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

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

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Carolina Hurricanes

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Coyle – Heinen

Bjork – Kuraly – Backes

Nordstrom – Lindholm – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Carolina’s Lineup

Forwards

Svechnikov – Staal – Foegele

Niederreiter – Aho – Teravainen

Dzingel – Wallmark – Martinook

McGinn – Bishop

Defense

Slavin – Hamilton

Edmundson – Pesce

Gardiner – van Riemsdyk

Fleury

Goalies

Reimer

Mrazek

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

First Period

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

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

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

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

Score: 0-0

Second Period

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

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

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

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

Score: 0-0

Third Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Score: 2-0 Boston

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

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

Bruins Game 28 Preview: Carolina Hurricanes

topplay-hockey.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Getty Images)

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

Seven-consecutive wins and an undefeated (regulation) home record is the story of the Boston Bruins right now and it is showing on the standings. As of December 3rd, the Bruins are first in the overall league standings with a record of 15-3-5, tied with the Washington Capitals in points, but have an edge in ROW (regulation plus overtime wins). Boston won their last game 3-1 over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday after trailing the game 1-0 for nearly the entire first two periods.

After surprising the league by making it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, the Carolina Hurricanes are aiming to prove that it was not a coincidence, but that they deserved to be there. Carolina is in the top-ten in the league with a record of 16-10-1, including a 7-3-0 stretch in their last ten games. The Canes last defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning by a final score of 3-2 on November 30th.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 6-1-3 2.35 GAA .930 SV% Last Game: 26 Saves in 3-2 OT win vs NYR

CAR: Petr Mrazek (Not Confirmed) 11-6-1 2.68 GAA .901 SV% Last Game: 25 Saves in 3-0 loss vs NSH

Who’s Hot:

On Sunday against Montreal, David Pastrnak unleashed a rocket of a slapshot as he entered the zone that not only beat Carey Price, but started the three-goal onslaught that would later secure a Bruins victory. Pastrnak’s goal was his 25th of the 2019-20 season, reaching the halfway point to 50 goals and it is only December 3rd. Pastrnak has a five-goal lead on Capitals’ forward Alex Ovechkin for the most goals in the league while playing in one less game than the scoring legend.

Former Boston Bruins defenceman Dougie Hamilton has seemingly finally found success with a team over in Carolina. The 26-year-old leads all defensemen in the NHL with ten goals in his 27 games played this season while adding 18 assists for 28 points. Hamilton is on pace to crush his season totals for 2018-19 where he scored 18-21-39 numbers in a full 82-game season. The 9th-overall pick by Boston in the 2011 Entry Draft has 1-4-5 totals in his last five games including a two-assist night against Tampa Bay.

With Patrice Bergeron dealing with a nagging injury lately, the Bruins have had to fall back on David Krejci to man the first-line center as well as the first power-play unit and he has done great. The 33-year-old Krejci has 5-15-20 numbers in 21 games this year and has seven points in his last five. Krejci has been seeing around eighteen minutes of ice-time per game for the last three games and has not failed to come up big. Krejci will look to continue that success tonight against the Hurricanes.

Who’s Not:

Nino Niederreiter was acquired by Carolina in January of last season and went on to dominate, scoring 14-16-30 numbers in 36 games played, adding another four points in fifteen playoff games. However, this season, the 5th-overall selection in the 2010 NHL Draft only has 3-7-10 numbers in 27 games and is pointless in each of his last six contests and has seen decreases in his playing time during this bad stretch.

There has not been a whole lot of negative pieces to the Boston Bruins puzzle on this seven-game winning streak. The team has done a great job staying in games and playing to their style, performing numerous comeback wins against the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, and Montreal Canadiens. When a player does make an error, such as Heinen against the Rangers or Chara against the Canadiens, the rest of the team comes around them and it doesn’t happen again.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • G Jaroslav Halak will play in his 500th career NHL game
  • F David Krejci is one goal away (199) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Charlie Coyle is two goals away (98) from 100 career NHL goals
  • F Jake DeBrusk is three points away (97) from 100 career NHL points

Carolina Hurricanes:

  • F Jordan Staal is three assists away (297) from 300 career NHL assists
  • D Dougie Hamilton is five assists away (195) from 200 career NHL assists

Bruins vs Hurricanes Outlook:

For the first time since their Eastern Conference Finals series, the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes will play one another. Last year, the Bruins won the season series over the Canes, winning two out of the three games they played. In the playoffs, the two met in the Conference Finals, where the Bruins swept the Hurricanes in four-straight games to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Tonight’s game will not only be the first time that these two teams meet again, but it will also be a big test as both squads are within the top-ten teams in the NHL – with Boston taking the number one position right now. Boston is coming into the game as the best team defensively, averaging the lowest goals-against-per-game on average, allowing 2.26 goals against. The B’s are also second in the NHL for goals-for, scoring at a rate of 3.67 goals-for-per-game. Boston also has the best goal-differential in the league at +34.

Carolina has also been putting up goals, averaging 3.22 goals-for-per-game – 11th best in the National Hockey League. On the defence side of things, the Canes are no slouches either. They have the 8th-best goals-against-per-game at an average of 2.81 and they have a goal-differential of +12, fifth in the Eastern Conference and seventh in the league.

