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Bruins notebook

Jonas Gustavsson wins applause for role

Bruins goaltender Jonas Gustavsson shut the door on Brandon Saad in the second period, one of 31 saves he made.John Tlumacki/Globe staff/Globe Staff

Only one goalie had been on the ice for the Bruins’ optional morning skate: Jonas Gustavsson. That usually indicates that Tuukka Rask will get the start in net. But when the Bruins emerged for warm-ups, Gustavsson led them out.

But, as coach Claude Julien revealed after the game, the Bruins had indeed planned on starting Rask.

“[Gustavsson] got the news at the last minute that he was playing,” Julien said. “Tuukka was scheduled to play and we made a change there this afternoon for certain reasons. Tuukka wasn’t 100 percent. Nothing major, obviously he was the backup. So he had to go in there and for a guy who found out just as he got to the rink this afternoon, he did well. He was well prepared.”


Gustavsson allowed two goals on 33 shots, though the first was one he certainly wanted back. After the Bruins had gone up by two, Gustavsson made a pair of impressive saves five minutes into the period on Brandon Saad and Alexander Wennberg.

But Gustavsson wasn’t able to stop a bad-angle shot from Dalton Prout at 6:58, with the puck somehow slipping under his pad.

“It’s one of those plays,” Gustavsson said. “I tried to maybe change my game a little bit there and play differently than I’ve played in the past. A lot of goalies use that technique now and maybe I’m not 100 percent with it yet, but it will get better.

“Obviously that’s a goal on me, but that’s going to happen. Mistakes are going to happen in a game. Sometimes you make a mistake and it’s a goal and sometimes you get lucky and there’s not. No matter what, you just got to shake it off and move on.”

Which he did. Though Gustavsson allowed the game-tying goal at 10:08 of the second with traffic around the net, that was the last thing he would allow to the Blue Jackets. Of the 4-on-4 in overtime, Gustavsson said, “I mean, the puck stayed out, so that’s what matters.”


The game was a bit of a battle for Gustavsson, with a bouncing puck and some big bodies in front of the net. But he made it work, at least enough to get a win on his record even though he was supposed to be spending his night opening the bench door.

“Hell of a job by Gus,” Torey Krug said. “He won the game for us tonight. He bailed us out numerous times, me specifically many times tonight. So I was lucky that he was back there for us, and he’s always prepared. It’s what makes him a great backup in this league and we’re lucky he’s on our side.”

Good and bad

For Krug, though he was able to send the winning goal in the shootout past Joonas Korpisalo , that didn’t erase a struggle of a night for the defenseman.

“You expect a lot more out of yourself and when you’re trying to take a next step within the team and be a player that your team can count on, it’s not always going to be pretty, but you always expect more out of yourself,” Krug said.

Still, he did manage to convert in that shootout. That was something, even though it was not nearly enough to make Krug happy after the game. The defenseman has scored just three goals this season, with the last one coming Dec. 5.


As Julien said, “That’s all he’s got to do is hit the net there, especially on the power play. It’s so important to hit the net. Right now that’s an area that he’s really struggling with.”

“Just lucky that Gus bailed me out a lot tonight,” Krug said. “It was kind of a shaky game, but it’s nice to see one go in behind their goalie off your own stick and we’ll see where it takes me.”

Happy returns

With the Blue Jackets in Boston for their annual trip with their fathers, Gregory Campbell offered to take on the task of setting up the group with dinner — and dessert — in the North End. Campbell, after all, had spent the last five years in Boston as the team’s fourth-line stalwart. He knew the good places.

For him, the city had been a good place.

He returned to TD Garden for the first time since the Bruins decided to cut ties with the center, heading to the unfamiliar visitors’ dressing room and taking the ice wearing blue and red rather than black and gold.

“It’s a different feeling,” Campbell said after the team’s morning skate. “I really enjoyed playing here for five years. I fell in love with the city and was really proud to be a Bruin, to wear the jersey. So I had a lot of good times here. There will always be really great memories here.”


Campbell helped form with Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille one of the best fourth lines in hockey. He won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2011 and had an iconic moment in the 2013 playoffs, finishing a shift against the Penguins on a broken right fibula.

