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

Image result for bruins capitals

(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara – USA TODAY Sports)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Boston Bruins

Away: Washington Capitals

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak

DeBrusk – Krejci – Backes

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Donato – JFK – Heinen

Defense

Chara – Carlo

Krug – Moore

Grzelcyk – Miller

Goalies

Halak

Rask

Washington’s Lineup

Forwards

Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson

Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie

Connolly – Eller – Boyd

Stephenson – Dowd – Smith-Pelly

Defense

Kempny – Carlson

Orlov – Niskanen

Orpik – Siegenthaler

Goalies

Holtby

Copley

First Period

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

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

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

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

Score: 1-0 Washington

Second Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 2-1 Washington

Third Period

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

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

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

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

Final Score: 4-2 Washington

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Bruins Face Quite The 2nd-Half Fight For Playoffs!

Related image(Photo Credit: CBS Sports)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @00EvanMichael

To say the Boston Bruins are going to need a lot of punch to their game during the second half of the season (which started this weekend with a big W over Buffalo), well… that would be an understatement. A punch to the gut, if you will (or to the head if you’re throwing down like Kevan Miller, as pictured above). That’s because in order to avoid being punched out of the playoffs come ticket-punching time in April, the team will need to fight, finagle & finish and skate, scrap & score up until the very last second of every game between now & then. Look no further than their last four games, and no, I’m not pulling any punches like a “frightened Frolik” would:

The Eastern Conference playoff picture right now, especially the B’s own Atlantic Division, is as tightly framed as an on-loan Picasso to Mass MoCA. It’s something you can keep looking at, yet you’ll come away with a different perspective after each viewing. In other words, it’s artfully maddening — just like the B’s oh-so-skilled scorers who all-too-often would rather razzle/dazzle us than shoot the puck (I’m looking at you, Brad Marchand). At least, that’s my interpretation…you know, because “art” can be subjective.

While on that subject, an almost-in-contention-for-the-ART-Ross-trophy David Pastrnak will need to –just like his top line mates– have zero “off games” down the stretch if the B’s are going to seriously stay in the hunt for either the third seed or a wild card berth. The B’s have been fortunate enough to make the most of secondary scoring during their recent 4-game winning streak (hats off to the spirited 4th line play of Wagner, Kuraly & Acciari), but as anyone who watches this team with even one eye open knows, Boston lives & dies by the play of the 1st line 88% of the time (that number was intentional). That doesn’t mean they won’t steal a few games 2-1 or 3-2 like they deservedly did against Buffalo both before & after the New Year (“4-point games” as we like to call them), but the B’s have THE BEST chance at going on a 2017-’18-esque run here in the second half of the season by the likes of Bergy, March & Pasta serving up their best play.

You know who’s also playing at his very best right now?

***WARNING: all members of the THC (Tuukka Haters Club), please log off your browser!

Mr. One-win-shy-of-250 Rask, who looks as calm, confident & composed between the pipes since that aforementioned epic run of games-with-points last season. If he can keep the good goalie vibes going AKA keep the B’s “in the game” up until the 3rd period, then you can expect the team to respond accordingly and tack on a few more historic wins for Tuukka.

The same can be said for Jaroslav Halak who despite letting in a few more goals than he’s used to in his last few starts has consistently been as dynamic of a netminder as you’ll see in the NHL this year. Look no further than my favorite but oft-forgotten goalie stat (GSAA) to see just how impactful he’s been between the pipes:

No matter who head coach Bruce Cassidy decides to start, he’s got the best 1-2, or perhaps better put 1A-1B, punch in the league right now. So quit your bashing, bemoaning & b!tching B’s social media (not all of you… just some), because the team needs both Rask AND Halak to stay where they are in the standings… and maybe even gain a bit of ground on Toronto.

Shifting gears to some on-ice shifts we’ll need to see more of here in the second half, the B’s must allow the “Kid Line” to develop, prosper & produce. Outside of the scenario where one or two of these guys may be traded, along with a pick, for a Brayden Schenn or someone similar, the trio of Donato-JFK-Heinen looked as solid as they have all season in the win over the Sabres. The line produced multiple chances, had some skillful puck movement & management, and even saw some PK time (well at least JFK did).

I thought for sure they’d eventually score, but if they are allowed to stick together and further develop that exciting, youthful chemistry, then more goals will be exactly what’s in store (and in the net) for all of them. After all, when you mix together hockey smarts & IQ (JFK), lethal sniping and goal-scoring ability (Donato) and solid two-way play (Heinen), you have a combo that’s destined to deliver (sound/look familiar?)!

