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.”
WILMINGTON, Mass. — On Thursday morning at Ristuccia Arena, there was a new but still familiar sight down by the glass as the Bruins hit the ice for a routine practice.
A line of parents watched the skate — just like old times.
The Bruins are hosting a Fathers Trip as the team jets off to Raleigh to play the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.
"It's always great to give the parents an opportunity to see the good work they've done with their kids," said Head Coach Claude Julien.
"And some of the deficiencies that still need some work," the bench boss added with a smirk. "It's great. It makes for a fun situation and there's no doubt, the players get motivated for that, so hopefully that's the motivation we need tomorrow to win ourselves another big hockey game."
After practice, the fathers were set to fly with their sons and get in some quality bonding time on the road — with their sons, teammates, coaches and the rest of the staff.
DALLAS — For the second straight game, the Bruins found themselves down by two goals after the opening 20 minutes.
They did not let the frustration seep into their game.
Instead, they scored three goals in the closing seven minutes of the second period and six straight goals altogether as they finished their six-game road trip with a 7-3 win in Dallas.
They held the league’s highest scoring team to just nine shots on goal in the final 28 minutes.
Six scorers combined for the seven goals, with Brad Marchand scoring twice to reach his first 30-goal season and the power play finally breaking through for three goals. Loui Eriksson’s goal with 51.6 on the clock in the second period stood as the game-winner.
Matt Beleskey’s power play goal with 22.1 left in the game capped off the scoring. After battling in front of the net, he jammed the puck in as he was knocked down. On his back, he stretched out his arms in celebration.
DALLAS — The Bruins have reached the 11th and final day of their season-long road trip, with the last stop in Dallas on Saturday night against the Stars.
Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. ET (7:00 p.m. local time — NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
A win over Dallas would put them above .500 on the road trip, as they have posted a 3-2-0 record though the first five games. The victories came against Winnipeg (6-2), Minnesota (4-2) and Columbus (2-1), with the losses coming to Detroit (6-5) and Nashville (2-0).
“Bottom line is, we came on the road trip to have a winning road trip,” said Head Coach Claude Julien. “A win tonight would be huge. We’d much prefer to be 4-2, than 3-3, so nothing changes from our mindset as far as coming out tonight and winning. When you lose a game like you did last game, you want to bounce back and have a good effort, so that’s what we’re looking for from our hockey club.”
After a day off the ice on Friday, the Bruins held a full pregame skate on Saturday morning at the American Airlines Center. Ryan Spooner was not feeling well and did not skate.
DALLAS — The Bruins have arrived in the sixth and final city on their season-long road trip, where they will finish with a Saturday night game against the Dallas Stars.
With a 3-2-0 record on the road trip, their focus is on one outcome: finding a way to end the 11-day journey on a high note.
“We have a chance to go 4-2, and obviously, it looks a lot better than 3-3,” Torey Krug said Friday afternoon in Dallas. “So it’s all about winning hockey games right now. It’s kind of been up and down on this road trip a little bit, but you’ve just got to move on to the next one, and we have a big test for us coming up.”
The Bruins stayed off the ice on Friday in Dallas. Players went through their routines of weight-lifting, stretch, playing two-touch soccer and the like at the American Airlines Center.
NASHVILLE — The Bruins and Predators entered Thursday night’s game with urgency. Battling for playoff positioning, both teams needed to come out with their best efforts.
Boston was trying to pick up its fourth win on a season-long, six-game road trip. It had won seven of its last eight games on the road.
Nashville had the better of the Bruins early and the Black & Gold wound up with a two-goal deficit entering the third period that they weren’t able to overcome, falling 2-0.
“Lost us the game,” Captain Zdneo Chara said of the start. “You’ve got to be playing 60 minutes and we didn’t. Those first 20 minutes decided the outcome of the game.”
The Bruins generated the first shot of the game in the opening minute, but the Predators turned on the jets for their home crowd, being first on pucks and generating the better of the chances early on.
Just 2:51 into the first period, Tuukka Rask stopped Craig Smith’s initial attempt in tight, before the puck stayed loose and Smith skated down the slot and lifted it over Rask.
NASHVILLE — The Bruins continue their road trip against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, before closing out the trip in Dallas on Saturday.
Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. ET (7:00 p.m. local — NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
Bergeron returned to the lineup in Columbus on Tuesday night after missing two games with an undisclosed injury.
“It helps,” Bergeron said of the time off the ice. “You try and do as much treatment as possible right now and obviously it’s also about managing the practices and the time on the ice. The schedule’s pretty busy, so I guess it’s a little bit of both.”
The Bruins will likely roll out the same lineup as they had against Columbus. Zac Rinaldo and Joe Morrow stayed on for extra skating Thursday morning, and look to be the projected scratches. Max Talbot could also be a scratch again up front. Tuukka Rask opted to stay off the ice, while Jonas Gustavsson got in extra practice.
NASHVILLE — The Bruins arrived to Nashville late Tuesday night following their 2-1 overtime win in Columbus. It marks their fifth stop on the season-long six-game road trip.
With a 3-1-0 record on the trip, they’ll finish it out against the Predators on Thursday night and then the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
The team hit the ice for an hour-long practice on Wednesday, having a “dress-and-drive” skate where they suited up at Bridgestone Arena and bused over to the Predators’ practice rink. It’s much more practical, with the equipment already loaded into the arena late Tuesday night.
Head Coach Claude Julien said Bergeron’s absence was just maintenance. The Bruins’ staff felt it would be better to give Bergeron rest. He returned to the lineup in Columbus after missing two games.