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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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NHL Nick's Net

Bruins force Game 7 with commanding, 5-2, victory at home

For the 29th time in franchise history (a National Hockey League leading postseason stat), the Boston Bruins are going to a Game 7 in a best-of-seven series after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-2, Thursday night at TD Garden.

Whereas recent memory conjures images of Boston’s 2019 Stanley Cup Final Game 7 loss on home ice to the visiting St. Louis Blues, this time around the Bruins will look to be a spoiler on the road in Raleigh, North Carolina and become the first wild card team since the NHL adopted its current playoff format in 2014, to usurp a division winner in their non-traditional division.

See, the B’s belong to the league’s Atlantic Division, while the Canes exist in the Metropolitan Division.

Carolina, meanwhile, will have home ice in their first Game 7 against Boston since the Hurricanes upset the Bruins in the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinal.

It will also be Carolina’s first Game 7 appearance since they beat the Washington Capitals on the road in their 2019 First Round matchup.

The last Game 7 victory on home ice for the Hurricanes was, of course, the 2006 Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers.

Jeremy Swayman (3-1, 2.51 goals-against average, .913 save percentage in four games played) made 23 saves on 25 shots against in the win for Boston Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Hurricanes goaltender, Antti Raanta (2-2, 2.46 goals-against average, .926 save percentage in five games played), turned aside 29 out of 33 shots faced in the loss.

Once more, the Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) Thursday night, while Hampus Lindholm returned to the lineup after missing the last few games with an upper body injury.

Down 3-2 in the series entering Thursday and with Lindholm’s return to action, Boston’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, restructured his lines and defensive pairings to a more familiar look around the trade deadline when the B’s were surging in the regular season.

Jake DeBrusk went back to the first line right wing with Patrice Bergeron at center and Brad Marchand on left wing, while David Pastrnak was reunited with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula on the second line.

Trent Frederic returned to the lineup on the third line with Charlie Coyle at center– flanked by Frederic and Craig Smith on his wings.

Meanwhile, Nick Foligno, Tomáš Nosek and Curtis Lazar returned to their usual roles on the fourth line with Chris Wagner joining the short list of healthy scratches in the press box at TD Garden for Game 6.

On defense, Lindholm and Charlie McAvoy were reunited, while Mike Reilly suited up alongside Brandon Carlo and Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton’s third pairing went unchanged.

Wagner and Matt Grzelcyk joined Jack Studnicka, Marc McLaughlin, Steven Fogarty, Troy Grosenick, Josh Brown, Joona Koppanen, Cameron Hughes, Jack Ahcan, Tyler Lewington, Oskar Steen, Nick Wolff, Anton Blidh, Kyle Keyser and Jakub Lauko as Boston’s healthy scratches on Thursday.

Sebastian Aho kicked things off with a hooking infraction at 12:44 of the first period, but the Bruins couldn’t muster anything on the skater advantage.

Neither team could score, nor did either club score a goal in the opening frame, rendering it, 0-0, entering the first intermission despite Carolina holding an, 11-8, advantage in shots on goal.

Boston led in blocked shots (6-3), giveaways (4-0) and faceoff win percentage (62-39), while the Hurricanes held the advantage in hits (22-11).

Both teams had three takeaways each and had yet to see time on the power play entering the middle frame.

It didn’t take long for the B’s to jump out ahead first as Marchand (4) received a pass and entered the attacking zone along his off wing before sending a wrist shot high on the short side over Raanta’s glove and under the bar to give the Bruins a, 1-0, lead 46 seconds into the second period.

Clifton (1) and Coyle (4) notched the assists as Boston scored the game’s first goal for the first time in the series.

Less than a few minutes later, however, Clifton kicked off a string of penalties for the Bruins when he was assessed a holding minor at 3:23, but Boston made the kill.

Carolina got a second chance on the power play at 9:08, however, when Frederic tripped Brett Pesce and even had 54 seconds on a 5-on-3 advantage when McAvoy cut a rut to the sin bin hooking Vincent Trocheck at 10:15 of the second period.

The Canes, however, failed to convert on the two power plays.

Haula caught Jesperi Kotkaniemi with a high stick at 13:36 of the second period and presented another power play opportunity that went by the wayside for Carolina.

At 16:58, Pesce was assessed a holding minor and yielded Boston their second power play of the night.

Late in the ensuing skater advantage, the B’s worked the puck around the zone enough before Marchand dished a pass back to Pastrnak for a shot attempt from the point that was blocked by a Hurricane before rebounding to Coyle (2) in the slot for the doorstep goal on the forehand.

Pastrnak (3) and Marchand (7) tallied the assists on Coyle’s power-play goal at 18:04 of the second period and the Bruins had a, 2-0, lead as a result.

Through 40 minutes of play, the B’s held a two-goal lead going into the second intermission and led, 19-17, in shots on goal, including an, 11-6, advantage in shots in the middle frame alone.

Boston also dominated in blocked shots (15-9), takeaways (6-3) and faceoff win% (53-47), while Carolina led in giveaways (5-4) and hits (27-21).

The Hurricanes were 0-for-4 and the Bruins were 1-for-2 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Carolina struck first in the final frame as Seth Jarvis setup Andrei Svechnikov (2) for a catch and release goal high on the short side past Swayman’s blocker to cut Boston’s lead in half, 2-1.

Jarvis (2) had the only assist on Svechnikov’s first goal of the game at 3:24 of the third period.

Less than four minutes later, however, the Bruins responded and re-extended their lead to two-goals after Haula (1) redirected a shot pass into the far corner of the net behind Raanta for a, 3-1, lead at 7:08 of the third period.

McAvoy (3) had the only assist on Haula’s first goal of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Midway through the third period, Forbort (1) flung a shot from the point with eyes that may have tipped off of a Canes skaters’ stick under Raanta’s blocker side while the Carolina netminder was temporarily without a stick– having dropped it seconds prior.

Nosek (1) had the only assist on Forbort’s first goal– regular season or playoffs– since Nov. 20th and the Bruins had a, 4-1, lead as a result at 10:43.

Jaccob Slavin sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play at 12:01, but the B’s failed to capitalize on their last power play opportunity of the night.

With 4:33 remaining in the action, Hurricanes head coach, Rod Brind’Amour, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker, but it wasn’t long before Lazar (1) floated a shot from the red line into the empty twine to give Boston a, 5-1, advantage.

Foligno (1) and Nosek (2) tallied the assists on Lazar’s empty net goal at 15:43 of the third period.

Less than a minute later, Marchand was assessed a four-minute double-minor penalty for spearing Kotkaniemi while skating past the Carolina forward at 16:20.

The Hurricanes made relatively quick work of the first power play as Slavin sent the puck to Martin Nečas, who fed Svechnikov (3) for another one-timer goal– this time cutting the deficit from four goals to three.

Nečas (3) and Slavin (4) had the assists on Svechnikov’s power-play goal– his second goal of the game– at 17:30 of the third period.

