Bruins Game 71 Preview: Winnipeg Jets

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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

Following an incredible point streak, the Bruins are entering tonight’s game against the Jets with two straight regulation losses – to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. On Tuesday, March 12th, the Bruins fell to the Blue Jackets by a final score of 7-4. Boston was at one point, down 5-1, but made an effort to come back, making it 5-4 before Columbus added two more to seal the deal. The Bruins are four points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic with 12 games remaining.

The Winnipeg Jets are in a tight battle right now for the top spot in the Central Division. The Jets hold a mere one point advantage on the Nashville Predators with three games in hand, but Winnipeg does have three more regulation-plus-overtime wins already in the bank. Winnipeg is coming into the game losers of their last two and are 4-6-0 in their last ten games.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 24-9-5 2.41 GAA .918 SV% Last Game: 19 Saves in 7-4 Loss to CBJ

WPG: Connor Hellebuyck 28-20-2 3.01 GAA .909 SV% Last Game: 31 Saves in 5-4 Loss to SJS

Who’s Hot

Even if the Bruins are losing, Brad Marchand has been consistently dominating in 2018-19 and lately, that has been on display more than ever. Marchand is riding high on an eight-game point streak with three of them being three-point outings. Against Columbus, Marchand scored his 29th and 30th goal of the season, reaching the 30-goal mark for the fourth straight season. Marchand also matched his career-high in points (85) doing so in 69 games.

marchand-brad

PHOTO CREDITS: (Sportsnet.ca)

Blake Wheeler has sixteen points in his last ten games. That usually means that you’re having yourself a solid stretch and an even more solid season – which he has. Wheeler has 19-65-84 numbers in 69 games for the Jets this season, only eight points away from breaking his career-high 91 points that he set in the 2017-18 season. Wheeler not only leads his team in points but is a crucial leader in the locker room for the younger players on the roster.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are almost always together in something, and they are two of the hottest players right now for Boston. Bergeron has nine points in his last eight contests and at one stage, had three shorthanded goals in only five games played. Bergeron has continued to be one of the best, if not the best, two-way forward in the National Hockey League and is always a threat to any opposing line.

Who’s Not

Tuukka Rask had an unbelievable stretch from the end of December to the beginning of March, but the Bruins starting goaltender is entering the game in Winnipeg after being pulled from the crease after allowing five goals on 24 shots against. Of course, when that happens, usually the team around him is not great. Rask could have, however, played better and will be expected to do so tonight.

Mark Scheifele is second on the Jets for most points in the ’18/’19 season, but in the last four games, the 25-year-old has zero points and is a -2 rating during that period. Scheifele has been averaging around the 20-minute mark for each of the four games but has not been able to contribute as much offensively as his 75 points suggest he should. With that said, he can find his groove again at any time, and he remains a big threat to the Bruins defense.

Torey Krug is one of the best offensive defencemen in the entire NHL this season, but in the last two games against the Blue Jackets and Penguins combined, Krug has a -8 rating including a terrible -5 night against the Jackets. Krug also only has two assists in the last five, both coming against the Senators on March 9th. With the injuries to the backend, Boston needs him to be better on the defensive end of the puck.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Patrik Laine is supposed to be one of the top young goal scorers – one that can strike at any moment. While he has shown glimpses of that this year, the Finnish sniper has no goals in the last six games played, even though he has four assists in the same period. Laine has only 29 goals which are still impressive, but will most likely not match his 44 goals from last season and the goals that he has scored, have come in spread out games – proving this long stretch of no goals.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • D Zdeno Chara is one goal away (199) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one point away (799) from 800 career NHL points
  • F Brad Marchand is one shorthanded goal away (25) from passing Rick Middleton (25) for sole possession of most SHG in Bruins history

Winnipeg Jets:

  • F Mark Scheifele is one goal away (145) from passing Vyacheslav Koslov (125) for sole possession of 4th most goals in Jets history
  • F Mark Scheifele is one power-play goal away (36) from passing Andrew Ladd (36) for sole possession of 7th most PPG in Jets history

Bruins vs. Jets Outlook

The Bruins and Jets will meet tonight for the second time this season, and because the two franchises are in opposite conferences, it will also be the final time that these two will play one another in the 2018-19 season. Back on January 29th, the Jets took a 4-3 shootout win over Boston in the TD Garden. Kyle Connor scored two regulation goals and the eventual shootout winner to help lead Winnipeg to the win.

As mentioned earlier, both Boston and Winnipeg are in tight battles for divisional spots as we head closer to the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs later in April. This makes this game all-the-more meaningful as a win, or even just a point could be massive on either end of the ice tonight.

Boston has the 3rd-best power-play (26.2%) and the 9th-best penalty-kill (81.3%) while the Jets have the 4th-best power-play (25.3%) and the 24th-best penalty-kill (79.0%). The specialty teams will most likely be a deciding factor in who wins the game tonight. Below are the projected lines for the B’s. Puck drop is scheduled for 8pm EST from the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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Would Bruins Consider A “Playoff Split” for Rask, Halak?

Image result for bruce cassidy tuukka rask halak(Photo Credit: NBC Sports)

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

The “Playoff Split.”

It could easily be a bowling term for leaving the 7-10 on the lane during the PBA Open. And as you may remember from FOX NHL Saturday, “bowling would be better if it were hockey”–or vice versa for those bunch of jerks in Carolina (just kidding).

However, in the recent words of Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, it’s more like 10-7–at least from here on out for No.’s 40 & 41 for the Black N’ Gold:

But, what does all this mean for mid-April, when the real NHL season starts up and your starting goaltender needs to be penciled in for the playoffs? Should the B’s take advantage of Tuukka Rask’s “lightest [number of games played] total since 2012-13” as intrepid BSJ reporter Conor Ryan referenced? Or, should the team & management hearken back to the days of yore (not to be confused w/ another B’s blogger the Days of Y’Orr) when BOTH goalies shared the second season workload aka the “Playoff Split” ala Andy Moog & Réjean “Reggie” Lemelin…two of the finest crease keepers to ever wear the spoked-B (and IMHHO my lifetime’s best B’s tandem until this year’s performances of monsieurs Rask & Halak, respectively)?

