Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Carolina: 12/3/19

Jan 6, 2018; Boston, MA: Boston Bruins center Sean Kuraly controls the puck in front of Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin during the third period at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Carolina Hurricanes

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Coyle – Heinen

Bjork – Kuraly – Backes

Nordstrom – Lindholm – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Carolina’s Lineup

Forwards

Svechnikov – Staal – Foegele

Niederreiter – Aho – Teravainen

Dzingel – Wallmark – Martinook

McGinn – Bishop

Defense

Slavin – Hamilton

Edmundson – Pesce

Gardiner – van Riemsdyk

Fleury

Goalies

Reimer

Mrazek

The Bruins stayed at home for a third straight game with hopes to win their eighth straight game. The Hurricanes came to TD Garden winners of seven of their last ten games. This one marked number 500 in the career of Jaroslav Halak, and what a goaltending battle it was.

First Period

The Bruins played with good pace early on, outshooting Carolina 6-0 through the first 2:51 of the game. Also within those first three minutes came the first penalty of the game, as Jake Gardiner went off for two minutes for tripping. Despite playing well to start the game, the Bruins couldn’t sneak one past James Reimer on the power play.

After a fast-paced 2:51 of the game, the Bruins didn’t record a shot for 8:16 after that. Jordan Martinook took the second Canes penalty of the game in the form of a holding penalty with 9:14 to go. No dice.

Just over four minutes later, Jake DeBrusk went off for tripping. No dice for the Hurricanes either. Even in a good back-and-forth first period, both teams had trouble finding the back of the net. David Pastrnak took a rare penalty as it became apparent he was sick of Warren Foegele, so he yanked him to the ice by his collar. He sat for two minutes for roughing as a result with 1:26 to go.

Both teams went into intermission unscathed, but the Hurricanes had 34 seconds of their power play remaining to start the second period. The final shots for the period were 10-9 in favor of the Hurricanes. It was anyone’s game from here on out.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Pastrnak’s penalty was killed and the stalemate continued into the second period. This was in large part due to Halak was locked in early on and making saves like this. He wasn’t messing around for game number 500.

Reimer was solid as well on the other side of things. Some of his best work in the second period came when he made a big stop part on a great chance from Brad Marchand just around the 11-minute mark, as well a series of chances not too long after that. The new second and fourth lines were responsible for these chances. Reimer and the team defense of the Hurricanes kept the Bruins off the board.

The opportunities were there, but it was just a matter of puck luck to start the scoring. It appeared that Jaccob Slavin had broken the scoring, but the shot went through the side of the net.

That’s not something you see every day. The first two periods were truly a grind and the stalemate lived on. The Bruins held a 13-8 advantage in the shot department this time, bringing the total to 22-18 in their favor. Again, it was still anyone’s game.

Score: 0-0

Third Period

Nothing too crazy in terms of scoring chances throughout the first half of the period, outside of a near David Krejci goal as he approached Reimer with speed. There haven’t been many games like this for the Bruins this season, it had a much different feel to it, in my eyes.

A few scrums came and went, good chances, not a whole lot of physicality, it was a weird one. David Backes nearly had his second goal in as many games, as well of the season as a whole.

That all changed as Marchand fielded the puck off the boards from Danton Heinen to his left and sent it to Charlie Coyle who buried it out front. Coyle’s sixth goal of the season was assisted by Marchand (26) and Heinen (8) with 4:05 to go. It was quite the sequence from all involved.

Heinen made it all happen from the start, forcing a turnover from Jake Gardiner at the Bruins’ defensive blue line, and then capping off the sequence with a secondary assist. An effort like that can go a long way in close games like this one.

David Krejci followed it up with a sixth goal of the season of his own a minute and eight seconds later, deflecting a Charlie McAvoy shot past Reimer. McAvoy’s assisted was his eighth of the season and Pastrnak’s secondary assist was his 18th. That was one way to add to the obscurity of this game. It was 2-0 Bruins with 2:57 to go.

The 500th game of Halak’s career was the 49th shutout of his career and his seventh as a Bruin. What a night for him. Krejci’s goal was the 200th of his career as he built on what has been an excellent season for him.

Shots were 12-6 in favor of the Bruins in the final frame, 34-24 overall. Grit and persistence got it done in the end. Next up are the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden on Thursday at 7:00 PM ET. The Bruins are 20-3-5, winners of their last eight games, and the first time in the NHL to reach the 20-win mark.

Final Score: 2-0 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 156 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Buffalo: 11/21/19

Image result for bruins sabres 2019

(Photo Credit: Photo By Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Buffalo Sabres

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Coyle

Bjork – Lindholm – Heinen

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Grzelcyk – Carlo

Vaakanainen – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Buffalo’s Lineup

Forwards

Vesey – Eichel – Reinhart

Skinner – Rodrigues – Sheary

Girgensons – Larsson – Lazar

Mittelstadt – Asplund – Olofsson

Defense

McCabe – Ristolainen

Dahlin – Montour

Scandella – Jokiharju

Goalies

Ullmark

Hutton

After a solid 5-1 win over New Jersey on Tuesday, it was back to TD Garden for the Bruins for this Atlantic division tilt with the Buffalo Sabres. This game served as an opportunity to continue to get back to their winning ways against the struggling Sabres.

Having Patrice Bergeron back in the lineup after missing the last two served as a boost, while at the same time, Brett Ritchie sat out as an old infection flared up again. The baby steps towards a healthier Bruins team continued.

A huge congratulations to Bruins trainer, Don DelNegro on his 2000th game. What a tremendous accomplishment. Not only was it game number 2000 for DelNegro, but it was also game number 2000 for Sabres Assistant Equipment Manager, George Babcock. Congratulations to him as well.

First Period

Things got off to a rough start when Pat Lindholm went down awkwardly in the corner in a collision with Rasmus Asplund. He proceeded to go down the tunnel to get things checked out. Sean Kuraly then went off for tripping and Rasmus Ristolainen made him pay by burying a rebound to put the Sabres ahead by one just 5:25 into the game.

Through 11:31, the Sabres outshot the Bruins 13-0. I can’t imagine that was in the plans for either team. The first shot on net didn’t come until 40 seconds later. But, if you can be one thing, you should be efficient. That is when it comes to making your shots count, in this case. Brad Marchand clearly knows that, as made good on the team’s second shot of the game, deflecting it past Linus Ullmark for his 14th goal of the season. Zdeno Chara (5) and David Pastrnak (16) had the helpers. Tie game.

