BOSTON Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Senators tied at a 1-1 score after the first 20 minutes of play at TD Garden.1)Nathan Horton tangled with Zach Smith in an extended bout midway through the second period that saw both players throwing a lot of bombs. Not sure exactly what Horton was doing there with the playoffs less than a week away and the potential for injury there after some hellacious punches, but you cant fault the fire from a guy thats played very well down the stretch. His second period power play goal gives him 26 goals on the season, and puts him close to the 30 that were expected of him to start the year. He went back to the dressing room after the fight for some repairs, but finished out the second period.2)Two shots on net in 9:09 of ice time for Tyler Seguin. He also got some power play time at the end of the second period. Hes skating hard and trying to fight for loose pucks, and he had a nice tip of a point shot at the end of the period. Seguin is doing what he can at this point to show he wants to play. 3)A stick salute to Mark Recchi for his 1,652nd NHL game this afternoon that pushes him past Chris Chelios for fourth place all-time on the NHL games played list. The accomplishments just keep on coming.4)Three blocked shots for Andre Benoit of the Senators. Its pretty clear he hasnt given up on the season.5)A solid job of showing up by the Bruins today in their final regular season game at home this year. They could have coasted, but theyre finishing up strong with a No. 2 seed potentially still available to them.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
The Bruins have three players headed to the IIHF Hockey World Championship, which begin this weekend in Russia.
Brad Marchand was invited to play for Team Canada early on in the process, coming off his 37-goal season for the Bruins. Last week the Czech Republic added 19-year-old right wing David Pastrnak to their squad with plans to skate on a line with the Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec.
And Frank Vatrano -- who scored a total of 44 goals between Boston and Providence in this, his first full professional season -- was added to the Team USA roster this week. Vatrano, 22, confirmed it on his own Twitter account on Tuesday night prior to hopping on a flight bound for Russia:
Torey Krug played for Team USA last season, but was unavailable this time around after undergoing right shoulder surgery just a couple of weeks ago that will have him sidelined until late October.
Vatrano is one of four Massachusetts players on this year's version of Team USA. The others are Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon, Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin and Devils D-man David Warsofsky.
Both Marchand and Pastrnak previously suited up for their countries in the World Junior championships, and Vatrano played in the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to playing college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. Vatrano also previously represented the U.S. at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic, where he helped Team USA claim the gold medal.
The IIHF Men's World Championships will start Friday and run until May 22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. It features featuring many of the NHL players that aren’t participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Ahead of the expansion draft, teams may look to get something in return for players they’d otherwise lose for nothing.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving a warm May the Fourth Be With You to everybody out there.
*Mike Francesa has declared sports radio war on former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, and it’s getting ugly folks.
*A humbled Bruce Boudreau, who really didn’t need to be humbled given what a nice man he is, will have a long line of NHL suitors interested in his services.
*The Northeastern University hockey team has gone to some extremes with their pregame wrestling matches.
*Pro Hockey Talk asks the question: if there’s an expansion draft, which goaltender should the Penguins protect given what’s going on in their playoff series?
*A really nice gesture within the PHT morning skate with Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper going to bat for a Lightning beat reporter that finds himself out of a job.
*Max Domi had a very memorable rookie season even if it didn’t end with any serious consideration for the Calder Trophy.
*The Nashville Predators got a little better this week with the decision to kick Mike Ribeiro up into the press box.
*For something completely different: these Han Solo uniform jerseys for the Durham Bulls’ Star Wars Night are the freakin’ truth.