Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Arizona: 11/17/18

bruins-forsbacka-karlsson-040917xPhoto Credit: NBC Sports Boston

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona, USA

Home: Arizona Coyotes (9-8-1)

Away: Boston Bruins (10-6-3)

Arizona’s Lineup

Forwards

Keller-Stepan-Fischer

Grabner-Galchenyuk-Perlini

Panik-Richardson-Hinostroza

Crouse-Strome-Cousins

Defense

Ekman-Larsson-Oesterle

Connauton-Hjalmarsson

Memis-Lyubushkin

Goalies

Kuemper

Miska

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Heinen-Krejci-Pastrnak

Marchand-Nordstrom-DeBrusk

Bjork-Forsbacka Karlsson-Backes

Acciari-Kuraly-Wagner

Defense

Lauzon-Grzelcyk

Krug-Clifton

Zboril-Kampfer

Goalies

Halak

Rask

First Period

Noel Acciari made a nice play behind the Arizona net and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson buried it front right in front of the goal to give the Bruins the early lead.

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A spectacular rush by Brad Marchand resulted in Jake DeBrusk jamming home his eighth goal of the season to double the Bruins advantage just under three minutes into the game.

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The Bruins looked to be flying around the ice in the early stages of the game, trying to atone for their lack of offensive success against Dallas. Defensively the team looked pretty comfortable as Jaroslav Halak didn’t face too much pressure in the early going. The Bruins went to penalty kill midway through the period as the Coyotes looked to get back in the game.

After an impressive effort play by Joakim Nordstrom, the Bruin forward drew a penalty which resulted in a four on four situation. A few saves by Halak during the abbreviated Boston power play kept it a two goal game as the Bruins became a little careless with the puck. Sean Kuraly took a tripping penalty shortly after as the Bruins were shorthanded again. The Bruins killed the penalty as the Coyotes got a few opportunities.

Matt Grzelcyk appeared to score as Anders Bjork got tangled up in the crease with Darcy Kuemper but the goal was overturned as it remained a two goal game late in the period.

Score: 2-0 Bruins

Second Period

The Bruins would go on the man advantage as Oliver Ekman-Larsson took an interference penalty about a minute into the period. Halak made an incredible save on a two man breakaway on the power play to keep the Bruin lead of two goals. The Coyotes killed the penalty as the Bruins failed to get any scoring chances. Both teams began to get a bit physical as a few players started to throw their bodies around.

After bad giveaway by the Bruins in the corner, Brad Richardson finished off a nice feed by Vinnie Hinostroza to cut the Boston lead in half almost midway through the period.

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The Coyotes started to find their game in the middle stages of the period as the Bruins started to struggle to get possession in the offensive zone. The Bruins seemed to respond well as they got a bit more possession and even got a few shots on goal. A big turnover in the Arizona end nearly resulted in the Bruins taking a two goal lead but Acciari was denied by Kuemper in the slot.

A few scrambled moments in the Boston end in the final minute nearly resulted in the tying goal for the Coyotes but it remained a one goal game heading into the final period.

Score: 2-1 Bruins

Third Period

The Bruins again seemed to struggle in the defensive zone especially getting the puck out but the defense was able to hold strong in the first few minutes of the period. The Bruins responded with a good shift in the Arizona end as Marchand gave the Coyotes issues and nearly gave the B’s a two goal lead.

The Bruins went on the penalty kill as David Krejci was called for interference with under 14 minutes to go. The Coyotes were unable to capitalize as the Bruins did a great job killing the penalty especially Marchand who got a good scoring chance in the early part of the man advantage.

Neither team got many great chances as the period went on but that didn’t mean the teams weren’t working hard. The Bruins especially seemed to be really pushing for an insurance goal in the latter part of the period. The Coyotes started to get it going later on in the period, looking for a tying goal. Michael Grabner drove hard to the net, resulting in a hooking penalty to Grzelcyk as the Coyotes went to the man advantage with under two minutes left.

A couple huge saves by Halak and a great play by Jeremy Lauzon to knock the puck out of the crease helped seal the win for the Bruins.

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Final Score: 2-1 Bruins

Three Stars of the Game

First Star: Halak. The Bruin goaltender stopped 31 of 32 shots and was outstanding in a few big moments as the B’s picked up a huge win without some key players.

Second Star: Acciari. After being sat down by Bruce Cassidy recently, Acciari responded with an assist and a number of big hits.

