Pregame Notes: Bruins vs Rangers – 03/11/21

(Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Zach Carlone | Follow me on Twitter @zcarlone21

Scoring a goal or less in three of their four last contests, the Bruins are struggling to find goals to collect wins. They dropped their last contest on Tuesday night to the New York Islanders, 2-1, with a shootout loss. Either way, the Bruins have scored just that one goal in their last two games, and tonight, they head into another matchup with another team from New York. The puck drop against the Rangers for tonight’s home game is scheduled for 7 pm EST.

Bottom-Nine Production Lacking

When the Bruins are at their best, they not only have their first line contributing but all of their lines. That hasn’t been the case for the past few games, outside of their 5-1 over the Washington Capitals on March 5th. A power-play goal from forward David Pastrnak, a member of the first line, has been all the scoring the Bruins have gotten in the past two games. Specifically, the middle six group of forwards need to be better production-wise.

The laundry list of players in the bottom-six who have gone a certain amount of games without a goal is getting to be a bit much. It can’t drag on much longer if the Bruins want to be a contender in the playoffs. Guys like Anders Bjork (who is expected to be scratched tonight), Charlie Coyle, and Craig Smith need to get going on the scoresheet. Let’s not forget Jake DeBrusk either, who is currently in coach Cassidy’s doghouse but is expected to return to the lineup tonight. No more time for excuses.

Senyshyn Makes Season Debut

Bruins forward prospect Zach Senyshyn, 23, has drawn a lot of attention with his extremely impressive play with the Providence Bruins so far this season. Head coach Bruce Cassidy alluded to Senyshyn getting an opportunity with the big club at some point depending on how the past few games played out, and that opportunity comes tonight. In six career NHL games, the right-handed winger has gathered a goal and two assists.

Expected to play on the fourth line with Jack Studnicka and Sean Kuraly, Senyshyn has the chance to make an impact tonight. With Providence thus far this season, he’s collected five goals and four assists in eleven games. Studnicka has played significantly better at center, setting Senyshyn up to make an immediate difference starting with tonight’s game.

Halak Staying Strong

In a 2-1 shootout loss to the Islanders last time out, Halak surrendered only one goal on 27 shots. That being said, the blame shouldn’t be pointed at him for the Bruins not catching the win. In fact, he should be thanked for his efforts to get the Bruins a point against a hot Islanders team that was heading into the game with a five-game win streak. He’ll need to stay solid tonight like he was on Tuesday with the team playing better in front of him.

Coming into tonight’s tilt against the Rangers, Halak has a 5-2-2 record with a 2.08 GAA and a .919 save percentage. He’ll obviously need to stay solid tonight like he was on Tuesday with the team playing better in front of him for the Bruins to capture the win.

Bruins Projected Lineup

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Ritchie – Krejci – DeBrusk

Frederic – Coyle – Smith

Kuraly – Studnicka – Senyshyn

Grezlcyk – McAvoy

Zboril – Clifton

Tinordi – Vaakanainen

Halak

Vladar

Per head coach Bruce Cassidy, forwards Jake DeBrusk and Zach Senyshyn are expected to draw into the lineup for Anders Bjork and Chris Wagner.

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