Boston Bruins 2018-19 Schedule Breakdown

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Photo Credit: John Wilcox

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow me on Twitter @thesportsguy97

The Boston Bruins will get up close and personal with the Stanley Cup Champs as they will open the 2018-19 season in Washington to face the Capitals on October 3rd at 7:30 P.M. The Caps will hoist their first Stanley Cup banner in franchise history before puck drop. If that wasn’t enough the Bruins then will travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres the next night for their home opener against potential top pick Rasmus Dahlin.

The Bruins will open their home slate on October 8th with the annual Columbus Day matinee against the Ottawa Senators at 1 P.M. The season-opening homestand will continue with games against the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings.

The Bruins will go on three separate West Coast road trips in October, November, and February taking on the likes of the Colorado Avalanche and the Dallas Stars in November, the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks in October and the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights in February. At the tail end of the season the Bruins will be away from home for seven of their final ten games of the season.

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The Bruins won’t just be going on the road next season, they’ll be hosting four consecutive home games four separate times during the year. The first such stretch will occur at the beginning of November when the Bruins will take on Dallas, Vancouver, Stanley Cup finalist Vegas and Toronto, which will be their first matchup against the Leafs since Game 7 of their first round series.

One of the biggest storylines at the end of last season was the arduous stretch of 21 games in 39 days from March 1st onward. Fortunately, the Bruins will catch a break in 2018-19 with just 18 games in the final 37 days of the season. Look for the team to be a little more rested going into postseason play next season if they do indeed make it there.

The Bruins bye week will begin January 20th, the week before the All-Star break. The B’s will return to action on the 29th when they host the Winnipeg Jets at 7 P.M.

Other schedule highlights:

First matchup against the Montreal Canadiens on October 27th at 7 P.M. in Boston

Annual Black Friday matchup (11/23) at 7:30 P.M. in Boston which will be against the Pittsburgh Penguins

First matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 6th in Tampa at 7:30 P.M.

First matchup against Hart Trophy Winner Taylor Hall as the B’s take on the New Jersey Devils on December 27th in Boston at 7 P.M.

The Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium against the Chicago Blackhawks on New Years’ Day at 1 P.M.

All-Star Weekend in San Jose starting January 25th

Super Bowl Sunday matinee (2/3) in Washington against the Capitals at 12:30 P.M.

Season Finale on April 6th in Boston against the Lightning at 12:30 P.M.

Full Schedule

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Bruins Youth A Detriment In Postseason?

Patrik Laine, Sean Kuraly

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

The youth was served by the Boston Bruins in the 2017-18 season. Three players in their first season finished in the top ten in scoring on the team. Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen each scored 16 goals and finished their rookie seasons scoring 40 plus points. After a successful playoff debut last spring, Charlie McAvoy played in 63 games, scoring 32 points and playing virtually the entire season on the top defensive pairing with Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The youth proved very successful for the team as they finished in second place in the Atlantic Division, just a single point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

11 different skaters made their NHL debuts during the season, and five of those players also made their playoff debuts, excluding McAvoy. By comparison, of the four teams that reached the conference final, eight players combined made their playoff debuts. These eight players made significant contributions to their team so the list may exclude some players who played a game or two. The point is the Bruins relied more heavily on rookie skaters than any other team that made a deep postseason run. The Bruins had players like Sean Kuraly and Matt Grzelcyk playing big roles, and at times they seemed to get overwhelmed with the rigors of postseason play. This article is by no means an indictment on the Bruins youth, but it’s pretty clear that teams like Tampa Bay, Vegas, and Washington had rosters that were more experienced to deal with how to play in the postseason.

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Tampa Bay, in particular, was a team that gave the Bruins issues because they were filled with experienced players like Chris Kunitz, Brayden Coburn, and Ryan Callahan. Players like this may not be flashy, but they’ve been through the postseason battles and understand how to play in those intense battles. It’s not to say the Bruins were without experience because they arguably had some of the most experience going into the playoffs with the likes of Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and David Backes. But with younger players playing such big roles, it became an issue when they weren’t up to it. It’s not to say they won’t ever get there but it’s clear watching these later rounds of the playoffs, they might need to add a few players to give them the experience level of other teams.