Third Star: DeBrusk. The young winger was everywhere in this game and a had great net drive on his goal in the first period. Number 74 has seven points in his last seven games.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Dallas: 11/16/18

cut(Photo Credit: NHL.com)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: American Airline Center, Dallas, Texas, USA

Home: Dallas Stars (9-7-2)

Away: Boston Bruins (10-6-2)

Dallas’s Lineup

Forwards

Benn-Seguin-Radulov

Janmark-Spezza-Ritchie

Comeau-Faksa-Pitlick

Smith-Dickinson-Nichuskin

Defense

Lindell-Honka

Heiskanen-Polak

Hanley-Bayreuther

Goalies

Bishop

Khudobin

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Nordstrom-Krejci-DeBrusk

Heinen-Forsbacka Karlsson-Bjork

Acciari-Kuraly-Backes

Defense

Krug-Clifton

Grzelcyk-Lauzon

Zboril-Kampfer

Goalies

Rask

Halak

First Period

Tuukka Rask was busy early, having to freeze the puck a few times as the Stars looked to jump on the Bruins defense. The Bruins had a few early chances thanks to a few turnovers by the Stars. Joakim Nordstrom was able to draw a tripping penalty on Gavin Beyreuther, giving the Bruins a power play with a little over 16 minutes left in the period. The Stars killed the penalty as the Bruins failed to get any significant scoring chances.

The Stars would get a power play opportunity as Sean Kuraly was called for a cross check. The Dallas power play was cut short as Tyler Pitlick was called for interference, resulting in a four on four situation. Rask made a quick succession of saves at the beginning of the Boston power play to keep it scoreless. The Stars killed off the abbreviated power play without surrendering any significant chances.

The Bruins were bailed out a few times by Rask who made a couple of timely saves in the latter half of the period. It was apparent in the first period that the young defensemen didn’t look out of place at all and were able to limit the Stars scoring chances. The Stars nearly took the lead after a scramble in front of the Bruin net but Radek Faksa inexplicably missed as Rask’s back was to the puck.

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Score: Tied 0-0

Second Period

A few early period saves by Rask kept the game scoreless as the goaltender looked pretty sharp in his first game back from his leave of absence. The Stars began to get good zone time in the Boston end in the early parts of the period but Rask and the defense seemed to be up to the challenge. After Bergeron got pushed hard into the penalty bench doors, Marchand took exception to the check by Faksa and dropped the gloves.

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Marchand took an extra roughing penalty, resulting in a power play for Dallas. The Bruins killed the penalty without their usual penalty killers on the ice. Rask made a few important saves on the power play. The Bruins began to do a good job getting speed through the neutral zone to attempt to put pressure on the Stars defense. Marchand took his second penalty of the night, this time for slashing which gave the Stars another power play chance. Incredibly, Marchand was called for a misconduct but the Bruins killed the penalty as Rask stood tall.

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Bergeron returned to the ice after heading back to locker room earlier in the period after the hit by Faksa. The game began to have a frenetic feel as both teams traded chances at either end. The period ended with neither team finding the back of the net.

Score: Tied 0-0

Third Period

After a turnover in the neutral zone, Rask made a great glove save to keep the Bruins in the game. Connor Clifton took a delay of game penalty shortly after, resulting in another Stars power play. The Bruins killed the penalty as Rask made a few really good stops to keep it scoreless. Marchand finally returned to ice after his misconduct, trying to give the Bruins some jump.

Refusing to stay on the bench, Bergeron came back out on the ice as a full on scrum took place with Torey Krug and Roman Polak dropping the gloves. Matching penalties resulted in neither team losing any man power on the ice.

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After a confrontation in front of the Boston net, Clifton and Jason Spezza dropped the gloves as the intensity of the game began to ramp up. Neither team got any great scoring chances as the period started to draw to a close. Rask made a few good saves towards the end of the game to keep it scoreless as well as Bishop who made a huge save on a double deflection in the final minute.

End of Regulation: Tied 0-0

Overtime

Rask made a big save on Benn in the first minute of overtime to keep the Bruins alive. Jason Dickinson finished off a two on one rush in front of the Boston net to end it to even the season series against the Bruins.

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Final Score: 1-0 Stars

Three Stars of the Game

First Star: Rask. In his return to the Boston lineup, Rask was absolutely outstanding and gave the Bruins every chance to get two points out of the game.

Second Star: Clifton. Making his NHL debut, Clifton didn’t look out of place and played a nearly flawless game as his future in a Boston uniform looks incredibly bright.

Third Star: Bergeron. Number 37 left the game twice with apparent injuries but returned to the ice both times as he refused to quit on his team. His performance certainly wasn’t lost on his teammates.

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Moore Signing Has Been A Big Help For Bruins

4ac0abfda8544713aa203c884130d48f-4ac0abfda8544713aa203c884130d48f-0(Photo Credit: Boston Globe)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

In recent history, the Bruins have been very hit or miss in free agency meaning they’ve had great success with some free agents such as Jaroslav Halak, Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, etc. But on the other hand, they’ve had some free agents that didn’t pan out. Names like Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes and Alexei Zhamnov were great disappointments for the Bruins in the last 15 years or so. The point is free agency is essentially a crapshoot in some respects as you don’t always know what you’re gonna get. There are always situations of teams overspending and players greatly underperforming, but John Moore is not one of those players.

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The 27-year-old signed a five-year contract with the Bruins on the first day of free agency back in July. It definitely wasn’t a move many people would have predicted considering some of the young defensemen that have excelled in Boston recently. Players like Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk have all found success in Boston in the last two years or so and it seemed strange to some people to throw another defenseman into the fold. In some respects though, the move was smart in part because injuries suffered at key times over the last few seasons have left the Bruins shorthanded. Carlo was a perfect example of a player who has suffered injuries at the worst time. A concussion late in the 2016-17 season kept Carlo out of the playoffs and a knee injury towards the end of last season kept him out of the playoffs yet again.

