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Monday, December 5, 2016

David Pastrnak is Here to Save Us All from Another Season of Bruins Mediocrity


All night at TD Garden, the Bruins (15-10-1) couldn't shake the Panthers (12-11-3). Three different times Boston scored to take a temporary one-goal lead but each time Florida answered with a tying goal. Luckily for the B's and their fans, they employ David Pastrnak who you may have heard has morphed into one of the best goal-scorers in the NHL (see: his overtime goal that gave Boston a thrilling 4-3 win). Pasta had scored earlier in the contest to make it 2-1 and he potted the game-winner at 1:23 of overtime that will undoubtedly be in every highlight reel for awhile (not just hockey).

It was a big two points for the Bruins since the Panthers entered in a bit of a tailspin (after surprisingly firing head coach Gerard Gallant last weekend and replacing him with GM Tom Rowe). Moreover, with Roberto Luongo (9-8-1) in between the pipes for Florida, Boston had to take advantage of the same bozo from the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals vs. Vancouver. In 38 career games against the Bruins, Luongo fell to 15-17-1. Florida won the Atlantic Division last season but Boston still owns them (10-1-0 in their last 11 games in Boston and 15-2-1 in their last 18 games overall) dating back several years now.

After missing six games with a lower-body injury Bruins captain Zdeno Chara returned with a team-high 23:31 time on ice. There was plenty of action in the first period even though it looked like it would end 0-0. Former BC star Michael Matheson had a shorthanded bid stopped by Tuukka Rask (27 saves; 14-4-1). On the other end, Luongo robbed Ryan Spooner (the subject of trade rumors since he hasn't played well so far this season) with a ridiculous glove save. David Backes' one-timer from the doorstep hit Luongo in the chest and rookie Anton Blidh nearly nabbed his first NHL goal when he redirected Adam McQuaid's slap pass just wide. PC's Tim Schaller gave the B's a 1-0 lead at 18:32 (with his 4th goal of the season) when he one-timed a pass from David Krejci (who was stationed behind Florida's net).

The ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr tied it at 9:44 with a one-timer of his own. Florida's great young franchise defenseman Aaron Ekblad fed it to Jagr for his fifth goal of the season (and 754th all-time, 3rd most in NHL history). Pastrnak helped Boston regain a 2-1 lead at 16:37 with help from a slick feed by linemate Brad Marchand. Patrice Bergeron had the other assist on Pastrnak's 14th goal of the season (3rd most in the NHL). It was only a one-goal advantage but the team records were in Boston's favor after two periods: they were 11-0-0 when leading after two and Florida was 1-7-2 when trailing after two.

Obviously, that one-sided sample will change for the B's at some point and it appeared to be this evening as Alexander Barkov tied it at 7:54 of the third period. Patrice Bergeron turned the puck over in his own zone (something which hardly ever happens) and former teammate Reilly Smith was there to pass it to Barkov for an absolute snipe on Rask. Boston responded a little over five minutes later as Backes tipped in Spooner's shot from the half-wall for his seventh goal of the season. Luongo had just reached his bench when Jason Demers scored one last tally that knotted things at three. Matheson and Vincent Trocheck assisted on Demers' fourth goal of the season which came at 18:31 after a fortuitous bounce off the end boards came right to him and he was able to sneak it by Rask from a tough angle.

Pastrnak's goal in overtime as mentioned above was pure filth, some fine Bruins porn if you will. Krejci held the puck and waited for his fellow Czech to go out of the zone then come back in with speed so when he got the puck he was able to work it around Matheson and then Luongo who went down to the ice a bit early. Pastrnak was able to lift the puck with a forehand shot over Luongo as the Garden crowd exploded. Rookie Brandon Carlo had the second assist on Pastrnak's unforgettable strike (which tied his total goal output from last season).

This was the start of another busy week as Boston is at Washington (14-7-3) on Wednesday (8, NBC Sports) before they host Colorado (9-13-1) on Thursday (7, NESN) and Toronto (10-9-5) on Saturday night (7, NESN). The Capitals are still one of the top teams in the NHL and they always seem to give Boston a tough game, no surprise. The Bruins have won three games in a row and they extended their season-long point streak to five games (4-0-1). The Avalanche are currently in last-place in the Western Conference and the Maple Leafs as always are near the bottom in the East so those are two prime matchups for the B's to continue to bolster their home record (7-5-0). So far, this edition of the Bruins is playing moderately better on home ice, one of their main shortcomings that bit them in the ass last season.