It would be hard to argue against the numbers, which certainly do indicate and project that the Bruins would be best served to play both goalies–as they have been all season long–throughout what we all hope & expect is a long playoff run. Sure, there’s a lot of evidence supporting the “You Go With Your Number One” argument in the playoffs no matter what, and even a bit of recent B’s history where that worked out quite nicely. But, how ’bout if you have TWO Number Ones, just like the B’s do now and did back then when Mooger & Reggie literally owned the Jennings Trophy?

If you think about it (or just look it up–although I prefer using my puck head), between the time the Lemelin/Moog tandem was between the pipes and the current Rask/Halak pairing of now, the Bruins really haven’t had two goalies that were capable of, or that they trusted, to split a season’s worth of games so evenly & so successfully. Yes, Tim Thomas & Manny Fernandez joined the prestigious Jennings company of Lemelin & Moog during the epic 2008-09 B’s season, but in all fairness to Fernandez, he really didn’t play that much compared to TT. Heck, for about decade, the B’s had a revolving door in the crease where 4, 5, even 6 goalies got starts (I’m talking about YOU Bill Ranford, Rob Tallas, Jim Carey, Scott Bailey, Tim Cheveldae & Paxton Schafer of the league-worst ’96-’97 season)!

So, knowing the numbers & knowing the history, doesn’t it make sense for Cassidy to take advantage of the rarefied air–I mean ice–surrounding his dynamic duo in net and perhaps plan for a duality of options when it comes to who starts for the playoffs? I mean, outside of the aforementioned Thomas standing on his head in 2011 in every round, especially the Cup Finals, the B’s haven’t fared the best in recent playoff play when they’ve tried to rely on “just the starter.”

Related image(Photo Credit: Boston Sports Journal)

Of course, I remember how Rask nearly accomplished the same in 2013 (were it not for :78 seconds of ‘Hawky’ hell in Game 6). And yes, I also realize my favorite B’s tandem of all-time lost both of the Stanley Cup series they shared games in (but let’s be honest… NO ONE was beating the Oilers in those days, Boston Garden electricity bills included).

But, hardly any NHL team or franchise ever gets the chance to prep for the post season with two elite goaltenders simultaneously boosting each other’s play while inspiring the offense in front of them to score & find ways to win. And your 16-game point streak Boston Bruins have that chance — Tampa be damned (with Lightning!) — this year. It’s now up to the B’s to decide how to make the most of it. Sure, a lot can happen between now and April 15th. But if all goes according to plan, then I sure hope to see both Rask & Halak making playoff appearances this year.

I’d settle for 10-7. Heck, make it a 7-10… as long they’re wins! After all, since sixteen is the magic number, this is a “Playoff Split” well worth picking up.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: New Jersey at Boston: 3/2/19

1321351_Devils_Bruins_Hockey_43376.-1024x688Photo Courtesy Of Kennebec Journal

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (38-17-9)

Away: New Jersey Devils (25-32-8)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Heinen

DeBrusk-Krejci-Johansson

Cehlarik-Coyle-Backes

Nordstrom-Acciari-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Carlo-Krug

Grzelcyk-Moore

Goalies

Rask

Halak

New Jersey’s Lineup

Forwards

Bratt-Hischier-Stafford

Agostino-Zajac-Coleman

Pietela-McLeod-Lappin

Yakovlev-Rooney-Anderson

Defense

Greene-Severson

Vatanen-Carrick

Butcher-Santini

Goalies

Blackwood

Schneider

First Period

The Bruins picked up their first power play of the game just 2:23 in as they looked to get off to a fast start. Brad Marchand did just that with a man advantage strike just 14 seconds into the penalty after a great feed from Patrice Bergeron.

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The Bruins looked amped up to start as they manufactured a few scoring chances in the opening moments. Marchand made a great steal in the defensive zone and was hooked on his way to the net, resulting in a penalty shot which was denied by Mackenzie Blackwood.

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The Bruins continued to have solid shifts in the attacking zone which helped them gain an offensive rhythm in the opening period. The Devils found a little possession towards the midway point of the period but weren’t able to find many scoring opportunities. The Bruins third line continued their strong period with another good shift that nearly resulted in the lead being doubled.

The Devils responded with a good shift and got a power play after a slashing call to Brandon Carlo with three minutes left in the period. The Bruins killed off the penalty without yielding any shots and went to the room still up by a goal.

Score: 1-0 Bruins

Second Period

The Bruins picked up right where they left off in the second period with a couple of good shifts by the second and third lines. For the most part however, the B’s were held to the outside and didn’t get many great opportunities like they did in the first period. The Devils had much more possession in the second period but couldn’t do much with it as Tuukka Rask continued to have a quiet night in goal.

Rask made a huge stop on a two on one to keep it a one goal game as the Devils got their best chance of the game. The Devils would pick up their second power play of the game as Peter Cehlarik went to the box with under five minutes to go in the period. The B’s killed the penalty without giving up many significant scoring chances.

The Bruins started to get their legs back in the final moments of the second period as they looked to extend the slim lead. The third line again had a great shift by both Charlie Coyle and Cehlarik were denied in the final seconds of the period.

Score: 1-0 Bruins

Third Period

The fourth line of the Bruins opened the period with a hard, charging shift that nearly resulted in the lead being doubled but Blackwood continued to have a good night to keep it 1-0. The Devils responded with a solid shift but Rask made a big save on a shot from distance by Sami Vatanen to maintain the B’s lead. The Bruins continued their good defensive game with some nice stick play to prevent a couple of New Jersey odd man rushes.

The final period continued to move quickly as neither team found a lot of chances, although the Devils did get a couple chances about midway through the period but Rask denied Jesper Bratt and Drew Stafford in quick succession. The Bruins began to move their legs in the latter half of the final frame and got chances but were still unable to beat Blackwood.

The Devils pulled the goalie with about 1:30 to play, trying to tie the game desperately. The New Jersey rally ultimately fell short as the B’s picked up the win.

Final Score: 1-0 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Rask. While not incredibly busy, Number 40 looked great in this one and made a couple huge stops as he earned his third shutout of the season.

Second Star: Marchand. In 666th game, Marchand was very solid as he found the back of the net for the only goal of the game.

Third Star: Coyle. The third liner had another good performance as his line continued their solid play as of late.

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Bruins Game 65 Preview: New Jersey Devils

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PHOTO CREDITS: (CBS Local – New York)

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

The Boston Bruins have taken the Eastern Conference by storm in the past few weeks, earning a point in their last fifteen games and did not lose a single regulation game in the entire month of February. The Bruins’ recent hot-streak has given them a three-point lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic division.

