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.
BOSTON — The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, with the Bruins making two acquisitions on Monday afternoon as they embark on their final 19 games of the regular season.
Boston acquired right winger Lee Stempniak from the New Jersey Devils and defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Stempniak was leading New Jersey with 41 points on the season, including 16 goals. Liles recorded 15 points (with six goals) for Carolina.
“Clearly we wanted to continue to add to this hockey club,” said General Manager Don Sweeney, during a press conference at TD Garden on Monday evening.
In the trades, the Bruins sent their 2016 fourth-round pick and 2017 second-round pick to New Jersey in exchange for Stempniak, and their 2017 third-round pick and 2017 fifth-round pick to Carolina in exchange for Liles.
“We looked at the number of transactions this past year and the acquisition of picks and prospects that we’ve accumulated and felt that we were in a position to protect or our two firsts and our second this year.”
BOSTON — The NHL’s trade deadline is set for Monday at 3:00 p.m. ET.
BostonBruins.com will follow the action as teams around the league try to improve their rosters and their organizational depth.
With General Manager Don Sweeney and the Bruins staff at TD Garden early on Monday morning, Executive Director of Player Personnel John Ferguson took a few minutes to talk about Boston’s approach to the day.
“We’re always looking to improve our club, and we’re looking currently and for the future,” said Ferguson. “We’ve got a club that’s in the playoffs and we’d like to help if we can, while not losing sight of the future.”
Sweeney said during his pre-trade deadline media availability on Sunday that much of the talks among teams thus far had revolved around draft picks.
“I think the overall depth of the hockey club is something we want to continue to identify and try and improve,” Sweeney said during Sunday’s press conference.
BOSTON — General Manager Don Sweeney held his pre-Trade Deadline media availability on Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. ET, prior to the Bruins’ matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning at TD Garden.
The NHL’s trade deadline is set for Monday, February 29, at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Activity was heating up around the league on Sunday, as general managers look to improve their clubs — both short-term for the playoff push, and long-term in regards to draft picks and prospects.
“I don’t know if anybody’s ever comfortable,” said Sweeney. “Maybe Washington, because they’re out front, but they’re even trying to tinker. I think everybody’s trying to improve their hockey club.”
“We’ve said that from day one — it’s never a disparaging comment regarding the players you currently have, it’s just an opportunity to continue to canvass right up until the deadline, to allow you to see if you can improve, and if that means we’re giving up draft picks to do that, then that’s what we’re going to continue to explore to do.”
RALEIGH, N.C. — As dueling “Let’s Go Bruins” and “Let’s Go Hurricanes” chants broke out early in the game at PNC Arena on Friday night, the Black & Gold were the first team to strike.
They would also be the last, as Brad Marchand capped off a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes with an empty-netter that saw his father getting a round of high fives from the others on the Bruins Fathers Trip.
Matt Beleskey added two goals, including the game-winner, as he continues to generate chemistry with linemates Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes. His father, grandfather and grandmother were in attendance.
Patrice Bergeron scored the first goal of the night — in his 800th NHL game. His grandfather handed him the puck commemorating the milestone after the game.
“It was fun to have my grandpa here for the last few days and it’s a special moment,” said Bergeron. “He’s been a big role model for me growing up and I’m sure he’s as happy as I am to spend some time with him, so it’s been a lot of fun.”
Bergeron’s 23rd goal of the season put the Bruins up 1-0 with 9:34 left the first period.
Brett Connolly caused a turnover with a strong forecheck and Bergeron was there to chip the puck up and over Canes netminder Cam Ward.
RALEIGH — The Bruins face off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night at PNC Arena in North Carolina.
Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
They will have a few special fans in attendance at the game, as most of the players’ fathers accompanied them on the road trip.
“It’s been great. It’s amazing to see a lot of the resemblance there between the fathers and the sons — and you see where the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree,” Head Coach Claude Julien smiled following the team’s pregame skate on Friday morning. “But it’s been good. We had a good meal [Thursday] night, got an opportunity to get to know them and to chat with them, so I think it was great.”
“Having said that, let’s cut the cord here and think about what we have to do tonight. There’s something probably more important for the moment here and it’s to get ready for the game.”