Bruins Game 53 Preview: New York Islanders

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

The Boston Bruins enter tonight’s game against the New York Islanders coming off of a big win over the Washington Capitals on Super Bowl Sunday where Tuukka Rask won his 253rd NHL game, surpassing Tiny Thompson for most wins by a goaltender in Boston Bruins franchise history. The Bruins are currently in the first wild-card position with 63 points (28-17-7), behind Montreal (64 points, 29-18-6) for the final Division playoff spot.

The New York Islanders lost their captain, John Tavares to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the offseason, but they somehow are atop the Metropolitan Division with 66 points on the season, behind only Toronto and Tampa Bay. The Isles are 1-0-1 to start the month of February, losing 1-0 to Tampa Bay in the shootout and then beating the Kings 4-2 the next day. The Islanders will be looking to extend their point streak to nine games and they have the best record in the NHL since December 15th (16-3-2).

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 15-8-4 2.35 GAA .922 SV% Last Game: 24 Saves in 1-0 Win vs WSH

NYI: Robin Lehner (Not Confirmed) 16-7-4 2.02 GAA .932 SV% Last Game: 34 Saves in 4-2 Win vs LAK

Who’s Hot

Tuukka Rask has been lights out for the Bruins and it has arguably made the team around him look better. Rask has recently passed Tiny Thompson as mentioned already for most wins by a goalie in the entire history of the Bruins franchise. As of late, Tuukka has earned a point for the Bruins in each of his last nine full starts, (not including the loss against the Rangers. Rask has not lost a regulation game since December 23rd against Carolina.

With the absence of Tavares, it has become Mathew Barzal’s team. The 2019 All-Star leads the Islanders in points with forty-six, including fifteen goals and thirty-one assists. The 16th Overall Pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Barzal has accumulated 37-94-131 numbers in 135 career NHL games. The 21-year-old has two goals in his last three games for New York.

David Pastrnak has not slowed down after that amazing All-Star Accuracy Showcase, in fact, he has built up even more momentum. The 22-year old winger has points in each of his last four games, scoring 3-4-7 totals in that span. Pastrnak made a beautiful pass to Torey Krug who found David Krejci for the lone goal in Sunday’s win over the Capitals, extending his season totals to 30-32-62 in only 52 games.

Whether it is Robin Lehner or Thomas Greiss, the Islanders have not had a lack of help in between the pipes. Lehner is 12-1-1 in his last fourteen starts, including a 34-save performance in the win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Lehner leads the NHL in goals-against-average (2.02) and save percentage (.932 SV%). Greiss stopped all 41 shots in regulation and overtime before losing in a shootout to the Lightning. With both goalies having over fourteen wins in 2018-19, it marks only the second time that both two goalies have 14 or more wins on the Islanders throughout the past 15 years.

Who’s Not

Jordan Eberle was brought onto the Islanders in 2017 following a trade with the Edmonton Oilers. While it seems that the Oilers lost out on that deal, (they got Ryan Strome, who they traded for Ryan Spooner, who was placed on waivers), Eberle has not found great success in New York. The 28-year-old has 11-12-23 numbers in forty-seven games and has not scored a single point in five consecutive games.

David Backes has continued to struggle with Boston this year as well. The 2003 draftee has zero points in his last four contests and only one point in his last seven. Backes has 5-8-13 numbers in 43 games this year and with the lack of depth scoring right now for the Bruins, he is not helping the cause by any stretch of the imagination.

Anthony Beauvillier is one of the better young players on the Islanders and was hyped up by quite a lot of hockey fans. However, this season he has not been meeting those expectations. Beauvillier has 12-7-19 totals in 50 games and is a -2 rating within that time. The 2015 1st Rounder has one point in the last five Islander games.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • F Patrice Bergeron is playing in his 1000th career NHL game – all for the Boston Bruins. Only four other Bruins have hit this milestone (Ray Bourque, John Bucyk, Don Sweeney, and Wayne Cashman).
  • D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most SHG in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 7th most GWG in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 3rd most GWG in Bruins history
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PHOTO CREDITS: (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New York Islanders:

  • G Thomas Greiss is one win away (76) from tying Roland Melanson (77) for 6th most wins in Islanders history.
  • G Thomas Greiss is one shutout away (8) from tying Evgeni Nabokov (9) for 6th most shutouts in Islanders history.

Bruins vs Islanders Outlook

Boston and the Islanders have already played once this season, with the Bruins taking a 2-1 shootout win back on November 29th. Boston has won the last five games against the Islanders with their last loss to one of two New York teams coming back on January 16th, 2017.

The Bruins are rolling after finally beating the Washington Capitals after many years without a victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champions. With that in mind, Boston has still struggled to produce much offence without the assistance of the first line and the depth scoring remains in a cold spell. If there is one spot where Boston needs improvement, it is scoring from the second, third, and fourth lines.

In addition to the lack of Boston scoring, the Islanders have been great defensively. They have allowed two goals or less in eight of their last nine outings. Prior to tonight’s game, the Islanders lead the National Hockey League in least amount of goals allowed, allowing only 125 goals, including shootout goals.

On the specialty teams, the Bruins have the third best power-play (27.3%) and 16th best penalty-kill (79.6%). On the other side of the ice, the Isles have the 26th best power-play (16%) and 20th best penalty-kill percentage (79.3%). Below are the lineup changes from Head Coach Bruce Cassidy.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm EST at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins Monthly Recap: January 2019

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Sportsnet.ca)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

For the first time in the 2019 calendar year, we take a look at the highs and lows of the month of January. With the NHL Trade Deadline looming around the nearby corner, the Bruins were in a position in this past month to prove their worth and see where exactly these holes are that need to be filled. The thirty-one days had some good moments and some bad ones too and I’m here to recap all of it.

In this fourth installment of Bruins Monthly Recap, we will take a closer look at the surprises, disappointments, and positives of the eleventh calendar month including the best performances, worst games, injury report, and finally, a prediction of the month to follow. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

The Good Games

In twelve games, the Black n Gold went 6-3-3 – a big fall from the start of the month where they went 4-0-0. Even though some games went sour, here are the ones within the six wins that made Bruins fans a bit happier.

January 1st/19 – vs Chicago Blackhawks (Winter Classic)

Two Original Six teams battling it outside at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana, United States is more often than not an entertaining hockey game and it sure was. The majority of the game was quite close, only one-goal leads took over the game and no team was really running away with the game.

Chicago opened the scoring in the first period, only for David Pastrnak to respond later in the frame to tie it at one. In the second period, Dominik Kahun buried a goal to give the Hawks the lead once again. The trend continued when Patrice Bergeron scored his thirteenth goal of the 2018-19 season, tying it once again.

The third period was very close for the majority, until Sean Kuraly buried a backhand shot past Cam Ward, taking the lead just past the halfway point in the final period. Brad Marchand put the nail in the coffin with just around thirty seconds left to play and the Bruins won the 2019 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic.

January 8th/19 – vs Minnesota Wild

After the Winter Classic win, the Bruins piled on two more wins against the Calgary Flames and the Buffalo Sabres ahead of their game against the Wild on the eighth of the month. In the previous game, the Bruins beat the Sabres 2-1, but it ended on a somewhat unfortunate note. The B’s were leading 2-0 for the whole game until Rasmus Ristolainen scored at the 17:22 mark to end Tuukka Rask’s shutout.