A scrum then broke out shortly after and Chris Wagner and Curtis Lazar chucked some knucks, amongst other scrums in front of Tuukka Rask. Good veteran move from Wagner to stick up for Urho Vaakanainen.

The Bruins were awfully fortunate to get out of the first period tied at one, because the Sabres outplayed them big time. Shots in the period were 17-4 in favor of the Sabres. Luckily for the Bruins, they came to life a bit in the second half of the period. A whole lot needed to be better going into the second period though.

Score: 1-1

Second Period

Rask made some noise early with a nice standup save just 26 seconds in on Jack Eichel. Good news came in the form of Lindholm returning to the Bruins bench. Bad news came in the form of a hooking penalty on Matt Grzelcyk in an attempt to backcheck – giving the Sabres their second power play opportunity of the game just 4:44 into the period. Trouble was averted as the Sabres failed to convert on the man advantage.

The Bruins saw a power play of their own as Asplund went off for holding with 6:45 to go in the period. Just 30 seconds after an ugly first minute of the power play, Brad Marchand gave the Bruins the lead. His second of the game and 15th of the season was assisted by Matt Grzelcyk (5) and Danton Heinen (6).

Charlie Coyle went off for hooking 31 seconds after the goal. Rask made an excellent sliding save on Conor Sheary and the Bruins eventually killed the penalty. Jake DeBrusk found himself with space and a great chance to score in the final 30 seconds, but was stopped by Ullmark. Unfortunately in DeBrusk’s case, he went down the tunnel after crashing into the boards hard after his late scoring chance.

Jeff Skinner then had a chance of his own that was saved by the post. Nothing like a good scare in the dying seconds to get the blood flowing. The shots in the second frame were 14-7 Bruins to bring the total to 24-18 Sabres. It was a good step in the right direction – and a needed one at that.

Score: 2-1 Boston

Third Period

Jake McCabe went off for holding 32 seconds in. David Pastrnak made it hurt. In doing so he became the first player in the NHL to reach the 20-goal mark this season. The goal was assisted Heinen (7) and Bergeron (12).

Joakim Nordstrom went to the box for tripping not too long after the goal with 16:27 to go. Rask made an acrobatic, sprawling save across the crease on Evan Rodriques to preserve the two-goal lead. The Bruins then went on to kill the penalty in large part due to Rask.

Brandon Montour made things interesting on a one-timer on his off-side that beat Rask on the glove side, making it a 3-2 game with 7:02 remaining. A tense final seven minutes followed, but the Bruins came out with the win. Shots in the third period were 14-9 Sabres, and 38-27 overall. Tuukka Rask made 36 saves in the win. Next up are the Minnesota Wild on Saturday at TD Garden at 7:00 PM ET. The Bruins are 14-3-5.

Final Score: 3-2 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 154 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston @ New Jersey: 11/19/19

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) stops a shot as New Jersey Devils center Kevin Rooney (58) watches during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Newark, N.J.

(Photo Credit: Julio Cortez, AP)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: New Jersey Devils

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak

Bjork – Coyle – Heinen

DeBrusk – Lindholm – Ritchie

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Grzelcyk – Carlo

Vaakanainen – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

New Jersey’s Lineup

Forwards

Hall – Hischier – Bratt

Wood – Hughes – Palmieri

Coleman – Zajac – Gusev

Hayden – Zacha – Simmonds

Defense

Butcher – Subban

Greene – Severson

Mueller – Vatanen

Goalies

Blackwood

Domingue

Bad news came in warmups when it was announced that Patrice Bergeron would miss a second straight game. But, Jake DeBrusk and Brett Ritchie did return to the lineup. Baby steps were made towards a healthy Bruins team. Regardless, the Devils, winners of their last two games, stood in the way of the Bruins at Prudential Center.

First Period

DeBrusk was buzzing early, as he forced a turnover at the offensive blue line and nearly scored. After that, through the first half of the opening frame, there were just three combined shots (2-1 Bruins). It was a bit of an odd start at times.

Things got a bit more interesting when DeBrusk took down Pavel Zacha, creating the first power play opportunity of the game. Luckily for the Bruins, they escaped the penalty kill unscathed. Shortly after the conclusion of that penalty kill, Matt Grzelcyk laced one past MacKenzie Blackwood to open the scoring with 5:34 to. Grzelcyk’s first of the season was assisted by Brad Marchand (20) and David Krejci (10).

That wasn’t all. David Pastrnak found himself open in his favorite spot on the ice – waiting for a one-timer on his off-wing. Two goals in 14 seconds for the Bruins gave them advantage in quick fashion. Pastrnak’s 18th goal of the season was assisted by Marchand (21) and Krejci (11). That’s one way to get things going on the road.

Things didn’t get much better for New Jersey after the Pastrnak goal as with 1:54 to go, Taylor Hall went off for tripping. The Bruins carried left six seconds of power play time on the table going into the second period. Blake Coleman nearly buried a shorthanded chance in the dying seconds, but failed to score and even collided with Rask in the process. The shots were 6-5 in favor of the Bruins at the end of the first, so the Bruins making their shots count in a fairly low-volume period was big.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Second Period

The Bruins came out of the gate with speed and good place, keeping the Devils on edge early in the period. Tempers eventually flared up between DeBrusk and Damon Severson in Blackwood’s crease. Severson was likely looking to ignite his team a bit, and chose DeBrusk as his dance partner for a scrum after the whistle.

Shots were 6-2 Bruins through the first seven minutes of the period. In the limited action he saw, Tuukka Rask was sharp through the first half of the game. The Devils began to ramp things up after the halfway point of the period though, generating four shots in 34 seconds of ice time at one point.

The resurgence paid off for the Devils, as found enough space to roof one on the backhand to cut their deficit to one with 1:49 to go. The Bruins still managed to carry a lead into the third period, but struggled in the latter portion of the second period. Also the Charlie Coyle line was playing consistently well. The shots were 12-11 in favor of the Bruins, 18-16 overall.

Score: 2-1 Boston

Third Period

Tensions were high to start. Charlie McAvoy and Taylor Hall got in each other’s faces, as did Sean Kuraly and P.K. Subban before teammates joined the fray. Just 3:11 into the frame, Subban took a penalty that gave Pastrnak a green light to score his second of the game just eight seconds into the power play. Pastrnak’s 19th was assisted by Marchand (22) and Coyle (7).