Some may assume the Vegas Golden Knights are a team filled with young, inexperienced players because of the expansion draft, but you’d be wrong. Only one player on their playoff roster is considered a rookie, right winger Alex Tuch who has scored six goals in the postseason for the Western Conference Champs(crazy right?).

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Some of their biggest performers such as Marc-Andre Fleury, Erik Haula, and David Perron are seasoned veterans and guys who can be counted on in the postseason. Again this isn’t saying the Bruins youngsters aren’t up to the task, but sometimes it’s more pertinent to have experienced playoff performers on your team because you know exactly what you’re going to get from them. Maybe in the next few years, we’ll see this experience for the younger players pay off, but this postseason it was clear that the teams who went farther were filled with experienced NHL players who understood their role and were up to the task.

This past season for the Boston Bruins was nothing short of extraordinary, and the fact, so many younger players had large roles was an absolute revelation. It was important that so many players got good postseason experience so they can use that for future playoff runs and you can be sure they’ll be many more with the surplus of up and coming talent in this organization. The 2018 postseason may not have brought a cup to Boston like so many wanted, but watching the teams still in it filled with seasoned veterans should be a reminder of what it takes to win a championship.

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: ECSF Game 5: Boston at Tampa Bay

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Boston Bruins

Photo Credit: GREG M. COOPER/USA TODAY SPORTS

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow me on Twitter @thesportsguy97

Home: Tampa Bay Lightning, 7-2 in the postseason

Away: Boston Bruins, 5-6 in the postseason

Tampa Bay’s Lineup

Forwards

Miller-Stamkos-Kucherov

Palat-Point-Johnson

Killorn-Cirelli-Gourde

Kunitz-Paquette-Callahan

Defense

Hedman-Girardi

McDonagh-Stralman

Coburn-Sergachev

Goalies

Vasilevskiy

Domingue

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Donato-Krejci-Rick Nash

DeBrusk-Kuraly-Backes

Schaller-Riley Nash-Acciari

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Grzelcyk-Miller

Holden-McQuaid

Goalies

Rask

Khudobin

First Period

The Lightning had an early chance after a turnover by Tuukka Rask but the Bruin goalie stood tall on an attempt by Tyler Johnson. Rask was on it early making a couple of big saves to keep the game scoreless.

The Bruins would go on the penalty kill with 12:51 to play in the period as Charlie McAvoy took a cross-checking penalty. The Bruins killed off the penalty as the Lightning failed to gain any momentum.

The Bruins would go to the kill again as David Backes went off for interferences with 8:08 to go in the period. Thanks to a good play by Brad Marchand he forced a holding penalty on Victor Hedman. Unfortunately Marchand was called for embellishment, resulting in the Lightning staying on the power play.

The Bruins luckily killed the penalty with about six minutes to go in the period. The Bruins would go to the power play with 2:58 to play in the period as Dan Girardi took an interference penalty.

David Pastrnak had a great take into the offensive zone, resulting in a tripping penalty to Cedric Paquette that gave the Bruins a five on three power play. David Krejci drilled a one-timer on a pass from McAvoy to give the Bruins the 1-0 lead with 47 seconds to go in the period.

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Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

Again early in the period, Rask made a couple of key saves to keep the Bruins ahead. The Lightning had a difficult time utilizing their speed as the Bruins made a couple of nice defensive plays especially in the neutral zone.

After a bad turnover by Kevan Miller, Brayden Point tied the game after a tremendous forecheck with 9:17 to go in the period.

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The Lightning would go to the power play as Patrice Bergeron took a tripping penalty with 6:29 to play in the period. J.T. Miller took full advantage as he scored on a beautiful pass from Nikita Kucherov just 29 seconds into the man advantage to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead.

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Score: 2-1 Tampa Bay

Third Period

The Bruins did a good job coming out strong in the beginning of the period, pushing very hard for a tying goal. Thanks to good defending and solid goaltending by Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning maintained the one-goal lead.

The Bruins had a hard time getting speed going through the neutral zone as the game wound down. Despite this, Rask kept the Bruins in the game with some clutch saves down the stretch.

The Bruins would get a power play with about four minutes to go as Ryan McDonagh tripped down Pastrnak. The Lightning killed off the penalty as Vasilevskiy stood tall, making a couple of huge stops to keep his team ahead.

The Lightning iced it as Anton Stralman scored from his own defensive zone with 1:29 to go to make it 3-1.

