Five Potential Scorers For Bruins Outside Of Big Ticket Artemi Panarin

Image result for Mark Stone(Photo Credit: Jane Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

A persistent storyline for quite some time surrounding the Boston Bruins has been their need for scoring. When discussing the topic, the second-line right wing and third-line center positions are of emphasis. Personally, I feel that the second-line right wing should be the bigger priority, and there are certainly good potential fits out there on the trade market.

Mark Stone

Acquiring Mark Stone would be quite the haul. He brings a great three-zone game to the table and could fit in seamlessly with David Krejci in the middle and either someone like Jake DeBrusk or Peter Cehlarik on the left. Stone leads the Senators in points and is tied in goals with Matt Duchene (25-31-56).

Currently making $7.35 million for this season, Stone is rightfully set for a raise in unrestricted free agency this summer. Despite having buyer’s remorse from the Rick Nash rental trade last season, Stone is a very plausible rental option due to the potential for significant positive impact in all three zones. On TSN’s latest trade bait list, Stone sat at number 10 out of 50.

With all rentals at the time of a trade comes the potential that they feel comfortable enough to in fact re-sign and shed the rental tag over time. For general managers, in this case, Don Sweeney, there is a lot to ponder in these scenarios and Stone will not come cheap. Adding a player of his caliber to the top-six forward core gives the potential for him to join the likes of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, and David Krejci. That immediately becomes a much more terrifying top-six for opponents.

Ryan Dzingel

At first, I wasn’t on board with the idea of Senators right-winger Ryan Dzingel as a rental option if Don Sweeney feels comfortable with such a transaction, but I have come around to it. When looking at players like Dzingel or Stone, acquiring a productive player from a divisional rival may be tricky, but it’s certainly not impossible.

Dzingel is two goals away from matching his career high of 23 from last year through just 53 games and has 41 points. As a rental, capitalizing on a player who is thriving in a contract year might be a smart move. But a rental of a young player like Dzingel having a career year will be pricey. Dzingel punches in at number 34 on the latest TSN trade bait list. Back in early February, TSN insider Darren Dreger said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins made a play on Dzingel. His speed and offensive instincts would fit in the Bruins’ top-six forward core.

Tyler Toffoli

When it comes to a player with term left on their current contract, Tyler Toffoli could be a great option. While he isn’t having a great season, he is playing on one of the NHL’s worst teams. In 55 games, he has scored 11 goals and added 15 assists. Regardless, past seasons should qualify him as a viable target. He has reached the 30-goal plateau once before and scored 24 last season, and is a pretty well-rounded player outside of his goal-scoring ability.

Toffoli is set to make $4.6 million per year for this season and next before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2020. He is not on the latest TSN trade bait list, but his name has been thrown around and it could be a route that the LA Kings explore options to improve in the future. Toffoli could fetch a solid package of assets in a trade.

Gustav Nyquist

If Gustav Nyquist is willing to waive his NTC, he is a tantalizing trade option. The 29-year-old winger is currently making $4.75 million before hitting unrestricted free agency this summer. His 14 goals and 47 points in 55 games make him a threat for at least 60 points this season. The 33 assists that he has amassed are best on the Red Wings. Nyquist sits seventh on the latest TSN trade bait list. He’s a pure scoring threat on the wing.

Mats Zuccarello

The Bruins made three trades with the Rangers in 2018. Who says they couldn’t make their first of 2019 by the trade deadline? Mats Zuccarello would be a great piece. With nine goals and 22 assists, good for 31 points in 41 games, Zuccarello is having himself quite the contract year, like Nyquist.

The 31-year-old Norwegian winger is currently making $4.5 million ahead of a possible increase in pay this summer. For the remainder of the season, Zuccarello’s speed and elusiveness, along with a polished skill set would be a great boost to the Bruins’ offense.

Don Sweeney has a lot of options to ponder over the coming weeks as the opportunity to load up before a potential playoff run lies ahead. Roll with what you have, or be bold and make a splash, the direction of this Bruins team lies in Sweeney’s hands, in part.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Colorado: 2/10/19

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(Photo Credit: Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Colorado Avalanche

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Heinen

Cehlarik – Krejci – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Frederic – Nordstrom

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Miller

Moore – Carlo

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Colorado’s Lineup

Forwards

Landeskog – MacKinnon – Rantanen

Kerfoot – Compher – Wilson

Nieto – Soderberg – Calvert

Greer – Dries – Andrighetto

Defense

Girard –  Johnson

Nemeth – Barrie

Graves – Zadorov

Goalies

Varlamov

Grubauer

First Period

Check out this fun fact. Well, it’s not really fun, but it’s pretty crazy.

In all six of their previous matinees, the Bruins have found the win column. Making it seven was certainly on the agenda. The excitement of Saturday’s matinee against the Los Angeles Kings and the “Beat LA” chants started off the weekend in thrilling fashion. Not to mention the excellent tribute to Patrice Bergeron’s 1000th game milestone.

Danton Heinen incidentally caught Erik Johnson up high with 10:06 to go – making things interesting in an otherwise pedestrian start to the game on both sides. Thankfully for their sake, the Bruins killed off the penalty.

Heinen high sticks Erik Johnson, around six-and-a-half minutes later, Gabriel Landeskog trips Heinen. A minute and eight seconds into the Boston power play, Torey Krug hooked Matt Calvert in front of the net to make it a 52 second 4-on-4 with 2:33 to go.