So, what will the rest of the season’s second half deliver? Well, here are the guarantees: a tough-as-nails schedule where the B’s will spend a lot of time playing non-divisional opponents, a big West Coast kick (as featured in my Mark Your Bruins Calendar series), and 6 back-to-backs (3 of which feature teams who will also be playing for their playoff lives). Outside of those guarantees, here’s what you should expect: must-see hockey nearly every time the Black N’ Gold take the ice. Because, “B”-lieve me, there’s plenty to fight for ahead of everyone’s favorite season: the postseason — no punching-up needed!

*For more insight into the B’s second-half, check out this week’s puck-perfect podcast:

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Buffalo at Boston: 1/5/19

Bruins Sabres HockeyPhoto Courtesy Of The Boston Herald

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (23-14-4)

Away: Buffalo Sabres (22-13-6)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Backes

Heinen-Forsbacka Karlsson-Donato

Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner

Defense

Chara-Carlo

Krug-Moore

Grzelcyk-Miller

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Buffalo’s Lineup

Forwards

Skinner-Rodrigues-Reinhart

Sheary-Sobotka-Thompson

Elie-Mittelstadt-Pominville

Smith-Larsson-Okposo

Defense

McCabe-Ristolainen

Scandella-Dahlin

Pilut-Bogosian

Goalies

Ullmark

Hutton

First Period

On the first shift of the game, Chris Wagner appeared to give the Bruins the early lead but it was eventually waived off because of Sean Kuraly interfering with Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark.

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The Bruins looked engaged in the early going as they were able to string together some solid shifts. The Bruins would get a power play as Remi Elie took an interference penalty with 13:28 to play in the period. Buffalo would kill off the penalty as Boston failed to get any decent scoring chances. Wagner got another great scoring chance and capitalized to give the Bruins the lead.

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The Sabres seemed to have trouble getting any significant scoring chances against Tuukka Rask as the Bruins defended well in their own zone. Towards the end of the period though, Buffalo started to find some attacking zone rhythm and pushed to tie the score.

The Bruins returned the favor with a solid shift by the fourth line who looked very strong in the opening period. Boston closed the period with a couple good shifts especially the third line as Ryan Donato nearly doubled the lead with under a minute to go in the period.

Score: 1-0 Bruins

Second Period

The Bruins opened the period with another strong shift by the fourth line and Wagner nearly had a second goal but was denied by Ullmark. David Backes buried a goal on a two on one rush with Brad Marchand to double the Boston advantage early in the period.

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The Bruins continued to have good jump in the early moments of the period as they strung together some strong shifts. The Bruins dominated the possession in the middle period as they seemed to get chance after chance in the offensive zone. Rask was rarely challenged in the first half of the period as the Sabres failed to get many pucks on net.

The Bruins began to become slightly lackadaisical in their own zone but it didn’t hurt them as Buffalo didn’t provide a lot of resistance. Rask became a bit more busy in the latter half of the period but continued to play very well between the pipes.

Score: 2-0 Bruins

Third Period

Donato had a couple decent chances in front of the Buffalo goal but couldn’t find the back of the net. Jeff Skinner followed that up with a quality scoring opportunity but Rask was quick to make the save. The third line had a solid start to the period and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson nearly capitalized off a great feed from Danton Heinen but couldn’t beat Ullmark.

A few turnovers by the Bruins almost resulted in the Sabres finding the back of the net but Rask continued to have a strong game to keep it a two goal margin. Buffalo went to the man advantage as Matt Grzelcyk was called for hooking with about 12 minutes to play. Boston killed the penalty as the Sabres got a few chances but nothing significant.

The Bruins got another power play as Donato was tripped as they looked to put the game away. Buffalo killed off the penalty but the B’s has plenty of chances and put four shots on goal during the man advantage. Rasmus Ristolainen fired home a shot from the dot after a quick re-entry to cut the Boston lead in half with less than three minutes to go.

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The Sabres pulled Ullmark with 1:40 to go as they pushed for the tying goal. They weren’t able to find the back of the net and the Bruins secured the victory, making it four straight for the first time since October.

Final Score: 2-1 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Wagner. The winger could’ve easily had multiple goals in this one as he was buzzing around the ice all night as the fourth line had one of their best games of the season.

