Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. St. Louis: 1/17/19

Image result for bruins blues

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: St. Louis Blues

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Cehlarik

Wagner – Kuraly – Backes

Donato – JFK – Heinen

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Moore – Miller

Goalies

Rask

Halak

St. Louis’ Lineup

Forwards

Schwartz – Schenn – Tarasenko

Kyrou – O’Reilly – Perron

Fabbri – Sundqvist – Maroon

Gunnarsson – Barbashev – Blais

Defense

Edmundson – Pietrangelo

Bouwmeester – Parayko

Dunn – Bortuzzo

Goalies

Allen

Binnington

First Period

At one point winners of five of six games to start the new year, the Bruins now find themselves losers of their last two. A chance stood in front of them to avoid extending their losing skid against a St. Louis Blues team that has had a turbulent season.

Just over a minute and a half into the game, Jake DeBrusk redirected a feed from David Krejci within centimeters of squeaking under Jake Allen’s pad and in. Other than that, it was a pretty black and white start to the game until things got interesting when David Pastrnak went off for two thanks to a high sticking penalty. The Bruins killed the penalty and kept this one scoreless for the time being.

Zdeno Chara fought for the first time since March 1st of last season against Jamie Oleksiak, this time against Patrick Maroon.

It was a fairly quiet period overall. The Bruins outshot the Blues 10-8. Momentum was surely up-for-grabs headed into the second period.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Peter Cehlarik found himself in the box early on in the period for tripping. St. Louis didn’t convert on the power play but Torey Krug converted at even strength off of a crazy feed from Krejci shortly after penalty concluded. Krug’s fifth of the season was assisted by Krejci (28) and Cehlarik (1).

Just 52 seconds later, Tuukka Rask made a fantastic sprawling save on Ryan O’Reilly, but couldn’t corral the rebound and O’Reilly tied the game at one. St. Louis got the next one thanks to Carl Gunnarsson with 6:24 remaining in the period – 2-1 Blues.

Shortly after, Robert Bortuzzo went to the box for cross-checking. The Bruins took full advantage of being a man up. Zdeno Chara sent a cannon at Allen that was tipped by former St. Louis Blues captain David Backes as he was being knocked over. Backes’ fifth goal of the season was assisted by Chara (3) and Krejci (29). Two assists for Krejci on the night.

Chris Wagner went to the box for tripping not too long after the goal. With 29 seconds left in his penalty, St. Louis took a too many men on the ice penalty, making it 4-on-4 temporarily. Neither team scored before the end of the period, leaving the Bruins with 11 seconds left on their power play heading into the third period. Shots in the period were 11-8 in favor of the Blues, and 21-20 Bruins overall. It was anyone’s game heading into the third period.

Score: 2-2

Third Period

Wagner gave the Bruins the lead off of a homerun pass from Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and buried it on a breakaway. Wagner’s sixth was assisted by Forsbacka-Karlsson (5).

Brad Marchand made it 4-2 on his 18th goal of the season, assisted by McAvoy (11), and Bergeron (26).

After Wagner barely missed an empty netter, Sean Kuraly made up for it and iced this one – 5-2 Bruins. Krejci’s 30th assist of the season on Kuraly’s sixth goal was his third of the night, Wagner also had an assist (5). Tuukka’s win tied him with Tiny Thompson for the most in Bruins history at 252. The final shots were 30-27 Blues and 10-6 Blues in the period. Next up are the New York Rangers on Saturday at 7:00 PM ET at TD Garden.

Final Score: 5-2 Boston

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Bruins Game 48 Preview: St. Louis Blues

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

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

The second game of a back-to-back is always more difficult than the first, even more so when you lose the first game. Last night, the Bruins took a hard 4-3 loss to one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins had a 2-0 at one point in the game but proceeded to allow four consecutive goals against on route to the defeat. Boston’s loss and Montreal’s win last night ties the two in the standings with 57 points, but the Bruins do have one more game in hand and an extra regulation plus overtime win.