Left wing Matt Beleskey is expected to miss the next six weeks after he hurt his right knee in Saturday's 2-1 win at Buffalo. He had gotten off to a crappy start (2 goals, 3 assists in 24 games) but Boston has very little depth at that particular position so it could be a sneaky important loss for the Black and Gold.












Thursday, December 1, 2016

B's Basically Steal Two Points from the Hurricanes With an Improbable 2-1 Shootout Victory


For almost 60 minutes tonight at TD Garden, the Bruins (13-10-1) and Hurricanes (9-9-5) played just about the most boring NHL game that you've ever seen. Then Teuvo Teravainen kicked the puck into his own net with 32 seconds left in regulation, giving the Bruins a much-deserved tying goal (they had 80 total shot attempts!). From there, they battled through a scoreless overtime (Carolina survived a hooking penalty on Viktor Stalberg) and at the end of it all, the B's managed to escape with a 2-1 shootout win after goals by Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak.

Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin (1-3-0) earned the distinction of first Bruins goalie not named Tuukka Rask to earn a victory this season as he made 29 saves. The backups (Subban, McIntyre and him) had been 0-6-0 collectively before tonight. Haha is that bad? They might not have shown it for much of the contest but Boston still owns Carolina (7-0-3 in their last 10 games) including 5-0-2 in their last seven games here against the Hurricanes. One other note for the B's: this was the first time this season that they had rallied for two points after being down after two periods (they had been 0-8-1).

After losing at Philadelphia in a lengthy shootout on Tuesday (3-2), it figures that Boston had to decide things in their third shootout of this campaign. Carolina outshot Boston 12-10 in the first period but neither punchless offense could find the back of the net. Former BC star (and Norwood, MA native) Noah Hanifin once again had a good performance in his hometown as he gave Carolina a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 7:37 of the second period. His shot from the point found a hole through traffic with Jeff Skinner and Derek Ryan notching assists on Hanifin's second goal of the season (he has 2 goals, 2 assists and a shootout winner in his 4 NHL games here).

Boston was lifeless for most of the first two periods and the fans even booed them early in the third (totally within their right after paying for that garbage) when they were on a fruitless power-play. Eventually they flipped that proverbial switch with some serious pressure on Cam Ward (34 saves; 7-8-3). Carolina's No. 1 penalty kill unit in the league acquitted themselves well (4-for-4) so the Bruins ended up scoring their lone goal after they had pulled Khudobin for the extra attacker. Torey Krug took the shot from the point and David Backes created some chaos in front of the net which in turn forced Teravainen to freak out and kick the puck like a soccer player. Haha or something like that. Krug's second goal of the season extended his point-streak to three games (1 goal, 4 assists) while David Pastrnak (9 goals, 2 assists in his last 13 games) and David Krejci (3-game point streak with 1 goal and 2 assists) had the helpers.

The B's dominated in overtime as well, outshooting the Hurricanes 6-2 but they still couldn't find the ocean with their shots. Hat tip to Khudobin for stopping Skinner on two breakaway attempts (a 3-on-0 in the second period then a more usual vintage in the extra session). After Tuesday's shootout lasted nine tedious rounds (Boston was 1-for-9), it was nice that the home team decided things with only needing their first three shooters. Something called Jaccob Slavin scored for Carolina in the first round but Khudobin stepped up with stops on Hanifin and Skinner to mercifully end it. Surprisingly, only Brad Marchand failed to score of Boston's three shooters.

The Bruins know that they were lucky to walk away with two points after such a pathetic showing in so many ways. They are at Buffalo (9-9-5) on Saturday afternoon (1, NESN) as they get their first look at former BU star (and Chelmsford, MA native) Jack Eichel who made his season debut this week after missing tons of time with a severe ankle sprain. The Sabres are improving but that's another club the Bruins own. For the B's there are very few givens anymore left in the NHL so when they meet them, they need to find a way to get a win no matter what. Tuukka Rask has to sleep a little easier tonight knowing that hopefully he won't be run into the ground as Khudobin begins to prove once again that he's a capable backup on a decent team.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hell Freezes Over (Again): Jimmy Hayes Scores His 1st Goal for the Bruins In 2016-17


Coming in on a three-game losing streak (outscored 9-4 in the process) and with captain Zdeno Chara gleefully cheering from the press box (more on that later), the Bruins (12-10-0) desperately needed a victory on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden vs. the Lightning (13-9-1). Surprisingly enough they got it in pretty easy fashion, 4-1, with even Jimmy Hayes finding the back of the net for the home team. Boston opened up a scoreless affair with a trio of goals in the second period and capped it off with one more in the third period before Tampa Bay avoided the shutout with a Victor Hedman goal in garbage time (that deflected in off a Bruins skate).