Second Star: Backes. The winger returned after a three game suspension and was put onto the second line. He responded with his fourth goal of the season on a beautiful shot.

Third Star: Rask. Although not challenged much in this game, Rask was good when needed and helped the B’s secure a huge win over the Sabres.

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

Image result for bruins hurricanes 2018

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gary Broome)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Home: Carolina Hurricanes

Away: Boston Bruins

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand – Bergeron – Heinen

Nordstrom – Krejci – Pastrnak

Donato – Cave – Backes

Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner

Defense

Krug – Carlo

Grzelcyk – McAvoy

Moore – Kampfer

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Carolina’s Lineup

Forwards

Svechnikov – Aho – Teravainen

Ferland – Bishop – Williams

Foegele – Wallmark – Martinook

Kuokannen – Rask – McGinn

Defense

Slavin – Pesce

de Haan – Faulk

van Riemsdyk – Hamilton

Goalies

Mrazek

McElhinney

First Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 2-1 Boston

Second Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

Score: 4-3 Carolina

Third Period

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

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

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

Final Score: 5-3 Carolina

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!

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Bruins Game 32 Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins

WEB-Penguins-Bruins-Hockey-1-1532212710

PHOTO CREDITS: (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)

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

For the second time this season, the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins will battle it out in a Friday night game.

Coming off of three wins in a row over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, and most recently, the Arizona Coyotes, the Bruins will be looking to continue that momentum Friday in Pittsburgh. In each of the three outings, the Bruins have had their moments where it seems another loss is on it’s way, but the injury-filled roster manages to battle back and steal a win.

The 2018-19 season has not been what the Pittsburgh Penguins have been used to over the past few years. The team’s record sits at 13-11-6, good for fourth in the Metropolitan Division, tied with the New York Islanders who have the third spot. Most recently, the Penguins took a hard loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, who have been equally struggling as we near the end of the 2018 calendar year, 6-3 the final score.

Starting Goaltenders:

PIT: Casey DeSmith: 9-5-4 2.43 GAA .921 SV% Last Game: 23 Saves in 6-3 Loss vs CHI

BOS: Jaroslav Halak: 9-4-2 2.30 GAA .930 SV% Last Game: 29 Saves in 6-3 Win vs TOR

Who’s Hot

David Pastrnak has been and continues to be Boston’s best player on the ice night in and night out. In 31 games this season, Pastrnak has 21-17-38 totals, 16 of those points coming on the power-play. Heading into Friday’s game, Pastrnak is riding a four-game point streak including a three-point night (1 goal, 2 assists) against the Coyotes on Tuesday night.

After an extended amount of time off the score sheet, Brad Marchand now has finished three consecutive games with more than a point, scoring three points against both the Maple Leafs and Coyotes. The recent rebirth of Marchand’s point production has raised his totals to 10-22-32 in 31 games so far this season.

Boston’s new third-line of Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Ryan Donato, and Danton Heinen have found recent success together after all three struggled to begin the ’18/’19 campaign. The three worked together to score the first goal for the Bruins against Arizona, kick-starting the comeback when the Bruins were down 2-0 after the first period. In the past three games, the trio has four goals and three assists for seven points.

Scoring for the Penguins has been dry as of late, even from their big offensive stars such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but forward Bryan Rust is coming off of his second-career NHL hat-trick against the Blackhawks, scoring the only three goals by Pittsburgh. It brings his totals to 4-6-10 in 30 games, but any sort of offence can help the Penguins moving forward as they try to climb higher in the standings.

Who’s Not

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been oddly quiet for Pittsburgh as of late, considering both superstars had great starts to their respective seasons. In the past three games, both players have failed to tally a single point. Against Chicago, Malkin was a -4 rating and Crosby was a -3 rating. The Pens need support from them, especially against Boston if they want to walk away with two points.

Casey DeSmith has had a decent run with the Penguins so far this year, but he had a poor outing against the Blackhawks on Wednesday night. Casey allowed four goals on twenty-seven shots, finishing the night with a .852 save percentage. He has not had a terrible season, but having him play well vs Boston tonight could mean a lot to the Penguins.

Bruins vs Penguins Outlook

In their last meeting on November 23rd saw a win for the Bruins in overtime, 2-1 the final score. Jaro Halak was the goaltender in net for that game as well, making 36 saves in the victory. Jake DeBrusk scored his ninth goal of the season assisted by Krejci and Kevan Miller, while Joakim Nordstrom scored the game-winning goal in the overtime session to give Boston the extra point.