The St. Louis Blues, on the other hand, have not had as good as a season as they may have expected, which has led to General Manager Doug Armstrong’s announcement earlier that essentially everyone on the roster, including possibly scoring winger Vladimir Tarasenko and forward Brayden Schenn. The Blues, however, were in the midst of a three-game winning streak recently, before losing their last game to the New York Islanders in overtime on Tuesday. St. Louis is twelfth in the Western Conference, currently four points behind the Minnesota Wild for the final Wild Card position.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 13-8-3 2.44 GAA .919 SV% Last Game: 19 Saves in 3-2 loss vs MTL

STL: Jake Allen 15-14-4 3.01 GAA .899 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 4-1 win vs WSH

Who’s Hot

Bruins forward David Krejci has been finding some success on the score sheet as of late, scoring a point in his last four consecutive games, including a three-game goal streak that came to an end last night against the Flyers. Krejci has only been a minus rating once in the past five games, a much better result for the Bruins centre. Krejci’s totals are now extended 10-27-37 totals in 47 points.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (The Canadian Press)

Ryan O’Reilly has been the best point-producer on the Blues in 2018-19 and he has continued that pace in the last two games, scoring a combined three points, bringing his season numbers to 16-29-45 in 46 games. With Tarasenko struggling to score throughout the year so far, the Blues have valued the services of O’Reilly this season.

David Pastrnak has rebounded from a brief stretch of struggling to have points in the last three games, extending his point totals to fifty-five in forty-seven games. Even with that time of struggling, Pastrnak has been able to generate scoring opportunities but seemed to lack the ability to bury the puck past the red line.

At this point of the season, Vladimir Tarasenko should be near the top of the scoring race but instead, his twenty-nine points in 44 games this season ranks him with the average players in the NHL. With that said, Tarasenko has five points in his last four games, including a two-goal performance in the win over the Dallas Stars on January 12th.

Who’s Not

Patrick Maroon joined St. Louis after a time with the Edmonton Oilers, hoping to bring some additional bottom-six scoring to a Blues team that is supposed to have good top-six scoring. However, Maroon only has four goals and eight assists for twelve points in thirty-seven games this year and is a team-worst -13 rating in the plus/minus category. He only has one goal in his last eight games.

David Backes is coming back into the lineup after being scratched last night against Philadelphia. Backes has 4-8-12 numbers in thirty-eight games in 2018-19 and he has a -6 rating. Bruce Cassidy tried him for a few games alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk on Boston’s second-line but did not pay off as he failed to produce enough like the team needs him to.

Jake Allen has not been good in the net for the Blues this season and part of the blame on the lack of success for the team this year can be put on his performance in between the posts. His 3.01 goals-against-average and his .899 save percentage are not even close to what his numbers should be. Allen is scheduled to get the start against Boston and the Blues organization is hoping he can turn things around.

Bruins vs Blues Outlook

This will be the first of two meetings against the Blues for the Bruins this season and they will be looking for a much-needed win, especially after the loss to the Flyers last night. The Bruins desperately need to gain points against weaker, non-playoff teams and that is including tonight’s game.

Boston went 1-0-1 against St. Louis last season, with four goals scored and three against. Also, David Pastrnak has never scored against St. Louis in his young NHL career, the only team other than Boston, of course, that he has not buried the puck past the goal line. The B’s will need to put pressure and if they get a lead such as they had against the Flyers, they need to hold onto it and aim to rack up more goals.

Boston is 10-12-2 this season when they fail to score first, so the mission tonight will be to score first and often. This is a crucial game in the standings for both franchises at this stage in January, setting up for a fun, entertaining game. Before the puck is dropped, take a look at the Bruins lineup as well as the roster changes.

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Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers 1/16/2019

Image result for boston bruins vs flyers(Photo Credits: LEN REDKOLES/GETTY IMAGES)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

After Monday’s overtime loss to  the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins will be looking to grab two points tonight when they face the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. If they win,  Boston could potentially take over the second spot in the Atlantic Division as they currently sit one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

BRUINS COMINGS AND GOINGS

News came yesterday that forward Colby Cave, who had played 20 games this season with the B’s, was claimed off waivers by the Edmonton Oilers. In his time here in Boston, Cave notched a goal and four assists. Tuesday’s practice also marked a maintenance day for both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Jake DeBrusk was also absent from practice as he nursed a lower-body injury, while Chris Wagner dealt with a short illness. Coach Bruce Cassidy recently announced that both DeBrusk and Wagner will play tonight. David Backes will be healthy scratch up front, as is John Moore and Steven Kampfer.

Related image(Photo Credits: BostonPucks.com)

Forward Peter Cehlarik has been re-called from Providence and will suit up for tonight’s game, replacing Backes in the lineup. Per Cassidy, he will be slotted alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. Cehlarik had previously donned the Spoke-B for the Bruins back in the 2016-2017 season where he played 11 games. Last season he made an appearance in six games for the club.