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (30 saves, 12-4-0) has been superb all season but the funny part is this marked the fourth time already that he's lost a shutout with less than five minutes left in regulation (11/1 at Florida, 11/17 at Minnesota, 11/19 vs. Winnipeg). He's been by far Boston's best player and he's reclaimed his spot as one of the top goalies in the NHL but it just goes to show you how thin the margin is for the upper echelon players like himself.

Things weren't nearly as enjoyable for Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop (26 saves, 7-8-0) who fell to 4-5-3 in his career against Boston. Dominic Moore (read my feature about him in tomorrow's edition of Metro Boston!) continued to rack up goals at a crazy pace (at least for him). Colin Miller (who made his return for the 1st time in 2 weeks) chipped a puck into Tampa Bay's zone that Moore chopped out of mid-air for his sixth goal of the season at 2:24 of the second period. Ryan Spooner also assisted on Moore's goal which tied him with Brad Marchand for second on the team in goals and matched his entire total from all of last season with the Rangers.

At weekend afternoon contests, you don't expect to see much action but this game was a pleasant surprise in that regard. These teams clearly don't like each other as you could see late in the first period when lightweights Torey Krug and Nikita Kucherov fought each other. There were also plenty of skirmishes after the whistle all game long. Additionally, the Bruins potted a few pretty goals which for them is a big accomplishment in many ways. David Backes scored on a rare double deflection from Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug at 12:30 of the second period. It was Backes' fifth goal of the season and it gave Boston a 2-0 lead.

You know that it was the Bruins' day when Hayes scored his first goal of the season at 17:33 of the second for a 3-0 Boston advantage. Not only was it his first point of the season (in 20 games!) but dating back to last season, his first goal in 36 games. Seriously, when you are a 6-foot-5 forward in the NHL how is that remotely possible? Anywho, Chara happened to be next to me in the press box at the time (waiting to go downstairs to the locker room between periods) and like when a little kid that stinks at sports does something positive, Chara started clapping like a Little League dad or soccer mom when Jimmy got the proverbial monkey off his back (props to him for celebrating by throwing said monkey to the rafters).

Even for this limited offensive group, David Pastrnak just can't stop scoring goals. He threw the puck at the net in the third period and it deflected off a Lightning player past Bishop. Krug and Marchand assisted on Pastrnak's team-leading 13th goal of the season (2nd most in the NHL behind Sidney Crosby). Pasta has 10 points (9 goals, 1 assist) in his last 10 games. Is that good?

As weeks go in the NHL, this upcoming one doesn't look too daunting on paper for the Black and Gold: they are at the Flyers (9-10-3) on Tuesday (7:30, NESN, they host the Hurricanes (8-8-4) on Thursday (7, NESN) and go to Buffalo (7-9-5) next Saturday afternoon (1, NESN)-their second of 13 matinees this season. They have been a good road team so far this season (7-5-0) and whatever shape that they're in health-wise (John-Michael Liles left in the 1st period today with what looked like a concussion), I still expect them to beat the dregs of the Eastern Conference like those three blah opponents.



Friday, November 25, 2016

Bruins Drop Their Third Straight Game as Their Goal-Scoring Has Gone Mostly Missing


Playing their third game in four nights (including a game on Thanksgiving for the 1st time since 1989) and on the second half of a back-to-back, the Bruins (11-10-0) looked predictably tired to start tonight's game vs. Calgary (10-12-1) at TD Garden. Still the Bruins got better as the time went by yet they found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 loss. It's been a rough week as they have lost their captain Zdeno Chara (lower-body injury) on Tuesday vs. St. Louis and now three straight contests. Boston had been 6-0-3 against Calgary in their last nine games with the last regulation loss coming way back on October 30, 2008.

Returning from injury and a rehab stint in Providence, backup goaltender Anton Khudobin (27 saves, 0-3-0) made his first start for Boston since October 22 (4-2 loss vs. Montreal) but he couldn't grab the first win by a Bruins goalie not named Tuukka Rask (11-4-0) of this entire campaign. Khudobin, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre have combined to go 0-6-0 in 2016-17, is that bad? More relevant at the moment is the alarming lack of goal-scoring by the B's, after all they have been outscored 9-4 in this slide against the Blues, Senators and Flames (only 1 good team in that bunch).

