BOSTON — The Bruins four game win streak was snapped on Tuesday night with a 5-3 loss to the Dallas Stars at TD Garden.
Their home record fell to 1-4-1. They next head back out on the road, where they remain unbeaten at 5-0-0, with stops against the Washington Capitals, Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders.
They didn’t make the road ahead any easier.
“There was a lot of problems [Tuesday night],” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. “First period I didn’t mind, and second period and third period, I don’t know where our team went.”
“We just kind of lost our focus and we weren’t the same team again. Instead of trying to dig it in, I think the way they were playing us our guys were getting more and more frustrated and the more we got frustrated, the more we got away from our game.”
“It’s a lesson learned for our guys and with a tough road trip coming up, we just made it even harder.”
The Bruins had a 2-1 lead after the first period thanks to Colin Miller’s first NHL goal and a power-play goal from Loui Eriksson, but they wound up allowing the next four goals. Three of the four goals came on the power play.
BOSTON — The Bruins will be without a key leader moving forward for the 2015-16 season.
Chris Kelly sustained a left femur fracture just 1:40 into the first period against the Dallas Stars at TD Garden on Tuesday night and was transported to Mass General Hospital, as said in a statement from General Manager Don Sweeney.
Kelly is set to undergo surgery on Wednesday, Nov. 4 and is expected to miss between six and eight months.
The solemn news came during the third period, when the Bruins were down 5-2 to the Stars before ultimately falling 5-3. Their record at home dropped to 1-4-1 and the loss snapped a four-game win streak.
The loss of Kelly, though, will be felt far beyond the Bruins’ Tuesday defeat to Dallas.
“Well, you hope we can someone compensate for his loss, but I think people are going to realize how important he is to our hockey club,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following the game. “And not just on the ice, but also in the dressing room. Around the team, he’s a guy that’s extremely respected by his teammates, and on the ice, he’s given us everything we’ve asked for.”
BOSTON — Dennis Seidenberg remains on track in his recovery from back surgery.
The defenseman has skated in two practices and a pregame skate with his teammates, as he continues to recover the Sept. 24 surgery that repaired a lumbar spine disc herniation.
Last Thursday, Oct. 29, marked his first practice of the season with the Bruins.
After taking part in morning skate on Tuesday at TD Garden — as the B’s anticipate a matchup with the Dallas Stars — Seidenberg spoke with media for the first time since he began practicing.
“I’m on schedule, for sure,” said Seidenberg, whose original timetable was estimated at eight weeks, which would slate him for a possible return around mid-November. “Now it’s just — the next step would be taking physical contact in practice and seeing how that goes, and go from there.”
Feeling pain in his leg — and not necessarily his back — was the biggest byproduct of the herniated disc.
BOSTON — David Pastrnak is expected to be unavailable for Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Stars.
“We’re just giving David a little bit more time there — he’s still feeling that shot he got in the foot,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. “So we’re giving him a little bit more time to heal here. He’s not feeling 100 percent comfortable, so we’ve called up Koko to replace him.”
Pastrnak got hit with a shot towards the end of the Bruins’ game on Oct. 27 against the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden, and missed the second half of the third period. He stayed off the ice for one day, but was back in action for the Bruins’ back-to-back against Florida and Tampa Bay and for practice on Monday.
TAMPA — Just as Colorado, Arizona and New York were good to the Bruins, so was Florida.
The Bruins capped off their first back-to-back of the season with 3-1 wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and the Florida Panthers on Friday.
They are now 6-0-1 in their past seven games, including a 5-0-0 record on the road to stay undefeated in opponents’ buildings.
“I really feel good about this win for different reasons,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said from Amalie Arena in Tampa on Saturday night. “ It was our first test of back-to-backs, against a team that was waiting for us here and a team that’s a good hockey club.”
“We just seemed to keep getting better all the time and I thought our forecheck, our determination, our battles, and everything seemed to be there,” Julien said. “The decision-making was really good, putting pucks in and not turning those pucks over that much, got great goaltending again, so I thought it was a really good effort.”