The Bruins killed off the rest of Marchand’s penalty and went on to win, 5-2, at the final horn.

At the end of the night, Boston left their own ice leading in shots on goal, 34-25, including a, 15-8, advantage in the third period alone, while Carolina dominated in everything else, including blocked shots (18-12), giveaways (10-5), hits (42-34) and faceoff win% (52-48).

The Hurricanes finished the night 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Bruins went 1-for-3 on the skater advantage.

The B’s are now 13-14 all time in a Game 6 when trailing in a series 3-2 and are looking to win a best-of-seven series for just the third time in 29 instances of at one point trailing 2-0 in the series heading into Game 3.

Game 7 is back at PNC Arena in Raleigh Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET with the winner clinching the series 4-3 and advancing to the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Viewers in the United States can tune to ESPN, while those in Canada can catch the action on SN360, SNE, SNW, SNP and TVAS.

Local markets can also watch the game on their corresponding regional networks if so desired.

Boston will be making their 29th appearance in a Game 7 and enters Saturday with a 15-13 record in 28 prior Game 7 efforts, having most recently lost in a Game 7 on home ice to the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.

The Bruins lead in Game 7 appearances (28) and are tied with the Montréal Canadiens for the most wins (15), as well as with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the most losses (13).

Carolina is entering their eighth appearance in a Game 7 Saturday afternoon with a 5-3 record in seven prior instances of a Game 7, having most recently beaten the Washington Capitals on the road in Game 7 of their 2019 First Round series in double overtime.

The Hurricanes last hosted a Game 7 on home ice in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final when they defeated the Edmonton Oilers to clinch the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship.

The Canes are 5-0 in a Game 7 since relocating from Hartford and previously defeated the Bruins on the road in Game 7 of their 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinal series in overtime.

Coincidentally, that game was also held on May 14th.

Categories
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.

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

Categories
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.

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

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NHL Nick's Net

Penguins complete comeback in first meeting with Boston this season

Danton Heinen scored a pair of goals in his first game back at TD Garden as a member of the visiting team since he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Ritchie on Feb. 24, 2020, while Sidney Crosby scored the eventual game-winning goal and Bryan Rust added an empty net goal to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Boston Bruins, 4-2, on Tuesday night.

Heinen signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent on July 29, 2021, after spending parts of two seasons with Anaheim. The Ducks opted not to tender a qualifying offer to the then would have been-restricted free agent.

Meanwhile, Tristan Jarry (24-8-6, 2.21 goals-against average, .925 save percentage in 38 games played) made a season-high 43 saves on 45 shots against in the win for the Penguins.

Bruins goaltender, Jeremy Swayman (8-7-2, 2.35 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in 18 games played) stopped 21 out of 24 shots faced in the loss.

David Pastrnak had a pair of goals in Boston’s loss and Patrice Bergeron exited the game midway through the third period with an upper body injury induced by what was deemed as an “incidental” trip (as there was no penalty on the play) by Crosby.

The B’s will likely be without Brad Marchand in their next matchup as a result of his antics in the final minute of the action, but more on that after as we recap some roster news and notes from the All Star break to Tuesday night’s loss.

But first, a quick standings update.

Boston fell to 26-15-3 (55 points) overall, but still holds on to 4th place in the Atlantic Division as well as the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Pittsburgh improved to 28-11-8 (64 points) on the season and in command of 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division standings.

The B’s fell to 0-1-0 against the Pens this season after amassing a 5-3-0 record in their regular season series in 2020-21, as well as a 2-1-0 record against Pittsburgh in 2019-20.

The Bruins were without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Trent Frederic (upper body), Tuukka Rask (lower body) and Urho Vaakanainen (upper body) on Tuesday, while Nick Foligno and Erik Haula made their return to the lineup.

Foligno took Anton Blidh’s spot on the fourth line left wing, while Haula resumed his role as the second line center with Tomáš Nosek returning to his fourth line job.

As a result of the lineup changes and in accordance with the league’s rules on temporary taxi squads up until the All Star break, Steven Fogarty, Tyler Lewington and Jesper Frödén were reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL).

On defense, Connor Clifton took over Vaakanainen’s spot on the third pairing alongside Derek Forbort.

Frederic, Rask, Vaakanainen, Zboril and Blidh made up Boston’s list of injured players and healthy scratches against the Penguins.

During the first intermission The Athletic‘s, Fluto Shinzawa, reported that Rask’s comeback from offseason hip surgery was likely coming to an end and that the 34-year-old goaltender is considering a retirement announcement in the next few days.

Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, offered no update on Rask’s status after the game other than reiterating that Rask will be unavailable for the week and any decisions that may suggest retirement would come from Rask– not as a team directive.

If Rask is, in fact, retiring, he would do so as Boston’s winningest goaltender in franchise history, amassing 308 wins in 564 career NHL games– all with the Bruins– since making his league debut in 2007-08.

In that 15-season span, Rask would finish with a career goals-against average of 2.28 and a career save percentage of .921 in about 32,405 minutes played– the most by any Boston goaltender in club history, while ranking second in shutouts (52) to Tiny Thompson’s 74.

He also served as the backup netminder on the 2011 Stanley Cup champion roster and backstopped Boston to two more Final appearances in 2013, and 2019.

Almost two minutes into the opening frame, Radim Zohorna tripped up Charlie Coyle and cut a rut to the penalty box at 1:40 of the first period as result.

It didn’t take Boston long to convert on the ensuing power play, as Brian Boyle botched an indirect pass up the boards intended for John Marino that was instead snagged by Bergeron as the Bruins captain kept the rubber biscuit in the attacking zone.

Bergeron worked a pass up to Taylor Hall, who set up Pastrnak (23) for a one-timer goal from one knee at the faceoff dot– giving the B’s a, 1-0, lead at 2:01 of the first period in the process.

Hall (20) and Bergeron (23) tallied the assists on Pastrnak’s power-play goal.

A few minutes later, Jake DeBrusk hooked Dominik Simon and presented the Penguins with their first power play of the night at 5:27.

Boston’s penalty kill stood tall, however, and killed off DeBrusk’s minor.

Late in the period, the Pens turned the puck over in their attacking zone– rendering a de facto 3-on-1 opportunity for the Bruins as Haula sent a pass to Hall through the zone before Hall’s shot generated a rebound whereby Pastrnak (24) batted the puck out of mid-air and under Jarry’s glove.

Boston took a, 2-0, lead courtesy of Pastrnak’s 40th career two-goal game, while Hall (21) and Haula (12) notched the assists at 15:34 of the first period.

Entering the first intermission, the B’s led, 2-0, on the scoreboard, as well as in shots on net, 17-10.

Pittsburgh held the advantage in blocked shots (6-5) and hits (12-11), while Boston led in takeaways (5-2), giveaways (5-4) and faceoff win percentage (53-47).

