Game Recap: Bruins Beat Devils 5-1

Image result for bruins vs new jersey devils;(Photo Credits: Steven Ryan | Getty Images)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

The Bruins quickly turned the heat up in New Jersey after a quiet first period that saw Patrice Bergeron score his 29th goal of the season (his first of the night). With nine games left in the regular season, Boston continues to rack up points and with the win against the last-place Devils, they extend their lead for second place in the Atlantic Division. The first line alone combined for eight points tonight.

Bruins starting line-up:

Heinen-Kuraly-Wagner

Marchand-Bergeron-Past

DeBrusk-Krejci-Coyle

Nordstrom-Acciari-Backes

Clifton-Carlo

Chara- McAvoy

Moore-Kampfer

Rask

 

New Jersey Devils starting line-up

Pietila – Zacha – Stafford

Coleman-Zajac-Noesen

Agostino-Rooney-Anderson

Carrick – Santini

Green-Severson

Yakovlev-Jacobs

Schneider

 

QUICK GAME NOTES:

Josh Jacobs makes his NHL debut tonight with New Jersey. Bruins John Moore returns to his old stomping grounds, after playing for New Jersey three seasons. Captain Zdeno Chara still looking to score his 200th career NHL goal.

GAME RECAP

With both teams tallying up an even amount of shots on goal in the first, the boys in Black and Gold would set the tone of the game after a beautiful snapshot goal by Patrice Bergeron at 18:34 in the first period. Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara would hustle up the ice sending a crossfeed pass to David Pastrnak, who banked a deflected shot on goal. In a failed attempt to nudge the loose puck past Schneider, Brad Marchand quickly scooped it up, sending it to Pastrnak who in turn found an open Bergeron in front of the net, firing it past Schneider.

SCORE END OF THE FIRST PERIOD: 1-0 BRUINS

With a late goal in the first period, the Bruins never looked back as they continued to create chances in front of the net down New Jersey’s end.  After a face-off win, Marchand would feed the puck to his linemate and at 12:58 in the second, David Pastrnak netted his first goal since returning from thumb surgery (and his 32nd of the season).

In their lone goal of the night, New Jersey’s  Drew Stafford would get the Devils on the board as Pavel Zacha intercepted a pass by Jake DeBrusk,  beating Tuukka Rask on the net, making the score 2-1 Bruins.

Photo Credits: Maddie Meyer-Getty Images)

SCORE END OF THE SECOND PERIOD 2-1 BRUINS

Sean Kuraly would take a slap shot from Jersey’s Steven Santini, sending Danton Heinen and Chris Wagner on a 2-1. Heninen would score off a wrist shot 29 seconds into the third, giving the Bruins a nice cushioned 3-1 lead.  Kuraly, unfortunately, did not return to the game.

As the third period came to a close, Patrice Bergeron would net his 30th goal of the season on an empty net at 18:42, making the score 4-1.  With Cory Schneider back in net, David Backes would score off a redirect, making the final score 5-1.

END OF REGULATION: BRUINS: 5  DEVILS: 1

TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL: BRUINS: 27  DEVILS: 22

Cory Schneider made 22 saves for the Devils. The Bruins have a six-point lead over Toronto and will continue their four-game road trip as they head down to Florida. New Jersey has been mathematically eliminated from the Playoffs. Boston now improves to 45-20-9 and are at 99 points.  New Jersey fell to 27-39-9.

NEXT GAME:  BRUINS VS FLORIDA, Saturday 23rd with puck drop at 7:00 PM, BB&T Center.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins Sean Kuraly Leaves Game With Apparent Hand Injury

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Yahoo Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

Boston Bruins forward Sean Kuraly left Thursday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils and only returned for a brief time before leaving for the tunnel once again for the remainder of the third period.

Kuraly’s injury came almost immediately off of the opening faceoff to begin the third period of play. The Devils had early zone control to begin the frame, feeding the puck around the zone before defenseman Steven Santini bombs a one-timer slapshot towards Tuukka Rask, however, it rockets off of what looks to be Sean Kuraly’s right hand.

The puck bounced off of Kuraly and fell right to Danton Heinen’s stick. Heinen, catching the Devils off guard, bolted down the ice towards New Jersey goaltender Corey Schneider, ripping a clean wrist shot past the 33-year-old netminder for his tenth goal of the 2018-19 season. In the process, Kuraly picks up his 13th assist on the season, but not in the way he or management wants.

Sean Kuraly has been one of the most surprising players for the Boston Bruins this year, which is why I had him on my list for possible players to win the Bruins’ annual 7th Player Award for the 2018-2019 regular season. Him, alongside linemates Noel Acciari and Chris Wagner have come from being considered a normal fourth line to a threat for all opposing teams.

For more games than originally expected before the season started back in October, Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy has started the line against the best lines that teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs have to offer. Kuraly, often in the middle of the best scoring chances and rushes, has the hard-working, never-give-up mentality that truly makes a player succeed when they don’t have the skill as a Patrice Bergeron or David Pastrnak may have.

