By Joe Haggerty
NEWARK Nobody got hurt and nothing embarrassing took place on the ice. Thats about all the Bruins were hoping for in Sunday's final game of the NHL regular season against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center after learning Saturday night that they were locked in as the No. 3 seed and would face the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
So the Bruins showed up and treated Sunday as a tuneup, losing to the Devils 3-2.
The Bruins left the first period tied at a 1-1 score after Rich Peverley managed to knock home a Michael Ryder rebound midway through the proceedings, but that was it for the Black and Gold in a game played before a large contingent of Nordiques fans visiting from Quebec. The Devils outshot the Bs 10-1 in the second period, and then finally broke through a leaky Bs defense with goals from youngsters Vladimir Zharkov and Alexander Urbom in the third period. Johan Hedberg finished with 21 saves in the New Jersey victory, and gave the Devils a much better finish than beginning to this years season.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while fully getting in the holiday spirit by getting the family Christmas tree this week.
*Very good and very sobering story about Craig Cunningham’s slow recovery, and his large support system with the AHL Roadrunners team he is captaining this season. It sounds like it might be a bit of a long road for him, so he and his family will need that support from those around him.
*Tyler Seguin has his shot back, and that’s great news for the Dallas Stars power play. So is that like Stella getting her groove back?
*A KHL player went into a sliding dab formation in order to celebrate a goal on the ice, and we salute him for that.
*The Maple Leafs are trying to fortify their backup goaltending situation after waiving Jhonas Enroth this week.
*Interesting Bob McKenzie piece about a young man that’s hoping to challenge conventional thinking in the hockey coaching ranks.
*TSN’s Scott Cullen takes a look at Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine’s shooting skills as part of his “Statistically Speaking” column.
*For something completely different: the hits just keep on coming for Netflix as they’re going to double their TV series output over the next year.
BRIGHTON, Mass. -- There were both expected and unexpected absences from Bruins morning skate on Monday morning at Warrior Ice Arena ahead of tonight’s game at TD Garden against the Florida Panthers. Matt Beleskey was the expected absence after getting knocked out of Saturday’s game with a lower body injury caused by a Tyler Fedun check to his right leg, and Torey Krug was also missing from the ice after pulling workhorse duty over the last handful of games in the absence of Zdeno Chara.
Following practice Claude Julien confirmed that Chara was “probable” to return for tonight’s game vs. the Florida Panthers after missing the last six games, and that Krug is expected to play after succumbing to the same illness that felled Patrice Bergeron over the weekend. Beleskey was being checked by doctors on Monday, and it sounds like his absence might be a bit longer term than simply a “day-to-day” lower body injury.
Noel Acciari took part in practice, and it appears they both could be closing in on a return to the lineup. Frank Vatrano also shot the puck around a bit at the very beginning of Monday’s skate, but came off the ice as the team began their preparations for tonight’s game.
Here are the Bruins projected line combos and D-pairings vs. Florida based on the morning skate with Beleskey and Krug both absent:
K. Miller-C. Miller