It was all Grzelcyk and Pastrnak in the scoring department. Grzlecyk made a move around Subban, then sniped yet again to give the Bruins a vital insurance marker, extending their lead to three. His second of the season and the game was assisted by McAvoy (7).

Connor Clifton then wanted in on the second goal of the season party for Bruins defensemen. The goal was unassisted. After only being up a goal going into the final frame, the response from the Bruins was a huge one. It was 5-1 Bruins with 6:18 to go.

The Devils generated some decent chances late, but it wasn’t enough. The Bruins took over in the third and won by a good margin. Shots were tied at ten in the third and finished at 28-26 in favor of the Bruins. With five goals on the board, a 25-save win for Rask may fly under the radar, but this was a really solid game for him. Next up for the Bruins are the Sabres on Thursday at TD Garden at 7:00 PM ET. The Bruins are 13-3-5.

Final Score: 5-1 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 154 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Florida: 11/12/19

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Florida Panthers

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Heinen – Krejci – Coyle

Bjork – Lindholm – Senyshyn

Nordstrom – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Grzelcyk – Carlo

Vaakanainen – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Florida’s Lineup

Forwards

Huberdeau –  Barkov – Dadonov

Vatrano – Trocheck – Malgin

Hoffman – Boyle – Connolly

Hunt – Acciari – Sceviour

Defense

Yandle – Ekblad

Matheson – Stralman

Pysyk – Brown

Goalies

Bobrovsky

Montembeault

Torey Krug was sidelined for this one with an upper-body injury and Urho Vaakanainen made his season debut with the Bruins in his place. Brett Ritchie and David Backes were also out with upper-body injuries. Jake DeBrusk sat for a second straight game in this one with a lower-body injury. Those injuries, on top of injury recoveries that John Moore and Kevan Miller continued to go through, forced the Bruins to roll with new second and third forward lines, as well as a new look on defense outside of the top pairing.

First Period

It was a weird start. There were just three shots on goal (2-1 Bruins) combined through the first 7:01 of the game. The first period was just a lot of back-and-forth. Some decent chances here and there, but nothing too crazy. Charlie Coyle did come very close to opening the scoring and notch his third goal of the season though.

Matt Grzelcyk saw two great chances come his way with around two minutes remaining. One was blocked by Mike Hoffman, the other was deflected out of his play. Neither team could get on the board.

Shortly after those chances, Charlie McAvoy caught Aleksander Barkov up high and went off for high sticking. Barkov was a bit shaken up on the play, and the Panthers had a power play with 13 seconds remaining in the period. A minute and 47 seconds of power play time bled into the second period for the Panthers. The final shots in the period were 7-5 Bruins.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Just 57 seconds into the period, 1:10 of total time into the power play, the lights briefly shut off at TD Garden and play was stopped as a result. The Panthers were understandably not happy as it disrupted the flow of their power play in the offensive zone.

Sean Kuraly nearly got the scoring going as he flew towards the net with the puck on his stick, crashed into Sergei Bobrovsky, and failed to score. It was a wild start to the second period, to say the least.

At the 15:38 mark, Patrice Bergeron went to the box for holding, giving the Panthers their second power play opportunity of the game. The Panthers failed to score and eventually, at the 8:05 mark, David Pastrnak finally opened the scoring.

Coming into this one, the Bruins were 9-2-1 when scoring first. That’s good for scoring first in 76.47 percent of their total games prior to tonight, and winning 75 percent of those games. Pastrnak’s 16th goal of the season was assisted by Bergeron (10).

Joakim Nordstrom decided to get amongst the scoring as well, making it 2-0. Nordstrom’s second of the season was assisted by Coyle (5). The man comes back from injury against Philadelphia on Sunday, then scores a big goal on Tuesday. Not a bad way to make an impression after a stint on injured reserve.

Things didn’t get much better for the Panthers afterward as Dryden Hunt took a holding penalty with 4:27 to go in the period. Need more secondary scoring? Just ask Anders Bjork too. Bjork’s sent a wrister on Bobrovsky that bounced off of him and in to give the Bruins a three-goal lead. Bjork’s third goal of the season was assisted by David Krejci (6) and Brad Marchand (19).

The fourth unanswered goal of the period, came from Zdeno Chara getting behind Bobrovsky and burying a loose puck. Chara’s third goal of the season was assisted by Krejci (7) and Heinen (4). Check out the whole sequence in three parts below. Four goals in seven minutes and 26 seconds.

What a wild period. The Bruins outshot the Panthers 16-7, bringing the games total shots to 23-12 Bruins. It was for sure one of the better periods that the Bruins have played all season. A huge lead was all of the sudden in their collective grasp after a scoreless first period.

Score: 4-0 Boston

Third Period

Bad news came during the intermission in the form of Zach Senyshyn’s presence on the team for much of the second period. It was eventually announced that he would not return the game with a lower-body injury, putting the Bruins down a forward for the third period.

Samuel Montembeault took over in net for the Panthers to start the period and they responded early in the form of an Aaron Ekblad one-timer. Nordstrom was at the defensive blue line attempting to play defense, and that threw everything off defensively for the Bruins – the Panthers capitalized and made it 4-1.

Shortly after the goal, Vincent Trocheck launched himself towards Pastrnak. Pastrnak eventually got up following the collision under his own power, but Marchand took exception and gave Trocheck a bit of a piece of his mind. Trocheck then went off for elbowing. The Bruins didn’t convert on the power play.

Chris Wagner then went off for slashing just about four minutes into the period. Old friend Frank Vatrano made Wagner pay on the power play, because of course it was a former Bruin that scored – that happens on occasion.

The revitalized Panthers responded early and often after being on the receiving end of a thrashing in the second period. The wild final two periods surely made up for a quiet first period in terms of entertainment value.

Another penalty for the Bruins turned into another goal for the Panthers. Sean Kuraly went off with 11:28 to go for hooking. Hoffman buried a backhander to make it 4-3 Bruins. Things got tense really quickly. After an excellent start to the season, it has been tough sledding for Tuukka Rask as of late.

Former Bruin Noel Acciari tripped his old linemate Sean Kuraly with 6:28 to go, but the Bruins didn’t score on the man advantage. This game went into the Ford F-150 Final Five with a 4-3 score. David Krejci then went off the ice slowly after blocking a shot late in the period – leaving the Bruins down another forward.