Boston managed to shut down Pittsburgh’s offence and if they can do it again tonight, then they will have a good chance to defeat the Pens. This will not be the first time that DeSmith has been in between the pipes against Boston, but it will be the first time that he is named the starter for a Boston game. His previous experience vs the B’s, back on March 1st, 2018, was in an 8-5 loss. The Bruins managed to chase Tristan Jarry, but DeSmith allowed three goals on five shots. The Bruins will be looking to make DeSmith hate playing against the them with more goals scored on him tonight.

Boston Head Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari will be back in the lineup and on the fourth line. Kuraly is coming off of a minor nose procedure and will most likely dawn the face mask. Jake DeBrusk remains out of the lineup for concussion protocol. Boston’s top-line of Marchand, Krejci, and Pastrnak have scored a combined twenty points in the past three games and they will need to be on top of their game to take down the Penguins.

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 Game 30 Preview: Ottawa Senators

Image result for bruins senators(Photo Credit: The Boston Globe)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @Evan007onTV

Hot on the heels (skates) of the B’s big win over division and could-be playoff rival the Toronto Maple Leafs at home, the Bruins hit the road for Ottawa to take on a middling Senators team also charged up after a big win over Pittsburgh.

The Bruins are hoping to keep the momentum moving in the right direction as they currently are bouncing around the playoff bubble (15-10-4 for 34 points), with the Sens almost as far back as you can go (13-14-3 for 29 points).

WHO’S HOT?

For the Bruins, their new look first line featuring the creative combo of Krejci, Marchand & Pastrnak led the way in points against the Leafs, while youngster JFK added the 3rd goal of his brief, but bright, NHL career — the all important FIRST goal, mind you. If the B’s can repeat this kind of production, or even half of it, they should have no problem against an equally injured Sens team (no Matt Duchene, no Bobby Ryan) that usually wilts when pressure, and the puck, gets placed around their net. In fact, The Bruins have already beat Ottawa twice this season–by the recently familiar score of 6-3 at home and 4-1 on the road in October.

For the Sens, you could argue Craig Anderson and Ryan Dzingel after they both played huge roles in Ottawa’s OT victory versus the Pens, but it appears Anderson, like Halak, will get the night off so the B’s may have a bit of advantage with Mike McKenna in the crease (going up against Tuukka Rask, who is eager to get a W under his jersey again).

WHO’S NOT?

While the Bruins 4th line had newcomer Gemel Smith added to it, the lack of “tangible” production (not counting energy, grit, physicality or what have you) is still as cold as Foreigner’s ice. And it definitely “feels like the first time” anybody on the ice not wearing 63, 88 or 46 scores. But hopefully, the 6-different-goal-scorers effort against the Leafs will lead to the likes of Heinen, Donato, Krug, Backes and more consistently finding that elusive scoring touch — or at least pointing in the right direction.

Speaking of the lineup, here’s a bit of good news concerning Charlie McAvoy from head coach Bruce Cassidy:

As for the B’s opponent, anyone playing on the PK for the Sens is freakin frigid. Ottawa ranks last in the league, 31st for you number hunters out there, on the penalty kill. And the team is also last in the all-important Goals Against category. This means the B’s should have plenty of chances to put the puck in the net during 5-on-5 play and on the Power Play. So, look for the B’s to bring their skating game to the Canadian Tire Centre in the hopes they blow a few tires on the Sens and send them to the sin bin.

BRUINS VS SENS OUTLOOK:

I like the B’s chances of keeping their winning ways going against the Sens after just how well they played versus the Leafs. They got everything they needed, for the first time in a while, from their players: timely scoring, stout goalkeeping, smart breakouts, and solid defense (not counting the few “garbage goals” Toronto scored). Sure, Ottawa is feeling the same way after taking down Sid the Kid and company, but the B’s have had the Sens’ number so far this season and I don’t see that stopping, even on a back-to-backer, because there is a lot at stake — both in the standings and for team confidence & morale.

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Bruins Game 27 Preview: Florida Panthers

Michael Sgarbossa, David Backes

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

By: Drew Johnson | Follow Me On Twitter: @doobshmoob

The Boston Bruins will be spending some time in the sunshine state this week as they take on the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. They will follow up this matchup with a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

The Bruins are coming off a tough loss to the Detroit Red Wings. After things got heated late in the second period, Detroit was able to steal the momentum and bury Boston’s hopes of a victory in the third period. The Panthers are coming off a loss themselves. They fell to the Lightning 5-4 in overtime on Saturday, bringing their record to 10-10-5.

