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.”
BOSTON — The Bruins made a special Halloween themed visit to Boston Children’s Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, dressed as characters from the “Despicable Me” movie series.
The Bruins went from room to room at the hospital, “reverse trick-or-treating” as they delivered goodie bags to the children, signed autographs and took pictures.
“We went around and put some smiles on children’s faces and it was just awesome,” said Krug. “We dress up, and take their mind off whatever they’re going through and just put smiles on their faces — it’s a lot of fun.”
The highly anticipated annual visit to Boston Children’s has become a hit for both the Bruins and the hospital.
WILMINGTON — The Bruins held an optional practice on Wednesday morning at Ristuccia Arena, following their 6-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night that marked their first home win of the young 2015-16 season.
All three missed time towards the end of Tuesday’s game for precautionary reasons, given the score against the Coyotes.
Miller went awkwardly into the boards with about five minutes left in the second period after getting hooked. The blueliner returned to the bench and took two shifts at the end of the second, but did not play any minutes in the third.
Kemppainen (undisclosed) only took four shifts in the third period and left the bench for a while, though he came back to finish out the game.
Pastrnak got hit with a shot towards the end of the third and his last logged ice time came with about nine minutes left in the game.
NORWOOD, Mass. — “I come to work every day with a smile on my face.”
“I have a positive attitude.”
“I’m always on time to work.”
“I don’t quit.”
These are just a few phrases highlighted in the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress’ new public awareness campaign, Your Next Star, aimed at opening the eyes of employers to the power of people with Down syndrome in the workplace.
John Dunleavy, an employee with TD Garden — a subsidiary of Delaware North — for the past five years, stars in the campaign’s video, along with Executive Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation Bob Sweeney. The video features individuals with Down syndrome and their employers.
For their work with the initiative, Dunleavy and the Bruins recently received the “Exemplary Employee Award” and “Exemplary Employer Award” during UMass Medical School’s “Work Without Limits” conference on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, Mass.
BOSTON — With confetti flying and hundreds of fans cheering, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask streamed through a high-five line, unveiling the Bruins’ jersey for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.
The old-school logo, a throwback to the Bruins’ first year in the League in 1924, was revealed at the “Tailgate With The Team” event at Seaport World Trade Center on Saturday, Oct. 24.
In preparation for the Winter Classic puck drop on Jan. 1 at Gillette Stadium against the Montreal Canadiens — and hockey heading “Back Outdoors” — the tailgating themed event featured the entire Bruins’ roster meeting with Season Ticket Holders and Premium Club members while taking photos, serving tailgate style food and playing cornhole.
“It’s very beautiful — honestly, it’s very simple, but right to the point,” Chara said of the jersey. “Like Cam [Neely] said [when introducing the jersey], this is based on the very first jersey from 1924 — obviously the colors are the current colors but the crest is basically what it was right from the first time the Bruins started playing, so it’s so much history and so much pride and passion in that jersey, that makes it very special to wear it.”
BOSTON — The Bruins hit the ice for practice on Saturday morning at Boston University’s Agganis Arena, before heading to an all-team event with season ticket holders for the afternoon.
Matt Beleskey took part in the full practice with the team. He has missed the Bruins’ past two games with an upper body injury. He remains day to day, according to Head Coach Claude Julien, but he “definitely is getting closer.”
“It’s getting better — getting better every day and it felt pretty good out there today,” Beleskey said following Saturday’s practice. “We just thought [Friday’s game], with three days off here, it would be a better decision [to not play].”
“You hate watching your own team play, that’s a bad feeling,” said Beleskey, who traveled to Brooklyn with the team but did not suit up. “So I’m working hard to get back out there.”
BRIGHTON — After breaking ground on in December of 2014, the Bruins’ new practice facility Warrior Ice Arena remains on track to open in time for training camp in September of 2016.
On Thursday, Oct. 22, a “topping off” ceremony was held at the Boston Landing work site located off of Guest Street in Allston-Brighton. The 15-acre development also houses New Balance’s World Headquarters, a fast track for world-class athletes, and it will feature many more facilities and amenities in addition to the new ice rink.
The ceremony celebrated the American Iron Workers, as the final two beams of the structure were raised and put in place.
Bruins President Cam Neely was on hand for the milestone event.
“These guys are the foundation of this building, and the city, really,” Neely said in reference to the hundreds of workers. “It’s a blue-collar city, and it’s kind of like our fan base. They work really hard and they’ve worked really hard on this project, so it’s nice to see them being able to take this day [to celebrate].”