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Final Score: 3-1 Tampa Bay

Final Series Score: 4-1 Tampa Bay

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: ECSF Game 1: Boston at Tampa Bay

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow me on twitter @thesportsguy97

Home: Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1 in the postseason

Away: Boston Bruins, 4-3 in the postseason

Tampa Bay’s Lineup

Forwards

J.T. Miller-Stamkos-Kucherov

Palat-Point-Johnson

Killorn-Cirelli-Gourde

Kunitz-Paquette-Callahan

Defense

Hedman-Girardi

McDonagh-Stralman

Coburn-Sergachev

Goalies

Vasilevskiy

Domingue

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Rick Nash

Heinen-Riley Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Miller

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

Goalies

Rask

Khudobin

First Period

Both teams traded chances in the early going, but the game remained scoreless thanks to a couple strong saves by both goaltenders. Tuukka Rask looked exceptionally sharp early as the Lightning brought pressure early and often.

Both teams mixed it up physically, and it was clear that neither team wanted to give the other team an edge. The Lightning continued to get the better of the scoring chances but couldn’t solve Rask. The Bruins didn’t help themselves with a ton of turnovers in the defensive zone.

The Bruins would go to the powerplay with 2:57 to play in the period as Ryan Callahan tripped Kevan Miller in the offensive zone. Just eight seconds into the man advantage Rick Nash tipped a David Pastrnak wrist shot by Andre Vasilevskiy to give the Bruins a late first-period lead.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

After a strong shift by the first line, Patrice Bergeron drilled home a one-timer on a pass from Pastrnak to give the B’s a 2-0 lead just 42 seconds into the period.

The Lightning answered as a shot from the point by Dan Girardi got by Rask to cut the lead in half with 17:29 to go in the period.

An apparent goal by the Bruins was called back as Pastrnak was called for a cross-check and the Lightning went on the power play for the first time looking to tie the game. The Bruins killed off the penalty thanks a couple clutch saves by Rask. Shortly after the penalty expired, Nash fired an absolute snipe by Vasilevskiy on the rush for his second goal of the afternoon with 7:27 left to play in the period.

Eight seconds after the goal, Jake DeBrusk was called for interference which gave the Lightning another powerplay. The Lightning cut the lead back to one on a goal by Mikhail Sergachav who fired in a shot from the point with 6:38 to go after Rask had one of his skate blades come off.

Rask had a fantastic stop on Ondrej Palat with under a minute left in the period to keep it a one-goal game.

Score: 3-2 Boston

Third Period

The Bruins regained the two-goal lead as Brad Marchand deflected Charlie McAvoy’s shot past Vasilevskiy just 3:32 into the period.

The Bruins controlled the action for the majority of the first half of the third period with some good scoring opportunities and good shot blocking.

Bergeron buried his second goal of the game on a sweet feed from Marchand to extend the lead to three with 9:49 remaining in the game.

With 8:36 to go, the Lightning went to the power play for the third time in the game as DeBrusk was penalized again, this time for a cross check. The Bruins killed it off without many chances for the Lightning. In an interesting move, Lightning coach Jon Cooper pulled the goalie and DeBrusk empty-netter with 6:19 to go to make it 6-2 Bruins.

Final Score: 6-2 Boston

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Round 1 Game 7: 4/25/18: Toronto at Boston

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(Getty Images)
By: Garrett Haydon | Follow me on twitter @thesportsguy97

Home: Boston Bruins, 3-3 in the postseason

Away: Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-3 in the postseason

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Rick Nash

Heinen-Riley Nash-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Acciari

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Miller

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

Goalies

Rask

Khudobin

Toronto’s Lineup

Forwards

Hyman-Matthews-Brown

Marleau-Kadri-Marner

Van Riemsdyk-Bozak-Kapanen

Johnsson-Plekanec-Nylander

Defense

Rielly-Hainsey

Gardiner-Zaitsev

Dermott-Polak

Goalies

Andersen

McElhinney

First Period

30 seconds into the game Sean Kuraly took a tripping penalty in the offensive zone as the Leafs went on the powerplay. Patrick Marleau tipped a shot by Jake Gardiner past Tuukka Rask just 2:05 into the game. It was Marleau’s 71st career postseason goal.

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The Bruins went to the powerplay shortly after as Morgan Rielly sent the puck over the glass. Jake DeBrusk answered on the powerplay for the B’s as he deflected a wrist shot from David Pastrnak into the net just 4:47 into the game.