With the loss of Taylor Hall (knee surgery), the chances of the New Jersey Devils making the Stanley Cup Playoffs have decreased to the point where it’s hard to see them making a push. Having lost two games in a row, the Devils are seventeen points out of the playoffs right now with a 25-32-8 record for 58 points so far.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 21-8-5 2.36 GAA .920 SV% Last Game: 20 Saves in 4-1 win vs TBL

NJD: Mackenzie Blackwood 6-5-0 2.35 GAA .928 SV% Last Game: 33 Saves in 2-1 loss vs CGY

Who’s Hot

Tuukka Rask has been lights out for the Bruins and it may be part of the reason for the upgraded level of confidence and in turn, success for Boston lately. Rask only faced twenty-one shots against the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he stopped all but one and looked pretty solid on those few shots. Rask has a point in each of his last sixteen starts.

Tuukka-Rask-1040x572.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (Sportsnet.ca)

Damon Severson is by far the best Devils defenceman right now, coming off of a 1-2-3 night in the loss to the Philadelphia Flyers last night. The 24-year-old, Melville, Saskatchewan, Canada native has 9-24-33 numbers in sixty-five games for New Jersey this season.

David Krejci has had a solid year this season, finding chemistry with young forward Jake DeBrusk and more recently, trade deadline acquisition, Marcus Johansson on the Bruins second line. Krejci has 15-40-55 totals in 64 games in 2018-19 and has six points in his last five, including a three-assist night in the win against San Jose on February 18th.

Who’s Not

33-year-old Travis Zajac has already surpassed his point totals from last season, but he has struggled this year on the defensive side of the puck. In his last four games, Zajac has one point and a combined -6 rating, averaging just around nineteen minutes per game. With Taylor Hall out of the lineup, Zajac needs to be more responsible defensively but still accumulate the points.

Joakim Nordstrom will play on the Bruins’ fourth-line tonight, but the Swedish forward has not scored a point in twenty consecutive games and finished the entire month of February pointless. Nordstrom has 2-5-7 numbers on the year, but both he and the Bruins expect more from him as the playoff push becomes more and more nerve-racking.

Nico Hischier was the 1st Overall Pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, but the 21-year-old forward has not scored a goal in the last seven games, only producing two assists in that time span as well. Hischier is being relied on by the Devils to score points without Hall, but he too is having troubles doing so. However, he is only eight points away from tying his numbers from last season – his debut NHL year.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • F Patrice Bergeron is one point away (792) from tying Wayne Cashman (793) for 6th most points in Bruins history
  • D Zdeno Chara is one goal away (199) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (25) from passing Rick Middleton (25) for sole possession of most SHG in Bruins history

New Jersey Devils:

  • F Travis Zajac is two points away (498) from 500 NHL career points
  • D Damon Severson is one assist away (99) from 100 NHL career assists
  • F Nico Hischier is four points away (96) from 100 NHL career points

Bruins vs Devils Outlook

The last time these two teams played one another, the Devils beat the Bruins in the TD Garden by a final score of 5-2 back on December 27th. It was a very poor outing for the Bruins who just came back from their three-day Christmas break. The Bruins are a much better team from even December and will be looking to redeem that loss on home ice tonight. After this game, the two will play one final time on March 21st in New Jersey.

The Bruins have the third-best power-play in the league at 26.5% going against the Devils’ third-best 83.7% penalty-kill percentage. On the flip side of things, The Devils have the 19th best man-advantage rate in the league (18.1%) going against Boston’s 81% penalty-kill success rate – good for 12th best in the National Hockey League.

Below are the official warmup lines of the Bruins for tonight’s contest in TD Garden.

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: Tampa Bay at Boston: 2/28/19

cutPhoto Courtesy Of NHL.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

Home: Boston Bruins (37-17-9)

Away: Tampa Bay Lightning (49-11-4)

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Heinen

DeBrusk-Krejci-Johansson

Nordstrom-Coyle-Backes

Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Moore

Goalies

Rask

Halak

Tampa Bay’s Lineup

Forwards

Palat-Stamkos-Miller

Johnson-Point-Kucherov

Killorn-Cirelli-Gourde

Erne-Paquette-Joseph

Defense

Hedman-Girardi

McDonagh-Cernak

Sergachev-Stralman

Goalies

Domingue

Vasilevskiy

First Period

The game got out to a fast start as the tempo got both teams involved right from puck drop. David Backes and Adam Erne wasted no time as they dropped the gloves after a scrum in front of the Tampa Bay net.

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The Bruins seemed ready to go right from the start as they got a few chances in the attacking zone. The Lightning seemed to own the possession as the period went on but weren’t able to find any great opportunities. The Bruins started to pile up some opportunities as Noel Acciari and Charlie McAvoy put pucks on Louis Domingue. The Bruins began to take the play to the Lightning towards the end of the period as they set up shop in the attacking zone.

The Bruins physical play was a positive in the first period as they didn’t give an inch. Mathieu Joseph nearly gave Tampa Bay the lead but rang the iron with a shot from the circle. The Bruins peppered Domingue with 17 shots on goal in the period but were unable to solve the Lightning goaltender.

Score: Tied 0-0

Second Period

The Bruins continued to move the puck effectively in the offensive zone which kept the Lightning on their heels. The third line continued their nice game with another good shift which nearly resulted in the game’s first goal. The Bruins went to the penalty kill as Chara was called for cross checking giving Tampa their first power play. The B’s killed the penalty as the Lightning failed to get any shots on goal.

The Bruins would go to the power play for the first time as Victor Hedman was called for a penalty nearly eight minutes into the period. Jake DeBrusk got the B’s on the board as his pass in front was redirected off a stick and into the net at the 8:43 mark of the period.

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The B’s continued to be quick to the puck as they looked to be hungry for a larger lead. The Bruins also kept a lot of the possession in the middle period as the Lightning looked to be gassed in their own end. Tuukka Rask continued to have a relatively quiet night as the Bruins were seemingly in the offensive zone all period long.

The Lightning started to get their skating game going in the final moments of the period but still were unable to get any significant scoring chances against Rask and the Bruins defense.

Score: 1-0 Bruins

Third Period

The Lightning began the period with a strong shift in the Boston end but thanks to Rask the Bruins maintained the lead. Joakim Nordstrom nearly doubled the lead but Domingue made a spectacular glove save to keep it a one goal game. The Bruins continued to great sone grade A scoring chances but couldn’t solve Domingue to extend the lead. Sean Kuraly would head to the locker room after a high hit by Brayden Coburn.

