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Podcasts

DTFR Podcast #252- Who’s Steering The Boat?

Nick and Cam talk about the ongoing 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals matchups and Bruce Cassidy’s dismissal from the Boston Bruins.

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Podcasts

DTFR Podcast #251- Florida Men

Nick and Sean talk about the ongoing 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round matchups. Subscribe to The ScorchStack (this isn’t an ad, we just like them).

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Podcasts

DTFR Podcast #250- Is This The Leafs’ Year (To Get Out Of The First Round)?

Nick and Cam present cases for James Norris Memorial Trophy, Vezina Trophy and Calder Memorial Trophy finalists and predict how the rest of the 2022 First Round should go.

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Podcasts

DTFR Podcast #249- 2022 First Round Preview In Progress (Part 2)

Nick and Sean preview the Western Conference matchups in the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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NHL Nick's Net

Bruins strike quick in, 4-2, victory against Panthers

Though Jake DeBrusk had the eventual game-winning goal in the second period, Erik Haula and Taylor Hall stole the show within a six-second span back in the first period as the Boston Bruins beat the Florida Panthers, 4-2, Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Linus Ullmark (25-10-2, 2.51 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in 40 games played) made 19 saves on 21 shots against in the win for Boston.

Florida goaltender, Sergei Bobrovsky (39-7-3, 2.67 goals-against average, .912 save percentage in 54 games played), stopped 34 out of 37 shots faced in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 50-25-5 (105 points) on the season and remain in command of the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, as well as 4th in the Atlantic Division.

The Panthers fell to 57-17-6 (120 points) overall, but sit atop the Eastern Conference, as well as the Atlantic, having clinched the best record this side of the Mississippi River however many days ago now.

Florida is also still in command of the Presidents’ Trophy race with the Colorado Avalanche (56-18-6, 118 points) just two points behind. Both teams have two games remaining on their schedules.

The B’s, meanwhile reached the 50-win plateau for the first time since 2017-18 and finished their regular season series against the Panthers with a 2-1-0 record over three matchups in 2021-22.

Boston went 2-0-1 against Florida in 2019-20, and did not face the Panthers in 2020-21, due to the temporarily realigned divisions amidst the condensed 56-game schedule in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) on Tuesday, while David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm returned to action after serving as healthy scratches in Sunday night’s, 5-3, victory in Montréal.

Pastrnak was back in his regular role on the second line with Marc McLaughlin coming out of the lineup and Tomáš Nosek reverting back to his fourth line center spot.

Meanwhile, Lindholm suited up alongside Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk went back to the second pairing with Brandon Carlo with Mike Reilly joining McLaughlin, Josh Brown and Anton Blidh on the list of healthy scratches against Florida.

Prior to puck drop, the Bruins presented their 2021-22 team awards as McAvoy was named this year’s Eddie Shore Award winner, Pastrnak took home the Elizabeth Dufresne Award honors for 2021-22 and Nick Foligno was named the recipient of the John P. Bucyk Award.

Patrice Bergeron (Third Star), Brad Marchand (Second Star) and Pastrnak (First Star) were named the 98.5 The Sports Hub Three Star Award winners for the season.

Thursday night before the B’s host the Buffalo Sabres, Boston– together with NESN– will present the NESN 7th Player Award as voted on by the fans to this year’s winner.

After Tuesday night’s win, fans in attendance witnessed a modified version of the annual “Shirts Off Our Backs” ceremony with players skating to a team representative, taking off their jersey, signing it and having said representative bring it over to the lucky winner from the crowd.

Early in the opening frame, Haula cross checked Anthony Duclair and presented the Panthers with the first power play of the night at 5:41 of the first period.

Florida didn’t convert on the skater advantage, but they were able to capitalize in the vulnerable minute after special teams action as Gustav Forsling (10) flung a shot with eyes towards the net and past Ullmark on the glove side to give the Panthers a, 1-0, lead at 8:00 of the first period.

Forsling’s goal was unassisted.

Late in the opening frame, Hall fed Pastrnak with a lead pass into the attacking zone before Pastrnak drove the rubber biscuit to the net, deked and sent a backhand pass through the slot to Haula as the center was crashing the high slot from the right side.

Haula (18) blasted a one-timer past Bobrovsky and tied the game, 1-1, at 16:18, while Pastrnak (35) and Hall (40) notched the assists.

Six seconds after the ensuing faceoff– which the Panthers won, mind you– Pastrnak intercepted a pass and sent Hall (19) into the offensive zone on a breakaway where No. 71 in black and gold promptly beat Bobrovsky on the glove side to give Boston their first lead of the night, 2-1.

Pastrnak (36) had the only assist on Hall’s goal at 16:18 of the first period and Haula and Hall combined for a pair of goals in a span of six seconds– marking the second-fastest two-goal span in franchise history, trailing Ray Getliffe and Leroy Goldsworthy’s pair of goals five seconds apart on Jan. 4, 1938, in a, 6-3, win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Garden.