It was once 4-0 Bruins, then it became 4-4. Four unanswered goals from each team. I definitely don’t remember ever seeing such an obscure feat accomplished in a hockey game. Keith Yandle tied the game with 1:39 to go. Overtime commenced. The shots were 12-9 Panthers, bringing the regulation total to 32-24 Bruins.

Score: 4-4

Overtime

Marchand, Pastrnak, and Coyle had premium chances, but no dice. It was an entertaining overtime period that became very stressful at the end. Hoffman found himself alone, but Rask stoned him. Rask then made a follow-up save to send the game to a shootout in the dying seconds of overtime. The shots in ovetime were 6-5 Bruins, 38-29 overall.

Shootout

Round one

Frank Vatrano: Miss

Chris Wagner: Miss

Round two

Vincent Trocheck: Goal

Brad Marchand: Miss

Round three

Jonathan Huberdeau: Miss

Charlie Coyle: Goal

Round four

Mike Hoffman: Goal

Charlie McAvoy: Miss

Final Score: 5-4 Florida (Shootout)

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 153 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Pittsburgh: 11/4/19

(Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Pittsburgh Penguins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Heinen

Bjork – Coyle – Ritchie

Hughes – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Pittsburgh’s Lineup

Forwards

Guentzel –  Crosby – Simon

Galchenyuk – Malkin – Rust

McCann – Bjugstad – Kahun

Aston-Reese – Blueger – Tanev

Defense

Dumoulin – Letang

Pettersson – Schultz

Johnson – Marino

Goalies

Murray

Jarry

A Pittsburgh Penguins team that just recently got key contributors like Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust, and Brian Dumoulin back from injury stood in the way of a potential sixth straight win for the Bruins. Not to mention it was the first time we saw two of the best centers in the game in Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby go head-to-head this season. Bruins-Penguins games are always sure to be a battle.

Bruins 2015 sixth-round pick Cameron Hughes made his NHL debut on the fourth line with Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner. Hughes had six points in 12 games with the Providence Bruins before being called up.

First Period

A whopping 4:44 of consecutive action got this one going in a fast start for both teams. On the next shift, Jake DeBrusk forced a turnover from Kris Letang in the neutral zone and didn’t miss when the impending, unassisted scoring opportunity presented itself. DeBrusk’s third of the year gave the Bruins the first lead of the game with 14:24 to go in the period. It was the second goal in as many games for him.

Things weren’t peachy after that, as David Krejci took the first Bruins penalty of the game for tripping with 10:54 to go. The Penguins had some good looks, but Jaroslav Halak and the Bruins stood tall to kill the penalty. Hughes saw time on the penalty kill right off the bat and made the clearing effort to kill the remainder of it.

One goal wasn’t enough. A net-front chance for David Pastrnak was deflected up high where Brad Marchand batted the puck out of the air and past Matt Murray. Pastrnak’s 15th assist of the season was the primary assist on Marchand’s ninth goal of the season. Zdeno Chara (3) had the secondary assist. 2-0 Bruins with 6:55 to go. The goal extended Marchand’s point streak to 13 games.

Letang went off for slashing with 1:56 to go, giving the Bruins a power play for the rest of the period and then some to start the second period. They didn’t convert, but they held a two-goal lead going into the first intermission. Shots in the period were 10-9 in favor of the Bruins.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Second Period

Halak kept his stellar play up early in the second period. A nifty passing play from the Penguins sprung Alex Galchenyuk on a breakaway with speed, but Halak robbed him with the sprawling left pad.

It was all Pittsburgh early on. That was until Pastrnak strolled into the offensive zone and buried one past Murray. Pastrnak’s league-leading 14th goal of the season got Murray pulled from the game and was assisted by Marchand (16) and Brandon Carlo (4). Tristian Jarry took the crease in place of Murray with 15:38 to go. 3-0 Bruins.

Pittsburgh responded with one of their own as Dominik Kahun got them on the board, making things interesting just a minute and 13 seconds after the Pastrnak goal. It was 3-1 Bruins with 14:25 to go.

Right around the halfway point of the period, they cut the lead to one as Nick Bjugstad took advantage of a bad defensive change and beat Halak on a quick snap shot. Following the Bjugstad goal, the Penguins were dominating the flow of play and outshooting the Bruins 13-2.

It didn’t stop there for Pittsburgh. Bryan Rust slipped behind the defense and tapped in a cross-crease feed from Malkin to tie the game at three with 4:01 to go. A chance to get back into the game came when John Marino went off for tripping with 2:10 left. Matt Grzelcyk had a golden opportunity blocked by Dumoulin, and Krejci was stuffed on a Net front chance. Marino made up for it by scoring right out of the box to give the Penguins the 4-3 lead with 2.6 seconds left.

A huge response gave Pittsburgh all of the momentum heading into the final frame. The Bruins were outshot 21-6, giving Pittsburgh a 30-16 advantage in shots after two periods. The Bruins got pretty thoroughly dominated and let up four unanswered goals.

Score: 4-3 Pittsburgh

Third Period

Pittsburgh kept the pressure on early in the third period, holding the Bruins to just one shot through the first six minutes to their five. This was a rare stretch of a game this season in which the Bruins were getting outplayed so badly. Brandon Carlo and Zach Aston-Reese both went off for roughing just inside of the 13-minute mark, creating a two-minute 4-on-4 scenario as a result.

Krejci rung a one-timer off the post shortly before Torey Krug tied the game on a one-timer of his own. Marchand had to battle to hang onto the puck inside the offensive blue line, and did as he found Krug waiting right around the goal line on his off side for the one-timer. Krug’s second goal of the season was assisted by Marchand (17) and Krejci (3).

The Bruins wanted more as a fly pattern play nearly sprung Pastrnak free for his second of the game, but the game remained tied at four as Pastrnak couldn’t corral the puck in time to beat Jarry on the breakaway.

With 8:13 left, DeBrusk was taken down by a high stick from Bjugstad to put the Bruins on the man advantage. With 23 seconds left in it, Charlie McAvoy backchecked with speed, dove to stop a chance from Rust, collided with Halak, and eventually went off the ice bleeding and in pain. Halak made a huge save on the play and was alright after the collision, but McAvoy went down the tunnel for evaluation, sticking the Bruins with five defensemen late in a tie game.

It appeared Pittsburgh might have had the go-ahead goal late on a backhander from Alex Galchenyuk, but the net was off its moorings. Krug went off for facial repairs after the play and eventually to the locker room. The Bruins were down to just four defensemen at this point.