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The Bruins started to struggle defending their own zone as the Lightning made a push for the tying goal. Hedman was called for another penalty, this time for tripping which resulted in another Boston power play. The Lightning killed the Bruins man advantage as they only got a couple good scoring chances. Immediately following the power play, Acciari slammed home a rebound in front to double the Boston lead.

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Patrice Bergeron buried a feed from Danton Heinen to triple the Bruins advantage in just 45 seconds which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

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The Bruins opened the floodgates as Brad Marchand broke free for a breakaway to make it 4-0 less than a minute after the Bergeron goal.

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Anthony Cirelli stopped the bleeding as he deflected a shot past Rask shortly after the fourth Bruins goal.

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The Bruins picked up another man advantage as Hedman went off yet again for hooking Charlie Coyle. A penalty to McAvoy canceled out the power play which resulted in a four on four. The B’s killed the penalty as the Lightning failed to find the back of the net. Immediately following the man advantage, Matt Grzelcyk was called for a cross check as the B’s went to the penalty kill yet again.

The Lightning pulled the goalie which resulted in a six on four with less than two minutes remaining. The Bruins killed it off, making it 15 straight games with at least a point.

Final Score: 4-1 Bruins

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Acciari. The fourth liner and the whole line set the tone from the start and were rewarded with a couple points.

Second Star: Rask. While not very busy, Tuukka was solid in goal and kept the Bruins in the game in the first two periods.

Third Star: Marchand. The winger was all over the place in this one, getting a goal and playing just an incredibly solid game.

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

 

Bruins Game 64 Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning

bruins_lightning1280-1040x572

PHOTO CREDITS: (Winslow Townson/AP)

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

Even though the seven-game winning streak was snapped last Saturday against the St. Louis Blues, the Boston Bruins bounced right back on Tuesday night with a massive 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks – a rematch from the 6-5 win over San Jose last week in California. With the win, the Bruins improve to 10-0-4 in their last fourteen games and hold a one-point lead on the Toronto Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division with eighty-three points on the season.

At the same time, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been a dominate force as well, earning points in their last fourteen as well and are riding a ten-game winning streak, the longest in franchise history. The Lightning have been far-and-away the best team in the NHL this season and have no indications of slowing down anytime soon. Tampa Bay has an incredible 49-11-4 record for 102 points and hold an outstanding thirteen-point lead on the second place team in the league’s overall standings (Calgary at 89pts).

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 20-8-5 2.40 GAA .920 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 2-1 (SO) loss to STL

TBL: Louis Domingue (Likely) 19-4-0 2.86 GAA .908 SV% Last Game: 28 Saves in 5-2 win vs PHI

Who’s Hot

Nikita Kucherov is the best point-producing player in the National Hockey League this season – no question. The 25-year-old forward has 30-74-104 numbers in only sixty-four games this season and is not slowing down by any means. Kucherov has 8-15-23 totals in his last nine games and recently scored five points in a 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets back on February 18th.

Tuukka Rask has been nothing short of stellar in between the pipes for the Bruins as of late, riding high on a fifteen-game personal point streak, extending that on Saturday win the point against the Blues. Rask has the seventh-best goals-against-average in the league at 2.40 and the tenth-best save percentage at .920.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Boston Bruins

PHOTO CREDITS: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Louis Domingue is the backup goaltender for the Lightning and he is having insane numbers for that position. The St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada native has won the last eleven games that he has started in for Tampa, improving his overall record to a remarkable 19-4-0 record. Domingue has taken the league by storm and like I said, is only getting backup goaltender minutes. His play has made it easy on Head Coach Jon Cooper to decide on who starts because neither man seems to be able to go cold this season.

Brad Marchand is coming into tonight’s game after a three-point outing against the Sharks, a game where he tied Bruins legend Rick Middleton for most shorthanded goals in a single career with twenty-five. Marchand has been a key piece to the Bruins offence for many years now, but even more so with the absence of David Pastrnak from the forward core. With 25-49-74 numbers, Marchand leads the team in points and is second in goals.

Who’s Not

Joakim Nordstrom will be back in the lineup, even though many Bruins feel like he should not be and they make a good case. The free-agent signing in the past 2018 offseason, Nordstrom only has five goals and two assists in fifty-one games for the Black N’ Gold while not scoring a point in his last eighteen games now. For Boston, it may be smarter to place Peter Cehlarik in his position on the third-line, who has six points in only fourteen games.

Alex Killorn has been a solid depth scorer for the Lightning this year, putting up 13-18-31 numbers in the 64 games played this season but the 29-year-old has zero points in his last three games and was a minus one rating in yesterday’s win over the New York Rangers. To go with that, Killorn only has a single point in the last six games that he has skated in.

David Backes has seen some time with the struggling Nordstrom and more recently, newly-acquired Charlie Coyle, but the veteran forward only has one point in his last twelve games and if he wants to continue getting top-nine minutes on this team, then he needs to contribute more points on the depth charts than his fourteen points (five goals, nine assists), in 51 games.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • D Charlie McAvoy will be playing in his 100th career NHL regular season game
  • F Patrice Bergeron is two points away (791) from tying Wayne Cashman (793) for 6th most points in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one even-strength goal away (203) from passing Peter McNab (203) for sole possession of 8th most even-strength goals in Bruins history
  • D Zdeno Chara is one goal away (199) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (25) from passing Rick Middleton (25) for sole possession of most SHG in Bruins history

Tampa Bay Lightning:

  • F Steven Stamkos is two goals away (381) from tying Vincent Lecavalier (383) for most goals in Lightning history
  • F Ondrej Palat is one assist away (187) from passing Dan Boyle (187) for sole possession of 9th most assists in Lightning history
  • F Tyler Johnson is one point away (300) from passing Brian Bradley (300) for sole possession of 8th most points in Lightning history

Bruins vs Lightning Outlook

The Bruins and Lightning only met once so far this season, a 3-2 loss back in December. To end off the 2018-19 season, however, the two top teams in the Eastern Conference will play each other three more times including tonight’s contest in Boston. There is a chance that the two will once again meet in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as both teams faced each other last year, with Tampa winning in only five games.

This is the first time in NHL history that two teams on a 14-game winning streak will meet each other in a game. Will they both extend to fifteen? Or will one end the other’s streak tonight?

