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Swayman earns shutout in Boston’s, 2-0, win on the road

Jake DeBrusk scored the game’s first goal, which went on to become the eventual game-winning goal thanks to Jeremy Swayman’s 42-save shutout effort Thursday night in a, 2-0, win for the Boston Bruins over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Swayman (7-4-0, 2.20 goals-against average, .921 save percentage in 11 games played) stopped all 42 shots that he faced in the shutout win for Boston.

Nashville netminder, Juuse Saros (10-8-1, 2.34 goals-against average, .923 save percentage in 19 games played) made 31 saves on 33 shots against in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 12-8-0 (24 points) on the season and remain in 5th place in the Atlantic Division– three points behind the Detroit Red Wings for 4th.

Meanwhile, the Predators dropped to 12-10-1 (25 points) overall and fell to 5th place in the Central Division by virtue of a tiebreaker to the Colorado Avalanche (in which the Avs have the advantage in accordance with games in-hand).

Entering Thursday night, the last time the B’s and Preds faced each other was on Jan. 7, 2020, at Bridgestone Arena.

Boston won, 6-2, as Tuukka Rask made 34 saves on the road.

The two teams did not meet last season due to the temporarily realigned divisions for the condensed 56-game regular season and 2021 Stanley Cup Playoff format.

The Bruins were without the services of Anton Blidh (upper body) and Brad Marchand (suspension) on the roster against the Predators Thursday night, while head coach, Bruce Cassidy, remained in the National Hockey League’s COVID-19 protocol.

Joe Sacco, as a result, made a minor change to his lines after Tuesday night’s, 2-1, loss to the Red Wings– moving Erik Haula to the second line left wing with Charlie Coyle at center and Craig Smith on right wing, while relegating Nick Foligno to the third line with Trent Frederic in the middle and Karson Kuhlman on the opposite wing.

Sacco made no other changes among his skaters, while Linus Ullmark served as Swayman’s backup in Nashville.

Thursday night marked Smith and Haula’s return to Bridgestone Arena since the two last played for the Predators.

Smith spent nine seasons as a Pred from 2011-20, prior to signing his current three-year contract with the Bruins ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Haula, meanwhile, spent all of last season with the Predators prior to joining Boston in free agency on July 28th.

Connor Clifton was the only healthy scratch for Boston, while Taylor Hall took part in his 700th career NHL game.

Midway through the opening frame, Yakov Trenin interfered with Jakub Zboril, yielding the night’s first power play for the Bruins at 12:39 of the first period, but not before Trent Frederic and Mark Borowiecki exchanged some shoves that resulted in matching roughing minors.

Boston had a 5-on-4 advantage for a pair of minutes and used up almost all of the time on the power play before hitting the back of the net.

Smith fed the puck to DeBrusk (4) for the shot from the faceoff circle over Saros’ blocker and under the bar to give the B’s a, 1-0, lead.

Smith (3) and Coyle (6) tallied the assists on DeBrusk’s power-play goal at 14:38 of the first period.

Despite being outshot for a large part of the first period, the Bruins entered the first intermission with the, 1-0, lead on the scoreboard and a, 15-12, advantage in shots on net.

Boston also led in blocked shots (5-3), while Nashville controlled the flow of the game in takeaways (3-0) and hits (6-5). Both teams had three giveaways each and split faceoff winning percentage, 50-50, through 20 minutes of play.

The Predators had yet to see time on the skater advantage, while the Bruins were 1/1 on the power play entering the middle frame.

Less than a minute into the second period, Coyle won a battle along the boards, which freed up a loose puck on a turnover to Haula before Haula passed it back to Brandon Carlo as Carlo snuck in from the point to the high slot.

Carlo (2) blasted a shot while Smith screened Saros and the rubber biscuit found its way to the back of the twine to give the Bruins a two-goal lead.

Haula (3) was Carlo’s only teammate to record an assist on the goal as Boston jumped ahead, 2-0, 30 seconds into the second period.

With the assist on the goal, however, Haula reached the 200-point plateau in his NHL career.

Moments later, Zboril was injured on a routine hit along the boards, in which Tanner Jeannot didn’t do anything wrong.

Zboril’s right knee took the brunt of the force as his body collided with the boards in the neutral zone, leaving Zboril to be helped off the ice by a teammate after the whistle.

The Bruins tweeted early in the third period that Zboril would not return to the night’s action with a lower body injury.

Meanwhile, back in the tail-end of the middle frame, Mattias Ekholm tripped up Kuhlman at 19:40 and cut a rut to the sin bin as a result.

Boston’s ensuing power play would spill into the final frame as the horn signaled the end of the second period.

The Bruins led, 2-0, despite trailing in shots on goal, 26-24.

Nashville led in shots on net in the second period alone, 14-9, as well as in takeaways (4-2) and hits (21-11), while Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (10-6), giveaways (7-4) and faceoff win% (59-41).

The Predators had yet to see any action on the skater advantage through 40 minutes, while the B’s were 1/2 on the power play entering the third period.

Coyle roughed up Nick Cousins and cut a rut to the penalty box as a result at 6:04 of the third period, presenting the Preds with their first power play of the night.

Nashville couldn’t convert on the ensuing skater advantage, however.

Midway through the final frame, Filip Forsberg was sent to the box for holding at 10:18, followed by Borowiecki for high sticking at 12:02, resulting in a two-skater advantage for Boston for about 16 seconds before an abbreviated 5-on-4 power play.

The Bruins weren’t able to muster anything past Saros this time around, however, as neither team scored a goal in the third period.

With about 2:30 remaining in the action, Pred head coach, John Hynes, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker.

After a stoppage with 1:57 left on the clock, Hynes used his team’s timeout to rally his skaters, but it was to no avail.

At the final horn, the Bruins had won, 2-0, as Swayman picked up his first shutout of the season– the third overall in his short NHL career thus far.

Swayman joined the likes of Bill Ranford (3x), Tim Thomas (2x) and Jonas Gustavsson to become the fourth goaltender in Bruins history to notch a shutout with 42 or more saves.

The Bruins left Bridgestone Arena with the advantage in blocked shots (20-11), giveaways (8-5) and faceoff win% (51-49), while the Predators wrapped up Thursday night’s action leading in shots (42-33)– including a, 16-9, advantage in the third period alone, as well as the led in hits (24-13).

Nashville went 0/1 and Boston went 1/4 on the power play.

The B’s improved to 8-4-0 (4-2-0 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 9-0-0 (5-0-0 on the road) when leading after the first period and 8-1-0 (5-0-0 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

The Preds fell to 3-8-1 (2-4-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 2-8-0 (1-5-0 at home) when trailing after one and 2-8-0 (2-3-0 at home) when trailing after two periods in 2021-22.

The Bruins return home for a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday before hitting the road through Western Canada next Wednesday (Dec. 8th), Thursday (Dec. 9th) and Saturday (Dec. 11th) in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, respectively.

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Red Wings defeat Bruins for 3,000th win in franchise history

The Detroit Red Wings were outshot, 42-16, on Tuesday, but picked up the, 2-1, win against the Boston Bruins on the road at TD Garden for their 3,000th win in franchise history since joining the National Hockey League as an expansion team ahead of the 1926-27 season.

Alex Nedeljkovic (7-3-3, 2.58 goals-against average, .923 save percentage in 15 games played) made 41 saves on 42 shots against in the win for the Red Wings.

Linus Ullmark (5-4-0, 2.68 goals-against average, .911 save percentage in nine games played) stopped 14 out of 16 shots faced in the loss for the Bruins.

Boston fell to 11-8-0 (22 points) on the season and remain in 5th place in the Atlantic Division, while Detroit improved to 11-9-3 (25 points) and increased their lead over the B’s for 4th place in the Atlantic.

Tuesday night marked the final game at TD Garden between these two teams in the regular season as the last two matchups in their 2021-22 season series are at Little Caesars Arena on Jan. 2, 2022, and April 5, 2022.

Both teams are now 1-1-0 in their four-game regular season series.

The Bruins were without the services of Anton Blidh (upper body), Brad Marchand (suspension) and even head coach, Bruce Cassidy (COVID-19 protocol), on Tuesday.

Blidh sustained an injury in Sunday night’s, 3-2, win against the Vancouver Canucks, while Marchand was suspended three games for slew-footing Canucks defender, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (no penalty was called on the play, but a hearing for Marchand was announced on Monday).

For the sixth time in his career and first time since 2018, Marchand was suspended and will miss Boston’s matchups against Detroit, at Nashville and against Tampa before being eligible to return on the road in Vancouver.

In all, Marchand will have missed at least 22 games in his career due to suspensions.

Cassidy was placed in COVID protocol hours ahead of Tuesday night’s matchup with the Red Wings as B’s General Manager, Don Sweeney, spoke to reporters about Cassidy, Jake DeBrusk’s trade request and more.