Who’s Hot?

It seems that Ryan Donato learned a thing or two during his stint with the Providence Bruins this season. Since his return to the NHL, the young forward potted the shootout winner against the New York Islanders and a goal against Detroit this past weekend. It gives Boston hope that Anders Bjork could have a similar fate after being sent down to the AHL himself. The hope is that Donato now has the confidence necessary to continue executing while playing a two-way game – something that was a focus for him during his time in Providence.

It’s been a while since Jaroslav Halak has seen action – over a week, in fact. However, the netminder will be getting the start tonight against the Panthers. In his last six appearances, Halak went 4-2-0 with a .936 SV%. The only noticeable hiccup came against the Colorado Avalanche when he gave up six goals on 25 shots. Florida is the perfect opponent for Halak to go up against as he kicks back into gear – it’ll still be a challenge, but the Bruins are expected to come out on top. Halak should also get a big offensive boost from his teammates.

Alexander Barkov has been stellar for the Panthers this season, especially recently. He currently has a four-game point streak going with three goals and two assists. In total, Barkov has notched 23 points in 25 games and leads all Florida skaters in ice time, averaging just shy of 23 minutes per game.

Keith Yandle has been having yet another solid season along the blue line. The defenseman hasn’t missed a single matchup since the 2008-09 season having appeared in 731 straight games. In his 25 skates this season, Yandle has come up with four goals and 19 assists – 13 of those helpers coming on the power play. He leads all Panthers defensemen in scoring and ice time and will be one of Boston’s toughest customers on Tuesday night.

Who’s Not?

Boston’s depth has remained almost silent. While they have applied pressure, they have lacked the ability to execute. In fact, Charlie McAvoy – who has only appeared in seven games this season – is currently ranked eighth on the team in production with a goal and five assists. If that doesn’t indicate a lack in production from the bottom two lines, I don’t know what does.

Roberto Luongo will be a game-time decision on Tuesday. He’s had a rough go of it this season, having missed time with multiple injuries and going 4-3-0 with a .902 SV% and 3.07 GAA. The Panthers returned goaltender Michael Hutchinson to the AHL this afternoon, which could signify that Luongo will at least be wearing a baseball cap when his team takes on the Bruins.

Pastrnak Luongo

(Photo Credit: Associated Press)

If Luongo misses yet another start, James Reimer will take to the crease. Reimer has also struggled this season, posting a 5-6-3 record in 13 starts. Accompanied by a .893 SV% and 3.36 GAA, the Panthers are having a rough go of it in the goaltender department.

Bruins vs. Panthers Outlook

Given Florida’s struggles in the crease, the Bruins may see a wide variety of goal scorers on Tuesday night. In order to do so, they will need to bring their legs along with them. Outskating the Panthers will be the biggest key to Boston’s game. It’s something they failed to do in the latter stages of their loss to the Red Wings and a characteristic they haven’t brought to their game consistently throughout the first two months of the season.

Florida will be placing their hopes in the hands of their young forwards and star defensemen. The Panthers have a fairly well-rounded attack coming from both up front and the blue line so the Bruins may be put on their heels when up against Florida’s top five skaters.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: New York Islanders at Boston: 11/29/18

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Getty Images / Maddie Meyer)

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

Pre-Game Notes:

Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Home: Boston Bruins (13-7-4)

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

For the first time in the 2018-19 regular season, the Boston Bruins will play a team from New York state, this time, being against the New York Islanders from Uniondale, New York.

Heading into Thursday’s contest, the Bruins are feeling the impact of a Toronto Maple Leafs loss that not only hands them their seventh regulation loss of the season, but it adds yet another injury to the team. Defenceman Kevan Miller will be re-evaluated by the team in five weeks after a John Tavares shot damaged cartilage inside of his larynx. 

The Islanders are also coming off of a recent defeat – losing 4-1 to the Washington Capitals on Monday. The Isles are fifth in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division, only five points behind the division-leading Washington Capitals. The team only really has one major injury to their roster at this point – F Andrew Ladd who was placed on injured reserve on November 13th due to a right leg injury. Ladd had 3-4-7 totals in fourteen games prior to his injury.