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

Heinen (10) struck early in the second period– cutting Boston’s lead in half, 2-1, courtesy of being in the right place at the right time to catch a pass from Brock McGinn on a drive-by through the low slot before wrapping the rubber biscuit around Swayman.

McGinn (6) and Mike Matheson (13) had the assists on Heinen’s first goal of the game at 4:18 of the second period.

Just 28 seconds later, Heinen (11) recorded his second goal of the night courtesy of a shot with eyes from the circle to Swayman’s left off of the Bruins goaltender’s shoulder and into the twine.

Marino (17) and Evan Rodrigues (18) notched the assists on the goal as the Pens tied it, 2-2, at 4:46 of the second period– marking the fastest two goals by one Penguins skater since Martin Straka scored a club-record two goals in a seven-second span on Feb. 11, 2000, against the Edmonton Oilers.

Almost midway through the period, Pittsburgh was caught with too many skaters on the ice– rendering a bench minor at 7:24 that was served by Heinen.

Boston couldn’t convert on the ensuing power play, however.

Minutes later, Coyle interfered with Jeff Carter and yielded a power play to the Penguins at 11:56.

It took roughly a minute on the skater advantage for Crosby (13) to notch a power-play goal– the eventual game-winner in the process, as well as his 499th career NHL goal– to give Pittsburgh their first lead of the night, 3-2, at 12:53 of the second period.

Rust (19) and Jake Guentzel (24) had the assists on the goal as the Penguins capped off a trio of goals in a span of 8:35.

Late in the period, Matheson and Hall exchanged some pleasantries after a whistle and earned minor penalties for roughing at 18:49– resulting in 4-on-4 action that would seep into the final frame.

Through 40 minutes of action, Pittsburgh led Boston on the scoreboard, 3-2, despite the Bruins leading in shots on goal, 35-18– including an, 18-8, advantage in the second period alone.

The Penguins held the advantage in blocked shots (11-7) and hits (24-19), while the B’s led in takeaways (9-5), giveaways (7-5) and faceoff win% (66-34).

Both teams were 1/2 on the power play heading into the second intermission.

Craig Smith interfered with McGinn at 1:43 of the third period, but the Penguins weren’t able to score on the ensuing power play to begin the final frame.

Moments later, Crosby took down Bergeron with an errant leg as the Bruins captain smacked the back of his head off the boards while falling.

Bergeron did not return to the night’s action after going down the tunnel under his own power after a brief exchange with a Boston athletic trainer.

Matt Grzelcyk tried to invite Crosby to a square dance shortly thereafter with a swift cross check, but the Pittsburgh captain would not accept and instead was caught retaliating and assessed a roughing minor at 9:25.

The Bruins did not score on the resulting power play, however.

With 1:42 remaining in the action, Cassidy pulled Swayman for an extra attacker amidst the jumbled lines, but as Smith shortly tried to enter the zone and fumbled the puck– Charlie McAvoy couldn’t recover on the error and Rust broke free with possession.

Rust (15) skated through the neutral zone and buried the rubber biscuit in the open basket for a, 4-2, lead at 18:31 of the third period, while Guentzel (25) recorded the only assist.

Swayman vacated the crease once more with about 1:19 left on the clock, but it was ultimately to no avail despite Boston crowding the net in the other end.

After Jarry delivered a quick slash amongst the net front traffic, Marchand took exception to the Pittsburgh goaltender’s action and choice words shortly thereafter– appearing to aggravate the oft-short-tempered Bruin in the process.

Marchand swung a punch at Jarry’s mask and proceeded to get his stick in Jarry’s face– whether or not it was a forceful shove or spear remains at the mercy of the discretion of the officials on the ice and/or league office as Marchand was assessed a match penalty on the play, rendering an automatic suspension unless otherwise stated.

The B’s finished the night shorthanded as Marchand’s roughing minor and match penalty came at 19:35 of the third period.

Jarry took the high road after the game and told reporters “I think it’s just the heat of the moment, everyone’s battling hard out there. [Marchand’s] just trying to get the puck to the net and I think the team did a great job. … It’s part of the game and it stays on the ice.”

Cassidy noted after the game that Marchand’s antics were “undisciplined” and that he “needs to control his emotions in that situation.”

The rest is up to the league now.

At the final horn Tuesday night, the Penguins had won, 4-2, despite trailing Boston in shots on goal, 45-25.

The Bruins held the advantage in shots on goal in the third period alone, 10-7, as well as in giveaways (11-8) and faceoff win% (55-45), while Pittsburgh wrapped up the night’s action leading in blocked shots (19-13) and hits (30-22).

The Pens finished the night 1/4 on the power play while the B’s left their own ice 1/3 on the skater advantage in the loss.

The Bruins fell to 17-6-0 (9-4-0 at home) when scoring first, 16-1-0 (8-1-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 3-12-2 (3-7-1 at home) when trailing after two periods this season.

Pittsburgh improved to 7-8-7 (4-3-3 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-3-3 (3-2-1 on the road) when trailing after one and 21-1-1 (11-1-0 on the road) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.

Boston will host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday before venturing across the border to visit the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon to begin a four-game road trip.

The Bruins swing through New York for a pair of games against the Rangers and Islanders before visiting the Senators once more next Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, respectively.

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NHL Nick's Net

Hurricanes storm Bruins, 7-1, in road victory

Nearly 11 years after Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, Willie O’Ree was called up from the Québec Aces minor professional hockey team and suited up for the Boston Bruins at Montréal Forum in what became a, 3-0, shutout for the Bruins against the Montréal Canadiens on Jan. 18, 1958.

The next day, O’Ree read in the paper that he had been the first Black player in National Hockey League history.

He played in the following game with Boston, a 6-2, loss to Montréal in his Boston Garden debut before he was sent back to the minors for the remainder of the 1957-58 season.

In a, 3-2, win against the Canadiens on Jan. 1, 1961, at Boston Garden, O’Ree scored his first career NHL goal– the eventual game-winner at 10:07 of the third period.

In total, O’Ree amassed 14 points (four goals, ten assists) in 45 career NHL games with the Bruins from 1958-61– paving the way for many Black players since then while being subjected to the brunt of racial epithets from fans, players and coaches alike.

In some tragic sense, not much has changed within the culture of the sport and society at large.

No one is a product of their time. Ignorance, inequality and racism are always ignorance, inequality and racism.

O’Ree’s hero, Herb Carnegie, was never given a proper chance at making the NHL.

Carnegie received a similar sham of a tryout that the Boston Red Sox gave Robinson on April 16, 1945, only this time it was at training camp in a different sport with the New York Rangers in Sept. 1948– a little more than one year after Robinson first played for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

In 1998, O’Ree was hired by the NHL as a Diversity Ambassador, having given many speeches since to kids and adults alike– those that play the game, those that have played the game and anyone that will listen in-between.

In 2018, O’Ree was finally inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto as a Builder.