It didn’t matter to Marchand, as his wrist shot ricocheted off the post, off of Jarry’s back and barely past the goal line to give the Bruins the one-goal lead. A review followed and the play was not overturned. With 1:57 remaining, the goal was unassisted and Marchand’s second of the night and tenth of the season. After the fact, Krug returned to the bench and Mike Sullivan pulled Jarry in the final two minutes.

Bergeron capped it off with an empty netter, completing the 6-4 win in a rollercoaster of a game. Krejci (4) and Marchand (18) had the helpers. Marchand had five points (2G, 3A) as the highlight in this one, and Halak got the win, stopping 40 of 44 shots. The final shots were 14-10 in the third period in favor of Pittsburgh, and 44-26 overall. The Bruins are now 11-1-2 and have won six straight games. Next up are the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre tomorrow night at 7:30 PM ET.

Final Score: 6-4 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 152 that we recorded below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. San Jose: 10/29/19

Feb 26, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; San Jose Sharks right wing Barclay Goodrow (23) fights with Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) during the second period at TD Garden.

(Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: San Jose Sharks

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Coyle – Heinen

Bjork – Lindholm – Ritchie

Wagner – Kuraly – Backes

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

San Jose’s Lineup

Forwards

Marleau – Couture – Labanc

Kane – Hertl – Radil

Sorensen – Thornton – Meier

Goodrow – Gambrell – Karlsson

Defense

Vlasic – Burns

Dillon – Karlsson

Ferraro – Heed

Goalies

Jones

Dell

David Krejci and Chris Wagner made their way back to the lineup on Hockey Fights Cancer night against the Sharks. You can donate to the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative here. With Krejci’s return came the debut of a new second-line this season, with Danton Heinen getting a promotion to Krejci’s right-wing. Rask got the start after Halak played on Sunday.

“The Mighty Quinn,” Quinn Waters dropped the puck before this one. BNG writer Yanni Latzanakis wrote about Quinn earlier this month. You can read Yanni’s story about Quinn here. What a night for him, and for fellow Weymouth, Mass native Charlie Coyle as well.

First Period

Things were quiet early in the first until Barclay Goodrow went off for tripping. The lethal Bruins power play had its first opportunity. Someone scored on the power play. It was David Pastrnak, again. This was shortly after Brad Marchand was robbed of a high-danger scoring chance in front of the net by a blocked shot. The play was challenged by Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer for offsides, but to no avail. Pastrnak’s league-leading 12th of the season was assisted by Patrice Bergeron (7) to give the Bruins an early lead.

Right after the Pastrnak goal came another Bruins power play. This time, Lukas Radil went off for delay of game. Just around halfway through the man advantage, Jake DeBrusk found himself on a 3-on-1 with Marchand and Pastrnak, but Martin Jones made the stop.

As the man advantage began to fade away, Matt Grzelcyk made it 4-on-4 briefly when he went off for holding. The Sharks had some solid zone time on the power play, but couldn’t beat Tuukka Rask. The Bruins held on to their one-goal lead.

Late in the period, Tomas Hertl incidentally caught Charlie McAvoy up high and sat for two minutes as a result. After some time, David Krejci found himself all alone and smoked a one-timer past Jones to extend the lead to two. Krejci’s first of the season was assisted by Torey Krug (8) and Brad Marchand (14). The Bruins were 2 for 3 on the power play in the first period.

The Bruins really pushed the pace early on in this one. Shots were 16-6, scoring chances were 11-4, both in favor of the Bruins. It was one of the more dominant periods of the season.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Second Period

A golden opportunity to get back into this game came early in the second period for the Sharks. Krejci went off for hooking, and Brent Burns made it hurt on the power play, cutting the lead in half for the Bruins just a minute and 31 seconds into the period.

Nearly two minutes later, Hertl took his second penalty of the game, this time for tripping. Scoring opportunities came and went, but the Bruins couldn’t convert. That was until not too long after the power play concluded, Krejci put a slap pass right on Coyle’s tape for a tap-in goal to extend the lead back to two. Coyle’s second goal in as many games, and second of the season was assisted by Krejci and Heinen for their second assists. As good a time as ever for seconds, I suppose.

Add seven minutes of strong play in the second period to a great first period, and you’ll see a daunting 22-9 shot advantage for the Bruins. They weren’t giving the Sharks much of anything.

A solid pass from just inside of the defensive blue line by David Backes led to Chris Wagner finding space and burying a backhander on a breakaway, adding to a very productive offensive night for the Bruins. Wagner gets his first goal of the season, Backes gets his first helper.

The Sharks just weren’t doing themselves any favors as Radil went to the box again. Luckily for him, it didn’t lead to another power play goal for the Bruins, but not thanks to a lack of effort. The chances were coming over and over again, even after the conclusion of the power play.

Wagner picked up his third assist of the season as Brandon Carlo sent a shot on net that was deflected on the way in that fooled Jones, making it 5-1 Bruins. Zdeno Chara (2) had the secondary assist on Carlo’s second of the season.

The shots were 18-6 in another dominant period for the Bruins, bringing the total to 34-12. Scoring chances were 13-2, and 24-6 overall. It was all gas, no brakes hockey that gave them a huge four-goal cushion going into the third period. Here’s a visual.

Score: 5-1 Boston

Third Period

Things got messy early as Chara didn’t like a cross-check to the neck from Evander Kane to Charlie McAvoy and got into it briefly with Brenden Dillon. Chara, McAvoy, Kane, and Dillon all went to the box, but the Bruins ended up with a power play. Chara and Dillon got offsetting roughing penalties, as did McAvoy and Kane, and Kane got an additional two-minutes for high sticking.

Kane lined McAvoy up along the boards after the incident and Chara wanted a piece of him. They exchanged words and went their separate ways. Radil then took a third penalty of the game, but DeBrusk also took one, creating a 4-on-4. Neither team scored.

Things settled down after the theatrics before Brett Ritchie and Barclay Goodrow dropped the gloves in the first fight of the year. Brad Marchand and Logan Couture then locked up behind the Sharks net, but it didn’t materialize into much. Pete DeBoer was thrown out of the game, yes you read that right.

Backes then decided to say hello to Kane along the boards and got tied up with Radil in response. In a continuing theme, Kane made more friends than enemies in Boston, as he did last February when he dropped the gloves with Chara. Grzelcyk went down the tunnel late in the frame after taking a hit up high from Timo Meier, and a scrum ensued. The third period was a mess

Misconducts and scrums galore closed out this one. Rask didn’t have a very busy night, but stopped 16 of 17 shots. The shots were 9-5 Bruins in the third period (41-17 total). The Bruins had as many power play shots as the Sharks had total shots, and now they are 9-1-2 and rolling. Next up are the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at TD Garden 7:00 PM ET.