A couple minutes later, a scrum ensued after a stoppage, yielding minor infractions for roughing for Joe Thornton, Nosek, Derek Forbort and Patric Hornqvist.

There was no ensuing skater advantage for either team, however.

About a minute later, though, Carlo slashed Duclair and cut a rut to the penalty box at 19:50.

Florida’s power play didn’t take long before Sam Reinhart (32) sent a puck off the iron before collecting his own rebound and slidding it behind Ullmark while the Bruins goaltender was momentarily confused and searched behind his leg pads for the puck that was now already in the back of the twine.

Claude Giroux (44) and Duclair (26) tallied the assists on Reinhart’s power-play goal as the Panthers tied the game, 2-2, at 19:59 of the opening frame.

Heading into the first intermission, the score was tied, 2-2, despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 13-11.

Florida held the advantage in blocked shots (5-3), while the Bruins led in takeaways (3-2), giveaways (3-1) and faceoff win percentage (52-48).

Both teams managed 11 hits apiece, while only the Panthers had seen any time on the skater advantage– having gone 1-for-2 on the power play through one period.

Early in the middle frame, Bergeron worked a pass up along the boards to Marchand, who fired a quick shot on goal that generated a rebound for DeBrusk as he crashed the net.

DeBrusk (24) buried the loose puck and gave Boston a, 3-2, lead at 4:59 of the second period as a result.

Marchand (46) and Bergeron (38) were credited with the assists on the tally.

Moments later, Thornton tripped McAvoy and presented the Bruins with their first power play as a result at 11:49 of the second period.

Boston promptly failed to convert on the skater advantage and fell to 0-for-34 on their last 34 power play opportunities.

Through 40 minutes of action, the B’s led the Panthers, 3-2, on the scoreboard and, 22-18, in shots on goal, including a, 9-7, advantage in the second period alone.

Boston also led in faceoff win% (59-42), while Florida took control in blocked shots (7-4), takeaways (7-5) and giveaways (7-4).

Both teams had 21 hits aside, while the Panthers were 1-for-2 and the Bruins were 0-for-1 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Early in the third period, the Panthers tweeted that Anton Lundell (upper body) and Radko Gudas (lower body) would not return to the night’s action due to injuries.

Forsling sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play at 6:46 of the third period and received an automatic delay of game infraction as a result.

Boston, however, failed to convert on the resulting power play and would do so once more when Sam Bennett hooked Lindholm and cut a rut to the box at 8:49.

Despite special teams continuing to fall by the wayside (the Bruins are 0-for-36 on their last 36 power plays), the B’s managed to limit Florida to just three shots on goal in the third period alone.

Panthers interim head coach, Andrew Brunette, pulled his goaltender with 3:24 remaining in the action to muster some semblance of an effort in the offensive zone with a 6-on-5 advantage.

Marchand (32), however, had other ideas and ended a 12-game goalless drought– tallying the 793rd point of his NHL career in the process and tying Wayne Cashman for the seventh-most points in Bruins franchise history as a result on an empty net goal at 16:55.

Bergeron (39) had the only assist and Boston took a, 4-2, lead with only minutes to spare in Tuesday night’s action.

Brunette used his timeout with 1:36 remaining and pulled Bobrovsky for an extra attacker again shortly thereafter, but the B’s kept the Panthers from cutting into the lead and the final horn sounded with a resounding, 4-2, victorious effort for the Bruins.

Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal, 38-21, including a, 16-3, advantage in the third period alone.

The B’s also led in blocked shots (12-5) and faceoff win% (55-45), while Florida left TD Garden leading in giveaways (9-5) and hits (30-27).

The Panthers went 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Bruins went 0-for-3 on the skater advantage Tuesday night.

Boston has now won five out of their last six games and is on a three-game winning streak as a result.

The B’s improved to 14-16-3 (8-8-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 16-6-2 (7-3-1 at home) when tied after the first period and 32-1-3 (15-1-1 at home) when leading after two periods this season.

Florida fell to 33-8-2 (14-5-2 on the road) when scoring first, 15-9-2 (7-5-2 on the road) when tied after one and 11-15-1 (4-9-1 on the road) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins host the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night in the final home game of the regular season before visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night on the road.

The 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin on May 2nd with the First Round schedule yet to be announced.

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Podcasts

DTFR Podcast #246- Depth Chart Depth (feat. Sean Reilly)

Sean returns to the program to talk about the Boston Bruins, a plethora of injuries around the league, Doug Wilson, the Western Conference wild card race, Mike Bossy and more including an all-new segment where Sean flips the script and asks Nick stuff.