Speciality teams is still a hot topic for the Bruins, as they continue to score on the man-advantage with a 31.6% success rate (2nd in NHL). In Sunday’s win over Montreal, David Backes scored the eventual game-winning tally on the power-play in the third-period. Boston also has the seventh-best penalty-kill in the game – thriving at a 84.5% kill rate. Carolina has the ninth-best power-play (21.2%) and the eighth-best penalty-kill (84.4%).

Bruins Projected Lineup:

According to Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, forward Patrice Bergeron will not play tonight but he said that he can see him playing on the upcoming trip if there are no setbacks. Defenceman John Moore remains out of the lineup, but could return on Thursday and forward Brett Ritchie will be a scratch. Halak gets the start in goal.

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

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

Bruins Post-Game Recap: New York Rangers at Boston: 11/29/19

cut-1

Photo Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (17-3-5)

Away: New York Rangers (12-9-2)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Krejci-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Studnicka-Coyle

Bjork-Kuraly-Heinen

Nordstrom-Lindholm-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Clifton

Goalies

Halak

Rask

New York’s Lineup

Forwards

Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich

Panarin-Chytil-Strome

Lemieux-Howden-Kakko

Smith-Nieves-Fast

Defense

Skjei-Trouba

Lindgren-Fox

Hajek-DeAngelo

Goalies

Lundqvist

Georgiev

First Period

The B’s opened the game with a few good shifts in the attacking zone and got a few good looks at the net as they looked to gain an early lead. The Rangers also had a few solid scoring chances in the early going but Jaroslav Halak was up to the task, including a ridiculous save on Pavel Buchnevich off of a B’s turnover. The Rangers started to impose their will in the offensive zone as the Bruins looked to be a step too slow. The Rangers would go to the power play with under eight minutes left in the period as they looked to take the lead. The B’s killed off the penalty but immediately following the kill, Buchnevich found the back of the net through traffic in front to give New York the lead.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Rangers seemed to find their game in the latter part of the period as the Bruins continued to struggle in their own end. Halak continued his strong period with a couple key saves toward the end of the first, keeping the deficit to just one.

Score: 1-0 Rangers

Second Period

The B’s continued to have issues defending the Rangers in the defensive zone as New York forced a few turnovers. Connor Clifton took a tripping penalty early in the period as the Rangers looked to double their lead. The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty as the Rangers failed to get any high danger scoring opportunities. New York made it 2-0 after a bad giveaway in the neutral zone resulted in a rebound goal by Filip Chytil.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Halak continued to be busy with the Rangers getting a number of shots on goal and time in the offensive zone as the period went on. To try to get the Bruins going, Charlie McAvoy dropped the gloves with Brendan Smith about midway through regulation time. The Bruins scoring chances came few and far between in the middle period as they tried desperately to stay relevant in the game. The Rangers would go back to the man advantage as Matt Grzelcyk was called for a high stick. New York would make it a two man advantage as Sean Kuraly was called for a cross check. The B’s were able to kill off both penalties without any significant scoring chances against.

Late in the period, the Bruins finally broke free as a Kuraly deflection somehow found its way into the back of the net as Henrik Lundqvist inadvertently knocked the puck in.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Score: 2-1 Rangers

Third Period

The Bruins opened the period with some solid attacking zone time as they looked to tie the game early in the frame. Both teams traded some outstanding scoring chances early in the period but neither team could find the back of the net. David Pastrnak tied it with 15:33 to go as he slammed home a great feed from Jake DeBrusk.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Bruins seemed to get a big energy boost from the tying goal and Pastrnak nearly got another as the team started to impose its will on the Rangers. The Bruins seemed to greatly improve their play in the own zone which was helped by some very solid breakout plays. Boston picked up their first power play of the game as Smith was called for hooking with 9:25 to go. The Bruins were unable to take the lead on the man advantage as Lundqvist made a few monster saves.

Par Lindholm took a penalty soon after the power play which gave the Rangers a four minute man advantage and a chance to retake the lead. The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty as the Rangers managed only two shots on goal.

End Of Regulation: Tied 2-2

Overtime

David Krejci buried the winner after a ridiculous setup by Pastrnak, giving the Bruins yet another come from behind victory.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Final Score: 3-2 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Pastrnak. The third period and overtime was vintage Pasta as he led to team to the win.

Second Star: Halak. The B’s backup kept them in the game all afternoon and was a huge reason the team pulled off yet another comeback.

Third Star: Kuraly. The Bruins center was a monster in this game and his goal in the second period kickstarted the comeback.

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Montreal: 11/26/19

cut

Photo Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Home: Montreal Canadiens (11-7-5)

Away: Boston Bruins (15-3-5)

Arena: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec

Montreal’s Lineup

Forwards

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher

Lehkonen-Domi-Suzuki

Hudon-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Cousins-Thompson-Weal

Defense

Chiarot-Weber

Mete-Petry

Reilly-Fleury

Goalies

Price

Kinkaid

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Krejci-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Studnicka-Coyle