Kuraly has eight goals and thirteen assists, breaking his previous career-high of six goals and eight assists that he hit in four more games in last season, the 2017-18 campaign. Within those eight goals scored, Kuraly has three game-winning goals including the winning goal late in the third period to secure a Winter Classic victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on January 1st, 2019.

The 26-year-old forward has been solid on the faceoff dot as well, winning 282 of the 524 faceoffs he took prior to tonight’s game versus the Devils, a 54% winning percentage. That alone is a big asset and value to a team. Winning faceoffs may not seem like a big deal, but Bergeron will be proof that it is needed for a good team.

As the weeks and days close in on the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins need guys like Sean Kuraly in the lineup for the often gruelling seven-game series against the Maple Leafs. He may not be a massive goal scorer or point producer, but his non-stop energy brings something to this Bruins roster, (yes, the one that now has 99 points on the season), that is different from anyone else.

At this current moment, no word has been made on Kuraly’s injury suffered tonight. For a brief time following the blocked shot, he returned to the ice but went back down the tunnel. Kuraly missed time earlier in the year due to concussion protocol and a nose procedure that caused him to wear his infamous “fishbowl”.

Stay locked on the blackngoldhockey.com for any updates and news on Sean Kuraly’s injury as we know more. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj for updates as well. We will most likely here of something once Bruce Cassidy has his post-game interviews.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Recap: 3/20 vs Laval

( Photo Courtesy: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Sam Fryman | Follow me on Twitter @sfryman20

With the season winding down, the Bruins took to the road to face the Laval Rocket for the first time in Bell Place. Laval didn’t have too much to play for apart from pride with 12 games remaining, but that didn’t stop them from giving Providence a significant challenge in their playoff push.

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First Period:

Both teams started the night with some early power plays but could not convert many shots towards the net. At the 11:02 mark of the period, Stuart Percy sent in a great shot for the blue line to give Providence a lead. It was Percy’s third goal of the season and his first as a member of the Bruins. For the rest of the period, Zane McIntyre was instrumental in keeping the lead intact as the Rocket outshot the Bruins 11-5.S

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Score: 1-0 Bruins

Second Period:

The second period began with a great chance from Gemel Smith that was denied in the low slot. Shortly after, Daniel Audette netted his 13th of the season for Laval by backhanding in a loose puck in the crease. Providence wouldn’t let the game stay tied for long. With Alex Alain in the box for holding, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson sniped a shot through traffic to put the Bruins back on top. Cooper Zech also picked up his first career AHL point on the assist.

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Score: 2-1 Bruins

Third Period:

The third period began on the man advantage for the Bruins, and throughout the period they had an abundance of close calls to pull away on the scoreboard. With just under five minutes to go in regulation, Cale Fleury netted a solid backhander to tie the game once again at two. The tally would send the game to overtime with both teams looking to get a critical extra point.

Score: 2-2

Overtime provided some great back and forth action, but only three combined shots registered on net forcing the game to be decided by the skills in a shootout. After an extended eight-round shootout, Hunter Shinkaruk finally ended the game in favor of Laval. The Bruins get a day off to travel and rest back home before they take on the Belleville Senators for the first time this month.

Final: 3-2 Laval

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Bruins AHL Affiliate: Providence Bruins Week 24 Preview

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( Photo Courtesy of Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Week 24 of the AHL season is upon us, and the Providence Bruins skate into it 32-22-8-3 (75 points) and 4-3-1-2 in their last 10 games. This is good for fourth in the Atlantic Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. Even though the Baby B’s sit firmly in a playoff spot, with a little help they could move up in the standings if they have a good weekend. With only 11 games left in the regular season, now is the time for our boys in black and gold to make their big push in the playoff standings. The weekend hopes to be fruitful as the Providence club comes home for two games before embarking on another three-game road trip.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, March 22, 2019, when the Belleville Senators invade the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The hockey action continues Saturday, March 23, 2019, when Binghamton Devils roll into town hoping to conjure up a W at the Dunk. After the weekend of home cooking, the Providence Bruins head out on the highway and take on the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. It should be an exciting weekend of hockey that you are not going to want to miss.

Friday, March 22, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Belleville Senators (HOME)

The Friday showdown will mark the second time the Bruins take on Belleville this season. The Senators are in the North Division, so because of that they only play each other twice a year once at home and once on the road. In the first match-up, the Bruins fell 3-2 getting goals from Connor Clifton and Zach Senyshyn. Goalie Dan Vladar was adequate in net turning away 20 of the 23 shots that were fired his way. The Belleville Senators come into the match-up 33-25-3-5 (74 points) and 6-2-1-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for fourth in the North Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Over the past five seasons, the two teams have not played each other very much because of being in different divisions, but the baby B’s are 1-1-1 against the Ottawa affiliate in that time frame.

As with most games, situational scoring is going to be very important to whoever wins this game. When leading after two periods, the Belleville Senators are 23-0-0-1. Meanwhile, when losing after two periods, the Ottawa affiliate is 5-21-0-2. The Providence Bruins, on the other hand, are 25-3-2-2 when they have a lead after the second period, and a record of 4-18-3 when down after two. Speaking of situational scoring, special teams will also play a major role in the game. The Sens have a power play percentage of 19.2% this is good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. They’ve scored 53 power play goals and 211 goals overall on the season. This means 25.1% of their goals have come with the man advantage. On top of that, they’ve only given up three shorthanded goals on the year. Meanwhile, the Baby B’s have the third-best penalty kill in the Eastern Conference at 85.7% and have scored 10 shorthanded goals, which is fifth in the East.