Prior to puck drop, the Boston Bruins retired Rick Middleton’s number sixteen to the rafters in TD Garden following a great ceremony. Bruins legends such as Cam Neely, Ray Bourque, Terry O’Reilly, Johnny Bucyk, and Don Cherry were all in attendance to honour the legendary career of Middleton.

Bruins Morning Rushes:

Ryan Donato is back in the lineup after a brief time with the Providence Bruins, Anders Bjork was sent down to Providence earlier in the day, forcing him out of the lineup for the unforeseeable future, as well as the loss of Kevan Miller.

First Period:

Following the amazing ceremony of Rick Middleton, the puck officially dropped on this Thursday night contest.

The Islanders and Bruins opened up the game with some decent back-and-forth play. Both teams had several attacks in the first seven minutes or so, but only three shots combined made it to one of Tuukka Rask or Robin Lehner.

With 12:18 to go in the period, Connor Clifton took a point shot that hit Anthony Beauvillier hard, dropping him to the ice almost immediately. Beauvillier was forced to hobble down the tunnel to the locker room. Clifton continues to impress during his time with Boston in the big leagues here.

Just past the halfway point of the opening frame in Boston, the Bruins look like the better team so far – outshooting the Islanders six-to-one, getting some solid opportunities towards Lehner in the net, but the game remains scoreless.

However, it would be the Islanders that put the first tally on the scoreboard with 7:43 to go in the first. Anders Lee managed to poke at a puck right in front of Tuukka Rask, going five-hole for his eighth of the season, making it 1-0 New York. Torey Krug failed to get the puck away from the net just before Lee buried the puck.

As mentioned by Jack Edwards on the NESN broadcast, the Bruins have struggled to come back and win a game so far this season when trailing after one period of play. Either the B’s will need to tie the game or that streak will have to be broken if tonight’s game is to go in the win column.

Lee’s goal gave the Isles some serious momentum. They managed to control the puck in the offensive zone, leaving the Bruins scrambling for a whistle to head off for a change. Thankfully, the Bruins forced a whistle with 4:29 left to trail, getting a much-needed breather.

A bouncing puck from the point led to Pastrnak getting a close opportunity right in front of Lehner, but Lehner was able to take away the angle and make a pad save. Arguably the best scoring chance for Boston so far tonight. 2:27 remains.

Even with some good chances, the Bruins still could not buy themselves a goal and the period ends with a 1-0 in favour of New York. Boston seemed to have slacked off from the middle of the period onwards. Flat-footed and out of sorts offensively once the Lee goal went in. Intermission will be vital to change the atmosphere right now.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 13 NYI: 7

Score: 1-0 Islanders

Second Period:

Islanders and Bruins begin the second-period similar to the first – back-and-forth hockey. Anthony Beauvillier on the New York Islanders is back on the ice after blocking a Connor Clifton slapshot to his lower-body. He looked to be in some serious discomfort when he struggled to get to the locker room, good to see he is not badly injured from the play.

As the game nears the halfway mark, Noel Acciari is called on a tripping minor and is sent to the box for two minutes. Bruins enter the game allowing a power-play goal in three consecutive games, with a total penalty-kill success rate of 77.3% – 21st in the NHL. Islanders come into the contest with the eighth-worst power-play in the league at just above 16%. With that, the Bruins make the kill and the game returns to five-on-five.

With 8:17 remaining on the clock, the Bruins head to the power-play due to a Nick Leddy high-sticking minor. Boston’s man-advantage comes into the contest with the third-highest success rate at just under 29%. On the 5-on-4 PP, David Pastrnak finds Brad Marchand who one-times a shot past Lehner – ending his seven-game scoreless drought. Torey Krug picks up his eleventh assist on the play as well. 1-1 game.

Later in the frame, with about three minutes to go, Torey Krug makes a fancy spin move work to lose the man, following it up with a shot for a rebound by the Bruins fourth-line. Puck did not end up crossing the red line at any time, but solid play by Krug nonetheless. Bruins have had a lot more life in this middle frame then they did in the first.

The final ninety seconds of the second-period had some tensions flying. Both teams have had some good chances in the frame and the post-whistle scrums seemed to happen after every whistle. Right at the end, just before the buzzer sounded, David Krejci took a hard hit by Thomas Hickey at centre-ice, seemingly feeling the impacts from it. Krejci immediately went down the tunnel, even though the period was done. Hoping it is not another injury for the Bruins.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 25 NYI: 16

Score: 1-1

Third Period:

To start the final regulation period of the hockey game, David Krejci was not seen on the Bruins bench according to many different sources, however, once play began, Krejci snuck back onto the bench – a sign of relief for Bruins fans.