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Deadline Deals NHL

Bruins bulk up with Lindholm on defense in trade with Anaheim

The Boston Bruins acquired defenders, Hampus Lindholm and Kodie Curran, from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenders, Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, a 2022 1st round pick, a 2023 2nd round pick and a 2024 2nd round pick on Saturday afternoon.

The Ducks retained 50% of Lindholm’s salary ($2,602,778) in the transaction.

Lindholm and the B’s are reportedly working on an eight-year extension that could be finalized Sunday, according to TSN and RDS Hockey Insider and The Athletic writer, Pierre LeBrun.

TSN’s Chris Johnston tweeted that the average annual value of Lindholm’s extension may be around $6.500 million late Saturday night.

Prior to the trade, Lindholm’s cap hit with Anaheim was $5,205,556, so the otherwise pending-unrestricted free agent is due for a little bit of a pay raise given his age, status and longevity in the league as a top-four defender.

The 6-foot-4, 216-pound native of Helsingborg, Sweden was originally drafted by Anaheim in the 1st round (6th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and has 57-165–222 totals in 582 career NHL games since making his league debut with the Ducks in the 2013-14 season.

Lindholm, 28, has five goals and 17 assists (22 points) in 61 games this season and set a career-high 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 78 games in 2014-15, before recording a career-high 13 goals in 69 games in 2017-18.

He suffered a fractured wrist last season and was limited to 18 games as a result– recording two goals and four assists (six points) in that span.

He also leaves Anaheim with 743 blocked shots– ranking third in franchise history– and was one of three defenders to reach 200 points in Ducks history, alongside Scott Niedermayer and Cam Fowler.

In 55 career Stanley Cup playoff games, Lindholm has 4-17–21 totals, including 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 16 games in Anaheim’s run to the 2015 Western Conference Final, as well as four points in 17 games in the Ducks’ 2017 Western Conference Final appearance.

He’ll likely land a role alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first defensive pairing and on Boston’s penalty kill as a more traditional shutdown defender to McAvoy’s two-way style.

Lindholm arrives at a time when the Bruins could use a little more insurance on the blue line in the event of injuries down the stretch and in the long run, despite producing solid numbers as one of the league’s more effective defenses and having a more pressing need for a second line center in another transaction.

Curran, 32, had 1-15–16 totals in 37 games for the San Diego Gulls (AHL) this season and is destined to become the oldest defender in Providence upon his arrival to the Bruins organization.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, joined the Ducks as an undrafted free agent on June 3, 2020, after parts of five college seasons at the University of Calgary from 2010-15, a stint with the Hartford Wolf Pack and Greenville Swamp Rabbits from 2015-16, and four seasons in Europe from 2016-20, before spending parts of the last two seasons in San Diego.

He had 7-27–34 totals in 81 career games for the Wolf Pack and Gulls before the trade.

Curran carries a $1.000 million cap hit and is a pending-unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

The Bruins have about $1.230 million in cap space by the end of the season as a result of the trade and will have about $6.152 million to work with at the trade deadline itself on Monday as General Manager, Don Sweeney, seeks to find a second line center and/or more.

Vaakanainen, 23, has four assists in 15 games this season while with Boston and has been sidelined for at least 17 games due to injury/illness having most recently suffered an upper body injury on Feb. 1st against Seattle and exiting warmup on Feb. 21st prior to a matchup against Colorado.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound native of Joenssu, Finland has six assissts in 31 career NHL games– all with the Bruins– since he was drafted in the 1st round (18th overall) by Boston in 2017.

In 23 games with the Providence Bruins (AHL), he had 1-7–8 totals this season– bringing his American Hockey League career totals to 11-28–39 in 118 games in Providence.

Vaakanainen has yet to appear in a Stanley Cup playoff game and is a pending-restricted free agent at season’s end with a cap hit of $894, 167.

Moore, 31, meanwhile, appeared in seven games for Boston this season and has been out of the lineup with an upper body injury since Jan. 28th.

The 6-foot-3, 207-pound native of Winnetka, Illinois has 38-80–118 totals in 544 career NHL games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils and Bruins, including 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 97 games over parts of the last four seasons with Boston.

In 11 games with Providence this season, Moore had six points (one goal, five assists) prior to the trade.

He was originally drafted in the 1st round (21st overall) by Columbus at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and has four assists in 49 career Stanley Cup playoff games.

Moore is signed through the end of the 2022-23 season with a $2.750 million cap hit.

Anaheim will undoubtedly benefit from Vaakanainen’s development– provided he can stay healthy and avoid further career derailment due to traumatic brain injuries– as well as from the acquisition of three draft picks from the Bruins in as many years in the first two rounds (2022 1st round, 2023 2nd round and 2024 2nd round).

Retaining half of Lindholm’s salary is a small price to pay for the Ducks with the added benefit of attaining about $11.631 million in cap space by the end of the season.