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers(Photo Credits: Rob Carr/Getty Images )

BY THE NUMBERS

Despite the loss Monday, the Bruins have been looking pretty good lately, having won three straight road games, however they have dropped two out of their last three. Boston’s record in the last 13 games has been a decent 9-3-1. The team remains second throughout the league in power play percentage at 27.9%, nestled right behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. They are now tied with Toronto for the penalty kill at 80.9%.

Winger David Pastrnak leads the team in both points (54) and goals (26). Brad Marchand isn’t too far behind and leads the team in assists (32) with 49 points. Forward David Krejci has netted a goal consecutively in three games. Tonight marks the second meeting between these two teams where Boston won the first game,  3-0.  In their last six games against the Black and Gold, the Flyers have dropped five games.

Related image(Photo Credit CSNPhilly.com)

The Philadelphia Flyers return back home as they are coming off winning two of their last three games and since December 1st, have earned points in six of their last nine games. The Flyers won their game this past Monday night, defeating the Minnesota Wild 7-4. Philadelphia has allowed only four goals on their penalty kill in their last 11 home games.  Much like Boston, the Flyers haven’t gone unscathed in the injury department as they continue to deal with goaltending issues. Tying an NHL record, Philly has had seven goaltenders in net, much like Boston having to dress 12 defensemen this season.

Left-winger James van Riemsdyk has netted goals in three straight games and will be looking to add another one tonight when he faces Boston. Van Riemsdyk has had multi-point games with five goals and seven points in his last three games. The Flyers signed Van Riemsdyk to a five-year, $35 million-dollar contract this offseason. Centerman Claude Giroux leads the team in points (50) with 36 assists. He’s at a +4 so far this season. Sean Couturier leads the team with 16 goals and is at a -6 leading into tonight’s game.

BATTLE IN NET

20-year-old rookie Carter Hart is expected to make the start in net for the Flyers as one of the seven that have been used by the club.  He recently ended an eight-game losing skid when the Flyers defeated the Dallas Stars. Tonight will be his fourth straight start in net and has a .913 save percentage with a goals against average of 2.69. In the 10 games that he’s played, his record is now 4-5-1.

The Bruins will have 33-year-old Jaroslav Halak start in net, where he’s coming off a loss against the Washington Capitals on January 10th. In his last five games, he has posted three wins. Going into tonight’s game, his record is 13-7-2. He is currently tied for third in the league with goals against average of 2.39 and fourth for a save percentage of 0.924.

Enjoy some highlights below from the last game:

PROJECTED LINES

BOSTON:

MARCHAND-BERGERON-PASTRNAK

CEHLARIK-KREJCI-DEBRUSK

KURALY-ACCIARI-WAGNER

HEINEN-FORSBACKA KARLSSON-DONATO

 

CHARA-MCAVOY

GRZELCYK-MILLER

KRUG-CARLO

 

HALAK

RASK

 

PHILADELPHIA:

VAN RIEMSDYK-GIROUX-KONECNY

LINDBLOM-COUTURIER-VORACEK

LAUGHTON-PATRICK-SIMMONDS

LEHTERA-VARONE-RAFFL

 

PROVOROV-SANHEIM

GOSTISBEHERE-MACDONALD

HAGG-GUDAS

 

HART

MCKENNA

 

WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 7:30 PM

WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN

 

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Bruins ECHL Affiliate: Atlanta Gladiators Week 14 Recap

( Photo Credit: Amanda Bingham / gwinnettdailypost.com )

By: Chris Greene  |  Follow me on Twitter @cgreenesports

It’s been a long time since the Atlanta Gladiators had a perfect weekend, but the wait is finally over. A strong performance on the road followed by a record-breaking night at home has lifted Atlanta to 10 wins on the season. With five wins in their last 10 games,  the Glads are starting to close the gap on the rest of the South Division.

Week 14 began with a trip to South Carolina to take on the Stingrays. Sean Bonar started in net for the Glads following strong performances since returning from injury. Atlanta out-shot the Stingrays 12-3 in the first period, but the game remained scoreless heading into the first intermission. Three minutes into the second period, Matt Pohlkamp put the home side ahead with a power play goal. The Gladiators responded positively, and Derek Nesbitt tied the game with an even strength goal, assisted by Nick Bligh. Atlanta continued to out-shoot their opponent and took the lead minutes later, with score from Justin MacDonald, assisted by Brett McKenzie and Nolan LaPorte. The teams headed into the locker rooms with the Gladiators leading 2-1.