With Rask back in net against Minnesota, the Bruins wanted to get him that shutout – and they did. The Finnish netminder stopped all twenty-four shots against en route to his 250th NHL victory – shutting out the Wild. Danton Heinen, Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk, and Patrice Bergeron scored the goals while both Bergeron and Marchand ended the night with a goal and two assists.

The win was also the fifth win in a row for the Bruins who were now making serious ground on the Toronto Maple Leafs within the NHL Eastern Conference Standings. Both goaltenders and the players surrounding them were playing well and the team looked to be rounding out their game.

January 17th/19 – vs St. Louis Blues

The Bruins had four games in the week of January 13th to 19th and before the game against the Blues, the Bruins had lost two games already – an overtime loss to the Canadiens and a tough 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Typically, the second game of a back-to-back is much more difficult to win due to the fact that you are playing hockey on consecutive days.

However in the game against the Blues, the Bruins turned it around almost entirely from the game against Philly. Neither team scored in the first twenty minutes, but in the second period, defenceman Torey Krug opened the scoring for Boston. The Blues answered back with goals from O’Reilly and Gunnarsson, only for former Blue himself, David Backes to tie it late.

The third period was all Boston even though they were out-shot 10-6. First, Chris Wagner scored his sixth goal of the year, followed by Marchand’s 18th and Kuraly’s sixth to bury the Blues and take a 5-2 win. Tuukka Rask made twenty-eight stops to tie Tiny Thompson for the most wins in Bruins franchise history with 252. David Krejci had a three assist night as well.

The Not-So-Good Games

After the four-straight wins to begin the month, the Bruins went 2-3-3 in the eight games played. Within that, the Bruins had some really poor games, games where management and fans alike want new bodies and new players heading into the playoffs. One thing that can be an accomplishment, is that the Bruins never lost a game in the month of January by more than two goals and they only lost by a two-goal margin once – against the Washington Capitals.

January 10th/19 – vs Washington Capitals

Just like I said, the only time the Bruins ever lost by two goals in the entire month of January was against the Capitals, the team that has had the Bruins numbers for the last few years, on that January 10th game.

Boston entered the game having won their last five games, four of which in January and things were running well as a whole. However, a quick goal from Jakub Vrana at the 6:38 mark of the first frame basically ended the night as the Bruins failed to take the lead on the Capitals. Ryan Donato tied the contest in the middle period, but less than a minute later, Alex Ovechkin scored, (surprise), and it became a 2-1 Washington lead.

Again, the Bruins answered back after the intermission. David Krejci scored within the first five minutes on the power-play, but just over a minute later, Niklas Backstrom scored the eventual game-winning goal for Washington. Ovechkin would pot his second of the night and Caps win, 4-2.

The biggest issue in this game, was that the Bruins dominated on the shots, but could not finish the opportunities past Braden Holtby. Boston out-shot the Caps 41-22, including a 17-5 shot-differential in the first period.

January 19th/19 – vs New York Rangers

It was not a terrible game for the Bruins against the Rangers, considering they only lost by a single goal but there were a couple reasons that made this a poor game for the Bruins.

First off, the Bruins failed to get a point at the least against a non-playoff team, an unfortunate trend for Boston as of late, leaving valuable points on the table against teams that are worse than them. Second, goaltender Tuukka Rask was injured, as we all know, on a driving play by Filip Chytil. We now know that Rask is okay and he has since played, but the image of him getting hurt makes this one a tough one.

Individual Performances

Good: Brad Marchand – 7 Goals, 9 Assists, 16 Points, 6 PPP in 12 Games

Unsurprisingly, the top line for the Bruins has been nearly unstoppable this season they have been a big reason to the position that the B’s are facing within the NHL standings. In January, Brad Marchand was the leader of that group, leading the team with 7-9-16 totals in the 12 games of the month.

Marchand now has 19-38-57 totals this season and is on pace for a career-high ninety-one point season. Marchand has had spans in past seasons where he struggles to score, but if he can avoid that in the second-half of this campaign, then I believe that it is possible for him to surpass the eighty-five points he racked up in each of the previous two seasons.

Bad: David Backes – 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 3 Points in 9 Games

One of the biggest struggles for the B’s is the lack of depth scoring and even though Backes is playing third-line minutes most of the time, he needs to produce more and be more of a influential role to the younger players that Boston has tried out. To be making $6,000,000 for the next two seasons after this one, Backes needs to be able to score more than three points in nine games.

The former St. Louis Blue has 5-8-13 totals with a -4 rating and that needs to be better if the Boston Bruins plan on going further than round two in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.

Good: Tuukka Rask – 5-0-2, 1.91 GAA, .938 SV%, 1 Shutout

Tuukka Rask had his struggles early on in the year, but throughout the past month, Rask has been the clear, number one goalie for the Bruins and he is at the top of his game right now. Rask did not lose a single game in regulation and had a less than two goals-against-average.

Tuukka allowed fourteen goals on 226 shots against in the thirty-one January days, putting himself near the top of the NHL for most goaltender statistics in that time. Rask is proving right now that he can play at a high level, even coming back from a concussion. It has been a breath of fresh air when talking about Tuukka, especially considering that he can pass Tiny Thompson with one more win.*

*This article was written before Rask won against the Capitals on February 3rd, 2019. Rask is now has the most wins by a goaltender in Boston Bruins franchise history.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (USA Today)

Bad: Danton Heinen – 2 Goals, 1 Assist, 3 Points in 12 Games

Similar to David Backes, Danton Heinen has not done well this season, let alone this month. Scoring only two goals and an assist in twelve games after a forty-seven point rookie season last year is simply not good enough for the 23-year-old forward. Heinen has had many chances, most recently, an outstanding chance to score against the Flyers on January 31st, but he mis-handled the puck and failed to shoot at the wide open net.

Heinen’s two linemates, Jakub Forsbacka Karlsson and Ryan Donato were both demoted to the AHL’s Providence Bruins because of their lack of production. Heinen is on an expiring contract and will become a restricted free agent on July 1st, 2019. After his success last season, many people including myself wondered what he may be worth when he needs to sign on the dotted line, but so far this season, he is showing out to be a cheap player to bring back – if he even is brought back.

Good: David Pastrnak – 7 Goals, 6 Assists, 13 Points in 12 Games

Continuing on the hot-streak, for the fourth-straight month, David Pastrnak is the best player on the Bruins. Clearly. Pastrnak only had four games that he did not score a point, but made up for it with four multi-point games including a three-point game against the Jets on the 29th. Pastrnak scored his twenty-ninth and thirtieth goals of the 2018-19 campaign in the final game of the month as well. He is currently tied with Brayden Point and John Tavares for third-most goals in the NHL.

In addition, Pastrnak won the 2019 NHL Accuracy Shooting Event at the All-Star Skills Competition in San Jose, California – a great moment for him and Bruins fans.