As a result, Anaheim will have about $58.154 million in deadline cap space to work with to facilitate trades or broker any potential three-team deals as the Ducks sit on the outside of the cutoff line looking in for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Anaheim’s General Manager, Pat Verbeek, is ready to sell assets and commit to a rebuild with a plethora of picks at his disposal.

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NHL Nick's Net

DeBrusk scores twice in Boston’s first win in Seattle

Jake DeBrusk’s scoring streak continued Thursday night at Climate Pledge Arena as the Boston Bruins forward notched a pair of goals– including the game-winning goal 33 seconds into overtime to lift the B’s over the Seattle Kraken, 3-2.

DeBrusk now has four goals in his last three games and the Bruins have put together a little three-game win streak as a result.

Linus Ullmark (17-8-1, 2.76 goals-against average, .910 save percentage in 27 games played) made 25 saves on 27 shots against in the win for Boston.

Kraken goaltender, Philipp Grubauer (12-22-5, 3.17 goals-against average, .888 save percentage in 40 games played) stopped 36 out of 39 shots faced in the overtime loss.

The Bruins improved to 30-17-4 (64 points) overall and remain in 4th place in the Atlantic Division, but moved to within one point of overtaking the Washington Capitals for the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Seattle, meanwhile, fell to 16-33-5 (37 points) on the season and stuck in 8th place in the Pacific Division, as well as 30th overall in the entire National Hockey League– six points ahead of the 31st place Montréal Canadiens and seven points ahead of the Arizona Coyotes from the basement of the league standings.

The B’s improved to 2-0-0 all-time against the Kraken in Seattle’s inaugural season and won’t see them again until the 2022-23 regular season calendar.

After winning, 5-1, on home ice against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, the Bruins hit the road for Seattle in the middle of the week– practicing in the NHL’s newest market on Wednesday before taking part in their first of six road matchups on Thursday.

Boston was without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Urho Vaakanainen (undisclosed) against the Kraken as Zboril remains out for the rest of the season and Vaakanainen did not travel with the team to Seattle.

Meanwhile, Brad Marchand returned from his six-game suspension– joining the Bruins ahead of the game on Thursday a day behind the rest of his teammates as he and his wife brought home their new baby daughter.

Congrats to the Marchand’s on welcoming a newborn!

Jack Ahcan and Jesper Frödén were recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Wednesday, while Jack Studnicka was reassigned to the P-Bruins. Neither Ahcan, nor Frödén were in the lineup Thursday night.

B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, welcomed the return of Marchand to the first line left wing alongside Patrice Bergeron, while promoting DeBrusk to the first line right wing.

Erik Haula was back centering the second line with Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak on his wings as a result of Marchand’s return.

Cassidy left the third line intact and slid Nick Foligno to the fourth line left wing slot with Tomáš Nosek at center and Curtis Lazar on right wing.

On defnse, Mike Reilly suited up alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first pairing with Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo rounding out the top-four pairings while Derek Forbort was partnered with Connor Clifton.

Anton Blidh joined Frödén and Ahcan in the press box as Boston’s trio of healthy scratches while Zboril and Vaakanainen remain out due to injury on Thursday.

Kraken captain, Mark Giordano, tripped up Charlie Coyle 20 seconds into the first period, but the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on their first skater advantage of the night– nor could Boston take control of the scoreboard when– about a minute later– Adam Larsson caught Hall with a high stick at 1:42.

Larsson was assessed a four-minute double minor as Hall was left bloodied, but despite 38 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage and an extended 5-on-4 power play, the B’s couldn’t muster anything past Grubauer just yet.

Instead, Giordano was freed from the box and received a pass from Riley Sheahan after Jamie Oleksiak blocked a shot in the defensive zone.

The Kraken defender skated in as the Bruins made a poorly timed line change and waltzed to the slot unopposed before Giordano (6) wired a shot past Ullmark to give Seattle a, 1-0, lead on his second shorthanded goal of the season.

In the process, Giordano became the third defender 38 or older to record at least two shorthanded goals in a season, joining Zdeno Chara (two in 2016-17) and Ray Bourque (two in 2000-01) in doing so.

Sheahan (8) and Oleksiak (11) tallied the assists on Giordano’s shorthanded goal at 3:29 of the first period.

Several minutes later, Alex Wennberg intended to avoid a surefire collision in the neutral zone with McAvoy and instead took the Boston defender’s helmet off with the blade of his stick– narrowly avoiding McAvoy’s eyes– as Wennberg tried to wield it away from McAvoy’s body to avoid a trip.

Thus, after a brief stoppage for the Bruins No. 1 defender to skate off the ice and get checked out down the tunnel for a minute, Wennberg sat in the penalty box for a pair of minutes at 9:02.

Boston still didn’t score on the resulting power play, though.

