Bruins acquire Connolly, Talbot at trade deadline

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2015, file photo, Tampa Bay Lightning's Brett Connolly celebrates his goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal. The Boston Bruins have acquired Connolly from the Lightning for second-round draft picks this year and next. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2015, file photo, Tampa Bay Lightning's Brett Connolly celebrates his goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal. The Boston Bruins have acquired Connolly from the Lightning for second-round draft picks this year and next. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Determined to protect their playoff spot, the Boston Bruins have added more offense and grit up front.

Boston acquired forwards Maxime Talbot and Paul Carey from Colorado at the NHL trade deadline Monday, not long after picking up forward Brett Connolly from Tampa Bay.

The Bruins also got forward Zack Phillips from the Minnesota Wild for forward Jared Knight in a swap of minor leaguers.

Boston sent forward Jordan Caron and the Bruins’ sixth-round pick next year to the Avalanche. The Lightning will get the Bruins’ second-round picks this year and next.

Connolly has 12 goals, three assists and 38 penalty minutes in 50 games for the Lightning this season.

General manager Peter Chiarelli wanted to upgrade his offense but also acquire a player the Bruins could control for a few seasons. Connolly is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer.

“I see a top-six forward,” Chiarelli said during a news conference at TD Garden. “And if you look at all his goals, he’s a shooter. He’s a shooter first. He’s a net-front guy. He’ll go and get goals at the top of the blue (paint). He’s a rangy guy. He makes plays, but he’s a shoot-first guy. I really like his release. And he’s young and he’s growing and he’s going to be a top-six player.”

The 22-year-old Connolly was drafted sixth overall in 2010. He has 18 goals and 14 assists in 134 NHL games.

Tampa Bay’s depth at right wing limited Connolly’s opportunities to contribute more and also made him expendable for the Lightning, who are second in the Atlantic Division.

“Yeah, for sure, I think I’m going to get a little bit more of an opportunity in Boston,” Connolly said on a conference call. “Obviously, we had a deep forward group in Tampa. So again, I’ve very excited to get to Boston and find out my role and meet the guys and kind of settle in.”

The 31-year-old Talbot had five goals and 10 assists for the Avalanche, who were eight points out of a playoff spot Monday. He has 84 games of NHL playoff experience, including 24 games in 2008-09 for the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Talbot is most famous for scoring both goals in the Penguins’ 2-1 win over Detroit in Game 7 of the Cup finals.

“He’s excited to come here,” Chiarelli said. “I would characterize him as a glue guy. He’s played in a lot of playoffs. Plays all three (forward) positions. He’s a gritty guy. Plays all out. And we believe he’s a good add to our forward group.”

The Bruins entered Monday eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Florida in the race for the final playoff spot.

“We’ve tried to improve the team. We feel we’ve improved the team, and we hope for a good run coming up,” Chiarelli said.

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