Final Score: 5-1 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 151 that we recorded on 10-27-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Toronto: 10/22/19

Nov 10, 2018; Boston, MA: Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal of the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second period at TD Garden. (Kathryn Riley-USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo Credit: Kathryn Riley-USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Toronto Maple Leafs

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Coyle – Ritchie

Heinen – Lindholm – Backes

Bjork – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Toronto’s Lineup

Forwards

Johnsson – Matthews – Marner

Mikheyev – Kerfoot – Nylander

Moore – Gauthier – Kapanen

Timashov – Shore – Petan

Defense

Rielly – Ceci

Muzzin – Barrie

Gravel – Holl

Goalies

Hutchinson

Andersen

Anders Bjork’s time has come, at least for a little while. That and more in round two against the Toronto Maple Leafs, this time at TD Garden to complete the home and home series. Last Saturday, the Bruins lost 4-3 in OT to the Leafs. So, redemption was on their collective brain. David Krejci (upper-body) is now on IR, and Karson Kuhlman (leg) and Joakim Nordstrom (foot) were out with injuries of their own. Tuukka Rask’s 500th career game was as good of a game as ever to get the redemption they craved.

First Period

A risky pass at the offensive blue line from Brandon Carlo to Torey Krug ended up on William Nylander’s stick. Nylander hit another gear, but Tuukka Rask thwarted it with the glove to deny the first high-danger chance of the game.

Just around four minutes in, David Pastrnak went down awkwardly in a puck battle with Cody Ceci. He went to the bench in some pain, and just after that, Krug interfered with Frederik Gauthier, leading to them getting in each other’s faces and Krug sitting for two minutes.

At the conclusion of the unsuccessful Toronto power play, Brandon Carlo jumpstarted a 3-on-1 that nearly produced a goal for Krug right out of the box 4:03 into the period. Some good back-and-forth play ensued before David Pastrnak nearly became the first player in the NHL to hit double-digit goals. He had his tenth of the season, but it was called back for offsides. This nullified goal marked the third of the season for the Bruins already.

As the period neared its conclusion more and more, Andreas Johnsson went to the box for hooking with 3:34 to go. The sizzling hot Bruins power play stayed hot as Pastrnak spun and snuck and a through the legs shot through Michael Hutchinson and in.

“Fool me once, shame on you,” said David Pastrnak, probably. Pastrnak’s league-leading tenth goal was assisted by Brad Marchand (9) and Krug (6), as was the first goal, before it was called off. The shots in the period were 12-10 Bruins, and the late goal provided a huge potential springboard for momentum. Watch as Pastrnak scored, confirmed that that one counted, and hit a huge career milestone below.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

Despite a decent start to the period, Toronto responded in the form of a Kasperi Kapanen one-timer that made its way past Rask to tie the game. It didn’t take too long for the Bruins to respond. Pastrnak can do it all, as he made a sweet no-look pass to find an open Marchand for his fifth goal of the season. Pastrnak (7) and Charlie McAvoy (2) had the helpers.

The Leafs made no mistake on the power play after Zdeno Chara went off for tripping 11:40 into the period. Alex Kerfoot’s high-slot one-timer tied the game at two. Up to this point, it was another great matchup with the Leafs, as expected.

Morgan Rielly took Sean Kuraly down as he cut to the net and was slapped with two minutes in the box for it – giving the Bruins another power play with 4:06 to go. No dice, and the score remained tied at two. That’s how the second-period ended as well. The shots were narrowly in favor of the Bruins at 13-12 (25-22 Bruins total). The win was for the taking heading into the third.

Score: 2-2

Third Period

The Leafs came out flying early, testing Rask twice in the first minute. Jake DeBrusk then flew down the left-wing on the next shift and nearly connected with Brett Ritchie across the crease. Things slowed down a bit until Marchand was robbed by Hutchinson in a desperation effort to regain his ground in his crease.

Brett Ritchie made good on banging home a loose puck in the slot to put the Bruins ahead, shortly after the Marchand chance. This goal doesn’t happen without Charlie Coyle. An excellent play by Coyle to hold his back foot at the blue line and remain onside as he approached a loose puck was huge from the start of the goal-scoring sequence. Ritchie’s second of the season was assisted by DeBrusk (2). DeBrusk and Ritchie connect after failing to convert on a 2-on-1 earlier in the period.

After the Ritchie goal, the forechecking and ability to establish offensive zone pressure looked better than at times in the first two periods. Things got dicey though when Kuraly inadvertently high-sticked Andreas Johnsson with just around four minutes to go – he went off for two minutes and the Leafs had a golden opportunity to tie the game.

Following the first whistle during the power play, the Leafs called a timeout. Marchand forced a huge turnover against Rielly late in the power play, proving instrumental in eventually killing the penalty.

Kuraly didn’t waste much time out of the box, as he broke into the offensive zone on his off-wing and Par Lindholm buried the rebound that he produced. Lindholm’s first as a Bruin, against one of his former teams, proved to be the dagger in the end and was assisted by Kuraly (3).

Things got hectic after the Lindholm goal when Marchand went to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct with just 1:55 to go. It didn’t matter. The shots were 14-8 Bruins (39-30 Bruins total) and Rask made 28 saves in his 500th game. The Bruins are 6-1-2. Next up are the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at TD Garden 7:00 PM ET.

Final Score: 4-2 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 150 that we recorded on 10-20-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Vegas: 10/8/19

Boston Bruins v Vegas Golden Knights

(Photo Credit: David Becker/NHL via Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Vegas Golden Knights

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Kuhlman

Heinen – Coyle – Ritchie

Wagner – Kuraly – Backes

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Vegas’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith

Pacioretty – Glass – Stone

Pirri – Stastny – Zykov

Carrier – Nosek – Reaves

Defense

McNabb – Theodore

Merrill – Holden

Hague – Engelland

Goalies

Fleury

Subban

Two unbeaten teams that are set to be contenders in their respective conferences this year went at it in Vegas for the first time this year. The Bruins were 3-1-0 against the Golden Knights in their four career matchups against one another coming into this one. But, this marked Tuukka Rask’s first bout with the Golden Knights of his career. This game put Zdeno Chara in 23rd place all-time in games played (1,488), now ahead of Wayne Gretzky.