Also in 2018, the NHL first presented the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, which is presented annually “to an individual who– through the game of hockey– has positively impacted his or her community, culture or society,” as voted on by a fan vote in combination with weighted votes from O’Ree himself, the NHL and the award’s presenting sponsor, MassMutual.

Fans can submit candidates every year before the field is narrowed to three finalists that are then voted on to select a winner.

O’Ree is also a member of the Order of Canada, has a statue in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. and is awaiting the result of the Willie O’Ree Congressional Gold Medal Act in the United States Congress on Wednesday.

Oh, and, one more thing, O’Ree played his entire professional career spanning from the 1950s through the 1970s legally blind in his right eye after sustaining an injury in Junior hockey.

On Tuesday night, 64 years to the day that he made his NHL debut with Boston, the Bruins retired O’Ree’s No. 22 in front of 17,850 fans in attendance at TD Garden prior to a, 7-1, loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

O’Ree became just the 12th player in franchise history to have his number retired, joining the likes of Eddie Shore (No. 2), Lionel Hitchman (No. 3), Bobby Orr (No. 4), “Dit” Clapper (No. 5), Phil Esposito (No. 7), Cam Neely (No. 8), John Bucyk (No. 9), Milt Schmidt (No. 15), Rick Middleton (No. 16), Terry O’Reilly (No. 24) and Ray Bourque (No. 77) in the rafters of TD Garden.

He read a speech from his home in San Diego, California via Zoom before former Bruin and current NHL on TNT analyst, Anson Carter, as well as members of the S.C.O.R.E. Boston Youth Hockey program raised O’Ree’s No. 22 banner to thunderous applause.

Now all that’s needed is another statue outside the building next to Orr’s “The Goal” in The Hub on Causeway.

Or maybe the City of Boston can put it next to City Hall near Bill Russell’s statue.

Tuesday night in Carolina’s, 7-1, victory, Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored a pair of goals while Jaccob Slavin and Tony DeAngelo each had four-point nights from the Hurricanes’ defense.

Frederik Andersen (20-6-0, 2.03 goals-against average, .930 save percentage in 26 games played) made 31 saves on 32 shots faced in the win for the Canes.

Bruins goaltender, Tuukka Rask (1-1-0, 5.25 goals-against average, .821 save percentage in two games played) made seven saves on 12 shots against before being replaced after one period with his team trailing, 5-1– though in large part through no fault of his own for the lack of effort team-wide in the loss.

Linus Ullmark (13-5-0, 2.52 goals-against average, .917 save percentage in 19 games played) made 20 saves on 22 shots in relief of Rask for no decision.

As a result of Tuesday night’s loss, the Bruins are 0-2-0 against the Hurricanes this season.

Boston fell to 22-12-2 (46 points) overall, but the B’s remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division.

Meanwhile, Carolina now sits atop the Metropolitan Division with a 26-8-2 record (54 points) thus far in 2021-22.

Connor Clifton and Matt Grzelcyk were back from the league’s COVID-19 protocol for Boston, while Mike Reilly was placed in the aforementioned protocol ahead of the game on Tuesday.

In addition to Reilly, the Bruins were also without Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Nick Foligno (lower body), Trent Frederic (upper body) and John Moore (upper body) against Carolina.

With Clifton and Grzelcyk back, head coach Bruce Cassidy, adjusted his defensive pairing accordingly– partnering Grzelcyk with his usual suspect on the first defensive pairing alongside Charlie McAvoy, while Clifton went back to his third pairing role with Derek Forbort.

Urho Vaakanainen covered Reilly’s role on the second pair with Brandon Carlo.

On Monday, Karson Kuhlman, was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Kraken– signaling an end to his Bruins career as a result.

The 26-year-old undrafted forward made his NHL debut with Boston in the 2018-19 season and spent parts of four seasons with the B’s in 75 games, amassing 7-8–15 totals in that span.

On Tuesday, goaltender, Kyle Keyser, and forward, Steven Fogarty, were recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) and assigned to Boston’s taxi squad.

Reilly, Frederic, Foligno, Moore, Fogarty, Tyler Lewington (the only healthy scratch), Zboril and Keyser were all out of the lineup against Carolina for one reason or another.

Less than four minutes into the action, Slavin sent a pass across the slot to Teuvo Teräväinen (11) for a one-timer goal on Rask’s glove side as the Bruins netminder was forced to sprawl across the crease.

Slavin (18) and DeAngelo (20) tallied the assists on Teräväinen’s goal and the Hurricanes jumped out to a, 1-0, lead at 3:44 of the first period.

A little more than a couple of minutes later, Kotkaniemi (8) wrapped a rebound around Rask’s right leg pad from the doorstep to give Carolina a two-goal lead at 6:03 of the first period.

Andrei Svechnikov (17) and Nino Niederreiter (8) notched the assists as the Canes pulled ahead to a, 2-0, lead with a pair of goals in a span of 2:19.

Midway through the opening frame, Svechnikov was assessed an interference minor at 9:48, yielding the night’s first power play to the Bruins.

Boston took advantage of the ensuing skater advantage on a deflection goal from Patrice Bergeron (12) to cut Carolina’s lead in half, 2-1, at 11:13 of the first period.

David Pastrnak (16) recorded the primary assist with the no-look shot pass off of Bergeron’s skate and into the twine, while McAvoy (19) picked up the secondary assist.

Just 13 seconds later, Kotkaniemi (9) got a stick on a shot from the point by Slavin and deflected the rubber biscuit over Rask’s shoulder to give Carolina another two-goal lead, 3-1.

Slavin (19) and Derek Stepan (5) had the assists on Kotkaniemi’s second goal of the game at 11:26 of the first period.

Less than a minute later, Clifton cut a rut to the sin bin for cross checking at 12:11, but the Hurricanes were not successful on the resulting power play– at least not yet on the night’s list of skater advantage opportunities.

Late in the opening frame, Seth Jarvis (7) waltzed around Clifton and crashed the net on an individual effort for an unassisted goal to give the Canes a, 4-1, lead at 16:01.

56 seconds after that, Stepan (5) scored a goal while crashing the slot as Jordan Martinook took a hit and freed the puck to his teammate in a high danger scoring area.

Martinook (6) had the only assist on Stepan’s goal as Carolina took a, 5-1, lead at 16:57 of the first period.

Entering the first intermission, the Hurricanes had a, 5-1, lead on the scoreboard and a, 12-10, advantage in shots on goal as Boston had allowed five or more goals for the first time in any first period since March 3, 2008, when they gave up six goals to the Washington Capitals in a, 10-2, loss at the then known as Verizon Center.

Alex Ovechkin had a first period hat trick, Matt Bradley and Brooks Laich each had a pair of goals in that game, while all four dressed netminders made an appearance.

Tim Thomas got the start for Boston and was pulled twice after a brief relief appearance by Alex Auld, while Cristobal Huet started the game for the Capitals, but was yanked from the crease with back spasms and replaced by Olaf Kölzig.

Truly, it was the definition of insanity.

