5 things we learned as Bruins fall at home to Predators

DJ Bean
December 07, 2015 - 4:44 pm
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To say the Bruins'€™ offense fell stagnant in the second half of their 3-2 loss to the Predators Monday would be an understatement. After getting a power play goal from Loui Eriksson to take a 2-1 lead at 10:53 of the second period, the Bruins went 17:16 without a shot on goal. The Predators scored to tie the game early in that stretch and took control of the game while the B'€™s remained either shorthanded or dormant. Though the Bruins eventually managed to put some pucks on Carter Hutton in the third period, the Predators finally took the lead with 4:56 to play. Partially because of how much time they spent shorthanded, the Bruins managed just seven shots on goal in the first period, four in the second and six in the third for a total of 17, a season low. Jonas Gustavsson stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced. The 14-9-3 Bruins will next head to Montreal, where they will face the Carey Price-less Canadiens Wednesday at Bell Centre. Here are four more things we learned Monday: BUSY PENALTY KILL TAKES STEP BACK The Bruins had allowed one power play goal in their last seven games leading up to Monday night. They weren'€™t so successful when shorthanded against the Predators. Roman Josi scored a pair of power-play goals for the Predators, marking the first time since the Bruins'€™ Nov. 17 game against the Sharks that Boston'€™s penalty kill allowed multiple goals. Then again, the Bruins'€™ penalty-killers were extremely busy on Monday. The Bruins took eight minor penalties and found themselves shorthanded seven times. "It definitely takes up some time there, killing it," Eriksson said of spending much of the game shorthanded. "We took too many penalties today, and it's tough to be on the ice four against five. You're skating a lot, you're wasting a lot of energy." There were also a pair of fights in the penalty-filled affair, as Brad Marchand fought Josi at 4:04 of the second period and Tyler Randell absolutely pummeled Eric Nystrom a couple minutes later. Josi'€™s second power play goal came after a second-period hooking penalty called on Patrice Bergeron. The penalty gave Bergeron 16 penalty minutes through 26 games this season, which puts him on pace for 50 on the season. Should Bergeron hit close to that mark, he'€™ll set a new career-high in penalty minutes for the third consecutive season. The now 30-year-old center had 43 penalty minutes in 2013-14, which he followed up with 44 last season. SEIDENBERG, COLIN MILLER, HAYES STAY OUT Dennis Seidenberg, Colin Miller and Jimmy Hayes sat for the second straight game. Seidenberg is dealing with what Claude Julien has intimated is a minor injury, while Hayes has been a healthy scratch. Though the duo remained out for the Bruins, Adam McQuaid returned to the lineup after suffering what appeared to be a wrist injury in the first period of Saturday'€™s game against the Canucks. As a result of those circumstances, the lineup to begin the game was as follows: Beleskey-Krejci-Eriksson Marchand-Bergeron-Connolly Vatrano-Kemppainen-Vatrano Rinaldo-Ferraro-Randell Chara-Trotman Krug-McQuaid Morrow-Kevan Miller KEMPPAINEN IN AND OUT The Bruins'€™ had to play much of the night down a man, as Joonas Kemppainen took a total of five shifts over the first two periods before leaving the game for good. Claude Julien offered no update on Kemppainen's status after the game, but said that his absence exacerbated the Bruins' issue of playing too much shorthanded giving Kemppainen's ability to kill penalties. "We had a short bench with Joonas not coming back," Julien said. "At the same time, those penalties, you're utilizing the same players all the time. When you've got a short bench and you're having to overutilize certain players, it makes it really tough on you." ERIKSSON STAYS HOT With a second-period power play goal, Eriksson now has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) over his last 11 games. With 10 goals and 14 assists on the season for 24 points, Eriksson is on pace for what would be a career-high 76 points this season. It'€™s tough to imagine him hitting that number, but he figures to surpass last season'€™s total of 47 points. Eriksson is in the final year of of his contract. He'€™ll get a nice raise from his current $4.25 million cap hit, whether that'€™s with the Bruins or someone else.

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