Bjork-Kuraly-Heinen

Nordstrom-Lindholm-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Clifton

Goalies

Halak

Rask

First Period

Both team appeared to be very engaged right from the start with good skating and good body contact. Jaroslav Halak was relatively busy early on but made a couple of key saves to keep the Bruins in the game. The B’s seemed to be very sloppy in their own end in the opening moments of the game but got a gift when David Pastrnak was tripped in the defensive zone, resulting in a power play with under 14 minutes left in the period. With just seconds left in the man advantage, Jake DeBrusk buried a chance in front of the net for his fifth goal of the season to give Boston the early lead.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Following the goal, both teams started to settle in defensively and lock up the neutral zone. The Canadiens however, broke free in the neutral zone just four minutes after the goal as Shea Weber scored on a rebound to tie the game.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Bruins would go back to the man advantage very soon after the tying goal as they looked to regain the lead with over six minutes to go in the period. Pastrnak made it two power play goals in the period as he buried a one timer off a great feed from Charlie Coyle less than a minute into the man advantage to give Boston a 2-1 lead.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Immediately following the goal though, Charlie McAvoy was called for tripping as the Habs looked to even the score once again. The B’s killed off the penalty as the Canadiens failed to get any significant chances on Halak. The Bruins made it 3-1 as Brad Marchand took full advantage of a terrible Montreal turnover in the final minute of the period.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Score: 3-1 Bruins

Second Period

Just eight seconds into the middle period, Pastrnak buried his second of the night off a set play as the B’s opened up a three goal advantage on the Habs.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Anders Bjork made it two goals in just over a minute after another Montreal turnover to make it a 5-1 Boston advantage with still 18:50 left to go in the period.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Bruins continued to play hungry after the quick goals with a couple of solid shifts in the offensive zone. Montreal responded with some good shifts of their own but Halak denied a number of great chances to keep them at bay. Pastrnak completed his hat trick off of a deflection in front from a shot by Brandon Carlo with less than 11 minutes left in the period to make it 6-1 Boston.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Habs picked up their second power play of the night with 7:17 to go in the period as they looked to stop the bleeding and get back into the game. The Bruins killed off the man advantage as the Canadiens failed to get any shots on net.

Score: 6-1 Bruins

Third Period

The Bruins continued their good habits in the final period, skating well and limiting the Habs offensive zone chances. The Canadiens continued to get scoring opportunities but the B’s defense and Halak held up with good defensive efforts. Coyle made it a six goal game with his fifth of the season with about 11 and a half minutes to go in the game.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Jack Studnicka picked up his first career point on an assist as he fed an open Danton Heinen in front of the goal to make it 8-1 Bruins.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Final Score: 8-1 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Pastrnak. The Bruins winger continued his torrid scoring pace with his sixth career hat trick in this one and at certain points was the best player on the ice.

Second Star: Marchand. Fresh off being named the NHL’s First Star Of The Week, Number 63 turned in another multipoint game.

Third Star: David Krejci. The B’s top center at least for this game continued his strong play with a multiple assist night.

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Washington at Boston: 11/16/19

cut (51)

PHOTO CREDITS: (nhl.com)

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

Less than 24 hours removed from their 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 12-3-4 Boston Bruins are right back at it tonight against the Washington Capitals who have the best record in the National Hockey League but felt short last night against the Montreal Canadiens.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (12-3-4)

Away: Washington Capitals (14-3-4)

Bruins Last Game: 4-2 win vs TOR

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is out with a lower-body injury, he is considered day-to-day. Forward Paul Carey will play in his 100th career NHL game as a replacement.

First Period:

The opening minutes of this hockey game starts out pretty even, but it seems that the Capitals are getting a bit more zone time and a few more chances in Boston’s end. That said, the Bruins seem to be playing responsible hockey on the defensive side and they are holding their own against a solid Washington team.

Not long after the Bruins successfully killed off David Pastrnak’s hooking minor, Danton Heinen makes a slick pass from right near the boards to Charlie Coyle in the slot who taps the puck five-hole past Braden Holtby – Bruins score first, it’s 1-0.

This game has been entertaining so far, with both teams getting bids on either goaltender. However, only three minutes after Coyle’s game-opening tally, Travis Boyd scores his first goal of the 2019-20 season off of a couple deflections near the net and Washington ties the game.

In the final minutes of the period, the action amped up even more when the Bruins get their first power-play of the contest with just around 38 seconds remaining. Boston fails to get any chances on the reduced man-advantage due to Pastrnak turning the puck over and allowing the Capitals a shorthanded bid that gets stopped by Halak, but they will start the second frame with over a minute of power-play time.

Not the best period for Boston because of the lack of really good offensive chances, but they did strike on 5-on-5 and are in a tie with one of the top teams in the NHL.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 9 WSH: 18

Score: 1-1 Goals – Coyle (4) Assists: Heinen (5), McAvoy (5); Boyd (1) Assists: Carlson (24), Leipsic (5)

Second Period:

Bruce Cassidy must have said something in the locker room during the first intermission because shortly after the penalty on Washington expired, the Bruins set up a beautiful tic-tac-toe play for Charlie McAvoy who misses the net wide, however, Pastrnak on the goal line buries it on what seemed like an impossible shot, Bruins take a 2-1 lead early on in the second.

Danton Heinen takes a penalty a few minutes after Boston’s goal – another hooking minor. It seems like the officials are calling these stick infractions a lot tonight, Bruins need to be more careful or it may come back to haunt them. Regardless, the penalty-kill looks great and it is back to even-strength.

With 9:55 remaining in the second frame, John Carlson gets his stick caught in the skates of forward Paul Carey who was called up early today and Boston goes to the power-play. They are unable to capitalize and then Washington comes back with a long, dangerous time in Boston’s zone including a one-timer shot that beats Halak, but not the post. Bruins survive the onslaught for now.