Sweeney added that Cassidy has mild symptoms and that assistant coach, Joe Sacco, would take over primary coaching duties for Boston against the Red Wings, while Bob Essensa and Kim Brandvold would take on a little more responsibility in their roles with Cassidy in COVID-19 protocol and Chris Kelly currently away from the team.

Kelly is expected to return before the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Providence Bruins (AHL) have an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and are shutdown for the time being, so Boston cannot call anyone up from the Providence staff or players in the interim.

Out of necessity, the Bruins switched up their lines against Detroit with Taylor Hall moving up to Marchand’s spot on the first line left wing with Patrice Bergeron at center and David Pastrnak on the right wing.

Nick Foligno was promoted to the second line left wing slot alongside Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith.

Trent Frederic centered the third line with Tomáš Nosek at left wing and Karson Kuhlman at right wing, while DeBrusk, Erik Haula and Curtis Lazar comprised the fourth line.

Boston made no changes to their defensive pairings and Jeremy Swayman served as Ullmark’s backup on Tuesday night.

Connor Clifton was the only healthy scratch for the Bruins in the press box against Detroit.

Not much was happening in the opening frame as both teams haphazardly skated up and down the ice, occasionally firing a shot at the opposing goaltender.

There were no goals and no penalties in the first period.

Boston outshot Detroit, 8-5, as the two teams went back to their respective dressing rooms for the first intermission.

The Red Wings held the advantage in blocked shots (3-2), takeaways (5-2), hits (13-12) and faceoff win percentage (57-43), while the Bruins led in giveaways (5-4).

Neither team had an opportunity on the power play heading into the middle frame (as, again, there were no penalties in the first period).

Detroit made the most of a line change when Pius Suter carefully awaited his teammate’s departure from the playing surface before hopping over the boards and onto the ice as the puck strolled past the Red Wings’ bench.

Suter fed Filip Zadina a lead pass into the attacking zone where Zadina (4) crashed the net with a forehand, backhand, elevated shot past Ullmark to give Detroit the game’s first goal at 5:03 of the second period.

Suter (5) had the only assist on Zadina’s goal as the Red Wings jumped out to a, 1-0, lead.

Moments later, Jakub Zboril inadvertently took out referee, Marc Joannette’s, legs from underneath him with an errant stick as the two were vying for the same ice to get around each other (well, Zboril around Joannette and Joannette out of the way of the play entirely).

Joannette went down awkwardly and suffered a lower body injury as he had to be helped off the ice by his fellow officials.

Tuesday night’s action would finish with only one ref (Kendrick Nicholson) assisted by two linesmen (Kiel Murchison and Brad Kovachik).

Late in the period, Foligno and Vladislav Namestnikov got tangled up by Boston’s bench and exchanged pleasantries yielding two-minute minors for roughing at 17:22.

After a pair of minutes at 4-on-4, the two teams resumed full even strength action.

In the dying seconds of the middle frame, Michael Rasmussen got a hold on Haula, but as time would expire the Bruins wouldn’t go on the power play until the third period.

Through 40 minutes of action at TD Garden on Tuesday, the B’s trailed the Red Wings, 1-0, on the scoreboard, despite outshooting Detroit, 25-10, including a, 17-5, advantage in the second period alone.

The Red Wings continued to lead in blocked shots (9-6), takeaways (8-3), hits (24-19) and faceoff win% (56-44), while the Bruins led in giveaways (12-5).

Neither team had witnessed a second on the power play, so both remained 0/0 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.

The Bruins couldn’t muster anything on the power play that carried over from Rasmussen’s minor to kick things off in the third period.

Shortly thereafter, Gustav Lindström administered a swift cross check to Bergeron’s back and was assessed a minor infraction at 4:24 of the third period as a scrum ensued.

It didn’t take too long before Boston went on a 5-on-3 advantage courtesy of Marc Staal’s hooking infraction at 5:23 of the third period.

The B’s went to work on the two-skater advantage and quickly punished Detroit for being undisciplined to start the period as Charlie McAvoy worked the puck to Hall down low.

Hall patiently awaited for an open Pastrnak in his usual spot on the power play to setup Pastrnak (8) for the one-timer goal from the faceoff circle hashmark– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.

Hall (6) and McAvoy (11) had the only assists on Pastrnak’s power-play goal at 6:20 of the third period and the Bruins remained on the advantage for about 64 seconds longer at 5-on-4.

This time, however, the Red Wings managed to kill off the remainder of Staal’s minor.

Lazar tripped up Zadina at 8:23 of the third period and presented Detroit with their first power play of the night.

Boston’s penalty kill stood tall, however, and managed to escape the shorthanded action unscathed until the vulnerable minute after special teams play came back to bite them.

The Red Wings controlled a lengthy attacking zone possession that generated a shot attempt towards the net with traffic in front– deflecting off of a Bruin defender or a Detroit forward, no matter, but rebounding nevertheless to Staal (1) as the veteran defender crashed the net from the point– burying the puck behind Ullmark in the process.

Namestnikov (5) and Lindström (4) tallied the assists on Staal’s goal and the Red Wings pulled ahead, 2-1, at 11:33 of the third period.

With 1:30 remaining in the game, Sacco pulled Ullmark for an extra attacker.

After a stoppage with 28.6 seconds remaining Sacco used his timeout, but Boston couldn’t draw up a last second game-tying play.

At the final horn, Detroit had won, 2-1, despite finishing the night trailing the Bruins, 42-16, in shots on goal. Boston had a, 17-6, advantage in shots on net in the third period alone.

The Red Wings exited TD Garden with the lead in blocked shots (14-9) and faceoff win% (52-48), as well as their 3,000th win in franchise history, while the B’s finished the night leading in giveaways (17-9) and hits (30-28).

Detroit wrapped up Tuesday night’s action 0/1 on the skater advantage, while Boston went 1/3 on the power play.

The B’s fell to 1-5-0 (1-3-0 at home) when tied after the first period, 4-4-0 (3-2-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal and 2-5-0 (2-2-0 at home) when trailing after two periods this season.

The Red Wings, meanwhile, improved to 5-1-0 (2-1-0 on the road) when tied after one, 6-2-2 (3-2-1 on the road) when scoring first and 8-0-2 (2-0-1 on the road) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins begin the month of December with a one-off road game at Bridgestone Arena against the Nashville Predators on Thursday before returning home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Boston then has a few days off before hitting the road again for their regular Western Canada road trip with stops in Vancouver (Dec. 8th), Edmonton (Dec. 9th) and Calgary (Dec. 11th).

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Marchand leads third period comeback against Canucks

Brad Marchand’s third period effort spurred the Boston Bruins to a, 3-2, win over the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night at TD Garden.

Marchand tallied a goal and an assist on the game-winning goal in the third period as Linus Ullmark (5-3-0, 2.76 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in eight games played) turned aside 36 out of 38 shots faced in the victory for Boston.

Vancouver netminder, Jaroslav Halak (0-4-1, 2.85 goals-against average, .910 save percentage in six games played), made 39 saves on 42 shots against in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 11-7-0 (22 points) on the season and remain in 5th place in the Atlantic Division– one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for 4th– while the Canucks fell to 6-14-2 (14 points) overall and stuck in 8th place in the Pacific Division.

Prior to the ongoing pandemic, Vancouver beat Boston, 9-3, at Rogers Arena on Feb. 22, 2020.

Trent Frederic returned to the lineup for Boston after missing the last seven games with an upper body injury, while Ullmark returned to the crease after missing a scheduled start in Buffalo on Nov. 24th when he tweaked something at morning skate ahead of Boston’s, 5-1, win against the Sabres.

Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made a few changes to his lines coming off of a, 5-2, loss to the New York Rangers on Friday– inserting Frederic at center on the third line with Nick Foligno and Karson Kuhlman on his wings, for starters.

Kuhlman returned to the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch for the last four games.

Craig Smith was promoted back to his regular role on the second line at right wing, while Tomáš Nosek was relegated to the fourth line center slot with Frederic returning to the lineup and Erik Haula joining Jake DeBrusk and Connor Clifton as Sunday’s scratches.

Sunday night marked the first time this season that Haula and DeBrusk were scratched.

Jakub Zboril kicked things off with an interference infraction at 1:50 of the first period, yielding the night’s first power play to Vancouver.

Late in the ensuing skater advantage, the Canucks took advantage of a mishap in the crease when Ullmark and nearest defender, Mike Reilly, miscommunicated on a puck that bounced off of the Bruins goaltender and ended up in prime real estate in front of Tanner Pearson.

Pearson (3) poked the loose puck over the goal line from point blank and gave Vancouver a, 1-0, lead at 3:33 of the first period.

Brock Boeser (5) and Nils Höglander (5) had the assists on Pearson’s power-play goal as the Canucks took an early lead and momentum that was ultimately cut short about two minutes later.

