Game Preview: Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers 1/16/2019

Image result for boston bruins vs flyers(Photo Credits: LEN REDKOLES/GETTY IMAGES)

By: Liz Rizzo | Follow me on Twitter @pastagrl88

After Monday’s overtime loss to  the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins will be looking to grab two points tonight when they face the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. If they win,  Boston could potentially take over the second spot in the Atlantic Division as they currently sit one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs.

BRUINS COMINGS AND GOINGS

News came yesterday that forward Colby Cave, who had played 20 games this season with the B’s, was claimed off waivers by the Edmonton Oilers. In his time here in Boston, Cave notched a goal and four assists. Tuesday’s practice also marked a maintenance day for both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Jake DeBrusk was also absent from practice as he nursed a lower-body injury, while Chris Wagner dealt with a short illness. Coach Bruce Cassidy recently announced that both DeBrusk and Wagner will play tonight. David Backes will be healthy scratch up front, as is John Moore and Steven Kampfer.

Related image(Photo Credits: BostonPucks.com)

Forward Peter Cehlarik has been re-called from Providence and will suit up for tonight’s game, replacing Backes in the lineup. Per Cassidy, he will be slotted alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. Cehlarik had previously donned the Spoke-B for the Bruins back in the 2016-2017 season where he played 11 games. Last season he made an appearance in six games for the club.

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers(Photo Credits: Rob Carr/Getty Images )

BY THE NUMBERS

Despite the loss Monday, the Bruins have been looking pretty good lately, having won three straight road games, however they have dropped two out of their last three. Boston’s record in the last 13 games has been a decent 9-3-1. The team remains second throughout the league in power play percentage at 27.9%, nestled right behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. They are now tied with Toronto for the penalty kill at 80.9%.

Winger David Pastrnak leads the team in both points (54) and goals (26). Brad Marchand isn’t too far behind and leads the team in assists (32) with 49 points. Forward David Krejci has netted a goal consecutively in three games. Tonight marks the second meeting between these two teams where Boston won the first game,  3-0.  In their last six games against the Black and Gold, the Flyers have dropped five games.

Related image(Photo Credit CSNPhilly.com)

The Philadelphia Flyers return back home as they are coming off winning two of their last three games and since December 1st, have earned points in six of their last nine games. The Flyers won their game this past Monday night, defeating the Minnesota Wild 7-4. Philadelphia has allowed only four goals on their penalty kill in their last 11 home games.  Much like Boston, the Flyers haven’t gone unscathed in the injury department as they continue to deal with goaltending issues. Tying an NHL record, Philly has had seven goaltenders in net, much like Boston having to dress 12 defensemen this season.

Left-winger James van Riemsdyk has netted goals in three straight games and will be looking to add another one tonight when he faces Boston. Van Riemsdyk has had multi-point games with five goals and seven points in his last three games. The Flyers signed Van Riemsdyk to a five-year, $35 million-dollar contract this offseason. Centerman Claude Giroux leads the team in points (50) with 36 assists. He’s at a +4 so far this season. Sean Couturier leads the team with 16 goals and is at a -6 leading into tonight’s game.

BATTLE IN NET

20-year-old rookie Carter Hart is expected to make the start in net for the Flyers as one of the seven that have been used by the club.  He recently ended an eight-game losing skid when the Flyers defeated the Dallas Stars. Tonight will be his fourth straight start in net and has a .913 save percentage with a goals against average of 2.69. In the 10 games that he’s played, his record is now 4-5-1.

The Bruins will have 33-year-old Jaroslav Halak start in net, where he’s coming off a loss against the Washington Capitals on January 10th. In his last five games, he has posted three wins. Going into tonight’s game, his record is 13-7-2. He is currently tied for third in the league with goals against average of 2.39 and fourth for a save percentage of 0.924.

Enjoy some highlights below from the last game:

PROJECTED LINES

BOSTON:

MARCHAND-BERGERON-PASTRNAK

CEHLARIK-KREJCI-DEBRUSK

KURALY-ACCIARI-WAGNER

HEINEN-FORSBACKA KARLSSON-DONATO

 

CHARA-MCAVOY

GRZELCYK-MILLER

KRUG-CARLO

 

HALAK

RASK

 

PHILADELPHIA:

VAN RIEMSDYK-GIROUX-KONECNY

LINDBLOM-COUTURIER-VORACEK

LAUGHTON-PATRICK-SIMMONDS

LEHTERA-VARONE-RAFFL

 

PROVOROV-SANHEIM

GOSTISBEHERE-MACDONALD

HAGG-GUDAS

 

HART

MCKENNA

 

WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 7:30 PM

WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN

 

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 Recall Cehlarik From Providence

Boston Bruins v Anaheim DucksPhoto Courtesy Of CBS Boston – CBS Local

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today that the team had recalled forward Peter Cehlarik from the Providence Bruins. Cehlarik has yet to make an appearance in Boston this season but has had a successful season so far in Providence. The 23-year-old has posted ten goals and 19 assists for 29 points in 37 games which is tied for the team lead in points.

Cehlarik appeared in six games for Boston last season totaling a goal and an assist including his first career goal on November 18th, 2017 in San Jose against the Sharks. He also appeared in 35 games for Providence last season, scoring 11 goals and adding 12 assists. Cehlarik skated in 11 games for Boston in 2016-17, posting two assists. He scored 20 goals and had 18 assists for 38 points in Providence in 2016-17.

The Zilina, Slovakia native was drafted by the Bruins in the third round (90th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. With the Bruins struggling to score consistently, Cehlarik should be a welcome addition as he’s had 17 games of NHL experience. Expect him to see time on the second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk and perhaps even time on the power play.