Nathan MacKinnon broke the ice by potting a power-play goal right under the crossbar with 33 seconds to go. That lead carried into the intermission, giving Colorado a chance to make good on their momentum heading into the second period. First period shots were 12 to 7 Colorado.

Score: 1-0 Colorado

Second Period

MacKinnon found himself with the back of the net in his sights early on in the period in what was a fast start for the Avalanche. The fast start didn’t last long as John Moore found the back of the net to even things up thanks to a great shot and a screen by Bergeron. Before the goal, Charlie McAvoy laid a great hit on fellow Boston University alum, Matt Nieto. A scrum highlighted by Brad Marchand and former Bruin Carl Soderberg ensued after the goal. There was a whole lot going on. 1-1 with 16:20 to go. The goal marked Moore’s third of the season, assisted by McAvoy (13), and Marchand (44).

An opportunity to take their first lead of the game came in the form of MacKinnon putting the Bruins on the power play with a holding penalty on Sean Kuraly. Not too long after Soderberg interfered with McAvoy to create a 34-second 5-on-3 for the Bruins. MacKinnon caught a homerun pass out of the penalty box only to be stopped by Jaroslav Halak with a massive save to keep the game tied. This game escalated very quickly.

Despite a brief 5-on-3 and some solid chances, the Bruins couldn’t convert on the man advantage.

In the final minutes of the period, Moore attempted to wrap the puck around Colorado’s zone. While on the dasher, the puck deflected towards the net and in, but it was quickly determined that the puck was out of play, so the goal was nullified.

The shots were 15 to 12 in favor of the Bruins, and 24 to 22 Colorado overall. The second period set the stage for a wild third period.

Score: 1-1

Third Period

Kuraly went to the box on a hooking call 7:16 in, generating plenty of boos from the TD Garden crowd. Following the conclusion of the Colorado power play. David Pastrnak and David Krejci came together for a nice scoring chance, but no dice. Neither team was budging.

Krug then went to the box again for hooking – his second hooking penalty of the game. The Colorado power play did not last long as Tyson Barrie went to the box for a hooking penalty of his own and a 4-on-4 ensued. The 1-1 stalemate continued as neither team could put the puck in the back of the net with the extra space to operate.

With 2:15 remaining in regulation came a golden opportunity for the Bruins in the form of a power play thanks to a Sheldon Dries holding penalty. Krejci’s feed to Peter Cehlarik in the crease highlighted the power play, but again, no goals. The trend of not being able out games continues, marking the fifth time in their last seven games that viewers will get some free hockey. It was a true goalie battle through 60 minutes. At the end of regulation, shots were 34 to 31 Colorado, and 10 to 9 Colorado in the period.

Score: 1-1

Overtime

For Boston, Kuraly, Moore, and McAvoy, and for Colorado, MacKinnon, Rantanen, and Landeskog to start the extra frame. Huge scoring chances came from both sides early on, to no avail. A backhand wraparound chance for Calvert, no dice.

Finally, Brad Marchand made it an undefeated weekend for the Bruins. Who else but Marchand in overtime? His shot from just above the circles deflected off of Calvert and in to end this grueling game. Shots in the extra frame were 4 to 2 Bruins, and 36 to 35 Colorado overall. Next up for the Bruins are the Chicago Blackhawks at home at 7:00 PM ET at TD Garden.

Final Score: 2-1 Boston

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Winnipeg: 1/29/19

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(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Winnipeg Jets

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

Cehlarik – Krejci – DeBrusk

Heinen – Frederic – Backes

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Miller

Goalies

Halak

McIntyre

Winnipeg’s Lineup

Forwards

Connor – Scheifele – Wheeler

Laine – Little – Roslovic

Perrault – Lowry – Tanev

Lemieux – Copp – Appleton

Defense

Morrissey – Trouba

Chiarot – Myers

Morrow – Kulikov

Goalies

Hellebuyck

Brossoit

First Period

Winnipeg came into this one on the second half of a back-to-back on the road, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. Trent Frederic made his debut in the Bruins’ first action coming back from the All-Star break. In doing so, he becomes the first Bruin ever to wear the number 82.

Mason Appleton went to the penalty box early for Winnipeg for holding, giving the Bruins a chance at an early lead. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t convert. The offensive tempo was heavily in favor of the Bruins from the start and Patrice Bergeron converted on a one-timer from his sweet spot towards the slot. Bergeron’s 15th goal of the season was assisted by Brad Marchand (35), and David Pastrnak (30).

With 6:12 left, Brandon Carlo went off for cross-checking. Josh Morrissey scored eight seconds later to tie the game up. After that, Zdeno Chara went to the box for slashing. The penalties kept coming after Chara’s was killed off, as Blake Wheeler went off for tripping. Penalties on top of penalties. Pastrnak made them pay with his 28th goal of the season off of one of his vintage one-timers. Half of his 28 goals have been scored on the power play. Marchand’s assist on the goal was his 36th.

The shots were 20 to 8 in favor of the Bruins, marking a busy first period for Hellebuyck, who made some wild saves. The momentum was on the Bruins side heading into the intermission.

Score: 2-1 Boston

Second Period

It was a pretty standard period until Jacob Trouba went off for slashing. Both teams struggled to generate a lot of shots in the period. The Bruins never really picked up where they left off from a momentum standpoint to start the period.

Brendan Lemieux got mad at Jake DeBrusk for cutting hard towards the net and colliding with Hellebuyck. That was weird. Kevan Miller and Adam Lowry injected some life back into the game with around four minutes left with a fight following a big hit on Brandon Tanev by Miller.