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Marleau answered again as he buried a wrist shot off a nice feed from Mitch Marner just 1:26 after DeBrusk’s tying goal.

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Inserted into the lineup for Game Seven, Danton Heinen fired a shot from the high slot past Frederick Andersen to tie the game just 2:58 after Marleau’s second goal.

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With 8:30 to go in the period, Rick Nash took a high sticking penalty as the Bruins went shorthanded again. The Bruins killed it off after a couple of nice shot blocks.

After a Kevan Miller shot went intentionally wide, Patrice Bergeron buried the loose puck with just 37 seconds left in the period for his first goal of the postseason.

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Score: 3-2 Boston

Second Period

2:07 into the period, Travis Dermott fired in a long range wrister past Rask after Pastrnak failed to get the puck out of the zone.

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The Bruins returned to the powerplay after Tomas Plekanec interfered with Brad Marchand. Kasperi Kapanen gave the Leafs the lead again scoring a shorthanded goal after an impressive individual effort with 13:55 to go in the middle period.

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The Bruins and the Leafs spent about 10 minutes trading chances and going end to end but neither team was able to find the back of the net as the period drew to a close.

Score: 4-3 Toronto

Third Period

Both Zach Hyman and David Krejci went to the box for matching roughing minors just 1:06 into the period, resulting in a four on four. Just six seconds into the four on four, Torey Krug ripped a rocket by Andersen to tie the game.

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Matching penalties once again to Nash and Tyler Bozak resulted in another four on four situation with about 16 minutes to go. A tremendous one man rush by DeBrusk gave the Bruins the lead for the first time since the first period with 14:35 to go.

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After a good play by Marchand behind the goal, Bergeron set up Pastrnak in front for his fifth goal of the series to give the Bruins a two goal lead with 8:21 remaining.

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Marchand iced it with an empty netter with just 50 seconds to go to make it 7-4.

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Final Score: 7-4

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Round 1 Game 2: 4/14/18: Toronto at Boston

David Pastrnak

Credit: Stuart Cahill

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow me on Twitter @thesportsguy97

Home: Boston Bruins: 50-20-12, 112 points, second in the Atlantic Division

Away: Toronto Maple Leafs: 49-26-7, 105 points, third in the Atlantic Division

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Ric Nash

Donato-Acciari-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Heinen

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Miller

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

Goalies

Rask

Khudobin

Toronto’s Lineup

Forwards

Komarov-Matthews-Nylander

Hyman-Marleau-Marner

Van Riemsdyk-Bozak-Brown

Johnsson-Plekanec-Kapanen

Defense

Rielly-Hainsey

Gardiner-Zaitsev

Dermott-Polak

Goalies

Andersen

McElhinney

First Period

About 90 seconds in, Jake DeBrusk sprung Rick Nash on a breakaway but he missed wide on Frederick Andersen’s stick side. The Leafs came out a bit more aggressive than in Game 1, resulting in some early chances.

The hitting picked up as Kevan Miller took a run at James Van Riemsdyk as the Bruins looked to get physically involved. David Pastrnak cleaned up some garbage in front of the net to pick up his second goal of the playoffs to give the B’s a 1-0 lead with 14:34 remaining in the period.

The Leafs got hit with a too many men on the ice penalty as the Bruin powerplay went to work after a dominant performance in Game 1. Kaspari Kapanen got in alone after a turnover at center ice but hit the post. DeBrusk made it 2-0, tipping home a pass from Torey Krug on the powerplay with 10:14 to go in the period. It was the rookie’s first career playoff goal.

After a tremendous shift, Miller scored as his attempted pass deflected into the net off of Nikita Zaitsev to make it 3-0 with 7:47 left in the period. It was Miller’s first career playoff goal.

After Tim Schaller finished his check on Mitch Marner, Ron Hainsey dropped the gloves as the he tried to get his team going.

The Bruins picked up a powerplay as Hainsey got an extra two minutes for roughing. Nash made it 4-0 after finishing off a rebound in front for the Bruins second powerplay goal of the period with just five minutes remaining in the period.

Score: 4-0 Boston

Second Period

Marner tallied a goal for the Leafs just 1:22 into the period as Zach Hyman zipped a pass through the crease to the hard-charging Marner.