Once again, these evenly-matched teams started the frame with a continuous pace. Whistles were few and far between, in fact, they went nearly seven minutes without a single play being called dead. Both teams always seemed to keep the play going. Chris Wagner rang a shot off of the post, not the first time either that a Bruins hit the iron without it going into the net.

Tuukka Rask made a solid reactionary save at one point in the seven-minute span of back-and-forth hockey, as well as a close Steven Kampfer opportunity that caused the eventual whistle. Jake DeBrusk was also shaken up on a separate play after he went flying into the boards following a scoring opportunity.

The third period continued to fly by extremely quickly with chances continuing to pile up. The referees seem to be afraid to call any penalties because, on multiple occasions, a call maybe should have been made including numerous interference minors that went uncalled. Poor refereeing in the NHL continues.

Final three minutes of the period and the Bruins are looking solid. Islanders seem to struggle to send the rubber puck out of their own zone, heavily relying on Lehner to make some key saves. Jake DeBrusk had the best chance in the zone pressure, receiving a pass from Colby Cave, but DeBrusk could not get the puck above Lehner’s pad.

Neither team manages to break the one-one tie and we are headed to sudden death overtime.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 34 NYI: 23

Score: 1-1

Overtime

The trio of David Krejci, John Moore, and Jake DeBrusk started off the 3-on-3 overtime session for Boston.

The Islanders had two or three good opportunities within the first minute, leading to a “goal”. Anthony Beauvillier went crashing into Rask, laying down in the crease, allowing Mathew Barzal to score. The original call on the ice was a clear no goal and after further review, the call stands – no goal.

Once the Bruins finally got some chances in the offensive zone, the Islanders strike right back with three very good opportunities that are all denied by Tuukka Rask who stops all three very well. The crowd in Boston goes crazy for every one of them.

Unfortunately, no goals are scored and we head to a Boston Bruins shootout for the first time in the 2018-19 season.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 35 NYI: 29

Score: 1-1

Shootout

1st Shot: NYI Mathew Barzal – NO GOAL

2nd Shot: BOS Jake DeBrusk – NO GOAL

3rd Shot: NYI Brock Nelson – NO GOAL

4th Shot: BOS David Pastrnak – NO GOAL

5th Shot: NYI Valtteri Filppula – NO GOAL

6th Shot: BOS Brad Marchand – NO GOAL

7th Shot: NYI Josh Bailey – NO GOAL

8th Shot: BOS Ryan Donato – GOAL (Game-Winner)

In his return game, Ryan Donato wins the game in a shootout and the Bruins come away with a 2-1 win on home-ice. Big goal, even though it is in a shootout, for Ryan Donato who spent recent time in Providence. Donato now 2-for-2 in career shootout goals.

Final Score: 2-1 Bruins

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS G Tuukka Rask – 29 Saves, 4 Shootout Saves, .966 SV%

2nd Star: NYI G Robin Lehner – 36 Saves, .972 SV%

3rd Star: BOS F Ryan Donato – Shootout-winning Goal, 3 Shots, 10:41 TOI

The Boston Bruins improve to 14-7-4 on the season and now look towards their next game against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, December 1st in Boston, Massachusetts. Scheduled time for puck drop is 7pm EST.

Providence Bruins Prospect Player Profile: Ryan Donato

Donato

(Photo Credit: Steve Babineau – NHL via Getty Images)

By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson

Ryan Donato was drafted in the 2nd round 56th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft. At the time he was one of the best High School hockey prospects of the draft class. Some draft experts expected him to land somewhere in the third round of the draft. This led some to believe that Donato was only picked when he was because his father Ted Donato also played for the Boston Bruins. A few years later it’s clear now that Donato was drafted based on his talent and can really be a good player for the Boston Bruins in the near future.  

After being drafted, Donato finished out his senior year at Dexter School. He would also serve as team captain for Dexter during this season. In 31 games he netted 18 goals while dishing out 35 assists for a total of 53 points. He really was able to show off his hard shot, and his tenacity around the puck. Something else that Donato displayed was his defensive awareness making him a solid two-way player. After this, Donato also played in 8 games for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. He potted 5 goals and tallied 5 assists for 10 total points with a +/- rating of –3. He also helped the Lancers in 3 playoff games scoring 1 goal with 0 assists for 1 total point and a rating of –1. Overall it was a successful first season since being drafted for Donato. 