Honorable Mentions:

Good: Patrice Bergeron, Torey Krug, David Krejci

Bad: Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Donato, Jake DeBrusk

February Games

Sunday, Feb. 3rd – at Washington Capitals

Tuesday, Feb. 5th – vs New York Islanders

Wednesday, Feb. 6th – at New York Rangers

Saturday, Feb. 9th – vs Los Angeles Kings

Sunday, Feb. 10th – vs Colorado Avalanche

Tuesday, Feb. 12th – vs Chicago Blackhawks

Friday, Feb. 15th – at  Anaheim Ducks

Saturday, Feb. 16th – at Los Angeles Kings

Monday, Feb. 18th – at San Jose Sharks

Wednesday, Feb. 20th – at Vegas Golden Knights

Saturday, Feb. 23rd – at St. Louis Blues

Tuesday, Feb. 26th – vs San Jose Sharks

Thursday, Feb. 28th – vs Tampa Bay Lightning

The month of January had many games within the walls of the TD Garden, however, out of the thirteen games of February, the Bruins will be outside of Boston for seven road games including a five-game road trip that includes the often dreaded California trip. Boston will play the Kings and Sharks two times, the only two times all season.

Boston does not have an easy schedule coming up. Thirteen games in twenty-eight days this month and with the playoffs looming around the corner, each and every possible point on the line has implications on it, deciding who the Bruins will meet in the opening round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not only that, but the NHL Trade Deadline is also in February – on the twenty-fifth of the month, making the upcoming weeks all the more interesting.

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Bruins Game 51 Preview: Philadelphia Flyers

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PHOTO CREDITS: (The Canadian Press)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

For the third and final time in the 2018-19 season, the Bruins and Flyers will meet for a game, the second of which being in Boston in the TD Garden. The Bruins are coming off of a 4-3 shootout loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, a game where only the first line seemed to have the offensive capability to score goals. Boston managed to get a point and now they sit only one point behind Montreal for the third spot in the Atlantic Division with one game in hand.

The Philadelphia Flyers are looking to get six of a possible six points in the three games in four days for them this week. On Monday, the Flyers beat the Jets 3-1, a game where the Flyers did a great job keeping the Jets on the outside and away from any scoring opportunities. On Tuesday, the Flyers played again, beating the New York Rangers 1-0 the final score. Anthony Stolarz stopped all thirty-eight saves in the game. The Flyers aren’t close to the playoffs, however, sitting ten points behind Pittsburgh for the final wild-card position.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 14-8-3 2.43 GAA .919 SV% Last Game*: 28 Saves in 5-2 Win vs STL

PHI: Carter Hart 7-5-1 2.52 GAA .922 SV% Last Game: 31 Saves in 3-1 Win vs WPG

*Not including the game vs NYR due to the injury suffered early on.

Who’s Hot

The Flyers have not had a good history with goaltenders but lately, goaltending has actually been one of their strong suits. In their last win against the Rangers, Anthony Stolarz was unbeatable, stopping all 38 shots against. However, the 48th Overall Pick (2nd Round) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Carter Hart has been great as of late. The Flyers netminder is the first Philadelphia goalie to have a four-game winning streak before the age of twenty-one. Hart has allowed a combined ten goals over the four games that he has won as well over the Wild, Bruins, Canadiens, and Jets dating back to January 14th.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Brad Marchand has been on a tear for the Bruins lately, scoring a point in each of his last five games and has totaled three goals and six assists for nine points in that span. In the loss against the Jets, Marchand tallied three assists on the night – an assist on every Bruin goal scored. Brad now has 19-37-56 numbers in forty-nine games this year, second-most on the team.

Sean Couturier has been doing well for Philadelphia as well. The 26-year-old forward has six points in his last five outings including a hat-trick against Boston back on January 16th. Couturier is second for points on the Flyers with nineteen goals, twenty-one assists for forty points. Couturier will be looking to have another big game against the Bruins tonight.

Who’s Not

Claude Giroux has been the best forward for scoring on the Philadelphia Flyers for many years and he has continued that trend so far this season. With that said, the Hearst, Ontario, Canada native has failed to get on the score sheet once in the past three consecutive games, even while playing around twenty minutes per game. It is very likely that Giroux can explode one of these games, as he did put up a career-high 102 points in the 2017-18 season.

Jake DeBrusk has not had a terrific year this season and with the season winding down, he will need to change that soon in order for the Bruins to be contenders again. DeBrusk has 14-4-18 totals in 41 contests this season and he has failed to score a point in the last three games and only one point in his last seven games.

Wayne Simmonds has been involved in many trade rumors in the past years, but his recent lack of production may be a cause of concern for teams wanting to trade for the 30-year-old forward this trade deadline. Simmonds has fifteen goals, eight assists for twenty-three points in fifty points. Wayne also has a -11 rating on the Flyers this year, the second-worst among forwards on the roster.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • G Tuukka Rask is one win away (252) from taking sole possession of first for most goaltender wins in Bruins history, passing Tiny Thompson (252)
  • F David Backes will be playing in his 900th career NHL regular season game
  • D Brandon Carlo will be playing in his 200th career NHL regular season game
  • D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most SHG in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 7th most GWG in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 3rd most GWG in Bruins history
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PHOTO CREDITS: (The Associated Press)

Philadelphia Flyers:

  • No notable milestones can be reached tonight.

Bruins vs Flyers Outlook

If the Bruins think for whatever reason that tonight’s game against the Flyers will be a walk in the park towards an easy win, then they are in the wrong mindset. Surprisingly, the Flyers have been a good hockey team since returning from the All-Star Break. With wins over the Jets and Rangers on back-to-back nights and a win over the Bruins earlier in the month, the team will be striving for another win tonight as they head into their fourth game this week on Saturday.

For the Bruins, they need every point that they can get their hands on. With a game on Sunday coming up against the Washington Capitals, a team that the Bruins have trouble with, this is the type of game to get two points. Boston did have a decent outing against Winnipeg on Tuesday, but Bruce Cassidy needs more depth scoring in order to win the game tonight.

The Bruins have the second-best power-play percentage in the league, at a 27.3% success rate on the man-advantage. The Flyers are dead-last on the PP, scoring on only 12.9% of their power-plays this season. On the penalty-kill, the Bruins are the sixteenth-best in the league (80.3%) and the Flyers are 28th in the league (76.4%). The winning team tonight will win the season series two games to one.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST in the TD Garden. Below were the lines Cassidy had rolling in the morning skates.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You! 

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Bruins Game 50 Preview: Winnipeg Jets

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

Boston Bruins hockey is returning tonight after a nine-day break from games due to the mandatory by-week and the All-Star Weekend. In the final game before the time off, the Bruins lost 3-2 to the New York Rangers, a game that saw goaltender Tuukka Rask leave the game with a concussion, resulting in him being placed on retroactive injured reserve yesterday. Boston is two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for third place in the Atlantic division, but do have two games in hand.