Finally, the Bruins meet their match on the specialty teams. The Bruins have the second-best power-play in the NHL (26.4%), behind only the Lightning who have a 29.7% success rate while on the man-advantage. Tampa also has the number one penalty-kill in the league, killing off 86.1% of their penalties against successfully while Boston (80.7%) is twelfth in the NHL.

Noel Acciari took a puck to the face, but Cassidy expects him in the Bruins lineup tonight. Other than Rask getting the start in net, the lineup remains the same as Tuesday’s win over the Sharks. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30pm EST at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Here are the expected lines for the game.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at St. Louis: 2/23/19

usatsi_9802616_168381014_lowres-e1484105752488Photo Courtesy Of NESN.com

By: Garrett Haydon | Follow Me On Twitter @thesportsguy97

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Home: St. Louis Blues (32-23-5)

Away: Boston Bruins (36-17-8)

St. Louis’s Lineup

Forwards

Schwartz-O’Reilly-Tarasenko

Thomas-Bozak-Maroon

Steen-Sundqvist-Blais

MacEachern-Barbashev-Fabbri

Defense

Edmundson-Pietrangelo

Bouwmeester-Parayko

Dunn-Bortuzzo

Goalies

Binnington

Allen

Boston’s Lineup

Forwards

Marchand-Bergeron-Heinen

DeBrusk-Krejci-Kuhlman

Cehlarik-Coyle-Backes

Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner

Defense

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Miller

Goalies

Rask

Halak

First Period

Both teams appeared to be ready to go right from puck drop as there was a noticeable buzz in the building. The fourth line of the Bruins had the game’s first scoring chance as Chris Wagner was denied in front by Jordan Binnington. Both teams traded chances but neither squad was able to find the back of the net. Alex Steen opened the scoring with a wrist shot off the rush to beat Tuukka Rask to give the Blues the early lead.

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The Bruins got some opportunities but they were few and far between as they tried to get back in the game. The Blues didn’t give the Bruins an inch in the first period as they took the play to Boston. The B’s picked up a power play late in the period as Jake DeBrusk was hooked on a net drive. The Bruins had nothing doing on the man advantage and to make matters worse, Torey Krug picked a penalty to negate the power play.

Vladimir Tarasenko hit the post in the final seconds during the four on four situation, nearly resulting in the Bruins falling behind by two.

Score: 1-0 Blues

Second Period

The Bruins killed the Blues power play as St. Louis failed to get any significant scoring chances. The Blues continued to dominate the flow of play as the B’s continued to struggle in their own end. Wagner tied the score after a great individual play by Kevan Miller in the neutral zone.

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Both teams continued to be physical and strong on the puck as it remained tied. The Blues picked up a power play as Charlie Coyle took a hooking penalty in his first game as a Bruin. The B’s killed off the power play as the Blues got a few opportunities but couldn’t score. A great shift by the Bruins nearly resulted in the go ahead goal but Binnington came up huge with a outstanding save on David Backes.

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The Blues picked up another power play as Brad Marchand was called for holding with over four minutes left in the period. The Bruins killed the penalty as the Blues got a bunch of high quality scoring chances but Rask was on top of his game to keep it tied.

Score: Tied 1-1

Third Period

Both teams continued to have strong neutral zone play as neither team was able to get an offensive rhythm. The Bruins struggled to string chances together but looked to be the better team on the ice. Chances came for the B’s but there weren’t able to take the lead as Binnington continued to have a strong game. A nice defensive play by Miller stopped an odd man rush by the Blues with a block on a pass. The Blues went to the man advantage as Brandon Carlo was called for tripping.

The B’s killed the penalty as the Blues failed to get any great scoring chances. The game continued to be a classic low scoring low chance game as both goaltenders continued to be at their best. The pace of play picked up big time in the last few minutes as both teams were desperate for the go ahead goal.

End Of Regulation: Tied 1-1

Overtime

The Bruins held the possession in the opening moments of the extra session but couldn’t find the back of the net. Rask continued his great game with a couple of monster saves in overtime.

Shootout

Tyler Bozak scored on the first attempt while DeBrusk was denied by Binnington. Coyle buried his attempt to tie the shootout in the third round. Sammy Blais won it with a great shot in the sixth round as Danton Heinen missed which snapped the B’s seven game winning streak.

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Final Score: 2-1 Blues

Three Stars Of The Game

First Star: Rask. Another incredible performance by the Bruin goaltender nearly resulted in a win as he continued his great stretch of play.

Second Star: Binnington. The Blues goalie was just as good as Rask and backstopped St. Louis to their 13th win in 14 games.

Third Star: Backes. Another solid performance by the big winger in this one. Nearly had a goal but played a very solid, strong game.

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Bruins Game 62 Preview: St. Louis Blues

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

The Boston Bruins will look to finally close out this successful five-game road trip with their eighth straight win today against the St. Louis Blues. The Bruins started off this western road trip with back-to-back wins over the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings followed by a 6-5 overtime win over the Sharks and a 3-2 over the Golden Knights in Vegas. Boston currently holds a four-point lead on Toronto for the second Atlantic division spot.

The St. Louis Blues have had one of the biggest turnarounds of any team in 2018-19. At one point, the Blues were near the basement of the NHL standings, but off of an eleven-game winning streak, the Blues are now in a divisional playoff spot, third in the Central division. The eleven wins in a row set a new franchise record for most consecutive wins, but with their last loss to the Dallas Stars, the Blues will look to get right back in the win column against a tough Bruins team.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask (Likely) 20-8-4 2.45 GAA .918 SV% Last Game: 33 Saves in 6-5 win vs SJS

STL: Jordan Binnington (Not Confirmed) 13-2-1 1.75 GAA .931 SV% Last Game: 20 Saves in 5-2 loss vs DAL

Who’s Hot

If Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington does indeed get the start on Saturday, then it will be a tough time scoring any goals on the 25-year-old netminder. Binnington is a large reason for the Blues success as of late. Before Thursday’s loss to Dallas, Binnington won nine consecutive games for St. Louis, including three shutouts in that time span. With Jake Allen struggling, expect Binnington to be on his game once again today.