The Boston affiliate, meanwhile, has a power play percentage of 17.2% which is good for 12th in the East. They’ve also given up the second most shorthanded goals in the East at 13. The Senators’ penalty kill is at 75.9% this is last in the Eastern Conference, and they’ve had eight shorthanded goals. If the Bruins can manipulate these scoring situations in their favor, they will have a fantastic chance of coming out of this game with a victory. With the Belleville hockey club sitting in eighth place in the conference, a win here would absolutely help pad the lead the baby B’s have over them.

Saturday, March 23, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Binghamton Devils (HOME)

The Saturday battle marks the second time the Bruins have played the Devils this season. The first match-up saw the Binghamton hockey club come out on top 6-3 with the Bruins getting goals from Connor Clifton, Gemel Smith, and Anton Blidh. Goalie Zane McIntyre had a game that he would probably like to forget stopping 17 of the 22 shots that were fired his way. Despite the bad game earlier this year, the baby B’s have had great success against the New Jersey affiliate over the past five years going 13-6-1-1 during that time span including 9-2 at the Dunk.

The Binghamton hockey club has had a rough go of it this year. They skate into the contest 24-35-6 (54 points) and 1-8-1 in their last 10 games. This is good for eighth in the North Division and 16th in the Eastern Conference. Team defense will be a major key in this game. The Binghamton Devils have given up 233 goals on the year. This is not only the worst in the Eastern Conference, but it is the worst in the entire AHL. This is 3.58 goals a game that they are giving up. Our boys in black and gold, on the other hand, have given up 181 goals on the season which is 2.76 goals a game. Only three other teams in the East have given up fewer goals on the year.

On the other side of the puck, the New Jersey affiliate has one of the worst offenses in the East scoring 170 goals on the year which is 2.61 goals a game. Meanwhile, the spoked P has scored 196 goals on the year which is 3.01 goals a game. These stats bode well for the Providence hockey club in this game. Despite the tough year, the Devils are 15-1-1 when they are leading after the second period. If the Bruins stingy defense can keep Binghamton from scoring, they have a fantastic chance of coming out on top.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019, Providence Bruins vs. Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins (AWAY)

The Wednesday match-up will mark the sixth time that these two teams have played each other, and Providence has had their way with the Pittsburgh affiliate thus far. The first battle saw the Bruins beat the Penguins 2-1 in overtime getting goals from the now departed Martin Bakos, and Ryan Fitzgerald (OT). Goalie Dan Vladar was superb in net denying 27 of the 28 shots that came his way. The second installment saw the Baby B’s route Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5-2 getting goals from the now traded Ryan Donato (2), Martin Bakos, Joel Messner, and Zach Senyshyn. Goalie Zane McIntyre was great in net stoning 20 of the 22 shots he faced.

The third match-up saw the boys in black and gold win 4-2 getting goals from Ryan Fitzgerald, Peter Cehlarik, Ryan Donato, and Jakub Zboril. Goal Zane McIntyre was excellent in net stopping 32 of the 34 shots that were fired his way. The fourth match-up saw the Bruins lost 2-1 in a shootout getting their goal from Chris Breen. Goalie Zane McIntyre was superb in net turning away 39 of the 40 shots that came his way. The most recent battle saw the Bruins fall 2-1 in overtime getting their lone goal from Ryan Fitzgerald. Goalie Zane McIntyre was great in net stoning 26 of the 28 shots that were fired his way.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins come into the game 30-23-7-3 (70 points) and 5-2-2-1 in their last 10 games played. This is good for fifth in the Atlantic Division and ninth in the Eastern Conference. The Providence Bruins have not only played extremely well against the Pittsburgh affiliate this year going 3-0-1-1, but over the past five seasons, the Baby B’s are 13-6-3-3. A major key for the boys in black and gold will be how their offense plays. The Penguins have given up a total of 185 goals on the year. Only four other teams in the Eastern Conference have given up less. Meanwhile, the Bruins have scored 196 goals this year which is the 11th most in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully, the offense is up to that task.

Special teams will also be a key in this game. The Providence Bruins are not only fourth in the Eastern Conference in goals given up with 181, but they are also third in penalty kill at 85.7%. That coupled with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton having the 13th ranked power play in the Eastern Conference at 17.0% means that if the spoked P can play their game and hold their ground, it bodes well for the overall outcome. Another major key for the Pittsburgh affiliate is whether they outshoot their opponent when they do, they are 18-14-2-2 but are 7-8-4-1 when being outshot. On the other side, the Baby B’s are 9-6-3-2 when being outshot and 21-14-5-1 when outshooting their foe.

Who’s hot and Who’s not for the Bruins

Hot

Jordan SzwarzThe Providence Bruins Captain has been very good all season. On the year, the veteran forward has found the back of the net 19 times while dishing out 16 assists for 35 total points and a point per game total of 0.60. This includes netting one goal and dishing out five assists for six points in his last seven games. The next goal that the OHL product scores will be his 20th on the year and it’ll be his third season in a row with Providence with 20+ goals on the year. Szwarz would be the fifth player in Providence Bruins history to do that. It’s something to look out for coming up.

