By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @ndrsn27
We are only two games into the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Bruins, and I’m already wondering if we’ll be able to get a more accurate simulation than game two gave us. In the simulation, the Bruins won 3-2 in overtime. In real life, the Bruins won 4-3 in overtime. In the simulation, Taylor Hall, Jake DeBrusk, and Brad Marchand scored the Bruins’ three goals. Those three all scored in real life, plus a goal from Patrice Bergeron.
It will be very hard to top the accuracy of the game two simulation, but we’re going to keep trying. Without giving anything away, I hope game three does beat game two. I think a lot of Bruins fans would be very happy if it did.
The Bruins’ fourth line stole the show in the first period of game three. After a period that was scoreless for the majority of the twenty minutes, the Bruins struck twice late. Jake DeBrusk is predicted to score in his third game in a row to start the playoffs. If this really happens, and I’m not sure what the chances of that are, I think Bruins fans need to consider if DeBrusk is someone the team should protect in the expansion draft. He had a very bad regular season, but if he can perform when it matters the most, is that worth a protected spot? I think it’s at least worth considering.
Just one minute later, and with less than 30 seconds left, Curtis Lazar opened his goal-scoring account in this prediction. Lazar took a pass from line-mate Chris Wagner and snapped a shot into the top corner to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead. They took that lead into the second period, which would be the first time the Bruins led after the first period in the series.
To start the second period, the Bruins’ first line took over and the captain started it. Patrice Bergeron fired a shot from the slot past the goaltender’s glove and got the second period off to a great start. This put the Bruins up 3-0 just over a minute into the second period, putting them in a great position to try and close out the game.
Not even two minutes later, David Pastrnak increased the lead to 4-0 for the B’s. This time the shot beat the Caps goalie under his glove, and he was pulled shortly after. Pastrnak has been noticeably quiet so far in games one and two, so it would be great if he could pop up with a goal in game three.
Evgeny Kuznetsov pulled one goal back for the Capitals with seven minutes left in the second period. The Capitals forward beat Rask blocker side to make the game 4-1 and give the Capitals a chance. While being three goals down is never a favorable position, the Capitals are a team that has the firepower to come back from that deficit.
However, that wasn’t the case in this game, as the Bruins used the third period to put the game away. Just 30 seconds into the period, Brad Marchand scored in what would be his second straight game. This would also be the first game of this year’s playoffs in which all three members of the perfection line score a goal. Taylor Hall and Chris Wagner also added goals for the Bruins, while Anthony Mantha scored a consolation goal for the Caps.
Final Score: Bruins 7 – Capitals 2
One interesting detail about this simulation is that, as I mentioned, it predicted each member of the first line to score a goal, but it also predicted every fourth line forward on the Bruins to score a goal. A blowout of this magnitude would be more than welcome after the stress of two straight overtime games, in addition to the late comeback in game two. Puck drop for game three is scheduled to be broadcasted on NBCSN and NESN on Wednesday, May 19, at 6:30 pm.