The remainder of the period was a good one, but Washington has been the better team offensively – a direct result of the shot department. Bruins ahead by one heading into the final regulation period.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 15 WSH: 30

Score: 2-1 Bruins – Pastrnak (17) Assists: McAvoy (6), Krejci (9)

Third Period:

The third period starts off just as the rest of the game has been – back-and-forth hockey for a good majority of the opening period and the Bruins have been looking solid on both sides of the puck. It does, however, seem like Boston is content playing more of a defensive game to keep their one-goal advantage, but they have to be careful to not get too defensive.

After Tom Wilson absolutely destroys Chris Wagner with a massive body-to-body hit, the Capitals get a good offensive chance to score on an odd-man rush but Charlie McAvoy makes a tremendous effort to backcheck and he manages to disrupt the shooter enough to prevent a shot altogether, a great move from the young defenceman.

As tensions rise with the minutes ticking away, Alex Ovechkin nails McAvoy along the end boards, only for McAvoy to lay a heavy hit on Tom Wilson when the play went the other way. Wilson didn’t like the hit and grabbed McAvoy’s stick. As the two begin to scuffle, captain Zdeno Chara comes to the aid of McAvoy and grabs Wilson. Chara and Wilson each go off for roughing, four-on-four hockey coming up.

Just around halfway into the 4-on-4 session, Charlie Coyle makes a great neutral zone play to steal the puck and get in on a rush towards the net, becoming a breakaway, but Holtby follows Coyle brilliantly to make the pad save. Chara and Wilson’s penalties expire with 3:53 remaining in the third period.

Washington comes just inches away from equalizing the hockey game when Halak attempts to play the puck from behind his net that goes to Wilson and eventually to John Carlson. Carlson’s bomb from the point makes the identifiable “ding” off the post and stays out, 3:04 left to go.

The Capitals pull the goalie with a little over a minute remaining in the game and with the extra man, bury the tying goal. Evgeni Kuznetsov takes the puck behind the net and throws it out front for T.J. Oshie who slaps it home, 2-2 with 58 seconds left in regulation.

This game is going to 3-on-3 overtime.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 21 WSH: 41

Score: 2-2

Overtime:

As soon as the puck is dropped for overtime, Tom Wilson takes a stick up high from Brad Marchand with no call made and then Kuznetsov gets a breakaway in on Jaroslav Halak but Halak somehow manages to make a save to keep it tied for now.

Washington has had the majority of puck possession halfway through overtime, making smart passes and zone entries but on two shots – one from Alex Ovechkin and one from T.J. Oshie missed the net way wide when they tried to snipe it. Boston has not had any chances to bury the game-winning goal yet.

Capitals get another great chance on an outlet pass but Urho Vaakanainen does an amazing job staying strong on Kuznetsov, making it pretty easy for Halak to read the play and make the save. This play from Vaakanainen came moments after he nearly buried it. A great shift for the young prospect. Overtime ends there, the always-loved shootout will end this entertaining affair.

Shootout:

WSH T.J Oshie – NO GOAL

BOS Charlie Coyle – GOAL

WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov – NO GOAL

BOS David Pastrnak – NO GOAL

WSH Nicklas Backstrom – GOAL

BOS Brad Marchand – NO GOAL

WSH Alex Ovechkin – NO GOAL

BOS David Krejci – NO GOAL

WSH Jakub Vrana – GOAL

BOS Chris Wagner – NO GOAL

Final Score: 3-2 Capitals

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS G Jaroslav Halak – 42 Saves, .955 SV%

2nd Star: WSH F T.J. Oshie – 1 Goal (Game-Tying), 6 Shots, 21:03 TOI

3rd Star: BOS D Charlie McAvoy – 2 Assists, 23:23 TOI

Boston falls to 12-3-5 with the shootout loss, but take 3-out-of-4 possible points in this back-to-back weekend. Up next, New Jersey Devils on Tuesday in New Jersey.

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

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

Boston’s Goaltending Strategy Extending Into The Playoffs

( Photo Credit: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images )

By: Michael DiGiorgio  |  Follow Me On Twitter @BostonDiGiorgio

 

After Tim Thomas solidified a championship-winning run for the Boston Bruins in 2011, he took a longer than expected sabbatical from the NHL leaving Tuukka Rask the keys to the kingdom. Rask has been the Bruins sole beneficiary to their successful season since 2012. A recent question to Head Coach Bruce Cassidy by The Athletics’s Fluto Shinzawa has made Bruins fans wonder, how long until teams are using the same goalie tandems they’re using in the regular season in the playoffs?

Fluto Shinzawa’s question to Cassidy centered around how goalie tandems are so heavily used in the regular season, but perish in the playoffs entirely. Fluto asked if and when we will see the same regular-season timeshare used in the playoffs. “I don’t know if it will be this year. But I think eventually, if they’re structured that way during the regular season, then why would you necessarily change it in the playoffs? So I could see it happening, definitely. Absolutely,” Cassidy said during one of his pressers. For years, the NHL has relied heavily on one goaltender to carry a team throughout a playoff run. Martin Brodeur led his New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cups; two of which he had played over 70 games in the regular season.

Dominik Hasek had played in 65 games before his first cup with Detroit. Jonathan Quick led his Los Angeles Kings to two cups, playing in 69 and 49 regular-season games in their respective years. Tim Thomas played in 57 regular-season games in 2011, before hoisting the cup in June 2012. Starting goaltenders have always been expected to play most of the regular season, and continue that regularity into the playoffs. Recently, the NHL has seen goalies’ workload split almost evenly between starter and backup in the regular season. Teams have been focusing on finding reliable backups who can give rest to their star keeper. It’s only a matter of time before we see this continue into the postseason.