The Winnipeg Jets, on the other hand, have already returned from their break from the NHL schedule, coming away with a 3-1 loss last night against the Philadelphia Flyers where the Jets failed to get any solid scoring chances. Winnipeg is still at the top of the NHL standings and will be looking to advance further along. Right now, they are fourth in the league standings and are tied with the Nashville Predators with sixty-four points for first in the Central Division. A win against the Bruins would give them the sole lead on the position with still two games in hand on Nashville.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak (Likely) 13-9-2 2.47 GAA .919 SV% Last Game: 11 Saves in 3-2 Loss vs NYR

WPG: Connor Hellebuyck 21-14-1 2.85 GAA .910 SV% Last Game: 35 Saves in 4-2 Loss vs DAL

Who’s Hot

Former Bruin Blake Wheeler has been on fire this season, again, for the Jets and he will look to continue that against his former team. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound forward has 9-52-61 numbers in only 49 games this year. Wheeler is over an assist-per-game at this point of the season and is second, behind only Nikita Kucherov, for most assists so far this season. Wheeler has four points in his last five games as well.

David Pastrnak also has four points in his last five games, but he also had a good time at the NHL All-Star Weekend, where he won the NHL Accuracy Shooting Competition, hitting all five targets in just over eleven seconds. While the event win has zero impact on actual statistics, it could have very well brought some added momentum and confidence to Pastrnak – especially his shooting.

David-Pastrnak.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Terry Lee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If Blake Wheeler is getting all the assists, then who on the Winnipeg Jets roster is getting all the goals? The answer – Mark Scheifele. Scheifele is second on the team for points, with fifty-nine, and he leads the Jets for most goals (25). With that said, he has also found success dishing the puck to other players on the ice, racking up 34 assists in addition to the goals. Mark Scheifele has four points in his last five games, but was held pointless last night and will look to continue his success this season tonight.

Before the break, forward David Krejci was really finding his game on a whole new level, scoring at least a point in five consecutive games including a three-point night against the St. Louis Blues on January 17th. Even though he failed to get on the scoresheet against the Rangers, Krejci still has six points in five games and he could very well extend that coming out of the nine-day break.

Who’s Not

Last season, Patrik Laine scored 44 goals and was looking to be the next great scorer in the National Hockey League. However, this season, Laine has struggled to score at the level we are used to during his short NHL career. Laine has 25 goals this season but has no goals in his last four games and earlier in the season, he went on a six-game goalless drought – twice. Patrik was also on the ice for all of the Jets’ goals against last night, finishing with a -3 rating, adding to his team’s worst -12 rating. Laine is needed by the Jets if they want to be a Stanley Cup contender again this year.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (The Canadian Press)

Jaroslav Halak has lost his last three games, including the game where he replaced the injured Tuukka Rask in the game against the Rangers. In those three losses, Halak has a sub-.900 save percentage and has allowed nine goals in that span. With the absence of Rask for tonight’s pivotal game, Halak needs to be on his game – something he has not been able to do in his recent games.

Mathieu Perreault has struggled to add depth scoring for Winnipeg this season, only scoring 10-9-19 totals in 49 games this year and has no points in his last three games. Perreault’s -3 rating on the season is the fourth-lowest on the Jets roster. Depth scoring is big in the NHL this year and he needs to produce more.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 NHL career goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most SHG in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 7th most GWG in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away from taking sole possession of 3rd most GWG in Bruins history

Winnipeg Jets:

  • F Mathieu Perreault is two points away from 300 NHL career points
  • F Mark Scheifele is one goal away (138) from tying Andrew Ladd (139) for 5th most career goals in Jets history
  • F Mark Scheifele is one game-winning goal away (20) from taking sole possession of 6th most GWG in Jets history

Bruins vs Jets Outlook

The Winnipeg Jets had a poor outing against the Philadelphia Flyers last night and they will be on the hunt for a much better game. The Jets failed to make good passes and were held to the outside of the zone for much of their offensive opportunities. Connor Hellebuyck will be looking to make the final push to the playoffs on a high note and it will most likely start today.

The Bruins will most likely be slow out of the gate due to the break that they are just coming off of and like most teams, will make mistakes early on. The hope is that the team can prevent any real scoring threats by the Jets and can have some big saves by Halak to keep the game close until the offence can come in and produce.

In past games against Winnipeg, the Bruins have had a tough time on the physical side of things, often times getting out-hit by the Jets team that has become known for their size but skill on the puck. Only two players on the entire Jets roster are under 6-feet tall (Nic Petan and Mathieu Perreault). Six players are above 6-foot-4 in height and they use their body effectively.

Speciality teams will be interesting to follow as well. The Bruins have the second-best power-play in the league (27.2% success) while the Jets have the fourth-best power-play (26.1%). On the penalty-kill, the Jets have the tenth-best PK at 81.5% and the Bruins have the fourteenth-best PK percentage at an 80.7% success rate. The B’s have allowed the second-most short-handed goals (10) and the Jets have scored the ninth-most short-handed goals (6).

Puck drop at the TD Garden is scheduled for 7:00pm EST. Below are the projected lines for the game tonight.

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Bruins Place G Tuukka Rask On Retroactive IR, Recall G McIntyre

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Associated Press)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

Off the hands of the All-Star Weekend in San Jose, the Boston Bruins have announced some roster moves ahead of their game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, January 29th. In addition to some forward breaking news that can be found on blackngoldhockey.com, the Bruins announced today that goaltender Tuukka Rask has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to January 19th and goaltender Zane McIntyre has been called up from the AHL’s Providence Bruins.

In the final game before the nine-day break, goaltender Tuukka Rask was involved in a scary collision with New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil, resulting in Rask leaving the game with what appeared to be a concussion. Jaroslav Halak replaced Rask in the game and the Bruins went on to lose 3-2 the final score.

The extended break for the Bruins may have been the best thing possible for Rask and the organization. It has been confirmed today that Rask has indeed suffered a concussion from the collision and in today’s NHL, concussions are taken quite seriously as they should be. The time off has allowed the Bruins doctors and trainers to properly diagnose Rask and Rask has not had to miss any games in the meantime.

While the Bruins have ruled Rask out of the game against the Winnipeg Jets tomorrow, they have not ruled out a possible return for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The retroactive injured reserve placement means Rask can return to the Bruins lineup whenever he feels that he is ready. To replace him against the Jets, Boston has called up goalie Zane McIntyre on an emergency basis.

McIntyre has played in twenty-seven games with the Providence Bruins, compiling a record of 16-8-3 with a goals-against-average of 2.74 and a save percentage of .887%. The 165th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Bruins has made eight NHL appearances, going 0-4-1 in that time span along with a 3.93 goals-against-average and a .858 save percentage.

In my opinion, Boston will go with Halak against the Jets, as he is the better goaltender and has done well this season. McIntrye will most likely serve as a backup goaltender for the inevitable future but the possibility is there for him to get his first National Hockey League start in goal in the 2018-19 season.

Returning from the All-Star festivities, it is now crunch time for the B’s as we enter the final stretch of the ’18/’19 regular season. Boston currently sits in the first wild-card position, two points behind the Montreal Canadiens for third place in the Atlantic Division, but the Bruins do have two games in hand. Boston also has a five-point lead on the Buffalo Sabres who are the best team that is currently outside of the playoffs. Every game from this point on has its consequences and the healthy return of Tuukka Rask is needed to make that push for the post-season.

