5 things we learned as Bruins beat Senators in final tuneup before Winter Classic

DJ Bean
December 29, 2015 - 4:55 pm
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The Bruins will not enter the Winter Classic on a losing streak. A hat trick from Jimmy Hayes and two-goal performances from Patrice Bergeron and Matt Beleskey led the way in a 7-3 win over the Senators that snapped Boston'€™s recent skid at three games. Ryan Spooner, who had all eyes on him following his promotion to second-line center, had a pair of assists, one of which came on the power play. Tuesday'€™s win allowed the Bruins to jump ahead of Detroit in the Atlantic Division with 44 points. The B'€™s now sit third in the division, two points behind the division-leading Panthers and one point behind the Canadiens. The Bruins will be off Wednesday and will practice Thursday in Foxboro before hosting the Habs for the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium on Friday. While there will be plenty of angst leftover for Friday, the Bruins played the Senators Tuesday as if Ottawa were their biggest rival. The teams combined for 110 penalty minutes on Tuesday, with a late-game fracas providing six misconducts. Here are four more things we learned Tuesday: MARCHAND GETS AN '€˜A,'€™ MIGHT GET 'A' SUSPENSION Brad Marchand may have spoken too soon when he mentioned his excitement to play in the Winter Classic Tuesday morning. After a dangerous his Tuesday night, Marchand could end up being suspended for Friday'€™s game. Marchand, who was wearing an '€˜A'€™ due to the absence of David Krejci, committed a low-bridge hit on Mark Borowiecki in the first period. Marchand will likely argue in his hearing that he was turning into the player rather than going for the hit, but that might not hold up well given that he has a history of low-bridging with his 2012 suspension for such a hit on Sami Salo. Working in Marchand's favor is that Borowiecki was not injured on the play.

It'€™s been nearly a year since Marchand'€™s last suspension, when he was banned two games for slew-footing Derick Brassard. If the Department of Player Safety deems Tuesday'€™s hit suspendable, his recent history will be admissible when considering the suspension'€™s length. That wasn'€™t the only incident involving Borowiecki. This happened in the second period and the Ottawa defenseman lived to tell the tale. POWER'€™S BACK ON Although the Bruins entered Tuesday night'€™s game with the best power play percentage in the NHL, they had gone their last four games without a power play goal (0-for-6) in a stretch that saw them struggle to even get on the man advantage. That changed for the B'€™s Tuesday, as they got a season-best four power play goals in a 4-for-7 showing on the man advantage. The B'€™s hadn'€™t scored multiple power-play goals since Nov. 27. Bergeron had two of Boston'€™s goals on the man advantage, while Matt Beleskey hopped on the rebound of a Brett Connolly shot in the second period to make it 3-1. '€˜SKEY SHOOTS, '€˜SKEY SCORES As we touched on recently, Beleskey has had positively dreadful luck shooting the puck this season. Entering the game, only one of Beleskey'€™s five goals had come from shooting the puck, as he had two goals apiece from redirecting shots and from his passes hitting players and going in. Beleskey was able to actually shoot the puck into the net in the second period when he used a wrister to fling the puck past Craig Anderson after the Ottawa goaltender kicked Connolly'€™s shot to the left circle. Beleskey now has six goals on the season, putting him on pace for 14 on the season. GRIFFITH IN, KRUG HEALTHY, HAYES DOWN Seth Griffith played his first NHL game this season after the Bruins recalled the red-hot winger from Providence Tuesday. Griffith, who had 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) over his last nine games for Providence, was placed on Bergeron and Marchand'€™s line. That move created a trickle-down effect for Boston'€™s wingers, with both Brett Connolly and Hayes being demoted as a result. Torey Krug also returned to the lineup after missing Sunday'€™s game with a lower-body injury. Boston'€™s lineup Tuesday was as follows: Marchand-Bergeron-Griffith Beleskey-Spooner-Eriksson Vatrano-Ferraro-Connolly Rinaldo-Talbot-Hayes Chara-Seidenberg Krug-McQuaid Morrow-Kevan Miller Rask Hayes did well with his demotion to the fourth line, as his hat trick was the first of his NHL career.
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