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(Page 18 of 257)
NHL Insider

Bruins seamlessly integrating new players on defense

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 2:14 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Teams can boast about their depth until they're blue in the face.

Under perfect circumstances that depth never will have to be tested and observers never will discover if it's capable of living up to the hype.

The Boston Bruins haven't had perfect circumstances during the 2013-14 season. But a rash of injuries to their defense corps hasn't stopped them from reeling off 12 straight wins heading into their game against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), or from allowing the second-fewest amount of goals per game in the NHL entering play Monday.

Obviously the goaltending of Tuukka Rask (2.07 goals-against average, .929 save percentage) and Chad Johnson (2.04, .925) deserves a lot of credit for Boston's stinginess. But even the goaltenders would admit they need help from the players in front of them.

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Kings' Carter feels content in return to Philadelphia

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 1:33 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Leaning back on the wall outside the unfamiliar visitor's dressing room at Wells Fargo Center, Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter flashed a smile, revealing his bumpy gums and some scarce chipped and out-of-position teeth, a hockey player's signature grin.

There was no way to know what Carter's smile looked like June 23, 2011, when he was traded by thePhiladelphia Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first of two culture-changing transactions made that day by Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who later traded former captain Mike Richards to the Kings.

Carter was sad to be traded, and angry at the organization that drafted him and had signed him to an 11-year, $58 million contract less than a year earlier. His no-trade clause hadn't kicked in yet, but Carter thought he was safe -- until Holmgren sent him to Columbus for forward Jakub Voracek and a 2011 first-round pick he turned into center Sean Couturier.

Carter was traded to the Kings eight months later, ending a short stint in Columbus. And as he prepares to play his first game in Philadelphia since the day he was shipped out of the city (Richards played here Oct. 15, 2011), a smiling Carter appears ready to let bygones be bygones.

Time has healed his wounds; the Stanley Cup he won with the Kings in 2012 certainly helps.

"I think it's worked out pretty well," Carter said. "Stanley Cup, playing in L.A. It's a pretty good setup."

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Daily Primer March 24: Flyers, Rangers in key games

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The divisions that make up the Eastern Conference could each have a new second-place team by Tuesday morning after key games Monday night.

Or they could be the same.

The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, second and third in the Metropolitan Division, and the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, Nos. 2 and 3 in the Atlantic Division, are all in action in separate games.

The Flyers lead the Rangers by one point (83-82), but Philadelphia has two games in hand. The Flyers play at home against the Los Angeles Kings, and the Rangers host the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes trail the Kings by seven points for third place in the Pacific Division.

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Bruins keep rolling as postseason approaches

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 6:04 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

PHOENIX -- Jarome Iginla was doing his job, standing right in front of the crease and screening the eyes of Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith when Boston Bruins teammate Dougie Hamilton set up captain Zdeno Chara for one of his potent slap shots from the point that can exceed 100 miles per hour.

Chara could have missed Ignila and the net completely, or he could have given his teammate a puck-shaped tattoo for the next two weeks.

"I'm sure I would have had my eyes closed there," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "I've been hit by one of those and it's not fun,"

Instead, the blast glanced off Iginla's pants and was deflected cleanly by Smith to wipe out Boston's first deficit in 20 periods of hockey.

"I wasn't moving to get it. I was just standing there and it hit me," Iginla said. "Just pure luck on my part, but it was a great shot by [Chara] trying to shoot around me."

That's how things are going for the Bruins right now: Hard work, confidence and just the right mix of making their own luck and getting some.

The 4-2 win against Phoenix on Saturday gives Boston 12 straight victories, the most since Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and the Bruins won 13 in a row in 1970-71.