With the solid play of Binnington in the Blues sweater, the Bruins have a solid goaltender as well. Tuukka Rask has secured a point for the Bruins in his last fourteen games played and is currently boasting a six-game winning streak. Rask did have a rough game against a tough San Jose Sharks squad, but he will be looking to help Boston win number eight in a row.

tuuka-rask.jpg

PHOTO CREDITS: (The Canadian Press)

Vladimir Tarasenko was having a poor season when it began, even to the point where his name appeared in some trade rumours. However, the Russian forward recently just had his fourteen-game point streak snapped but returned with yet another point in the loss to the Stars. From January 19th to February 17th, Tarasenko had 12-11-23 totals in the fourteen games. The solid play has boosted him to have the second-most points on the Blues with 27-25-52 totals in 59 games played.

After an extended slump of no goals or points, forward Jake DeBrusk is on fire as of late, scoring in each of his last five games, scoring ten points total in that span. DeBrusk has been a great assistance to the second-line and has helped add offence with the absence of David Pastrnak who remains out of the lineup with a thumb injury. The Edmonton, Alberta, Canada native now has 19-10-29 numbers in fifty-two games.

Who’s Not

Even though he is not meant to put up high numbers, defenceman Joel Edmundson has no points in his last four games and was a -3 rating against Dallas. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Edmundson has only 2-7-9 numbers with a +3 rating in 53 games this year for St. Louis.

John Moore most likely will be a healthy scratch for the Bruins once again and that has unfortunately become an unsettling trend for the 28-year-old defenceman. Moore signed a five-year contract with Boston in this past off-season and is getting paid $2,750,000 for each of those seasons. For a player getting that term, he should not be getting scratched night in and night out. But in his last five games played, Moore only has one point and only has ten points in forty-seven games on the season to go along with a -3 rating.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins: 

  • D Zdeno Chara is one goal away (199) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Patrice Bergeron is three points away (790) from tying Wayne Cashman (793) for 6th most points in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one even-strength goal away (203) from passing Peter McNab (203) for sole possession of 8th most even-strength goals in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (24) from tying Rick Middleton (25) for most SHG in Bruins history
  • G Tuukka Rask is 38 saves away (12,337) from tying Eddie Johnston (12,375) for most saves in Bruins history
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PHOTO CREDITS: (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

St. Louis Blues:

  • F Vladimir Tarasenko is one goal away (205) from tying David Backes (206) for 6th most goals in Blues history
  • F Vladimir Tarasenko is one hat-trick away (4) from taking sole possession of 6th most hat-tricks in Blues history

Bruins vs Blues Outlook

This will be the second of two meetings between the Bruins and Blues this season, with Boston taking the first game back on January 17th in a 5-2 victory. Torey Krug, former-Blue David Backes, Chris Wagner, Brad Marchand, and Sean Kuraly scored the five goals for Boston while Tuukka Rask made twenty-six stops in goal to tie Tiny Thompson for most wins in Bruins history.

For David Backes, this will be the fifth time that he plays against his former NHL team. In the previous four games against St. Louis, Backes has three goals, averaging just under fifteen minutes per game. Today, Backes will have a new linemate to hopefully add to that total. Newly-acquired forward Charlie Coyle is expected to make his debut in a Bruins sweater today with Joakim Nordstrom and Backes on his wings. Coyle will look to make a solid first impression since joining the club on Wednesday.

Boston still has the second-best power-play in the National Hockey League, scoring on 26.5% of the power-plays that they have been handed. On the road trip so far, the Bruins have a 23.1% accuracy on the man-advantage, even without their top power-play scorer, David Pastrnak in the lineup. St. Louis on the other hand, has a 19.1% success rate on the PP, but in the month of February, they have a 17.6% success rate.

On the penalty-kill side of things, the Bruins have been lights out in February, killing off 86.1% of the penalties they take, the sixth-best in February. St. Louis is not far off from that, though, having an 85.7% success rate while shorthanded and they will look to silence the B’s power-play with that today.

Puck drop is scheduled for 4pm EST at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Below are the lines from yesterday’s practice. Expect Head Coach Bruce Cassidy to make a decision on whether Peter Cehlarik or Joakim Nordstrom is the winger to play alongside Charlie Coyle today.

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Bruins Post-Game Recap: Boston at San Jose: 02/18/19

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PHOTO CREDITS: (USATSI)

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

Pre-Game Notes

Arena: SAP Center – San Jose, California, USA

Home: San Jose Sharks (35-17-7)

Away: Boston Bruins (34-17-8)

The Bruins enter the third game of their five-game road trip with five wins in a row and now heading into a tougher stretch of schedule with games against the Sharks, Golden Knights, Blues, and Lightning all in close radar. With the recent win over Los Angeles on Saturday, the Bruins narrowly have the second Atlantic division spot over Toronto who are only one point back.

The San Jose Sharks have become one of the top contenders in the Western Conference once again, especially with the addition of Erik Karlsson back in September of 2018. Brent Burns is on pace to be in contention of another Norris Trophy when the season comes to a conclusion. The Sharks recently beat the Vancouver Canucks and currently hold the second position in the Pacific division.

Bruins Gameday Lineup:

Forward Peter Cehlarik is out of the lineup tonight due to a lower-body injury suffered against the Kings on Saturday. Karson Kuhlman will play on the second-line with Krejci and DeBrusk in only his second NHL game.

First Period:

What a start to this Monday night game. Over ten straight minutes, yes halfway of the first period, only one whistle was blown. Both the Sharks and Bruins had chances back and forth and quite frankly, no team really was blowing the other team away. At one point in the first, Chris Wagner right in front the puck goes over the shoulder of Jones and looks to be going across the line, but Marc-Eduard Vlasic makes a brilliant save with the stick on the goal line to keep it 0-0.

With 9:03 remaining, Sean Kuraly gets high stick to the face by Tomas Hertl and the Sharks are headed to the box. Immediately at the start of the power-play, Torey Krug mishandles the puck, allowing Evander Kane all alone on a shorthanded breakaway, only to ring the shot off of the post. San Jose did a great job pressure the B’s and retrieving the puck back for a clear.

On what seemed like the final clear of the PK, Matt Grzelcyk gets a stick up in his face as well and the Bruins are right back on the man-advantage. Less than a minute onto the power-play, the Bruins finally figure out how to cycle the puck around the zone, allowing Torey Krug to unleash a bomb short-side past Jones, 1-0 Bruins. Krug’s 6th of the season assisted by Krejci (36) and Bergeron (35).