Andrei Vasilvesky is Tampa Bay’s young promising goaltender, who has already won the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender in the regular season) at the age of 24. He was part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s historic run last year when Tampa roared through the entire NHL racking up 128 points. The 2018-2019 Lightning won 76% of their games, in large part due to their lethal offense and stingy defense and goaltending. Vasilevsky played in 53 games last season. The Lightning were not only heavy favorites to sweep the Blue Jackets in the first round of the playoffs, but was predicted to walk into the Stanley Cup Final. The Lightning (and the rest of the NHL) were stunned to see the Columbus Blue Jackets sweep the series four games to none. Vasilevsky’s regular-season timeshare was questioned and many wondered if he was overused.

The 2019 Stanley Cup Final was represented by two goalies: Tuukka Rask and Jordan Binnington. Binnington at one time played for the Bruins’ farm system as an emergency loan before ultimately starting for the St. Louis Blues. The Blues were at the bottom of the standings by Christmas and were viewed as heading for a rebuilding year and sellers at the upcoming trade deadline. Jordan Binnington received the call-up because their current goalie, Jake Allen, sported a 2.83 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. Binnington sparked a winning streak in the Blues and appeared in 32 regular-season games and eventually carried his team to the Final. Binnington’s usage during the regular season had been a unique situation, but the message stays the same: goalies who have more rest during the regular season enter the playoffs fresh. They fare extremely well the deeper the playoff run extends.

Tuukka’s situation was more common. He had never had a strong backup who could handle a larger workload. They swung and missed on numerous back-ups including Malcolm Subban, Zane McIntyre, and Nicklas Svedberg. Anton Khudobin seemed to handle the backup role quite well, but was given a two year, $5 million raise from the Dallas Stars and the Bruins were unwilling to match for a perennial backup. In the 2018 off-season Don Sweeney, current General Manager of the Boston Bruins, signed former New York Islander starter Jaroslav Halak to take on Rask’s backup duties. He was signed to a $5.5 million deal over two years, which exceeds Khudobin’s raise.

The difference here is that Halak was a long-time starter for the Canadiens, Blues, and Islanders. He had the resume that could withstand a long season with dependable starting opportunities, which is something the previous backups lacked. Halak most recently guarded the Islanders’ goal from the 2014-2017 seasons. The Islanders had a strenuous 2017-2018 season allowing the most shots on goal in the entire NHL, making Halak’s job harder than it already was. He posted a weak 2.80 goals-against average on Long Island. Halak came into Boston giving Rask something he wasn’t used to a reliable backup who can handle a substantial amount of starts appearing in 40 games in the 2018-2019 season. Halak was back to his old form in the black and gold posting a 2.34 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

 

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Halak’s reliable play put Tuukka in a fantastic situation to tend the twine deep into the playoffs. It, unfortunately, did not gain the Bruins a championship, but Rask was often the best player on the ice throughout the playoffs, which can be attributed to his regular-season rest. The closest we’ve seen to a team using a goalie tandem in the playoffs was the Pittsburgh Penguins during their historic run winning back-to-back championships in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Marc-Andre Fleury was one of the team’s biggest stars, which is a high accolade playing alongside Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and Kris Letang. Fleury played in 58 games in the regular season, with a promising young goalie prospect, Matt Murray, only providing rest for 13 games.

Jeff Zatkoff played in the remaining 11 games. Fleury, a three-time Cup winner, was injured in the second game of the playoffs, ceding the crease to Murray. Behind some impeccable offensive firepower, Murray and the Penguins won their fourth Stanley Cup championship. The following season the two net-minders split time almost evenly. The Penguins gave Fleury the starting nod come playoff time. Fleury was a force in the first two playoff series, ensuring his team won both. He was eventually pulled in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals after allowing four goals on nine shots. Murray started the rest of the way, earning the franchise’s fifth championship.

The goalie tandem is not unheard of in the NHL but has not been viewed as best practice. Certain circumstances have shown that it is necessary. If a goalie in the regular season benefits from a reliable backup, what’s stopping that same philosophy in the playoffs? The Bruins are set up to be one of the best teams to test this theory, given they essentially have two starting-caliber goalies and a coach who is not afraid to play the hot hand, regardless of a player’s salary. These upcoming playoffs could come with an interesting twist if Cassidy decides that Halak and Rask can co-exist in the sport’s most crucial time of the year.

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

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

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Philadelphia at Boston: 11/10/19

X75KD4QRCJBGXAWDVWZG5GKU5M

Photo Courtesy Of MICHAEL DWYER / AP

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (11-3-2)

Away: Philadelphia Flyers (9-5-2)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

Heinen-Krejci-Coyle

Bjork-Lindholm-Senyshyn

Nordstrom-Kuraly-Wagner

Defense

Chara-Clifton

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-McAvoy

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Philadelphia’s Lineup

Forwards

van Riemsdyk-Giroux-Farabee

Lindblom-Couturier-Konecny

Twarynski-Hayes-Voracek

Andreoff-Raffl-Pitlick

Defense

Provorov-Niskanen

Gostisbehere-Braun

Sanheim-Myers

Goalies

Hart

Elliott

First Period

The Bruins appeared to be a little disjointed early in the period, giving up a few turnovers in their own zone but despite that were able to get some scoring chances down the other end. The Flyers began to establish quite an attacking zone rhythm toward the middle stages of the period as the B’s looked to be a step slow. The Bruins responded with a few shifts in the Philadelphia zone as they tried to manufacture some scoring opportunities. The Flyers drew first blood as Travis Konecny banged in a rebound after an odd man rush with about six minutes to go in the period.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Bruins would get their first man advantage opportunity shortly after the goal as Joel Farabee was whistled for a penalty. The Flyers were able to kill off the power play despite the Bruins getting a few good chances. Philadelphia doubled their lead with just over two minutes left in the period as Philippe Myers found the back of the net.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Score: 2-0 Flyers