Anton Blidh (1) skated into Boston’s attacking zone and wired a shot past Halak’s glove side from afar– about two strides into the zone from the blue line in the high point, that is.

Blidh’s unassisted effort tied the game, 1-1, at 5:51.

Minutes later, Conor Garland was penalized for holding the stick and presented the Bruins with their first chance on the power play at 10:14, but the B’s weren’t able to capitalize on the skater advantage.

Late in the period, Nosek caught Tyler Motte with a high stick and was assessed a minor infraction as a result at 15:44.

Vancouver entered the zone while on the ensuing power play and Garland ripped a shot from along the boards past Ullmark’s glove on the short side, but Cassidy used a coach’s challenge on the grounds that he and the Bruins’ video crew believed the Canucks were offside prior to the goal.

Video replay revealed that Höglander was, in fact, over the blue line with both skates prior to the puck entering the attacking zone, rendering Garland’s would be goal useless and reversing the call on the ice.

The score remained tied, 1-1, heading into the first intermission, while the Bruins led in shots on goal, 11-10.

Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (5-1) and hits (8-4), while the Canucks led in takeaways (2-1), giveaways (4-1) and faceoff win percentage (56-44).

Vancouver was 1/2 on the power play, while the B’s were 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the middle frame.

Nosek thought he put the Bruins ahead within about a minute of action in the second period, but the call on the ice was “no goal” and upheld after a quick official review confirmed that– while Nosek’s initial kick of the puck to his stick blade was fine, his subsequent kick while falling that resulted in the rubber biscuit finding the twine was no good.

Minutes later, Marchand slashed Garland and was sent to the box at 6:54 of the second period.

Vancouver wasn’t able to capitalize on the resulting skater advantage, however.

Midway through the period, Garland (6) got the goal that he was looking for earlier in the night when he sent a shot with eyes through Jason Dickinson’s legs and Ullmark’s five-hole while Dickinson screened the Boston netminder.

Garland’s goal was unassisted and gave the Canucks a, 2-1, lead at 12:31 of the second period.

And so, 2-1, it remained as Vancouver led on the scoreboard through 40 minutes of action and in shots on goal, 27-24, including a, 17-13, advantage in the second period alone.

The Canucks dominated in takeaways (3-1), giveaways (8-3) and faceoff win% (52-48), while the Bruins led in blocked shots (11-8) and hits (17-13).

Vancouver went 1/3 on the power play, while Boston remained 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the second intermission.

Matt Grzelcyk caught Höglander with a quick hook and cut a rut to the penalty box as a result at 3:51 of the third period as a result, but Vancouver couldn’t muster anything on the scoreboard.

Höglander, himself, was the next player off to the sin bin after he tripped Foligno at 7:21 of the third period.

This time the Bruins found the back of the net on the power play after Ullmark stoned Motte on a shorthanded breakaway at the other end.

David Pastrnak sent a shot attempt off the post where the puck pinballed around in the ensuing chaos off of Patrice Bergeron before settling outside the slot while a mass of bodies gathered in front of Halak.

Marchand (9) scooped up the puck and buried it to tie the game, 2-2, with a power-play goal at 8:45 of the third period.

Foligno (4) and Bergeron (9) notched the assists on Marchand’s goal as the Bruins surged to life.

Chances were traded at both ends when Oliver Ekman-Larsson raced Blidh into the corner and promptly boarded the Boston skater, resulting in a minor penalty that Garland ended up serving while Ekman-Larsson had to tend to an errant skate blade that popped out from the force of the collision with Blidh at 15:23.

Once more, it didn’t take the Bruins long to convert on the ensuing power play.

Marchand thread a pass through the slot to Pastrnak (7) for the redirection goal while crashing the net to give Boston their first lead of the night, 3-2, at 16:36 of the third period.

Marchand (15) and Bergeron (10) tallied the assists on Pastrnak’s power-play goal and the Bruins had their first lead of the night.

With their goaltender pulled and a stoppage in play with 46 seconds left on the clock, Canucks head coach, Travis Green, used his timeout to rally his skaters, but it was to no avail.

Though the Bruins didn’t end up scoring an empty net goal– despite Marchand’s best efforts to give Bergeron an easy lay-up, Bergeron had entered the zone offside to negate an insurance goal after Green challenged the call on the ice– the final horn sounded without issue.

Boston had won, 3-2, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 42-38, including an, 18-11, advantage in shots on net in the third period alone.

The Bruins finished the night leading in blocked shots (12-11), hits (28-18) and faceoff win% (51-49), while Vancouver exited the building with the advantage in giveaways (10-3).

The Canucks finished Sunday night’s effort 1/4 on the power play, while Boston went 2/3 on the skater advantage.

The B’s improved to 4-3-0 (3-1-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 1-4-0 (1-2-0 at home) when tied after the first period and 2-4-0 (2-1-0 at home) when trailing after two periods this season.

Vancouver fell to 2-4-0 (1-4-0 on the road) when scoring first, 2-6-0 (1-4-0 on the road) when tied after one period and 4-1-0 (2-1-0 on the road) when leading after two periods in 2021-22.

The Bruins wrap up their three-game homestand against the Detroit Red Wings to close out the month of November on Tuesday.

Boston begins the month of December with a one-off road game at Bridgestone Arena against the Nashville Predators on Thursday (Dec. 2nd) before returning home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning for a game next Saturday (Dec. 4th).

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Bruins drop Black Friday matinée to Rangers, 5-2

For the first time since the 2003-04 regular season, ABC played host to a national broadcast of a National Hockey League game as the Boston Bruins lost, 5-2, to the New York Rangers in their 500th consecutive sellout at TD Garden on Friday afternoon.

New York scored three unanswered goals in the third period (including an empty net goal) to pull ahead and never look back as Igor Shesterkin (11-3-2, 2.22 goals-against average, .923 save percentage in 16 games played) made 34 saves on 36 shots faced for the win.

Boston goaltender, Jeremy Swayman (6-4-0, 2.42 goals-against average, .908 save percentage in 10 games played), stopped 26 out of 30 shots against in the loss.

The Bruins dropped to 10-7-0 (20 points) on the season and remain in command of 5th place in the Atlantic Division, while the Rangers improved to 13-4-3 (29 points) and sit 3rd in the Metropolitan Division despite tying the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals in points.

Carolina owns the tiebreaker for 1st place in the division currently, by virtue of having played in one game fewer than the Capitals at the time of this writing.

Washington sits ahead of New York by virtue of the same thing, though the Caps are in action on Friday night and would slip to 3rd in the Metropolitan Division with a loss in regulation.

The B’s also fell to 6-3-0 at home this season in nine games at TD Garden, while the Rangers improved to 8-3-2 on road ice in 13 away games thus far.

Boston went 5-3-0 against New York last season.

The Bruins were without Trent Frederic (upper body) on Friday, while head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made one minor change to his lineup from Wednesday night’s, 5-1, win in Buffalo to Friday afternoon’s matinée matchup with the Rangers.

Cassidy swapped centers on the third and fourth lines– promoting Tomáš Nosek to the top-nine and demoting Erik Haula to the bottom line.

Connor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman were Boston’s healthy scratches in the press box on Friday afternoon.

Ryan Lindgren lifted David Pastrnak’s stick and Pastrnak’s stick ended up catching Lindgren in the face, yielding a high sticking infraction for No. 88 in black and gold and the afternoon’s first power play opportunity for the Rangers at 6:25 of the first period.

New York wasn’t able to convert on the ensuing skater advantage, however.

Moments later, Chris Kreider cut a rut to the penalty box for interference at 10:55, but Boston wasn’t able to muster anything on the resulting power play– even when they had 10 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage as Adam Fox caught Craig Smith with a high stick at 12:45.

Instead, however, Smith (2) scored in the vulnerable minute after a power play one second after Fox emerged from the box to bring the Rangers back to even strength.

Smith’s goal was unassisted and beat Shesterkin up high to give the Bruins a, 1-0, lead at 14:46 of the first period after Jacob Trouba botched a clearing attempt for New York.

In the dying seconds of the opening frame, however, the Rangers responded as Dryden Hunt worked the puck deep past the goal line near the endboards and flipped a pass to Artemi Panarin before Panarin setup Ryan Strome (3) in the slot for a goal– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.

Panarin (16) and Hunt (2) tallied the assists on Strome’s goal at 19:54.

Entering the first intermission, the game was tied, 1-1, despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 17-5.

The Rangers held the advantage in blocked shots (5-1) and hits (5-4), while the Bruins led in takeaways (2-1), giveaways (2-0) and faceoff win percentage (63-38).

New York was 0/1 and Boston was 0/2 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

Less than a minute into the second period, Brad Marchand caught Trouba with a hook (despite it actually looking to be a simple stick lift on second glance) and was sent to the sin bin 17 seconds after emerging from the first intermission.