Not letting up on the early lead, the Bruins looked to add to their opening tally. Brad Marchand made a nice move in the offensive zone to rip a quick wrist shot towards Jones but it goes off of the red pipe and redirects to the corner. High-paced first period from both teams and the chances continue to pile up.

At the 16:26 mark of the opening frame, Sean Kuraly wins an offensive zone faceoff clean backwards to Zdeno Chara who one-times the puck top corner past Jones and the Bruins take a 2-0 lead in the final five minutes of the period. Chara’s goal is his 199th career NHL goal since he began his career in 1997. This is his fourth of the season assisted by Sean Kuraly (11).

The killer instinct by the Bruins does not stop there. David Krejci uses his supreme vision to find an open Jake DeBrusk up the ice who has rookie Karson Kuhlman on the other side of the ice. DeBrusk looks like he is about to shoot the puck short-side until the very last second where he feeds the puck across to Kuhlman who buries his first career NHL goal, making it 3-0 Boston with just around a minute-and-a-half left to play. Assists go to DeBrusk (9) and Krejci (37).

Two goals 1:58 apart for the Boston Bruins in the first period, but the Sharks want in on some of the goal-scoring and will do just that. Joe Pavelski wraps the puck around, bouncing it off the pad for former-Bruin Joe Thornton to bury his eleventh goal of the 2018-19 season on the backhand with only three seconds to go in the frame.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 8 SJS: 8

Score: 3-1 Bruins – Goals: Krug (8) PPG Assists: Krejci (36), Bergeron (35); Chara (4) Assists: Kuraly (11); Kuhlman (1) Assists: DeBrusk (9), Krejci (37); Thornton (11) Assists: Pavelski (22)

Second Period:

Sharks started off the middle period with some more zone time and shots on Rask and on one of the clear attempts, Kevan Miller accidentally hits the puck up and over the glass, resulting in the ever-so-disliked delay-of-game penalty and Boston will be shorthanded for two minutes.

Boston fails to put enough strength on the clear attempt, allowing the Sharks to cycle the puck around and Brent Burns’ shot gets deflected by Joe Pavelski that goes up and over Tuukka Rask. San Jose right back within only a goal under three minutes into the second. Assists go to Burns (54) and Couture (33).

Nearly five minutes in, another whistle, very much unlike the first period, but one that the Bruins will like. Joe Pavelski gets his stick caught up on Chara and is called for hooking – a two-minute minor and it’s yet another B’s power-play. On the man-advantage, the Bruins look like they cannot get any opportunities, but they do, right at the end.

David Backes made a nifty move with his skate to pass the puck off of the boards in the neutral zone to Jake DeBrusk who passes it to Danton Heinen. Heinen returns the puck right back to DeBrusk alone on a partial breakaway and DeBrusk fires a shot past Jones to reinstate a two-goal lead for Boston. Four consecutive games with goals for DeBrusk and that’s number eighteen on the season assisted by Heinen (11) and Backes (9).

Frustration for San Jose may be setting in perhaps as Brendon Dillon nails Sean Kuraly from behind as Kuraly attempted to spin away from it but the hit resulted in some pushing and shoving in the corner just as Charlie McAvoy found himself all alone with a great chance to score on Jones. Whistles blow though as Wagner and Braun each get five minutes in the box for fighting. No instigator penalties are handed out with 9:35 remaining in the second period.

Late in the second period, the Sharks manage to get themselves back within a goal as Jumbo Joe Thornton finds another rebound shot to score his second goal of the game – the first time he’s scored two goals in a game this season. Sorensen (9) and Simek (8) get the helpers on the play. Unlucky break for the Bruins there with just over three minutes to play in the second.

For the third time tonight, the San Jose Sharks will have a man in the box for high-sticking as Joe Thornton gets his lumber up in the face of Brad Marchand and with 1:29 to go, Boston is on the 5-on-4 power-play for two minutes. Somehow, Logan Couture is found deep in the neutral zone, makes a nice move around Krug and nearly scores but due a hook by Marchand, a penalty shot is awarded with 24.7 seconds to go and Couture simply shoots it five-hole past Rask, tying the game at four apiece.

Not nearly as good of a period for the Bruins as the opening one was, going to need a solid final twenty minutes and maybe more to beat the Sharks tonight. Bruins were outshot 14-4 in the second period alone.

Shots On Goal: BOS: 12 SJS: 22

Score: 4-4 – Goals: Pavelski (32) PPG Assists: Burns (54), Couture (33); DeBrusk (18) Assists: Heinen (11), Backes (9); Thornton (12) Assists: Sorensen (9), Simek (8); Couture (22) Unassisted

Third Period:

San Jose opened the final regulation period with a couple solid shots on Tuukka Rask, one of which off of a big Timo Meier deflection. Still early on, the Bruins are called on a delay-of-game penalty because David Backes apparently took too long to make a change prior to a faceoff. Bruins successfully kill off the penalty though and the game continues 5-on-5.

Boston has had issues in this game at getting the puck out of the zone on rushes. At one point in the first half of the third, the Bruins did not get a shot on Martin Jones in over nineteen minutes of game-time. It has been proven that it is much, much harder to score when you do not shoot at the goaltender.

Sean Kuraly set up Noel Acciari right in front of the crease for the first shot in what seemed like four games, but the Sharks return right away with a bullet of a shot by Hertl that rings the bar, so loud that us Canadians could hear it. Rask does not look as calm as he did against the Kings, that shot was clean past him.

Around the six-minute mark, Joe Thornton walks in and shoots it right past Tuukka Rask to give the Sharks a 5-4 lead with 6:28 remaining. Bruins collapsing ever since the 3-1 goal with three seconds to go. Assists to Thornton’s hat-trick go to Pavelski (23) and Braun (13).

While it looks like the Bruins were down and out, Brandon Carlo rifled a bomb that was rebounded by Wagner. Wagner then hit the puck what looked like to be above the crossbar, but it goes into the Sharks net and due to it being a non-reviewable play for some reason, the goal stands and the Bruins tie the game with just around two minutes left to play. Wagner sets a new career high for goals in a year with eight and it’s assisted by Carlo (4) and Acciari (4).

Shots On Goal: BOS: 19 SJS: 33

Score: 5-5 – Goals: Thornton (13) Assists: Pavelski (23), Braun (13); Wagner (8), Carlo (4), Acciari (4)

Overtime:

First thirty seconds of 3-on-3 overtime is full San Jose. Some big shots on Rask, all of which stopped. Tuukka attempted his double pad stack again, but the shot missed. B’s finally get the puck out of the defensive end, but Brent Burns comes back and gets a sharp wrist shot that almost sneaks through him, but Matt Grzelcyk slaps it out of harm’s way.