The home side were much improved in the third period, and leveled the game with an equal strength goal by Tim Harrison, taking the game to overtime. The Gladiators had secured a point, but they weren’t finished. They were denied five times before forward Nick Bligh broke away for the game-winning goal. The Glads out-shot the ‘Rays 6-1 in overtime and fully deserved their 3-2 win.

The Glads returned home to take on the Jacksonville Icemen in front of a record crowd on Saturday night, thanks to the annual teddy bear toss. It took less than two minutes for Nick Bligh to open the scoring for Atlanta, sending thousands of bears flying onto the ice. He was assisted by Joseph Widmar and Derek Nesbitt. Moments later, the Glads doubled their lead with a short-handed goal, Bligh’s second of the night, assisted by LaPorte and Chatham. Cody Fowlie pulled one back for Jacksonville, before Bligh completed his hat-trick with a power play goal in the 15th minute, assisted by Messner and Nesbitt.

It was Derek Nesbitt’s 358th game for the Gladiators, a franchise record. The veteran forward celebrated in style, notching Atlanta’s fourth score of the night, assisted by Chatham and Widmar. Bligh continued to torment the Icemen and scored his fourth goal of the period, assisted by Widmar. The Glads led 5-1 after an incredible 20 minutes of hockey.

Jacksonville began the second period with a power play goal from Cam Maclise. The frantic game calmed down for a while, before Derek Nesbitt grabbed his second of the night, assisted by Luke Stork, restoring the Glads four-goal lead before the second intermission. There wasn’t much action in the final frame, Jacob Cederholm scored for the Icemen, but the game was all but over. Sean Bonar finished with 38 saves from 41 shots, 6-3 the final score.

It was a memorable night for the Gladiators organization. The crowd of 9,971 was the biggest of the season and the team collected a record of 6,072 teddy bears for children in need. There’s a lot of positives for coach Pyle and his team moving forward. Next week they take on the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in back to back road games, let’s hope this run continues.

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Bruins Recall Cehlarik From Providence

Boston Bruins v Anaheim DucksPhoto Courtesy Of CBS Boston – CBS Local

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today that the team had recalled forward Peter Cehlarik from the Providence Bruins. Cehlarik has yet to make an appearance in Boston this season but has had a successful season so far in Providence. The 23-year-old has posted ten goals and 19 assists for 29 points in 37 games which is tied for the team lead in points.

Cehlarik appeared in six games for Boston last season totaling a goal and an assist including his first career goal on November 18th, 2017 in San Jose against the Sharks. He also appeared in 35 games for Providence last season, scoring 11 goals and adding 12 assists. Cehlarik skated in 11 games for Boston in 2016-17, posting two assists. He scored 20 goals and had 18 assists for 38 points in Providence in 2016-17.

The Zilina, Slovakia native was drafted by the Bruins in the third round (90th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. With the Bruins struggling to score consistently, Cehlarik should be a welcome addition as he’s had 17 games of NHL experience. Expect him to see time on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk and perhaps even time on the power play.

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Montreal at Boston: 1/14/19

cut-1Photo Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (26-15-4)

Away: Montreal Canadiens (24-17-5)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Backes

Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner

Heinen-Forsbacka Karlsson-Donato

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Montreal’s Lineup

Forwards

Drouin-Danault-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Domi-Armia

Tatar-Kotkaniemi-Byron

Agostino-Chaput-Deslauriers

Defense

Mete-Weber

Reilly-Petry

Kulak-Benn

Goalies

Price

Niemi

First Period

The Canadiens had the early chances but Tuukka Rask stood up to them to keep the game scoreless. The Bruins failed to get many chances in the early going as they seemed to have trouble stringing passes together. A couple solid shifts by the B’s got their legs going as they got a few opportunities on Carey Price. Brad Marchand drew a tripping penalty to give the Bruins a power play with about eight minutes left in the period.

The Bruins failed to capitalize on the man advantage as Price and the Canadiens defense made a big penalty kill. Marchand got a short breakaway on Price but was denied after a spectacular effort by Patrice Bergeron to get the puck loose. A four on four came after matching penalties and Marchand took full advantage as he scored on a shot from the dot to give the B’s the lead.