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Daily Primer March 23: Blackhawks back in hunt

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 12:19 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Nine days ago, it looked like the Chicago Blackhawks had no chance to win the Central Division and might wind up in third place. That was after the Blackhawks lost 3-2 at home to the Nashville Predators, a team unlikely to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Predators come back to United Center on Sunday, and a lot has changed in the interim. The Blackhawks have gone 3-0-1 since that loss, with one of the wins coming against the division-leading St. Louis Blues. Chicago's 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday and the Blues' 4-1 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday have cut Chicago's deficit in the division race to a more manageable four points.

Here's a look at all of the action Sunday:


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Rangers getting better at closing out victories

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 12:06 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Less than two weeks ago, the New York Rangers appeared to be showing their warts as a team that could play well, could hang in tight games, but couldn't close. That seems like a distant memory now.

Nothing is set, not even close, especially with a pair of home games this week against the Phoenix Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers followed by a four-game western road trip. But after going 2-4-1 to start the month, the Rangers have won four of their past five games. All four victories have come on the road, where they have a League-best 23 wins.

They beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 on Saturday at Prudential Center to solidify their spot as the third-place team in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have 82 points, one fewer than the red-hot Flyers and four more than the fourth-place Columbus Blue Jackets, a team the Rangers beat Friday night.

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Berglund filling offensive void for Blues

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 11:15 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- According to Patrik Berglund, nothing has changed since his return from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The physical characteristics are certainly the same: He's still a left-handed shooter, he still wears No. 21 and he still plays for the St. Louis Blues.

What has changed is Berglund's name popping up more often on the stat sheet at the end of the night. More often bodes well for these Blues.

Berglund has 14 goals this season -- not an eye-popping number considering the Blues (47-16-7 have played 70 games. But six of those eight goals came in a recent eight-game stretch, and seven of his 31 points on the season came in a 10-game set.

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Daily Primer March 22: Bruins try for 12 in a row

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 12:10 AM / NHL Insider

The Phoenix Coyotes will get the next chance to derail the Boston Bruins.

Boston comes to Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night seeking its 12th consecutive win and second in as many nights. The Bruins stretched their winning streak to 11, the longest in the NHL this season, by shutting down the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 in Denver on Friday. Backup goaltender Chad Johnson made 31 saves and the Bruins got goals from Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg as they became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Boston hasn't lost since March 1 and has outscored opponents 43-15 during its winning streak

Here's a look at all the action on a busy Saturday.

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Maple Leafs eye run with Bolland, Bernier close

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 4:45 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

With 10 points in 12 games, and the Toronto Maple Leafs starting the season 10-4-0, forward Dave Bolland was enjoying a memorable first month with his hometown team after winning the Stanley Cup twice with the Chicago Blackhawks. Then came Nov. 2, when Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian accidentally stepped on Bolland's left leg, leaving Bolland with a lacerated tendon in his ankle.

Bolland hasn't played since, but that could be about to change.

After missing 56 games, Bolland could return Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC). With goaltender Jonathan Bernier also possible to return after missing three games with a groin injury, Toronto could be getting healthy at the right time. Having lost three straight, they certainly can use both players.

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Daily Primer March 21: Bruins go for 11 in a row

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The hottest team in the NHL goes for its 11th straight victory Friday, and possibly a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. To get it, the Boston Bruins will have to beat one of the best in the NHL.

The Bruins bring a 10-game winning streak into their game against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. It's the first of a back-to-back set for Boston, which had a couple of days off after a 4-2 road win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Boston also has a chance to be the first team to clinch a playoff spot Friday. They can do so if they beat the Avalanche in any form, or if they get one point against the Avalanche and the New York Rangers lose in regulation to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Bruins have outscored their opponents 41-15 during their win streak and have won seven of the 10 games by three or more goals. They lead the Eastern Conference with 99 points.

Colorado is home after going 1-1-1 on a three-game swing through Canada that ended with a 5-4 overtime loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. The Avalanche have 94 points, putting them seventh in the overall standings but third in the Central Division behind the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks.

Here's a look at all of the action Friday:

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Quote of the Day

I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year, and he could be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien on forward Loui Eriksson's potential