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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Bruins Deliver Season's Beatings to the Predators

Heading into a much-needed three day break around the league, you couldn't ask for a better effort from the Bruins as they went to Nashville's Bridgestone Arena tonight and handed the Predators a 6-2 blowout loss. Like in Edmonton a few weeks ago, Boston (25-20-2) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period but Nashville (16-17-4) cut it to 3-2 in the third period. The B's made sure to put this away so they could truly enjoy their downtime this week.

Jarome Iginla had two goals for his 96th career two-goal game in the NHL (think about that) but Reilly Smith (1 goal, 2 assists), Carl Soderberg (1 goal, 2 assists) and Ryan Spooner (3 assists) stole the Hall of Famer's thunder (not that he minds) with three point games of their own. In total, 10 different Bruins found their name on the scoresheet and Tuukka Rask managed to stop 32 shots for another win.

There are bad starts and then there is Nashville allowing three goals in the first 10:47 of the opening period. Iginla tipped in Zdeno Chara's shot from the point at 1:16 for Iggy's ninth goal of the season. Milan Lucic had the second assist. Shortly after that, Adam McQuaid traded bombs with Eric Nystrom. I wouldn't recommend getting into a fight in your first game back from an injury but clearly McQuaid is going to do what he wants.

Boston's second goal was about as big a gift as they'll unwrap all season: Soderberg's dump in was completely bungled by goaltender Carter Hutton and Mark Fraser was there to record his first goal as a Bruin at 5:59. Spooner had the second assist. Smith kicked off an incredible night for Boston's power play (for once, that wasn't sarcasm) with a goal at 10:47 from Soderberg and Spooner. It wasn't the best angle but Smith was able to roof it by Marek Mazanec for his 12th of the season (tying Lucic's team lead).

Craig Smith ended Rask's shutout bid early, at 11:35 of the second period. His power play goal was the direct result of Rask's juicy rebound off Seth Jones' blast. Craig Smith's goal at 3:25 of the third period made you certainly wonder if the B's were going to fall apart. Thankfully, they didn't as Iginla redirected a pass out of the air at 5:01 from David Krejci and Torey Krug. 49 seconds later, Soderberg's one-timer from Spooner and Smith gave Boston a commanding 5-2 lead on his fifth goal of the season.

The star of tonight's episode of Behind the B-Brad Marchand-sent Nashville fans home with a garbage time tally at 15:54. His eighth goal of the season was also assisted by Smith. Boston is off until Friday (7, NESN) when they host Ottawa (15-17-7, 6th in Atlantic Division) at TD Garden. The next night, the same teams meet in Ottawa.

UPDATE 12/24: The Bruins assigned defenseman David Warsofsky and forward Nick Johnson back to Providence, which has to mean that Dougie Hamilton and more so Daniel Paille could return this weekend vs. Ottawa. In other Bruins news, Shawn Thornton's appeal of his 15-game suspension was upheld. Merry Christmas Eve!

UPDATE 12/27: The Bruins called up goaltender Niklas Svedberg for the first time in his career. It's a weird move because the last thing we knew, Tuukka Rask and Chad Johnson were healthy. Haha maybe one of them got hurt on Christmas with their family?

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