5 things we learned as Bruins blow lead, lose to Rangers

DJ Bean
January 11, 2016 - 4:36 pm
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The road used to be where the Bruins recouped the points they struggled to get at home. Recently it's become just another place of frustration for them. With a 2-1 loss to the Rangers Monday at Madison Square Garden that came as a result of a blown lead in the third period, the Bruins dropped their seventh game in their last nine (2-6-1) and fell to 1-1-1 on their current road trip. It also marked the sixth time in the Bruins' last 10 games that they have failed to score multiple goals. The B's took a 1-0 lead into the third period before Derrick Brassard brought the Rangers even 35 seconds into the final frame. Jesper Fast redirected a Keith Yandle shot past Tuukka Rask with 1:42 remaining to give the Rangers a lead that they would keep despite a furious pushback from the B's until the end of regulation. The Bruins have two games left on their current five-game road trip. They'll face the Flyers on Wednesday and the Sabres Friday. Here are four more things we learned Monday: CONNOLLY TO THE LEFT Brett Connolly re-entered the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch. His return to the lineup came with a wrinkle, however, as the 23-year-old right wing was slotted in as the left wing on Boston's third line, replacing the scratched Frank Vatrano. Playing with Joonas Kemppainen and Jimmy Hayes, Connolly saw his goal-less streak hit 18 games. He now has just one goal over his last 30 games. The slump didn't continue for lack of trying. Connolly had a beauty of a scoring chance from the left circle in the second period but rang iron. HAYES ON PACE FOR 20 Because of how he gets his goals -- a great deal of which one might consider "garbage goals" right in front -- it was tough to predict whether Jimmy Hayes' 19-goal season last year could be counted on to be an annual occurrence. Despite never really cracking the top six in Boston, the answer so far is yes. Hayes scored a rather unusual goal for him midway through the second period by snapping one from high in the offensive zone that beat Henrik Lundqvist to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. That brought his season total to 10 points, putting him on pace for exactly 20. SPOONER STAYS HOT In getting the primary assist on Hayes' goal, Ryan Spooner now has six assists over his last six games. Spooner continues to perform well despite drawing tough matchups in place of the injured David Krejci. On Monday, Spooner and linemates Matt Beleskey and Loui Eriksson had to face the Rangers' first line of Derek Stepan between Rick Nash and Jayson Megna. Spooner created a terrific scoring chance in the first period when he raced to a puck in the offensive zone for a partial breakaway. Despite dekeing Lundqvist successfully, Spooner hit the post and was denied what would have been his 10th goal of the season. ON THEIR BEST BEHAVIOR The Bruins took no penalties on Monday, marking their first such performance this season. Their only power play came when Megna was whistled for high-sticking Eriksson in the first period. The Bruins never had to go on the penalty kill in the first game of the season against the Jets, but Patrice Bergeron took matching roughing minors with Adam Lowry in that game.

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