Notes: Boychuk's mistake costs Bruins

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Notes: Boychuk's mistake costs Bruins

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

VANCOUVER Johnny Boychuk probably doesnt need to be reminded that hes been on the ice for each of the last seven goals scored against the Bruins during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The minus-1 on Boychuks ledger from Game 1 of the Cup finals might have been the toughest one for No. 55 to stomach. It was his error in both judgment and execution that led to the winning goal by Raffi Torres with only 18.5 seconds remaining on Wednesday night.

Boychuk attempted to step up and play the body on Vancouver center Ryan Kesler as things moved quickly to the Boston defensive blue line, and the Bs defenseman lost the one-on-one battle with the Canucks do-it-all center.

Kesler worked the puck along the side boards in a play very reminiscent of one that Patrice Bergeron has often pulled during his career with the Bruins. He slipped around Boychuk and fed a nice pass to Jannik Hansen, who set up Torres for the game-winning goal.

I was trying to push it back toward the neutral zone, but it didnt happen, said Boychuk. I dont know if it hit or it went back in, or what happened. All I know is he got the puck, hesitated to see if was offside and made the pass to score in the last minute.

The goal begs the question why Boychuk was on the ice with Zdeno Chara in the closing minutes of a Stanley Cup Final playoff game when the CharaDennis Seidenberg combo has been a key shutdown pairing during the playoffs. The final seconds of a game is exactly when Chara and Seidenberg should be suffocating Kesler and Co. and pushing for a decision in overtime.

Boychuk was aware he made a mistake in that situation, but he didnt feel like it had much to do with a slight tweak in defense pairings headed into the game.

I played with Chara for most of the year, so its not out of the norm, said Boychuk. Theyve played well together in the playoffs, but this was just to switch it up. I just go out there when Im told.

Milan Lucic on the hip check by Dan Hamhuis near the benches: "I went over. He got hurt on it. That's it."

Interesting that Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki popped up on the jumbotron to wish my man Hoff luck in the Stanley Cup Finals as the German superstar wished fellow countrymen, Christian Erhoff, well in the final series.

Got to wonder: Where the love is for fellow German Dennis Seidenberg, who is tearing it up in the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Bruins coach Claude Julien made some slight changes to the Bs power play with Chara camped down low and Tyler Seguin inserted into the man advantage for a bit of a different look. But neither of those things worked out as the Bs power play went 0-for-6 while also holding the high-powered Canucks to an 0-for-6.

The Bruins did manage to get 12 shots on net and had a very good possession during a four-minute power play after a high-sticking call against Daniel Sedin in the first period. But still, no actual production for a special-teams unit that needs some serious overhauling if its ever going to fully function.

I think our power play was better tonight than its been in a while," said Julien. "We had some shots. We had some opportunities. We had chances. We didnt score and obviously when your power play isnt doing well then its going to be criticized for not scoring.

But the same thing happened on the other side. As long as were able to stay on even terms with them on special teams, then Im okay with that.

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

Talking Points from the Bruins OT winner

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Talking Points from the Bruins OT winner

GOLD STAR: Solid night’s work from Ryan Spooner, who finished with the OT game-winning strike and was solid throughout the game as the de facto No. 1 center. He had four shots on net, six generated shot attempts and won 12-of-19 face offs as he continues to improve in that area while training camp rolls along. Spooner is trying to hold onto the No. 3 center spot in the lineup despite the addition of David Backes via free agency, and Friday night’s big boy performance with speed, playmaking and skill showed exactly what his potential can be when he puts it all together. It was also a nice little bounce-back from an up-and-down game on Wednesday night against the same Detroit team when he struggled in the face off circle and was part of a team-wide malaise.

BLACK EYE: It wasn’t necessarily a bad night for Brian Ferlin, but it was more of the invisible variety with just a registered hit and one face-off taken in 13 minutes of ice time. The forward earned some NHL time with the Bruins a couple of years, has battled concussion woes over the last year plus and is trying to push his way back into the crowded forward picture during this training camp. While he certainly showed some toughness and skill around the net a couple of years and didn’t seem shy about going there on Friday night, the results just weren’t there and Ferlin didn’t have much of a presence in the game. In general it was a pretty decent performance for the Bruins, so Ferlin’s game was quiet more than problematic.

TURNING POINT: Credit the Bruins coaching staff for switching up the lines in the third period, and that sparked the offense a bit after zero goals through the first 40 minutes against Detroit. Zach Senyshyn was moved with Danton Heinen and Riley Nash, and they became a threat in the third period before Heinen broke through for the game-tying goal from his knees. That score allowed the B’s to push things into overtime, and then Spooner made it a quick extra session by snapping home a shot from the slot after a good effort from Joe Morrow down low. It all was made possible by the adjustment to the lines that took place between the second and the third periods.

HONORABLE MENTION: Joe Morrow is battling to hold onto his NHL roster spot with the Bruins, and that is absolutely underscored by the news that Christian Ehrhoff is being brought to Boston on a PTO. So it was expected that the young D-man would come out with something a little extra after a mediocre performance in his preseason debut, and the left shot D-man was an impact player in the win for the Black and Gold. Morrow dropped the gloves with young tough guy Givani Smith in the second period as part of a B’s group that played with a little bit of an edge on Friday night, and then he won a battle down low in overtime to set up the Ryan Spooner game-winner. Morrow had two hits, two shot attempts, the assist and the fight in 19:48 of ice time, and showed that he’s ready to battle in camp to hold onto his spot.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – the number of goals in two preseason games thus far for Danton Heinen, who scored important game-tying goals in both instances in the shootout loss to the Blue Jackets and Friday night’s overtime win against the Wings.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “The compete level, especially when he got down 4-0 [on Wednesday night], I don’t think it was high enough. So we talked about it, and we expect a better effort for sure.” –Ryan Spooner on Friday morning prior to going out and snatching the win away from the Red Wings in Detroit with an OT game-winner. 

Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

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Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

The Bruins will add another veteran defenseman to their training camp group fresh off the World Cup of Hockey as German D-man Christian Ehrhoff is headed to Boston on a PTO (professional tryout agreement). CSN has confirmed that Ehrhoff has indeed agreed to a PTO with the Bruins, and he'll report to the team sometime this weekend.

The 34-year-old Ehrhoff had three assists in six World Cup games for Team Europe, and had two goals and 10 points in 48 games for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks last season while clearly starting to slow down a bit. He’s clearly no longer the player that averaged 14 goals and 47 points for the Vancouver Canucks from 2009-2011, and is another left-shot defenseman to add to a team that already has Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.

But it behooved the Bruins to bring in at least one “name” veteran D-man on a tryout basis during this training camp with so many needs for upgrades on the back end, and with a host of young players that might not be ready for prime time. This might also be a warning sign for young veteran Joe Morrow, a left shot D-man that has struggled a bit in training camp after coming off an erratic first full season at the NHL level.

Clearly the Bruins need more than Ehrhoff, however, even if he’s somehow re-energized with the Bruins after playing pretty well in the World Cup. The Kings were down enough on his game to put him through waivers last season, but he was a top-4 defenseman for the previous eight seasons for San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo and Pittsburgh prior to getting bounced around between the Kings and Blackhawks last season.

The added bonus with taking a look at Ehrhoff is that there’s no risk associated with a PTO, and the Bruins can simply walk away with no cost if the B’s coaching staff decides he’s not a good fit for the group in Boston. On the other hand, bringing in a Kris Russell-type would cost a great deal in terms of money and term in a free agent contract, and it might not benefit the Black and Gold club in the end result.