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

Image result for Bruins TD Garden 2018

(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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Boston Bruins: Halfway Point Of 2018-19 Season

Bruins-Winter-Classic.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Sportsnet.ca)

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

Careful, did you miss it? If you blinked, you may have missed the first half of the 2018-19 NHL season for the Boston Bruins. No, it was not that fast, but it sure went by quickly. Without a doubt, this season has been an interesting one and it is only going to get more interesting from here on out. With Thursday’s win over the Calgary Flames, the Bruins have passed the halfway point of the season – that being their 41st game of 82 on the year.

Individual Statistics

The Boston Bruins have some great players on the roster, but also some players that have been slacking off on the offensive and defensive side of the puck. Below are the player totals for nearly every player that has played a single game on the Bruins roster before the Sabres game on Saturday.

Forwards:

  • David Pastrnak – 41GP – 25-27-52 +3 Rating – Leads team in Goals & Points 
  • Brad Marchand – 40GP – 15-29-44 +6 Rating – Leads team in Assists 
  • Patrice Bergeron – 25GP – 13-22-35 +7 Rating – Leads Forwards in +/-
  • David Krejci – 41GP – 7-26-33 -2 Rating
  • Jake DeBrusk – 32GP – 13-3-36 -6 Rating
  • Sean Kuraly – 40GP – 4-6-10 +3 Rating
  • Danton Heinen – 39GP – 4-6-10 +2 Rating
  • David Backes – 33GP – 3-7-10 -5 Rating
  • Ryan Donato – 27GP – 5-3-8 -11 Rating
  • Joakim Nordstrom – 39GP – 5-2-7 -4 Rating
  • Chris Wagner – 38GP – 4-3-7 -2 Rating
  • Jakub Forsbacka Karlsson – 20GP – 3-3-6 -3 Rating
  • Colby Cave – 20GP – 1-4-5 -1 Rating
  • Noel Acciari – 34GP – 1-1-2 -7 Rating
marchand-and-pastrnak.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (tsn.ca)

Defence:

  • Torey Krug – 30GP – 4-22-26 -9 Rating
  • Matt Grzelcyk – 39GP – 1-11-12 +5 Rating
  • Charlie McAvoy – 17GP – 1-10-11 +4 Rating
  • John Moore – 38GP – 2-5-7 -3 Rating
  • Zdeno Chara – 22GP – 3-1-4 +3 Rating
  • Steven Kampfer – 25GP – 2-1-3 -6 Rating
  • Brandon Carlo – 32GP – 1-2-3 +1 Rating
  • Kevan Miller – 15GP 0-3-3 +8 Rating
  • Jeremy Lauzon – 15GP – 1-0-0 -1 Rating

These are extremely basic when it comes to statistics but they do provide some facts as to how the Bruins have been doing when it comes to individual scoring. With only twenty-five games played, Patrice Bergeron is still over a point-per-game by a considerable amount and he is currently on pace for ninety-two points (if my math is indeed correct), which will clearly drop. The always-Selke candidate leads the forward group in the +/- rating and has a 14-10 takeaway-to-giveaway ratio, keeping up that defensive play.

Pastrnak and Marchand have continued to dominate, even with a slow spell from Marchand earlier in the season. The first line always seems to fall back together, even when Head Coach Bruce Cassidy tries to mix up the lines to spread out the scoring. Speaking about scoring depth, the Bruins have three players with ten points, all of which have played in over thirty games this season.

The Bruins need help from the bottom three lines, even DeBrusk and Krejci need to be more consistent when scoring goals. DeBrusk has gone on cold stretches, but he can bounce back with a two-goal game like he did against Calgary. With another top-six winger, Boston can become a true threat offensively in the Eastern Conference.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (MADDIE MEYER/GETTY IMAGES)

On the defensive core, the Bruins should not have that many players with a game played. That list would also include Urho Vaakanainen, Jakub Zboril, and Connor Clifton, but they all played less than ten games so far. Twelve defencemen from October to January and yet the Bruins have still been decent on the backend.

Goaltending:

  • Tuukka Rask – 20GP – 19GS – 10-8-2 – 2.63 GAA – .914 SV%
  • Jaroslav Halak – 23GP – 22GS – 13-6-2 – 2.36 GAA – .926 SV%

There have been some bad games, but overall, the duo of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak have been solid this season. Halak is fourth in the NHL for best save percentage among goalies with a minimum of fourteen games played and his role as a backup has led to a new tandem in the Bruins crease. Cassidy has gone back-and-forth with who gets the starting job and that is great, but he is most likely looking for one of them to step out and claim the starting job heading into the postseason.

Team Statistics

As of January 4th, 2019, the Bruins are the eleventh best team in the National Hockey League with fifty points on the season. Prior to the game against the Sabres, Boston is only four points away from being tied with the Calgary Flames for second-best in the entire NHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning are several strides ahead of the pack, leading the NHL with a 32-7-2 record, good for 66 points so far. Coincidentally, the Bruins are also the eleventh-oldest team in the league, with an average team age of 28.2. The 11th youngest team? The Tampa Bay Lightning.

As mentioned already, the Boston Bruins’ depth scoring has almost been non-existent for the majority of the season and that is on display when you take a browse on the team stats. The Bruins have scored the fifth-least amount of even-strength goals in the league, scoring only 81 times 5-on-5. On the flip side, the Bruins have allowed the second-least amount of 5-on-5 goals, only 76. That makes for a +5 goal differential while at even-strength.

The speciality teams have been possibly the best strength for Boston and may just be the main reason as to why Boston is in the position they are in within the league standings. Boston has thirty-seven goals on the power-play, fourth-most in the NHL, scoring those goals on a 27.82% efficiency. Bruins’ David Pastrnak leads the league for most goals on the PP with twelve so far this year. He is able to use the extra man brilliantly and use it to score goals. On the power-play, however, the B’s are not the best defensively, allowing a league-high nine shorthanded goals.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

Boston’s penalty-kill is within the top half of the league, currently sitting at just over an 80% success rate. Unfortunately, the shorthanded goals have not come for the Bruins, only scoring one SH goal that came back on October 4th by Patrice Bergeron. Obviously, shorthanded tallies are not expected nor necessarily required but when you allow the most goals in that category in the entire league, you would like a few in return on other teams.