David Krejci tipped a Pastrnak pass past Curtis McElhinney with 16:14 to go in the period to make it 5-1.

Just seconds after the goal, Nash went to the box for high sticking as the Leafs looked to score their first powerplay goal of the series. The Bruins killed it off as the Leafs failed to get any offense momentum. Connor Brown fired a pass in front that Tyler Bozak put in to make it 5-2 with 10:58 to go in the period. It was Bozak’s first goal of the series.

Van Riemsdyk went to the penalty box after tripping Brad Marchand as the Bruins went to the powerplay again. The Leafs killed it off despite a few good chances for the Bruins.

The Bruins went to the powerplay yet again as Marner sent a puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty. The Leafs killed it off as the Bruins only put one shot on goal during the man advantage.

Score: 5-2 Boston

Third Period

The Leafs started to generate some momentum early in the period but Tuukka Rask made some huge stops to keep the game in control. The Bruins would go shorthanded as Matt Grzelcyk took a hooking penalty with about 15 and a half minutes left in the game.

The Bruins killed off the penalty as the Leafs failed to get any great scoring opportunities. About two minutes later, Pastrnak went to the box for interference as the Leafs got another chance to get back into the game. The opportunity went by the wayside as the Bruins killed off another penalty.

Pastrnak made it two goals on the night as he scored on a wrap around after a incredible stick play by Bergeron to make it 6-2 with just 7:26 left to go.

With 5:40 to go, Krejci went off for a holding penalty to give Toronto yet another powerplay opportunity. Van Riemsdyk potted a rebound in front just 33 seconds into the man advantage to cut the lead to 6-3.

Pastrnak finished off the hat trick with a marvelous move in front to give the Bruins a 7-3 lead with just 1:36 to go. With the goal, Pastrnak picked up nine points in the first two games of the series, including six in Game 2.

Final Score: 7-3 Boston

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 1: 4/12/18: Toronto at Boston

Unknown

(WINSLOW TOWNSON/USA TODAY SPORTS)
 By: Garrett Haydon | Follow me on twitter @thesportsguy97

Home: Boston Bruins: 50-20-12, 112 points, second in the Atlantic Division

Away: Toronto Maple Leafs: 49-26-7, 105 points, third in the Atlantic Division

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Ric. Nash

Heinen-Acciari-Backes

Schaller-Kuraly-Wingels

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Miller

Grzelcyk-McQuaid

Goalies

Rask

Khudobin

Toronto’s Lineup

Forwards

Hyman-Matthews-Nylander

Marleau-Kadri-Marner

Van Riemsdyk-Bozak-Brown

Komarov-Plekanec-Kapanen

Defense

Rielly-Hainsey

Gardiner-Zaitsev

Dermott-Polak

Goalies

Anderson

McElhinney

First Period

David Backes started the game with a physical shift as the Bruins looked ready to go right from the start. Seemingly every Bruin finished their check in the opening minutes as they looked to set the tone. The Bruins went to the powerplay with 14:56 to go in the period as Rick Nash drew a hooking penalty on James Van Riemsdyk.

Brad Marchand wasted no time as he scored 24 seconds into the man advantage, taking a great feed from Torey Krug. David Pastrnak picked up a secondary assist on the goal.

David Krejci then went off for a hook just 26 seconds after the Marchand goal as the Maple Leafs looked to answer. The Bruins killed off the penalty, getting a few shorthanded chances in the process. Tyler Bozak and Charlie McAvoy got tangled up behind the Bruin goal leading to a small scrum that involved Backes taking down Van Riemsdyk. The Bruins did a good job in the first frame of not giving the Leafs time and space in the offensive zone. Jake Gardiner nearly tied the game with a long-distance slapper but the shot rang the iron. The Leafs finally found their legs as Zach Hyman scored with a tremendous burst of speed to tie game with just 3:08 to play in the period.

 

Score: Tied 1-1

Second Period

Just 59 seconds into the period, Zdeno Chara went to the box for a holding the stick penalty. The Bruins killed it off as Tuukka Rask made a couple of key saves to keep the game tied.

The Bruins answered the Leafs strong start to the period with a couple of good shifts by the first and second lines. The Leafs went to the powerplay yet again as Danton Heinen went off for slashing with 13:11 remaining in the period.