Ryan Fitzgerald: Ryan Fitzgerald had found himself in the not category last week, but he’s slowly starting to find the rhythm he had at the beginning of the year. At the beginning of the year, the former Boston College Eagle was arguably the best forward for Providence. An injury partway through the season derailed his momentum, but he’s slowly starting to find his stride again. In 51 games he has found the back of the net eight times while dishing out 25 assists for 33 total points and a point per game total of 0.64. This includes netting one goal and dishing out three assists for four points in his last six games played. It’s nice to see the young forward find his scoring touch for the playoff push.

Not

Gemel Smith: Gemel Smith has been excellent since coming over to Boston in a trade with Dallas back in December. For a little while, it seemed like the OHL product found himself in the “hot” category every single week. Recently, it seems like the gritty forward has found his first real cold streak of the season. Over Smith’s last nine games he has found the back of the net once and dished out three assists for four total points. Despite the cold streak, in 37 games since joining the baby B’s he has netted 13 goals and dished out 18 assists for 31 total points and a point per game total of 0.83. Hopefully, as Providence gets closer to the playoffs, the young forward will find his scoring touch again.

Mark McNeill: Mark McNeill has proven to be streaky for Providence this season. Over his past 18 games, he’s registered three points dishing out three assists and has not scored a goal since January 26, 2019. This means the WHL product netted seven goals while dishing out 14 assists for 21 total points and a point per game total of 0.65. Since then his point per game total has plummeted to 0.48 (7-17-24 in 50 games played). Hopefully the gritty forward can find his scoring touch as the baby B’s push towards the playoffs.

My players to watch this weekend

Up Front

Zach SenyshynZach Senyshyn has proven to be very streaky for Providence this season. In 57 games this season he has netted 14 goals and dished out 10 assists for 24 total points and a point per game total of 0.42. Despite this, last weekend he scored his first goal since January 26, 2019. Sometimes, all you need is one to break the floodgates open and go on a scoring streak. I am hopeful that the young speedster is going to do just that and get back on a role. Though, many are disappointed that the young forward hasn’t gotten the opportunity to showcase his skills in Boston, if he sticks with it and continues to work hard it’ll be only a matter of time before that happens.

On the Blue Line

Cooper ZechCooper Zech recently signed a deal with Providence and played in his first professional games. In his first two games, he played around 20 minutes each game and looked very good. The 20-year-old defenseman comes to Providence from Ferris State as an undrafted college free agent. In his freshman season with Ferris State, he was the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association) top-scoring freshman, the top scoring freshman defenseman, WCHA Rookie of the Year, and the first freshman to lead Ferris State in scoring since 1987-88 netting 8 goals and dishing out 20 assists in 36 games played for the Bulldogs.  The former Bulldog also recorded his first point on Wednesday against Laval getting the primary assist on a goal. After the season he’s had, there certainly are some lofty expectations moving forward. Hopefully, he has a big weekend for Providence.

In Net

Zane McIntyre: Zane McIntyre has had an up and down season this year. On the year the veteran netminder has a record of 22-10-7 with a 2.51 goals against average and a save percentage of .901. The University of North Dakota alum has been a lot better at home than on the road this season, and when the Bruins went on their crazy point streak, he was a large reason for that. With two games at the Dunk, look for Zane to have a big weekend.

The Providence Bruins are currently sitting in playoff position by four points. A good weekend and they could pad that standing and possibly move up a spot in those standings. With 11 games remaining the team’s magic number is 20. The magic number is the number of points needed to clinch the playoff spot. The magic number goes down when it earns points either with victory, or overtime/shootout losses. The magic number also goes down when the team with the highest possible point total that isn’t currently in playoff position, loses. This means the baby B’s are sitting in a good position right now and can hopefully make that magic number dwindle down this weekend. We will catch up with you next week to let you know how the team fared but feel free to send any questions or comments to me on Twitter. I hope everyone enjoys the games this weekend and Go, B’s, Go!

Interested in going to a Providence Bruins or Boston Bruins game? Take a look at the upcoming schedule and ticket availability from our advertising partners over at SeatGiant. Click the links below and please use discount code BNGP to save a little cash! Thank You!

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Bruins Game 74 Preview: New Jersey Devils

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

After a big 5-0 win over the New York Islanders, the Bruins are right back at it with a game against the New Jersey Devils tonight in New Jersey. Boston is 7-3-0 in their last ten games and have won each of their last two meetings. Boston holds a four-point lead on the Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division with 97 points on the season.