It has been a poor night for Torey Krug tonight. In this overtime alone, Krug has been chased down numerous times, resulting in either a turnover or an icing call. One of these mistakes led to a Hertl shot as he skated across the crease but Rask makes a big save. As the play continues, the net comes off but because the Bruins are on a rush, the refs left it causing some controversy when the Sharks had a 2-on-0 and the whistle was blown dead.

Later on in overtime, the Bruins somehow get alone 3-on-2, creating a beautiful DeBrusk-to-Krejci-to-McAvoy goal to win the game in overtime. Bruins survive a three-goal lead blown to win their sixth straight game. McAvoy’s 4th assisted by Krejci (38) and DeBrusk (10).

Shots On Goal: BOS: 20 SJS: 38

Final Score: 6-5 Bruins

Max’s Three Stars:

1st Star: BOS F Jake DeBrusk – 1 Goal, 2 Assists, +2 Rating, 17:59 TOI

2nd Star: SJS F Joe Thornton – 3 Goals, 3 Shots, +2 Rating, 4 Takeaways

3rd Star: BOS F David Krejci – 3 Assists, +1 Rating 20:24 TOI

Bruins now head to Vegas for a game against the Golden Knights on Wednesday with six straight wins.

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

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Bruins Game 60 Preview: San Jose Sharks

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PHOTO CREDITS: (NHL.com)

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

The Boston Bruins are on fire as of late – winning their last five games including a back-to-back stretch over the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings in some close, back-and-forth games. The Bruins continue their five-game road swing with game three of that stretch tonight against the Sharks. Boston is currently in the second Atlantic division spot, one point ahead of Toronto.

The San Jose Sharks have been a solid team in the West with former Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson on their backend. The Sharks are 7-3-0 in their last ten games and they defeated the Vancouver Canucks twice last week including a massive 7-2 victory over the lone British Columbia team last Monday. The Sharks are second in the Pacific division, only two points behind the Calgary Flames for first and hold a nine-point cushion on the Vegas Golden Knights.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Tuukka Rask 19-8-4 2.37 GAA .920 SV% Last Game: 23 Saves in 4-2 win over LAK

SJS: Martin Jones 28-11-4 2.88 GAA .899 SV% Last Game: 32 Saves in 3-2 win vs VAN

Who’s Hot

Tuukka Rask made a save – a save that will be in contention for “Save of The Year” against the Kings, stacking the pads on a 2-on-1 chance for LA that gave momentum back to Boston. It is only one save but is a small example of the growing confidence in Rask this season and how he has helped the Bruins largely to a ten-game point streak. Tuukka has earned a point in his last thirteen starts and he is in the top ten in almost all the main goaltending statistics.

Brent Burns won the James Norris Memorial Trophy two years ago in 2017 and he is making a strong case to be a finalist for the award once again in 2018-19. As a defenceman, Burns leads the Sharks in points with 11-53-64 numbers in 59 games played this year. In his last five, Burns has 1-5-6 totals and has been a key part to the 7-3-0 run for San Jose.

Brad Marchand is still on fire. With Saturday’s goal, Marchand reached the seventy-point total for the third consecutive season and has the capability of breaking his end-of-season point total of 85 points for the last two seasons. Marchand has nine points in the last five games that he has played in and is taking the offensive responsibilities on his shoulders with the absence of David Pastrnak.

Brad Marchand,Martin Jones

PHOTO CREDITS: (NBC Sports)

Evander Kane has become a big-time scorer for the Sharks this season and has been a nice addition for the team. The Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada native has 26-24-50 numbers in fifty-nine games this year and has points in four of his last five games. Kane is only four points away from matching is totals between the Sabres and Sharks combined last season.

Who’s Not

The third-line that has become the fourth-line. The Nordstrom-Frederic-Backes line has been terrible. While Trent Frederic has been decent on the faceoff dot, but the trio has zero points combined in their last five games and they have not generated much offence at all. Joakim Nordstrom doesn’t have a single point scored in fifteen games now.

Not many players on the San Jose Sharks are having bad years as most of them are in the middle of one of their best seasons as an NHL hockey player. Tomas Hertl has had a great season, scoring 26-27-53 numbers in 54 games in 2018-19, but has no points in his last two games and is a combined -5 rating within that time span. Don’t expect this to last long as he is one of the better forwards to score on this roster.

Other than that, both teams are hot and have good players that are producing quite well – making this game all the more enjoyable and fun to watch.

Milestone Watch:

Boston Bruins:

  • D Zdeno Chara is two goals away (198) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one even-strength goal (203) from passing Peter McNab (203) for sole possession of 8th most even-strength goals in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (24) from tying Rick Middleton (25) for most SHG in Bruins history
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PHOTO CREDITS: (Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

San Jose Sharks:

  • D Marc-Eduard Vlasic is two points away (298) from 300 career NHL points
  • F Kevin Lebanc is two points away (98) from 100 career NHL points
  • F Melker Karlsson is three points (97) from 100 career NHL points
  • D Brendan Dillion is four points (96) from 100 career NHL points
  • D Brent Burns is one game away (567) from tying Owen Nolan (568) for 9th most games played in Sharks history
  • F Tomas Hertl is one even-strength goal away (81) from tying Marco Sturm (82) for most even-strength goals in Sharks history

Bruins vs Sharks Outlook

This is the first meeting between the Bruins and Sharks this season, with the second game coming next week on February 26th. Last season, the Bruins kept the Sharks to a combined two goals in the two games, beating the San Jose club in both games.

For the speciality teams, the Bruins still have one of the best power-plays in the NHL. Their 26.5% power-play percentage is the best in the league behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning while on the penalty-kill, the B’s have a mediocre percentage there, 80.7% for 15th in the NHL.

For San Jose, they are the 6th best NHL team when on the man-advantage with a 24% success rate and have the 6th best penalty-kill success rate as well, killing off 82.5% of the penalties they take on average. The Sharks also shoot the puck a lot, the 2nd most on average in the National Hockey League, averaging just under 34 shots per game.

Puck drop is scheduled for 10pm EST at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Below are the lines during morning skate for the Bruins ahead of tonight’s contest.

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