The Blue Shirts weren’t able to score on the ensuing power play, though.

Moments later, Pastrnak won a draw in the attacking zone back to Marchand whereby Marchand moved the puck to Matt Grzelcyk as the Boston defender snuck in from the point to feed Patrice Bergeron (8) point blank for a goal.

Grzelcyk (3) and Marchand (14) were credited with the assists as the Bruins pulled ahead once more, 2-1, at 6:51 of the second period.

Midway through the second, however, Swayman struggled with his rebound control and inadvertently kicked the puck directly to Hunt in the slot while Hunt was crashing the net instead of sending the rubber biscuit off to the boards or covering it up.

Hunt (2) buried the loose biscuit into the mostly empty twine and destroyed the in-net camera with a precise shot, while Lindgren (2) and Fox (16) tallied the assists.

The Rangers had tied the game, 2-2, at 12:33, but followed up their surge in momentum with a high sticking infraction by Panarin at 14:37.

Luckily for New York, the Bruins weren’t on top of things on their resulting power play.

At least Swayman was able to stop Mika Zibanejad with a diving paddle save on a cross-slot one-timer in between Hunt’s goal and Panarin’s penalty in what might earn recognition as “the save of the year”.

Rangers head coach, Gerard Gallant, briefly pulled Shesterkin out of the net for an extra attacker with 1.4 seconds remaining on the clock on an attacking zone faceoff, but New York wasn’t able to recreate the magic of their quick goal in the dying seconds of the first period as the horn sounded to commence the second intermission.

Through 40 minutes of play, the two teams were tied, 2-2, on the scoreboard, despite Boston leading in total shots on goal, 29-24, after tailing New York, 19-12, in shots on net in the second period alone.

The Rangers held onto the advantage in blocked shots (9-3), giveaways (7-5) and hits (15-9) after two periods, while the B’s led in faceoff win% (64-36).

Both teams had four takeaways each and neither team could find the back of the net on the power play as New York was 0/2 and Boston was 0/3 on the skater advantage.

Kreider thought he had scored the goal of the season early in the third period when he wrapped around the back of the net and lobbed a shot attempt behind Swayman’s shoulders– lacross style– off the crossbar and through the crease, but official review determined that he had, in fact, not scored the go-ahead goal.

Andrei Svechnikov’s records are still resting at ease with Carolina.

Instead, midway through the final frame, Panarin (5) bunted a redirection shot from point blank past Swayman while crashing the net on a reception from Julien Gauthier.

Gauthier (2) and Strome (2) had the assists and the Rangers had their first lead of the afternoon, 3-2, at 11:35 of the third period.

About five minutes later, New York extended their lead to two-goals as Gauthier setup Alexis Lafrenière (5) on a 2-on-1 against Bruins defender, Charlie McAvoy, for the high blocker side goal on a catch and release shot by Lafrenière.

Gauthier (3) and Fox (17) notched the assists as the Rangers went up, 4-2, on the scorebaord at 16:22 of the third period.

With 2:37 remaining in regulation, Cassidy pulled his netminder for an extra attacker, but it was ultimately to no avail.

McAvoy tripped up Kevin Rooney with an errant leg at 19:03 and Barclay Goodrow did not take the aggressive infraction lightly– delivering a swift cross check in return to McAvoy before a scrum ensued.

The two teams finished the afternoon at 4-on-4 after McAvoy and Goodrow worked their way into their respective boxes at 19:03.

Finally, Trouba (3) buried an empty net goal after winning a battle behind his own net and flipping the puck down the length of the ice from his own zone.

Patrik Nemeth (2) had the only assist on Trouba’s goal as the Rangers sealed the deal on their, 5-2, victory at 19:48 of the third period.

After the goal, Marchand and Panarin exchange words from their benches leading to Panarin taking off one of his gloves and chucking it at Marchand while a linesman stood in the crossfire.

Both players received misconducts and were sent to their dressing rooms with an early dismissal at 19:48.

At the horn, the Rangers had won, 5-2, despite finishing the afternoon trailing in shots on goal, 36-31, to Boston.

Both teams managed to fire seven shots on net each in the third period, however, while New York wrapped up Friday’s action leading in blocked shots (17-4), giveaways (10-5) and hits (23-21).

The B’s finished the afternoon leading in faceoff win% (57-43).

There were no penalties that resulted in skater advantages in the third period, so the Rangers finished the day 0/2 on the power play and the Bruins went 0/3.

Boston dropped to 7-4-0 (4-2-0 at home) when scoring first, 0-4-0 (0-2-0 at home) when tied after one and 2-2-0 (2-1-0 at home) when tied after two periods this season.

New York improved to 5-4-1 (3-3-0 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 5-0-2 (4-0-2 on the road) when tied after the first period and 6-0-1 (4-0-0 on the road) when tied after two periods in 2021-22.

The Bruins continue their three-game homestand against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday before hosting the Detroit Red Wings to close out the month of November on Tuesday, Nov. 30th.

Boston begins the month of December with a one-off road game at Bridgestone Arena against the Nashville Predators next Thursday (Dec. 2nd) before returning home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning for a game next Saturday (Dec. 4th).

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NHL Nick's Net

Bruins amass 47 shots in, 5-1, win on the road

After giving up the game’s first goal, the Boston Bruins pounded the Buffalo Sabres into submission with five unanswered goals and 47 shots on net in a, 5-1, victory at KeyBank Center Wednesday night.

Jeremy Swayman (6-3-0, 2.23 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in nine games played) made 24 saves on 25 shots faced in the win.

Meanwhile, Sabres goaltender, Aaron Dell (0-4-0, 4.57 goals-against average, .862 save percentage in five games played), made 18 saves on 22 shots against before being replaced by Dustin Tokarski (3-4-2, 3.27 goals-against average, .904 save percentage in 11 games played) after the first period.

Tokarski turned aside 24 out of 25 shots faced in relief of Dell for no decision.

The Bruins improved to 10-6-0 (20 points) on the season, but stuck in 5th place in the Atlantic Division as the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets all won their respective matchups on Wednesday night– keeping Boston out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference as the season reaches the American Thanksgiving benchmark for gauging success.

Teams that are in playoff position by the time American Thanksgiving rolls around tend to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs about 78% of the time.

As for the Sabres, they dropped to 7-10-2 (16 points) overall and stuck behind the Bruins in the Atlantic, sitting in 6th place in the division.

The B’s also improved to 2-0-0 against Buffalo this season with two more matchups against the upstate New York based club on Jan. 1st and April 28th (each remaining game is at TD Garden in Boston).

Trent Frederic (upper body) remained out of the lineup for Boston on Wednesday, while Linus Ullmark was relegated to the role of the backup goaltender after tweaking something during morning skate.

Other than that, Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made one minor change to his lineup– promoting Matt Grzelcyk up to the first defensive pairing with Charlie McAvoy and relegating Derek Forbort to the second pairing alongside Brandon Carlo.

Connor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman served as healthy scratches for the B’s in Buffalo.

Jakub Zboril opened the action with a cross checking infraction at 2:25 of the first period when he knocked down John Hayden in front of Boston’s own net.

The Sabres, however, weren’t able to convert on the ensuing skater advantage.

After David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand couldn’t connect on a 2-on-1 opportunity in the other end (Marchand failed to corral a rebound), Kyle Okposo (5) received a pass from Rasmus Asplund while entering Buffalo’s attacking zone and wiring a shot through Patrice Bergeron’s legs over Swayman’s blocker side as the Bruins captain inadvertently screened his own goaltender.

Asplund (7) had the only assist on Okposo’s goal and the Sabres led, 1-0, on the scoreboard at 10:56 of the first period.

A few minutes later, though, Bergeron (7) pounced on a rebound and elevated a backhand shot over Dell while the Buffalo netminder was sprawled out in desperation to snag the puck and cover it up for a faceoff in his own zone.

Pastrnak (11) and Marchand (13) tallied the assists on Bergeron’s goal and the Bruins tied it, 1-1, at 13:29.

51 seconds later, Boston took the lead and started to run away with the rest of the night as Charlie Coyle (6) sent a shot over Dell’s glove on the short side and under the crossbar to put the B’s ahead, 2-1, at 14:20.

Nick Foligno (2) had the only assist on Coyle’s goal, which matched his season total (six goals) from 2020-21, in 35 fewer games.

About a minute later, Rasmus Dahlin hooked Pastrnak and presented the Bruins with their first power play of the night at 15:30 of the first period.

It only took Boston 69 seconds on the skater advantage to find the back of the net on a patented one-timer under the blocker from Pastrnak (6) at the faceoff dot to Dell’s right side to extend the Bruins’ lead to two-goals.

McAvoy (10) and Bergeron (8) tallied the assists on Pastrnak’s power-play goal and the B’s took a, 3-1, lead at 16:59.

