Monday, June 27

Bruins win in the west, keep lower Arizona at bay


Ullmark is now 8-0-1 in his last nine starts, his only loss coming in a 4-3 overtime cut Wednesday at Denver in which the Bruins ripped out a 3-1 lead in the third. The Swedish goalkeeper has been solid, and the hot run now seems particularly timely because his teammate, veteran Tuukka Rask, has been sidelined at least temporarily with what the club say is a minor lower-body injury. .

After the game, coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t rule out the possibility that Rask could take the net in the final game of the trip on Sunday night in Dallas. But he also didn’t rule out the possibility that Jeremy Swayman could be called up from AHL Providence, despite the looming bomb cyclone blizzard, and the promising rookie could be the one to face the Stars.

“Let’s see how it is [Saturday], let’s practice,” Cassidy said, referring to Rask, who has made four starts since returning from offseason hip surgery. “We will see his availability. If you don’t feel you can be available on Sunday or Tuesday [home vs. Seattle]obviously we would have to look at Swayman.

Cab squad goalie Troy Grosenick, with just 338 minutes of NHL play on his resume, endorsed Ullmark in Arizona. If Rask has to sit on the sidelines, no doubt the Bruins will want Swayman back with the varsity, either to start or back up Ullmark.

McAvoy’s goal provided the 2-1 lead, which was held in the third period, the second time in as many nights the Bruins took the lead in the final period of regulation.

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Patrice Bergeron, going nearly perfect 15-for-17 on faceoffs on the night, started the scoring play with a point win. Brad Marchand then closed in on McAvoy at the right spot and the former BU defenseman scored his seventh of the season for the tiebreaker.

McAvoy, who had a pair of assists in Wednesday’s loss at Denver, matched his career high for goal scoring with the strike at 2-1. He also raised his powerplay point total this season to 15 points.

Similarly, the powerplay goal extended the Bruins’ season-high streak to eight games with at least one goal lead. They often struggled in man-up situations for the first three months of the season, but he has proven to be a confidence booster in the last three weeks. They have gone 10-for-25 (40 percent) in their eight straight games with a PPG.

The two sides traded goals in the first, with the Bruins finally snapping their five game streak of allowing the first goal of the night.

Haula scored the go-ahead goal, his fifth goal this season, with 12:30 left on the first after the Coyotes failed to get the puck out of the zone. The slip put David Pastrnak in the left wing circle, and he cut into the net and finished in the low slot for Haula to hit the 1-0 lead.

“I get to play with two elite players,” Haula said, reflecting on a month in which he has produced four goals and 11 points on a zip line with Taylor Hall and Pastrnak. “It’s a good challenge. I want to do very well, obviously, and it’s been fun: two great players and I have to bring what I can bring, help them, and it’s been good to have a bit of success.”

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The assist stretched Pastrnak’s scoring streak to eight games. It also left him with a 12-6-18 line in 15 games so far in January.

Nick Schmaltz, the Blackhawks’ former first-round pick, returned at 5:34 with the tie, set up nicely by Shane Gostisbehere, the former Flyer backliner from Union College. Gostisbehere faked a shot down the right side, sent it to the left and Schmaltz netted it before Ullmark could fully get into position.

Less than five minutes after the Bruins took a 2-1 lead on McAvoy’s goal, it looked like they would have a perfect opportunity to seize the lead when Schmaltz initially called a minor double (4:00) for a high post. Anton Blidh. At first it seemed like the right decision, particularly with Blidh’s blood dripping onto the ice.

But not so fast. The 4:00 call allowed the referee team to take a closer look at the video. And upon forensic inspection, yes, Blidh had been the victim of a high pole, but the unwitting perpetrator was not another McAvoy No. 73.

In other words, there was no penalty on Schmaltz and the game went back to 5v5.

Ullmark, now 15-5-1 in his 21 starts, needed a little repair work with less than two minutes left, skidding to the bench with a bloody nose that needed a quick patch.

“I ended up all blood on my sweater,” Ullmark said, not knowing exactly what happened. “I had to fix it right away.”

And the view from behind the bench?

“Damn nose… I don’t know if he caught a stick, a puck… a lot of bodies around the net, so it could be a skate or something,” Cassidy said. “Something hit him on the beak, so he was leaking a little bit. We fix it. He is as handsome as ever.”

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Yes, 15 wins in 21 starts is pretty to look at, along with a road to 106 points.


Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at [email protected]


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