Bruins crush Habs in Halifax, 7-3

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Bruins crush Habs in Halifax, 7-3

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

HALIFAX Any win over the Canadiens feels good for a member of the Bruins, so there was happiness in Halifax as the Bs took it to Montreal in their first of back-to-back preseason games North of the Border.

The Bruins scored a pair of short-handed goals and overwhelmed Montreal goalie Peter Budaj in a 30-shot attack that finished with a 7-3 victory for the Bs at the Halifax Metro Centre. It had the extra bit of sweetness when Brad Marchand who grew up just 10 minutes outside of Halifax celebrated his homecoming with a goal.

Joe Corvo and Gregory Campbell opened up the scoring with goals in a chippy first period, and the Bruins really exploded in the middle 20 minutes with an impressive show of special teams. Marchand knocked home the rebound of a Chris Clark shot on the power play, and then both Daniel Paille and Zdeno Chara added shorthanded goals to push Boston far ahead of their ancient hockey rivals.

Tyler Seguin finished things off for the Bruins with a beauty of a goal in the third period. Seguin had a strong effort from beginning to end, and thoroughly beat Peter Budaj after taking it up to the right wing and firing from the face-off circle.

There were plenty of punishing hits being delivered all over the ice, and the first period was punctuated by a bout between Alex Henry and Shawn Thornton that ended up in a draw.

GOLD STAR: Brad Marchand had 50 friends and relatives in the house -- and he didn't disappoint them. Running around doing his agitating thing, Marchand scored in front of the hometown crowd when he potted the rebound of a Chris Clark shot for a power play goal. Appropriately Marchand heard a chorus of mixed boos and cheers when he scored in front of a Halifax barn filled with testy Habs fans, but it didnt take anything away from his hometown moment. Marchand has looked good in camp, and appears as ready as any other veteran to strap on the hockey pads and get after it for another season. It speaks to the work he put in back in Halifax once his Boston partying ways were done after winning the Cup.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tyler Seguin scored a sweet goal on a rush up the right wing and actually assisted on Jordan Carons third-period strike though he was robbed by the Halifax scorekeepers and looked every bit the improved product hes seemed in training camp. Seguin set a tone for the evening by speeding around and getting himself physically involved in the game over his first couple of shifts, and the hard work carried over into offensive production. If Seguin plays like that more often than not, hes going to enjoy a very good season for the Bs.

BLACK EYE: Peter Budaj was brutal for the Canadiens, giving up seven goals. Budaj has to assume he wont play all that often sitting behind Carey Price this season in Montreal, but he needs to stop a puck or two when he is in there. The first goal he gave up to Joe Corvo was a bad angle softie, and things just got worse from there.

TURNING POINT: At the end of a chippy first period that saw the Bruins build a narrow 2-1 lead, Shawn Thornton and Alex Henry pummeled each other to a pretty good draw that seemed to reel things back under control. The bout was a far cry from the beating Thornton put on Henry during the infamous Barber Pole Sweater game in Montreal back in 2009, but the enforcers need to get themselves ready for the hockey season as well.

BY THE NUMBERS: 27 the number of saves for Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin, who looked sharp in his likely only start of the preseason. Khudobin is a goalie the Bs targeted in the Minnesota organization before dealing for him, and he continues to look like good insurance in case anything goes awry with the Tim ThomasTuukka Rask partnership this season. Hes been called the Euro-Tim Thomas in Bs circles over the last few years, and he looked like it Sunday night.

QUOTE TO NOTE: I think those were the Montreal fans. Theyre a little bitter about the way things went last year, but thats the way it goes. Any time they boo us its a good thing. Brad Marchand talking about the loud mixture of boos and cheers that accompanied his return to the home rink in Halifax playing against a crowd heavy with Habs fans.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

Backes: Bruins were ‘wounded’ after ugly Detroit loss

BRIGHTON, Mass – It certainly sounded like there were some things that made the Wednesday night loss in Detroit a little different for the Bruins.

The Bruins media corps conducted postgame interviews in the hallway rather than in the visiting dressing room after what must have been a combustible atmosphere immediately following the shootout defeat. 

There was also evidence of anger in the visitor’s dressing room at Joe Louis Arena, according to reports, with a door off its hinges when the media was able to get a look inside the dressing room area.

David Backes confirmed something was different about the loss after blowing a pair of three-goal leads, and failing to follow up their dreadful no-show vs. the Islanders with a winning performance against another bad team in Detroit. The B’s forward said the plane ride home from Detroit was solemn and quiet, and that it was clear the Bruins team was “wounded” after a crushing loss.

“Both [losses] can be great lessons if we learn from it, and neither was very enjoyable. That was probably the quietest I think our guys were all year on that plane ride home from Detroit,” said Backes. “To me, that’s a great sign that it hit us in the heart, and it hit us where it really mattered. We’re thinking about how we can turn the tide and thinking about we can be victorious the next time out.

“We had the lead, and in a lot of instances you’re expecting, as you should, to come out of there with two points. We’re at the time in the season where wins need to be garnered and taken home.

“There were a lot of aspects where we should have grabbed the game back. When you feel like you’ve had a lot of opportunities to take the game and you don’t do it, it’s not a good feeling. I was reflecting on that during a very quiet team plane ride back from Detroit, and it seemed pretty clear that the whole team was feeling wounded. I think it’s a good sign that guys were feeling that way, and that means they’re going to do everything in their power to not have that feeling again.”

The words are encouraging from a 32-year-old natural leader in Backes, who has seen good times and bad as captain of the St. Louis Blues in his 10-year NHL career. But the proof is ultimately on the ice where the Bruins have games against the Blackhawks and Penguins coming up and face some very stiff tests coming off a couple of losses against the worst teams in the East that exposed Black and Gold fragility at this point in the season. 


 

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

After knee injury, Beleskey set to return for Bruins vs. Blackhawks

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins, looking for a spark after terrible, back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings, are hoping the return of Matt Beleskey from a knee injury can help provide the inspiration. 

The blue-collar left winger has missed the past 23 games with a torn MCL in his right knee suffered in early December against the Buffalo Sabres, but now he’s easing back into the lineup on the fourth line in Friday night’s showdown with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Beleskey was skating with Dominic Moore and Austin Czarnik on the fourth line at morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena and should be expected to throw a few hard hits and play with some intensity in his return.

“I’m ready to go and excited to get back out there,” said Beleskey, who has been skating with the team for roughly a week after giving the knee sufficient time to heal. “I’ve just got to keep it simple and do what I do well: Be hard on pucks, take the body and just try and find your groove. You don’t want to expect too much in your first game back, but you just want to be able to contribute.

“’I’ve been saving [the pent-up energy] for a while, so I’m ready to get back out there and hopefully provide a spark for us.”

The Beleskey return also provides the player with a bit of a reset button after a slow start to the season that saw him with two goals and five points along with a minus-6 rating in 24 games played for the Black and Gold prior to his injury. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairs against the Blackhawks based on morning skate today:

Marchand-Bergeron-Vatrano

Schaller-Krejci-Pastrnak

Spooner-Nash-Backes/Hayes

Beleskey/Blidh-Moore-Czarnik

 

Chara-Carlo

Krug-McQuaid

Morrow-Liles

 

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