With one minute remaining before the start of the first intermission, Zboril sent a puck towards the net that deflected off of his own teammate (Foligno) before Mike Reilly (2) pinched in from the point for the goal on the mostly empty twine to make it, 4-1, Boston.

Foligno (3) and Zboril (3) notched the assists at 19:00 of the first period.

After 20 minutes of play, the Bruins carried a, 4-1, lead into the dressing room and a, 22-8, advantage in shots on goal.

Buffalo held the advantage in takeaways (2-1) and giveaways (4-0), while Boston led in hits (11-7) and faceoff win percentage (71-29).

Both teams had three blocked shots each.

The Sabres were 0/1 and the Bruins were 1/1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

Sabres head coach, Don Granato, replaced Dell with Tokarski ahead of the second period after Dell allowed four goals against in the opening frame on 22 shots faced.

Less than a couple minutes into the second period, Foligno and former Bruins defender, Colin Miller, became entangled in a battle as the puck went the other way, yielding an exchange of fisticuffs between Foligno and Miller and resulting five-minute majors for fighting at 1:42.

It was the fourth fighting major for Boston this season (and first since McAvoy fought Joel Farabee in Philadelphia on Nov. 20th).

Midway through the second period, Forbort tripped up Hayden and the on-ice officials deemed a penalty shot would suffice as a result.

Hayden skated in towards Swayman, but the Bruins netminder made the routine stop as though it were a regular breakaway in the first penalty shot that he faced in his young National Hockey League career.

Not much else happened after that in terms of scoring and penalties as neither team hit the back of the net or served an infraction other than Foligno and Miller’s majors for fighting in the second period.

Through two periods, the Bruins held onto a, 4-1, lead, as well as a, 29-22, advantage in shots on goal, despite Buffalo outshooting Boston, 14-7, in the second period alone.

The B’s led in blocked shots (7-6), hits (22-14) and faceoff win% (66-34) entering the second intermission, while the Sabres held the advantage in takeaways (6-4) and giveaways (6-2).

Buffalo was 0/2 on the skater advantage, while Boston was still 1/1 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Not too much was happening as the two teams went through the motions until about midway in the third period, when Zemgus Girgensons checked McAvoy along the boards and sent the star Bruins defender into the glass face first.

Girgensons was assessed a major for boarding as McAvoy took an extra minute to get off the ice (presumably with a head injury) and an official review upheld Girgensons’ major infraction and game misconduct, yielding a five-minute power play to the Bruins at 13:46 of the third period.

Arttu Ruotsalainen glided over to the penalty box to serve Girgensons’ major as the B’s went to work on the skater advantage.

About midway in the power play, Coyle setup Craig Smith who tossed a pass over to Taylor Hall (5) for the one-timer power-play goal against his most recent former team– extending Boston’s lead to four goals in the process.

Smith (2) and Coyle (5) had the assists on Hall’s goal as the Bruins pulled ahead, 5-1, at 15:26 of the third period.

The B’s didn’t score on the remainder of Girgensons’ major, but then again, not much else happened after Hall’s goal.

Boston wracked up shots on goal and held the Sabres to just three shots against in the third period alone as the final horn sounded– signaling a, 5-1, win for Swayman and the Bruins.

The Bruins exited the building with the advantage in shots on goal, 47-25, including an, 18-3, advantage in the third period alone, as well as the lead in hits (27-18) and faceoff win% (69-31).

Buffalo left their own rink with the lead in giveaways (8-4), while both teams recorded 10 blocked shots apiece.

The Sabres went 0/1 and the Bruins went 2/3 on the power play in Wednesday’s effort.

After the game, Cassidy told reporters that McAvoy “[was] good” and received some stitches but won’t know that much more until Thursday as it would depend on if “[McAvoy] wakes up feeling good tomorrow and is ready to go Friday.”

Boston improved to 3-3-0 (1-2-0 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 8-0-0 (4-0-0 on the road) when leading after the first period and 7-1-0 (4-0-0 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

Buffalo fell to 5-4-1 (3-2-0 at home) when scoring first, 2-6-1 (2-3-1 at home) when trailing after one and 0-7-0 (0-5-0 at home) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins finish the month of November with a three-game homestand starting with Friday’s matinee matchup with the New York Rangers on ABC in the 2021 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown before hosting the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday (Nov. 28th) and Detroit Red Wings next Tuesday (Nov. 30th).

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NHL Nick's Net

Vladar earns shutout in first game against former team

Calgary Flames forward, Andrew Mangiapane, continued his dominance on the road as Dan Vladar made 28 saves in a, 4-0, shutout over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Sunday night.

Vladar (4-0-1, 1.57-goals against average, .945 save percentage in five games played) stopped all 28 shots that he faced for his second shutout this season (as well as the second of his career)– bringing Calgary’s total to seven shutouts this season alone.

Bruins netminder, Jeremy Swayman (5-3-0, 2.39 goals-against average, .908 save percentage in eight games played) made 28 saves on 32 shots against in the loss.

Boston fell to 9-6-0 (18 points) on the season and stuck in 5th place in the Atlantic Division, while the Flames improved to 11-3-5 (27 points) overall and jumped into 1st place in the Pacific Division– leaping over the Edmonton Oilers (13-4-0, 26 points) in the process for not just the division lead, but the best record in the entire Western Conference entering Monday.

Sunday night marked the first meeting between the Bruins and Flames since Feb. 25, 2020, when Calgary beat Boston, 5-2, at TD Garden in their last meeting before the ongoing pandemic was declared about three weeks later.

The Bruins were once again without the services of Trent Frederic (upper body), but head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no lineup changes from Saturday night’s, 5-2, victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on the road to Sunday night’s matchup on home ice with Calgary.

Connor Clifton and Karson Kuhlman remained in the press box as healthy scratches for Boston in the 499th consecutive sellout at TD Garden.

Shortly after puck drop, Brandon Carlo was checked along the boards and appeared to have the wind knocked out of him as he made his way down the tunnel before returning after missing approximately one shift.

It didn’t take much longer, however, for the first official event on the scoresheet as Juuso Välimäki sent a shot on Swayman that rebounded right to Johnny Gaudreau (8) for the right place, right time goal and the, 1-0, lead for Calgary at 1:29 of the first period.

Välimäki (2) and Matthew Tkachuk (8) tallied the assists on Gaudreau’s goal, which marked the 12th consecutive road game in which the Flames scored first.

Moments later, Rasmus Andersson cut a rut to the penalty box for hooking David Pastrnak at 6:27, but the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on the ensuing power play.

Heading into the first intermission, the Flames led, 1-0, on the scoreboard and, 9-7, in shots on net.

Calgary also held the advantage in just about everything else, including blocked shots (6-4), takeaways (3-2) and hits (14-13), while Boston led in giveaways (6-2) and faceoff win percentage (59-41).

The Flames had yet to see any action on the skater advantage, while the B’s were 0/1 on the power play entering the middle frame.

Massachusetts native, Noah Hanifin (1), scored his first goal of the season on yet another rebound that Swayman couldn’t control at 13:51 of the second period after Boston generated momentum in the other zone that was quickly depleted by a faceoff loss to the Flames in Calgary’s attacking zone in the build up to Hanifin’s goal.

Tkachuk (9) and Andersson (9) notched the assists on the goal as the Flames took a, 2-0, lead.

A few minutes later, Hanifin was off to the penalty box for catching Anton Blidh with a high stick at 16:44 of the second period.

Once again, however, the Bruins couldn’t do anything with the skater advantage.

Through 40 minutes of action Sunday night in Boston, the Flames led, 2-0, on the scoreboard and, 20-18, in total shots on net, despite both teams amassing 11 shots each in the second period alone.

Calgary led in blocked shots (10-9), while the Bruins held the advantage in giveaways (10-4), hits (28-23) and faceoff win% (59-42).

The two squads managed to have four takeaways aside entering the final frame, while Boston was 0/2 on the power play and the Flames had yet to see any action on the skater advantage.

Välimäki was assessed a holding infraction at 2:09 of the third period, but (stop me if you’ve heard this before) Boston couldn’t convert on the resulting power play.

Instead, the Bruins gave up a shorthanded goal against as too many skaters went into the attacking zone and not enough could get back in time before Dillon Dubé and Mangiapane exchanged rapid fire with Swayman– generating save after save and rebound after rebound until Mangiapane (15) tucked the puck into the back of the twine.

It was the 14th goal scored on the road for Mangiapane in 15 games this season– marking the first time that any NHL player recorded as many goals outside of their home arena in as many games since John LeClair notched 14 goals on the road in 15 games in 1994-95.

Dubé (7) had the only assist on Mangiapane’s shorthanded goal as the Flames took a, 3-0, lead at 3:08 of the third period.