Injuries happen, that’s a given. Guys can go down at any point and defensemen are constantly in the line of fire and you can truly never have too many healthy defensemen. The early part to this season has been a challenge with injuries to Torey Krug, McAvoy, Kevan Miller, and now Zdeno Chara after last night’s game in Denver. John Moore is not the most spectacular defenseman in the league and he’s never been a top pair guy and most likely won’t be at any point. What he gives the Bruins is depth and solid play which is important at times like these when young players are being asked to do more than usual such as Grzelcyk and Jeremy Lauzon.

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Moore has been in the league for seven years and has always been known as a guy who doesn’t do anything remarkable but does the little things right. He’s played in every game for the black and gold this season and has been a consistent plus player. Being 27, Moore is a seasoned player who’s been to the playoffs a few times and understands the game very well. Having a player like this to help out the young players is important especially with all the young talent this team has. Moore has only had two assists this season but rarely looks out of place and often is in the right place at the right time defensively to take away scoring chances.

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Often in free agency, it’s very easy to overpay as teams essentially try to outbid each other for certain players. It didn’t seem like the Bruins spent too much for Moore who will make $2.75 million over five years. The money on his contract makes it very affordable but also easily movable in case the Bruins potentially don’t have a need for him down the road. People seemed to be confused on the term but in a way, it makes sense to me. Five years is a long time but considering the Bruins will eventually have to figure out life without Chara, it makes sense to have another solid defenseman in Moore on the roster. Players like John Moore don’t grow on trees, guys who can bring to the table decent size, good puck-moving ability, great skating and ability to play big minutes when called upon.

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While some folks might still question this free agent signing, I believe Don Sweeney and the Bruins front office may have found one of the best bargain free agents in the entire league. If it wasn’t for Jaroslav Halak playing as well as he is Moore might be the Bruins best free agent signing. With the slew of injuries to Bruins defensemen, we’ll get to see the true value of Moore and why the team decided to bring him in.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Vancouver at Boston: 11/8/18

boston-bruins-v-new-jersey-devils-8b70b8a30bff084c

(Photo Credit: Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (8-4-2)

Away: Vancouver Canucks (9-6-1)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Nordstrom-Krejci-DeBrusk

Heinen-Backes-Bjork

Wagner-Kuraly-Acciari

Defense

Chara-Carlo

Krug-Moore

Grzelcyk-Kampfer

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Vancouver’s Lineup

Forwards

Schaller-Horvat-Virtanen

Goldobin-Petttersson-Eriksson

Roussel-Granlund-Motte

Archibald-Gaudette-Leipsic

Defense

Tanev-Pouliot

Hutton-Gudbranson

Del Zotto-Stecher

Goalies

Markstrom

Bachman

First Period

A good shift by the Boston first line in the opening moments of the game gave the Bruins a bit of a jump. After a turnover at the defensive blue line, Bo Horvat fired home a wrist shot past Jaroslav Halak just 2:46 into the game.

After a blocked shot in the offensive zone, Halak made a huge save on Markus Granlund on a two on one to keep it a one goal game. The second line looked to be right in the middle of it in the early stages of the game as Jake DeBrusk got a few chances. The Bruins had the majority of the chances through the midway point of the period as they held a pretty big advantage in possession. The Canucks started to get more possession towards the end of the period as the game began to even out a little bit. A heck of a play by DeBrusk set up a rocket of a slapper by Matt Grzelcyk to tie the game at one with 6:19 to go in the period.

The goal seemed to open the game up as both teams began to get chances in good areas. A good shift by the first line closed out the period with the game still tied.

Score: Tied 1-1

Second Period

An outstanding shift by the first line resulted in Patrice Bergeron stuffing home a rebound off of a shot by Torey Krug just 36 seconds into the period to give the Bruins their first lead of the game.

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The Canucks went to the power play about three minutes later as Steven Kampfer went off for interference. The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty, allowing three shots as Halak stood tall. After the power play, the B’s became a little scrambled in their own end and Loui Eriksson capitalized, scoring his second goal of the year to tie the game.

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Immediately after the power play, Grzelcyk took a penalty for a high stick as the Canucks looked to retake the lead. Ben Hutton gave the Canucks the lead on the power play off of a shot from the point but it didn’t last long.

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DeBrusk tipped home a shot from David Krejci to tie the game just 32 seconds after Hutton’s goal.

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The scoring opened up the game as both team were flying up and down the ice. Kampfer took a hooking penalty with 8:30 to play in the period, his second penalty of the night. The Canucks capitalized again on the man advantage as Ericsson deflected a shot past Halak for his second goal of the game to make it 4-3.

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The Bruins continued to struggle in their own end as Antoine Roussel jammed home a pass from Granlund to give the Canucks a two goal lead just a minute and a half after the Eriksson goal. Tuukka Rask replaced Halak following the goal.