Frederic found himself tied up with Tanev shortly after, and Frederic teed off on Tanev’s face and easily won the fight. David Backes was tied up initially, so it was fitting for Frederic to get back up his childhood idol.

A wholesome family moment following the fight.

That was an insane fight. The last four minutes helped set up a potentially crazy third period with a game that was up-for-grabs. The shots were 9 to 5 in favor of Winnipeg, and were 25 to 17 Boston after two periods.

Score: 2-1 Boston

Third Period

Kyle Connor tied the game at two just about 15-and-a-half minutes into the period, thus making things interesting as intermission winded down. Not once, but twice, Connor struck again for his second goal in 34 seconds, 3-2 Jets.

A scrum at the Winnipeg net fired up a video review to see if the puck squeaked past the goal line. The evidence wasn’t conclusive, so the call on the ice stood, no goal.

Backes destroyed Dmitry Kulikov with this big hit.

Bergeron got the Bruins back on the board with 8:21 to go on his second goal of the night and 16th of the season. Marchand’s third assist of the night marked his 37th, and Pastrnak’s second assist marked his 31st of the season and third point of the night. The top line really came to play tonight. Although not being on the scoreboard, the second line created a lot of chances as well. Tie game.

Brendan Lemieux tried to do something useful by going after Carlo. I don’t imagine the size disadvantage on his end would have served him well in a fight there. An intense end to the game was for nothing as regulation ended in a tie. The shots at the end of regulation were 38 to 25 Bruins, 13 to 8 Bruins in the period.

Score: 3-3

Overtime

Marchand, Bergeron, and Krug for Boston, Scheifele, Wheeler, and Morrissey for Winnipeg to start. It was an entertaining overtime period but no winner was declared. Shots were 2 to 1 Winnipeg.

Score: 3-3

Shootout

Jake DeBrusk: Miss

Kyle Connor: Goal

David Pastrnak: Miss

Patrik Laine: Miss

Brad Marchand: Miss

Bruins lose 4-3. Final shots were 39-27 Bruins. Next up are the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday at TD Garden at 7 PM ET.

Final Score: 4-3 Winnipeg

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. St. Louis: 1/17/19

Image result for bruins blues

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: St. Louis Blues

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Cehlarik

Wagner – Kuraly – Backes

Donato – JFK – Heinen

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Moore – Miller

Goalies

Rask

Halak

St. Louis’ Lineup

Forwards

Schwartz – Schenn – Tarasenko

Kyrou – O’Reilly – Perron

Fabbri – Sundqvist – Maroon

Gunnarsson – Barbashev – Blais

Defense

Edmundson – Pietrangelo

Bouwmeester – Parayko

Dunn – Bortuzzo

Goalies

Allen

Binnington

First Period

At one point winners of five of six games to start the new year, the Bruins now find themselves losers of their last two. A chance stood in front of them to avoid extending their losing skid against a St. Louis Blues team that has had a turbulent season.

Just over a minute and a half into the game, Jake DeBrusk redirected a feed from David Krejci within centimeters of squeaking under Jake Allen’s pad and in. Other than that, it was a pretty black and white start to the game until things got interesting when David Pastrnak went off for two thanks to a high sticking penalty. The Bruins killed the penalty and kept this one scoreless for the time being.

Zdeno Chara fought for the first time since March 1st of last season against Jamie Oleksiak, this time against Patrick Maroon.

It was a fairly quiet period overall. The Bruins outshot the Blues 10-8. Momentum was surely up-for-grabs headed into the second period.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

Peter Cehlarik found himself in the box early on in the period for tripping. St. Louis didn’t convert on the power play but Torey Krug converted at even strength off of a crazy feed from Krejci shortly after penalty concluded. Krug’s fifth of the season was assisted by Krejci (28) and Cehlarik (1).

Just 52 seconds later, Tuukka Rask made a fantastic sprawling save on Ryan O’Reilly, but couldn’t corral the rebound and O’Reilly tied the game at one. St. Louis got the next one thanks to Carl Gunnarsson with 6:24 remaining in the period – 2-1 Blues.

Shortly after, Robert Bortuzzo went to the box for cross-checking. The Bruins took full advantage of being a man up. Zdeno Chara sent a cannon at Allen that was tipped by former St. Louis Blues captain David Backes as he was being knocked over. Backes’ fifth goal of the season was assisted by Chara (3) and Krejci (29). Two assists for Krejci on the night.

Chris Wagner went to the box for tripping not too long after the goal. With 29 seconds left in his penalty, St. Louis took a too many men on the ice penalty, making it 4-on-4 temporarily. Neither team scored before the end of the period, leaving the Bruins with 11 seconds left on their power play heading into the third period. Shots in the period were 11-8 in favor of the Blues, and 21-20 Bruins overall. It was anyone’s game heading into the third period.

Score: 2-2

Third Period

Wagner gave the Bruins the lead off of a homerun pass from Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and buried it on a breakaway. Wagner’s sixth was assisted by Forsbacka-Karlsson (5).

Brad Marchand made it 4-2 on his 18th goal of the season, assisted by McAvoy (11), and Bergeron (26).

After Wagner barely missed an empty netter, Sean Kuraly made up for it and iced this one – 5-2 Bruins. Krejci’s 30th assist of the season on Kuraly’s sixth goal was his third of the night, Wagner also had an assist (5). Tuukka’s win tied him with Tiny Thompson for the most in Bruins history at 252. The final shots were 30-27 Blues and 10-6 Blues in the period. Next up are the New York Rangers on Saturday at 7:00 PM ET at TD Garden.

