Stars return from Sochi as Bruins continue strong season

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The National Hockey League has resumed play across the U.S. and Canada this past week following a two-week hiatus due to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

The Boston Bruins sent five players to Sochi to represent five different countries. Zdeno Chara captained the Slovakian team, David Krejci for the Czech Republic, Tuukka Rask for Finland, Loui Erikksson for Sweden, and Patrice Bergeron for Canada.

The three teams that meddled all included members of the Bruins as Canada captured the gold, followed by Sweden with the silver and Finland with the bronze.

The black and gold were hot coming into the Olympic break having gone 8-1-2 in the 11 games prior.

Play resumed for the B’s on Feb. 26 in Buffalo against a struggling Sabres team. The two teams went back and forth in all three periods exchanging leads throughout the game.

At the end of regulation both teams had scored four goals a piece and headed to overtime.

Just 22 seconds into the five-minute OT, Matt D’Agostini beat Chad Johnson to steal a win from the more skilled Bruins.

Next the Washington Capitols came to the TD Garden for a matinée matchup of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals two years ago. The Bruins this year have had a great winning percentage in afternoon games, but this one would be a different story.

Quickly Alex Ovechkin let out his frustration over the Olympics on Tuukka Rask by scoring two power play goals. Rask was the winning goaltender in the game that eliminated Russia.

The Caps never looked back as they coasted to a 4-2 victory handing the B’s their second straight loss.

So far this season the Bruins have yet to string together three straight losses and hoped to not change their luck against the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden the following night.

Jarome Iginla scored for Boston to tie it at one in the first period for the Bruins until Dougie Hamilton and Carl Soderberg put Boston ahead by two in the second.

Gregory Campbell netted two goals, one of the short-handed varieties in the third to cap a 6-3 rout of the Rangers. Tuukka Rask was strong making 39 saves on 42 shots in net.

Tim Thomas would visit the TD Garden once again with his Florida Panthers as Chad Johnson looked to rebound from his loss in Buffalo.

In the opening stanza it was the first line of Lucic, Krejci, and Iginla getting the job done with Iggy and Krejci each beating Thomas.

The second period started with a penalty kill for the Bruins and Florida on the accelerator. Johnson was strong and warded off all Panther shots while Krejci scored once again, his second of the night.

Forida was finally able to crack Johnson in the third beating him on a rebound chance. With just 13.3 seconds left David Krejci completed the hat trick and scored on the empty net, bringing his goal tally to 16 and extending his numbers as leading point scorer on the roster.

It is a busy month with having to make up for the Olympics and March will bring a lot of hockey to the hub. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, it is pivotal that the Bruins acquire help on the back end with the loss of Seidenberg,

Hopefully General Manager Peter Chiarelli and President Cam Neely feel the same way and make a move before the 3 p.m. deadline Wednesday.

The Bruins are in a comfortable spot down the stretch and need to make sure they are healthy going into the postseason. Coach Claude Julien has a good hold of this talented squad that is oozing leadership. This team is ready to make a run; it should be fun to watch these last few months.

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