Bruins win in shootout, snap losing streak

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Bruins win in shootout, snap losing streak

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A late game-tying short-handed goal, a rookie stepping up, and a composed backup goalie filling in for one of the best in the game all have the Boston Bruins confident they can get back to winning.

With starter Tom Thomas resting, Tuukka Rask made 34 saves and stopped all three Columbus attempts in the shootout, and rookie Tyler Seguin scored the lone shootout goal to lift the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

The win ended the Bruins' season-worst four-game losing streak.

"Definitely, it was one of his biggest and best games of the year," Boston coach Claude Julien said of Rask. "He was very poised and I thought he did a great job in the shootout."

Seguin, the No. 2 selection in the 2010 draft, didn't shy away from his opportunity, either. He confidently faked Steve Mason with a left-to-right move and scored inside the right post.

"I felt great," said Seguin, who was scratched the last two games. "It's definitely nice to get back in the lineup and contribute to the team."

David Krejci and Rich Peverly - who tied it with just over 5 minutes left on an impressive individual effort - scored regulation goals for Boston, which won the 2,800th game in the history of the 87-year-old franchise.

"It was nice to see that even though they took the lead in the third we found a way to get back into it," Julien said. "It was a big goal there by Peverly, the short-handed goal."

The Bruins, who won in Columbus for the first time since 2003, entered as the third seed in the Eastern Conference, only two points ahead of Northeast Division rival Montreal.

Grant Clitsome and Scottie Upshall scored for Columbus, which blew two one-goal leads and has lost eight of nine, all but falling out of playoff contention in the West. Mason finished with 27 saves.

"We're as happy as you can be without getting two points," Blue Jackets rookie coach Scott Arniel said. "I said to the coaches that was one of our best games in probably two or three weeks."

Both teams had a flurry of chances in overtime. Boston peppered Mason in the first 30 seconds, leading to a Columbus timeout. With just over a minute left, Columbus' Antoine Vermette and Jan Hejda were hammering away around the goal-mouth, but Rask didn't budge.

Tied 1-1 midway through the third period, Rask seemed to overplay a scoring chance by R.J. Umberger, sliding far out of his crease. The puck came to Upshall, who slotted it home for his 20th, extending his career high. The goal was his fourth in eight games since being acquired by Columbus at the trade deadline.

"It was a game that was right there for us to get," Upshall said. "I thought we did a lot of great things."

Looking to capitalize on a power play moments later, Derick Brassard gave the puck away just inside the attacking zone. Peverly charged down the ice, turned defenseman Fedor Tyutin inside out, and stuffed the puck between Mason's legs 2 minutes after Upshall's goal.

Right off the ensuing center-ice faceoff, Columbus cut in and Antoine Vermette rung a shot off the right post on a quick pass from Upshall.

In an up-tempo first two periods, Clitsome converted a slap shot through traffic with under a minute left.

Krejci pulled the Bruins even at 12:20 of the second, deflecting a blast from Chara, who was mildy booed throughout the game. Last week, Chara's controversial hit on Montreal's Max Pacioretty sidelined the forward with a fractured vertebrae and severe concussion.

"Both teams had their opportunities and obviously they got the better of us in the shootout," Mason said.

Notes: The Bruins' all-time franchise record is 2,800-1,722-791-99 . . . Boston improved to 2-5 in shootouts, while Columbus dropped to 4-6 . . . Boston's Mark Recchi, the active leader in games, assists and points, moved past Dave Andreychuk into fifth place on the NHL's all-time games played list . . . The Bruins are 7-7-2 this season against the Western Conference. Columbus is 10-2-2 against the East . . . Boston's Patrice Bergeron, third on the team in scoring, has been held without a point in seven straight games, a season high . . . Nash has not scored in eight games, one short of his longest stretch without goal.

Marchand: 'No place I'd rather play' than Boston

Marchand: 'No place I'd rather play' than Boston

The Bruins made it official on Monday -- mere minutes after the news had broken -- as they clearly couldn’t wait to announce an eight year, $49 million contract extension for Brad Marchand. who is finishing up his Team Canada gig at the World Cup of Hockey.

PROFILE: Joe Haggerty's preseason look at Brad Marchand

The deal averages $6.125 million per season, broken up between actual salary and signing bonus money. The Bruins were most definitely given a hometown discount by an elite player who snapped home a career-high 37 goals and 60 points last season, the most goals scored by a Bruins player since Glenn Murray in 2002-03. And everybody knows goal scorers get paid in the NHL, even if Marchand won’t be expected to score quite that many every year.

Marchand, 28, has also been the second-leading scorer in the entire World Cup of Hockey tournament, behind only Sidney Crosby, and continues to raise his profile in the NHL world beyond his customary agitator role. The “Nose Face Killah” could have waited for until free agency if he'd wanted to pick up every last nickel on the table, but it’s very clear he’s invested in the team that drafted and developed him, and with which he won a Cup five years ago.

"This is an extremely exciting day for me and my family," said Marchand, who now has a full no-move clause for the first five years of his next contract. "I would like to thank the Jacobs family, [president] Cam Neely, [general manager] Don Sweeney, [coach] Claude Julien, the coaching staff, my teammates and our fans for their continued support and belief in me. I have been a Bruin since the start of my pro career and there is no place I would rather play. I look forward to doing everything I can to help our team achieve success and bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston."

Marchand has been among the team’s leading scorers since joining the league in 2010-11, has been the NHL’s most dangerous penalty killer over the last five years, and pairs with Patrice Bergeron to anchor the top line. He’s also become much more of a leader in the last few seasons as other character veterans have been peeled away from the core group, and a hometown discount proves it one of the most meaningful ways possible.

It was clear Marchand was invested in the Bruins when he helped recruit free agent David Backes with phone calls this summer, and he was also present for the recruiting pitch to Jimmy Vesey at Warrior Ice Arena last month.

The Bruins players at training camp were happy to hear No. 63 was going to be in Boston for the long haul.

“Marchy is Marchy. I think everybody kind of knows what that means,” said Kevan Miller. “He’s been great for our organization and great for the fans and for this city. He’s been all in since Day One, and he’s been a guy that I looked up to.”

While the Bruins have confirmed the contract, Sweeney won't weigh in until later today. But one would expect there will be an appreciation for the skill of the player, and Marchand’s commitment to the organization after accepting less than he could have gotten on the open market.

Monday, Sept. 26: So what happens if Canada loses World Cup final?

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Monday, Sept. 26: So what happens if Canada loses World Cup final?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while finding it hard to believe that it’s game day for the Boston Bruins. Summer is officially O-V-A.
 
-- The Montreal media is starting to get on board with this tougher, grittier version of the Habs, along with a healthy Carey Price.
 
-- Pierre McGuire sits in with Ottawa’s TSN sports radio station and talks Team Europe in the World Cup, as well as a number of other things.

-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Zeisberger is already openly wondering what would happen in Canada if they lose to Team Europe in the best-of-three final to the World Cup.

-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski asks Brad Marchand if a part of him has thought about playing with Sidney Crosby on the Penguins if he hits free agency. Bells, alarms and whistles should be going off on Causeway Street to give No. 63 whatever he wants at this point. In case you missed it, I talked about the danger of Crosby trying to woo his Nova Scotian buddy to Pittsburgh last week.
 
-- PHT writer James O’Brien says it sounds like the St. Louis Blues are going to play a more aggressive brand of hockey this season.
 
-- For something completely different: Forbes Magazine says Pete Carroll, not Bill Belichick, should be considered the NFL’s foremost cheater.