The Bruins had goals from Dennis Wideman and Marco Sturm that night, if you’re wondering, while notorious enemy of the Commonwealth, Matt Cooke, opened the night’s scoring.

Meanwhile, Nicklas Bäckström and Donald Brashear also pocketed goals for the Capitals in that wild game from almost 14 years ago.

Back at TD Garden on Tuesday night, while losing, 5-1, after one period, the Bruins led in blocked shots (4-3) and giveaways (4-2) as the Hurricanes also maintained the advantage in takeaways (3-1), hits (13-12) and faceoff win percentage (52-48).

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

The second period was relatively tame as no goals were scored by either team and a string of penalties opened the ice for lots of skating.

Ullmark replaced Rask before the period began and Brendan Smith caught Craig Smith (no relation) with a high stick at 6:55.

Boston’s power play came up short, however, and would do so again at 10:38 when Sebastian Aho cut a rut for high sticking at 10:38 of the second period.

The Bruins also couldn’t score on an abbreviated 5-on-3 advantage at 11:30 when Ian Cole tripped up McAvoy.

Through 40 minutes of action, the Hurricanes still led, 5-1, on the scoreboard, despite trailing Boston, 23-20, in shots on goal as the Bruins rallied to outshoot Carolina, 13-8, in the second period alone.

The Canes led in blocked shots (13-5) and takeaways (12-2), while the B’s led in giveaways (7-3) and faceoff win% (60-40).

Both teams had 21 hits aside, while the Hurricanes were still 0/1 and the Bruins were now 1/4 on the power play heading into the second intermission.

Vincent Trocheck cross checked Erik Haula 33 seconds into the third period, but Boston’s ensuing power play was cut short when McAvoy and Aho collided near the blue line by the Bruins’ attacking zone– resulting in an interference minor for No. 73 in black and gold at 1:13 of the final frame.

After 80 seconds of 4-on-4 action, the Hurricanes went on an abbreviated power play, but it didn’t take them long for Slavin (2) to riffle a shot from inside the faceoff circle over Ullmark’s blocker on the short side to give Carolina a, 6-1, lead.

DeAngelo (21) and Teräväinen (19) tallied the assists on Slavin’s power-play goal at 3:05 of the third period and the Hurricanes had a five-goal lead as a result.

Haula later caught Slavin with a high stick at 6:04 and presented Carolina with another power play for good measure.

The Hurricanes got their money’s worth as Svechnikov (13) stayed aggressive on a loose puck in the slot and elevated the rubber biscuit over Ullmark as the Bruins goaltender was down.

Aho (23) and DeAngelo (22) notched the assists on Svechnikov’s power-play goal and Carolina continued to blow Boston out of their own building, 7-1, at 7:48 of the third period.

After that nothing else happened.

There were no more goals, nor penalties, as fans left TD Garden early either to make the trains out of North Station due to the later than usual start as a result of the night’s opening ceremonies or simply to avoid watching the seconds tick down while lackluster entertainment continued on the ice.

At the final horn, Carolina had won, 7-1, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 34-23, including a, 14-9, advantage in the third period– tied for the second-most shots allowed in any third period by Boston this season.

The Bruins had previously given up 14 shots against in the third period on Opening Night against the Dallas Stars in a, 3-1, win on Oct. 16th at TD Garden and gave up a season-worst 16 shots against in the third period alone twice within a span of a week apart– once on Dec. 2nd in a, 2-0, shutout win in Nashville and again on Dec. 9th in a, 3-2, win in Edmonton.

Tuesday night didn’t have the same end result for Boston, despite being badly outshot in the third period.

The Hurricanes exited the building with the all-important victory and led the night in blocked shots (16-9), while the Bruins left their own ice leading in giveaways (8-5) and faceoff win% (55-45).

Both teams had 26 hits aside.

Carolina went 2/3 on the power play, while the B’s finished the night’s action 1/5 on the skater advantage.

Boston fell to 7-7-2 (4-4-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 3-7-1 (3-4-1 at home) when trailing after the first period and 3-9-2 (3-5-1 at home) when trailing after the second period this season.

Carolina, meanwhile, improved to an impressive 17-2-1 (10-1-1 on the road) when scoring first, 15-1-0 (7-1-0 on the road) when leading after one and 17-1-1 (7-0-1 on the road) when leading after two in 2021-22.

The Bruins continue their seven-game homestand (3-1-0) against the Washington Capitals on Thursday before the Winnipeg Jets visit Boston on Saturday.

The B’s are currently scheduled to wrap things up at on this current homestand next Monday against the Anaheim Ducks before hitting the road for three games with stops in Colorado, Arizona and Dallas to close out the month of January– at least until the remaining condensed schedule is announced on Wednesday, that is.

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What does Don Sweeney need to do to make it up to you by the 2022 trade deadline? (Part 1)

Chapter One- In The Beginning… (2016)

With over two months until the 2022 NHL trade deadline on March 21st, there’s plenty of time to start speculating about what kind of moves— if any— would make the most sense for the Boston Bruins in their 2021-22 endeavor.

Though it wasn’t easy at the start of his tenure as General Manager, Don Sweeney, has significantly improved his trading prowess as the deadline approaches from season to season in Boston.

That said, not every trade has yielded a gold mine for the Bruins and they’ve yet to win the Stanley Cup since 2011, despite making it all the way to Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final on home ice and winning the Presidents’ Trophy the following season (2019-20).

For the record, a lot has changed in both the league itself, as well as the team’s development since the days of acquiring guys like John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak on Feb. 29, 2016, instead of swinging for the fences and landing, uh, guys like Pat Maroon, Kris Russell or Mikkel Boedker at the 2016 trade deadline.

In retrospect, maybe there really wasn’t that much of a market that season.

Sure, Eric Staal was traded to the New York Rangers the day before the 2016 trade deadline on Feb. 28th, but he only managed to amass six points in 20 games with the Rangers down the stretch.

Staal then joined the Minnesota Wild in free agency on July 1, 2016, and had four seasons of a career resurgence before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres prior to the 2020-21 season— whereby he was later flipped to the Montréal Canadiens— only to end up losing in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

These days he has been invited to Team Canada’s training camp for the 2022 Winter Games as he’s currently an unrestricted free agent.

More and more recently, the bigger trades happen in the last couple of weeks leading up to the deadline itself, so let’s widen the scope a bit for 2016, just for a second.

The Florida Panthers added Jakub Kindl from the Detroit Red Wings, Jiri Hudler from the Calgary Flames and Teddy Purcell from the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 27th that year.

Kindl spent parts of two seasons in Florida before leaving for Europe after the 2016-17 season, Hudler joined the Dallas Stars for 2016-17, and promptly retired thereafter, while Purcell joined the Los Angeles Kings in 2016-17, before joining the Bruins on a PTO at training camp in 2017, prior to being released then spent the 2017-18 season in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and retired thereafter.