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The Bruins would go to the power play for the first time after a slashing penalty to Horvat with just under four minutes left in the period. A beautiful pass by Krug resulted in a second goal for DeBrusk, this time on the man advantage as the Bruins cut the lead to one.

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A long wrist shot by Erik Gudbranson gave the Canucks another two goal lead with about 30 seconds to go in the period.

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Score: 6-4 Canucks

Third Period

Just 38 seconds into the final period, the Bruins went on the power play as David Pastrnak got tripped by Horvat. The power play was cut short as Brad Marchand went to the box for a slash about a minute into the Boston man advantage. The Bruins killed off the abbreviated Vancouver power play as the Canucks failed to get any shots on goal.

After the penalty kill, the B’s got a few great chances in the offensive zone as they seemed to be more energized. Horvat took yet another penalty, this time a high stick to put the Bruins back on the power play as they looked to cut into the lead. The B’s would get a two man advantage as Pastrnak was slashed on a net drive by Hutton. Horvat scored on a gaffe by Rask for a shorthanded goal to give the Canucks a three goal lead.

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Jake Virtanen scored off the rush on a deflected shot that beat Rask to make it 8-4 Canucks and causing fans to head for the exits with about nine minutes to go.

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The Bruins got another power play after the goal to attempt to stop the bleeding. Danton Heinen got his first goal of the season off of a tip of Krug’s slap pass to make it a three goal game with over six minutes to play.

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The Bruins were unable to get any closer the rest of the game but Krug did drop the gloves late in the period for those keeping score at home.

Final Score: 8-5 Canucks

Three Stars of the Game

Third Star: Krejci. The Bruin center had three assists on the night and was one of the reasons for the big night for the Boston second line.

Second Star: DeBrusk. Number 74 played perhaps his best game of the season with two goals and tremendous energy from the start.

First Star: Eriksson. The former Bruin was very solid against his old team and found the back of the net twice as the Canucks ran the B’s out of their own building.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Nashville: 11/3/18

Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets                                                   Photo Credit: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Home: Nashville Predators

Away: Boston Bruins

Nashville’s Lineup

Forwards

Forsberg-Johansen-Fiala

Jarnkrok-Turris-Smith

Hartman-Bonino-Sissons

Salomaki-Gaudreau-Grimaldi

Defense

Josi-Ellis

Ekholm-Subban

Irwin-Weber

Goalies

Rinne

Saros

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Heinen-Krejci-DeBrusk

Bjork-Nordstrom-Backes

Wagner-Kuraly-Acciari

Defense

Chara-Carlo

Krug-Moore

Lauzon-Kampfer

Goalies

Halak

Rask

First Period

The game got off to a fast-moving start as both teams were flying up and down the ice. The Nashville crowd was into the game right away as the Bruins looked to grab an early lead. Neither team got any great scoring chances early but both goalies seemed ready from the start. The Bruins did do a good job of not allowing the Predators to gather speed through the neutral zone in the early going, limiting their scoring chances.

The period continued without any great scoring chances but the B’s held the Predators at bay with some solid defensive play in their own zone. The Bruins would go on the penalty kill for the first time as Brandon Carlo went to the box for hooking. The B’s killed off the penalty without giving up any significant chances. Shortly after the power play, Roman Josi made an outstanding couple of moves on his way to scoring his fourth goal of the season.

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Directly off the ensuing faceoff, Joakim Nordstrom walked in on Pekka Rinne which drew a hooking call on Yannick Weber to put the Bruins on the power play. The Predators killed off the penalty as the Bruins failed to get any shots on goal. Almost immediately after the power play, Noel Acciari went off for a hooking penalty which gave the Predators their second man advantage of the game. The Bruins killed off the penalty as they got a few shorthanded opportunities.

In the final seconds of the period Brad Marchand took a high sticking and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to give the Predators a four minute power play.

Score: 1-0 Predators

Second Period

The Bruins were able to kill off the first Marchand penalty as the Predators failed to get any chances on Halak. A few outstanding saves by the Bruin goaltender kept it a one goal game as the Bruins killed off the second penalty. The B’s picked up a power play as Ryan Hartman went off for a hook. The Predators killed off the penalty without giving up any significant chances.

The Bruins would go back on the power play after David Pastrnak drew a hooking penalty on Kevin Fiala. The Predators killed the penalty yet again as the Bruins continued to struggle to get consistent zone entry on the man advantage. The Bruins started to get their footing towards the end of the period after a couple of good shifts by the Kuraly and Krejci lines.

As the period drew to a close, neither team was able to truly grab control of the game. The Bruins seemed to be close to tying the game with a couple of good shifts. The fourth line drew a penalty as Acciari was taken down in front of the Nashville net to give the Bruins their fourth power play of the game. The Predators killed off the penalty as the Bruins struggled to even maintain possession of the puck. A penalty to Steven Kampfer gave Nashville a power play at the very end of the period.