It was a weird night what with former Bruins backup goaltender Chad Johnson (35 saves, 7-3-1) getting the first star of the game (he's won 5 of his last 6 starts and playing the best hockey of his NHL career) and something called Sam Bennett picking up two points. Oh and former BU star Alex Chiasson (who hadn't registered a point in 9 games) provided the game-winning goal. Did I mention that the horrorshow defensive pairing of Kevan Miller and Joe Morrow was on the ice for both Calgary goals? Me thinks that those bozos won't be together for too much longer, hopefully.

After a blocked shot in their own defensive zone, the Flames got a semi-breakaway that was finished by Bennett at 8:36 of the first period. Matt Stajan and T.J. Brodie assisted on Bennett's fifth goal of the season (his 1st point in 10 games). Boston had four of the five power plays of the night but sadly they weren't able to take advantage of any of them. Their only guy that can consistently find the back of the net this season-David Pastrnak-fittingly tied it at one at 5:55 of the third period. After sustained pressure on a power play, he was able to knock in a rebound with plenty of traffic in front. Tim Schaller and John-Michael Liles (celebrating his 34th birthday today) assisted on his team-leading 12th goal of the season (tied for 2nd most in the NHL).

Barely more than a minute later (1:10 after it to be exact), Chiasson roofed it past Khudobin after a sweet backhand no-look pass by Bennett from behind Boston's net. Flames captain Mark Giordano had the second assist on Chiasson's third goal of the season. Jimmy Hayes is still stuck on zero points in 19 games (don't ask me how that's possible) but at least he dropped the gloves tonight and got in a instant classic brawl with Maine native Garnet Hathaway. Just kidding, they spun around for what seemed like an eternity then Hayes basically gave Hathaway a rock bottom to drop him to the ice. Woo, good times.

You know that Rask will be back in net on Sunday afternoon (1, NESN) as the B's host the Lightning (13-8-1). It promises to be a pretty dead atmosphere on an NFL Sunday although the Patriots-Jets game starts at 4:25 p.m. Needless to say Boston could really use a win at this point, no matter how it transpires. Don't expect to see Chara back anytime soon although we still have no real idea what the big man is dealing with in terms of an injury. Without him in the lineup, the team hasn't been nearly the same group that they were through the first 18 games where they got off to a better than expected beginning.






Bruins Drop Their Third Straight Game as Their Goal-Scoring Has Gone Mostly Missing


Playing their third game in four nights (including a game on Thanksgiving for the 1st time since 1989) and on the second half of a back-to-back, the Bruins (11-10-0) looked predictably tired to start tonight's game vs. Calgary (10-12-1) at TD Garden. Still the Bruins got better as the time went by yet they found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 loss. It's been a rough week as they have lost their captain Zdeno Chara (lower-body injury) on Tuesday vs. St. Louis and now three straight contests. Boston had been 6-0-3 against Calgary in their last nine games with the last regulation loss coming way back on October 30, 2008.

Returning from injury and a rehab stint in Providence, backup goaltender Anton Khudobin (27 saves, 0-3-0) made his first start for Boston since October 22 (4-2 loss vs. Montreal) but he couldn't grab the first win by a Bruins goalie not named Tuukka Rask (11-4-0) of this entire campaign. Khudobin, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre have combined to go 0-6-0 in 2016-17, is that bad? More relevant at the moment is the alarming lack of goal-scoring by the B's, after all they have been outscored 9-4 in this slide against the Blues, Senators and Flames (only 1 good team in that bunch).

It was a weird night what with former Bruins backup goaltender Chad Johnson (35 saves, 7-3-1) getting the first star of the game (he's won 5 of his last 6 starts and playing the best hockey of his NHL career) and something called Sam Bennett picking up two points. Oh and former BU star Alex Chiasson (who hadn't registered a point in 9 games) provided the game-winning goal. Did I mention that the horrorshow defensive pairing of Kevan Miller and Joe Morrow was on the ice for both Calgary goals? Me thinks that those bozos won't be together for too much longer, hopefully.