The Bruins had a scoreboard video tribute to Campbell in the first, which garnered him a standing ovation

But last year was rocky. He scored six goals and six assists in 70 games as the fourth line lost its effectiveness after Thornton departed for Florida.

It has also been rocky in Columbus, where Campbell signed a two-year, $3 million deal as an unrestricted free agent.

He didn’t want to talk about the end of the line Saturday, preferring to talk about his memories of Boston, about the way the 2010 trade that sent him to Boston along with Nathan Horton for Dennis Wideman changed everything.

“It did everything for my career,” said the 32-year-old Campbell. “Coming to this organization, like I said, I was really proud to be a part of it. Being in Florida, I was happy to be in the NHL, I was a young guy. But we didn’t do a lot of winning, so when I came here — even though I played with a lot of great players in Florida, just for whatever reason we couldn’t put it together — it just seemed like we had a team and I looked up to a lot of the guys on that team and learned a lot from the experience that I didn’t have, playing in the playoffs and whatnot.


“So I owe a lot to the organization and it really made me into the player that I became. I learned a lot from not only the guys that I played with, but what it’s like to be on an Original Six team, the pride that comes with that and the responsibility that comes with playing with a team like Boston that’s expected to win night in, night out. I think that kind of experience is career-changing, and it certainly was for me.”

But then it ended. Peter Chiarelli told Campbell he would not be returning, days before the general manager himself was told the same thing.

“I’ve been around hockey long enough to know that change happens,’’ Campbell said. “Sometimes it’s for the best, sometimes you can’t make sense of it.”

Campbell quickly found a home in Columbus, where he has played in all 49 of the Blue Jackets’ games.

“I was really grateful for the opportunity,” said Campbell, who had two goals and four assists going into Saturday’s game. “This organization’s first class. They want to win. They’re doing everything in their power to win. No one expected a start like we had.

“There’s a lot of great pieces on this team. You look around the league, there’s a lot of things that are happening. No one expected certain teams to be where they are, whether it’s good or bad, that’s just how it goes in pro sports.

“Sometimes things go right, sometimes they don’t. But I’m inspired by the fact that they’re continuing to grow in Columbus, the hockey, the game’s growing and we’re going to be a good team.”

Tortorella sidelined

The Blue Jackets arrived into town without their coach, after John Tortorella was injured in a collision with Rene Bourque at the team’s outdoor practice Friday. Tortorella suffered two broken ribs and did not make the trip, as associate coach Craig Hartsburg was in charge of the team.

Hartsburg said he spoke with Tortorella on Saturday morning, and that the coach was still hurting.

“I talked to him briefly. He didn’t get much sleep. Really, basically said he can’t move,’’ said Hartsburg. “It’s a tough thing for him, obviously for us, but his health is the most important thing. Get him healthy and get him back.”

Plus Tortorella got to get his say about the lines and defensive pairings “while he was on the gurney,” Hartsburg said.

Asked about the injury, Bruins coach Claude Julien responded by knocking on a wooden table.

“That’s my answer right there,” he said. “There are always close calls. Was he wearing a helmet yesterday? He wasn’t, eh? Minor hockey coaches will wear helmets and then we’re too cool for that. But no, those things happen. When you’re on the ice every day and when you’re practicing, those kinds of things happen.

“I’ve had guys run into me and I’ve had to hang onto the boards or guys slipping and coming right at your feet. But I’ve never had, like I said, knock on wood, I’ve never been injured in the way Torts was yesterday.”

Pleased for Paille

Campbell was happy to see Paille was signed by the Rangers, playing his first game with New York on Friday after spending the season in the AHL. “He’s a good player,” Campbell said. “Obviously so much emphasis on speed nowadays and he’s one of the best skaters around. Surprised that he didn’t have an opportunity earlier on, but I’m really happy. He played 15 minutes last night, so good for him.” . . . Brett Connolly, Tyler Randell, and Colin Miller were the Bruins’ scratches.

Amalie Benjamin can be reached at abenjamin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @amaliebenjamin.