Score: 1-0 Predators

Third Period

The Bruins killed off the penalty to Kampfer with some solid play in their own end. Halak continued his good night in net with a few solid saves in the early part of the final period. After a turnover in the defensive zone, Halak made a huge stop on Craig Smith to keep the game within reach for Boston.

The period continued with the Bruins getting better zone entry but without any great chances and obviously without any goals. The Predators seemed to get more chances as the period went on but were stonewalled at every turn by Halak who gave the Bruins a chance to win.

The B’s sent Halak to the bench with about two minutes to go, looking for a tying goal. The Bruins were unable to find any decent chances in the last two minutes as the Predators defense held strong.

Final Score: 1-0 Predators

Three Stars of the Game

Third Star: Josi. The Nashville captain was as solid as ever, scoring a goal and playing very good defense from start to finish as the Predators won their league-leading 11th game.

Second Star: Rinne. The Predators goaltender was very strong, getting his second shutout of the season and denying a few good chances in the last two periods.

First Star: Halak. The Bruin goaltender was outstanding in this one, giving the B’s a chance to win all night. Big saves in the third period especially helped keep the game close.

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Carolina: 10/30/18

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(Photo Credit: Entercom Radio, LLC)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: PNC Arena – Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Home: Carolina Hurricanes (6-4-1)

Away: Boston Bruins (6-3-2)

Carolina’s Lineup

Forwards

Ferland-Aho-Teravainen

Foegle-Staal-Willams

Martinook-Wallmark-Svechnikov

McGinn-Roy-Zykov

Defense

Slavin-Hamilton

De Haan-Faulk

van Riemsdyk-Pesce

Goalies

Darling

Mrazek

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Heinen-Krejci-DeBrusk

Donato-Nordstrom-Bjork

Wagner-Kuraly-Acciari

Defense

Chara-Carlo

Krug-Moore

Lauzon-Kampfer

Goalies

Halak

Rask

First Period

The Bruins went to the power play in the first minute of the game but were unable to convert as they failed to get any great scoring chances. The early part of the game lacked many scoring chances as both teams looked a bit slow. As the period went on, the Hurricanes began to get a few chances but Jaroslav Halak and the Bruins defense seemed up to the task.

The quiet first period continued as it looked dead at times in the arena as neither team was able to find an offensive rhythm. Torey Krug looked back to normal in his season debut as he showed almost no rust in his first few shifts. With 2:14 to go in the period, Jeremy Lauzon took a tripping penalty as the Bruins went to the penalty kill for the first time in the game. Just eight seconds into the power play, Michael Ferland stuffed home a loose puck after a mad scramble in front to give the Hurricanes the lead.

The Bruins went back to the penalty kill as Brandon Carlo took a slashing call as the Hurricanes looked to extend their lead. The period ended with the Hurricanes still on the power play.

Score: 1-0 Hurricanes

Second Period

The Bruins killed off the penalty to Carlo and shortly after, Brad Marchand was slashed driving to the net, resulting in another power play for Boston. Halak made two huge saves on the power play including a breakaway as the Bruins seemed completely out of sorts on the man advantage. Later on in the period Marchand would go to the box for a slash as the Hurricanes would get another opportunity on the power play.

The Bruins would kill off the penalty as Sean Kuraly got a shorthanded scoring chance off a nice pass from Noel Acciari but was denied by Scott Darling. The physical play started to pick up in the middle stages of the period as both teams looked frustrated with the lack of scoring chances. The Bruins seemingly tied the game after a deflection off the official but it was called back.

The Bruins would get a power play after Justin Williams took a high sticking penalty midway through the period. The Bruins finally ended their 106 minute scoring drought as David Pastrnak scored from a bad angle to tie the game at one.

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The Hurricanes began to tilt the ice as they brought more and more pressure to the Boston end. Halak came up huge with a few important saves to keep the game tied. Late in the period, John Moore went to the penalty box for delay of game as the Hurricanes tried to retake the lead. Right off a draw, Dougie Hamilton ripped a shot past Halak to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead with just over a minute to go in the period.

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Looking for a tying goal, Danton Heinen was dragged down, resulting in a penalty as the Bruins looked to score another power play marker. After a spectacular back check by Patrice Bergeron, Marchand buried a shot on the short side of Darling to tie the game yet again.

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During the scoring play, the Hurricanes were called for too many men as the Bruins would go on another power play. The period ended with over a minute and a half on the power play.

Score: Tied 2-2

Third Period

The Bruins were unable to take the lead as the Hurricanes killed off the remainder of the penalty. A few good saves from both Halak and Darling kept the game tied in the early stages of the final period. On an incredible individual effort, Marchand gave the Bruins the lead as he scored his second goal of the night with 14:37 to play in the game.

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The Bruins seemed to push hard for another goal, trying to pad their lead as they played with more urgency than they had at any point in the game. The Hurricanes wouldn’t go away as they continued to pepper Halak with shots from everywhere. The pace of the game started to pick up as the period went on as both teams seemed desperate for points.