Standings Race

Following a brief time in the second Wild Card position, the Bruins have battled back to take sole possession of third place in the NHL’s Atlantic Division. At the current moment, the Bruins are in a game against the Buffalo Sabres and that game will decide who holds on to that spot for the time being.

A 23-14-4 record in January is not fantastic but for an injury-riddled team like the Bruins, it is very much acceptable. Boston will need to step up their game and that may end up including a trade for another scoring forward. For more on the Standings Race in the Atlantic Division for the Bruins, make sure to stay tuned for an article by Black N’ Gold writer, Evan Michael (@00EvanMichael on Twitter).

In response to this article, I asked my friends on Twitter about their opinions regarding the Bruins 2018-19 season so far.

Do you agree with the poll results? What was good/bad about the first half of the season for the Boston Bruins and what needs to change as the race for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs truly begin? Let me know via Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

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!

Click Here For 2018-19 Boston Bruins Regular Season Games and Ticket Info From SeatGiant.com

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Buffalo: 12/29/18

Bruins Sabres Hockey

PHOTO CREDITS: (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

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

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: KeyBank Center – Buffalo, New York, USA

Home: Buffalo Sabres (21-12-5)

Away: Boston Bruins (20-14-4)

The Bruins have lost their last two games against the Hurricanes and the Devils this week and will look to end that streak against Buffalo.

The Sabres have lost three of their last four games including losses to the Blues, Capitals, and Panthers.

Before the game, the Sabres are third in the Atlantic Division with 47 points and the Bruins are in the second Wild Card spot with 44 points.

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

First Period:

In the opening minutes of this Friday game, both the Sabres and Bruins battled against each other in some back-and-forth action. Four minutes in, only two shots were registered – one for each team. 4:40 into the hockey game, one of the newest Sabres, Jeff Skinner, races past Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, getting a backhand shot that is stopped from a sprawling Tuukka Rask. However, defenceman Marco Scandella pots home the rebound and it is 1-0 Sabres. The goal is Scandella’s second of the year assisted by Skinner (13) and Reinhart (30).

Somewhere before the halfway mark of the opening frame, the Bruins started to build some chances 5-on-5. The team cycled the puck around the boards and took some shots – most of which blocked by the opposition.

The aggressive play paid off. Sabres d-man Jake McCabe made a mistake handling the puck behind Carter Hutton and the puck bounced right to Noel Acciari who fired a shot off of Rasmus Ristolainen and into the net. Acciari is back in the lineup due to David Backes’ three-game suspension and he scores his first goal of the 2018-19 season. While the goal is deemed unassisted, Kevan Miller deserves credit for bringing the puck behind the net, creating the Buffalo turnover.

At 8:53, Jake DeBrusk is tripped up in Buffalo’s zone and the whistle is blown. Not long after that, former Canadiens player Nathan Beaulieu cross-checks DeBrusk from behind, leading to retaliation from Jake with a cross-check of his own. A small scuffle ensues but no serious fights come out of it. Bruins get a 5-on-4 powerplay.

On the Bruins man-advantage, Patrice Bergeron ripped a hard one-timer that was blocked by Jake McCabe. McCabe drops immediately and struggles to put any weight on his one leg. The Sabres manage to clear the puck and McCabe heads down the Buffalo tunnel. The B’s looked fluid on the PP but failed to turn the two official shots into goals.

Boston continued to stay constant on the pressure and one of the best chances late in the frame came with 3 1/2 minutes left. Colby Cave finds Chris Wagner on a 2-on-1 but Wagner’s shot is just barely stopped with Hutton’s glove. Back the other way, Cave is sent to the box for two minutes for a hooking minor.

Boston did a great job killing the penalty and did it with minimal opportunities by the Sabres offence. Bruins had a good first period, outshooting the Sabres 14-7 in the twenty-minute frame.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 14 BUF: 7

Score: 1-1 – Goals: Scandella, Acciari

Second Period

Early on, a pair of penalties by either team eventually led to a four-minute power play for the Bruins due to a high-sticking double-minor. Somehow, on the man-advantage for Boston, the Sabres escape on a 2-on-1 with David Pastrnak the lone man back. Evan Rodrigues made a nice pass to Johan Larsson who buried his fourth of the season to make it 2-1 Buffalo. Scandella also picks up a helper on the play. Tuukka Rask showed his frustration after the goal went in, he wanted that back.

The rest of the period lacked any real good chances for either team but Buffalo seemed to have the better chances when they did come. Neither goaltender was truly challenged after the Larsson goal earlier in the frame. Tuukka Rask did come up big at one point in the period, stoning Elie with a massive glove save.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 21 BUF: 21

Score: 2-1 Sabres – Goals: Larsson

Third Period:

The opening minutes of the third period wasn’t boring, but it was not very entertaining hockey, to say the least. Whenever the offensive unit for each respective team entered the zone, they were quickly shut down by the opposing defensemen. For the Bruins, passes were not tape-to-tape whatsoever and the shots often hit members in front of the goalie.

About ten minutes into the frame, Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt makes a blind pass right in front of his goaltender, Carter Hutton, only to feed it directly to Danton Heinen. Heinen attempted a deke but failed to shoot the puck over the sprawling tender. Danton was benched by Cassidy earlier in the game and missing this goal stings.

At the 7:45 mark, Torey Krug failed to break the puck out cleanly to DeBrusk along the boards, instead, passing it to Zach Bogosian of the Sabres. Bogosian’s shot is deflected by Remi Elie but Rask holds strong and makes the save.