The Bruins killed the penalty as the Leafs struggled to hit the net despite numerous chances. Neither team found good chances in the middle parts of the period as the intensity ramped up exponentially.

The Bruins went to the man advantage as Patrick Marleau got hit with a hooking call with about six minutes left in the period. Backes found the back of the net on a net mouth scramble with just 16 seconds left on the penalty to give the Bruins the lead once again.

A strong shift to close the period by the first line resulted in a goal for Pastrnak off a sweet feed from Marchand to make it a two-goal Bruins lead with just 38 seconds to go.

 

Score: 3-1 Boston

Third Period

The Leafs took a too many men on the ice penalty about two minutes into the period as the red-hot Bruin powerplay went to work for the third time in the game. The Leafs killed off the penalty as the Bruins failed to get any great scoring opportunities. Soon after the penalty, Nazem Kadri hit Tommy Wingels from behind as the Bruins went to the man advantage again.

The Leafs killed off the penalty as the Bruins again couldn’t get any great chances and the game remained just a two-goal margin. Sean Kuraly finished off a rush to the net by Pastrnak, batting the puck out of mid-air to give the Bruins a three-goal lead with 12:19 to play.

 

Kadri went to the box again after a cheap shot on Tommy Wingels. Kadri got a match penalty for the hit and the Bruins went on a five minute major powerplay. Krejci banked a pass into the net off of Frederick Anderson to extend to lead to four with 8:31 to go.

 

The Leafs killed off the remainder of the penalty with the Bruins only scoring once.

Pastrnak took a puck up high with about three minutes to go and immediately skated toward the bench, being assisted by Marchand and Bergeron.

Final Score: 5-1 Boston

Bruins Are No Stranger To Playoff Successes And Failures

boston-bruins39

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow me on twitter @thesportsguy97

It’s the best time of the year. Beards, Snipes, Saves, and a Cup. In a two month span, all eyes in the hockey world are on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Boston Bruins are no stranger to this tournament and have had their fair share of playoff success. A championship in 2011 and a finals appearance in 2013. Those teams will live forever, and the memories of those playoff runs are always on our mind as fans of the team.

Looking at the core of this year’s team, it’s very similar to those cup teams. The captain is still the same, and Zdeno Chara is hungry to prove he still has a lot left in the tank. Patrice Bergeron has always been an incredibly dominant 200-foot player who comes up with big goals time and time again. Brad Marchand is always that little pest, that guy you’d hate if he weren’t on your team.

This doesn’t even mention guys like David Krejci and Torey Krug who bring their best at this time of the year. Tuukka Rask has come into his own the last two seasons and proving that he can indeed be that guy that can shoulder the load.

There’s no reason to believe this group can’t go deep and based on what I’ve seen this season I know it’s a possibility. The resilience this team shows time and time again are scarily similar to past cup teams that won’t quit no matter the deficit. This goes back to the strong leadership this group has and the fact they are willing to fight for each other.

Thinking about playoff success is easy because it’s the memories we try to remember the fondest. However, the Stanley Cup Playoffs are incredibly unforgiving and we as Bruins fans know the bad end of playoff and series losses all too well. The loss last season was tough in the first round against the Ottawa Senators even though we knew this team had a bright future ahead of them.

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It’s never easy to lose, but we have to remember that this journey is not easy for anyone and nothing is ever guaranteed. Everyone picked the Bruins to go far in 2014 when they won the Presidents’ Trophy, and we all expected them to be back in the Finals. The Montreal Canadiens had other thoughts and broke the B’s heart in a Game Seven loss at the Garden.

The Garden has always been a place of some of the best moments in recent past. Nathan Horton scoring, not one but TWO overtime goals against the Canadiens in the first round series back in 2011, Bergeron scoring the series-winner against the Maple Leafs in 2013, and who can forget the legendary Game Seven victory against the Lightning in 2011 in which the previously mentioned Horton scored the only goal.

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Unfortunately, the Garden has also been a playoff house of horrors in elimination games. Scott Walker’s goal in Game Seven all the way back in 2009 to the gut-wrenching Game Seven loss to the Flyers the very next season. The ones that hurt the most to me were the Game Seven loss to the Capitals in 2012 and the Stanley Cup loss to the Blackhawks in Game Six of that series.