A long stretch of continuous play didn’t result in any more scoring but both teams seemed to find their game late in the period. The Hurricanes turned up the pressure in the final few minutes, looking for a tying goal. Darling went to the bench with a little over two minutes left in the game.

Final Score: 3-2 Bruins

Three Stars of the Game

Third Star: Halak. The Bruin goalie was outstanding in Raleigh, saving 42 of 44 shots. His hot start to the season has been one of the best stories of this Bruins team.

Second Star: Bergeron. Totaling three assists, Bergeron was his usual self as he was great in all three areas of the ice and was a big part of the Bruins strong third period.

First Star: Marchand. Number 63 put the team on his back in the second and third periods, playing arguably his best game of the season.

Believe It Or Not, Bruins Are Just Fine

(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

A 7-0 loss on Opening Night isn’t ideal. A game in which no positives come out of it isn’t ideal. Despite a 7-0 beatdown, it was Opening Night and sometimes we as Bruins fans know that the start of some seasons doesn’t always go according to plan. The reason I’ve mentioned Opening Night is that this Bruins team is a much different team than the one that looked lost for nearly the entire 60 minutes on that Wednesday night in D.C. It’s a long season in the NHL, 82 games full of ups and downs and sometimes bad losses happen but it’s all about how you respond to them.

Since that loss to the Capitals, the Bruins are 6-2-2 and have overcome some pretty big obstacles in the early part of the season. Injuries to the blue line have arguably been the biggest issue to plague the team so far, but guys like Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, and even Steven Kampfer have stepped up. Zdeno Chara has been incredibly effective to start the season and has three goals already. Losing Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug and now Kevan Miller has put this team to the test, but they’ve responded with flying colors to close out this first month of the season.

One of the best parts of the open to the 2018-19 season is the performance of the top line, specifically Patrice Bergeron. Number 37 has put together an impressive start to the season with 16 points in his first 11 games, leading the Bruins in points. With the injuries he’s dealt with in recent seasons, it’s extremely satisfying to see him performing the way we are all used to him performing and being in such great health as well. His big start has been important especially with some of the offensive struggles of guys lower in the lineup.

One of the players that hasn’t struggled to start the season is David Krejci, who contrary to popular belief has performed pretty well in the early part of the season. Nine points in 11 games aren’t spectacular but Krejci has played pretty consistently and has matched very well with Jake DeBrusk as we figured out last season. If Krejci can come close to maintaining this kind of scoring pace, it would be a tremendous help to the Bruins and some of the scoring issues they’ve had to open the season. Finding another winger to match with Krejci is important as it could create another line to score goals to help create some scoring depth. Danton Heinen has been playing with Krejci and DeBrusk and hasn’t been a bad fit as he’s improved from his poor start to the season.

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Ah yes, we’ve now come to the most controversial position on this Bruins team, the goaltender. Tuukka Rask hasn’t started the way the Bruins wanted him to as he’s just 3-3 with a save percentage just over 90 percent and goals against average of over three goals per game. Rask hasn’t looked himself in the early part of the season as the worst parts of his game have reared their ugly head. This isn’t a new development for Rask as he started the year poorly last season. The same way Anton Khudobin stepped up in the early part of last season, Jaroslav Halak has been just as good if not better and deserves all the credit for his early season performance. Hopefully, the performance of the backup goalie can light a fire under Rask much like it did last season and get him to perform the way we all expect.

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Despite the issues the Bruins have faced in the early part of the season, they are right in the thick of the race in the Atlantic Division and just two points behind the division leader Toronto Maple Leafs. Unfortunately, this fan base has gotten to the point of freaking out after every loss, but contrary to popular belief, the Bruins will be just fine. If this team gets healthy and gets better goaltending, they’ll be in store for another special season.

Bruins May Have Found A Fourth Line Trio They Like

Noah+Hanifin+Noel+Acciari+Carolina+Hurricanes+vpUBnOrusucl( Photo Credit: Adam Glanzman / Getty Images North America )

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Yes, you’ve almost certainly heard enough about the first line of the Boston Bruins. Arguably it’s the best line in hockey, and all three players are almost certainly MVP-caliber players. The trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak have put up an absurd 36 combined points in their first seven games. At this point, nothing this line does should surprise you as they work so well together. However, there’s another line on this Boston team that might be just as effective.

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The fourth line has always been an effective line for the Bruins going back to the Stanley Cup season of 2010-2011. Last year’s group of Sean Kuraly, Noel Acciari, and Tim Schaller was very impressive, and they were a group that did everything that Bruce Cassidy asked. The playing styles of all three guys blended so well together, and they were always a high-energy line. Obviously not guys who would score 20 goals but a consistent effort from all three players made it seem like that line was just as effective as the first line.

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With Schaller having moved on to the Vancouver Canucks (who coincidentally, the B’s face Saturday) the Bruins had some decisions to make in the offseason about who could come in and join the fourth line. The Bruins settled on two bottom six forwards in Joakim Nordstrom and Walpole, Massachusetts native Chris Wagner. To some Bruins fans, it was a strange move as they believed Schaller could’ve been resigned. In my mind, however, Schaller came to Boston quite the same way as these two, and some people were just as skeptical of his signing. Neither Nordstrom or Wagner have been dominant statistically speaking, but both have given the Bruins forwards who can play anywhere on the bottom six.