Final Score: 5-2 Boston

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Washington: 1/10/19

Image result for bruins capitals

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara – USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Washington Capitals

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Backes

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Donato – JFK – Heinen

Defense

Chara – Carlo

Krug – Moore

Grzelcyk – Miller

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Washington’s Lineup

Forwards

Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson

Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie

Connolly – Eller – Boyd

Stephenson – Dowd – Smith-Pelly

Defense

Kempny – Carlson

Orlov – Niskanen

Orpik – Siegenthaler

Goalies

Holtby

Copley

First Period

If history were to repeat itself, this one would have been an ugly one, as the Bruins haven’t beaten the Capitals in ages. Capitals netminder Braden Holtby was 15-2-0 against the Bruins in his career heading into this one, so the Bruins were looking to flip the script on the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Bruins found themselves on the power play just less than two minutes in as Brad Marchand was taken down by Jonas Siegenthaler – who put Washington on the penalty kill with a holding penalty. Despite a couple chance including an excellent one from Matt Grzelcyk in the dying seconds, the Bruins failed to convert on their first power play. Jaroslav Halak kept things scoreless shortly after the conclusion of the power play with an acrobatic save on Tom Wilson.

Jakub Vrana somehow snuck his way behind John Moore and Torey Krug and made no mistake depositing his 15th of the season to make it 1-0 Capitals. Chances came and went for the Bruins after the goal, but Holtby, as he usually does, had their number. He shut them out in the season opener and continued to reign supreme in the first period. Through 16 minutes, the shots were 14-5 Bruins. Not even a perfect-looking wraparound from Ryan Donato could beat Holtby.

The shots in the period finished at a whopping 17-5 in favor of the Bruins, but no dice. One miscue when it comes to situational awareness put them behind in the first. From here on out, it was time to play catch up.

Score: 1-0 Washington

Second Period

After controlling the beginning of the period pretty well, Patrice Bergeron took a rare tripping penalty to put the Bruins down a man. The Capitals came into this game two for their last 35 on the power play. The Bruins killed the penalty and not too long after Lars Eller found himself tied up with Brad Marchand and David Backes behind the play and went to the box for it. Agitator gon’ agitate as Marchand baited Eller into taking an undisciplined penalty, Washington loses their second most important penalty killer in terms of shorthanded time on ice.

No matter how many chances came their way, the Bruins remained snakebitten against the Capitals. Halfway through the game, the shots were 22-7 Bruins, and they were losing – something had to give. To make matters worse, Brandon Carlo sat for two thanks to a tripping penalty just past the halfway point of the period and the game.

Ryan Donato finally broke the curse after a healthy sequence in the offensive zone and a great saucer pass from Torey Krug. Donato’s sixth of the season tied the game, assisted by Krug (25), and Forsbacka-Karlsson (4).

The tied score didn’t last long as Alexander Ovechkin did what he does a lot, and that is score goals. 2-1 Capitals with 5:10 to go in the frame. The Bruins face cruel circumstances whenever they face the Capitals. Eight shots, two goals.

Chris Wagner laid an iffy hit on Michal Kempny and Wilson came in and hit him up high. Tom Wilson did something stupid, water is wet. Carry on.

Krug slammed Brett Connolly to the ground after being held to make things interesting late in the period, Connolly sat for two minutes. Despite still heavily outshooting the Capitals 28-12 overall, and 11-7 in the period, the Bruins still trailed on the scoreboard.

Score: 2-1 Washington

Third Period

Starting the period on the power play gave the Bruins a great chance to take momentum early in the final frame. Unfortunately, they failed to convert, 0-4 on the power play for the Bruins. Despite their power play struggles, a blessing came to the Bruins in the form of a too-many-men penalty against the Capitals to be served by Ovechkin.

Fifth times the charm? Is that how the expression goes? David Krejci buried his first goal in nine games with a slapshot from the right circle through a bit of a screen. Krejci’s eighth of the season was assisted by Danton Heinen (7), and David Backes (8).

As the theme persists, Washington scores right after the Bruins tie the game as Nicklas Backstrom sent a weird one past Halak to regain the lead. 38-19 were the shots with five and a half minutes left, the Bruins literally doubled the Capitals shots and were still down a goal, thanks, Holtby.

Alexander Ovechkin made it two when he sent one at the empty net just seconds after Halak made it to the bench. His second of the game iced this one. Cassidy took a timeout with 28.7 seconds to go. The Capitals are the Bruins’ kryptonite. The final shots were 41-22 Bruins overall, and 13-10 in the period. Next up are the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto at 7 PM ET on Saturday night.

Final Score: 4-2 Washington

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Minnesota: 1/8/19

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(Photo Credit: Paul Rutherford – USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Minnesota Wild

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Backes

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Donato – JFK – Heinen

Defense

Chara – Carlo

Krug – Moore

Grzelcyk – Miller

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Minnesota’s Lineup

Forwards

Greenway – Staal – Granlund

Parise – Coyle – Kunin

Zucker – Koivu – Niederreiter

Hendricks – Eriksson Ek – Foligno

Defense

Suter – Spurgeon

Brodin – Pateryn

Seeler – Prosser

Goalies

Stalock

Dubnyk

First Period

The Minnesota Wild came into this one on the second half of a back-to-back, so it was fair to expect some tired legs for at least part of the game. The Bruins came in winners of their last four games. The Kuraly line started for the Bruins, opposed by the Koivu line for Minnesota. Minnesota’s sluggishness due to the quick turnaround showed early on.

