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The First Noel

Congratulations to Noel Acciari for notching his first NHL goal!

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NHL: Nashville Predators at Boston Bruins
It wasn’t all fun and games for Noel Acciari, though
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

An almost Julienesque attention to defense and a solid night by Tuukka Rask sent the Predators packing last evening.

  • Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci led the early scoring, and the Bruins defended the lead until the third period. Noel Acciari answered the lone Predators goal with his first NHL tally, and David Backes’ empty netter sealed it. Boston Globe
  • David Pastrnak was unable to contain his happiness for Acciari, and waited until the cameras were on the goal scorer to congratulate him properly. (With video) NESN
  • Don’t worry about Rask, he dialed it up for the Predators’ third period assault, and looked sharp doing it. Still, the whispers about him continue. Boston Globe
  • Rask doesn’t listen to critics, but does listen to his coach. Bruins Daily
  • Whispers that Krejci might be ailing were put to rest. WEEI And did you see that Pastrnak pirouette? Gfycat, via Reddit
  • How ‘bout that fourth line? Riley Nash, Dominic Moore, and Noel Acciari have been providing that proverbial grit and now contribute scoring, too. WEEI
  • The win keeps the Bruins in the playoff mix. Poor Zane McIntyre was called up for the game only to be returned to Providence at the first intermission. TSN
  • Bruce Cassidy sat for a quick Q & A. He comes from knowing many of his players well from their AHL Bruins days as well as having assisted Claude Julien in Boston. How is his team is attacking the final games of the season? NHL

Elsewhere around the rink:

  • The NHL’s official stance on the brain injury/CTE connection is that there is none. That might explain why the league does not support research, and raises questions as to whether or not this affects their decisions on discipline and applying the concussion protocol. TSN
  • Paul Kariya, who has a dog in this fight, apparently questions the same things. NBC Sports
  • In the playoffs, there are a dozen types of matchups that contenders face. Sean McIndoe explains. Sportsnet
  • Speaking of playoff streaks, both the Red Wings and the Oilers have broken one, but for different reasons. Sportsnet
  • NHL teams leading in Corsi have not seen that translate into playoff berths this season. What gives? The Star
  • From the bowels of the Toronto Public Library, this photo depicts a nice how-de-do from Gordie Howe to the Soviet Union’ s Alexander Gusev, ca. 1974. Toronto Public Library, via Reddit