The New Jersey Devils are nearly the exact opposite from the Bruins right now and it may come as a surprise to many considering where they were last season. The Devils are 2-7-1 in the last ten games and have lost two consecutive games including a 4-1 loss two days ago against the Capitals. New Jersey is 14th in the NHL’s Eastern Conference with a 27-38-9 record for 63 points on the year.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 25-10-5 2.39 GAA .917 SV% Last Game: 13 Saves in 5-0 Win vs NYI

NJD: Corey Schneider 5-11-3 3.13 GAA .901 SV% Last Game: 31 Saves in 3-0 Loss vs COL

Who’s Hot

Jake DeBrusk scored the fifth and final goal in Boston’s Tuesday night win over the Islanders and it has only been a continuation of his recent success, dating back to the games before his foot injury. In his last six games, DeBrusk has six points, four of which are goals and has been a consistent threat alongside David Krejci on the second-line. DeBrusk has 23-12-35 numbers in 59 games in 2018-19, eight short of his career-high of 43 that he reached last season.

Even though he has a record of 1-2-1 in his last four starts, goaltender Corey Schneider has not been extremely terrible in the past month or so for the Devils. On March 5th, he allowed one goal on 19 shots in an overtime loss to CBJ, allowed three goals on 43 shots in a loss to NYR on March 9th, allowed 3 goals on 39 shots against the Oilers on March 13th and more recently, allowed only two goals in the loss to the Avalanche. In each of those games, Schneider has been above a .923 save percentage while facing high numbers of shots against.

Patrice Bergeron has scored twelve points in his last 11 games played, including three points in the last two games combined. Bergeron has been great with Brad Marchand, which is no surprise given their long history of success with each other, but without Pastrnak on their right-wing, it has been a breath of fresh air to see him continue his production at such a rate. Patrice has 28 goals, 40 assists for 68 points in only 57 games and has a true chance to hit 70 points for the first time since the 2006-07 season (his 3rd NHL campaign).

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It is really hard to find any other positives for this New Jersey Devils team who has lost seven times in regulation over the last ten games. The Devils have only scored one goal in six consecutive periods this week and they have not shown any signs of scoring touch since losing Taylor Hall to injury and even before that.

Who’s Not

Kyle Palmieri does have the highest single-season point total of any Devil and the most points for him in the last three seasons, but without Hall in the lineup, he has the responsibility of carrying the offensive needs of the team going forward. Palmieri has only two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in the past eight contests and that is just not good enough for the 28-year-old forward.

In the last 13 games, Bruins forward David Backes only has two points for the Black and Gold and has not scored a goal of his own since January 17th versus the St. Louis Blues – an outstanding twenty-two games without a goal. Making $6 million a year, Backes needs to add more production on the Bruins bottom-six as we close into the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The plus/minus statistic is not the most reliable stat nor does it provide an image of how well that player is doing, but when a player has a -21 rating on the season, that does show an issue and paints a problem somewhere on the team or the player individually. Damon Severson has a -21 rating and was on the ice for all three goals against the Avalanche and has zero points in the last three games played.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Paul Carey is one game away (99) from 100 career NHL games
  • D Zdeno Chara is one goal away (199) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (25) from passing Rick Middleton (25) for sole possession of most SHG in Bruins history

New Jersey Devils:

  • F Travis Zajac is one goal away (184) from tying Kirk Muller (185) form 5th most goals in Devils history

Bruins vs Devils Outlook

Tonight’s contest will be the third game between the Bruins and the Devils this season and it will also be the last one. Currently, the two teams are tied in the season series with a victory each. On December 27th, the Devils won by a score of 5-2, but the Bruins returned the favor earlier this month with a 1-0 win on home ice with Brad Marchand scoring the game’s only goal in his 666th career NHL game.

Power-Play:

BOS: 26.2% (3nd in NHL)

NJD: 17.5% (20th in NHL)

Penalty-Kill:

BOS: 81.3% (10th in NHL)

NJD: 84% (4th in NHL)

Puck drop is scheduled 7pm EST from Newark, New Jersey in the Prudential Center.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins Reportedly Among Suitors For Undrafted Free Agent Justin Brazeau

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(Photo Credit: Tom Martineau / BayToday.ca)

By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Reports surfaced yesterday about several teams around the National Hockey League that are interested in Justin Brazeau, an undrafted free agent currently with the North Bay Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League. Among those teams? The Boston Bruins and general manager Don Sweeney. TSN’s Darren Dreger had the scoop during TSN’s “Insider Trading” in addition to a tweet from Bruins Network earlier yesterday:

Dreger mentioned that the other teams aside from Boston included: the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Vegas Golden Knights, the St. Louis Blues, and the Nashville Predators. It is no wonder so many teams are interested; North Bay’s captain has been absolutely dominant, to say the least, this season as a fourth-year OHLer with 61 goals and 52 assists for 113 points through 68 regular season games played this season (yes, you read that right).

His 61 goals led the entire OHL in the regular season while his 113 points were the second-most among OHL skaters. Additionally, Brazeau registered 314 shots on goal, third-highest in the league.

Brazeau has seemingly been building towards a career season like this throughout his time in the OHL, too. In his rookie season as an 18-year-old, Brazeau had totals of 6/7/13 through 65 games played. In 67 games during his sophomore campaign, the then 19-year-old bested his previous marks with totals of 22/15/37. Just last season at age 20, the New Liskeard, Ontario native posted point per game numbers with 39/36/75 in 68 games played. For those of you keeping score at home, Brazeau has 128 goals and 238 points in 268 OHL contests on his career.