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To add to the depth of Nordstrom specifically, he’s shown he can perform on even the second line as he played a few games with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. With Nordstrom and Wagner, it’s not about scoring goals, it’s about the consistent effort they’ve brought to every game they’ve played.

Now, back to the fourth line. Wagner has the been the guy who’s played the majority of his games on the fourth unit with Kuraly and Acciari. Again, it’s not goal scoring that’s impressed me with this group, it’s the effort, and it’s been so consistent they’ve arguably been the Bruins second-best line so far this season. The physicality shown by this line has also been positive as they’ve constantly finished their checks and aren’t afraid to get their bodies involved.

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The energy of this line is so much fun to watch as all three guys play with a great edge and when they’re at their best they can get scoring chances often. In this era of the NHL, physical play is definitely moving away from the game, but it’s still a part of the game that can be effective for the best teams. Not only can this line be physical, but they can also bring good energy to a game when it looks sluggish, and they can on occasion give a team quality scoring chances.

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Many people figured that Kuraly would be the third line center to start the year which he was, but it was clear that the fourth line role is a better role for him. Playing on this line gives him more freedom to play the fast, physical game he plays so well without being counted on to provide tons of scoring chances. Don’t get me wrong, he can create chances, but that’s not what his strength is. Kuraly is much better suited in a role that he can get the most out of. Adding two guys in Acciari and Wagner on that line that play a very similar game to Kuraly, this group has the chance to be a special group for the Bruins moving forward.

Bruins Post Game Recap: Edmonton at Boston: 10/11/18

Lightning_Bruins_032918_Richins_1_4660.jpg(Photo Credit: ADAM RICHINS FOR BSJ)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

For more info check out the preview for tonight’s game against the Oilers written by Drew Johnson.

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Mass.

Home: Boston Bruins (2-1-0)

Away: Edmonton Oilers (0-1-0)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Nordstrom-Krejci-DeBrusk

Heinen-Backes-Bjork

Wagner-Kuraly-Acciari

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Moore-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Edmonton’s Lineup

Forwards

Nugent-Hopkins-McDavid-Rattie

Lucic-Draisaitl-Yamamoto

Caggiula-Strome-Puljujarvi

Rieder-Khaira-Kassian

Defense

Klefbom-Larsson

Nurse-Benning

Russell-Bouchard

Goalies

Talbot

Koskinen

First Period

The game got off to a fast-moving start as both teams came out ready to go. Neither team got any great scoring chances early on as they seemed to be feeling each other out. Connor McDavid got the Oilers off and running with a burst of speed through the neutral zone, which led to his first goal of the season with 16:17 to go in the period.

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After the McDavid goal, the Bruins fourth line came out firing with a great shift which included a big hit by Chris Wagner on Jujhar Khaira. The B’s would go to the power play as Adam Larsson took an interference penalty with 11:48 to go in the frame. David Pastrnak scored on the man advantage on an absolutely ridiculous individual effort to tie the game with 10:38 to go in the period.

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With 6:06 to go in the period, Khaira took a boarding penalty which resulted in John Moore being hit hard into the side boards. Brad Marchand made it two power-play goals in the period as his attempted pass went into the net off of Drake Caggiula to give the Bruins the lead.

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Just 36 seconds later, Joakim Nordstrom got rewarded on a two-on-one to give the Bruins a two-goal lead after a nice feed from David Krejci.

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Charlie McAvoy went to the box for interference with just 3:15 to go in the period as the Oilers would get their first power play opportunity. Just 33 seconds into the power play, Marchand broke loose and forced a slashing penalty on Oscar Klefbom, resulting in a four-on-four situations. The Oilers would kill off the abbreviated Boston power play as the period drew to a close.

1st Intermission Score: 3-1 Bruins

Second Period

The Bruins came out hungry in the second period trying to extend the lead as they piled up a few good scoring chances. Kevan Miller and Khaira got into a fight early in the frame as retribution for Khaira’s hit on John Moore in the previous period.

The game began to open up as both teams were able to find ample space to work. The nasty factor also started to pick up as the physical play all of a sudden ramped up as David Backes, and Caggiula dropped the gloves. Extra penalties resulted in another four on four situations but neither team was able to find the back of the net. The game continued to move quickly without many whistles, but neither team was able to find any scoring chances. The physical nature continued late in the period which made it seem like we were witnessing hockey from 2011 as neither team gave an inch. Sean Kuraly channeled his inner Milan Lucic as he checked Matt Benning through the glass on the end boards.

Danton Heinen took a tripping penalty late in the period as the Bruins tried to maintain their two-goal advantage. The period ended with the Oilers still on the power play with 25 seconds remaining.

Score: 3-1 Bruins

Third Period

A few big saves by both Jaroslav Halak and Cam Talbot kept it a two-goal game early in the final period. The Oilers began to storm the Boston end towards the midway point of the period, pushing for a goal to make the game closer. The physical play continued as McAvoy and Caggiula got tangled up.