First Period

The game started off fast as David Pastrnak ripped a backhander with speed towards the net right off the bat. Brad Marchand talked about wanting his line to keep trending upwards, chances like that could do it. Brett Ritchie followed it up a couple shifts later with a backhand chance of his own. Some good offensive pace to start for the Bruins, with other chances to boot.

What ended up becoming some really solid back-and-forth was halted by a goaltender interference penalty on Ritchie just 5:15 into the period. The momentum that the Golden Knights established early on in the power play lead to a power-play goal for a wide-open Mark Stone, putting the Bruins down by one 6:36 into the first period. The first time the Bruins trailed in the 2019-2020 season.

It didn’t stop there for the Golden Knights, as former Bruin Reilly Smith broke free and buried a cross-crease pass to make it 2-0 with 8:20 into the period. After a solid first five minutes or so for the Bruins, the game started to slip away quickly.

They didn’t let it bother them too much, as David Pastrnak got the Bruins on the board. Pastrnak’s first of the season was assisted by Patrice Bergeron’s steal and a cross-crease pass from Brad Marchand 11:21 into the period.

More good fortune came the Bruins’ way with 2:22 to go in the period thanks to a Brandon Pirri slashing penalty. A wide-open net right off the bat couldn’t be capitalized on, but the top power-play unit was buzzing to start. The rabid offensive pressure paid off when Marchand buried a one-timer to tie the game. The tying goal, Marchand’s first of the season, was assisted by David Pastrnak and Torey Krug.

The final shots were 12-11 in favor of the Golden Knights in the most electric period of the Bruins season so far. Marchand wanted the line to continue to trend upwards, and that they did in the first period. The top line sprung a much-needed turnaround after being down by two early on.

Score: 2-2

Second Period

You thought the top line was done? Nope. Brad Marchand buried his second of the game and third of the season on a partial break high over the glove of Fleury. Pastrnak’s second assist of the game came off of a crafty indirect pass, making it 3-2 Bruins just 33 seconds into the period.

To make it two goals in 54 seconds, Krug sent a shot on net that deflected off of Ryan Reaves’ stick and in. Brandon Carlo and Sean Kuraly had the assists. Things were changing very rapidly, as Krug’s goal marked the fourth unanswered goal for the Bruins.

David Backes then went to the penalty box for retaliation shortly after Krug’s goal. Luckily, the Bruins restored normalcy and killed the penalty.

Even though the frantic goal-scoring took a break, the Bruins dominated the majority of the flow of play in the second period. One huge chance for the Golden Knights came when Jonathan Marchessault split the defense and got in Rask’s grill, but Rask made the stop. The Bruins played some of their best hockey of the season.

Things got crazy again when it looked like Max Pacioretty scored within the final three minutes of the period. It actually hit the post and didn’t actually cross the goal line. Potential crisis averted. The shots in the second were 15-12 in favor of the Golden Knights, but the Bruins had the lead.

Score: 4-2 Boston

Third Period

Two minutes into the period, Nicolas Hague went to the box for two minutes for hooking. Despite not scoring on the power play, the Bruins continued to create havoc in the offensive zone consistently.

Through the first nine minutes of the period, the shots were 7-0 Bruins, then Brayden McNabb took a holding penalty. Vegas’ first shot didn’t come until 11:32 into the period. The game shifted back in Vegas’ favor after Pacioretty scored on the power play following a Marchand cross-checking penalty, making it 4-3 late.

Gerard Gallant eventually pulled Fleury within the final two minutes. For the first time since 2002, the Bruins start the season 3-0. 82 is still intact. Rask made 31 saves, but unfortunately was hurt at the end of the game and had to be carried off the ice. The Bruins had 35 shots, and the Bruins staved off a tense final three or so minutes to this game. Next up are the Colorado Avalanche on the road at 9:00 PM on Thursday.

Final Score: 4-3 Boston

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 148 that we recorded on 10-6-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Dallas: 10/3/19

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Dallas Stars

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Coyle – Ritchie

Heinen – Lindholm – Kuhlman

Wagner – Kuraly – Backes

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Dallas’s Lineup

Forwards

Benn – Seguin  – Pavelski

Dickinson – Hintz – Radulov

Cogliano – Faksa – Comeau

Janmark – Dowling – Gurianov

Defense

Lindell – Klingberg

Heiskanen – Sekera

Oleksiak – Polak

Goalies

Bishop

Khudobin

The Bruins are back, and that’s pretty cool. The first stop on the road slate of the season was Dallas where the Bruins took on the Stars to start both team’s respective seasons. David Krejci was a last-minute scratch due to injury, leading to Brett Ritchie’s debut in response. For the Bruins, not a whole lot changed in the offseason outside of replacing Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari with Par Lindholm and Brett Ritchie, essentially.

The Stars, on the other hand, landed Joe Pavelski and Corey Perry in free agency. Anyone that was watching knew that the Stars were going to come out of the gate with intensity against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Bruins.

First Period

What’s the weirdest way this season could have started? Former Dallas Star Brett Ritchie scoring on his first shot as a Bruin just 1:09 into the game. Yeah, that happened. Charlie Coyle had the lone assist.

Alexander Radulov went to the box 4:23 into the period for holding. Danton Heinen made him pay late in the man advantage to give the Bruins a two-goal lead 14:01 to go. Two goals on two shots. Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy had the helpers.

The rest of the period was much quieter than the first five minutes. But, the Bruins managed to control the flow of play for much of the remainder of the period, despite not scoring more goals than the two they scored early on. Radek Faksa went off for high sticking with 2:27 go in the period, giving the Bruins an opportunity for the Bruins to go up by three.

Although they failed to convert on the power play, Dallas didn’t get on the board, so the missed opportunity was a bit more palpable. Not a bad way to start the season, especially the first period. The shots were 6-4 in favor of the Bruins.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Second Period

It was a pretty standard, back-and-forth period to start until Roman Polak went into the boards awkwardly and made some pretty painful-looking shoulder contact with the boards. He was down for quite a while in some serious pain before being helped off the ice on a stretcher by team personnel.

Shortly after the injury, Roope Hintz buried the first Dallas goal of the season to cut the Bruins’ lead in half with 12:05 to go. Radulov then went off the ice for the second time for tripping Par Lindholm just past the halfway point. It wasn’t a very eventful power-play opportunity, so normalcy ensued. Dallas certainly had a bit more energy after losing Polak to injury.