In the postseason, nothing is easy, and nothing is guaranteed. It’s all about finding the will to win, the will to dig deep and find ways to win. This Bruins team has done it throughout this season, and the key is how they can carry that over to the playoffs. The Bruins have the right coach, the right group, and the right fans to make another deep run. This team is very capable of making memories to last a lifetime, but we need to keep in mind that how much we all want to see that, the playoffs are unforgiving.

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 78: 4/5/18: Boston at Florida

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Boston Bruins
(GREG M. COOPER/USA TODAY SPORTS)
By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97
Home: Florida Panthers: 41-30-8, 90 points, fourth in the Atlantic Division
Away: Boston Bruins: 49-18-12, 110 points, first in the Atlantic Division
Florida’s Lineup
 
Forwards
 
Dadonov-Barkov-Sceviour
Huberdeau-Trocheck-McGinn
Vatrano-McCann-Bjugstad
Haley-Mackenzie-Mamin
 
Defense
 
Yandle-Ekblad
Matheson-Pysyk
Weegar-Petrovic
 
Goalies
 
Luongo
Reimer
 
Boston’s Lineup
 
Forwards
 
Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Krejci-Donato
Heinen-Backes-Acciari
Schaller-Cave-Gionta
 
Defense
 
Chara-McAvoy
Krug-McQuaid
Grzelcyk-Miller
 
Goalies
Rask
Khudobin
 
First Period
 
Tuukka Rask got into the game early with a nice kick save on Aleksander Barkov on the game’s opening shift. The Bruins looked into the game from the get go as Jake DeBrusk nearly gave the B’s the lead but hit the post on a chance from the slot.
Barkov broke the scoreless tie 7:44 into the first period after a beautiful passing sequence. The goal marked Barkov’s 100th career strike and his 27th of the season.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Dadonov hits <a href=”https://twitter.com/Barkovsasha95?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Barkovsasha95</a&gt; with a beautiful pass and it’s 1-0. <a href=”https://t.co/q6AzzTkejP”>pic.twitter.com/q6AzzTkejP</a></p>&mdash; NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NHLGIFs/status/982044617779613696?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 5, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Old friend Frank Vatrano added to the lead less than two minutes later after a turnover behind the net. The tally was Vatrano’s fifth of the season, third with the Panthers.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Look who it is.<br><br>Frank Vatrano beats Rask to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead over his former team. <a href=”https://t.co/zCRFxabY3V”>pic.twitter.com/zCRFxabY3V</a></p>&mdash; Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/982045227836993536?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Michael Matheson took a holding penalty with about five minutes to play as David Krejci was able to sell it pretty well. Ryan Donato worked quickly as he potted a rebound just 15 seconds into the powerplay.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Ryan Donato 😍 <a href=”https://t.co/PRHMYT9bpC”>pic.twitter.com/PRHMYT9bpC</a></p>&mdash; Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) <a href=”https://twitter.com/PeteBlackburn/status/982048994359676930?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Score: 2-1 Florida
 
Second Period
 
The Bruins knotted it up early in the period as a Florida turnover in their own zone resulted in a Danton Heinen goal. Heinen’s 15th of the year came from DeBrusk and Krejci at 2:11 of the period.
<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>DANTON HEINEN TIES IT FOR THE BRUINS! <a href=”https://t.co/ufi1ld86qi”>pic.twitter.com/ufi1ld86qi</a></p>&mdash; NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NHLDaily365/status/982062099257024512?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The Panthers held much of the possession in the period and most of the chances but were unable to solve Rask who looked much improved from the first period.
Adam McQuaid went to the box with 6:15 to play in the period for a questionable interference penalty. The Bruins killed off the penalty thanks to some big blocks by the defense and Rask.
Score: 2-2
Third Period
The Bruins went on the penalty kill with 15:42 to go in the game as Charlie McAvoy went off for hooking. Thanks to some solid play in their own end, the B’s killed off the penalty which kept the game scoreless.
As the period wound down, the Bruins started to tilt the ice in their favor as the Panthers looked to be a big fatigued. Colby Cave got involved with a big hit on Barkov with seven minutes remaining.
The Panthers got new life as Jared McCann tipped in a shot from the point with just 5:37 to go. McCann’s ninth of the season gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead.
<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>JARED MCCANN TIPS ONE HOME AND KEEPS THE PANTHERS SEASON ALIVE! <a href=”https://t.co/jlzQpl5irO”>pic.twitter.com/jlzQpl5irO</a></p>&mdash; NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) <a href=”https://twitter.com/NHLDaily365/status/982080761896484864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Nick Bjugstad got loose for a breakaway after a turnover in the offensive zone by the Bruins but Rask came up big with a glove save to keep it a one-goal game.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Another big save by Tuukka Rask on Nick Bjugstad getting behind the Bruins defense again. He’s got 31 saves &amp; counting tonight and definitely hasn’t been the issue with the B’s in this one.</p>&mdash; Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) <a href=”https://twitter.com/HackswithHaggs/status/982076175341182976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2018</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Not to outdo himself but Rask again stopped another breakaway this time by Vincent Trocheck as the Panthers forward tried to slip it five-hole.
Rask skated to the bench with about a minute to go as the Bruins looked to tie the game. Luongo and the Panthers stood tall, preserving their slim playoff hopes.
Final Score: 3-2 Panthers
Worth noting that Roberto Luongo played in his 1000th career game Thursday night. Big congratulations to him!