Second Period

The Bruins appeared to cut the lead in half on a scramble play in front of the Philadelphia net but the call on the ice was inexplicably ruled no goal and the B’s were left still looking to get back in the game. The Bruins continued to have trouble getting anything going in the offensive end as the Flyers dominated the possession game in early moments of the period. The Flyers would go to their first power play in the middle of the period as David Pastrnak went to the penalty box for hooking. The B’s were able to kill off the penalty despite the Flyers getting a few opportunities.

The Bruins responded with a couple rushes into the Philadelphia zone but still had a hard time completing plays. The Bruins followed up with a number of shifts deep in the Philadelphia zone to try to manufacture something but were still left searching for their first goal. Philadelphia responded with a few glorious scoring chances including a partial breakaway but it was stopped by Jaroslav Halak.

Score: 2-0 Flyers

Third Period

The Bruins had some good jump to open the period and nearly cut into the lead but Patrice Bergeron was denied by the skate of Myers in front the Flyers net. The B’s tried to follow it up but Carter Hart made a few key stops to keep them scoreless early in the final period. Danton Heinen cut the Philadelphia lead in half with a nice move in front of the net with 14 minutes to go in the game.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Bruins responded after the goal with flying colors, putting together a couple impressive shifts in hopes to tie the game. The Flyers answered back with a few attacking zone shifts, forcing Halak to make a few saves. Brad Marchand fired a wrist shot past Hart to tie it with 7:38 to play, sending the crowd into an absolute frenzy.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Pastrnak drew a penalty shot after a great feed by Marchand with just under five minutes to go. Pastrnak was easily denied by Hart on the penalty shot as he failed to get enough elevation on the shot. Marchand drew another penalty with 3:20 to play as Oskar Lindblom was called for tripping. Philadelphia killed off the penalty despite the B’s getting some good looks.

End Of Regulation: Tied 2-2

Overtime

The B’s were called for too many men at the tail end of the period as the Flyers got a tremendous opportunity to clinch the game. The Bruins were able to kill off the remainder of the overtime session to get the game to a shootout.

Shootout

The Flyers scored the only goal of the shootout as Farabee beat Halak on their first attempt. Pastrnak was denied by Hart again with a chance to tie it.

Final Score: 3-2 Flyers

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Hart. The Flyers goaltender wasn’t overly busy but he made a number of key stops especially in overtime and the shootout to preserve the victory.

Second Star: Halak. The B’s backup kept them in the game all night with a couple big saves including a stop on a Giroux breakaway.

Third Star: Marchand. The Bruins winger was buzzing in the third period and was credited with the tying goal in this one.

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

(Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Pittsburgh Penguins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Heinen

Bjork – Coyle – Ritchie

Hughes – Kuraly – Wagner

Defense

Chara – McAvoy

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – Clifton

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Pittsburgh’s Lineup

Forwards

Guentzel –  Crosby – Simon

Galchenyuk – Malkin – Rust

McCann – Bjugstad – Kahun

Aston-Reese – Blueger – Tanev

Defense

Dumoulin – Letang

Pettersson – Schultz

Johnson – Marino

Goalies

Murray

Jarry

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

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

First Period

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

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

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

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

Score: 2-0 Boston

Second Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 4-3 Pittsburgh

Third Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Score: 6-4 Boston

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

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

 

Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at Toronto: 10/19/19

USATSI_10791123_168383996_lowres.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (JOHN E. SOKOLOWSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS)

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

After their first post-regulation loss of the new season, the Boston Bruins look to rebound right away with a win in the first game of the home-and-home series against the Maple Leafs. Boston managed to force overtime and eventually a shootout with a late third-period goal from David Pastrnak, (8-5-13) in their 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In Toronto’s last outing, they took a 4-3 loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals, just one day removed of their win over the Minnesota Wild. The Leafs will be without forward John Tavares (finger) for the next few weeks and will miss both games against the Bruins.

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Home: Boston Bruins (5-1-1)

Away: Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3-1)

Bruins Last Game: 4-3 loss vs TBL (SO)

Bruins Gameday Lineups:

Boston Bruins forward David Krejci (upper-body) and Joakim Nordstrom (upper-body) did not make the trip to Toronto and according to Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, are considered day-to-day at this moment. Forward Patrice Bergeron missed practice yesterday after blocking a shot against Tampa Bay, but he will be in the lineup tonight.

First Period:

In the early three minutes of the game, the Bruins are taking control of the road-building with pressure, forecheck, and four shots on goal in the opening three minutes. Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock immediately made sure Matthews did not play against the Bergeron line due to the defensive shut down. Good start for Boston.

The great start for Boston was stopped by a goal by the Maple Leafs roughly six minutes into the period. Morgan Rielly took a shot from the point that hit Brandon Carlo right in the chest and bounced down, between the legs of Jaroslav Halak and Toronto takes a 1-0 lead at home. Tough break for the Bruins who were playing good all-around.