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Kevan Miller and Nick Deslauriers dropped the gloves with 3:50 to go in the period to get the crowd into the game as they’d been fairly quiet to that point.

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Rask was on point in the first period and made a great glove stop on Tomas Tatar in the slot late in the period. However, a tipped shot from the point got past Rask off the stick of Brendan Gallagher to tie the game with nearly a minute left in the period.

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Score: Tied 1-1

Second Period

The Bruins had trouble in their own zone in the opening moments of the period but Rask was up to it, keeping the game tied. The B’s responded with a good shift as they nearly took the lead but Price was on top of it. Neither team possessed the puck too well in the middle period as there seemed to be turnovers all over the place.

The Canadiens seemed to have more success with speed through the neutral zone as the Bruins looked to be on their heels. Neither team could get into an offensive rhythm as the scoring chances came few and far between. Rask continued to have a strong night with a couple of huge stops in the middle stages of the period.

The Bruins would draw another penalty as Victor Mete went off for hooking. Paul Byron took advantage of a flat footed Bergeron to score a shorthanded goal as the Canadiens took the lead.

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The Habs killed the Boston power play as the Bruins failed to get any significant scoring chances. A small scrum in front of both benches resulted in a four on four situation to close out the period.

Score: 2-1 Canadiens

Third Period

The Bruins had a tough start to the period as the Habs had a few good chances in front of the Boston net. The newly formed second line of David Krejci, Danton Heinen and Ryan Donato had a good shift in the early part of the third but couldn’t find the back of the net to tie the score. The Bruins had a heck of a time trying to get into an offensive rhythm as the Habs slowed them down in the neutral zone.

Heinen charged to the net about midway through the period but lost his footing and didn’t get a decent shot off and the game remained 2-1. The B’s had the majority of the possession and the chances in the final period but were unable to capitalize on Price.

The Bruins picked up another man advantage with two minutes to go on a delay of game penalty against the Canadiens. With the goalie pulled, Krejci picked the top corner from the top of the circle to tie the game with less than a minute to go.

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Score: Tied 2-2

Overtime

Just 15 seconds into the extra session, Jeff Petry batted in a rebound off of a Max Domi shot to give the Canadiens a win and tie the season series with the Bruins.

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Final Score: 3-2 Canadiens

Three Stars Of The Game

Third Star: Marchand. The winger seemed to be one of the few Bruins to have a successful game and he added his 17th goal of the season in the loss.

Second Star: Rask. The Bruin netminder had another strong game and kept the team in the game all night as they secured a point in the overtime loss.

First Star: Price. The Montreal goalie was perhaps the best player on the ice in this one and stole another win against the Bruins as he’s done so often before.

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Bruins Place Colby Cave On Waivers

cutPhoto Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

The Bruins placed forward Colby Cave on waivers on Monday afternoon and he will return to the Providence Bruins if he clears waivers. Cave skated in 20 games for the black and gold this season, posting a goal and four assists for five points. With this move, the Bruins will have to make a move to add someone to their 23-man roster.

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Cave has also skated in 15 games for Providence this season, scoring six goals and adding 12 assists for 18 points. The 24-year-old appeared in three games for Boston last season, going scoreless. Cave’s best professional season came in 2016-17 for Providence, as he posted 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points in 76 games. Cave was undrafted originally but signed a three-year entry level deal with Boston on April 4th, 2015.

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Cave made his NHL debut last season, on December 21st, 2017 against the Winnipeg Jets at TD Garden. He scored his first career NHL goal earlier this season against the Montreal Canadiens on December 17th at Bell Centre in a 4-0 Bruins victory.

The Battleford, Saskatchewan native can be claimed by any team in the NHL but only for the next 24 hours. If that time passes, he’ll return to Providence. Cave has looked like a solid fourth line player in his time with the B’s and more time in Providence could be useful for him.

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Bruins Game 46 Preview: Montreal Canadiens

canadiens-bruins.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (sportsnet.ca)

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

Only two days removed from their 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, the Boston Bruins are back on home ice for a game against longtime rivals, the Montreal Canadiens. In the win over Toronto, the Bruins were outshot in every period except the third period, where they outshot the Leafs 10-to-6. David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, and David Pastrnak scored the goals for Boston. The B’s sit third place in the Atlantic Division, two points behind Toronto.