The B’s had a near miss as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hit the stick side post of Halak and the puck rolled along the goal line before Zdeno Chara knocked it away.

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The Bruins would go the power play as Jesse Puljujarvi took a high-sticking penalty with 8:53 to play. Tobias Rieder had another shorthanded opportunity for Edmonton, but Halak made an important save to keep it a two-goal lead. The Bruins failed to score on the power play as they virtually had no real scoring chances and the game remained relatively close.

The Oilers pulled Talbot with about two minutes to go as they made one final push. Patrice Bergeron finished it with an empty-net goal with 34 seconds left.

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Final Score: 4-1 Bruins

Three Stars of the Game

First Star:

Pastrnak. Number 88 scored his fourth goal of the season in what was an incredible effort and was everywhere on the ice on Thursday night.

Second Star:

Halak. It wasn’t a particularly busy night for the Bruins backup, but he came up big with a few important saves in the third period to keep the Oilers at bay.

Third Star:

Nordstrom. Inserted into the lineup for Ryan Donato, Nordstrom not only scored a goal but gave a consistent effort all game and didn’t look out of place at all.

Bruins Post Game Recap: Boston At Washington: 10/3/18

imagePhoto Credit: Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Home: Washington Capitals

Away: Boston Bruins

Washington’s Lineup

Forwards

Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Connolly

Vrana-Backstrom-Oshie

Burakovsky-Eller-Stephenson

Walker-Dowd-Smith-Pelly

Defense

Djoos-Carlson

Orlov-Niskanen

Orpik-Bowey

Goalies

Holtby

Copley

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Heinen

Donato-Kuraly-Backes

Nordstrom-Acciari-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Moore-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Goalies

Rask

Halal

First Period

Just mere seconds into the game, TJ Oshie slammed home a one-timer to give the Caps the early lead.

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About a minute later, Sean Kuraly went to the box for a tripping penalty. Two seconds into the power play Evgeny Kuznetsov buried a loose puck past Tuukka Rask to double the Capitals lead just 1:47 into the game.

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The Bruins continued to struggle to find their legs early in the game as Rask bailed them out on a few different occasions. Jakub Vrana took a slashing penalty with 11:34 to play in the period as the Bruins went to the power play for the first time.

The Bruins were unable to get many chances as the Capitals killed off the penalty. After a nice steal by Danton Heinen behind the Washington net, Jake DeBrusk rang the post, which nearly cut the Capitals lead in half.

The Bruins seemed to find their legs as the period went on but were unable to find the net despite some good scoring chances.

Score: 2-0 Capitals

Second Period

Alex Ovechkin nearly tripled the Capitals lead with a shot off a great feed from Kuznetsov early in the period but Rask made an incredible pad save to keep it a two goal margin.

Brad Marchand went to the box for tripping with 16:59 to go in the period as the Capitals went on their second power play of the game. Ovechkin got his revenge on Rask with a goal on a great pass from Nicklas Backstrom to give the Caps a 3-0 lead a little over a minute into the power play.

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After a bad turnover by Matt Grzelcyk, Nic Dowd scored on a spinning backhand to up the Capitals advantage to 4-0 two minutes after the Ovechkin goal.

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The Capitals would get another crack on the power play as Kuraly took another penalty, this time for holding. Kuznetsov scored again on the man advantage as Rask failed to stop a bad angle shot. Jaroslav Halak replaced Rask with 12:32 to go in the period.

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Kevan Miller took a penalty for a cross check with 6:06 to play in the period as the Capitals power play took to the ice yet again. David Backes went to the box for a slash that gave the Caps a five on three power play which John Carlson quickly cashed in on to make it 6-0.

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Score: 6-0 Capitals

Third Period

Early in the period the Bruins had a bit more jump than they had at any point in the game and Halak got involved with a couple of good saves.

The game moved a lot faster in the last period as the Capitals seemed to go into cruise control with such a big lead. Madison Bowey went to the penalty box with 11:35 to play after he cross-checked Marchand.

The Capitals got a few chances while short handed and Halak made a few incredible saves including a glove save on a great opportunity by Nathan Walker. The Bruins were unable to score on the power play as their offensive struggles continued.

Lars Eller made it a seven spot on the scoreboard as he got free of the Bruins defense and beat Halak on his stick side with about nine minutes to play.

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With about six minutes to go, Marchand and Eller dropped the gloves after Eller appeared to chirp the Bruin bench after scoring earlier in the period.

Final Score: 7-0 Capitals

Three Stars of the Game:

First Star: Kuznetsov. The Capitals forward was the best player on the ice and set the tone early with a power play goal that got the crowd going.

Second Star: Ovechkin. The Caps captain was his usual self in this game and made sure his team was ready to go right from puck drop. He buried a goal in the second period with his trademark slap shot for his 608th career tally.

Third Star: Backstrom. The Swedish center totaled three assists and was a big part of the Caps quick start to the game.