Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 4 ECQF

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Photo Credit: Elise Amendola (AP Photo)

By KG | Follow on Twitter @kgbngblog | FanCred at K G

PREGAME NOTES

The Bruins have changed some of their lines, with first-line center Patrice Bergeron coming out of the lineup due to an upper-body injury that is considered day-to-day. Matt Grzelcyk also comes in on the blueline. Andersen and Rask take the nets once again.

What I Am Looking Forward To

This game determines who takes the momentum in the series. If Toronto wins it, they go back to Boston tied after going down 0-2. If Boston pulls it off, they take a stranglehold on the series and force Toronto to play with their backs against the wall. With the absence of Patrice Bergeron, other players will need to step up in his spot and lead the team.

PERIOD ONE

28 seconds. That’s how long it took for Torey Krug to pick the short-side corner on Fredrik Andersen. After the teams were able to get the game going, it became very apparent that the Leafs weren’t just going to roll over after going down by one. Toronto got some great zone time and was able to cycle the puck effectively and kept the puck in the Bruins zone. Toronto would get on the board after Boston left old foe Thomas Plekanec alone in front where he found the back of the net. Toronto played a fast-paced, aggressive style that put the Bruins on their heels and made them play in Boston’s end for the majority of the period. Boston looked shaky in the second half of the period. They weren’t able to get good, clean zone entries and didn’t get a ton of quality shots on net. 1-1 at the end of one.

Scoring

BOS – Krug (Miller, Pastrnak)

TOR – Plekanec (Marleau, Marner)

PERIOD TWO

Rask started the period off by misplaying a puck that almost ended up in his net if it wasn’t for a desperate save and Marner fumbling the puck in front of the net. The linesmen continued to throw everyone and their dog out of the faceoff circle. Boston was able to get some more chances at quick shots because of their speed, something that they need to continue to do if they want more offensive production. Rask stood tall as Dominic Moore had a great chance on a 2-on-1. The Bruins started to try and get their forwards to enter the zone with numbers by going for the long, cross-ice passes, and while it worked once or twice, one resulted in a Mitch Marner breakaway that Rask turned away. Toronto was able to control play and move the puck perfectly for nearly an entire shift, but couldn’t get it through Rask. Marchand brought the heat with a great spin-o-rama but missed the net. The Bruins struggled with clearing the puck out of their own zone, and this resulted in lots of Maple Leaf opportunities at scoring. Boston would break the tie with a great catch and release with a Pastrnak pass to a wide open Marchand. The Bruins continued to play much better after the goal, but the Leafs continued to put pressure on Rask and the Bruins defense. 2-1 after two.

Scoring

BOS – Marchand (Pastrnak, McQuaid)

TOR – N/A

PERIOD THREE

Boston knew coming into the third period that they’d have to be nearly perfect defensively to keep the lead, and the showed in the first few minutes that they were committed to playing the hard minutes. Through Boston’s defensive commitment, they were able to catch an odd man break that left DeBrusk and Krejci in a two-on-one situation, which was executed to near perfection that ended with Jake DeBrusk scoring on a great shot. Boston did a great job making sure the puck crossed their own blueline when trying to exit the zone, something that they didn’t do as much as they needed to in the first two periods. Bruce Cassidy gave the fourth line a lot of key minutes around the 10-minute mark in the third period. Danton Heinen showed that he is someone to rely on with his play in his own zone with dangerous players like Matthews and Marner on the ice. Rask did not give out many rebounds in the first three-quarters of the period. With just less than three minutes left, Mike Babcock pulled Andersen. David Pastrnak rang a shot off of the post that could have put a nice bow on the game, but it wasn’t needed. The Bruins head home with a chance at clinching the series in Boston on home ice.

Scoring

BOS – DeBrusk (Krejci)

TOR – N/A

POSTGAME

While Boston scored three goals, they did not get that many shots, with only 21 total. Rask is the backbone of the team, and he really showed up tonight.

KG’s Three Stars Of The Game

1st: Tuukka Rask – If not for Rask, Boston would be heading home tied in the series. Rask only had to stop 31 shots, mainly due to the great shot suppression by the Bruins defense. He can definitely steal a game here or there, contrary to popular belief.

2nd: Jake DeBrusk – DeBrusk played a full, 60-minute game, and was rewarded for it. One of the hardest forecheckers of the game, and great on defense. He continues to impress in his rookie season.

3rd: Brad Marchand – After a great start to Marchand’s writing career come out earlier in the afternoon, he dazzled the fans at the ACC with his skating ability, and scored the eventual game-winner. Elite.