With the game knotted at 1-1 entering the third period, Brett Connolly broke the tie with a power play fire to give Boston a 2-1 lead. It marked his fourth goal of the season, with all of the goals coming in four of his past five games.
TAMPA — The Bruins are 5-0-1 in their past six games and are coming off a 3-1 win against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise on Friday night.
They are getting set to face the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Saturday night for the second leg of their first back-to-back of the season. Game time is 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
The last time the Bruins faced the Lightning on Oct. 12, the 6-3 loss capped off an 0-3 start.
Those three games saw them give up 16 goals and score seven. Since then, they have put up 29 goals and allowed 14, gaining more and more confidence at both ends of the ice. They have allowed just one goal in their past two games — with the 3-1 win in Florida and 6-0 shutout of Arizona at TD Garden, both featuring Tuukka Rask between the pipes.
The Bruins are playing with pace, working hard and looking like a team findings its groove.
What exactly caused the turnaround?
SUNRISE, Fla. — Tuukka Rask stopped 30 of 31 shots on Friday night as the Bruins earned a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center to kick off their first back-to-back of the season.
Boston will next face the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Saturday night.
The only goal Rask and the Bruins allowed came during a Panthers’ 5-on-3.
“Tuukka was outstanding in my mind,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. “He made some big saves and certainly made our penalty kill look even better.”
His most impressive save of the night came after the Bruins had taken a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. With Jimmy Hayes in the penalty box for hooking, Rask pulled out a double pad stack and stretched his glove up to rob Jonathan Huberdeau, who tried to quickly snap one blocker side.
It was so impressive among the 30 saves — that Rask needed some reminding postgame.]
SUNRISE, Fla. — The road has been good to the Bruins, who remain undefeated in opponents’ arenas heading into Friday night’s tilt with the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
The Black & Gold are 3-0-0 on the road, where they have grabbed decisive wins.
After struggling out of the gate and putting themselves in an 0-3 hole with three straight home losses to start the season, the Bruins re-established their play during a six-day, two-game road trip in Colorado and Arizona that saw them earn 6-2 and 5-3 victories.
With another road win — 5-3 over the New York Islanders — and a 6-0 rout of the Coyotes on Tuesday night at TD Garden for their first home win of the season, the Bruins are 4-0-1 in their past five games and feeling confident about their game at both ends of the ice.
“We had to find a balance there between the two, and I think in the last game, even though [Arizona] had played a lot [on their road trip], I thought we really managed to do that well,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following the team’s pregame skate at the BB&T Center. “We didn’t give them much, and I thought we generated a lot, so it’s about that mind shift, going from offense to defense and back and forth, and I think our guys are adjusting a lot better to that.”
BostonBruins.com — Brett Connolly has three goals in his past three games.
The right winger has upped his play skating with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, after a numbers game left him as the odd man out in Arizona on Oct. 17. Since sitting in the press box as a healthy scratch that night, Connolly is showing why he likely won’t be out of the lineup again anytime soon.
Those three goals make up the bulk of four points on the season, with an assist also on the stat sheet through seven games.
“He’s been scoring some goals and he’s been a good fit so far on that line,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. “His skill level is starting to show right now. He’s got a good shot – we’ve said that all along - big body, good skater. It’s nice to see him pick up his pace.”
Connolly takes his scoring touch into the Bruins’ back-to-back this weekend against the Florida Panthers on Friday and his former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Saturday.
WILMINGTON — Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg skated in his first practice with team this season on Thursday at Ristuccia Arena.
Seidenberg had been skating on his own for close to two weeks in his recovery from back surgery that repaired a lumbar spine disc herniation.
Thursday marked exactly five weeks since the surgery on Sept. 24 that caused him to miss the Bruins’ entire training camp and start to the season. His estimated recovery time was eight weeks, initially pin-pointing a possible return around mid-November.
The defenseman did not take any contact or take part in the Bruins’ 3-on-3 battling drills, but the skate was still a significant step forward.
“For him, it was more to get him a little bit more encouraged by being with other players out there,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following practice. “He just did the line drills, the puck-moving part of it, so he still has a ways to go — definitely can’t take any contact, but just the fact that he’s able to be out there with us, is definitely encouraging for him.”