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2019 NHL All-Star Recap: Bruins Pastrnak’s Accuracy On Full Display

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

Once again, the annual NHL All-Star Weekend festivities have come and gone, but not without some entertaining and memorable moments. From the amazing performance of Kendall Coyne Schofield in the Fastest Skating Competition to Auston Matthews removing his jersey to reveal a Patrick Marleau Leafs jersey to win over the hometown, San Jose Sharks crowd to David Pastrnak bringing out his inner Ray Bourque to win the Accuracy Shooting Challenge, the 2019 All-Star Weekend will be remembered and I’m here to recap all of it.

Friday, January 25th – Skills Competitions

Helmets off, hair flowing, high speeds and smiles were the highlights of the Skills Competitions. The players that were selected by the fans in the months leading into the All-Star festivities were each handed one of six competitions that tested their skating speed, passing skills, and hardest shot. (All results courtesy of Sportsnet.ca)

First off, we had the Fastest Skating Competition, an event that has been dominated by Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid for the past two years. Due to an injury to Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, the NHL allowed U.S. Women’s National Team member Kendall Coyne to skate with the NHLers. She started the event with an amazing 14.346 seconds final time, a final time faster than Coyotes forward Clayton Keller.

Jack Eichel had the fastest time, finishing the race with a time of 13.582 seconds, only for McDavid to cross the final line in 13.378 seconds to win this event for the third consecutive year, the only player in NHL history to do so. Here are the final results for the Fastest Skating Competition.

  • Kendall Coyne (U.S. Women’s National Team) – 14.346 seconds
  • Miro Heiskanen (Dallas Stars) – 13.914 seconds
  • Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes) – 14.526 seconds
  • Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks) – 13.930 seconds
  • Cam Atkinson (Columbus Blue Jackets) – 14.152 seconds
  • Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres) – 13.582 seconds
  • Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders) – 13.780 seconds
  • Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) – 13.378 seconds

Up next, eight players were to go through a series of challenges where puck control was the main goal. Last season, Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau won the competition and he would repeat, like McDavid did, dancing through a set of pucks and then lifting the puck through three rings before potting it in the empty net in only 27.045 seconds. The only man close to beating that time was Patrick Kane, who was just over a second slower than Gaudreau.

  • Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) – 28.611 seconds
  • Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks) – 43.622 seconds
  • Jeff Skinner (Buffalo Sabres) – 35.407 seconds
  • Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg Jets) 32.161 seconds
  • Gabriel Landeskog (Colorado Avalanche) – 33.425 seconds
  • Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers) – 30.270 seconds
  • John Tavares (Toronto Maple Leafs) – 35.210 seconds
  • Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames) – 27.045 seconds

For the most part, the All-Star Weekend aims to highlight the forwards and defensemen who can score goals with the best of them, leaving the goaltenders looking like non-All-Stars, especially in the 3-on-3 play. However, the NHL lets the goalies have their time to shine in the Save Streak event, where players from the opposite division shoot in a penalty shot format and the goaltender to make the most consecutive saves in a row, wins.

Andrei Vasilevskiy held the longest streak with eight saves in a row, but on the final possible chance to beat it, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist shut down David Pastrnak (multiple times to be exact) and the rest of the Atlantic division twelve times in a row to take the victory in the Save Streak event.

  • Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators) vs. Pacific Division – Longest save streak: 2
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning) vs. Metropolitan Division – Longest save streak: 8
  • John Gibson (Anaheim Ducks) vs. Central Division – Longest save streak: 3
  • Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals) vs. Atlantic Division – Longest save streak: 1
  • Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota Wild) vs. Pacific Division – Longest save streak: 7
  • Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings) vs. Metropolitan Division – Longest save streak: 2
  • Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas Golden Knights) vs. Central Division – Longest save streak: 6
  • Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers) vs. Atlantic Division – Longest save streak: 12

The All-Star Weekend saw the return of the dreaded Premier Passing event that many players, (Drew Doughty especially), due to the difficulty level of the neutral zone. Players had to fire a saucer pass over barriers into small nets at different distances and then move on to fire low passes to a set of targets that often changed colour at the worst times making it frustrating to watch and for the players to compete in.

With that said, Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl won the competition, running through the event in 1:09:088, beating out Sebastian Aho by eight seconds. Draisaitl made the competition look easy compared to the other players and his win made teammate Connor McDavid quite proud.

Saturday, January 26th – All-Star Game

Game One – Central Division vs Pacific Division

The first game of the mini-tournament between the four NHL divisions was about as one-sided of a hockey game as you can get. In the first of two ten-minute periods, the Central Division All-Stars led by the Colorado Avalanche scored seven goals on nine shots on Ducks goalie John Gibson while Erik Karlsson scored the lone goal as the two teams entered the second period with a 7-1 Central lead.

Gaudreau, Karlsson, and Burns would put on three more goals for their team but the Central All-Stars scored three of their own in the final period to win 10-4 the final score. The win eliminated the hometown San Jose Sharks and the Pacific Division while the Central prepares for the winner of the Metropolitan/Atlantic game.

Top 5 Players of Game One:

  • CEN F Gabriel Landeskog (COL) – 3 Goals, 1 Assist
  • CEN F Ryan O’Reilly (STL) – 1 Goal, 3 Assists
  • CEN D Roman Josi (NSH) – 1 Goal, 3 Assists
  • CEN G Pekka Rinne (NSH) – 8 Saves on 9 Shots
  • PAC D Erik Karlsson (SJS) – 2 Goals

Game Two – Atlantic Division vs Metropolitan Division

David Pastrnak and the Atlantic Division looked to move on to the Championship game against the Central division and it produced one of the most entertaining games of the weekend thus far. Back-and-forth action by the stars of the Eastern Conference created a close game of 3-on-3.

The Metro opened with two early goals from Sidney Crosby and Seth Jones only for the line of Pastrnak, Skinner, and Eichel to come back for the Atlantic. Pastrnak made a beautiful backhand saucer pass right on the tape of Eichel who buried it, making it a 2-1 game.

That wouldn’t be the only time that Pastrnak would get on the scoresheet. Less than a minute into the second frame, Pastrnak makes another solid feed to Jeff Skinner this time who scores, tying the game at three apiece. This line of two Sabres and a Bruin was successful for the Atlantic division but with four straight goals in the second, the Metropolitan Divison would advance to the Final with a 7-4 win. Bruins forward David Pastrnak’s weekend ends with two assists and an Accuracy Challenge win.

Top 5 Players of Game Two:

  • MET F Sidney Crosby (PIT) – 2 Goals, 1 Assist
  • MET D Kris Letang (PIT) – 1 Goal (GWG), 1 Assist
  • MET G Braden Holtby (WSH) – 11 Saves on 13 Shots
  • ATL F David Pastrnak (BOS) – 2 Assists
  • ATL F John Tavares (TOR) – 1 Goal, 1 Assist

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston vs New York Rangers: 01/19/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (27-16-5)

Away: New York Rangers (20-20-7)

The Bruins and Rangers meet for the first time of the 2018-19 season and it happens to have some large implications for the Bruins. The B’s are in a tight race in the Eastern Conference standings, only one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for second place in the Atlantic Division, but are tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the first Wild-Card position.

The Rangers are coming off of two big wins as of late – beating the Hurricanes and Blackhawks this week. The Rangers are eleven points out of the playoff race but with a few wins in a row, they could find themselves moving up the lineup into somewhat contending.