With not too many chances to score for Buffalo, they needed to create some offence. Former Penguin, Connor Sheary steals the puck from Jake DeBrusk and tries to use his speed to get around Bruins Brandon Carlo, but the big defender in the Spoked-B sweater held his own and prevented a shot from coming off of Sheary’s stick. Some great defence showed by Carlo.

On a Bruins power-play, (Ristolainen for kneeing), one where the Bruins had great control and many chances with time ticking down, still down by one goal. Jake DeBrusk was everywhere on the man-advantage, shooting pucks, hitting players, attempting deflections and working along the boards. Eventually, a shot from Torey Krug is deflected beautifully by DeBrusk, tying the game with around 2:30 remaining in the final regulation period.

Bruins go to the 3-on-3 overtime session tied 2-2, solid finish to the third period by Boston with some chances to win late in the regulation time.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 39 BUF: 26

Score: 2-2 – Goals: DeBrusk

Overtime:

Following some decent chances in the overtime session, David Krejci is called on an interference penalty on Jeff Skinner and the Bruins are forced to go on the penalty kill in the do-or-die overtime. Boston’s penalty killers did a great job shutting down the offence of Buffalo and killed it off.

Vladimir Sobotka had a solid chance while driving in on Tuukka Rask, but Rask stayed relaxed and made a big save in tight on Sobotka keeping it tied with 1:38 to go in the period.

Off of a defensive zone faceoff victory, the pairing of Kevan Miller and Matt Grzelcyk made some d-to-d passes, before Grzelcyk decided to feed the puck to Sean Kuraly. Kuraly bolted down the wing, taking a shot once he entered the zone. Hutton could not control the rebound as it bounced right back to Kuraly who buried the game-winner 3:44 into OT.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 42 BUF: 28

Final Score: 3-2 Bruins

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BUF G Carter Hutton – 39 Saves, .929 SV%

2nd Star: BOS F Sean Kuraly – 1 Game-Winning Goal, +1 Rating, 4 Shots, 15:43 TOI

3rd Star: BOS F Noel Acciari – 1 Goal, +1 Rating, 5 Shots, 67% Faceoffs, 14:34 TOI

Boston’s record now improves to 22-14-4 and currently sits in the first Wild Card position with 46 points. The Canadiens are at 45 points, losing tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 after a late regulation goal by Adam Erne. The Bruins now set their focus to the 2019 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks (14-20-6). Scheduled puck drop for Tuesday’s game is 1:00pm EST. Check out my Winter Classic article via the Tweet below!!

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGaint 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! 

—-> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule and Official SeatGiant Ticket Info <— 

 

Bruins Post-Game Recap: New Jersey at Boston: 12/27/18

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PHOTO CREDITS: (CBS New York)

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

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (20-13-4)

Away: New Jersey Devils (12-16-7)

The Christmas Break is over for the National Hockey League and the Bruins and Devils will battle it out as 2019 appears right around the corner. The Bruins entered the three-day break with a 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Hartford Whalers night, but before then, rocked a three-game winning streak.

New Jersey, on the other hand, has struggled this season. Before the break, they lost 3-0 to the Columbus Blue Jackets and have lost four of their last five contests dating back to December 15th.

Bruins Morning Rushes

First Period:

Coming off the Christmas break against a sub-par team, the Bruins may have expected a better start to this hockey team, in addition to the return of DeBrusk, Chara, and Miller, the Bruins should have come out with an aggressive attitude and try to score early. With that said, the Bruins allowed an early goal against by Damon Severson.

Following a defensive zone faceoff win, the Devils exploded up the ice and used brilliant puck rotation to find an open Severson who fired a clean wrist shot past Halak only twenty-five seconds into this Thursday night game, 1-0 Devils.

4:15 into the frame, Stefan Noesen was sent to the penalty box for hooking Kevan Miller, giving Boston an early power-play. Boston seemed to be getting their feet underneath them after some poor play before the penalty. The Bruins moved the puck around well on the man-advantage, with the best chance coming from Jake DeBrusk who tried to shoot it close short-side, only to deflect off of MacKenzie Blackwood’s shoulder.

Even with the good power-play, the Bruins still struggled 5-on-5. Twelve minutes in, the B’s only had two shots while at even strength, something that cannot be true in any game, let alone one with only an injury to Charlie McAvoy.

As New Jersey attempted to enter the zone with aggression once again, John Moore gets his stick tangled in with Kyle Palmieri, sending Moore to the box for tripping. On the Devils power-play, just over thirty seconds in, Will Butcher feeds it to Palmieri, who rockets a slap shot towards the cage that takes a high bounce off of Halak, then bounces in right behind the goaltender, 2-0 Devils.

Boston manages to survive the remainder of the period and enter the intermission down by two goals. During the later stages of the period, the Bruins did have some good hockey in them, mainly led by none other than Patrice Bergeron who had some good slot shots that Blackwood stopped.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 10 NJD: 12

Score: 2-0 Devils

Second Period:

Looking for a better frame than the first, the Bruins took an early penalty, as Colby Cave went to the sinbin for a tripping infraction on Andy Greene only 3 minutes and ten seconds into the second period. Boston looked good on this penalty-kill, with the help of Jake DeBrusk, who makes his return tonight after missing a few games with a concussion. Bruins successfully kill off the penalty on Cave and game returns to 5-on-5.

The Bruins momentum continued to increase upwards with that top line that has dominated the NHL over the 2018 calendar year. David Pastrnak took a hard spin while shooting, only to ring the rubber puck off of the post. Arguably the best chance of the hockey game for the Bruins, but no such luck when it comes to scoring their first of the night.

As the seconds became minutes, the Bruins continue to pressure the Devils with numerous offensive opportunities while staying solid on the defensive end as well. Both Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller have looked comfortable in their return games after injuries. At one point, Miller erupted the TD Garden crowd with a massive hit on Jesper Bratt.