After his senior season in High School Donato was bound for the Ivy League where he was committed to play at Harvard University. In his freshman year with the Crimson, he played in 32 games and netted 13 goals while tallying 8 assists for 21 total points and a rating of +4. It was a very good Freshman season for Donato who continued to develop his game and hone his skills. Donato also played for Team USA in the U20 World Junior Championships. He helped Team USA capture the Bronze medal in 7 games he scored 3 goals helped with 1 assist for 4 total points and rating of +4. It was a season that the Bruins were happy to see and one they hoped he would build upon in his Sophomore year.  

The 2016-17 season was Donato’s Sophomore year at Harvard, and he improved on his season in a big way. In 36 he netted 21 goals and tallied 19 assists for 40 total points and a rating of +19. Something that really stood out for Donato during this season was his high hockey IQ along with his tenacity around the puck. He also had 5 shots a game for Harvard. This was big because he was involved in so many of their scoring chances. It seemed like whenever he was around the puck, it was going in for the Crimson. It was a fantastic season for Donato, it was around this time that he was taken more seriously as a prospect going forward.  

The 2017-18 was an important season for Donato. He and the Bruins both wanted him to take an even bigger step forward than he had last year. He did not disappoint. In 29 games for Harvard, he netted a whopping 26 goals while tallying 17 assists for 43 total points and a rating of +15. Again, Donato’s high hockey IQ and tenacity around the puck took over, and he has a great season. It was so good that Donato landed himself a spot on the Olympic Team for the USA. In 5 games of Olympic play, Donato netted 5 goals while adding 1 assist for 6 total points and a rating of –1. The Bruins were so happy with Donato’s performance that they signed him to a two-year entry-level contract, and he played for the team right away. In 12 games for Boston, he grabbed 5 goals while dishing out 4 assists for 9 total points and a +2 rating. He also played in 3 games for the Bruins during their playoff run. He didn’t tally a point and had a rating of –3. Overall, it was an extremely successful season for Donato to build upon going forward.  

Coming into this season, the Bruins expected Donato to be a big part of the team. However, the year started off slow for Ryan. He didn’t get much ice-time and needed to work more on his defensive game. Before being sent down to Providence, he played in 11 games for Boston grabbing 1 goal and 0 assists for 1 total point and a rating of –4. The Bruins sent him down to Providence to hone his game and get more playing time. With the Providence Bruins Donato has been very successful in 10 games he’s netted 5 goals with 4 assists for 9 total points and a rating of –1. Donato seems to have taken the demotion well and is taking what the Bruins wanted to heart. He’s going out there and sharpening his skill while keeping a good attitude. It’s easy for a player to take a demotion personal and their play suffers because of it. This is something that hasn’t happened to Donato.  

Ryan Donato since being drafted has proven that he deserved to be drafted where he was. He has great stick-handling ability and vision. Combined with a high hockey IQ and a good work-ethic it makes for a lethal combination. The Bruins were smart to send Donato to Providence to get some seasoning and sharpen his game. One player comparison I have seen is our good friend Patrice Bergeron. Now those are some lofty skates to fill, but with some seasoning in Providence Donato could reach that level. If he does reach his potential the future of the Bruins top lines is as bright as ever.  

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 Donato From Providence

ryandonato

Photo courtesy Of The New York Post

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Ryan Donato is back in Boston, at least for now. The 22-year-old was recalled on Wednesday from the Providence Bruins, B’s General Manager Don Sweeney announced. Donato burst onto the scene last season with nine points in 12 regular season games with the Bruins and appeared in three playoff games. The young forward had struggled immensely in Boston this season and was sent down to Providence about a month ago. Donato had just a single goal in 11 games with the big club.

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Donato seemed to turn his game around with the time in Providence as he totaled five goals and four assists in ten games. With the scoring issues the Bruins have encountered, Donato could be the perfect medicine if he has indeed recovered his scoring touch.

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Donato, a finalist for the 2018 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given annually to the top player in college hockey, was originally selected by the Bruins in the second round (56th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft. The Scituate, Massachusetts native represented Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, appearing in five games and leading the team in scoring.

It remains to be seen where Donato will be put in the lineup, but considering his versatility it could honestly be anywhere. With the Bruins looking for consistency in the secondary scoring department, expect Donato to get as many chances to score as he can.

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