Notes: Savard not in Boston for Games 3 and 4


Notes: Savard not in Boston for Games 3 and 4

By Joe Haggerty

BOSTON -- There was a report in the Boston Herald two days ago that Marc Savard would be attending Games 3 and 4 at the Garden in his first visit back to Boston since announcing he was going to sit out the rest of the season.

But a team source checked in with on Wednesday and said Savard was not in Boston and not coming down for either of the games.

The Bs center is still battling the post-concussion syndrome symptoms that have plagued him since his latest head injury suffered in Colorado. He's hopeful he can make it to Boston during this postseason run if the team keeps on winning.

Coach Claude Julien felt like hes seen some good things recently out of Milan Lucic, who's searching to break out of his 20-game goal-scoring drought. Even though the goals aren't coming there are plenty of plays being made by Lucic in the offensive end, but they are passes leading to goals rather than the lamp-lighters themselves because the defenses are paying so much attention to No. 17,

I liked watching his game in Game 3, said Julien on Lucic. He was a much better player, he was skating better, he was physical and made some plays. In practice he's really coming around, and sooner or later youre going to see him contribute on the score sheet.

Shane Hnidy played less than three minutes in Game 3, and Julien said that, because of power plays and special teams, Hnidy wasn't needed any more than that. With McQuaid very unlikely to play on Friday, count on Hnidy to play at least a slightly bigger role in the Bs defensemen corps.

He was ready to go and he still is ready to go, Julien said. We have confidence in him, but we also understand the fact that he hasnt played much this year because of injury. Right now the guys we have in our lineup are capable of sharing our ice time.

The talk of the day Thursday, obviously. about the Bs being up 3-0 in the series against the Flyers and sitting on the precipice of an Eastern Conference finals berth, just as they were last season before the roof caved in on them. Julein and his players are all holding firm to turning the page on last year and focusing on winning one more game to put down a Philly team thats proven it wont quit.

Right now I like where we are, said Julien. The biggest thing will be putting the past aside and thinking about the present. Living in the moment. Thats what has enabled us to stay focused.

Steve Kampfer practiced with the Bruins for the first time on Thursday in a no-contact session, and is still some time away from being ready for game action.
I think right now he just started skating yesterday for the first time, Julien said. He felt good enough to skate with us today. We had no contact in our drills, so it was a good skate for him. Were moving forward as were being told by our medical staff. Hes looking better every day, so we just have to stay with it. But hes not ready.

Zdeno Chara was given the day off on Thursday after his man-sized Game 3 against the Flyers, which featured a pair of goals and 28-plus minutes of punishing defensive play.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Subban replaced in second period, Bruins lose to Wild, 5-0


Subban replaced in second period, Bruins lose to Wild, 5-0

BOSTON – The Bruins had to feel like things would go badly for them with both of their usual goaltenders on the shelf against the Minnesota Wild.

That’s exactly what happened with Malcolm Subban getting pulled in the second period for the second time in his two-start NHL career, and the Bruins ultimately falling by a 5-0 score to the Wild at TD Garden. Subban lasted a tad more than 30 minutes in this game, but looked shaky in allowing two goals in a span of 12 seconds to Minnesota as they took control early in the second period.

Weymouth native Charlie Coyle floated a spinning, surprise shot through the glove hand and leg pad of a slow-reacting Subban, and Chris Stewart followed by roofing a shot while all alone in front following the ensuing face-off.

Subban made a nice save on Marco Scandella to temporarily stop the bleeding, but was pulled from the game when Ryan Suter beat him low to the glove hand with a power play strike midway through the second. Subban was pulled after giving up the third goal of the night, and Zane McIntyre was ostensibly better even if he allowed a Jason Zucker deflected shot past him to give the Wild an insurmountable four goal cushion.

The Bruins tried to rally for something in the third period, but there wasn’t much going on after the shaky defense and subpar goaltending knocked all the wind right out of them. Jason Pominville scored late in the game on a rebound goal to round out the scoring. The scary part is that Tuesday night’s loss to the Wild represents the first of six games against worthy opponents that made the playoffs last season, and there’s no hint of when Tuukka Rask or Anton Khudobin might be ready to return. 

O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time


O'Gara sent to Providence, but could return any time

BOSTON – The writing was on the wall once Rob O’Gara was scratched in the last couple of games, and he was finally sent down to Providence on Tuesday. The move was made to clear room for Adam McQuaid to rejoin the B’s lineup, and help the Bruins continue improving from their 15th rank among team defenses in the NHL this season.

The 23-year-old O’Gara was a plus-1 rating in three games to start the season, and played very well in 16:01 of ice time while winning physical battles, adequately moving the puck and generally showing that he’s got a future in the NHL. With veteran defenders returning and little margin for error on a B’s back end already featuring 19-year-old Brandon Carlo, it was too much to attempt carrying two rookies on an NHL defensemen corps for a long stretch of time.

So now O’Gara will go to Providence where he’ll play bigger minutes, play in all situations and stay ready for the next time Boston needs him.

“He’s good. I think he makes good passes when he has time. I think we want him to work on maybe being under pressure, and being a little stronger on his feet and being able to make better plays,” said Claude Julien. “But he’s really close. When I say he’s real close I think you could see him back here at any time. I have no issues with Rob O’Gara.

“I think as a young player he has to play, so when we can play [him again] I have no issues with him in our lineup. If he doesn’t get [the playing time] here then we’ve got to get it for him somewhere else.”

While O’Gara is going to Providence for some more AHL development at this point in time, there’s a tacit acknowledgement from the Bruins that the big, hard-working defenseman is definitely going to be a valued part of their future.