 

Boston Bruins Post Game Recap: Game 78: 4/3/18: Boston at Tampa Bay

charlie-mcavoy-3392b301691bf8f5

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow me on twitter @thesportsguy97

Home: Tampa Bay Lightning: 52-23-4, 108 points, second in the Atlantic Division

Away: Boston Bruins: 49-17-12, 110 points, first in the Atlantic Division

Tampa Bay’s Lineup

Forwards

Palat-Point-Kucherov

Miller-Johnson-Conacher

Killorn-Cirelli-Gourde

Kunitz-Pacquette-Callahan

Defense

Hedman-Girardi

McDonagh-Stralman

Coburn-Sergachev

Goalies

Vasilevskiy

Domingue

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Donato

Heinen-Backes-Acciari

Schaller-Cave-Gionta

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Holden

Grzelcyk-Miller

Goalies

Rask

Khudobin

First Period

Neither team took very long to get reacquainted with each other as the game took on a physical theme. After a bad turnover in front by Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron blocked the rebound attempt by Nikita Kucherov to keep the game scoreless about six and a half minutes in.

The Lightning went to the powerplay at the 8:12 mark of the period as Danton Heinen went off for a trip. The Bruins killed it off as the Lightning failed to get any decent opportunities.

At the 13:41 mark of the period, the Bruins went on the powerplay as Mikhail Sergachav took a tripping penalty. Tampa Bay killed the penalty as the Bruins couldn’t get a consistent rhythm.

After the powerplay, the top line had a very strong shift which nearly resulted in a Bergeron goal but his one-timer hit the stick side post.

David Pastrnak went to the box with just six seconds left after he tripped Ondrej Palat behind the Tampa Bay net.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Right as Pastrnak left the penalty box he was hit with a pass up ice, but couldn’t sneak it by Andrei Vasilevskiy with Sergachev right on his tail.

The Lightning finally broke the scoreless game as Brayden Point fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that beat Rask stick side for his 31st goal of the year at the 5:01 mark.

About six minutes later, Victor Hedman fired a rocket past Rask from the point to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. It was Hedman’s 16th goal of the season, which tied his career-high for goals in a season.

At the 14:27 mark, Chris Kunitz stuffed home a rebound to extended the lead to 3-0. It was Kunitz’s 13th goal of the season, which was challenged by Bruce Cassidy for goalie interference but to no avail.

The Bruins went to the powerplay with just 55 seconds left in the period as Hedman was called for interference. Bergeron just missed the net in the waning seconds as the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize but would head into the third still on the man advantage.

Score: 3-0 Tampa Bay

Third Period

The Lightning killed off the penalty as the Bruins weren’t able to get any great chances to cut into the lead.

After Marchand fell down with possession in the offensive zone, J.T. Miller scored on the ensuing odd man rush. It was Miller’s 23rd of the season, 10th with the Lightning to make it 4-0 with 17:26 to go in the game.

Marchand went to the box for hooking about four minutes later as frustration began to set in for the Bruins. With just four seconds left on the penalty kill, Tim Schaller got hit with a delay of game call to give the Lightning a very short five on three powerplay.

The Bruins killed off the remainder of Marchand’s penalty and Schaller’s as well. The penalty kill was one of the few bright spots for Boston as they went four for four.

Final Score: 4-0 Tampa Bay