A fourth Boston power play came after McAvoy was interfered with by Mattias Janmark. McAvoy then went off for a penalty of his own, making it a 4-on-4, temporarily. Luckily, for the Bruins, Dallas didn’t score on the power play following the conclusion of Janmark’s penalty. The shots were 9-7 in favor of Dallas this time around, as they began to turn the tide a bit.

Score: 2-1 Boston 

Third Period

Some momentum was generated in the Bruins favor early thanks to some offensive chances from the Bergeron line. That was until Zdeno Chara went to the box for interference within the first minute. Rask made a couple solid saves within the final 30 seconds of the power play to preserve the one-goal lead.

Despite not scoring on the power play, Dallas kept the offensive zone pressure up and kept Tuukka Rask busy. That pressure kept up for quite some time, pretty consistently through the first ten or so minutes of the period. One of the highlights on the Bruins side of this onslaught in favor of Dallas was when Rask flashed the leather on a shot from Hintz that was labeled for the top corner.

Speaking of Hintz, Chris Wagner buried him at the eventual conclusion of the next shift. Through the first eight minutes of the third period, the shots were 11-7 Dallas, and they weren’t giving the Bruins much.

For the most part, outside of a Karson Kuhlman breakaway chance, credit to Dallas for not allowing a whole lot of fluidity through the neutral zone and into the defensive zone for the Bruins. If you scroll past the tweet below, you’ll see both of Kuhlman’s big-time scoring chances from the game.

Huge blocks from Brad Marchand, Chris Wagner, and a strong defensive stand preserved the win for the Bruins after Jim Montgomery pulled Ben Bishop late. The shots were 16-7 Dallas in the third, meaning Rask is very much worthy of praise for being instrumental in holding the one-goal lead for so long.

The Bruins start of the season in the win column. An 82-0 season is still possible, folks. Next up are the Arizona Coyotes on the road this Saturday at 9 PM. There is plenty to work on despite a hot start from now until Saturday night.

Final Score: 2-1 Boston

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 147 that we recorded on 9-30-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

Please subscribe to our new Black N’ Gold Hockey YouTube channel! We’d really appreciate the continued support. Click HERE for exciting Black N’ Gold online content!

Cratty: Bold Predictions For The 2019-2020 Bruins Season

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

There’s a lot to be excited when it comes to the Bruins this year, and I have high expectations, as you’ll soon find out. Some new faces will join the fold, while Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari went elsewhere within the division in unrestricted free agency. Luckily the Bruins are equipped internally within the organization and with new outside additions via free agency to soften the blow of losing Johansson and Acciari. I think it’s going to be a big year.

Jake DeBrusk scores 30 goals

He was close last year, but I think DeBrusk will hit 30 goals this season. Right on the dot. Potentially having a full year with David Krejci and Karson Kuhlman will increase his goal-scoring output.

If Kuhlman can seal the revolving door on Krejci’s right-wing shut, it will allow the line to establish their chemistry even further. Last year, they generated 7.00 GF/60 last season. Imagine what they could do in a full season versus the limited amount of time we saw them together last season? He hit 27 last season in just 68 games, mark DeBrusk down for the 30 this year.

Charlie Coyle hits the 20-goal mark

While we’re on the topic of goals, I think Charlie Coyle has a big year on the third line and eclipses the 20-goal mark. He has hit 21 and 18 goals respectively in a single season in the past, but in the past two years, he has scored 11 and 12 goals. This will be the second time he hits 20.

He established some serious chemistry with Danton Heinen last season and even looked good with him when the Bruins played the Flyers just last Thursday. Last season, after getting his feet wet for a few games, Coyle was a tank from after the trade deadline into the playoffs.

Add Anders Bjork to that line and you add a young, hungry player with really solid playmaking upside on a line that’s already set to be good. Whether Bjork plays on the third line in the regular season much remains to be seen, but he has seen time with Heinen and Coyle on that line throughout the past week or so.

Coyle looked extremely comfortable after coming over from Minnesota at the trade deadline. If he can pick up where he left off, I think there’s a really good chance he can score 20+ goals.

Patrice Bergeron has a career year

Bergeron had a great 2018-2019 season despite missing 17 regular-season games. This is contingent on him staying healthy, but I think Bergeron will hit a new career-high in points with 88 of them.

Age isn’t slowing him down. He tallied a career-high 79 points last season at 33-years-old in just 65 games. If good health is on his side and he can play a good bit more than 65 games, a fairly sizeable point jump isn’t out of the question. Marchand and Pastrnak are in the primes of their careers and Bergeron will continue to seem prime ice time on special teams as well as even strength. That combination of things sets up the potential for a huge year for Bergeron. Building on a milestone year last year would be awesome to see.

Torey Krug signs a contract extension during the season

No unrestricted free-agency for Torey Krug. From an undrafted former Michigan State Spartan now, Krug continues to improve and become a better leader by the day. His tenacity couple pure puck-moving and offensive excellence make him a vital piece on the back end.

Torey Krug’s don’t just fall from the sky. He is a unique defenseman in a lot of ways. Krug has hinted at him being interested in taking less money than he may be worth to stay in Boston, and that would just make things easier.

Krug and his wife Melanie just welcomed a baby girl to the world over the summer. He loves it here. Signing long-term to stay with a team in which he plays a big role and loves the city, as well as being able to raise his daughter makes a lot of sense. Having that burden off his back of having to deal with unrestricted free-agency makes sense for him, the team, and his family.

Boston Bruins: 2020 Stanley Cup Champions

The sour taste of defeat in the core from 2013 was already there, now everyone except for the free-agent additions essentially has that bad taste of defeat in their mouths from this past season. The team was devastated and is still set to be a cup contender, even after losing Johansson and Acciari to unrestricted free agency. They took the loss hard.

Teams in the East such as the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Florida Panthers definitely got better, plus prominent teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Washington Capitals are still in the mix. But, I trust that the Bruins are formidable enough to make a run to the Cup Final.

A chunk of young players gained very valuable experience from a long cup run, even in defeat, and the team as a whole is going to come out with redemption on their minds. I have them playing the Vegas Golden Knights in the finals, but it’s anyone’s guess as to who will go the distance this before the regular season even starts.

October 3 isn’t far away, redemption isn’t far away. The sky is the limit for the Bruins this year. Nine years is a long time in between Stanley Cup Championships. The Bruins have what it takes to capture banner number seven.

Check out the Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 146 that we recorded on 9-22-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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