Like the Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens are coming off of a Saturday night victory, shutting out the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 for their second win in their last three games. Carey Price stopped all twenty-eight shots that faced him while Brett Kulak, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Jordie Benn scored the three goals for Montreal. The Habs have the second wild-card position in the Eastern Conference, only one point behind the Islanders and only one point ahead of the Sabres who are currently out of the playoffs.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 13-8-2 2.41 GAA .921 SV% Last Game: 30 Saves in 3-2 win vs TOR

MTL: Carey Price 17-13-4 2.67 GAA .910 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 3-0 win vs COL

Who’s Hot

Sean Kuraly potted his fifth goal of the season and two primary assists for a three-point night against the Leafs on Saturday. The 25-year-old forward is one point shy of his career-high in points that he hit last season with fifteen. Kuraly’s three-point outing brought his 2018-19 totals to 5-8-13 and his role along with linemates Chris Wagner and Noel Acciari has increased in the past few games. Kuraly has become a big part to this Bruins roster in the early parts of 2019.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (sportsnet.ca)

Canadiens forward Phillip Danault helped directly on two Montreal goals on Saturday, bringing his assist total to twenty-three on the season. Danault now has three points in as many games and is fifth on the team’s scoring with 7-23-30 totals in 46 games.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has been on fire as of late, as he tends to be around this time of year. The Finnish net-minder has wins in his last five starts including a 1.40 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .956. Rask is the best goaltender in those stats with a minimum of four games in the 2019 calendar year and he will be striving to continue his hot play against the Canadiens.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi has not put up crazy numbers in his rookie season after going third overall to the Montreal Canadiens in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, but his 5-17-22 numbers in 46 games this year has brought some added scoring to a Canadiens roster that is in the middle of the NHL in goals scored.

Who’s Not

Max Domi is the leading scorer on the Montreal Canadiens, but he has only scored one point in the last five games and has failed to make it on the score-sheet in the last two games. The former 2013 1st Round Selection by the then-Phoenix Coyotes has 14-25-39 totals in forty-six games but his lack of consistency lately may be a cause of concern for the Habs.

David Backes had some time on the right side of David Krejci, but the 34-year old Minneapolis, Minnesota native has not played as well as hoped. Backes does have one point in the last three games, but he only saw 10:39 of ice-time against Toronto on Saturday night and it is fair to assume that he will not be seeing the second-line time for too much longer.

Carey Price is the number-one goaltender in Montreal, but in the last five games that he has played, he only has one win coming back in his last start on Saturday versus the Avalanche. Prior to that, Price lost four consecutive games including four goals allowed against the Blues on January 10th. Price is the backbone of the Canadiens and he needs to be on fire against a Bruins team that is rolling.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • BOS F David Pastrnak will be playing in his 300th career NHL regular season game
  • BOS G Tuukka Rask is one win away from tying Tiny Thompson (252) for most wins in Bruins history
  • BOS F David Krejci (604) is 2 points behind Terry O’Reilly (606) for ninth-most points in Bruins franchise history
  • BOS D Zdeno Chara (956) is three penalty minutes behind Lyndon Byers (959) for ninth-most penalty minutes in Bruins history
  • BOS F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away (60) from taking sole-possession of third-most in Bruins history
  • BOS F Brad Marchand is one shorthanded goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most in Bruins history
  • BOS D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 career NHL goals
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PHOTO CREDITS: (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Montreal Canadiens:

  • MTL D Jeff Petry is two points away from 200 career NHL points
  • MTL D Jordie Benn is one point away from 100 career NHL points

Bruins vs Canadiens Outlook

Montreal and Boston have already played in three games together this season, with the Bruins taking two of those meetings already. After Montreal won 3-0 on October 27th, the Bruins came back with a 3-2 win on November 24th and a 4-0 win on December 17th. The Bruins have scored a combine seven goals and allowed five against.

Tuukka Rask played in each of the first two games, while Halak was the goalie for the Bruins in the 4-0 victory. In each meeting, Carey Price was handed the role of starter like he has 34 times this season.

Boston is coming off of a win against Toronto where they arguably were out played for the majority of the sixty-minute game. There were some good moments were the Bruins capitalized on costly mistakes by the Leafs defense and that reality will need to stay true tonight against Montreal. The Bruins have to continue playing a good game on both ends of the ice and for all sixty minutes.