Bruins Morning Rushes:

Head Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that F Ryan Donato and D John Moore are the healthy scratches while F Noel Acciari and D Matt Grzelcyk are back in the lineup for the Bruins.

First Period:

Right off the bat, Noel Acciari gets hit by Chris Kreider that looked to be on the numbers and on the first shift, about 15 seconds in, Acciari heads to the room. Acciari looked a bit dazed as his head hit the glass. No penalty on the play.

However, Boston would get a power-play 1:03 into the frame off of a holding minor against Rangers forward Jesper Fast. Brad Marchand would make a turnover at the Rangers blueline, creating a shorthanded odd-man rush for New York, but Rask stays solid and shuts the door. Even with the continuous faceoff wins by Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins cannot get many good scoring chances and the game goes back 5-on-5.

With 13:41 remaining in the period, the Bruins would draw another penalty. Jake DeBrusk used great forecheck to find David Krejci in the middle of the ice. He would dangle around the Rangers defenceman but took a stick up high from former Bruins prospect Ryan Lindgren. Boston heads to a four-minute power-play because of it.

The Bruins power-play had a bit of everything. Some great chances involving DeBrusk and Pastrnak that either missed the net or was stopped by Lundqvist. However, the Rangers had a couple shorthanded chances that were shut down by Rask but Boston needs to be better on the man-advantage to not allow chances against. Nonetheless, New York killed off the power-play successfully.

At the T.V. timeout, the Bruins show a video tribute for Adam McQuaid who makes his return to Boston in a Rangers uniform tonight. He waves at the crowd.

The tensions rise with about seven minutes to go as DeAngelo takes a hit at Marchand before the whistle, followed by a sucker punch and a small scrum ensues before the linesmen separate the players. Original Six teams seem to always carry that rivalry.

The line of Backes, Forsbacka Karlsson and Heinen have a great shift including some tremendous board play by Forsbacka Karlsson who finds Danton Heinen who buries it past Lundqvist. His sixth of the season. 1-0 Bruins.

Later on, Filip Chytil rushes hard towards the net, firing it past Rask short side, but then collides hard with Rask’s head. The Bruins starting goaltender stays on the ice for a long time with no moving. Both benches tap their sticks as McAvoy and Pastrnak help Rask down to the tunnel. Jaroslav Halak comes in with 1:28 to go in the period. 1-1.

Cannot blame Chytil on this play as Bruins d-man Charlie McAvoy was in the way. With that said, can’t blame McAvoy either as he was where he was supposed to be. Sometimes this happens when the game becomes as fast has it has.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 10 NYR: 7

Score: 1-1 – Goals: Heinen (6) Assisted by Forsbacka Karlsson (6), Chytil (9) Unassisted

Second Period:

Evidentally without Tuukka Rask on the Bruins bench, the Bruins start off the period with an immediate penalty against. Patrice Bergeron heads to the box on a high-sticking minor and Boston has to go shorthanded for two minutes. The Rangers had minimal shots on Halak on the man-advantage and the Bruins successfully kill it off.

5:22 into the second, Mika Zibanejad continues his hot streak of now eight points in five games and tips the puck past Halak, making it 2-1 Rangers. Halak got a piece of the deflection but it trickles past. The Bruins give up a lead at home once again and they’ll have to fight back from a deficit.

The crowd at TD Garden engaged in “Let’s Go Rangers!” and “Let’s Go Bruins!” chants. These Original Six rivalries will always have a special place in many hearts and no matter how the game goes, all generations have an extra passion when they are fans for an Original Six franchise.

Bruins first line continues to make things happen in this game as they have a tendency of doing while on the ice together. Brad Marchand made some nice moves around the Rangers defencemen but can’t get a shot off the wrap-around shot. As soon as the puck left the New York zone, Pastrnak and Marchand entered again – looking for a scoring opportunity that did not end up happening.

On an extended zone play by the Rangers, a Ranger forward is handed a solid pass right in front of Halak, but Halak moves laterally to make a big pad stop. Bruins need Jaro to be hot again if Rask does not return after the break.

During the game on the Rangers broadcast, Tuukka Rask will not return, as expected, due to a concussion. In the meantime, New York manages to hold the Bruins in their own zone for over half a minute once again. The Bruins need to be better at getting the puck and getting out of the zone. Too much of the last two minutes have looked like a power-play for NYR when it has been at even strength. 6:57 to go in the frame.

With 6:18 left to tick away, Matt Grzelcyk is called on a slashing minor and the Bruins go to the penalty-kill once again. Only 16 seconds in, Brad Marchand tries to cut sharp towards Lundqvist, drawing a tripping penalty by Shattenkirk. 4-on-4 coming for 1:44.

Not many chances by Boston for the rest of the frame, Sean Kuraly did have a one-timer while moving backwards but was gloved easily by Lundqvist. The line of Wagner, Acciari, Kuraly keep building chances by pressuring the net often.

Overall, a lacklustre period for the Bruins. Not many good passes and almost zero high-quality shots. Quite honestly lucky to only be down 2-1 at the end of two periods.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 16 NYR: 14

Score: 2-1 Rangers – Goals: Zibanejad (16) Assisted by Skjei (11) and Zuccarello (11)

Third Period:

The Bruins opened up the third period with a goal, Brad Marchand is found open in the slot after a negated icing. Pastrnak and Bergeron pick up assists on the play.

Right after the goal, the Rangers get a great opportunity, but Halak makes a tremendous save. If that goes in, momentum is gone and the game is right back in New York’s hand. The Bruins have looked a lot better in this final regulation period might I add. They have had some solid shots including a partial breakaway by Heinen that is shut down by Lundqvist.

Just over eight minutes into the frame, a saucer pass from Ryan Strome is lifted up over the glass by Zdeno Chara and it’s a delay of game penalty, Bruins to the penalty-kill. 1:02 into the man-advantage, Mika Zibanejad fires a wide-open wrist shot that beats Halak high short-side. Zibanejad’s second goal of the game and ninth point in his last five games. Assists go to Shattenkirk and Zuccarello.

Without much action, Charlie McAvoy fires a bomb towards the net and Lundqvist head-butts the puck into the stands. Boston didn’t have much screening in front of Henrik, something that needs to change in the final minutes of this hockey game.

In the final five minutes, Chris Wagner levels Jesper Fast with a massive, but clean hit with the shoulder on the chest. In response, former Bruin Adam McQuaid came back to fight Wagner to protect his player. Wagner did not throw a single punch and the Bruins are off to the power-play because of it. McQuaid gets two penalties for roughing, Chris Kreider serves in the box. Bruins can’t score on it, however.

The Bruins don’t get many more chances and lose 3-2 the final score. Boston now headed to a nine-day break and will resume play on January 29th against Winnipeg.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 29 NYR: 20

Final Score: 3-2 Rangers

Max’s Three Stars

1st Star: NYR F Mika Zibanejad – 2 Goals, 2 Shots, 20:18 TOI

2nd Star: NYR G Henrik Lundqvist*- 27 Saves, .931 SV%

3rd Star: NYR F Mats Zuccarello – 2 Assists, +1 Rating, 3 Shots

*Henrik Lundqvist now has sole possession of 6th place on the NHL all-time wins list, passing Terry Sawchuk with 446th career win.