After a back-and-forth start, Danton Heinen redirected John Moore’s shot from the point past Stalock and in to give the Bruins the early lead just 5:23 into the period. Heinen’s goal marked his fifth of the year, assisted by Moore (6), and Krug (23).

Not too long after, Zdeno Chara somehow tossed the 6-foot-6, sub 200 pound Minnesota winger Jordan Greenway like a sack of potatoes and took an interference penalty – giving Minnesota an opportunity to even things up. One may think it’s hard to do that to someone as big as Greenway, but sometimes being 6-foot-9 like Chara comes in handy. The penalty was successfully killed off by the Bruins.

John Moore stayed amongst the offense when he kept the puck in along the wall to the point where the puck found Patrice Bergeron for an indirect pass, and then the backboards where it was deposited into the net by Brad Marchand. The goal marked Marchand’s 16th of the year, Moore’s seventh assist of the season and second of the game, and Patrice Bergeron’s 23rd assist. 2-0 Bruins with 8:31 to go.

Tuukka Rask preserved the two-goal lead with an excellent save on Eric Staal with speed. Shortly after that, Kevan Miller went to the box for holding.

With 34 seconds left on the Wild power play, Staal made it 4-on-4 when he went off for tripping Rask. The Bruins continued the offensive trend when Bergeron sent a shot wide, where it was intentionally deflected off Jake DeBrusk’s chest and in, 3-0 Bruins with 45 seconds left in the period. The goal marked DeBrusk’s 14th of the season, Bergeron’s second assist of the game and 24th of the season, and Brad Marchand’s 30th assist.

In a dominant, highlight-filled first period for the Bruins, they outshot the Wild 15-6. Momentum was clearly in their favor heading into the second period.

Score: 3-0 Boston

Second Period

Rask was nearly fooled on a redirect by Luke Kunin that nearly found its way through his five-hole, but no dice for Kunin and the Wild. The start of this one was very similar to that of the first period. After that chance, went off for two minutes thanks to a tripping penalty for Zach Parise.

The dominance continued when Bergeron got on the board early in the power play off of a redirection off of his skate. It was 4-0 Bruins thanks to Bergeron’s 14th goal of the season, assisted by Marchand (31), and Krug (24), both their second assists of the game.

Moore went to the box around the halfway point of the period for burying Kunin into the Bruins net – can’t do that. Two minutes for interference for Moore, giving Minnesota a chance to get back into this one to some degree. They didn’t convert. Despite not finding the back of the net, the shots were 10-3 Minnesota 13 minutes into the period, so the first period served as a wake-up call to some degree. Rask had yet another very sound period in the crease.

Despite a solid period from the Wild, the advantage still remained heavily in favor of the Bruins on the scoreboard. The shots were 12-5 Wild, decreasing the shot margin to just 20-18 in favor of the Bruins.

Score: 4-0 Boston

Third Period

The game got progressively quieter after the first period. Not even an empty-netter, just the cap on a 24-save shutout for Rask. The Bruins dominated most of the game and the scoreboard shows it. The shots in the final frame were 7-6 Bruins and 27-24 overall.

That emphatic win makes it five straight for the Bruins. Next up are the Washington Capitals at TD Garden at 7 PM ET on Thursday.

Final Score: 4-0 Boston

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Carolina: 12/23/18

Image result for bruins hurricanes 2018

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gary Broome)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Carolina Hurricanes

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Heinen

Nordstrom – Krejci – Pastrnak

Donato – Cave – Backes

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Defense

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – McAvoy

Moore – Kampfer

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Carolina’s Lineup

Forwards

Svechnikov – Aho – Teravainen

Ferland – Bishop – Williams

Foegele – Wallmark – Martinook

Kuokannen – Rask – McGinn

Defense

Slavin – Pesce

de Haan – Faulk

van Riemsdyk – Hamilton

Goalies

Mrazek

McElhinney

First Period

The Bruins came into Whalers night as winners of their last three games. Partly thanks to Charlie McAvoy’s recent resurgence since returning from injury, and Patrice Bergeron’s four-point effort yesterday against Nashville.

In previous back-to-backs this season, the Bruins are 6-0-1. Just around a minute and a half in, Carolina went to the penalty kill as Micheal Ferland went off for high-sticking. Boston’s power play struck in the form of Ryan Donato sending a shot off of Petr Mrazek, a Carolina defender and in to give the Bruins an early lead. The goal marked Donato’s fourth of the season, assisted by Torey Krug (18), and Brad Marchand (28).

Around four minutes after Carolina went on the penalty kill, the Bruins did the same as Steven Kampfer went to the box for holding. Noel Acciari made it a 5-on-3 advantage when he high-sticked Sebastian Aho, giving Carolina a great opportunity to tie the game in due time.

Speaking of Steven Kampfer, he made up for his penalty pretty quickly. Sean Kuraly found him open from behind the net, and Kampfer made no mistake in burying it to make it 2-0 Bruins less than halfway through the first. The goal marked Kampfer’s second of the season and Sean Kuraly’s sixth assist.

The Canes cut the lead to one after Teuvo Teravainen sent a flimsy shot on net that bounced off of McAvoy and in. The obscurity of the bounce clearly threw of Tuukka Rask and made things interesting with plenty of time left.

Despite being behind on the scoreboard, the Canes outshot the Bruins 13-11 and certainly didn’t have a bad period overall. The game was still very much up for grabs heading into the second period and beyond.