One other team tried going for it in the rental market, as Chicago acquired Tomáš Fleischmann and Dale Weise from the Montréal Canadiens for Phillip Danault and a 2018 2nd round pick (38th overall, Alexander Romanov), added Christian Ehrhoff from Los Angeles for Rob Scuderi and dealt Marko Dano, a 2016 1st round pick (later flipped to the Philadelphia Flyers, 22nd overall—selected German Rubtsov) and a conditional 2018 3rd round pick (the condition was not met) to the Winnipeg Jets for Jay Harrison, Andrew Ladd and Matt Fraser.

Fleischmann retired after that season, Weise left for the Philadelphia Flyers in free agency that summer, Ehrhoff went back to Europe, Harrison never suited up for Chicago, Ladd had 12 points in 19 games— then joined the New York Islanders in free agency— and Fraser also never suited up in a Chicago uniform.

So, the rental market didn’t really pan out that year.

The San Jose Sharks added James Reimer and Jeremy Morin from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Ben Smith, Alex Stalock and a 2018 3rd round pick (83rd overall, Riley Stotts) the same day the Panthers made all of their moves.

Reimer went on to serve as a decent backup to Martin Jones in San Jose’s 2016 Stanley Cup Final appearance before ultimately losing in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Sharks also bolstered their blue line five days prior in a separate trade with Toronto on the 22nd, in which San Jose acquired Roman Polák and Nick Spaling from the Maple Leafs for Raffi Torres, a 2017 2nd round pick (later flipped to the Anaheim Ducks, 50th overall— Maxime Comtois) and a 2018 2nd round pick (52nd overall, Sean Durzi), but again, neither of those deals were earth-shattering.

Polák was in search of a Cup ring late in his career (despite playing four more seasons afterward) and had three assists in 24 games with San Jose in the regular season before failing to put up a point in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games as a Shark prior to rejoining Toronto via free agency that summer.

Spaling at least had 2-4—6 totals in 24 games down the stretch with the Sharks and even recorded an assist in 24 playoff games before— like the rest of the team— losing to the Penguins in the Final and leaving the NHL for the Swiss League that summer.

In terms of immediate impact, the Sharks got their money’s worth (kind of), but for a trio of rental players.

San Jose’s deals might have been the biggest trades not involving the Bruins in the buildup to one of Sweeney’s most often criticized trade deadlines because first impressions mean a lot to some in the Boston fanbase.

What was made available, however, didn’t amount to much.

Although, there is enough credibility to the thought that the Bruins should’ve sold high on Loui Eriksson at the time when they could’ve shipped him out of the Hub at a premium before missing the playoffs for a second-straight year.

Instead, Eriksson went on to amass 63 points (30 goals, 33 assists) in all 82 games with Boston in his first healthy season in the three years he had been there after the Tyler Seguin trade (which happened under previous General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, while Sweeney worked in a player development role)— and signed on the dotted line with the Vancouver Canucks on July 1, 2016, leaving Boston with nothing in his wake.

This, after the Bruins (42-31-9, 93 points, 4th in the Atlantic Division) missed the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs by virtue of a tiebreaker with the Red Wings (41-30-11, 93 points, 3rd in the Atlantic) who had 39 regulation plus overtime wins (ROW) to Boston’s 38.

Two teams from the Metropolitan Division— the Islanders and the Flyers— clinched the Eastern Conference wild card playoff berths with 100 and 96 points, respectively, in the standings.

As for the biggest deal leading up to the 2016 trade deadline, you’d probably have to move the goalposts a little bit on the “within two weeks before the deadline itself” rule to find the best deal.

But the Ottawa Senators were the beneficiary of a revival on Feb. 9, 2016, when they traded Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Jared Cowen, Tobias Lindberg and a 2017 2nd round pick (59th overall, Eemeli Räsänen) to Toronto for Dion Phaneuf (captain of the Maple Leafs at the time), Matt Frattin, Ryan Rupert, Casey Bailey and Cody Donaghey.

Phaneuf had a late career renaissance with the Sens and proved to be pivotal in their run to the 2017 Eastern Conference Final the following year— only to lose on the road in a Game 7 against the Penguins, 3-2, in double overtime.

Pittsburgh, by the way, went on to repeat as Stanley Cup champions that June.

Frattin never suited up for the Senators and left for the KHL after spending a year with the Stockton Heat (AHL) in 2016-17.

Rupert was mired in the minors until going to Europe in 2018-19, while Bailey played in seven games for Ottawa in 2016-17, then spent time split between the American Hockey League and Europe since then (currently in the DEL).

Donaghey, on the other hand, played in one AHL game in 2017-18, before spending the majority of his time in the ECHL prior to leaving for Europe last season (currently in the ELH).

But Phaneuf brought his $7.000 million cap hit to the Sens and actually saved the team money since they shipped out Greening ($2.650 million), Michalek ($4.000 million) and Cowen ($3.100 million) as part of the package— adding about $2.750 million towards the cap for Toronto in the deal.

Of course, the Leafs went on to win the 2016 Draft Lottery and selected Auston Matthews 1st overall that June, so it wasn’t all that bad.

In 51 games with the Maple Leafs prior to the trade in the 2015-16 season, Phaneuf had 3-21—24 totals. In 20 games with Ottawa, he had 1-7—8 totals.

The following year, he had 9-21—30 totals in 81 games and put up five points (one goal, four assists) from the blue line in 19 playoff games in 2017.

He then had 3-13—16 totals in 53 games with Ottawa in 2017-18, before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in another deal that— you guessed it, saved the Senators some money (only about $1.100 million this time around).

Phaneuf had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 26 games with Los Angeles and recorded an assist in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Kings were swept by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2018 First Round.

Then in 2018-19, he amassed 1-5—6 totals in 67 games and had the last two years of his contract bought out by Los Angeles on June 15, 2019.

He didn’t officially retire until Nov. 16, 2021, and spent parts of two seasons following Brendan Shanahan around in his role as president and alternate governor of the Leafs.

Though he wasn’t scoring 40, 50 or even 60 points as a defender like he did in his prime with the Calgary Flames, Phaneuf was still the rugged and durable veteran blue liner that he was in his short tenure from before the 2016 deadline until about his final season and injury was really the only thing that did him in at the end due to his physical style.

He had value and the Leafs just gave him up to their intra-provincial rivals about three years before Toronto repeated themselves in giving Ottawa a better defender (Nikita Zaitsev) for a younger defender (Cody Ceci) that just didn’t really pan out as part of a larger package in a trade on July 1, 2019.

Anyway, that last part was really just for those of you that made it this far and care about things outside of just the Bruins organization.

We’ll move on to analyzing Sweeney’s deadline deals since 2016, in the next chapter.

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Ullmark makes 41 saves in, 3-2, win in Edmonton

Linus Ullmark recorded a season-high 41 saves, while Matt Grzelcyk scored his first goal of the season not a minute too soon in the dying minutes of the game to lift the Boston Bruins over the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2, at Rogers Place on Thursday.