Just over five minutes remaining on the scoreboard, Chris Wagner buried a cross-crease pass from John Moore to put a cap on a strong shift by Boston’s fourth line. Moore made a smart decision to pinch, beating out a couple Devils players, then proceeds to have the vision to see Wagner who found the back door entrance towards the net. 2-1 hockey game now in Boston.

Again, Boston’s pressure was consistent in the period and seemed to even increase more after the Wagner tally. With 11.8 seconds to go, David Krejci gets tripped up by Andy Greene, sending Boston to a power-play. With no goals in the limited time, the Bruins will start the third period with 1:49 of power-play time.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 29 NJD: 21

Score: 2-1 Devils

Third Period:

It is usually a difficult task to start a period with a man-advantage as the team sometimes needs a few minutes to “warm-up” after the intermission between periods. Such belief is true as the Bruins could not capitalize on Greene’s late second-period penalty and the Bruins go to 0-for-3 on the 5-on-4 power-play tonight.

New Jersey shut down the Bruins momentum with a goal 4:15 into the third by Blake Coleman. The speedy forward sped past Brandon Carlo and made a quick forehand-backhand deke to bury it past Jaroslav Halak on the breakaway, making this a 3-1 game. Credit has to be given to Coleman who managed to hold off the big Carlo and make a move to the net to score his tenth goal of the 2018-19 season.

The Devils without Taylor Hall continued after the goal to put more pressure on the Bruins. Forward Miles Wood with a fire lit underneath him races towards Halak but is tripped up by Miller. The puck was across the red line, but the referees had a brief conversation on the timing of the “goal”, only to determine that it crossed the line after the whistle and there was no official goal on the play. Bruins, however, are called on the tripping minor and Miller serves the two minutes.

Not long after the successful kill, the Bruins tried to build some offensive chances, led by defenceman Matt Grzelcyk who made some solid passes and advances on Blackwood but the rookie goaltender held his ground on every one of them to keep this a two-goal Devils lead. The young Massachusetts blueliner has looked good for Boston tonight.

Around the seven-minute mark, Stefan Noesen nails Donato in the Devils zone up high while battling along the boards, only for New Jersey to make some good breakout passes – leading to Nico Hischier’s breakaway goal. The tally makes this game 4-1 and gives the 2017 1st Overall Draft Pick his tenth goal of the year.

With Jaroslav Halak on the bench, David Krejci tosses the puck high and deep into the Devils end where Sami Vatanen rifles a shot around the boards that is stopped by DeBrusk. Jake sends the puck towards the net and Patrice Bergeron deflects his twelfth goal of the year and it is 4-2 with 2:55 to go.

Less than sixty seconds later, David Backes finds Brad Marchand with speed into the zone, but Marchand’s in-tight shot is stopped by Blackwood’s pads. As the rebound escaped into the slot, David Backes lays an illegal hit to the head of Blake Coleman. Backes’ shoulder makes clear contact with the head and I would imagine that NHL Player Safety is taking a look at this play. Backes goes to the box with exactly two minutes to go.

Having Halak pulled from the cage, the game was 5-on-5 and Boston had some decent chances from Marchand and company. However, Torey Krug is unable to keep the puck onside and the whistle is blown. On the offensive zone faceoff, the Bruins lose it, leading to Blake Coleman burying the empty-net goal to seal the deal and make it 5-2 New Jersey.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 42 NJD: 33

Final Score: 5-2 Devils

Max’s Three Stars

1st Star: NJD G Mackenzie Blackwood – 40 Saves, .952 SV%

2nd Star: NJD F Blake Coleman – 2 Goals, Game-Winning Goal, 4 Shots, +1 Rating

3rd Star: NJD D Andy Greene – 2 Assists, +3 Rating, 21:48 TOI

The Boston Bruins are now 20-14-4 on the season and have lost their last two games against two of the worst teams in the NHL Eastern Conference. Up next, the Bruins take on the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, December 29th in the final game of 2018. The Sabres last beat the Bruins 4-2 on Sunday, December 16th, 2018. Scheduled puck drop for Saturday’s game is 7:00pm EST in Buffalo, New York.

Check out the available tickets from our advertising partner SeatGaint 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! 

—-> Boston Bruins 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule and Official SeatGiant Ticket Info <— 

What Does The Bruins Lineup Look Like When Healthy?

( Photo Credit: Zimbio.com )

By: Lucas Pearson  |  Follow Mer On Twitter @lucaspearson_

The Bruins finally look to be getting fully healthy. With Jake Debrusk, Zdeno Chara and Kevin Miller all nearing their returns, the Bruins will have quite a few lineup and roster decisions to make. With the addition of the four injured players, the Bs will have 14 F and 8 D, with only 21 slots for skaters on the roster, the Bruins would have to make a tough roster decision.

Who gets sent down?

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

We recently learned that Jeremy Lauzon and Urho Vaakanainen have been sent down to the AHL which makes sense. They’ve both stepped in and played very well when they’ve been asked to, at this point the two are no better than any of the Bruins current top 7 and would be better off getting a lot of minutes in the AHL.

The only players on the Bruins that don’t need to go through waivers when sent down are Charlie McAvoy, Jake Debrusk, Ryan Donato and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. The first two obviously don’t have a chance to get sent down. With the very strong play and increase in confidence and the strong play of the latter two, I don’t want to see either of them going back to Providence. However, there is a decent chance of JFK getting demoted. I’d say that leaves Noel Acciari, Colby Cave, JFK, and Steven Kampfer as the final “contenders” of getting sent down.

This decision is based on if Cassidy wants an extra D or forward. Cave has found his groove and is really stepping up his game as of late with his two points showing against the Canadiens last Monday. We’ve seen a lot more offense and consistency from Cave and would be a lot more attractive for another team to claim on waivers than a guy like Acciari who has one point all year. I’d like to see the Bruins hang on to Kampfer rather than Acciari because it seems the back end is a lot more prone to injuries than the forward group. Chances are JFK gets sent down simply based on the fact that he doesn’t have to get through waivers, but for the good of the Bruins right now, he’s deserved a spot on the big club over Acciari.

