Posted on 18 January, 2012

Horton and Paille Brought the B's to the Brink — Boston Bruins forward Daniel Paille didn’t get any attempts in Monday night’s 3-2 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers, but against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, he often found himself with in open ice.

And after defenseman Zdeno Chara dumped a puck into the Tampa Bay zone, which skidded past Lightning forward Martin St. Louis, Paille chased it down and used a nifty backhand move to beat Bolts goalie Mathieu Garon to even the game 3-3 midway through the third period.

Earlier in the period, Paille escaped for a breakaway with the game tied 2-2 but he wasn’t able to give his team the lead.

Same Story, Different Ending in Tampa

TAMPA BAY, FL — The B’s stumbled early again in Florida, but unlike Monday night’s game against the Panthers in Sunrise, last night the Black & Gold weren’t able to pull out a victory and fell to the Lightning 5-3 in Tampa Bay Times Forum .

Postgame, outside the quiet visitors locker room, Head Coach Claude Julien repeated a familiar description of the Bruins recent play.

"I thought we had a really poor first period," said Julien. "We dug ourselves a hole."

Prospect Report: Cunningham – With 41 games under his belt in Providence, Craig Cunningham is well into his first professional season in Black & Gold. 

However, like any first year player, Cunningham is dealing with the new realities that come with progressing from junior hockey to the AHL. 

“I didn‟t realize how tough the league really is and how tight it is,” said Cunningham , selected by the Boston Bruins as a 97th pick overall in the 2010 NHL entry draft. “It takes a bit of time to adjust, but slowly I am adjusting and trying to get better each day.” 

Prospect Report: Cross – It‟s been nearly five years since defenseman Tommy Cross was selected by the Boston Bruins (35th overall, 2007) and the Boston College captain has had some time to sharpen his game while playing for an elite NCAA program. 

“I‟m a completely different player right now,” Cross said. “I‟m much more mature, bigger and stronger and my skating is a little better. I‟ve been more consistent and that comes with growing. 

"I‟ve had time to develop and grow at BC, and it‟s been a great place for my development.” 

Boston Bruins Prospect Notes & Roundup – 2011 Bruins draft picks Alexander Khokhlachev and Dougie Hamilton finished the 2012 World Jr. Championship with a silver and bronze medal, respectively. 

Russia dropped the gold medal game to Sweden in a 1-0 overtime loss after winning a rousing 6-5 semi-final game over Canada that saw Hamilton and his mates score four third period goals to nearly tie the game late. Khokhlachev or “Koko” tallied a goal and assist in that game, while Hamilton did the same.

Both players finished the tournament with solid performances, earning praise from scouts and observers. Hamilton played the last two minutes and change with Canada down by one score, showing the kind of faith head coach Don Hay had in his two-way ability. 

Chara Named All-Star Captain – Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara has a knack for being named captain. The B’s blue-liner, who’s been wearing the “C” since his arrival in 2006, also captained the Slovakia national team in the 2010 Olympics.

The NHL and the Players Association announced today that Chara, who is just the third Slovakian-born captain in NHL history, will serve as a captain for the 2012 All-Star Weekend in Ottawa Jan. 26-29.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Chara said. “Again, it’s another honor on top of being selected into the All-Star game and hopefully it’s going to be a great thing. I found out this morning, so I’m kind of a little bit surprised but at the same time it’s flattering.

Marchand Plans to Bring the Energy

TAMPA BAY, FL — Two big pieces of the B’s puzzle are scheduled to be back in place when Boston takes on New Jersey tomorrow night in Newark.

Forwards Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand should both be in the lineup against the Devils on Thursday.

"Yeah it’s always tough to watch the team play, it’s very frustrating," said Marchand, who has finished serving a suspension for his hit on Vancouver’s Sami Salo. "It’s nice the five games are over with and I’m excited to get back, jump back in and hopefully help anyway I can."

Brad Marchand spoke to the press during the team’s day off about how it will feel to be back in the lineup after being suspended.

Zdeno Chara spoke to the press about being named one of the Captains of the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.