After a blocked shot in their own defensive zone, the Flames got a semi-breakaway that was finished by Bennett at 8:36 of the first period. Matt Stajan and T.J. Brodie assisted on Bennett's fifth goal of the season (his 1st point in 10 games). Boston had four of the five power plays of the night but sadly they weren't able to take advantage of any of them. Their only guy that can consistently find the back of the net this season-David Pastrnak-fittingly tied it at one at 5:55 of the third period. After sustained pressure on a power play, he was able to knock in a rebound with plenty of traffic in front. Tim Schaller and John-Michael Liles (celebrating his 34th birthday today) assisted on his team-leading 12th goal of the season (tied for 2nd most in the NHL).

Barely more than a minute later (1:10 after it to be exact), Chiasson roofed it past Khudobin after a sweet backhand no-look pass by Bennett from behind Boston's net. Flames captain Mark Giordano had the second assist on Chiasson's third goal of the season. Jimmy Hayes is still stuck on zero points in 19 games (don't ask me how that's possible) but at least he dropped the gloves tonight and got in a instant classic brawl with Maine native Garnet Hathaway. Just kidding, they spun around for what seemed like an eternity then Hayes basically gave Hathaway a rock bottom to drop him to the ice. Woo, good times.

You know that Rask will be back in net on Sunday afternoon (1, NESN) as the B's host the Lightning (13-8-1). It promises to be a pretty dead atmosphere on an NFL Sunday although the Patriots-Jets game starts at 4:25 p.m. Needless to say Boston could really use a win at this point, no matter how it transpires. Don't expect to see Chara back anytime soon although we still have no real idea what the big man is dealing with in terms of an injury. Without him in the lineup, the team hasn't been nearly the same group that they were through the first 18 games where they got off to a better than expected beginning.






Bruins Drop Their Third Straight Game as Their Goal-Scoring Has Gone Mostly Missing


Playing their third game in four nights (including a game on Thanksgiving for the 1st time since 1989) and on the second half of a back-to-back, the Bruins (11-10-0) looked predictably tired to start tonight's game vs. Calgary (10-12-1) at TD Garden. Still the Bruins got better as the time went by yet they found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 loss. It's been a rough week as they have lost their captain Zdeno Chara (lower-body injury) on Tuesday vs. St. Louis and now three straight contests. Boston had been 6-0-3 against Calgary in their last nine games with the last regulation loss coming way back on October 30, 2008.

Returning from injury and a rehab stint in Providence, backup goaltender Anton Khudobin (27 saves, 0-3-0) made his first start for Boston since October 22 (4-2 loss vs. Montreal) but he couldn't grab the first win by a Bruins goalie not named Tuukka Rask (11-4-0) of this entire campaign. Khudobin, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre have combined to go 0-6-0 in 2016-17, is that bad? More relevant at the moment is the alarming lack of goal-scoring by the B's, after all they have been outscored 9-4 in this slide against the Blues, Senators and Flames (only 1 good team in that bunch).

It was a weird night what with former Bruins backup goaltender Chad Johnson (35 saves, 7-3-1) getting the first star of the game (he's won 5 of his last 6 starts and playing the best hockey of his NHL career) and something called Sam Bennett picking up two points. Oh and former BU star Alex Chiasson (who hadn't registered a point in 9 games) provided the game-winning goal. Did I mention that the horrorshow defensive pairing of Kevan Miller and Joe Morrow was on the ice for both Calgary goals? Me thinks that those bozos won't be together for too much longer, hopefully.

After a blocked shot in their own defensive zone, the Flames got a semi-breakaway that was finished by Bennett at 8:36 of the first period. Matt Stajan and T.J. Brodie assisted on Bennett's fifth goal of the season (his 1st point in 10 games). Boston had four of the five power plays of the night but sadly they weren't able to take advantage of any of them. Their only guy that can consistently find the back of the net this season-David Pastrnak-fittingly tied it at one at 5:55 of the third period. After sustained pressure on a power play, he was able to knock in a rebound with plenty of traffic in front. Tim Schaller and John-Michael Liles (celebrating his 34th birthday today) assisted on his team-leading 12th goal of the season (tied for 2nd most in the NHL).

Barely more than a minute later (1:10 after it to be exact), Chiasson roofed it past Khudobin after a sweet backhand no-look pass by Bennett from behind Boston's net. Flames captain Mark Giordano had the second assist on Chiasson's third goal of the season. Jimmy Hayes is still stuck on zero points in 19 games (don't ask me how that's possible) but at least he dropped the gloves tonight and got in a instant classic brawl with Maine native Garnet Hathaway. Just kidding, they spun around for what seemed like an eternity then Hayes basically gave Hathaway a rock bottom to drop him to the ice. Woo, good times.