Forward Lines

USATSI_11667829.jpg

(James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)

So now that I’ve speculated on the roster moves, it’s time to move onto the lineup. I think it would be worth a shot to entertain the option of keeping Krejci on the top line, but ultimately, I think the Bergy-Marchy combo may be too much. Now that the two are continuing to build on their chemistry, I’d like Pasta and Krejci to stay together on the second line with Debrusk when he comes back. That obviously leaves a hole on the first line, and a couple players can fill that role.

There are two options, if they are lacking in scoring, I think Ryan Donato who has looked much better since getting recalled should be given a look on the first line. We’ve seen that Bergeron and Marchand can elevate anyone’s game and I think it could do wonders for Donato’s. If the Bs are looking for more of a two-way style, Danton Heinen could fit very well. He filled in last year on the top line for a few games when Marchand was suspended and filled in well, again it could be great for Heinen to develop his game with some of the best.

With that as the top 6, the third line starts to take shape. JFK has looked a lot more comfortable as of late and seemed to have taken a bottom six center job, but with Bergeron back, he was just recently a healthy scratch for two straight games. The young Swede might have to take a seat in the press box. The Bruins have entertained the option of having Joakim Nordstrom play center, but due to his sub-par face-off percentage, he’s likely to continue to play wing. As I previously said, Colby Cave has earned a spot on the team with his strong two-way game and sparks of offense, he would be a solid option on the third line for now. David Backes, who has looked great recently, would be a good fit on the line as a defensively reliable “bodyguard” type of player for the younger players on the line.

That leaves Sean Kuraly, Chris Wagner, Nordstrom and JFK vying for 4th line minutes. Nordstrom has been outstanding all year and has been a swiss army knife for Cassidy with all of the injuries, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be playing. Wagner and Kuraly have played very well together and have garnered some chemistry so I think the two should fill out the 4th line. That all leaves JFK as the 13th forward to fill in wherever is needed. I think if any forward anywhere in the lineup goes down or needs a quick rest, Cave and Nordstrom can fill in admirably, Cassidy should just ride the hot hand for the rest of the year.

Defensive Pairs

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(FRED KFOURY III/ICON SPORTSWIRE/GETTY IMAGES)

With the forwards done, it’s time to look at the defense. There are four D that should play every night without question. Those being Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, and Brandon Carlo. The first pairing of Chara and McAvoy proved last year in the playoffs that they could shut down the best of the league, leaving the Maple Leafs and the Lightning (for most of the series) looking for more out of their stars. Krug’s offense cannot be replicated on the blue line, and Carlo has really come out of his shell this year, adding more grit to his game and continuing to improve on his already sound defensive game.

The final defensive pair would consist of two of John Moore, Matt Grzelcyk and Kevin Miller. I think Grzelcyk and Moore have been the Bruins unsung heroes this year. They both proved they can play very well in roles playing 25+ minutes a game and a more condensed role will only make them look better. Kevin Miller brings a physical side of the game that the majority of the roster can’t match and while I think the Bruins don’t need to go out and get an enforcer, that grit is incredibly important on the blue-line. For this final pair it will probably go on a game by game basis, whoever is playing the best gets to play unless Cassidy wants to play Miller against more physical teams but may want a bit more offense and play Gryz and Moore. If I had to pick the final pair I would choose Gryz and Miller, I think Grzelcyk’s hockey sense is too good to sit in the press box.

With all that being said, the Bruins lineup decisions aren’t necessarily a bad thing. With all of the depth on the back-end, Cassidy can pick and choose his matchups on a day to day basis and know that he will always have a solid six guys to roll out there. For the forwards, they have a lot of flexibility. Backes has been really solid as of late and can fill in any of the four lines. If Cassidy needs a goal, he can put Pastrnak back with the top line and switch the rest of the lineup accordingly. All four lines have big strengths to their game, and I feel if the Bruins get enough out of their younger players, this lineup has the potential to do wonders. What do you guys think?

FULL LINEUP

Marchand-Bergeron-Heinen/Donato

Debrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak

Heinen/Donato-Cave-Backes

Nordstrom-Kuraly-Wagner

JFK/Acciari

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Moore-Kampfer

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Bruins Colby Cave Representing Saskatchewan With Recent NHL Success

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PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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

“Colby Cave gets his first career National Hockey League goal!” Jack Edwards’ legendary call during Monday’s win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night will play loudly in the Cave household in North Battleford, Saskatchewan for many years to come. While I have not personally been in a situation, (clearly), where I scored an NHL goal, against Carey Price of all goaltenders, in the Bell Centre. But you can see the amount of excitement imploding from Cave once the rubber puck crossed the red line.

It was a nice goal too, not some lucky bounce off of three legs and just happened to bounce off the eventual goal-scorer, but a solid one-time goal. David Pastrnak circled the puck around the blue line, made a quick pass to Charlie McAvoy down near the faceoff circle, who sauced the puck to Cave in the slot for a sweet goal. Cave’s celebration after is something that easily puts a smile on your face.

Undrafted, Cave made his big impression on the Boston Bruins during his time in the Western Hockey League with the Swift Current Broncos. In 2011-12, Cave debuted with 6-10-16 totals in 70 games played. Just one year later, Cave quickly boosted his scoring numbers, hitting forty-one points (21 goals, 20 assists), in 72 games. He also tallied four points in five playoff games that season as well.

When then-captain Adam Lowry left the Broncos to the American Hockey League to play for the then-Winnipeg Jets AHL affiliate, the St. John IceCaps, Swift Current stitched on the “C” on Cave’s Bronco jersey. Cave said the following when he was awarded the captaincy.