About a minute later, Mikael Backlund (7) followed up with a shot that Swayman got a piece of before the rubber biscuit slid over the goal line prior to Charlie Coyle fishing it out and keeping play going– at least until the play was reviewed when the puck was clearly observed completely over the line on replay.

Elias Lindholm (12) had the only assist on Backlund’s goal and Calgary took a commanding, 4-0, lead at 4:11 of the third period.

Boston was frustrated for the rest of the night by both Vladar’s ongoing shutout and their own efforts (or lack thereof) as Brad Marchand took a slashing penalty at 7:48, followed by a holding minor against Nick Foligno at 13:56.

The Flames didn’t score on either power play, however.

At the final horn Calgary sealed the deal on a, 4-0, win with Vladar earning his second career shutout in the process.

The Flames finished the night leading in shots on goal, 32-28, including an, 12-10, advantage in shots in the third period alone.

Calgary also exited TD Garden with the advantage in blocked shots (15-14), while Boston wrapped up Sunday night’s action leading in giveaways (12-6), hits (37-28) and faceoff win% (53-47).

The Flames went 0/2 and the Bruins went 0/3 on the power play.

According to Sportsnet Stats, Calgary also became the first NHL team since offensive passes were allowed in 1929, to record seven shutouts within their first 19 games of a season.

Meanwhile, Boston dropped to 2-3-0 (2-1-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 2-3-0 (2-1-0 at home) when trailing after one period and 1-4-0 (1-1-0 at home) when trailing after two periods this season.

The Flames improved to 11-1-3 (9-1-2 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 10-1-1 (9-1-1 on the road) when leading after the first period and 10-0-1 (8-0-0 on the road) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins hit the road for a game in Buffalo against the Sabres on Wednesday before returning home to finish November with a three-game homestand starting Friday afternoon against the New York Rangers in the 2021 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown (Nov. 26th at 1 p.m. ET on ABC).

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NHL Nick's Net

Forbort scores pair in, 5-2, win for Boston

Derek Forbort notched his first career two-goal game and earned his second career game-winning goal in the process, while leading the Boston Bruins to a, 5-2, win over the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Linus Ullmark (4-3-0, 2.86 goals-against average, .908 save percentage in seven games played) made 29 saves on 31 shots against in the win for Boston.

Philadelphia goaltender, Martin Jones (3-2-0, 2.82 goals-against average, .920 save percentage in five games played), stopped 39 out of 44 shots faced in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 9-5-0 (18 points) on the season and remain 5th in the Atlantic Division, while the Flyers fell to 8-5-3 (19 points) overall and stuck in 4th place in the Metropolitan Division.

As a result of Saturday night’s win, the B’s are now 1-1-0 against Philadelphia this season and will face the Flyers once more in the 2021-22 regular season schedule on Jan. 13th at TD Garden.

Trent Frederic (upper body) remained out of the lineup for Boston, while head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made several changes to his lines with Craig Smith and Curtis Lazar returning to action.

Smith took to the third line right wing with Jake DeBrusk at left wing and Erik Haula at center, while Lazar was inserted on the fourth line right wing with Anton Blidh to the left of Tomáš Nosek.

On defense, Mike Reilly was back after serving as a healthy scratch in Boston’s, 5-2, victory over the Montréal Canadiens last Sunday.

Reilly suited up on the left side of the third defensive pairing with Jakub Zboril as his partner and Connor Clifton joining Karson Kuhlman in the press box on the short list of healthy scratches for the Bruins.

Oskar Steen was reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Monday.

Taylor Hall tripped up Claude Giroux to present the Flyers with their first power play of the night at 4:36 of the first period, but Philadelphia wasn’t able to convert on the ensuing skater advantage.

Midway through the opening frame, Giroux tripped Brandon Carlo and presented Boston with their first power play opportunity of the evening at 10:19.

The Bruins even had a 5-on-3 advantage for 12 seconds when Justin Braun tripped David Pastrnak at 12:07, but the B’s couldn’t muster anything on either power play.

Late in the period, Lazar went deep on a forecheck and ensured that a puck chipped in from Matt Grzelcyk would find its way onto another Bruins skater’s stick.

Blidh sent a quick pass to Nosek from the trapezoid to the slot where Nosek (2) elevated a backhand shot under the bar from close range to give Boston the first lead of the night, 1-0, at 18:25 of the first period.

Blidh (2) and Lazar (3) tallied the assists on Nosek’s goal.

Entering the first intermission, the Bruins led, 1-0, on the scoreboard and outshot the Flyers, 21-8.

The B’s also held the advantage in takeaways (3-2) and hits (9-7), while Philly led in blocked shots (3-1), giveaways (4-2) and faceoff win percentage (60-40).

Philadelphia was 0/1 on the power play, while Boston was 0/2 on the skater advantage heading into the middle frame.

It didn’t take the Bruins long to extend their lead to two-goals as Forbort (3) sent a blast from the point that may have tipped off of Braun’s stick and floated over Jones’ blocker side to make it, 2-0, 30 seconds into the second period.

Brad Marchand (12) and Pastrnak (10) recorded the assists on Forbort’s first goal of the night.

Less than a minute later, however, Boston gave up a goal as Cam Atkinson won a race to a loose puck in the trapezoid and bounced a shot off of Ullmark before Derick Brassard (3) scooped up the rebound goal while crashing the net– cutting Boston’s lead in half.

Atkinson (3) and Rasmus Ristolainen (4) had the assists on the goal and the Flyers trailed, 2-1, at 1:22 of the second period.

About a couple minutes later, Forbort tripped Joel Farabee and was sent to the penalty box at 3:42, but Philadelphia wasn’t able to convert on the ensuing skater advantage.

Marchand cut a rut to the sin bin after a post-whistle scrum resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction at 8:30.

It didn’t take the Flyers long to convert on the power play as Brassard (4) received a pass that deflected off of Lazar’s stick and buried a catch and release goal– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.

Giroux (8) and Ivan Provorov (4) tabbed the assists on Brassard’s power-play goal at 9:25 of the second period.

About a minute later, Charlie McAvoy took exception to Farabee’s aggressive play and the two exchanged fisticuffs– yielding five-minute majors for fighting at 10:32, as a result.

Late in the period, Smith setup Forbort (4) for a snap shot over Jones’ glove and under the bar to put Boston ahead, 3-2, on what became the eventual game-winning goal.

Smith (1) and DeBrusk (2) had the assists on Forbort’s second goal of the game as the Bruins defender doubled his career-high goals in a season (four) in just his 14th game with Boston at 16:27 of the second period.

Through 40 minutes of action, the B’s led, 3-2, on the scoreboard and dominated shots on goal, 34-19, including a, 13-11, advantage in the second period alone.

Boston led in blocked shots (8-5), takeaways (5-4), hits (25-18) and faceoff win% (55-45), while both teams had five giveaways each after two periods.

Philadelphia was 1/3 on the power play, while the Bruins remained 0/2 on the skater advantage entering the final frame.

Early in the final frame, Haula fed Smith with a lead pass into the zone before Smith (1) beat Jones on the short side to give Boston another two-goal lead.

Haula (2) and DeBrusk (3) tallied the assists on Smith’s first goal of the season and the Bruins led, 4-2, at 1:28 of the third period.

Oskar Lindblom was sent to the sin bin for hooking at 4:11, but Boston’s power play didn’t last long as Patrice Bergeron cut a rut in Lindblom’s wake with a hooking infraction of his own at 4:29.

After a span of 1:42 at 4-on-4, the Flyers had an abbreviated power play, but couldn’t muster anything past Ullmark.

Carlo went to the box for tripping Brassard at 11:54 and Philadelphia was set to begin a power play on an offensive zone faceoff– except Brassard got thrown out before the draw, so Giroux glided in to take the faceoff against Bergeron, but then the resulting redo was botched.

Bergeron might have accidentally nudged the linesman, but officials on the ice determined it was Giroux– for some unexplained reason– that had committed a faceoff violation and (seeing as it was Philadelphia’s second violation on the same faceoff) resulted in an automatic bench minor for delay of game.

Giroux protested to no avail as Zack MacEwen skated to the box at 11:54– negating Philly’s power play for 4-on-4 action instead.

Less than a minute later, Pastrnak sent a pass back to Zboril in the attacking zone whereby Zboril was patient with the puck before giving it back to his fellow Czechia native.

Pastrnak (5) then held the rubber biscuit while cutting through the slot before wrapping the puck high behind Jones’ glove into the open twine.

Zboril (2) and Charlie Coyle (4) were credited with the assists as the Bruins took a, 5-2, lead at 12:47 of the third period.

Finally, in the last entry on the event sheet for the night, Forbort hooked MacEwen and was assessed a minor infraction at 14:20, but the Flyers couldn’t score on the resulting power play.

At the final horn, Boston had won, 5-2, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 44-31, despite trailing Philadelphia, 12-10, in shots on net in the third period alone.

