Rask, Lucic lead Bruins over Florida, 4-0


Rask, Lucic lead Bruins over Florida, 4-0

By Danny Picardand Joe Haggerty

BOSTON -- Dennis Wideman made his return to Boston Thursday night, but Tuukka Rask and Milan Lucic kept him and his Florida Panthers from getting the last laugh.

Wideman was traded to the Panthers in exchange for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell, and Horton picked up three assists on the night, including what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the first period.

But it was both Rask and Lucic who won the game for the B's. Rask made 41 saves in picking up his first win of the season, while Lucic scored the first three Bruins goals in the 4-0 win.
"It feels good. It feels good to not let your team down 'cause we are on a winning streak now, and keep that thing going," said Rask. "But it'sjust a win, though. Not the first gameI've won with the Bruins, but it feels good."

Lucic gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead with 4:23 left in the first period, after he took a Horton drop pass in the right circle, cut out front and wristed a laser past Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun that hit the top-right corner of the post and went in.

He made it 2-0 by sniping the top-left corner from the right circle on a 2-on-1 with 5:18 left in the third period. He picked up the hat trick by putting in the rebound off of a Patrice Bergeron miss, just 15 seconds later.

Shawn Thornton made it 4-0 with 3:54 left in regulation to finish things off.GOLD STAR: Got to give it to Tuukka Time taking its first starring role of the season. Nobody would have predicted that it could have taken five-plus weeks for Tuukka Rask to record his first win of the season, but there it is. Rask finished with 41 saves and managed to avoid any of the funky bounces or strange goals that seemed to bite at him in his five other previous efforts. He again looked like the calm, confident phenom that dominated through long stretches of last season.BLACK EYE: Claude Julien joked after the game that David Booth's arms were going to be sore on Friday after hoisting 14 shots on net from all over the ice, and seemed intent on trying to beat the Bruins all by himself. He finished a minus-2 on the night, and Booth, Stephen Weiss and Cory Stillman all were badly outplayed by the B's "heavy" line.TURNING POINT: Protecting a 1-0 lead, the Bruins took a couple of penalties in the second period and allowed Florida several opportunities to get back into the game. But the B's penalty killers killed off both Panthers' power plays and Boston ended up snuffing out all five Panthers power plays over the course of the win. The kills, and Tuukka Rask, ended up setting the tracks for the third=period explosion that turned into Milan Lucics crazy fedora party.BY THE NUMBERS: 10 the number of goals for Milan Lucic this season, which is one more than he had all of last season and now leads the Bruins. To put it in perspective, Lucic is tied with Alex Ovechkin in goals scored this season and appears to be well on his way toward ascending to another level of hockey stardom this season.QUOTE TO NOTE: "Rask keeps an upbeat attitude the whole time. Hes happy for what's going on here. He doesn't put himself ahead of anyone. So we talked before the game that we wanted to get one for him." Shawn Thornton, talking about the team pulling together to get Tuukka Rask his first win of the season.INJURY UPDATE: Patrice Bergeron blocked a shot with his left leg in the first period and left the ice shortly, but returned and played the rest of the game. Shawn Thornton had his nose bloodied after fighting Darcy Hordichuk, but finished out the game and appeared to be fine postgame aside from spitting a little blood. But thats nothing to a hockey player.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
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Spooner to jump back in for Bruins, knows he 'wasn't good enough'


Spooner to jump back in for Bruins, knows he 'wasn't good enough'

BRIGHTON, Mass. – After serving as a healthy scratch for Thursday night’s home opener, Ryan Spooner will be back in the lineup manning the left wing position alongside David Krejci and David Backes as that line looks for an offensive breakthrough.

Spooner will also be looking to change his early season storyline as it’s clear that Claude Julien is looking for more from a player that looked a little too passive on the puck to start the season.

Spooner wasn’t really utilizing his speed to put pressure on opponents, he wasn’t creating enough on the power play and there were a couple of instances where his mistakes led to directly to goals against. That’s not a good combination from a B’s perspective with a player who has showed plenty of game-breaking talent while posting 13 goals and 49 points last season.

“I have to take [the scratch] as a message that I wasn’t the player that I can be,” said Spooner. “I have to use it as motivation and just go out there and play.”

The speedy, skilled forward had just a single assist in three games to start the season, but to be fair none of the three forwards on his line, Spooner, Krejci or rookie Danton Heinen, looked particularly good once Backes was moved to fill in for the injured Patrice Bergeron.

Instead, it looked like Krejci centering one player skating out of position (Spooner) and another young guy (Heinen) just trying to gain some confidence in the NHL and things looked much better for Krejci and Backes after being reunited on Thursday. Spooner’s speed and playmaking could be an asset there tonight vs. Montreal, and certainly could help a power play that is 1-for-14 through the first four games of the season.

“He just has to be better. That’s why we sat him out. He just wasn’t good enough and he’s capable of doing more,” said Claude Julien. “We expect more out of him. He’s a guy that can produce and can play the full game, and he’s shown that he can do it. It’s nothing something that he has to do, but it’s something that he can do. That’s what we want.”

So, Spooner was scratched for the home opener after totaling an assist and seven shots on net in the first three games, and knows that he needs to be better than he was in the early going.

“I wasn’t moving my feet. I think I was playing too much of a passive game. I need to use my speed a little more when I’m on the wing there,” said Spooner, who still hasn’t played much more than a couple dozen games at the wing over the course of his career. “The first two games I didn’t think I played good at all, and the last game against the Jets was just so-so. I don’t think it was good enough, so it needs to be better.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter which players I was playing with, the game I was playing just wasn’t good enough. That’s on me and I need to change that.”

Spooner will get a big chance to change that conversation when he suits up in a top-six winger role with Krejci and Backes on Saturday night while looking to provide a little more balanced scoring against Montreal. 


Saturday, Oct. 22: Coyotes' growing pains


Saturday, Oct. 22: Coyotes' growing pains

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while suffering from the same “general soreness” as Tuukka Rask.

*The Arizona Coyotes are suffering from growing pains that were extremely evident during a winless road trip.

*Steve Dangle is obviously jacked and pumped about his Maple Leafs, but wondering about the future of Roman Polak. But aren’t we all at this point?

*Old friends Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg both scored the victorious Islanders in a Friday night win.

*Clarke MacArthur isn’t ready to retire even as concussion issues are really starting to impact his ability to stay on the ice.

*Teemu Selanne gives fellow Finn Patrick Laine a thumbs up as he was in town for events with his former Winnipeg Jets.

*Pro Hockey Talk has the details on noted Bruins killer Dale Weise getting suspended for three games after some dirty activity with the Philadelphia Flyers.

*For something completely different: Geoff Edgers has been trying to reach Bill Murray for weeks, and here’s what happened when he finally called back.