prior to the B’s fitness testing for camp and will have surgery on Monday at Mass General Hospital with Dr. George Theodore.

Vatrano had missed the first two days of camp after participating in captain’s practice just about right until the start of main training camp, so the injury must have happened just prior to Thursday’s off-ice testing.

“He had an injury just prior to testing, and it took a couple of days to make sure he had the proper evaluation. He saw a specialist yesterday and he’s scheduled for surgery on Monday,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “One or two of the ligaments were torn when he was doing some running, so he’s out.”

The injury is a big blow for a Bruins team that clearly had plans on Vatrano filling out a top-six role and leaves the door wide open for a young players Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Zach Senyshyn or Peter Cehlarik to win an NHL job out of camp. Perhaps a veteran such as camp invite Peter Mueller could secure a job when it didn’t appear to be any room on the NHL roster just a few days ago.

Either way it’s damaging to a Bruins team that was relying on goal-scoring and explosive forward play from a guy who topped 40 goals combined in the NHL and AHL last season.

“Obviously it’s a blow. Frankie looked at as an opportunity to [win a top-6 spot]. We all did. How that was going to play out remained to be seen, but he was going to be afforded a position to see if he could grab hold of it,” said Sweeney. “So obviously, he’s disappointed, and we are as well. You look at as with all injuries…it’s a setback. But the doctors feel very good that three months from now he’ll be able to play and move forward.”

It’s not officially NHL training camp until a major injury strikes, so now the Bruins are in the middle of it after learning they’ll lose Vatrano until Christmastime. 

Here's Vatrano's "Countdown to camp" profile