The Bruins exited the building leading in blocked shots (9-8), giveaways (7-5), hits (33-29) and faceoff win% (51-49).

The Flyers finished the night 1/5 on the power play, while the B’s left Wells Fargo Center 0/3 on the skater advantage.

Boston improved to 7-3-0 (3-2-0 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 7-0-0 (3-0-0 on the road) when leading after the first period and 6-1-0 (3-0-0 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, dropped to 2-5-1 (1-3-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 1-3-1 (1-2-0 at home) when trailing after one period and 1-4-2 (0-2-1 on home ice) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins return home on Sunday to host the Calgary Flames before hitting the road to face the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center next Wednesday (Nov. 24th) prior to closing out November with a three-game homestand including next Friday’s (Nov. 26th) matinee matchup with the New York Rangers– which will air nationally on ABC at 1 p.m. ET as part of the 2021 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown.

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Podcasts

DTFR Podcast #233- Speak Up

We’re back after a little break in the action to talk about a few milestones, Jersey jerseys, Jim Benning, Fenway Sports Group possibly buying the Pittsburgh Penguins and– most importantly– hockey culture and the aftermath (or lack thereof) from the Chicago investigation.

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyAmazon Music and/or Audible.

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NHL Nick's Net

B’s and Habs reignite rivalry for first time since pandemic

It had been 641 days since the Boston Bruins last met the Montréal Canadiens in the regular season on Feb. 12, 2020. Less than a month after the Bruins beat the Habs, 4-1, that night at TD Garden, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19 was a global pandemic.

The rest of the 2019-20 regular season was canceled after before the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs were held in a bubble about five months later. The entire 2020-21 season was shortened to 56 games and temporarily realigned to create an all-Canadian division to comply with COVID-19 public health accommodations across Canada.

The Bruins were eliminated in the 2021 Second Round by the New York Islanders and watched as Montréal went all the way to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final– only to lose in five games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Sunday night in Boston, the B’s met the Canadiens for the first time during the ongoing pandemic and came from behind to beat their longest, most storied rival, 5-2, on home ice.

17,850 fans in attendance packed TD Garden with proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test and masks required for entry.

The “Olé Olé Olé” chant was sung sarcastically in the third period as the Bruins pulled ahead and a Massachusetts native had a pair of goals in the victory.

A few things look different than in 2020.

Carey Price is on a personal leave of absence, while Tuukka Rask is currently unsigned and just started skating last week in an attempt to return from major hip surgery in the offseason.

Both goaltenders in Sunday night’s matchup made their Boston vs. Montréal debuts.

Jeremy Swayman (5-2-0, 2.16 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in seven games played) came out on top with the win for the B’s and made 27 saves on 29 shots faced in the effort.

Canadiens goaltender, Sam Montembeault (0-3-1, 3.78 goals-against average, .890 save percentage in five games played), turned aside 36 out of 40 shots against in the loss.

Boston improved to 8-5-0 (16 points) overall and remained in command of 5th place in the Atlantic Division, while Montréal dropped to 4-11-2 (10 points) on the season and stuck in 7th place in the Atlantic.

The Bruins were once again without the services of Trent Frederic (upper body) on Sunday, while head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made a couple of minor changes to his lineup from Saturday afternoon’s, 5-2, victory in New Jersey to Sunday night’s matchup with Montréal.

Karson Kuhlman was placed on the right side of Erik Haula with Anton Blidh at left wing, while Oskar Steen entered the lineup on the “fourth” line with Tomáš Nosek at center and Jake DeBrusk at left wing.

Steen replaced Curtis Lazar, who joined Mike Reilly and Craig Smith on Boston’s short list of healthy scratches against the Canadiens.

Josh Anderson kicked the night off with a cross checking infraction against Brad Marchand at 3:20 of the first period, but the Bruins weren’t able to convert on the ensuing power play.

Moments later, after controlling possession in the attacking zone, Boston was caught with a defender pinching in as Connor Clifton raced to get back to his spot as Montréal started a rush the other way leading to a 2-on-1.

Instead of passing the puck, however, Joel Armia (1) ripped a shot over Swayman’s glove on the short side to give the Canadiens the night’s first lead, 1-0, at 8:09 of the first period.

Artturi Lehkonen (5) had the only assist on Armia’s first goal of the season as the Habs struck first.

The two teams had a little string of penalties as the first intermission drew near.

Late in the opening frame, Jake Evans tripped Marchand at 15:35, but Boston couldn’t capitalize on the ensuing skater advantage– nor could they do much on the power play at 18:23, when Brendan Gallagher went to the box for slashing Blidh, though that was more so due to the fact that the advantage was cut short when Marchand tripped Lehkonen at 18:59.

For the next 1:24, the two teams skated at 4-on-4, prior to yielding an abbreviated power play to Montréal that extended into the middle frame.

After one period, the Canadiens led, 1-0, on the scoreboard and in shots on goal, 12-11.

The B’s held the advantage in blocked shots (4-3), while the Habs led in takeaways (2-1) and hits (12-10).

Both teams had one giveaway each and split faceoff win percentage, 50-50, heading into the first intermission.

Montréal was 0/1 and Boston was 0/3 on the power play through 20 minutes.

Jakub Zboril snaked his way through the neutral zone while working a pass to lead Taylor Hall into the attacking zone on his 30th birthday almost midway through the second period.

Hall sent a shot on goal that rebounded off Montembeault and almost landed in the right spot for Nick Foligno to get his stick on the loose puck, but not before Charlie McAvoy (2) pinched in from the point, crashed the slot and sent the rubber biscuit past the Canadiens netminder on the low blocker side– tying the game, 1-1, in the process at 8:27 of the second period.

Hall (5) and Zboril (1) tallied the assists on McAvoy’s first goal of the night.

Late in the period, however, Zboril missed an open ice hit fresh from the bench off of a line change, leading to an overabundance of Montréal skaters getting into their attacking zone before Boston could catch up.

A shot from the Canadiens pinballed off of Swayman, might have hit a Bruin and slipped through to the back of the twine– giving Montréal a, 2-1, lead and Michael Pezzetta (1) his first career National Hockey League goal in the process.

Adam Brooks (1) and Anderson (4) had the assists on Pezzetta’s goal at 16:25 of the second period.

Through 40 minutes of action, the Canadiens led, 2-1, on the scoreboard, despite Boston controlling shots on goal, 31-22, including a, 20-10, advantage in the second period alone.

The Bruins held the advantage in blocked shots (8-6) and giveaways (6-5), while Montréal led in takeaways (3-2), as well as faceoff win% (55-45).

Both teams had 23 hits each, while the Habs were 0/1 and the B’s were 0/3 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Jeff Petry was assessed a holding infraction at 1:25 of the third period and presented the Bruins with a power play as a result.

It didn’t take long for Boston to be successful on their fourth skater advantage of the night as Marchand setup McAvoy (3) for the wrist shot from the high slot over Montembeault’s glove through traffic– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.

Marchand (11) had the only assist on McAvoy’s power-play goal as the B’s tied things up, 2-2, on the scoreboard and McAvoy earned his first career two-goal game in the process at 2:14 of the third period.

A few minutes later– with a surge in momentum– Charlie Coyle sent a pass back to David Pastrnak for a shot that rebounded off of Montembeault prior to Petry getting a stick on it and attempting to clear it from the slot.

Petry, instead, inadvertently sent the puck off of Coyle’s (4) head and into Montréal’s own net, giving the Bruins their first lead of the night, 3-2, on Coyle’s unintentional individual effort at 5:58.

Right place, right time (depending on how you look at it).

Between McAvoy’s second goal and Coyle’s first of the night, Boston rallied for two goals in a span of 3:34.

It wasn’t that much longer before the Bruins scored again as Coyle (5) won a race off the boards into the attacking zone on a chip-in indirect pass from DeBrusk and crashed the net before roofing the rubber biscuit on the short side.

DeBrusk (1) and Steen (2) tallied the assists on Coyle’s second goal of the game and the Bruins pulled ahead, 4-2, at 9:05 of the third period.

Coyle’s pair of goals were scored almost three minutes apart from one another in a span of 3:07 before things settled down until late in the final frame.

With his team trailing by two goals, Canadiens head coach, Dominique Ducharme, pulled Montembeault for an extra attacker with about 2:30 remaining on the clock.

Things didn’t go as planned for Montréal, however.

An errant attempt to get the puck out of his own zone from Brandon Carlo hit a linesman before Pastrnak scooped it up, brought it into the attacking zone and sent it over to Hall (4) for the empty net goal at 18:02.

Pastrmak (9) and Carlo (1) were credited with the assists as Hall’s birthday goal sealed the deal on a, 5-2, win for Boston.

Canadiens defender, Chris Wideman, was given a misconduct after the goal at 18:02 and got an early ticket out of the rink to the dressing room as a result.