After the goal, there was some pushing and shoving around the benches between Andreas Johnsson, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand that settled itself out. At almost the same time, Alex Kerfoot gets a breakaway chance that is shut down by Halak, setting up Jake DeBrusk the other way for a breakaway of his own that Andersen stops. Good action continues for both teams.

Toronto began to pick up the pace and momentum after the opening goal, getting more rushes into the zone and more chances on Halak. Bruins still hold a lead in the shot department, 11-10, but it is clear that the first goal was a big one for the Leafs. Boston needs to get a goal back before the end of the period to slow down the momentum.

That is the complete opposite of what happens as Sean Kuraly fails to clear the puck out of his own zone and it goes right to Dmytro Timashov who makes a subtle fake before sniping it past Halak, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead late in the first period. The goal is the first career goal of Timashov’s NHL career, a big one for the Leafs.

Needing a big goal before the intermission, the Bruins switch up the lines, resulting in a second-line of DeBrusk, Coyle, and Wagner. The hard forecheck behind the Leafs net eventually leads to Coyle taking the puck and finding Jake DeBrusk wide-open in the slot. DeBrusk finally buries his first of the 2019-20 season and the Bruins cut into the Toronto lead, it’s 2-1. The period ends after that.

Note: Before the Bruins’ goal, Jake DeBrusk took a hard slapshot towards the net that hit what appears to be the inside of the foot of Karson Kuhlman who showed clear pain and went off the ice and did not return. However, there were only less than two minutes left to tick away before intermission, but it is something to keep an eye out for.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 18 TOR: 15

Score: 2-1 Maple Leafs – Goals: Rielly (1) Assists: Marner (7), Johnsson (3); Timashov (1) Assists: Gauthier (1); DeBrusk (1) Assists: Coyle (2), Wagner (2)

Second Period:

As the play starts up again following the intermission, it is worth noting that Kuhlman is on the Bruins bench to begin the second period. A scare for Boston who needs his speed and threat, but he seems to be alright.

The first penalty of the hockey game comes less than two minutes into the middle frame as Ilya Mikeyev takes a holding penalty on Jake DeBrusk and the Bruins head to the power-play that is 8-for-21 to start the season. However, Boston did not have the best man-advantage that they could have had, with some decent chances shorthanded by Toronto. The B’s do get a couple shots from McAvoy and Heinen late on the power-play, but the Leafs ultimately kill it off and we return to 5-on-5.

Roughly eight minutes into the frame, the Bruins have one of their best shifts of the game. They did a great job cycling the puck around Toronto’s zone, generating some great chances to tie the game. Brett Ritchie did a nice job tossing the puck towards the crease for an open Patrice Bergeron, but he narrowly missed a wide-open net. Later on, Par Lindholm keeps it in the zone and skates it further in before drawing a tripping penalty – Boston to their second power-play.

Power-play ends without a goal for the B’s, but they had some good chances that were either stopped or missed the net. The best chance was off of a brilliant passing play that created a great chance for DeBrusk who hit the side of the net. Boston now 0-for-2 on the man-advantage tonight with some improvements from the first one.

With 3:19 left in the second, David Backes tries to drive the puck towards the net but collides hard with Frederik Andersen. The whistle blows and the referee calls for a penalty, assuming it is goaltender interference, but it turns out to be coincidental minor penalties due to roughing by Marincin after the play, 4-on-4. Right away on the 4-on-4, Kuraly makes another bad turnover that leads to a great chance for Toronto – but Halak makes a big save.

In the dying seconds, the Bruins have yet another strong shift that draws a hooking penalty and the Maple Leafs are back on the penalty-kill. The second-period ends before Boston can capitalize. Either way, a much-better period for the Bruins, just could not score a goal. It’ll come with that play, though.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 33 TOR: 18

Score: 2-1 Maple Leafs

Third Period:

The Bruins finally strike on the power-play. Brett Ritchie does a nice job passing it across the zone to find Danton Heinen who rips one top-shelf past Andersen for his second goal of the season and the Bruins equalize the game. Heinen becomes the first Bruin aside from the first-line to score two goals in 2019-20.

The tie was short-lived, only 61 seconds after Boston’s power-play marker, Alex Kerfoot finds the puck in the slot and backhands an odd shot past Halak who was off-balance in the crease and the Maple Leafs take back a one-goal lead in the third period. Charlie Coyle did a poor job staying on Kerfoot, leading to the goal against.

The Bruins have had a few good chances to tie it up once again in the final regulation period, but Andersen has been stellar between the pipes and the Leafs are starting to play better defense while getting some good offensive opportunities as well. Just over eight minutes to go and the Bruins have reached the 40-shot mark.

At the 15:34 mark of the period, Marchand makes a nice neutral zone dangle to bring the puck into the zone, feeds it to Bergeron whose shot gets partially blocked. Bergeron does a good job working for the puck back, allowing him to pass it to Marchand who quickly gets it off to Pastrnak for a blistering one-timer that beats Andersen. Quick offense and we are tied 3-3.

After an incredibly entertaining period of hockey, this game heads to the always-exciting 3-on-3 overtime.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 44 TOR: 27

Score: 3-3 – Goals: Heinen (2) PPG Assists: Ritchie (1), Pastrnak (6); Kerfoot (3) Assists: Muzzin (3), Mikheyev (4); Pastrnak (9) Assists: Marchand (8), Bergeron (6)

Overtime:

The Maple Leafs have the best chances to win the game in overtime throughout the first couple of minutes. Charlie Coyle has been poor defensively tonight and that came out in the overtime session, making poor judgements but fortunately, the Bruins and Halak are able to save him.