MUP (Most Under-Appreciated Player): Tommy Wingels – Wingels’ play tonight reminded me of the classic Bruins player. Tough, aggressive (But smart) and fast. He was relied upon in the tough times halfway through the period.

BIRDHOUSE – Round-up of the best Tweets during the game

NEXT GAME

Saturday, April 21st, in Boston vs Toronto

 

Follow KG on Twitter @KGbngblog and on FanCred at K G Like, share and comment your takes on the article

Providence Bruins Playoff Primer (Round One vs. Lehigh Valley Phantoms)

Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins Official Twitter Account @AHLBruins

By: Josh B.   |   Follow Me On Twitter @ToCauseway

April 13th, 2018 the Providence Bruins fell apart in the 3rd period against the Charlotte Checkers and lost 3rd place in the Atlantic playoff standings. Over the next two days, they were able to claw back to within a few points but were hoping for the Checkers to lose to the Sound Tigers on Sunday, April 15th. The Checkers prevailed, and Providence stayed in 4th place. On a brighter note, Providence is 7th in the 30-team AHL standings with a healthy 45-26-5 record through 76 games.

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With the regular season ended, Providence has drawn the first place in the Atlantic Division (2nd AHL-wide) Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the Atlantic Division Quarterfinals. In 2017-2018, Providence went 1-4-1 against the Phantoms in the regular season. Their only two wins came at home. In most outings against the Phantoms, the team has scored 3 or fewer goals, including a couple shutouts where no Bruin could solve the Phantoms goaltender.

This doesn’t faze Providence Head Coach Jay Leach.

“You’re going to have to beat them all,” Leach said postgame on April 15th. For what it’s worth, on the same day, one of the Springfield Thunderbirds added Wilkes-Barre Scranton would be a tougher pull for Providence. “They’re a heavier team, built for the playoffs.”

Side note: Josh Ho-Sang who I met at the Bridgeport Game in Bridgeport on April 7th said almost the exact quote word for word about Providence. Either a coincidence or maybe it’s a generic quote the players are given to say about other teams.

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Anyways, Providence opens up the best of 5 game series at home in the Dunkin Donuts Center on Friday, April 20th. Game 2 is played the following night also at the Dunk. After opening the series at home, Providence will travel to Allentown, PA, for the remaining 3 games played on April 27, 28, 30th respectively. Providence will need to win both games at home to have success in the series. With Providence’s only wins against Lehigh Valley coming at the Dunkin Donuts Center, the first two games may decide the outcome. Regardless, winning at least one at home is an absolute must. Fortunately, the regular season isn’t always a barometer for how a playoff matchup will go.

Providence’s Austin Czarnik (25G, 44A) and Lehigh Valley’s Phil Varone (23G, 47A) occupy the 3rd and 2nd spots respectively in AHL scoring for 2017-18. Both are slightly undersized centermen with excellent hands and vision capable of taking over a game at the AHL level. Czarnik, to his credit, has more games at the NHL level than Varone does and could be playing himself into a raise and NHL roster spot come next season. The next highest point getter for either team is Kenny Agostino, who his far removed from his AHL MVP season with (16G, 37A) and 29th overall; Providence’s Jordan Szwarz with (21G, 27A) comes in next at 47th overall. Lehigh Valley’s Nick Aube-Kubel (18G, 28A) is next at 60th overall, and teammate T. J. Brennan (14G, 31A) rounds out the top point-getters at 67th. Honorable mention here to Lehigh Valley’s Danick Martel at 100th overall, with the highest goal total of everyone mentioned (25G, 15A). For a complete rundown of the Providence Roster (as of April 18th), here’s the AHL’s site.

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Between the pipes, the goaltending tandem of Zane McIntyre (16th, 2.52 GAA, 0.914 SV%) and Jordan Binnington (2nd, 2.05 GAA, 0.926 SV%) is better on paper than Lehigh Valley’s netminders. The Phantoms goaltender duo Dustin Tokarski (24th, 2.65 GAA, 0.915 SV%) and Alex Lyon (31st, 2.75 GAA, 0.913 SV%) have won more games, however. In their two wins, Providence thumped Lehigh Valley with a 5 and 6 goal game respectively. In their two losses that weren’t shutouts, Providence posted 2 and 3 goal games to Lehigh Valley’s 3 and 5 goals respectively.