Production aside, take a look at the size of this kid: 6-foot-6, 225 pounds. Safe to say that Brazeau, 21, is an absolute moose on the ice. The power forward plays a heavy game and has obviously produced a ton in the last two seasons. With so many teams worried about having to deal with players like Tom Wilson, it is quite obvious why there is a good amount of interest in the right-shot right-winger.

The one knock on Brazeau’s game seems to be that he is not necessarily the strongest skater. However, the forward has been able to use his size to his advantage wonderfully between his reach and physicality.

While the number of teams reportedly interested in Brazeau certainly is not shocking by any stretch of the imagination, the Bruins’ competition in the sweepstakes could be even stiffer. This is due to the fact that Brazeau had participated in the Blue Jackets’ development camp back in 2017, as well as the San Jose Sharks’ 2018 development camp; although, the Sharks were not among the teams mentioned by Dreger.

Dreger also noted that in a perfect world, these teams would ink Brazeau to an AHL deal; however, considering his production and the positions these teams are in (all headed to the playoffs in all probability), the winger is looking for an entry-level NHL contract.

“There will be five to seven teams at Thursday’s game when they [North Bay] open the playoffs against Niagra,” Dreger said. As fans may know, one of the Bruins’ prized prospects, Jack Studnicka, who has also had himself a fine season in the OHL, plays for the Niagra Ice Dogs, North Bay’s first-round opponent. So the matchup between Studnicka and Brazeau will certainly be an interesting one to watch.

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Bruins Marchand Voted Best/Worst Trash Talker in NHL

620-marchand.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (cbc.ca)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

As announced today, March 20th, 2019, the NHL Player’s Association (NHLPA) voted Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand the best and somehow, worst trash talker in the National Hockey League. Over 500 current NHL players participated in the voting process and it is meant to add some fun awards to the league.

The NHLPA Player Poll has been in the running for the past two seasons and it covers a variety of different categories – all of which voted on by the player body. Below are some of the winners from the 2018-19 season.

  • Best Forward – EDM Connor McDavid
  • Best Defenceman – TBL Victor Hedman
  • Best Goalie – MTL Carey Price
  • Best Shot – WSH Alex Ovechkin
  • Best Female Player – CWHL Hilary Knight
  • Best Arena Atmosphere – T-Mobile Arena (Vegas Golden Knights)
  • Best Ice – Bell Centre (Montreal Canadiens)
  • Best Team Mascot – Gritty (Philadelphia Flyers)

And many more. For a full list of all the winners – CLICK HERE.

Back to Boston – Brad Marchand took home two winning awards from this voting event. Marchand won the best trash talker, earning 21.3% of the votes, beating out Drew Doughty (11.8%), Ryan Reaves (5.5%), Claude Giroux (4.8%) and Nick Cousins (3.3%). Somehow, Marchand also won the complete opposite of that award – the worst trash talker in the league, receiving 12.5% of the votes, ahead of Antoine Roussel (5.5%), P.K. Subban (5.1%), Nick Cousins (4.7%), and Brendan Lemieux (3.5%).

We all have a good idea on what exactly goes on the ice, even though we don’t get the mics on the players for every game. Although, that would be an interesting addition to the sport. Nonetheless, Marchand seems to be in the thick of things with words flying from his lips to the biggest or smallest of players in the league today. Brad has used this asset for exactly that – an asset.

In a meaningful game for a playoff position or a game against a heated rival like the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Flyers, etc., Marchand is able to stir the pot and get under the opposing team’s skin – hoping to get them off their game. In the past, Marchand has not been great with keeping this contained, as suspensions and fines, (with many, many warnings), have piled up. This season, however, the 30-year-old Marchand has not, (*knock on wood*), been handed a single suspension – not one and has gone on to set a new career-high in points.

Funny enough, Brad Marchand is not only good (or bad) at trash talking his opponents, but he has a fun time poking fun at fellow Bruin teammates. Bruins defenseman Torey Krug is one of Marchand’s main guys to have a little fun with on social media, especially on Twitter. Brad likes to make fun of Krug’s height which ironically, is the same as Marchand according to Hockey Reference. Here are a few of those gems.

Don’t worry though, Krug has had his fair share to return to Marchand on Twitter.

The friendly fire between Krug and Marchand is just a testament to how close this team has become over the past few years of success and even failure. Just this little back and forth banter between two of the most important players on the team right now shows that this team is more like a family and that is crucial come playoff time.

Aside from Marchand’s dual awards, the Bruins were in the running for a couple other ones as well, but just fell short. Forward Patrice Bergeron received 9.2% of the votes for the most difficult player to play against, finishing third behind McDavid (30.9%) and Crosby (16.0%). That’s not it as Bergeron was also voted 4th in the “Player You Would Start a Franchise With”, getting 1.7% of the votes for him, behind McDavid (60%), Crosby (18.5%) and Matthews (4.3%).

With the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs right around the corner, it is a nice little reminder that the players do enjoy their share of fun and games in these final few weeks of the regular season. Were these awards correct in your eyes or did the players get something wrong? Let me know on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj!