Late in the 3-on-3 OT, the Bruins are stuck on the ice, showing clear signs of exhaustion in the defensive end. That only allows Auston Matthews to set up Mitch Marner in the high slot for a one-timer that beats Jaro Halak, Leafs win in overtime by a final score of 4-3. Great game, but Bruins just got caught.

Shots on Goal: BOS: 45 TOR: 29

Final Score: 4-3 Maple Leafs

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: TOR G Frederik Andersen – 42 Saves, .933 SV%

2nd Star: TOR F Mitch Marner – 1 Goal (Game-Winning), 1 Assist, 4 Shots

3rd Star: BOS F David Pastrnak – 1 Goal (Game-Tying), 1 Assist, 23:58 TOI

Boston returns home to the TD Garden for the second-consecutive game against Toronto to end the home-and-home series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST on Tuesday.

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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

Bruins Game 8 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

bruins-leafs-game-6.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

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

One of the biggest rivalries in the National Hockey League – the Boston Bruins vs the Toronto Maple Leafs makes it’s the debut of the 2019-2020 season tonight in Toronto. The Bruins are coming into the game with a 5-1-1 record, losing in a shootout to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a close game.

For Toronto, they boast a 4-3-1 record, giving them the first wild-card spot. The Leafs have been off to a slow start – often trading wins and losses so far this season bringing them to the record they have. In their last time out, Toronto took a 4-3 defeat to the Washington Capitals in Washington.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 2-1-0 1.69 GAA .951 SV% Last Game: 30 Saves in 4-2 win vs ANA

TOR: Frederik Andersen 4-2-0 3.14 GAA .893 SV% Last Game: 27 Saves in 4-2 win vs MIN

Who’s Hot:

David Pastrnak is virtually unstoppable right now. The 23-year-old winger has eight goals, five assists for thirteen points in seven games so far and is currently riding a five-game point streak with two consecutive games now with three or more points. Against the Lightning, Pastrnak scored two goals and added an assist including the game-tying goal that eventually forced a shootout. Pastrnak has had great success against the Leafs, scoring 11-8-19 numbers in 15 regular-season games against Toronto.

Fresh off his brand new contract with the Maple Leafs, Mitch Marner is picking things right up from his 94-point campaign in 2018-19 with now nine points in the opening eight games played. Marner has scored three goals and helped with six assists on the scoresheets – leading the Maple Leafs in points. Marner was held pointless against the Capitals but had a three-point game the night before against the Wild.

Morgan Rielly is tied with Mitch Marner in points, however, all of them are assists. Rielly has been the number-one defenceman in Toronto for the past couple of seasons and it seems each year he finds improvements. Against Minnesota, Rielly put up four assists in 21:44 of ice time followed up by a pointless night against Washington in over 27 minutes of time on the ice. Four of his nine assists were on the power-play.

Who’s Not:

Jake DeBrusk is still of his game and it may be a little bit concerning for the Bruins who are struggling to find depth scoring, even more so now with the absence of David Krejci on the second line. DeBrusk played 17:11 in Thursday’s game, finishing the night with a -1 rating, two shots on goal, and zero points. In the first seven games, DeBrusk has only one assist. Jake only has one goal in six regular-season games against the Maple Leafs.

The entire depth charts at the forward position can be listed for the Boston Bruins in this category. Aside from the first-line, only Sean Kuraly has more than one point (2), while seven forwards have only a single point this season. Without the power-play and the top line, the Boston Bruins likely would not be as high in the standings as they are right now. The B’s cannot rely on David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand to carry the workload for all 82 games.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Patrice Bergeron is three assists away (497) from 500 career NHL assists
  • F David Pastrnak is three points away (297) from 300 career NHL points

Toronto Maple Leafs:

  • F Auston Matthews is five points away (95) from 100 career NHL assists

Bruins vs Leafs Outlook

The first of two meetings in the next four days between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs goes down tonight in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The rivalry between these two Original Six franchises has seemingly never been so competitive nor entertaining for that matter. After the Bruins eliminated the Maple Leafs in both the 2018 and the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Toronto is looking to come back and finally get revenge over Boston.

Both teams will be without big players in their lineup as well. Newly-named captain John Tavares is out for at least a couple of weeks due to a broken finger suffered from blocking a Morgan Rielly shot. On Boston’s side, forward David Krejci is out once again with an injury and forward Joakim Nordstrom is also not travelling with the team to Toronto.

Speciality teams have always played a big factor in this rivalry and it should again tonight. The Bruins come into the contest with the second-best power-play percentage in the NHL (38.1%), while the Leafs have the 8th-best man-advantage at 26.9%. On the penalty-kill, the Bruins have killed off 85.7% of their penalties compared to Toronto’s 80.8% success rate while short-handed.

With both teams coming off a loss earlier in the week to strong Eastern Conference teams, it should make for a back-and-forth, entertaining hockey game – as it usually is between Toronto and Boston. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm EST from Toronto, Canada.

Projected Lineups:

Boston Bruins:

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Check out the new Black N’ Gold Hockey Podcast episode 149 that we recorded on 10-11-19 below! You can find our show on many worldwide platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Stitcher.

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