Predictions that will horribly go wrong: I see Providence bowing out in 5 games. They’re loaded with prospects and talent, but the Phantoms have played Providence enough to know where and how to expose the Bruins’ defense and weaknesses. The only way for the Bruins to win is by consistently good starts or winning the first 20 minutes. Otherwise, the Phantoms will run right over you before the midway point of regulation. I would like to see Providence exercise revenge on the Phantoms in this series as Boston has done to Toronto thus far in their playoff series. The NHL Bruins lost their season series with Toronto, yet are making a stand in the Atlantic division quarterfinals. Hopefully, the farm team of the Black and Gold will follow the same pattern and surprise me by defeating the Phantoms.

Boston Bruins: Round 1 Game 4 Preview

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Roman Polak (46) battles Boston Bruins right wing David Backes (42) in front of Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during second period NHL round one playoff hockey action in Toronto on Monday, April 15, 2018.

Photo Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

By: Lucas Salvatore | Check me out on Twitter @lsalvatore29

After dropping game 3 in Toronto on Monday, the Boston Bruins look to bounce back and take a stranglehold on this series.

Finally, it took two games, but the Toronto Maple Leafs finally showed up in front of their home fans and put a victory together. While they did win the game and scored four goals, the most significant impact was one by goaltender Fredrick Andersen who stole this game from the Bruins.

The Bruins will need to finish their chances when they come in game 4 as the NHL is a cruel league doesn’t matter how hard or how well you play if you cant finish your chances you’re gonna get burned and the Bruins felt that in game 3.

Look for them to come out strong, they will try and get the crowd out of it early. These should be two desperate hockey clubs as the Toronto Maple Leafs will want to go back to Boston with this series 2-2, but the Bruins will look to crush any hopes the Leafs might have had coming into this game with a victory tonight.

Tomas Plekanec had an incredible game playing alongside Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner the Bruins will need to be more worried about this match-up. Trying to move the Bergeron line away from them might be a difficult task considering this game is in Toronto.

Lineup

 Thing You Need To Know

  • Nazim Kadri is serving the final game of his suspension
  • Matt Grzelcyk is expected to return after missing game 3
  • Leo Komarov is expected to miss his second straight game
  • The home team has won every game in this series

Players To Watch

Boston

David Pastrnak: After being robbed and getting no bounces to go his way for the first time in the series look for the Bruins winger to go back to simple hockey in game 4. David should have nothing to worry about if he keeps playing his game after being held pointless for the first time this round and being on the other end of a save of the year candidate this is what David had to say.

Sean Kuraly: The Bruins fourth line scored both goals for Boston in game 3, and Kuraly picked up two assists giving him three points in three games thus far. This fourth line can prove to be a difference maker for these games in Toronto as Boston looks for them to create momentum in their favor. They can skate with any line, and it will be necessary for Kuraly and his linemates to continue their strong play in game 4.

Toronto 

Patrick Marleau: Marleau picked up two goals Monday night as the Leafs new-look second line seemed to be found money. Playing alongside Mitch Marner and Tomas Plekanec the trio was able to shut down the Bergeron line which was crucial for the Leafs to win game 3.

Auston Matthews: Ok you guys can put the wanted signs away Matthews showed up in a big way in game 3 scoring the game-winning goal. This will prove to be a killer for the Bruins if they do not reduce his time and space. It was a matter of time for him to get on the board lets just hope a beast hasn’t woken up.

BNG Predictions

Lucas Salvatore: 5-3 Boston

KG: 4-3 Boston

Max Mainville: 4-3 Boston

Mike Cratty: 5-3 Boston

Garrett Haydon: 3-1 Boston

 

 

 

 

 

Should The Bruins Re-sign Rick Nash?

(Photo credit: Mike Penhollow/Boston Bruins)

By: Lucas Salvatore | Check me out on Twitter @lsalvatore29

Rick Nash has been a welcomed addition to the Boston Bruins since arriving in late February but with plenty of young talent on the rise will the Bruins retain the power forward?

Nash was the most significant acquisition for the Bruins this trade deadline the deal was as follows.

Pretty big price to pay for a rental player as Ryan Spooner was having the best statistical year of his career posting 0.69 points per game which is a 0.08 increase from his career high season in 2015-16. Spooner then went on to score sixteen points in twenty games with the New York Rangers to end the season and finally seems to thrive at a top six center position which the Bruins could never offer.

Rick Nash, on the other hand, was brought in to give a brand new winger to longtime Bruin centermen David Krejci as fans may remember the constant roulette wheel of wingers Krejci has had to deal with over the last few seasons.