Montreal will be entering the game with some tenacity due to their position in the NHL standings. With only a one-point cushion on the Sabres for the last wild-card spot, the Habs have to play like their playoff hopes are on the line – because, well, it is. At the beginning of the season, not many individuals expected Montreal to be in contention for the post-season, but they are proving them wrong and they’ll look to continue proving them wrong against the Bruins.

This will be the final game between the two Original Six teams in the 2018-19 regular season. Will the season series end 3-1 Boston or at a 2-2 tie? Before we find out, take a look at the projected lines for the game.

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Bruins Game 45 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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

The Boston Bruins were on a five-game winning streak until they took a tough 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday. Ryan Donato and David Krejci scored the only goals for the Bruins while Jaroslav Halak made eighteen saves on twenty-one shots. Boston still holds a two-point cushion on the Buffalo Sabres for third-place in the Atlantic division but sits four points behind the Maple Leafs for second in the division.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had a back-and-forth start to their 2019 calendar year. After a 4-3 loss to the Wild to begin the year, the Leafs beat the Canucks 5-0, lost to the Predators 4-0, and most recently, defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Thursday. Toronto currently has a four-point edge on the Bruins for second in the Atlantic division, but still sit twelve points back of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 12-8-2 2.43 GAA .920 SV% Last Game: 24 Saves in 4-0 win vs MIN

TOR: Michael Hutchinson 3-3-2 3.29 GAA .886 SV% Last Game: 27 Saves in 4-2 win vs NJD

Who’s Hot

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start in tonight’s game against the Leafs and it makes perfect sense. The 31-year-old goalie has won each of his last four starts including a 4-0 shutout (his 42nd of his career) against the Wild on January 8th. In 2019 so far, Rask’s .982 save percentage is the best in the NHL and he is tied with Jordan Binnigton for best goals-against-average (0.50) in the two games played.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (USA Today Sports)

Free-agent acquisition John Tavares has been great for Toronto this season. In forty-three games played, the 28-year-old centre has twenty-nine goals and twenty-one assists for fifty points in that span. In the 4-2 win over New Jersey, Tavares scored two goals and added a helper for his fourth three-point game of the 2018-19 season.

Bruins defenceman Torey Krug is often in the middle of the Bruins trade rumours, but the 5-foot-9 defender is making a trade tough to deal with. Since coming back from injury, Krug has 4-25-29 totals in 33 games this season, including six points in his last five games. Krug also ranks third on the Bruins roster for most power-play points (18) behind Brad Marchand (19) and David Pastrnak (25).

After a brief two-game pointless streak, Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner came right back with a goal and an assist in the win over the Devils, bringing his season totals to 16-41-57 in 43 games. Marner leads the Leafs in points and is ninth in league scoring. His 41 assists so far tie him with Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames for fifth-most assists in the NHL.

Who’s Not

It may seem odd to say, but Bruins leading scorer David Pastrnak is on a little bit of a cold streak. In the past three games, Pastrnak has failed to score a single point and has been a minus rating in two of those games. The three-game pointless streak is minor for Pastrnak, who has 25-27-52 totals in 44 games this season, but the Bruins need him to start picking up the pace offensively.

Like every team in the National Hockey League, the Maple Leafs have had their fair share of injuries as well. Lately, starting goaltender Frederik Andersen and backup goaltender Garrett Sparks both went down to injuries, leaving Michael Hutchinson to man the crease. The 28-year-old goalie has gone 3-3-0 with the Leafs along with a .886 save percentage and 3.29 GAA. Not good numbers, especially heading into tonight’s game against the Bruins.

William Nylander was in all the big news talks from the offseason right until December 1st when he signed his new contract. But since then, the former 8th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft has only scored three points (one goal, two assists) in fifteen games. Nylander is a -2 rating with 12 penalty minutes.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • BOS F David Krejci (604) is 2 points behind Terry O’Reilly (606) for ninth-most points in Bruins franchise history
  • BOS D Zdeno Chara (956) is three penalty minutes behind Lyndon Byers (959) for ninth-most penalty minutes in Bruins history
  • BOS F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away (60) from taking sole-possession of third-most in Bruins history
  • BOS F Brad Marchand is one shorthanded goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most in Bruins history
  • BOS D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 career NHL goals

Toronto Maple Leafs:

  • No notable milestone that can be reached in tonight’s game

Bruins vs Maple Leafs Outlook

For the fourth and final time in the 2018-19 regular season, the Bruins and Leafs will meet on the ice for one of the best-renewed rivalries in the NHL today. To this date, Boston has taken 2-out-of-the-3 games, with the most recent win coming on December 8th – a 6-3 win.