Minutes later, McAvoy was back and caught Jordan Eberle with an errant stick of his own– cutting a rut to the sin bin and presenting the Kraken with a power play at 12:00.

Boston’s penalty kill stood tall as Seattle’s skater advantage came and went.

Larsson then went back into the box for interference at 15:24 after he delivered a check on Hall without the puck.

Seconds after the power play ended, the Bruins caught the Kraken in the vulnerable minute after special teams play.

Haula chipped the puck over the back of the net, while former Bruins defender turned Seattle expansion draft pick, Jeremy Lauzon, tried to bat the puck out of mid-air and clear of the crease.

Instead, the rubber biscuit dropped to the goal line where DeBrusk (10) settled for an easy tap-in goal– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.

Haula (13) and Craig Smith (11) notched the assists as Boston pulled even at 17:33 of the first period with momentum on their side heading into the first intermission.

After one period, the Bruins and Kraken were tied, 1-1, despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 17-8.

Seattle held the advantage in blocked shots (7-1) and takeaways (4-1), while the B’s led in giveaways (3-1), hits (6-3) and faceoff win percentage (68-32).

The Kraken were 0/1 and the Bruins were 0/5 on the power play heading into the first intermission.

Nosek kicked things off in the second period with a high sticking infraction against former Bruin, Austin Czarnik, at 2:41.

Seattle wasn’t able to convert on the resulting power play, however.

Moments after making the kill, Boston won an attacking zone faceoff back to the point where Grzelcyk slid the puck along the blue line to McAvoy for a pass through the high slot to Pastrnak (28) for a one-timer goal on Grubauer’s blocker side at 6:47.

McAvoy (24) and Grzelcyk (16) recorded the assists as the Bruins took their first lead of the night, 2-1, as a result.

A few minutes past the midpoint of the action, however, Boston made another bad line change that cost them.

This time, Marcus Johansson entered the attacking zone on a 2-on-1 that quickly became a de facto 2-on-0 with a pass across the ice to Eberle (15) for the slick move to the backhand while crashing the net before elevating the rubber biscuit on Ullmark’s blocker side– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.

Johansson (13) and Calle Järnkrok (12) had the assists as the Kraken evened things up at 13:19 of the second period.

A few minutes later, Nosek was back in the penalty box for catching Järnkrok with a high stick at 16:19, but Seattle couldn’t get another puck past Ullmark as the B’s made the kill and entered the second intermission tied with the Kraken on the scoreboard, 2-2.

Boston continued to hold the advantage in total shots on goal, 31-18, while also outshooting Seattle, 14-10, in the second period alone.

The Kraken led in blocked shots (10-8) and takeaways (7-4) after two periods, while the Bruins held the advantage in giveaways (4-3), hits (13-10) and faceoff win% (67-33) through 40 minutes.

As there were no penalties called for the rest of the night, Seattle finished the action 0/3 on the power play, while Boston went 0/5 on the skater advantage.

There were no goals and no penalties in the third period as the two teams swapped chances.

Seattle actually outshot Boston, 9-7, in the third period alone, but the Bruins continued to leading in total shots on goal, 38-27, heading into the extra frame.

The Kraken led in blocked shots (12-9), takeaways (10-6) and giveaways (6-4), while the B’s held the advantage in hits (19-18) and faceoff win% (60-40).

Heading into overtime, Cassidy sent out Coyle, DeBrusk and McAvoy. Seattle’s head coach, Dave Hakstol, countered with Johansson, Eberle and Giordano.

The extra frame did not last long as Boston worked the puck through the neutral zone to DeBrusk with speed entering the attacking zone.

DeBrusk (11) drove right to the net and sent a shot past Grubauer on the short side underneath the blocker to give the Bruins the, 3-2, victory on his second goal of the game 33 seconds into overtime.

Coyle (13) and McAvoy (25) had the assists as Boston left Climate Pledge Arena with a win in their debut in the league’s newest market.

The Bruins improved to 4-2 in overtime this season, while the Kraken fell to 1-4.

Boston left the ice leading in shots on goal, 39-27– including a, 1-0, advantage in overtime alone– as well as the advantage in hits (19-18) and faceoff win% (61-39).

Seattle exited their own building leading in blocked shots (12-9) and giveaways (6-4).

The Bruins improved to 10-10-3 (4-4-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 8-5-1 (5-2-1 on the road) when tied after one period and 6-3-0 (1-2-0 on the road) when tied after two periods this season.

Seattle fell to 8-8-2 (3-4-1 at home) when scoring first, 6-7-5 (3-3-3 at home) when tied after the first period and 7-5-3 (3-3-2 at home) when tied after the second period in 2021-22.

Boston continues their six game road trip (1-0-0) Saturday night in San Jose before venturing to Los Angeles next Monday to wrap up the month of February and kick off March next Tuesday in Anaheim.