Now Krejci has finally gotten consistent linemates this season finding great chemistry alongside rookie Jake DeBrusk and newly acquired Rick Nash so a case must be made to why the Bruins should at least look into the options of seeing this trio play for a full NHL season.

Rick Nash was drafted 1st overall in 2002 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. While playing for the Jackets, Rick was named the captain of the squad and remained the leader until being traded to the Rangers in the summer of 2012. In his 15 NHL season, Rick has hit the forty goal mark three times and reached over thirty goals five times. Nash also won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy in the 2003-04 season as the league’s top goal scorer. Nash is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist for Canada.

Since arriving in Boston Nash has posted six points in eleven games. The power forward had flashes of brilliance which were short-lived when he suffered a concussion on March 17th in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nash has since returned to the Bruins line-up for the start of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs and has not missed a beat so far. While he only has one goal, Nash has been a presence with his physical play and really sets the pace for the Bruins second line giving them more offensive depth throughout the line-up.

Here is what Boston cap situation looks like heading into the offseason.

With over 9 million dollars in cap space, it will be interesting how Don Sweeney evens out the money this offseason. Players due for a raise include Riley Nash, Tim Schaller, Matt Grzelcyk, Sean Kuraly and Anton Khudobin. While Rick Nash will not be getting a raise based on recent years of performance and age, it would be interesting to see if he is willing to take a two-year deal at around 4 to 4.5 million dollars per season to remain in Boston.

Time will tell Rick is not getting any older and rumors for him to return to the Rangers in the offseason continue to rise. So fans should not be surprised if Rick packs his bags and returns to the big apple next season, but one would think if he wants to compete for a Stanley Cup Boston would be a great option.

With such a small sample size of what Rick Nash can do look for this playoff run to be a pivotal part of how the Bruins go into these negotiations. Rick has been known as a playoff passenger for his entire career if he can somehow be a crucial part of this run look for Don Sweeney and his team to be more engaged in trying to get a deal done before July 1st, 2018.

If Rick Nash does not resign Bruins fans should forget about him as many fans seem to have forgotten that Anders Bjork will return next season from shoulder surgery and should be the leading candidate to replace Nash if he does decide not to return.

Playing most of his minutes alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to start his NHL career Anders Bjork seemed to have all the skills to develop into a top-six forward. A loss of confidence gave him a one-way ticket to the AHL where Anders could work on his skills before being brought back to the parent club. After returning to the NHL and playing a few games, Anders suffered an injury against the Anaheim Ducks which ended his season.

Next season Anders should be more motivated to stick into the Bruins lineup having a taste of what it takes to play in the NHL. Moving him alongside Krejci and DeBrusk if needed could open up more scoring opportunities for him, his high hockey IQ and elite shooting ability should make him lethal with a playmaker like David Krejci and the grinding machine that is Jake DeBrusk.

Ryan Donato should be looked at as a potential candidate to put alongside Krejci. Many options could be seen at that spot, but fans should expect if both Nash’s do leave Donato could be looking at the third line center position when the puck drops next season.

Other potential dark horse candidates include Zach Senyshyn and Peter Cehlarik.

So the Bruins do have options going into next season. The best option would be to try and resign Rick Nash for at least a few more seasons considering the price Don Sweeney paid. A full year of DeBrusk-Krejci-Nash would be a lot of fun to see, Rick looks like a player that was born to wear the black and gold and the fans should be rewarded with a few more years of Rick Nash.

If the Bruins fall short in resigning him, it should not seem like the end of the world for Bruins fans, while the price will sting even more the talent coming up from Providence should have fans smiling in no time.

Should the Bruins Resign Rick Nash or let others a chance to shine next season? Let us know what you think.

Bruins’ Bergeron Nominated For 2018 Selke Trophy

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Boston Bruins

PHOTO CREDITS: (nesn.com)

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

To no surprise, the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) have nominated Boston Bruins forward, Patrice Bergeron for the Frank J. Selke Trophy along with Philadelphia Flyers forward, Sean Couturier, and Los Angeles Kings forward, Anze Kopitar.

The Frank J. Selke Trophy was brought into the National Hockey League back in 1977-78 regular season, when Montreal Canadiens forward, Bob Gainey won the very first award. The award was named after nine-time Stanley Cup winner and former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, Frank J. Selke.

Ever since the trophy’s creation, it has been awarded to the best defensive forward throughout the course of the regular season. For Bergeron, it is an opportnunity to break the NHL record for most Frank J. Selke Trophies, tied with Gainey. Patrice has won the award on four previous occasions, (2011/12, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2016/17).