Score: 2-1 Boston

Second Period

The Canes didn’t take long to capitalize in the second period, as Aho found himself wide open in front of Rask and snuck on through the five-hole and in to tie things up at two.

Trevor van Riemsdyk of all people sprung loose for a breakaway that was stifled by John Moore to keep the game tied. It was a fairly sloppy start to the period at times for the Bruins in terms of the flow of play and connecting passes.

On the topic of sloppy play, McAvoy was muscled off the puck by Aho who eventually found the puck back on his stick for a one-timer past Rask to strip the Bruins of their lead. If McAvoy moves the puck quicker, that play doesn’t happen, the mental mistake ended up costing the Bruins here. It was 3-0 Carolina with 12:36 to go in the period thanks to Aho’s second goal of the period.

Things didn’t get any better after that as Justin Faulk sent a wrist shot into traffic and past Rask to give Carolina a two-goal lead in a period that they had solid control of. Four unanswered goals are something that you never want to see unless you’re the team doing it. Aho nearly made it a natural hat-trick as he streaked down his off-wing and sent a shot on net that fooled Rask but somehow stayed out of the net. Brass Bonanza was playing a whole lot.

Rask prevented further disaster with a huge save on Lucas Wallmark, followed by another on a scrum out front. It was a really ugly period for the Bruins. Ryan Donato helped stop the bleeding a bit when he sniped one in the top left corner past Mrazek. 4-3 Canes late in the period thanks to Donato’s fifth goal of the season and second of the game, and Colby Cave’s fourth assist.

McAvoy made a huge play on Clark Bishop late, keeping the losing margin at one, Although they were outshot heavily through two, 16-7 in the period, 29-18 overall, the Bruins managed to keep this one close heading into the final frame.

Score: 4-3 Carolina

Third Period

The effort level took a step up to start the period for the Bruins, Joakim Nordstrom and Donato had two pretty nice chances to test Mrazek. Ferland eventually took a penalty, giving the Bruins a chance to capitalize on their momentum and even things up on the power play. The shots were 4-0 Bruins through the first until Rask fumbled the puck behind the net, making the initial save on Aho, but not on Teravainen. 5-3 Carolina. The Svechnikov-Aho-Teravainen line had a field day.

Ryan Donato nearly made it three on a late wraparound attempt, Mrazek was solid in the third. A too many men penalty with just around five and a half minutes left helped in axing any chance the Bruins had to win when it was all said and done. But things were interesting late, as Rask was pulled with 2:40 to go, right as Andrei Svechnikov took a boarding penalty. A 6-on-4 was on the table late for the Bruins. Nordstrom made a save on the empty net, so there’s that. With 36.5 seconds left, Bruce Cassidy took a timeout. But there just wasn’t enough in the final frame to come out with the win. The loss marked the Bruins’ first regulation loss against Carolina since April 13, 2013.

After a rough start, Carolina took control of this one for much of the game. The shots were 12-8 Bruins in the third, and 37-30 Canes overall. Next up are the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at TD Garden at 7:00 PM ET.

Final Score: 5-3 Carolina

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs. Anaheim: 12/20/18

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(Photo Credit: Associated Press/Winslow Townson)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Anaheim Ducks

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak

Nordstrom – Cave – Backes

Donato – Forsbacka-Karlsson – Heinen

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Defense

Grzelcyk – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Moore – Kampfer

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Anaheim’s Lineup

Forwards

Aberg – Getzlaf– Kase

Ritchie – Henrique – Sprong

Cogliano – Kesler – Silfverberg

Gibbons – Rowney – Sherwood

Defense

Larsson – Manson

Lindholm – Montour

Mahura – Dotchin

Goalies

Gibson

Johnson

First Period

The Bruins came into this one 0-8-1 in their last nine games against the Ducks. So they came in with some demons to take care of. The Ducks had won eight of their last ten games entering this one. Jaroslav Halak is 6-0-1 at home this season. It was anyone’s game based on these contrasting numbers.

John Moore took an early tripping penalty three minutes in. The Ducks sat in the power play basement at 25th in the NHL, the Bruins penalty kill was 22nd before both were tested for the first time. The Bruins won this time and killed the penalty successfully, the Ducks failed to record a shot on goal.

Just under four minutes later, Andrew Cogliano reciprocated Moore’s penalty and went to the box for a tripping penalty of his own. The Bruins held the 5th best power play in the NHL, the Ducks penalty kill held the 14th best penalty kill. Boston failed to convert on the power play, and Danton Heinen went to the box for interference with four seconds left in the man advantage. For what it’s worth, I’m not sure knocking a stick out of someone’s hands, like Heinen did, should be considered interference. It was whistles galore early on for the referees. Anaheim didn’t convert on the power play.

Joakim Nordstrom nearly set Colby Cave up to break the ice in the final 30 seconds of the period, but Cave was robbed by the sprawling pad of John Gibson. It was a pretty slow period until the last few minutes or so. The shots were 8-7 in favor of the Bruins. Anaheim had 12 giveaways to the Bruins four giveaways. This one was up for grabs after 20 minutes.

Score: 0-0

Second Period

The tempo was a bit more lively to start the second frame. Close to eight minutes in, as David Pastrnak went to step around Hampus Lindholm, Lindholm interfered with him to impede his progress and took a penalty as a result.

Speaking of Pastrnak, he caught a sweet no-look pass from Torey Krug to break the ice on the man advantage off of a one-timer, his 22nd of the season. Krug’s 17th assist gave him 200 as a Bruin, passing Mike O’Connell for the most by a U.S. born player in Bruins history. David Backes’ sixth assist of the season marked the 300th of his NHL career.