The Bruins then swing through Vegas next Thursday and Columbus next Saturday before returning home to host the Kings on March 7th.

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NHL Nick's Net Previews

Preview: Game 50- Avalanche @ Bruins

Monday afternoon at TD Garden, the Colorado Avalanche visit the Boston Bruins in the conclusion of their regular season series– in which the Avs are in the midst of their second-longest road winning streak in club history at seven games.

Colorado’s longest road win streak in franchise history was set during the 2019-20 season when the Avs won nine consecutive games on the road from Feb. 4-March 2, 2020.

The last time the Avalanche won seven straight road games was back in the 1998-99 season, when Colorado won seven games away from home from Jan. 10-Feb. 7, 1999.

Boston, on the other hand, is coming off of a, 3-2, overtime win in Ottawa on Saturday– having finished their four-game road trip with a 2-1-1 record.

On Jan. 26th, the Bruins lost, 4-3, in overtime at Ball Arena as the Avalanche continued their franchise record 18-game home win streak in the process.

B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, told reporters after practice on Sunday that Jeremy Swayman would likely get the start in the crease after consulting with goaltending coach, Bob Essensa, and that Derek Forbort would return to the lineup after serving as a healthy scratch in the win against the Senators.

As a result of Forbort returning to action, Connor Clifton will likely return to the press box for Monday’s matinée matchup.

The Bruins will be without the services of Jakub Zboril and Brad Marchand as Zboril remains out for the rest of the season due to his right ACL injury, while Marchand will serve the sixth game out of his six-game suspension on Monday for his antics against Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender, Tristan Jarry, back on Feb. 8th.

Linus Ullmark is expected to serve as Swayman’s backup against Colorado, while Anton Blidh likely remains out of the lineup with Marchand out until Feb. 24th amidst other temporary roster adjustments.

For instance, Cassidy remains committed to Charlie Coyle as the second line center with Trent Frederic at left wing and Craig Smith on right wing while Taylor Hall is required to fill-in for Marchand on the first line alongside Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.

As a result, Erik Haula was slotted on the left side of Jack Studnicka in Ottawa while Nick Foligno served as the third line right wing.

Jake DeBrusk scored a goal in Saturday’s win and played alongside fourth line regulars, Tomáš Nosek and Curtis Lazar, leaving no room for Blidh to get back into the lineup until Marchand returns, at least.

In summary, Boston will likely be without Zboril, Marchand, Blidh and Clifton on Monday.

The Bruins (28-17-4, 60 points) enter Monday 4th place in the Atlantic Division and in command of the second wild card berth in the Eastern Conference, while Coloardo leads the Central Division, Western Conference as well as the entire National Hockey League standings with a 36-9-4 record (76 points).

Both teams have played in 49 games and will take part in their 50th game of the season against one another.

Boston is 15-10-1 at home this season and 4-4-2 in their last ten games, while the Avalanche are 15-6-2 on the road and 8-1-1 in their last ten games.

The Bruins are 73-58-15-3 in 149 regular season games against the Avalanche/Québec Nordiques in franchise history with 557 goals for and 488 goals against in that span.

Marchand leads the B’s in scoring this season with 21-28–49 totals in 39 games played, while Pastrnak leads the team in goals (25) and ranks second in points (46) in 49 games.

Bergeron rounds out the top-three in team scoring with 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 45 games.

A few milestones are within reach in Monday’s matinée meeting with the Avalanche.

Bergeron (20) is one shorthanded goal away from tying Don Marcotte (21) for the 4th-most shorthanded goals in franchise history, Coyle (198) is two assists away from his 200th career NHL assist and Haula (99) is one goal away from his 100th career NHL goal.

At the other end of the rink, the Avalanche are 13-2-1-1 in 17 games at TD Garden– outscoring the Bruins, 45-28, in that span– and 4-0-0 in day games this season.

Colorado is 12-2-1 in matinée games dating back to the start of the 2019-20 season.

Nazem Kadri leads the Avs in scoring so far this season with 63 points (21 goals, 42 assists) in 46 games, while Mikko Rantanen (26-32–58 totals in 46 games) and Cale Makar (18-32–50 totals in 45 games) round out the top-three on the roster.

Makar had an assist in Colorado’s, 5-3, win at Buffalo on Saturday and reached the 50-point plateau for his second time in three seasons (he’s yet to appear in 57 or more games in a regular season thus far) and did so in his 45th game of the season.

He trails only Brian Leetch (38 games in 1991-92, 43 games in 1990-91), Mike Green (43 games in 2008-09), Gary Suter (44 games in 1987-88) and Steve Duchesne (44 games in 1988-89) among defenders aged 23 or younger in reaching 50 points in as few games since 1986-87.