You know that Rask will be back in net on Sunday afternoon (1, NESN) as the B's host the Lightning (13-8-1). It promises to be a pretty dead atmosphere on an NFL Sunday although the Patriots-Jets game starts at 4:25 p.m. Needless to say Boston could really use a win at this point, no matter how it transpires. Don't expect to see Chara back anytime soon although we still have no real idea what the big man is dealing with in terms of an injury. Without him in the lineup, the team hasn't been nearly the same group that they were through the first 18 games where they got off to a better than expected beginning.






Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bruins Fall to Their Western Conference Clones-the Blues-and Lose Chara to an Undisclosed Injury


Former Blues captain David Backes met his old NHL team for the first time this evening as his Bruins (11-8-0) fell 4-2 to St. Louis (11-6-3) at TD Garden. Boston mustered 41 shots on goal but the combination of Jake Allen's quality start (39 saves) and a lack of scoring touch by the B's meant that it was a frustrating night for the Black and Gold. More worrisome, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara left after skating only one shift in the second period and never returned (head coach Claude Julien had no injury update after the game). Apparently he was hit by Jaden Schwartz which might have caused the departure but honestly, I didn't see it. So I guess we'll have to hold our breath on that until we hear more information from either the Bruins or more likely the most connected NHL reporters (Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre LeBrun, etc).

As is usually the case with these very identical clubs, they combined to produce an entertaining tilt. Backes actually gave Boston a 1-0 lead at 7:44 of the first period with a power-play goal. He tipped in Torey Krug's shot from the point and the puck just got over the line (under Allen's leg pads). Backes' fourth goal of the season was also assisted by David Krejci who now has seven points (1 goal, 6 assists) in his last six games. There were two noteworthy milestones on that tally: it was the 20,000 career goal in Bruins franchise history (only Montreal had reached that before them) and the 100th career NHL assist for Krug.

Both times that the B's took a lead in this game, the Blues responded like you would expect from a good team (despite their 2-5-1 road record coming in). Jori Lehtera tied it at one at 3:23 of the second period. He tipped in Colton Parayko's bullet past Tuukka Rask (24 saves) with Vladimir Tarasenko notching the other helper. Who has been a more pleasant surprise early on this season for the Bruins (given their respective expectations) than Dominic Moore? The former Harvard star made it 2-1 Boston at 8:59 with a gorgeous shorthanded strike. Riley Nash found him for a breakaway and he was able to lift a forehand shot over Allen's glove for his fifth goal of the season (he had 6 all of last season) and second shorthanded marker (which ties a career-high from 2 years ago with the Rangers).

Rask wasn't his normally locked in self from 2016-17 as he let up a pair of juicy rebounds which wouldn't you know it both came back to bite his team (no pun intended). Robert Bortuzzo tied it at two just five minutes later as Rask basically handed the puck right to him and the clunky defenseman was able to slide in a backhander. Patrik Berglund and Parayko assisted on Bortuzzo's first goal of the season. 2:12 after that, Paul Stasny scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal as once again Rask laid a puck out in a dangerous area on a silver Thanksgiving serving tray. Stasny's fifth goal of the season was assisted by Jaden Schwartz and the huge bust known as Nail Yakupov.

Boston came out with renewed energy in the third period and outshot St. Louis 17-7 but they couldn't find that all-important tying goal on Allen. Rask was pulled with 1:48 left in regulation and a face-off in the Blues' defensive zone. Lehtera put it in the win column via an empty-net goal at 18:44. David Perron and Berglund had the assists on Lehtera's second goal of the contest.

It promises to be a weird couple days for the Bruins, especially for the few Americans on the team, as they have a meeting with the Senators (11-7-1) on Thursday night (7:30, NESN). I've been lucky enough to cover the B's for five seasons and obviously I am a life-long fan but I can't ever recall them playing on Thanksgiving. The usual script is flipped too in the sense that they usually have the afternoon matinee on Black Friday at the Garden with the Celtics getting the nightcap. This time around, the Celts host San Antonio in the first game (1, CSN) followed by the Bruins hosting the Flames (8-12-1) that night (7:30, NESN).

I probably won't write anything until Friday so Happy Thanksgiving everybody, hope you have a wonderful day with your family and friends!