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Bruins Game 49 Preview: New York Rangers

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Bruce Bennett)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

A quick one day break and the Bruins are right back at it for a battle with the New York Rangers. After losing 4-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night, the Bruins came right back on Thursday with a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues. The Bruins are in the middle of an extremely close Eastern Conference playoff race. Boston holds the third Atlantic division position by the skin of their teeth, with a one-point lead on the Canadiens.

The ageing New York Rangers are at the .500 mark so far this season, boasting a record of 20-20-7, good for 47 points on the year. The Rangers have won their last two games, including a 6-2 win over the Hurricanes and a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. The Rangers are the 11th best team in the Eastern Conference, eleven points behind a playoff spot.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 14-8-3 2.42 GAA .920 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 5-2 win vs STL

NYR: Henrik Lundqvist (Likely) 14-12-7 3.04 GAA .908 SV% Last Game: 24 Saves in 4-3 win vs CHI

Who’s Hot

David Krejci has been on fire for the Bruins as of late and it is coming at a time where the Bruins need it most. The 32-year-old Krejci has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in the last five games including a three-assist night in the win over the St. Louis Blues. David Krejci is now tied with Patrice Bergeron for the third-most points on the team with 10-30-40 totals in 48 games.

Mika Zibanejad has taken the reigns of top scorer on the Rangers and in his last five games, the Swedish forward has been on fire. Such as Krejci, Zibanejad has seven points in his last five games, including an impressive two goal, two assist night against the Hurricanes on January 15th. The 25-year-old is a minus rating on the entire season but has a +5 rating in those five games. He now has 15-27-42 numbers 47 games.

Torey Krug has continued firing at a solid pace this season. Following his two assists against the Flyers, Krug scored this goal against the Blues, giving him twenty points in his last twenty games. Krug has shown his puck handling and stick-handling at a top level, making a possible trade hard to conceive. His thirty-two points in thirty-seven games put him as the 13th best defenceman in the NHL when it comes to point production.

Over the years, forward Chris Kreider has been at the centre of Rangers trade rumours at the franchise looks to “rebuild” their organization, but he has continued to produce for the team, making a trade hard for management to want to make. Kreider has five points in his last three games with two consecutive games with two points. The 6-foot-3 Boxford, Massachusetts native has 22-15-37 totals in 47 games this year.

Who’s Not

Brett Howden was the 27th Overall Pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, but he has not been great this season. The 6-foot-3 centre has only four goals in 2018-19 and has failed to put the puck in the back of the net in his last twenty-nine games, dating back to November 12th, 2018. Howden has the second-worst plus/minus rating among Rangers players with a -12 rating, behind only Mats Zuccarello (-15).

Quite frankly, the Bruins have not been terrible in the past few games and I wouldn’t go ahead to say that anyone is “cold”. Some players on the current roster may be capable of producing at a higher level, but they are still producing nonetheless. If there is one thing that is not certain, is the bottom-six. It seems like the like of DeBrusk-Krejci-Cehlarik will remain intact, but questions regarding the third-line may need some answers still.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 career goals
  • G Tuukka Rask is one win away (252) from passing Tiny Thompson (252) for most wins in Bruins history
  • G Tuukka Rask can also pass Frank Brimsek for sole possession of 52nd-most wins in NHL history
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most SHG in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one game-winning goal away (47) from passing Ken Hodge (47) for sole-possession of 7th most GWG in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away (60) from passing Ray Bourque (60) for 3rd most GWG in Bruins history
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PHOTO CREDITS: (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

New York Rangers:

  • G Henrik Lundqvist is one win away (445) from passing Terry Sawchuk (445) for sole possession of sixth-most wins in NHL history

Bruins vs Rangers Outlook

This is the first of three meetings between the Rangers and the Bruins this season, with the next one coming in only two-and-a-half weeks time on February 6th. The two teams will be looking to add another win in the storied chapter between these historic franchises.

The speciality teams will be an interesting factor to this game. The Bruins have the second-most efficient power-play percentage (28.1%) while the Rangers have a 20.3% success rate with the extra man, the 14th highest in the league. On the flip side, the Rangers have the fifth-worst penalty-kill percentage in the NHL, at 76.3%. Boston has the 13th-best penalty-kill, killing of 81% of the penalties they face.

Boston should be able to score a lot on the Rangers, who have allowed the fifth-worst goals-per-game in the entire league. New York needs to play solid defence to try and get their goaltender Lundqvist that historic 446th career win against another Original Six team like the Bruins.

Here are the morning rushes for the Bruins ahead of tonight’s game at the TD Garden. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that D Matt Grzelcyk and F Noel Acciari are back in the lineup while D John Moore and F Ryan Donato are the scratches for Boston.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket, from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows, please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

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Bruins Game 48 Preview: St. Louis Blues

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

The second game of a back-to-back is always more difficult than the first, even more so when you lose the first game. Last night, the Bruins took a hard 4-3 loss to one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins had a 2-0 at one point in the game but proceeded to allow four consecutive goals against on route to the defeat. Boston’s loss and Montreal’s win last night ties the two in the standings with 57 points, but the Bruins do have one more game in hand and an extra regulation plus overtime win.

The St. Louis Blues, on the other hand, have not had as good as a season as they may have expected, which has led to General Manager Doug Armstrong’s announcement earlier that essentially everyone on the roster, including possibly scoring winger Vladimir Tarasenko and forward Brayden Schenn. The Blues, however, were in the midst of a three-game winning streak recently, before losing their last game to the New York Islanders in overtime on Tuesday. St. Louis is twelfth in the Western Conference, currently four points behind the Minnesota Wild for the final Wild Card position.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 13-8-3 2.44 GAA .919 SV% Last Game: 19 Saves in 3-2 loss vs MTL

STL: Jake Allen 15-14-4 3.01 GAA .899 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 4-1 win vs WSH

Who’s Hot

Bruins forward David Krejci has been finding some success on the score sheet as of late, scoring a point in his last four consecutive games, including a three-game goal streak that came to an end last night against the Flyers. Krejci has only been a minus rating once in the past five games, a much better result for the Bruins centre. Krejci’s totals are now extended 10-27-37 totals in 47 points.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (The Canadian Press)

Ryan O’Reilly has been the best point-producer on the Blues in 2018-19 and he has continued that pace in the last two games, scoring a combined three points, bringing his season numbers to 16-29-45 in 46 games. With Tarasenko struggling to score throughout the year so far, the Blues have valued the services of O’Reilly this season.

David Pastrnak has rebounded from a brief stretch of struggling to have points in the last three games, extending his point totals to fifty-five in forty-seven games. Even with that time of struggling, Pastrnak has been able to generate scoring opportunities but seemed to lack the ability to bury the puck past the red line.

At this point of the season, Vladimir Tarasenko should be near the top of the scoring race but instead, his twenty-nine points in 44 games this season ranks him with the average players in the NHL. With that said, Tarasenko has five points in his last four games, including a two-goal performance in the win over the Dallas Stars on January 12th.

Who’s Not

Patrick Maroon joined St. Louis after a time with the Edmonton Oilers, hoping to bring some additional bottom-six scoring to a Blues team that is supposed to have good top-six scoring. However, Maroon only has four goals and eight assists for twelve points in thirty-seven games this year and is a team-worst -13 rating in the plus/minus category. He only has one goal in his last eight games.