“It’s a true honour to be named the captain of such a respectable organization,” says Cave.  “This organization goes back a long way. Just seeing some of the former captains and their names up on the wall, guys like Adam Lowry and Zack Smith, it’s quite an honour to be put into the same group as them. I hope to prove everyone right and keep this team on the right track and win some games.” 

And prove everyone right was indeed what Colby did. In the seventy-two regular-season contests during the 2013-14 season, Cave scored 33 goals and 37 assists for 70 points as well as a +20 rating. Once again in the following season, in 2014-15, Cave scored a WHL career-high 75 points (35 goals, 40 assists) in 72 games. The numbers led Swift Current in assists and second on the team for goals and points. The only player ahead of Cave in goals and points was fellow-Bruin, Jake DeBrusk, who had 81 points in 72 games.

While the Broncos never made it out of the first-round when it came to the playoffs, his regular season production was something that caught the eye of the Bruins organization. On April 7th, 2015, ex-Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli signed Cave to an entry-level contract, sending him to the Providence Bruins immediately.

In the 239 career AHL games with Providence over the course of over three seasons, Cave has produced 43-72-115 totals while being the assistant captain for the team for the last three consecutive seasons. The 2016-17 season was the best season for Colby in terms of production, scoring 35 points during the course of the campaign.

The entry-level deal that the Bruins signed Colby to back in 2015 expired over the offseason, but the Bruins re-signed the six-foot-one, 201-pound Saskatchewan native to a two-year, two-way deal. 

Following three NHL games last season, Cave’s true chance to get that first goal would be this season – during the middle of the Bruins’ injury bug. When Patrice Bergeron was placed on the injured reserve in mid-November, the Bruins were forced to call-up Colby Cave to the NHL team on November 20th. The number of injuries on the forward core left the organization almost no choice.

According to Frozen Pool by Dobber Sports, Colby Cave has seen the majority of his ice time with David Backes and Joakim Nordstrom (28.39%) as well as time with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak (24.37%). Cave tallied his first career NHL point with an assist against the Detroit Red Wings on December 1st, followed by another helper two games later against Tampa Bay.

All of Cave’s hard work through the juniors, minors, and big leagues eventually led to that goal that was showed at the beginning of this article. In addition, Cave pitched in with an assist, his first career multi-point night in the NHL.

boston-bruins-colby-cave-canadiens-first-nhl-goal-121718.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (USA TODAY Sports)

Now, Patrice Bergeron was on the ice for Bruins practice on Wednesday, December 19th, making his inevitable return to the roster even closer. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy will most likely go back with the Marchand, Bergeron, Pastrnak line that dominated the league before Bergeron’s sternoclavicular/rib injury. David Krejci will probably be brought back down to the second-line, so where does Cave go?

At one point during the season, the simple answer would be to man the middle of the third line. However, the line of Ryan Donato, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Danton Heinen has been finally finding their groove, thriving on each other’s growing confidence of playing alongside one another. In the same idea, it would seem wrong in a sense to demote Cave to the Providence Bruins, but the fourth-line is essentially set – leaving no other real option.

Unfortunately, when the Boston Bruins are, for the most part, injury-free on the forward core, Colby Cave will most likely be demoted to the American Hockey League to re-join the Providence Bruins until his services are once again required in the big leagues. Cave’s two-way contract allows Boston to send him down without the fear of waivers and while Donato and JFK also have two-way deals, their recent success should keep them on the NHL roster.

Nonetheless, the Canadian province of Saskatchewan is proud to see Cave find success in the National Hockey League, even if it may be short-lived. Having been to North Battleford on many occasions and living only 2.5 hours away from the small Saskatchewan city, I can appreciate the efforts Cave and every other NHL player had to go through to make it to the position he is in today.

When Boston eventually becomes injury-free, does/should Colby Cave be the odd-man out, getting a trip to Providence or should it be another Bruin forward currently on the roster? Let me know via Twitter @tkdmaxbjj

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 & Happy Holidays!

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Florida: 12/4/18

Florida Panthers v Boston BruinsPhoto Courtesy Of Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida, USA

Home: Florida Panthers (10-10-5)

Away: Boston Bruins (14-8-4)

Florida’s Lineup

Forwards

Huberdeau-Barkov-Hoffman

Vatrano-McCann-Dadonov

Hunt-Bjugstad-Brouwer

Haley-Lammikko-Sceviour

Defense

Yandle-Ekblad

Matheson-Pysyk

Kiselevich-Weegar

Goalies

Luongo

Reimer

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Cave-Pastrnak

Donato-Krejci-DeBrusk

Heinen-Nordstrom-Acciari

Wagner-Kuraly-Backes

Defense

Krug-Moore

Grzelcyk-Carlo

Lauzon-Clifton

Goalies

Halak

Rask

First Period

The Bruins looked a little sluggish out of the gate as the Panthers got most of the early chances, but Jaroslav Halak was up to the challenge. The Bruins got a little push as the period went on as they had a few good shifts in response. The Bruins continued to have trouble getting their legs going and they had a tough time in their own zone in the middle stages of the period.

The Bruins had a hard time generating much offensive zone time as pucks seemed to roll off their sticks with regularity. The Bruins would go to the penalty box late in the period as Joakim Nordstrom went off for holding. The Bruins killed the penalty as the Panthers missed the net a few times despite some good puck movement

The Bruins would pick up a power play almost immediately after the Florida man advantage. The Bruins had a difficult time even getting good zone entry on the man advantage as they failed to get virtually any scoring opportunities.

Score: Tied 0-0

Second Period

A big save by Halak after a turnover by Connor Clifton in the early part of the period kept the game scoreless as the Bruins struggles with puck possession continued. Mike Hoffman jammed in a puck in front of the Boston net to give the Panthers the early second period lead.