Ullmark (6-4-0, 2.61 goals-against average, .917 save percentage, in 10 games played) made 41 saves on 43 shots against in the win for Boston.

Edmonton goaltender, Stuart Skinner (2-5-0, 2.75 goals-against average, .918 save percentage in eight games played), turned aside 27 out of 30 shots faced in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 13-8-2 (28 points) overall and remain in command of 5th place in the Atlantic Division– one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for 4th in the division standings.

The Oilers fell to 16-9-0 (32 points) on the season and in 3rd place in the Pacific Division– three points behind the Anaheim Ducks for 2nd place and two points ahead of the 4th place Vegas Golden Knights.

Anton Blidh returned to the lineup after dealing with an upper body injury since Nov. 28th against the Vancouver Canucks, while John Moore and Karson Kuhlman were also re-inserted amongst some redone lines and defensive pairings as acting head coach, Joe Sacco, was forced to make adjustments.

With Brandon Carlo (lower body) out day-to-day, Moore took over Carlo’s role on the second pairing alongside Grzelcyk.

Meanwhile, Blidh and Kuhlman’s reintroduction to the lineup meant that Curtis Lazar and Oskar Steen joined Jack Ahcan as healthy scratches for the B’s in Edmonton.

Erik Haula centered the third line with Jake DeBrusk at left win and Nick Foligno on right wing, while Trent Frederic manned the fourth line center role– flanked by Blidh and Kuhlman on his wings.

Jakub Zboril (lower body) and Tomáš Nosek (non-COVID illness) remained out of the lineup due to injury and illness on Thursday, while Bruce Cassidy (COVID-19 protocol) remained at home outside Boston in the National Hockey League’s COVID-19 protocol.

Leon Draisaitl kicked the night off with a tripping infraction after he brought down Moore at 3:50 of the first period, presenting Boston with the game’s first power play.

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

In fact, Boston was stumped on a 5-on-3 advantage for a little more than 10 seconds after Zach Hyman hooked Patrice Bergeron and cut a rut to the penalty box at 5:37.

Almost midway through the first period, Edmonton got their first taste of a power play opportunity as Frederic hooked Connor McDavid at 8:26.

The Oilers couldn’t beat Boston’s penalty kill, however.

Things did not pan out in Edmonton’s favor on their subsequent power play when Foligno was assessed a roughing minor for retaliating against Hyman at 16:03.

Just eight seconds into the penalty kill, the Bruins struck first on the scoreboard as Bergeron forced a turnover in the neutral zone before sending Brad Marchand (10) into the attacking zone on a breakaway prior to elevating a backhand show over Skinner’s glove side to make it, 1-0.

Bergeron (11) had the only assist on Marchand’s 32nd career shorthanded goal at 16:15 of the first period and– as a result– tied Phil Esposito for the fourth-most assists in a Bruins uniform (553).

Ray Bourque (1,111 assists), John Bucyk (794) and Bobby Orr (624) round out the top-three in franchise assist leaders.

Entering the first intermission, the Bruins led, 1-0, on the scoreboard despite trailing the Oilers, 13-9, in shots on goal.

Boston held an advantage in blocked shots (4-3), takeaways (2-1), giveaways (7-5) and hits (13-7), while Edmonton led in faceoff win percentage (54-46) after one period.

Both teams were 0/2 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

Draisaitl cross checked Marchand 10 seconds into the second period and presented the Bruins with an early power play in the middle period as a result.

Boston didn’t let this opportunity go to waste as Kailer Yamamoto turned the puck over to Taylor Hall, who then dished the rubber biscuit from the corner boards to DeBrusk (5) for a catch and release goal on the short side to put the Bruins up by two.

Hall (7) tallied the only assist on DeBrusk’s power-play goal as Boston pulled ahead, 2-0, at 2:02 of the second period.

Midway through the middle frame, Markus Niemelainen caught Frederic with a high stick, which led to the two players becoming a bit entangled as Frederic thought he had been wronged beyond the eyes of the on-ice officials.

Niemelainen went to the box for high sticking, while Frederic picked up a roughing minor and the two penalties resulted in some 4-on-4 action at 13:31 of the second period.

Neither team could score with the extra room on the ice available at both ends.

Minutes later, though, Haula was penalized for holding at 16:55 and the Oilers went on the power play late in the period.

Edmonton took their time on the ensuing skater advantage, but the barrage of shots eventually led to the formation of a triangle in which the Oilers worked the puck from the point to the side back to the point before Tyson Barrie setup Draisaitl (22) for the one-timer goal on the short side– cutting Boston’s lead in half in the process.

The Oilers trailed, 2-1, thanks to Draisaitl’s power-play goal at 18:14 with assists from Barrie (11) and McDavid (28).

Heading into the second intermission, Edmonton extended their domination in total shots to a, 27-15, advantage– outshooting Boston, 14-6, in the second period alone.

Though the Bruins led on the scoreboard, 2-1, and dominated in blocked shots (12-7), giveaways (16-12), hits (19-11) and faceoff win% (54-47), if you take your foot off the gas against the Oilers’ power play, well… don’t be too surprised if Edmonton surges in momentum thereafter for a bit.

As it was, the Oilers led in takeaways, 5-2, heading into the final frame as both teams were 1/3 on the power play.

Bergeron hooked McDavid to give the Oilers a power play at 4:03 of the third period.

This time, however, Boston’s penalty kill stood tall against Edmonton’s skater advantage, but the B’s presented the Oilers with another chance on the power play at 8:58 when Charlie Coyle was assessed a holding infraction against Yamamoto.

It only took Edmonton about half the time on Coyle’s minor to convert on the power play as it did the first time that Draisaitl scored a power-play goal in the second period and, coincidentally, Draisaitl (23) had the Oilers’ second power-play goal as well.

McDavid fed Draisaitl a pass from the dot to the goal line for a one-timer goal on Ullmark’s short side– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.

McDavid (29) and Barrie (12) had the assists on Draisaitl’s second goal of the game at 9:50 of the third period.

Late in the period, the Bruins had possession in the attacking zone where they worked the puck around from Hall to Craig Smith before finding Grzelcyk at his unnatural spot on the ice.

Grzelcyk (1), a left shot, blasted a shot from the right point off the far side post and into the back of the twine for his first goal of the season, as well as the eventual game-winner, as he gave Boston a, 3-2, lead at 17:27.

Smith (5) and Hall (8) tallied the assists on Grzelcyk’s late third period goal.

Minutes later, Oilers head coach, Dave Tippett, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker with about 1:55 remaining in the game, but it was to no avail as the Bruins held off Edmonton’s best skaters for the, 3-2, win at the final horn.

Boston finished the night trailing in shots on goal, 43-30, despite making things close in the third period– only trailing the Oilers, 16-15, in third period shots alone.

The Bruins left Rogers Place with the two-point victory in regulation as well as the lead in blocked shots (19-9), giveaways (20-15), hits (23-17) and faceoff win% (57-43).