David Backes is coming back into the lineup after being scratched last night against Philadelphia. Backes has 4-8-12 numbers in thirty-eight games in 2018-19 and he has a -6 rating. Bruce Cassidy tried him for a few games alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk on Boston’s second-line but did not pay off as he failed to produce enough like the team needs him to.

Jake Allen has not been good in the net for the Blues this season and part of the blame on the lack of success for the team this year can be put on his performance in between the posts. His 3.01 goals-against-average and his .899 save percentage are not even close to what his numbers should be. Allen is scheduled to get the start against Boston and the Blues organization is hoping he can turn things around.

Bruins vs Blues Outlook

This will be the first of two meetings against the Blues for the Bruins this season and they will be looking for a much-needed win, especially after the loss to the Flyers last night. The Bruins desperately need to gain points against weaker, non-playoff teams and that is including tonight’s game.

Boston went 1-0-1 against St. Louis last season, with four goals scored and three against. Also, David Pastrnak has never scored against St. Louis in his young NHL career, the only team other than Boston, of course, that he has not buried the puck past the goal line. The B’s will need to put pressure and if they get a lead such as they had against the Flyers, they need to hold onto it and aim to rack up more goals.

Boston is 10-12-2 this season when they fail to score first, so the mission tonight will be to score first and often. This is a crucial game in the standings for both franchises at this stage in January, setting up for a fun, entertaining game. Before the puck is dropped, take a look at the Bruins lineup as well as the roster changes.

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Bruins Game 46 Preview: Montreal Canadiens

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PHOTO CREDITS: (sportsnet.ca)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

Only two days removed from their 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, the Boston Bruins are back on home ice for a game against longtime rivals, the Montreal Canadiens. In the win over Toronto, the Bruins were outshot in every period except the third period, where they outshot the Leafs 10-to-6. David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, and David Pastrnak scored the goals for Boston. The B’s sit third place in the Atlantic Division, two points behind Toronto.

Like the Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens are coming off of a Saturday night victory, shutting out the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 for their second win in their last three games. Carey Price stopped all twenty-eight shots that faced him while Brett Kulak, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Jordie Benn scored the three goals for Montreal. The Habs have the second wild-card position in the Eastern Conference, only one point behind the Islanders and only one point ahead of the Sabres who are currently out of the playoffs.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 13-8-2 2.41 GAA .921 SV% Last Game: 30 Saves in 3-2 win vs TOR

MTL: Carey Price 17-13-4 2.67 GAA .910 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 3-0 win vs COL

Who’s Hot

Sean Kuraly potted his fifth goal of the season and two primary assists for a three-point night against the Leafs on Saturday. The 25-year-old forward is one point shy of his career-high in points that he hit last season with fifteen. Kuraly’s three-point outing brought his 2018-19 totals to 5-8-13 and his role along with linemates Chris Wagner and Noel Acciari has increased in the past few games. Kuraly has become a big part to this Bruins roster in the early parts of 2019.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (sportsnet.ca)

Canadiens forward Phillip Danault helped directly on two Montreal goals on Saturday, bringing his assist total to twenty-three on the season. Danault now has three points in as many games and is fifth on the team’s scoring with 7-23-30 totals in 46 games.

Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask has been on fire as of late, as he tends to be around this time of year. The Finnish net-minder has wins in his last five starts including a 1.40 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .956. Rask is the best goaltender in those stats with a minimum of four games in the 2019 calendar year and he will be striving to continue his hot play against the Canadiens.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi has not put up crazy numbers in his rookie season after going third overall to the Montreal Canadiens in last year’s NHL Entry Draft, but his 5-17-22 numbers in 46 games this year has brought some added scoring to a Canadiens roster that is in the middle of the NHL in goals scored.

Who’s Not

Max Domi is the leading scorer on the Montreal Canadiens, but he has only scored one point in the last five games and has failed to make it on the score-sheet in the last two games. The former 2013 1st Round Selection by the then-Phoenix Coyotes has 14-25-39 totals in forty-six games but his lack of consistency lately may be a cause of concern for the Habs.

David Backes had some time on the right side of David Krejci, but the 34-year old Minneapolis, Minnesota native has not played as well as hoped. Backes does have one point in the last three games, but he only saw 10:39 of ice-time against Toronto on Saturday night and it is fair to assume that he will not be seeing the second-line time for too much longer.

Carey Price is the number-one goaltender in Montreal, but in the last five games that he has played, he only has one win coming back in his last start on Saturday versus the Avalanche. Prior to that, Price lost four consecutive games including four goals allowed against the Blues on January 10th. Price is the backbone of the Canadiens and he needs to be on fire against a Bruins team that is rolling.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • BOS F David Pastrnak will be playing in his 300th career NHL regular season game
  • BOS G Tuukka Rask is one win away from tying Tiny Thompson (252) for most wins in Bruins history
  • BOS F David Krejci (604) is 2 points behind Terry O’Reilly (606) for ninth-most points in Bruins franchise history
  • BOS D Zdeno Chara (956) is three penalty minutes behind Lyndon Byers (959) for ninth-most penalty minutes in Bruins history
  • BOS F Patrice Bergeron is one game-winning goal away (60) from taking sole-possession of third-most in Bruins history
  • BOS F Brad Marchand is one shorthanded goal away (23) from tying Derek Sanderson (24) for second-most in Bruins history
  • BOS D Zdeno Chara is two goals away from 200 career NHL goals
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PHOTO CREDITS: (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Montreal Canadiens:

  • MTL D Jeff Petry is two points away from 200 career NHL points
  • MTL D Jordie Benn is one point away from 100 career NHL points

Bruins vs Canadiens Outlook

Montreal and Boston have already played in three games together this season, with the Bruins taking two of those meetings already. After Montreal won 3-0 on October 27th, the Bruins came back with a 3-2 win on November 24th and a 4-0 win on December 17th. The Bruins have scored a combine seven goals and allowed five against.

Tuukka Rask played in each of the first two games, while Halak was the goalie for the Bruins in the 4-0 victory. In each meeting, Carey Price was handed the role of starter like he has 34 times this season.

Boston is coming off of a win against Toronto where they arguably were out played for the majority of the sixty-minute game. There were some good moments were the Bruins capitalized on costly mistakes by the Leafs defense and that reality will need to stay true tonight against Montreal. The Bruins have to continue playing a good game on both ends of the ice and for all sixty minutes.

Montreal will be entering the game with some tenacity due to their position in the NHL standings. With only a one-point cushion on the Sabres for the last wild-card spot, the Habs have to play like their playoff hopes are on the line – because, well, it is. At the beginning of the season, not many individuals expected Montreal to be in contention for the post-season, but they are proving them wrong and they’ll look to continue proving them wrong against the Bruins.

This will be the final game between the two Original Six teams in the 2018-19 regular season. Will the season series end 3-1 Boston or at a 2-2 tie? Before we find out, take a look at the projected lines for the game.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGiant for your next Boston Bruins game. Click the link below, and when purchasing any event ticket — from the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL to concerts and shows — please use discount code BNGP to save a little money. Thank You!

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