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The Bruins would get their second power play of the night after a hooking penalty to Jared McCann soon after the Panthers goal. Roberto Luongo made a big save on David Pastrnak after he burst through the Panthers defense early in the Boston man advantage. The Bruins failed to get any other significant scoring chances and the score remained in favor of the Panthers.

A couple great scoring chances by the Panthers nearly resulted in them doubling their lead but Halak stood up to the onslaught. Michael Matheson made an impressive drive to the net and scored his second goal of the season to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage more than midway through the period.

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The Bruins would get a power play soon after the goal, trying desperately to stay in the game. Seconds into the Boston power play, Pastrnak took a holding penalty to negate the man advantage. During the four on four, Jonathan Huberdeau found a hole in Halak on a shot that trickled through to give the Panthers a three goal advantage.

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The Bruins got a decent push towards the end of the period with some good zone time but weren’t able to solve Luongo who made a few big saves. Both Pastrnak and Dryden Hunt took matching penalties in the last two minutes of the period, resulting in a four on four. Jake DeBrusk took a slashing penalty as the Panthers went to the power play for the second time. Hoffman made it two goals on the night with a one timer past Halak with just three seconds left in the period.

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Score: 4-0 Panthers

Third Period

Good shifts by the first and second lines got the Bruins going early in the period as they got a few pucks on Luongo. The Bruins seemed to move their legs better in the final period as they continued to have solid puck possession. The Bruins would get another power play as Nick Bjugstad went off for holding. The Panthers would kill the penalty as the Bruins again failed to find the back of the net.

The Panthers would get another power play opportunity as John Moore took a hooking penalty. Late in the man advantage, Chris Wagner took a tripping penalty which resulted in a five on three situation. The Bruins killed off both the five on three and five on four power plays as the Panthers failed to get any great scoring chances.

Almost immediately after, Brandon Carlo took a penalty as the Bruins continued their parade to the penalty box. The Panthers made it five as Evgenii Dadonov scored off a nice feed from Aleksander Barkov to give them their second power play goal of the evening.

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Final Score: 5-0 Panthers

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Hoffman. The Florida winger was his usual self with a beauty of a goal on the power play and also added the first goal of the evening.

Second Star: Huberdeau. Number 11 in red was all over the ice in Sunrise as he tallied three points on a goal and two assists.

Third Star: Luongo. The Panthers goalie didn’t stop a ton of great scoring chances but he was solid all night and recorded the shutout.

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 & Happy Holidays!

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Bruins Jake DeBrusk Is On A Roll

Bruins Canadiens Hockey(Photo Credit: AP)

By: Ian Smith | Follow me on Twitter @IanMalcolmSmith 

There was a lot of buzz heading into this season about how Jake DeBrusk was going to follow a pretty intriguing rookie performance. Last season DeBrusk played in 70 games for the Boston Bruins, scoring 16 goals and dishing out 27 assists for 43 points. Amongst rookies who played in at least 60 games last season, DeBrusk ranked eighth with 0.61 points per game. DeBrusk was originally drafted by the Bruins 14th overall in 2015 and is the son of former NHL bruiser Louie DeBrusk. Jake has a different game than his father, though, and actually scored more points in his rookie season than his dad scored in his entire 401 game career.

There were numerous reasons to be excited that DeBrusk was going to take things to the next level for the 2018-19 season. He’s a great skater who possesses some immense scoring ability. Not only does he produce on the offensive end, but he’s an effective two-way player as well. He started off a bit slow this year, but he is really starting to pick up the scoring pace and provide the Bruins more offensive balance through the lineup. Through the first 13 games of this season, DeBrusk had just three points, all of which were goals, with two of those goals coming in a game against the Detroit Red Wings on October 13. In the last 11 games, though, DeBrusk has been able to find his scoring touch more consistently, as he has seven goals and two assists. DeBrusk is the only player on the Bruins besides David Pastrnak with double-digit goals. He took a puck to the back of the head Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs but was back on the ice during practice a couple days later.

This recent stretch is indicative that DeBrusk might be able to reach the 30-goal plateau in just his second season in the league. Since DeBrusk doesn’t have a very extensive track record in the NHL, it’s harder to know what type of level he’s poised to settle into in terms of shooting percentage or shots per game. Last season, DeBrusk averaged about 2.04 shots on goal per game and tallied a shooting percentage of 11.2%, which resulted in 16 goals in 72 games. This season, he is averaging about 2.46 shots on goal per game, and his shooting percentage has increased to 16.9%. For his career, DeBrusk is averaging about 2.15 shots on goal per game with a shooting percentage of 12.9%. 

Let’s even assume DeBrusk misses a couple games here and there the rest of this season. At 24 games so far, maybe he’ll play in about 50 or so more. If he averages his career totals in shots on goal per game and shooting percentage in those final 50 games, DeBrusk should score about 14 more goals this season, leaving him with 24 goals. That’s still a pretty conservative estimate, though, given how he has looked this season, particularly as of late. 14 more goals would be him reverting closer to his shooting totals from last season, and it already looks like he’s in the midst of improvement this season as a scorer. Using 50 remaining games as a basic template for predicting DeBrusk’s season is nice, not only because it’s a round number, but it allows some cushion for injury.

Let’s say DeBrusk needs to score 20 goals in 50 games to get to 30 goals on the season, all of which are conveniently round numbers for the sake of the hypothetical. If he continues his shooting percentage and shots on goal per game totals thus far this season for the rest of those 50 games, DeBrusk will score about 21 more goals. That would give him 31 goals in 74 games played, and those shots per game and shooting percentage totals could even dip slightly if he plays in more than 50 more games.

It’s going to be fascinating to see if DeBrusk will even out his scoring or if he’ll continue netting them in bunches with long gaps in between. However he ultimately divides his goal scoring, though, it looks like DeBrusk is well on his way to scoring more than 30 goals in just his second season in the league, assuming he doesn’t miss significant time at any point this season.