Another iffy penalty call came in the form of a slashing penalty on Brad Marchand. Anaheim went to the man advantage a little bit past the midway point of the period. Halak made a great save on Brandon Montour on the back door on the penalty kill. Yeah, I rhyme when I write on occasion. No dice for Anaheim on the power play, one shot on goal, and it was stopped in spectacular fashion.

Halak continued the stellar play with a pair of consecutive saves on Pontus Aberg and Ondrej Kase. Flip the script and Brad Marchand found himself on the receiving end of a slash this time. The power play ended quickly on a “tic-tac-goal” by Krug as coined by Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards. The whole sequence happened so quickly that Anaheim didn’t even touch the puck. The goal marked Krug’s fourth of the season and second point of the game, Marchand’s 24th assist, and Pastrnak’s 21st assist and second point of the game.

In a period that had more tempo and liveliness to it, the Bruins outshot the Ducks again, 10-8. The overall shots after two were 18-15 Bruins. Momentum was in favor of the home team heading into the third period.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Third Period

Brandon Carlo took a hooking penalty on Brian Gibbons early in the period, giving Anaheim a chance to inject some life into this game on their end. The Bruins’ penalty-killing units continued their spotless night and brought the game back to even strength unscathed.

David Krejci continued his point streak to eight games just after the conclusion of the Anaheim power play with his seventh goal of the year and the 600th point of his NHL career. It’s a milestone kind of night for the Bruins. Like Krug’s goal, Marchand (25) and Pastrnak (22) had the helpers.

Dress with style, score with style. Krejci is on fire. Marchand drew another penalty, this time a hooking call on Ryan Getzlaf. The Bruins were 2 for 3 heading into this power play, but failed to score. Halak continued his dominance throughout the period to the end.

Josh Mahura beat Halak late from the point to spoil the shutout with just over four minutes to go for his first career goal. Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour went to the locker room in the final few minutes after colling with Lindholm on the bench. The Ducks made things a bit interesting late with the Mahura goal and by pulling the goalie, albeit taking a while to do so.

Dating back to his shutout win against the Canadiens, Halak has stopped 46 of the last 47 shots that he has faced. The Bruins win their second game in a row. Next up are the Nashville Predators at TD Garden on Saturday at 1:00 PM ET for some matinee hockey.

Final Score: 3-1 Boston

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston At Montreal: 12/17/18

Image result for bruins canadiens 2018

(Photo Credit: Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Montreal Canadiens

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak

Nordstrom – Cave – Backes

Donato – Forsbacka-Karlsson – Heinen

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Defense

Grzelcyk – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Moore – Kampfer

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Montreal’s Lineup

Forwards

Drouin – Domi – Shaw

Tatar – Danault – Gallagher

Byron – Kotkaniemi – Lehkonen

Agostino – Chaput – Peca

Defense

Kulak – Weber

Reilly – Petry

Schlemko – Juulsen

Goalies

Price

Niemi

First Period

One point separated the Canadiens and Bruins heading into this one while they sat in third and fourth place respectively. Important divisional points were on the line. Montreal came in winners of their last two, while the Bruins came in losers of their last two looking to right the ship.

The game didn’t stay scoreless for long as Joakim Nordstrom scored 2:21 into the game. Some great forechecking and passing from his linemates helped make it happen. The goal marked Nordstrom’s fifth of the year, assisted by David Backes (5), and Colby Cave (3).

Brad Marchand went to the box shortly after for high-sticking. Montreal came into the game without a single goal on their last 22 power play opportunities. Two shots on goal and two minutes later, Montreal failed to convert on the man advantage.

Halfway through the period, Montreal had 11 giveaways to Boston’s one giveaway. The energy was there, just not a lot of cohesiveness. Noel Acciari went to the box delay of game at the 6:28 mark – round two on the power play for Montreal. John Moore and Charlie McAvoy were integral to eventually kill the penalty and keep the lead intact while they were down a man.

After making a series of moves in the offensive zone, David Pastrnak drew a tripping penalty with 3:04 remaining – the Bruins were scoreless on their last seven power plays in their last three games. It was a sloppy first power play for the Bruins as they had trouble connecting passes at times and struggled to get much of anything going in Carey Price’s office. The best chance came after the conclusion of the man advantage when Noel Acciari nearly stuffed a wraparound past Price.

Giveaways were ever so present from Montreal and the Bruins surely would have liked to convert more than once. The shots were 12 to 5 in favor of the Bruins, Montreal ended up with 14 giveaways to Boston’s one. The energy was there for the Bruins, but the execution could have been better. The momentum was in their hands heading into the intermission and beyond.

Score: 1-0 Boston

Second Period

The scoring chances continued to come from the Bruins early, specifically from Pastrnak and Acciari. The occasional too many men on the ice penalty struck against Montreal just 2:29 into the period. No dice on the power play, zero shots on goal.

A flurry of chances came for the Canadiens about halfway through the period in just under a minute of consecutive zone time. Shortly after, former Bruin Kenny Agostino was robbed by once former Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

It’s not too often you see two delay of game penalties in one game, but David Pastrnak unintentionally made that happen. Some power plays came and went on both sides, both teams found no luck with the man advantage. Price robbed Pastrnak in space on the backhand. Neither goalie was budging after Nordstrom’s early first-period goal. He then managed to rob Torey Krug with his glove as he flew down the left wing.