Michael Hutchinson has not been too consistent in his recent time with the Maple Leafs. As with many other games, the Bruins need to bring down the confidence level of the opposing goaltender, in this case, former Bruin Hutchinson, in order to get a strong lead on the game.

In the two wins for Boston this season against Toronto, they have scored the first goal, in fact, they scored the first three goals in each of those two wins. The one time they lost – Toronto opened the scoring. It is a good chance that that trend continues in Toronto here tonight. Bruins also need the help of Leaf-killers, David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand to lead the Boston offence early and often while Tuukka Rask needs to continue his recent solid play to keep the offence of Toronto quiet.

These two teams are closely matched and this will be the final time they get to play each other until the almost inevitable playoff series come April. Nonetheless, it is bound to be a great, competitive game of hockey. Below are most likely the lines of the Bruins heading into tonight’s game. Defenceman Charlie McAvoy returns to the lineup after missing time with a foot infection, while John Moore is scratched by Cassidy tonight.

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The Boston Bruins and Rick Nash: What Could’ve Been

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins

Photo: (Bob Dechiara/USA Today Sports)

By Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12

Earlier today, former Bruin Rick Nash announced his official retirement from the NHL.

You can find Garrett Haydon’s article breaking down the news here.

For context, Nash’s early retirement comes as a result of concussion issues as he suffered one with Boston that he likely came back from too early. A true shame that head injuries forced a player of his caliber out of the game; Nash sat third in active goal leaders with 437 and had 805 points in 1,060 games played.

Looking back at last season and the trade that brought Nash from the New York Rangers to Boston, the Bruins gave up a ton for a player who would only suit up in 11 regular season games and 12 playoff contests. That is not exactly ideal for a player that the Bruins gave up a first round pick and a promising young defenseman (Ryan’s Lindgren) for, among other assets (Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey with 50% retained salary, and a seventh rounder).

Nash instantly looked like a perfect fit alongside Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci, filling a hole that had been on Krejci’s right side since Jarome Iginla replaced Nathan Horton for the 2013-14 season. The Brampton, Ontario native played a style that was a perfect compliment to David Krejci’s game, harkening back to the days of the Milan Lucic-Krejci-Horton line.

While Nash was productive for the Bruins with three goals and six points in 11 regular season games to go along with three goals and five points in 12 playoff games, it was a stiff price to pay for a guy who neither stuck around long term nor brought a Stanley Cup. So, aside from a concussion and an embarrassing second-round exit at the hands of a far superior Tampa Bay Lightning squad, things went decently for Nash and the Bruins.

This all brings me to last summer. Personally, I think the Bruins would have been able to keep Nash for more than just a portion of last season. Even Elliotte Friedman said he believes the Bruins really liked their chances to re-sign Nash on 31 Thoughts: The Podcast. After the news broke today, Darren Dreger confirmed that the Bruins were among teams keeping tabs on the power forward:

Things did not end up panning out for the Bruins as Nash decided to forgo free agency to evaluate his future which led to him starting this season without a team and his retirement today.

Ultimately, Nash will be remembered for his contributions with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Rangers, but it’s not hard to wonder what he and the Bruins could have done for an extended period of time, health permitting.

It’s no secret that Boston has had a gaping hole at second line right wing all season long. It was an issue last season too before the acquisition of Nash, although Ryan Spooner ended up being a fine temporary solution. Had Nash gotten healthy and re-signed in Boston, the 6’4″ 211-pound winger presumably would have picked up right where he left off on the second line, and we wouldn’t be having this season-long conversation.

With this hypothetical second line of DeBrusk-Krejci-Nash, there would not be nearly as much pressure on the first line to drive the offense game in and game out, and the sophomore slumps of Danton Heinen and Ryan Donato wouldn’t be as glaring, but rather much more manageable.

So, if general manager Don Sweeney and Nash had struck a deal to keep the right-winger in Boston, the Bruins would not be forced into a pricey trade market in search of a second line wing, and this team’s secondary scoring issues would not be as pressing of a matter.

More importantly, however, you can’t fault the guy for looking out for his long-term mental health and his family; there are more important things in life than hockey, after all.

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