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Bruins, Chara Answer The Bell

Image result for bruins islanders chara fight(Photo Credit: NBS Sports)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

“For Whom The Bell Tolls…”

Well, according to heady British poet & author John Donne, “it tolls for thee.” But if you ask punched-in-the-head(y) pugilist & Islander Matt Martin, it tolls for Zee. As in Big Z. As in Bruins Captain and former NYI wunderkind Zdeno Chara. And boy did he, and the Bruins, ever answer the bell — in a BIG way — against their 1st-place pals in the Metro Division to kickoff their Spring season.

As the B’s fearless leader recapped in his post-game interview, “we made some strong plays… and our specialty teams were also strong.” Very well said for arguably the strongest guy on the ice on a nightly basis (definitely, at least, this knuckled-up night). However, putting brute physicality & force aside, it’s a different kind of strength displayed by both Chara and his teammates that I found impressive. One that even the aforementioned Mr. Donne would equally tip his cornered hat to, hence why I’ll be waxing poetic with his eponymous words about it for the remainder of this postured post of puck prose.

“No Man Is An Island…”

Definitely not on this Bruins team. And definitely not against the Islanders (even though they were playing for an “island”). Because Boston’s strength, as I just alluded to, is truly in their numbers — i.e. EVERYONE is buying into what B’s management and the coaching staff, particularly head coach Bruce Cassidy, have been preaching since key players went down with untimely injuries earlier in the season: “be the next man up.”

And even as the injury bug piled up over the last month and a half, the next man did step up — individual statistics aside. Sometimes that came in the form of versatile veterans spelling some struggling youngsters for a game or two (namely Lee Stempniak and Paul Carey, like them or hate them). Other times it was the exact opposite, with eager Baby B’s jumping back into the mix (your Trent Frederics and Connor Cliftons) to relieve the pressure of the recognizable names still needing recovery time. Thankfully, as we’re finding out, almost all are ready to return to the line-up soon, with an order of Pasta finally seen on the Bruins’ menu (with a side of splint)!

No matter who was wearing the Black N’ Gold proudly over that injury-riddled time span, though, the result was the same: the Bruins were always competing, always fighting, always exhibiting a team strength & unity where no man truly felt like “an island” having to do it all (unless of course you were Matt Martin and you had fisticuffs with Zdeno Chara).

“Each Is… A Part Of The Main”

Mainly, I can’t think of a better way to accurately describe how the B’s are accomplishing all that they are right now. To quote NESN’s Jack Edwards, who ever-so-eloquently performs a form of poetic lyricism every time he calls a game, “if you would have told me the Bruins would be where they are in the standings [after Patrice Bergeron & Zdeno Chara went down on back to back days earlier this season]… I’d have been dead wrong!” Wouldn’t we all have been.

Yet, thanks to the every part is a valuable part mentality with which the B’s operate, there’s more than enough room on Edwards’ bandwagon for new friends & old returnees, as he likes to tweet, to get behind what’s currently (and Kuraly) happening in Boston. One needs to look no further than No. 52’s constructive comments following his 2-goal performance on Long Island, in particular: “I think we just try to stick to our game… our leadership, we just wanted to keep comin’ and keep playing hard.” Wise words, indeed!

“It Tolls For Thee.”

In conclusion, it all comes full circle back to that leadership Kuraly talked about. Be it Big Z’s big fight or Bergy’s big goal or the big shift from the Backes/Acciari/Nordstrom line that showcased not only toughness & talent, but also skill & skate savvy — aspects of every players’ game, in fact, that featured in this statement victory.

Speaking of statements, the whole point of Donne’s poem was to illustrate the interconnectedness of mankind — that if we’re all in it together, it doesn’t matter in the end who answers the proverbial bell, because (in the end) it will eventually toll for all of us. If we apply that same prescient & poetic philosophy to the 2018-2019 Bruins–a team very much interconnected in all the right ways–then here’s what you can expect: an exTOLLing of praise come playoff time.

That’s one bell well worth answering!

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston @ New York: 3/19/19

New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner (40) drops to make a save against Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) during third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. The Bruins defeated the Islanders 3-1. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(Photo Credit: Charles Krupa, Associated Press)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: New York Islanders

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Coyle

Heinen – Kuraly – Wagner

Nordstrom – Acciari – Backes

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Clifton – Carlo

Moore – Kampfer

Goalies

Rask

Halak

New York’s Lineup

Forwards

Lee – Barzal – Eberle

Beauvillier – Nelson – Ladd

Bailey – Filppula – Komarov

Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck

Defense

Leddy –  Mayfield

Pelech – Pulock

Hickey – Toews

Goalies

Lehner

Greiss

First Period

Bruins fans rejoiced as David Pastrnak made his long-awaited return in this one. It didn’t take long for the scoring to begin, as it wasn’t Pastrnak, but rather Sean Kuraly who put the Bruins ahead just a minute and 12 seconds into the game. Kuraly’s first in 23 games and seventh of the season was assisted by Charlie McAvoy (19).