In the crease, Swayman (10-7-3, 2.14 goals-against average, .923 save percentage in 21 games played) is expected to get the start for the Bruins after making 29 saves on 31 shots faced in Saturday’s, 3-2, overtime win in Ottawa.

Darcy Kuemper (25-5-2, 2.40 goals-against average, .920 save percentage in 35 games played) is likely to get the start for the Avalanche after making 29 saves on 32 shots faced in Saturday’s, 5-3, win against the Sabres in Buffalo.

He made 29 saves on 32 shots against in Colorado’s, 4-3, overtime victory against Boston on Jan. 26th, while Ullmark turned aside 37 out of 41 shots faced in the overtime loss for the B’s.

The Bruins host the Avalanche before embarking on a six-game road trip through Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Vegas and Columbus, while Colorado finishes up a four-game road trip in Detroit on Wednesday after Monday’s matinée in Boston.

Expected lineups

Boston Bruins

BRUINS LINES

71 Taylor Hall 37 Patrice Bergeron (C) 88 David Pastrnak (A)

11 Trent Frederic 13 Charlie Coyle 12 Craig Smith

56 Erik Haula 23 Jack Studnicka 17 Nick Foligno

74 Jake DeBrusk 92 Tomáš Nosek 20 Curtis Lazar

58 Urho Vaakanainen 73 Charlie McAvoy

48 Matt Grzelcyk 25 Brandon Carlo (A)

28 Derek Forbort 6 Mike Reilly

1 Jeremy Swayman

35 Linus Ullmark

Healthy scratches and injured members (officially TBA, below is only a prediction based on last game)

John Moore (unlisted), Brad Marchand (suspension), Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Connor Clifton, Anton Blidh

Colorado Avalanche

92 Gabriel Landeskog (C) 29 Nathan MacKinnon (A) 96 Mikko Rantanen (A)

13 Valeri Nichuskin 91 Nazem Kadri 95 Andre Burakovsky

17 Tyson Jost 37 J.T. Compher 16 Nicolas Aube-Kubel

43 Darren Helm 18 Alex Newhook 25 Logan O’Connor

7 Devon Toews 8 Cale Makar

3 Jack Johnson 49 Samuel Girard

28 Ryan Murray 6 Erik Johnson

35 Darcy Kuemper

39 Pavel Francouz

Healthy scratches and injured members (officially TBA, below is only a prediction based on last game)

Bowen Byram (upper body), Stefan Matteau (IR), Kurtis MacDermid

Goaltending stats entering Monday

Boston Bruins

1 Jeremy Swayman 10-7-3 in 21 GP, 2.14 GAA .923 SV%, 2 SO

35 Linus Ullmark 16-8-1 in 26 GP, 2.79 GAA .909 SV%, 0 SO

Colorado Avalanche

35 Darcy Kuemper 25-5-2 in 35 GP, 2.40 GAA, .920 SV%, 3 SO

39 Pavel Francouz 7-2-0 in 9 GP, 2.39 GAA, .921 SV%, 2 SO

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Pastrnak caps overtime victory on the road in Ottawa

David Pastrnak scored the game-winning overtime goal about midway through the extra frame to lift the Boston Bruins over the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, Saturday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

Jeremy Swayman (10-7-3, 2.14 goals-against average, .923 save percentage in 21 games played) stopped 29 saves on 31 shots faced in the win for Boston as he improved to 3-0-0 against Ottawa in his career (and the Bruins improved to 3-0-0 against the Sens this season as well).

Senators goaltender, Anton Forsberg (10-8-2, 2.78 goals-against average, .916 save percentage in 23 games played), made 30 saves on 33 shots against in the overtime loss.

The B’s improved to 28-17-4 (60 points) overall and remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division, while also in command of the second wild card berth in the Eastern Conference.

Ottawa fell to 18-25-5 (41 points) on the season and stuck in 6th place in the Atlantic Division.

The Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Brad Marchand (suspension) against the Senators, while Bruce Cassidy made a few changes to his lineup from Thursday’s, 4-1, loss on the road against the New York Islanders to Saturday night in Ottawa.

Jack Studnicka centered the third line with Erik Haula at left wing and Nick Foligno at right wing, while Jake DeBrusk was relegated to the fourth line left wing and Anton Blidh joined Derek Forbort in the press box as a pair of healthy scratches against the Senators.

Urho Vaakanainen was paired with Charlie McAvoy, while Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo rounded out the top-four defenders.

By scratching Forbort, Cassidy paired Mike Reilly with Connor Clifton on the third defensive pairing.

Everything else was left untouched.

Not much was happening in the first period other than the occasional big hit or two from McAvoy on Connor Brown.

The two clubs entered the first intermission still tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 11-9.

The Bruins also held the advantage in blocked shots (5-0) and hits (11-9), while the Senators led in takeaways (4-0), giveaways (7-1) and faceoff win percentage (56-44).