At the final horn, the Bruins had won, 5-2, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 41-29, including a, 10-7, advantage in the third period alone.

The B’s wrapped up Sunday night leading in blocked shots (10-7) and hits (31-29), while Montréal left TD Garden with the advantage in giveaways (7-6) and faceoff win% (55-45).

The Habs finished Sunday’s effort 0/1 on the power play, while Boston went 1/4 on the skater advantage.

Boston also improved to 2-2-0 (2-0-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 2-2-0 (2-0-0 at home) when trailing after the first period and 1-3-0 (1-0-0 at home) when trailing after two periods this season.

The Canadiens dropped to 2-4-2 (1-3-1 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 3-3-2 (1-2-1 on the road) when leading after the first period and 3-1-0 (1-1-0 on the road) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins have five days off before hitting the road to face the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday (Nov. 20th).

The B’s return home next Sunday to host the Calgary Flames.

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NHL Nick's Net

Bruins dance with Devils in, 5-2, matinée victory

Brad Marchand had a pair of goals as the Boston Bruins beat the New Jersey Devils, 5-2, at Prudential Center on Saturday afternoon.

Bruins netminder, Jeremy Swayman (4-2-0, 2.18 goals-against average, .911 save percentage in six games played) made 27 saves on 29 shots against in the win.

Jonathan Bernier (4-2-0, 2.80 goals-against average, .906 save percentage in six games played) turned aside 31 out of 35 shots faced in the loss.

Boston improved to 7-5-0 (14 points) on the season and moved ahead of the Buffalo Sabres for 5th place in the Atlantic Division standings by virtue of games-in-hand (the Bruins have played 12 games, while Buffalo has played 13 games thus far).

New Jersey fell to 7-4-2 (16 points) overall and remained in 5th place in the Metropolitan Division standings.

The B’s also improved to 2-4-0 on the road this season, as well as 16-6-5 in 27 games at Prudential Center.

Trent Frederic (upper body) was the only Bruin out of the lineup due to injury, but head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made a couple adjustments to his lines from Thursday night’s, 5-3, loss to the Edmonton Oilers entering Saturday.

Karson Kuhlman re-entered the lineup in place of Craig Smith on the third line, while Mike Reilly was scratched in place of Jakub Zboril on the third defensive pairing.

Smith and Reilly were joined by Oskar Steen on the short list of healthy scratches for Boston on Saturday. Steen was recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Friday and will likely be on the third line in place of Kuhlman on Sunday against Montréal.

Early in the first period, Jesper Boqvist caught David Pastrnak with a high stick and was assessed a minor penalty, yielding the afternoon’s first power play opportunity to the Bruins at 6:37 of the first period.

Boston’s skater advantage was short lived, however, as Swayman played the puck outside of the trapezoid for a delay of game penalty at 7:27.

Kuhlman served Swayman’s minor, while the two teams skated at 4-on-4 for about 1:10 prior to an abbreviated power play for the Devils.

New Jersey couldn’t capitalize on the shift in skater strength, though.

Minutes later, Connor Clifton checked Tomáš Tatar away from the puck and received an inference infraction at 10:08. Once again, however, the Devils couldn’t convert on the ensuing skater advantage.

Late in the period, after switching up his bottom-six forwards– demoting Jake DeBrusk to the fourth line after a slow start and promoting Anton Blidh to the third line alongside Erik Haula and Kuhlman– Boston’s third line broke through for the afternoon’s first goal of the game.

Haula (1) sent a rebound off an initial shot by Blidh through Bernier’s five-hole to give the B’s a, 1-0, lead at 17:37 of the first period.

Blidh (1) and Kuhlman (1) tallied the assists on Haula’s first goal of the season (and first goal in a Bruins uniform, as well).

Entering the first intermission, Boston held a, 1-0, lead on the scoreboard and led in shots on goal, 14-9.

The Bruins also held the advantage in blocked shots (5-2) and hits (6-5), while New Jersey led in takeaways (9-6). Both teams had one giveaway each and split faceoff win percentage, 50-50, in the first period.

The Devils were 0/2 and Boston was 0/1 on the power play after one period.

Dawson Mercer tripped up Clifton to kick things off in the middle frame with a Bruins power play at 2:58 of the second period.

Late in the special teams action, Marchand (7) wired a shot from the point with eyes through traffic past Bernier to give the B’s a two-goal lead.

Charlie McAvoy (7) and Patrice Bergeron (7) tallied the assists on Marchand’s power-play goal and the Bruins led, 2-0, at 4:10 of the second period.

Jesper Bratt sent a pass to Andreas Johnsson before Johnsson setup Mercer (5) in the slot on a tic-tac-goal to cut Boston’s lead in half as the Devils got on the scoreboard and trailed, 2-1, 28 seconds after Marchand scored his first goal of the afternoon.

Johnsson (5) and Bratt (6) notched the assists on Mercer’s goal at 4:38 of the second period.

For the third time in their last five periods, Boston allowed a goal less than one minute after scoring a goal.

About two minutes later, however, the B’s extended their lead back to two-goals as Marchand worked a pass to Pastrnak for a blast that rebounded off of Bernier’s glove before Marchand (8) collected the garbage and snuck the puck past Bernier’s left pad.

Pastrnak (7) and McAvoy (8) had the assists on Marchand’s second goal of the game– his 50th career two-goal game– and the Bruins led, 3-1, at 6:52.

Less than a minute later, Taylor Hall hooked Alexander Holtz and presented the Devils with a power play at 7:14, but New Jersey wasn’t able to beat Boston’s penalty kill.

Midway through the middle frame, Brandon Carlo cross checked Nico Hischier away from the play and both players cut a rut to their respective penalty boxes– Carlo for cross checking, Hischier for embellishment– at 13:50.

After two minutes of 4-on-4 action, the two teams returned to 5-on-5 action without any issue.

In the waning minute of the middle frame, Charlie Coyle banked the puck off of a referee inadvertently, which led to a fortunate bounce for the Devils as Mercer faked a shot and passed the puck off to Bratt (3) for a one-timer goal to pull New Jersey back to within one at 19:24 of the second period.

Through 40 minutes of action, the Bruins led, 3-2, on the scoreboard and, 26-18, in shots on goal– including a, 12-9, advantage in the second period alone.

Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (9-5), hits (14-8) and faceoff win% (59-41) after two periods, while New Jersey led in takeaways (17-9).

Both teams had three giveaways each through two periods.

The Devils were 0/3 and the Bruins were 1/2 on the power play heading into the second intermission.

Midway through the final frame, Pastrnak got a shot off that ended up loose in the crease after Bernier made the initial save, but in the ensuing scrum Bergeron (6) tapped the rubber biscuit over the goal line to give Boston another two-goal lead, 4-2, at 10:49 of the third period.

Pastrnak (8) and McAvoy (9) snagged the assists on Bergeron’s goal– completing a three-assist afternoon for McAvoy (his first since Jan. 26, 2021, in a, 3-2, overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins).

Seconds prior to the goal, Hall had made incidental contact in Boston’s own zone with Devils defender, Ryan Graves, who was slow to get up and off the ice under his own power.

Berner vacated the crease with 2:33 remaining in the game for an extra attacker, but briefly returned to the net before leaving once more around 1:33 left in regulation after New Jersey iced the puck.

Devils head coach, Lindy Ruff, used his timeout after a stoppage in play with 1:21 remaining in the action so that assistant coach, Mark Recchi, could drum up a plan to rally his team and tie the game.

Bruins assistant coach, Chris Kelly, had other ideas, however.

In the last minute of regulation, Bratt turned the puck over on a giveaway to DeBrusk’s skates, leading DeBrusk (3) to gain control of the puck, skate forward and hit the empty twine from the center ice logo on an unassisted effort.

DeBrusk’s empty net goal cemented a, 5-2, victory for Boston at 19:06 of the third period.

At the final horn, the Bruins had won and finished the afternoon leading in shots on goal, 36-29, despite trailing the Devils in shots on goal in the third period alone, 11-10.

The B’s exited the building with the lead in blocked shots (25-8), hits (16-11) and faceoff win% (54-46), while New Jersey left their home ice with the advantage in giveaways (8-4).

As there were no penalties called in the third period, the Devils finished Saturday afternoon’s effort 0/3 on the power play, while the Bruins went 1/2 on the skater advantage.

Boston improved to 6-3-0 (2-2-0 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 6-0-0 (2-0-0 on the road) when leading after one period and 5-1-0 (2-0-0 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

New Jersey, meanwhile, fell to 4-4-1 (2-3-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 1-4-1 (1-3-1 at home) when trailing after the first period and 1-4-1 (1-3-0 at home) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins return home Sunday to host the Montréal Canadiens at TD Garden for the first time since the 2019-20 season before having five days off prior to their next road game in Philadelphia next Saturday (Nov. 20th).