A four-on-four came late as Sean Kuraly went to the box for holding, as did Jesperi Kotkaniemi for interference – lots of open ice for someone to break through and get on the score sheet. Colby Cave picked up his second point of the night and first goal of his NHL career off of a beautiful passing play involving Pastrnak up high and McAvoy down low. McAvoy picked up his seventh assist, Pastrnak his 19th. The assist marked McAvoy’s second point since returning from injury on Dec. 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

There wasn’t much of the usual Bruins-Habs nastiness as we have seen in the past until the last three minutes of the frame. This time we saw a goaltending battle and a cut-and-dry game through two periods for the most part. The Bruins dominated the shot category with a 13 to 7 advantage in the second period, 26 to 12 overall.

Score: 2-0 Boston

Third Period

Things got going real early thanks to an iffy Montreal line change. David Krejci buried his sixth goal of the year on the back door to extend his point streak to seven games. Charlie McAvoy’s eighth assist of the season and second of the game helped make it all happen. The Bruins extend their lead to three.

Mike Reilly’s roughing penalty set up a power play that led to the fourth Bruins goal of the game, this time from Brad Marchand. Marchand’s 11th goal was assisted by Pastrnak (20) and Krug (16). It was 4-0 Bruins with 14:54 to go.

This game turned on its head really quickly. The Bruins took advantage of what was a sloppy game on Montreal’s end for much of the time. Outside of their extended zone stint midway through the second period, it was almost all Bruins. Halak capped it off on a great chance in transition late. The 22-save effort marked his third shutout of the season.

The energy they got thanks to a good deal of puck possession, scoring chances and Nordstrom’s goal in the first period propelled them forward throughout the game. Things progressively got better as the game went on.

In one of their better 60-minute efforts this season, the Bruins outshot the Canadiens 9 to 8 in the third and 35 to 22 overall. Next up are the Anaheim Ducks at 7:00 PM ET on Thursday at TD Garden.

Final Score: 4-0 Boston

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston At Tampa Bay: 12/6/18

Image result for bruins lightning

(Photo Credit: Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Tampa Bay Lightning

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Cave – Pastrnak

Nordstrom – Krejci – DeBrusk

Donato – Forsbacka-Karlsson – Acciari

Heinen – Kuraly – Backes

Defense

Krug – Carlo

Moore – McAvoy

Grzelcyk – Kampfer

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Tampa Bay’s Lineup

Forwards

Palat – Stamkos – Gourde

Johnson – Point – Kucherov

Killorn – Cirelli – Miller

Joseph – Paquette – Callahan

Defense

Hedman – Girardi

McDonagh – Cernak

Coburn – Sergachev

Goalies

Domingue

Pasquale

First Period

Brandon Carlo returned last week, Charlie McAvoy returned tonight. The picture got a bit clearer ahead of this tough Atlantic division showdown with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Just over two minutes in, David Pastrnak broke things open after kicking a loose puck to himself and potting for his 20th goal of the year. Colby Cave had the helper, his second of the year.

The Kucherov line struck late in the period after a bit of back-and-forth. Brayden Point buried his 21st goal of the year in close proximity to Tuukka Rask, putting himself ahead of Pastrnak again in the goal-scoring race. Pastrnak tried to retake his lead of Brayden Point on a late breakaway, but was denied by an impressive toe-save by Louis Domingue.

Tampa Bay outshot Boston 15-11 and neither team took a penalty in the first until Charlie McAvoy took a hooking penalty late. Overall, it was a clean, fast-paced period on both sides.

Score: 1-1

Second Period

Marchand and Nordstrom killed McAvoy’s penalty to start the period. Tuukka made some big saves early on to keep the game tied, with the best being on a laser off the stick of Nikita Kucherov.

Noel Acciari nearly buried one with the extra man on with the delayed penalty before the whistle was blown as Victor Hedman went off for tripping. Seeing Charlie McAvoy back on the power play was a nice sight to see. Despite a good power play showing, nothing came out of it on the scoreboard.

David Backes and Anthony Cirelli found themselves in a scuffle in the first instance of nastiness in the game late in the period. Both teams were flying from there on out to wrap up the second period. Most notably, Steven Stamkos came in with speed and that heavy shot, only to be stopped by Rask on a golden chance. The shots were heavily in favor of the Bruins (12-6), and 23-21 Bruins overall, but they couldn’t break the tie. A pivotal third period lied ahead for both teams.

Score: 1-1

Third Period

Mathieu Joseph gave Tampa Bay an added boost when he slid a backhand shot right through the five-hole of Rask to give them the lead. Not too long after, Domingue sent one out of play, handing the Bruins a power play on a delay of game call.

The power play did not go well. Cirelli capitalized off a blocked shot and flew into the offensive zone, beating Rask on a breakaway to widen the lead to two. It was a terrible start to the period for the Bruins, two goals in a minute and 23 seconds for Tampa Bay.

Things were fairly bleak for much of the period until David sent a half slapper from the point past Domingue off a Tampa Bay stick, cutting the lead to one with 1:45 to go in regulation. The goal marked Krejci’s third of the season and first in 19 games, Pastrnak notched his 12th assist on the goal, for Backes, it was his third.

Krejci’s goal wasn’t enough as even though Marchand had a great chance in the dying seconds, Tampa Bay came out with the win. Shots in the period were 11-9 Bruins, 34-30 overall. Rask made 27 saves in the loss. Next up is are the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at 7 PM ET at TD Garden.

Final Score: 3-2 Tampa Bay

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