This past season has been one of the best for the 32-year old Bergeron, who scored 30 goals along with 33 assists, good for 63 points on the year in only 64 games played, his second-highest point total in his last five seasons. Along with the points, Bergeron finished the campagin with a +21 rating, his third-highest of his career.

Bergeron is commonly known throughout the league for his domination on the faceoff dot. During the 2017-18 season, ‘Bergy’ had a 57.3% average on the dot, winning 784 of his 1368 faceoffs taken. Bergeron had 55 takeaways during the season as well, his third-highest number of takeaways, with 12 less than his 2015-16 season and he played 16 less games this season than the ’15/’16 campaign.

The other nominees, Sean Couturier and Anze Kopitar also had great seasons. Couturier had 31-45-76 totals with a +34 rating while Kopitar finished with 35-57-92 totals and a +21 rating. However, it is worth noting that Couturier and Kopitar each played a full, 82-game season.

This is the first time that Couturier has been nominated for the award while Kopitar already has experience in winning the trophy, back in 2015-16, his first and only one to date.

The 2018 NHL Awards will take place on June 20th, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

 

Providence Bruins Weekend Wrap-up (4/13/18 to 4/15/18)

 

Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr

By: Josh B.   |   Follow Me On Twitter @ToCauseway

Tl;Dr Recap for those who just want the stats:

 4/13/18 Providence (43-25-5) vs. Charlotte (44-26-4) 7:05 PM

Goalies: Jordan Binnington, 23 of 28 shots, 0.821 SV%; Jeremy Smith, 29 of 32 shots, 0.906 SV%

 Box Score W/Scoring Summary:

 PVD 5-3 regulation loss, drops to (43-26-5), CHA improves to (45-26-4)

4/14/18 Providence (43-26-5) @ Springfield (32-35-7) 7:05 PM

Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 24 of 24 shots, Shutout; Sam Montembeault, 8 of 12 shots, 0.667 SV% Replaced by Harri Saterri, 16 of 17 shots, 0.941 SV%.

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

 PVD 5-0 Regulation W, improves to (44-26-5), SPR drops to (32-36-7)

4/15/18 Providence (44-26-5) vs. Springfield (32-36-7) 3:05 PM

Goalies: Zane McIntyre, 27 of 29 shots, 0.931 SV%; Harri Sateri, 31 of 34 shots, 0.911 SV%

Box Score W/ Scoring Summary:

PVD 4-2 Regulation W, improves to (45-26-5), SPR drops to (32-37-7)

Game Summaries:

Providence Bruins vs. Charlotte Checkers (4/13/18)

Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr

Up from the Carolinas, the Charlotte Checkers stopped by the Dunkin Donuts Center for the last regular season matchup between the two clubs for the 2017-2018 season. Providence took an early lead off the stick of Austin Czarnik fed by Tommy Cross and Kenny Agostino during a power play, but Charlotte stormed back with two back-to-back goals. Charlotte’s Hayden Fleury beat Providence’ Jordan Binnington back door, off a feed from Andrew Miller and Lucas Wallmark; This was followed up a minute later by Nicolas Roy who tipped a shot-pass from teammate Josiah Didier into the Providence net, and the period ended 2-1 Charlotte.

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Providence answered back in the second, as Ryan Fitzgerald caught linemate Jordan Szwarz’s spin around pass and tucked it past former Providence Bruin Jeremy Smith to tie the game. Both teams battled hard in the second, but neither scored till the dying seconds of the period, as Valentin Zykovnotched a powerplay goal with Trent Frederic in the box. Approaching the midway point of the third period, Zach Senyshyn used his speed to blaze up the ice, and score the tying goal off his own rebound. Charlotte responded with another powerplay goal as Jakub Zboril sat in the Providence box for slashing, and another in the final minute of regulation to seal the win and overtake Providence in the AHL standings.

Providence Bruins @ Springfield Thunderbirds I (4/14/18)

Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr

Providence played spoiler to the Thunderbirds final home game of the AHL season, putting a clinic on a Springfield team well clear of a playoff berth. Special teams proved to be a bright spot for the Bruins, as early in the first period, Jack Studnika tipped a shot-pass from teammate Kenny Agostino on the powerplay. Later, with newcomer Karson Kuhlman in the box serving 2 minutes in the Providence penalty box for slashing, the Bruins PK unit forced a turnover near the point, leading to a 2-on-1. Adam Payerl slid a pass around the Springfield defender to Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson who tipped it past Sam Montembeault for the 2nd Providence goal.