The Bruins dominated early on when it came to creating offense through the neutral zone and good shot attempts. Despite the Bruins holding significant control of the game for much of the period, they were ahead by just a goal after one. Sean Kuraly especially, even outside of his goal was buzzing in a strong first period as a unit. Shots were heavily in the Bruins favor at 14-2, in part thanks to six Islanders giveaways.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

The action picked up early again in the second period when Zdeno Chara and Matt Martin squared off with one another. Chara’s first fight as a 42-year-old. With a hefty advantage when it comes to his wingspan and physical frame, Chara got the better of Martin in the fight for the most part, but Martin definitely got some good shots in. Per TSN StatsCentre, Chara is the first player of 42 or more years of age to earn a fighting major since Mark Recchi in 2010, ironically enough, while Recchi was on the Bruins.

The bottom-six continued to show up on the scoresheet. This time it was Noel Acciari getting on the board. He kept his head up, pounced on a turnover by Cal Clutterbuck, and quickly buried it to give the Bruins the two-goal lead.

The Islanders couldn’t really get anything established consistently for the majority of the first half of the game. It was all Bruins. An opportunity did come in the form of a power play for them when Pastrnak went off for 12:33 for high sticking, but they failed to convert on it.

Tuukka Rask made his first big save due to a lack of shots about 11 and a half minutes into the period. Kuraly potted another one late in the period for his second. Last time he buried two goals in a game was against Ottawa in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. His eighth goal of the season was assisted by Danton Heinen (21).

Soon after the goal, a power play ensued for the Bruins. No dice before the end of the period though. For what it’s worth, Pastrnak played 10:26 through the first two periods. 24-8 were the shots at the end of two in favor of the Bruins overall, 10-6 in the second period.

Score: 3-0 Boston

Third Period

Things took a little longer to get going in the third compared to the first two periods. Patrice Bergeron got things going this time. I can’t remember the last time the first three goals of a Bruins game were scored by bottom-six forwards. John Moore (8) and Joakim Nordstrom (4) had the assists.

Jake DeBrusk then took a penalty not too long after for hooking. The Islanders didn’t score on the power play, and then DeBrusk scored his 23rd goal of the season on a breakaway out of the box.

The final shots were 39-13 Bruins, and 15-5 in the third period. This was a blowout through and through and a statement road win to start the four-game road trip. Next up for the Bruins are the Devils at 7 PM on the road on Thursday.

Final Score: 5-0 Boston

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Bear Trap? The Bruins’ Schedule This Week Will Test Them In a Few Ways

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( Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/ Getty Images )

By: Cam McCusker | Follow Me On Twitter @CSthinks

Up and Away

With the Bruins embarking on a four-game road trip on which they play four games in seven days between Tuesday and Saturday, they will be tested in more ways than one. While certainly, their playoff status is all but a foregone conclusion, the Bruins remaining ten games of the season will have an effect on whether or not they finish above Toronto and have home-ice for the first round of the postseason. As things stand, it is their advantage to lose.

Hurts so Good

In addition to the on-ice contests that see them face-off against the Islanders, Devils, Panthers, and Lightning, the Bruins will be tasked with playing consecutive road games with a lineup that is in flux. Bruins continue to come back from injury, which despite being a primarily positive thing, it does take away a level of consistency from the lineup.

 

Ambien Teams

To add another level of difficulty to the Bruins’ forthcoming stretch of hockey, their first and fourth games of the trip serve as the fancy playoff bread in a spam sandwich that features New Jersey and Florida as the middle (in that they are a substitute for playoff teams). That was not a good metaphor. But I have a tendency to write around lunchtime, my stomach is doing most of the talking here. The point is that the Bruins begin and end their stretch with games against strong, playoff-caliber teams, and in between these contests are slated to face off against two clubs whose playoff chances are six feet under.

While their game against the Islanders shouldn’t prove to be difficult to get excited for, their games against NJ and FLA are a bit more concerning. The Bruins have at times this season showed an inability to bring their best effort against lesser teams. Both New Jersey and Florida fall into this category that I’ll refer to as “Ambien Teams,” because they seem to have the effect of lulling the Bruins to sleep, and bringing them down to their level of play and intensity.

Rude Awakening

Should the Bruins play down to the level of the Devils and Panthers, then they will be passing up crucial opportunities to gain points and maintain their status as the two-seed in the Atlantic.

However, in the hopefully likely event that they do end up winning these two games, and even if they play well in those games, the Bruins are then thrust right back into a showdown with the President’s Trophy frontrunners in Tampa Bay.

While the Bruins are, in my opinion, the best matchup for Tampa in terms of skill (when healthy) and depth (when healthy), it is a daunting task to bring playoff-level intensity after playing in New Jersey and Florida. While the Black and Gold will have a day or two in Florida to relax and prepare for their contest against the Bolts, that does not negate the difficulty of playing on the road against the current Stanley Cup favorite.

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Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/ Getty Images

Perfect Storm

This road trip could be a huge positive to begin the last three weeks of the season for the Bruins, or it could turn out to be a setback and a reality check for an ailing squad. It’s my hope and my expectation that the B’s will play a strong style of hockey throughout the road trip, and that they will only improve as more of their injured compatriots return to the lineup.

But the combination of road games, lineup inconsistency, trap games, and stiff competition make this road trip one that will likely show what the Bruins are made of.

Let’s all make sure to overreact to every occurrence in the meantime.

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