Both teams had yet to appear on the power play heading into the middle frame.

DeBrusk (8) received a pass that exploded off of his stick before batting it out of the air on a backhand shot into the twine to give Boston the first lead of the night at 2:37 of the second period.

Studnicka (2) had the only assist on the goal and the Bruins led, 1-0, as a result.

Moments later, Tim Stützle (10) responded with a goal of his own while crashing the slot on a rebound– burying the loose puck without any pressure as Boston’s defenders were out of position.

Austin Watson (2) and Artem Zub (10) notched the assists on Stützle’s goal as the Senators tied the game, 1-1, at 6:45 of the second period.

Midway through the period, Clifton rocked Parker Kelly with an errant elbow on an open ice hit– drawing the ire of Watson and Kelly and yielding a multitude of penalties to sort through for the official scorer between the penalty boxes.

Clifton was assessed a minor for elbowing and a minor for roughing at 11:49, while Foligno picked up a roughing infraction as No. 17 became entangled with Kelly and Watson.

Kelly received two roughing minors, rendering a power play for Ottawa in the process by virtue of Boston’s three total penalties from the scrum to the Sens’ two minor infractions at 11:49.

Shortly after making the kill, Foligno and Victor Mete exchanged a few words yielding a minor for holding on Mete and an interference infraction for Foligno at 15:59 of the second period.

The two teams skated at 4-on-4 for a pair of minutes without issue.

Late in the period, Forsberg flubbed an attempt at snagging the puck along the ice with his glove while Carlo (4) crashed the net and elevated a backhand chip shot into the open net from the doorstep at 18:54.

Charlie Coyle (12) and Reilly (8) tallied the assists on Carlo’s goal– his first in 20 games– as the Bruins took a, 2-1, lead heading into the second intermission.

Through 40 minutes of play, Boston outshot Ottawa, 23-20, including a, 12-11, advantage in the second period alone.

The B’s held the advantage in blocked shots (9-5), while the Sens dominated in takeaways (4-3), giveaways (12-4), hits (19-16) and faceoff win% (52-49).

The Senators were 0/1 on the power play, while the Bruins had yet to see any action on the skater advantage heading into the final frame of regulation.

Craig Smith caught Nick Paul with a high stick and presented the Senators with another power play at 4:50 of the third period.

Ottawa failed to convert on the ensuing skater advantage, however.

Late in the period, Paul sent a pass to Brown, who fed Nick Holden (4) as the Sens defender pinched in from the point into the high slot and flung a shot through traffic past Swayman to tie the game, 2-2, at 16:06 of the third period.

Brown (18) and Paul (7) had the assists as the Senators forced overtime on home ice in front of a Saturday night crowd.

After 60 minutes of action, the B’s and Sens were tied, 2-2, on the scoreboard, while Boston outshot Ottawa, 31-30, overall despite trailing the Senators, 10-8, in shots on goal in the third period alone.

The Bruins carried the advantage in blocked shots (13-10) and faceoff win% (52-48) heading into overtime, while the Senators led in takeaways (7-4), giveaways (15-9) and hits (28-19).

As there were no penalties called in the overtime period, Ottawa finished the night 0/2 on the skater advantage while Boston never touched the ice on the power play.

Cassidy sent out Bergeron, Smith and McAvoy to start the extra frame, while Senators head coach, D.J. Smith countered with Brady Tkachuk, Stützle and Erik Brännström.

Midway through overtime, Taylor Hall kept the puck in the attacking zone and sent a pass across the high slot to Pastrnak (25) for a one-timer from the top of the faceoff circle to Forsberg’s right side off of the far post and into the back of the net for the game-winner.

Hall (22) and Reilly (9) notched the assists on Pastrnak’s goal at 2:42 of overtime and the Bruins won, 3-2.

Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal, 33-31, including a, 2-1, advantage in overtime alone.

The B’s also exited the building leading in blocked shots (13-11) and faceoff win% (51-49), while the Senators left their own ice leading in giveaways (15-9) and hits (28-19).

The Bruins improved to 3-2 in overtime, as well as 4-4 past regulation this season, while Ottawa fell to 2-4 in overtime and 3-5 past regulation.

Boston also improved to 7-5-1 (4-2-1 on the road) when tied after the first period, 19-7-1 (10-3-1 on the road) when scoring first and 20-1-2 (13-0-2 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

The Senators fell to 8-11-2 (5-7-2 at home) when tied after one, 5-19-4 (3-11-2 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal and 1-19-1 (0-10-1 at home) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins return home after going 2-1-1 on their four-game road trip to host the Colorado Avalanche Monday afternoon before hitting the road again to finish the month of February with a road trip through Seattle, San Jose and Los Angeles. 

Boston begins the month of March in Anaheim before swinging through Vegas and Columbus.