SUNRISE, Fla. — The win may not have been the most pronounced, with the Bruins squeezing out two points in overtime after seeing a 4-1 lead evaporate, but they finished Monday night with a 5-4 decision over the Panthers to make Head Coach Claude Julien the all-time wins leader in franchise history.
With the victory — the 388th of his Bruins coaching career — the bench boss passed Art Ross in regular season wins.
Through Stempniak’s four games in Black & Gold, the winger has a goal and five assists.
“It’s been fun,” Stempniak said postgame. “I’m fortunately with two great players [in Bergeron and Brad Marchand], they’re playing well, they’ve been having great years, so for me, it’s trying to complement them and not mess it up at this point.”
SUNRISE, Fla. — With the Bruins sitting in third place in the Atlantic Division, they face an important back-to-back against the two teams above them in the standings: Florida and Tampa Bay.
The first test comes on Monday night in Sunrise against the Panthers, who have a game in hand on the Bruins, and are just one point above them with 80 points. The next test will come on Tuesday night, when the Bruins face off against the Lightning, who lead the division with 82 points.
“I think it’s an exciting game for both teams, because there’s a lot at stake,” Head Coach Claude Julien said following the Bruins’ pregame skate at BB&T Center. “I think one team wants to stay there, and the other team would like to move ahead, so when you look at a game like this at this time of year, it certainly creates some excitement for fans and also for players and teams.”
“This road trip’s a big one for us,” said Matt Beleskey. “Right now, everything’s so tight obviously, so tonight’s a big game and to be able to jump a team in the standings is huge for us.”
BOSTON — The Bruins went into Saturday night at TD Garden looking to follow up their 4-2 win over Chicago on Thursday.
Two wins against two of the league’s top teams would certainly give them confidence as they embark on a tough home stretch of the season.
The Black & Gold ended the night on the losing end, 2-1 in overtime, while managing to take a point from the NHL’s best team.
“We were one shot away from beating the top two teams in the NHL, so for us, it’s just realizing if we stick to the system and keep doing those things well, we’ll have a chance to win any game,” said Torey Krug.
“I thought we’ve done a good job of playing those two teams and we’ve just got to move on. We have other big tests coming up and every team brings something different to the table and we’ll look forward to the next challenge.”
BOSTON — The Bruins will host the league’s top team on Saturday night when they welcome the Washington Capitals to TD Gardne.
After a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks — one of the top teams in the Western Conference — on Thursday, the Bruins are looking to follow up that strong performance.
Two wins against top of the NHL’s best teams? That would not be a bad way to finish off a homestand.
“I think, before you know it, the season will be over — there’s not that many games left, so we need to assert ourselves every game,” Head Coach Claude Julien said pregame on Saturday.
“So it’s not so much what [a win] means, more than what we need to do here, and we need to, again, bring our A-game and understand that we have to play a lot like we did the other night — be strong in all areas in order to beat good teams like Washington.”
“We know they’ve given us their fair share of problems in the past and we have to kind of push that aside and look at tonight and go in there with an optimistic and determined outlook.”
WILMINGTON, Mass. — The Bruins pulled out a strong performance on Thursday night with a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
They’ll need to follow that up with the same intensity against their next opponent, the Washington Capitals, on Saturday.
The challenge will be keeping up that level of play, as the Bruins are the busiest they’ve been all season, and are currently amid a stretch of 18 games over a 33-day span.
“It’s getting to the zone where we have to get tougher and we play almost every other day, so it’ll be tough,” Tuukka Rask said following the win over Chicago. “But as long as we stay fresh and mentally sharp and just keep skating and battling, it’s going to be good. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but the biggest thing is not to get comfortable right now.”
When the Bruins play their game, they’ve shown this season that they can earn commanding wins over the league’s top teams like Chicago and Dallas.
BOSTON — From the drop of the puck on Thursday night, the Bruins were ready for the Blackhawks.
Plain and simple.
Patrice Bergeron scored just 1:18 into the game and the Black & Gold played with pace the rest of the night en route to a 4-2 win over one of the top teams in the West.
“The execution was great,” said Bergeron. “I thought from the first minute on, till the end of the game, we were on our toes, limiting their transition game and their speed.”
“I thought it was a solid effort from everyone.”
Their defensive effort combined with that output to shut down the skills of the Blackhawks.
BOSTON — The Chicago Blackhawks come to TD Garden on Thursday night as the best team in the Western Conference.
The Bruins are ready.
“It’s always a great challenge,” said Patrice Bergeron. “Obviously we know their talent and as a team, how competitive they are over the last few years, and it’s always tough games and tough matchups.”
The matchup marks the teams’ first meeting of the season, with the Bruins visiting Chicago in April.
The Blackhawks are one of many challenging matchups the Bruins will be facing. After hosting Chicago on Thursday, they’ll host Washington on Saturday. The Capitals lead the East and are on a run this season that could earn them the Presidents’ Trophy.
“These are huge games right now,” said Brad Marchand. “We have a very tough schedule coming up and it starts tonight.”
BOSTON — On Wednesday, the Bruins were back to work at Ristuccia Arena for practice following their 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night at TD Garden.
They have two more games remaining on a four-game homestand against Chicago on Thursday and Washington on Saturday.
“We do have some tough games coming up, Chicago, Washington back-to-back in Florida, so this is pretty good for our team, playing against one of the best teams in the league [on Thursday],” said David Krejci. “We’re going to have to play our best game and we’ll see where we’re at, but we obviously believe in this group.”
The Bruins have 18 games remaining in the regular season and every one of them will likely be a grind.
“I think we just need to handle the game itself — one at a time,” said Head Coach Claude Julien.”Tough schedule, tough games. [Tuesday] night wasn’t an easy game either and it was a team that right now is sitting outside of a playoff spot, so I can’t keep repeating myself but that’s what you tell the players — just go at it one game at a time here.”
BOSTON — On their fifth power play of the night late in the third, the Bruins had to convert.
Their previous four man advantages had gone for naught.
With 3:24 left in regulation, Patrice Bergeron fired home his 24th goal of the season to lift the Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames.
The week ahead won’t be easy for the Bruins, with two of the league’s best teams — the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals — coming into town on Thursday and Saturday to finish out a four-game homestand.
The points at TD Garden on Tuesday night were crucial, especially against a team currently out of the playoff picture.
“We thought about how big the points are and after the trade deadline I think you know that this is the team and this is who we are going with,” said Bergeron. “You have to find a way to gel quickly and I thought it was one of those steps forward where tonight was an important game for us.”
BOSTON — The Bruins will play host to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night at TD Garden as they continue their four-game homestand.
The Flames come in on a sesaon-high five-game losing streak, having lost 5-3 in Philadelphia on Monday night, and Boston will be looking to bounce back from a 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The focus for the Bruins, though, is on their own team.
Tuesday marked a busy morning at TD Garden, with trade deadline acquisitions Lee Stempniak (from New Jersey) and John-Michael Liles (from Carolina) joining the team, as well as Providence callup Noel Acciari, who will likely make his NHL debut.
All three players participated in the Bruins’ optional pregame skate. About an hour and a half before the skate, Chris Kelly — out since suffering a broken femur on Nov. 3 — skated for the first time in his recovery process.