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Providence’s power play struck again in the 2nd period, as Adam Payerl found the back of the net off feeds from Jakub Zboril and Zach Senyshyn. 4 minutes later, JFK tallied his second of the night and chased Thunderbirds goaltender Sam Montembeault who allowed 4 goals on 12 shots. Even the Thunderbirds replacement Harri Sateri couldn’t stem the bleeding entirely: Kenny Agostino redirected a JFK shot-pass in the third period to wrap up the scoring for both teams, and Zane McIntyre posted his AHL-best 7th shutout of this season, passing Toronto’s Garret Sparks. Providence skated closer back to the 3rd place spot with this win.

Providence Bruins vs. Springfield Thunderbirds II (4/15/18)

Photo Credit:  Providence Bruins / Flickr

As the Providence Bruins began the season, so did they end it, with a matchup against the Springfield Thunderbirds on home ice. The night prior, Providence chased the Thunderbirds starting goaltender en route to a 5-0 thumping of Springfield. In the Saturday night matchup against Springfield, Providence wisely rested their top line of Fitzgerald-Szwarz-Czarnik, icing a fresh top line. However, it would be Zach Senyshyn, promoted to the second line that would open the scoring. After several scoring chances for Providence were stuffed by the Thunderbirds Harri Sateri, Senyshyn charged into the attacking zone behind Colton Hargrove who carried the puck in. Senyshyn took a short drop-pass, fought off a check, and flicked a nifty backhander from the slot that slid by Sateri glove side. Before this, Providence successfully killed two penalties, and the period ended with the Bruins up by one.

Springfield began the 2nd period scoring quickly, but Ryan Fitzgerald made a brilliant play by the blue line to filch the puck and race up the ice for his 21st goal of the season. Dryden Hunt’s second of the game followed a little over ten minutes later, and Springfield pulled even with Providence once more. In the third period, Zane McIntyre got his second assist of the season, while newcomer Karson Kuhlman notched his first professional point as they fed Trent Frederic for the latter’s 5th goal of the season. The game opened up at this point, with Providence and Springfield trading scoring chances, but the Bruins held their lead.

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With a minute and change remaining in their season, Springfield pulled the goalie to try for an equalizer. Austin Czarnik, in a continuation of a theme, pressured the Thunderbirds at the blue line. Czarnik successfully stripped the puck and skated up ice toward the empty net until he was hauled down from behind by a Springfield skater; in the AHL rulebook, when that happens, the skater with the puck is automatically awarded a goal. The Bruins topped the Thunderbirds 4-2, but with a Charlotte win the same day, remained in 4th place.

Plus / Minus

Plus: + Zach Senyshyn has been coming into his own, scoring 3 goals and 1 assist in his last 4 games. Senyshyn uses his speed, size, and skill to outplay, outmaneuver, and wear down opponents, and his patience to draw penalties (for example 2 in the Friday night game against Charlotte).

+ JFK scored two goals and an assist against the Thunderbirds Saturday night, including a heartbreaking shorthanded goal. He and Kenny Agostino returned from injury along with Justin Hickman. Kenny Agostino had a strong game Saturday night with 1G-2A.

+ Jack Studnika has his first professional goal, with a high tip-in PP goal on Sam Montembeault Saturday night in Springfield. He has 5 points in 4 games during his ATO.

+ Providence scored at least once each game on the man-advantage; also scored a shorthanded goal while killing a penalty Saturday night. The Bruins also killed all penalties against Springfield both Saturday and Sunday.

+ Despite losing to Charlotte Friday, Providence won the next two games to put them in a position to reclaim third in the Atlantic. Gritty, high-energy effort to make up for their mistake.

+ Austin Czarnik ends the season 3rd in the entire AHL among scoring leaders.

+ Boston Bruins newest addition Karson Kuhlman has his first pro point, with an assist on Sunday afternoon.

Minus: – Providence gave up 2 goals on the penalty kill to Charlotte Friday night.

– Another shaky outing for Jakub Zboril who was penalized twice in quick succession Friday night, one of which resulted in the game-winning goal for Charlotte.

– Losing to Charlotte Friday night took The PBruins’s playoff position out of their direct control, requiring 2 more Providence wins, and a Charlotte loss to Bridgeport.

Boston Bruins Game Recap: ECQF Game 3 – 04/16/18

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PHOTO CREDITS: (RICK MADONIK / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO)

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

BEFORE PUCK DROP 

Morning Rushes:

Bruins Injury Report as of 1pm EST:

Riley Nash is expected to play following an ear laceration suffered late in the season that kept him out of the first two games in the series.

Tommy Wingels is cleared to play after he was injured by Leafs’ Kadri in Game One, who was given a three-game suspension for the play. However, head coach Cassidy says that Wingels will most likely be a healthy scratch for Game Three.

Matt Grzelcyk suffered a lower-body injury in Game Two, he is doubtful to skate in the game. Defenceman Nick Holden expected to take his spot if Grzelcyk is unable to play.

What To Possibly Expect:

The Bruins have been stellar in the first two games in this first round matchup, scoring 12 goals and allowing only four from the Toronto team. Boston was able to kick out Frederik Andersen in Game Two as he allowed three Bruins goals on only four shots in the first period. With that, Maple Leafs head coach, Mike Babcock claims that Andersen will start in goal for Game Three. Also in the game, Bruins d-man, Kevan Miller collided with Leafs forward, Leo Komarov, who withstood the majority of the impact. He is expected to be scratched for the game.

Warmups:

First Period:

As predicted everywhere, the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to come out of the gates quickly and they did just that. Toronto steered away from the physical play that they tried to use against the Bruins in the first two games of the series and played the style of hockey that got them into the playoffs in the first place – speed and skill.

For the majority of the first twenty minutes, Tuukka Rask held his own between the pipes, making 11 saves on 12 Toronto shots including some big saves on Kasperi Kapanen.

Similar to Game Two, Kapanen sped past the Boston d-men and was all alone against Rask. On Saturday’s chance, Rask looked unsure, leaving the net wide open only for Kapanen to ring it off the post, demoralizing the Leafs. However, this time, Rask stayed strong and followed Kapanen, making a solid save. Kapanen didn’t have the best shot, but a big momentum boost for the Bruins.

A change from what B’s fans are used to, Boston lost the battle on the faceoff dots, going 46% compared to Toronto’s 54%. Faceoff wizard, Patrice Bergeron went 1-for-3 on the dot against Bozak in the period, including a defensive zone defeat that led to the only goal of the period.

End of period: Leafs 1-0, Shots 12-8 Leafs

Second Period:

Oh, you wanted goals? Goals are all we got in the second period and for what seems like all series-long so far, the goals were not all from the Bruins.

As absolutely everyone suspected, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid scored the tying goal just over three minutes into the second frame. The goal was set up by an always hard-working Bruins fourth line, who won crucial puck battles before Tim Schaller found McQuaid on the point, Quaider’s shot trickled by Andersen, making it 1-1.

Toronto, however, would do a great job eliminating the momentum of the road team, as Patrick Marleau scores on a Mitch Marner pass, beating Rask.

The game continued to be back-and-forth, as the series was supposed to be all throughout until Boston captain Zdeno Charo lasered a sharp-angle shot off of Andersen’s head, tying the hockey game once again. Chara was forced to take the outside as the middle was clustered with blue sweaters, but clearly, Big Zee doesn’t need the middle of the ice.

For the remaining minutes of the second period, which in my opinion has been the best period to watch for both teams, the puck bounced from end-to-end. Both teams had numerous chances, but it was superstar forward Auston Matthews, scoring his first point and goal of the playoffs. The top line for the B’s got caught tired in the defensive zone led to a poor play along the boards by Pastrnak and Matthews sniped it past Rask.

The period would finish with more pressure by the Maple Leafs as well as some saves from both netminders.

End of 2nd Period: 3-2 Leafs, Shots 24-23 BOS

Third Period:

Entering the final period down by a goal for the first time in the playoffs, the Boston Bruins needed a goal sooner rather than later.

Boston would go on their first power play of the night only 26 seconds into the game, a hooking call on Patrick Marleau. Boston would have some solid opportunities on the man-advantage, but no such luck when it comes to putting the puck past Frederik Andersen.

Boston outshot Toronto by a sizable margin within the final period, 18-7. Statistically, the Bruins played better than the Leafs. More shots, fewer giveaways (12 for TOR, 5 for BOS), and more blocked shots, one of them being by Adam McQuaid in the neck area.

Following some possible missed calls against the Maple Leafs and some continuous chances by Boston, Patrick Marleau would eventually score his second goal of the game, giving Toronto a two-goal lead, solidifying the victory.

As usual, the black and gold would not go out without a fight. Morgan Rielly and Brad Marchand each had offsetting penalties, meaning a four-on-four game for nearly the remainder of the game. Boston fired many one-timers, wrist shots, deflections. Anything to hopefully get one goal closer. The best chance from Boston was robbed with the stick of Andersen, which essentially sealed the deal.

There were three main issues tonight for the Bruins in the loss. One, being on the road against Toronto is not an easy task, especially this season. Two, the Maple Leafs were very disciplined tonight compared to the previous two outings, preventing the B’s powerplay from getting hot again. And finally, the Bruins missed many chances to score when it mattered the most.

Final Score: 4 – TOR vs 2 BOS (BOS leads series 2-1)

Three Stars: 

1st Star – TOR G Frederik Andersen

2nd Star – TOR F Patrick Marleau

3rd Star – TOR D Morgan Rielly

The two teams now have a two-day break before Game Four in Toronto on Thursday night. Scheduled puck drop is for 7:00pm EST.

 

 

 

 

Sports Spot 4/16/18: Episode 15 With Special Guest Spencer Fascetta

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By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

On Episode 15 of Sports Spot, we have special guest Spencer Fascetta of blackngoldhockey.com on the show. We talk Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox, Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the NBA Playoffs.

Bruins/NHL segment:

10:17-43:04

Please follow the Sports Spot co-hosts on Twitter:

@Mike_Cratty

@ryan_salvaggio

As well as the Sports Spot Twitter and SoundCloud account for all the latest updates from the world of sports including news, reports, signings, and trades. Including, of course, the Boston Bruins:

@SportsSpotWMCK

Boston Bruins: Round 1 Game 3 Preview

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Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

By: Lucas Salvatore | Check me out on Twitter @lsalvatore29

Following two blow out games at home the Boston Bruins will be tested in a hostile environment Monday night at the Air Canada Center.

The story of the series so far has been the Bruins top line posting 20 points in two games between them. David Pastrnak has been exceptional so far with nine of those twenty points and will look to continue his strong play on the road for game three and four.

The Bruins may be getting a familiar face back into the lineup as it is expected that forward Riley Nash will make his series debut returning from an ear injury that left him with concussion symptoms.

The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to down spiral as forward Leo Komarov will be held out of game three as he was injured from a hit by Kevan Miller during game two. Look for former Bruin Dominic Moore to make his series debut and be the new fourth line center for the Leafs.

Matt Grzelyck was not on the ice for morning skate Monday morning coach Bruce Cassidy said he has a lower-body injury and if the young defensemen cannot play tonight trade deadline acquisition Nick Holden will slide in on the third pair along with Adam McQuaid.

Here is what to expect out of the Bruins lineup for game three. 

Things You Need To Know

  • Ryan Donato will return to the press box after playing in game two.
  • The Bruins will have both Nash’s in the lineup for the first time since March 17th.
  • David Pastrnak has as many goals as the entire Maple Leafs squad so far ( 4 goals).
  • Tomas Plekanec will play on the Leafs second line tonight.
  • Nazim Kadri is serving game two of his three-game suspension.

Players To Watch 

Boston

David Pastrnak: After scoring four goals and five assists in two games so far this series it is vital for the Leafs to solve Pasta if they expect to win at least one game this series. The lost of Komarov and Kadri make the Leafs even weaker on defensive depth and really should make this an even more laborious task. Look for Mike Babcock to chase matchups all night long which should not worry Pastrnak or the entire team for that matter.

David Krejci: Playoff David Krejci is back, but this time he’s quietly going about his business as the Bruins top line has been getting the spotlight. The Bruins power play is running at 50%, and Krejci is a big part of it, but it is the Bruins second line which fans should look at. Jake DeBrusk and Rick Nash have already gotten on the board and have looked dominant so far in the series. Krejci is the driving force of this line and should the Bruins top line stop producing which is unlikely at this point this line is more than capable of running the show for Boston.

Toronto   

Auston Matthews: The Leafs first line center was overwhelmed in Boston as he could not get anything going. Look for him to be explosive tonight in front of his home fans and really push the pace and show once again how great of a player he really is. If this series is going to change for Toronto, Matthews will be the guy leading the charge.

Nikita Zaitsev: After being on the ice for four goals against in game two many speculated that Zaitsev would be taken out of the lineup for game three. Looking at morning skate for the leafs Zaitsev will be playing tonight with Jake Gardner as the Leafs defense remains untouched. This is a massive opportunity for Zaitsev look for him to be more physical in front of the net and try and be more of an offensive presence which Toronto desperately needs.

BNG Predictions 

Lucas Salvatore: 4-2 Boston

KG: 4-2 Boston

Max Mainville: 3-2 Boston in OT

Mike Cratty: 4-3 Boston in OT

Garrett Haydon: 4-2 Leafs