Edmonton had the most success on the power play, however, having gone 2/5 on the night to Boston’s 1/3 conversion rate on the skater advantage.

In the end, though, the final score was all that mattered as the Bruins won, 3-2, and improved to 9-4-0 (5-2-0 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 10-0-0 (6-0-0 on the road) when leading after one period and 9-1-0 (6-0-0 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

The Oilers, meanwhile, fell to 7-9-0 (3-4-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 0-8-0 (0-4-0 at home) when trailing after the first period and 3-8-0 (2-3-0 at home) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

Boston visits the Calgary Flames on Saturday night to wrap up their Western Canada road trip (1-0-1) before returning home to host the Golden Knights on Dec. 14th at TD Garden.

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NHL Nick's Net

Miller and Horvat sink Bruins in shootout, 2-1

J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat had the only goals past regulation in a, 2-1, shootout victory for the Vancouver Canucks against the Boston Bruins Wednesday night at Rogers Arena.

Thatcher Demko (10-11-1, 2.73 goals-against average, .915 save percentage in 22 games played) made 35 saves on 36 shots faced in the shootout win for Vancouver.

Boston netminder, Jeremy Swayman (7-4-2, 2.15 goals-against average, .922 save percentage in 13 games played) stopped 31 out of 32 shots against in the shootout loss.

The Bruins fell to 12-8-2 (26 points) overall and remain in 5th place in the Atlantic Division, while the Canucks improved to 10-15-2 (22 points) and moved into 7th place in the Pacific Division– ahead of the Seattle Kraken by two points out of the division basement.

The B’s went 1-0-1 in their regular season series with Vancouver in 2021-22.

Anton Blidh (upper body) took part in morning skate for Boston in a regular practice jersey, but isn’t quite ready to resume in-game action just yet.

Blidh was joined by Jakub Zboril (lower body) and Tomáš Nosek (non-COVID related illness) among the Bruins that weren’t able to compete on Wednesday night due to injury or illness.

Zboril will be re-evaluated in two weeks, while Nosek did not travel with the team to Vancouver.

Meanwhile, Charlie McAvoy was back in the lineup after missing one game due to a non-COVID related illness and Brad Marchand returned from his three-game suspension.

As a result, acting head coach, Joe Sacco, made a number of changes to his lines– reuniting Marchand with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak on the first line, while relegating Taylor Hall back to his normal spot on the second line left wing with Charlie Coyle at center and Craig Smith at right wing.

Trent Frederic centered the third line with Erik Haula to his left and Nick Foligno on his right side, while Curtis Lazar shifted over to the fourth line center role with Nosek out on Wednesday.

Jake DeBrusk flanked Lazar’s left side and Oskar Steen took on right wing duties on the fourth line after he was recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Tuesday.

In addition to Steen, Boston recalled Jack Ahcan and John Moore, who joined Karson Kuhlman in the press box as healthy scratches for the B’s in Vancouver.

Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, remains in the National Hockey League’s COVID-19 protocol and likely won’t be back before the Bruins return from their Western Canada road trip.

Midway through the opening frame, McAvoy was assessed a holding minor when he got tied up with Jason Dickinson at 12:30 of the first period.

The Canucks, however, were not able to score on the ensuing skater advantage.

Vancouver got another chance on the power play in the dying seconds of the first period as Foligno was given an unsportsmanlike conduct minor at 19:57.

The Bruins would be shorthanded for about 1:58 to kick things off in the middle frame as a result.

After one period of play at Rogers Arena, Boston and Vancouver were tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard and even in shots on goal, 8-8.

The B’s held the advantage in blocked shots (8-5), giveaways (4-3) and hits (14-4), while the Canucks led in takeaways (2-1) and faceoff win percentage (54-46).

Only Vancouver had seen any action on the power play heading into the first intermission and the home team was 0/2 thus far.

Tyler Myers knocked Smith around without the puck and received an interference minor as a result– yielding Boston their first power play of the night at 8:14 of the second period.

The Bruins couldn’t convert on the ensuing skater advantage however.

Boston thought they had scored the game’s first goal when Haula received a pass on a breakaway entering the attacking zone before deking and scoring on a backhand shot that was elevated over Demko’s outstretched right pad, but the call on the ice was overturned as a result of Canucks head coach, Bruce Boudreau, using a coach’s challenge.

Boudreau argued that the Bruins had, in fact, not scored because Haula was offside prior to bringing the puck into Vancouver’s own zone.

Video review confirmed that Haula had both skates over the plane along the blue line while the rubber biscuit was still in the neutral zone along the line– negating the would-be goal.

Instead of a, 1-0, lead for Boston, later in the period Marchand was assessed an interference minor for a light collision with Dickinson away from the play at 14:27.

Whether the penalty was justified or not, it came back to bite the Bruins as Miller flung a shot pass towards the slot whereby Brock Boeser (6) redirected the puck past Swayman for the game’s first official goal.

Miller (17) and Quinn Hughes (19) tallied the assists to give the Canucks a, 1-0, lead on Boeser’s power-play goal at 15:01 of the second period.

Through 40 minutes of action at Rogers Arena, Vancouver led, 1-0, on the scoreboard despite trailing Boston, 17-16, in shots on net– including a, 9-8, advantage for the Bruins in the second period alone.

The B’s also led in blocked shots (14-10), giveaways (5-4) and hits (20-12) entering the second intermission, while the Canucks maintained an advantage in takeaways (5-2) and faceoff win% (52-48).

Vancouver was 1/3 on the power play, while Boston was 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame of regulation.

Juho Lammiko slashed Pastrnak to kick things off in the third period with a power play for the Bruins at 3:26.

Boston went on the two-skater advantage after Miller tripped up Swayman while passing through the crease at 4:42 of the second period– presenting the Bruins with 45 seconds of prime real estate in the attacking zone.

The B’s made quick work of the 5-on-3 advantage as they wrapped the puck around the zone prior to Pastrnak sending a shot pass in from the point to Bergeron (9) in the bumper for the redirection off of Demko’s left pad and under the bar.

Pastrnak (12) and Coyle (7) notched the assists on Bergeron’s power-play goal and the Bruins tied the game, 1-1, at 4:51 of the third period.

Moments later, Boston had another chance on the power play when Tanner Pearson sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play for an automatic minor at 7:22, but the B’s weren’t able to put the go-ahead goal on the board– especially not after Bergeron cut down Dickinson with a trip in the neutral zone while trying to steal the puck at 7:36, yielding a span of 1:46 at 4-on-4.

Vancouver didn’t convert on their abbreviated power play upon Pearson’s re-emergence from the box.

At the horn, the two teams required overtime to settle a, 1-1, score.

Boston led in shots on goal, 33-29, including a, 16-13, advantage in the third period alone, while also maintaining an advantage in blocked shots (19-15) and hits (27-19).

Meanwhile, the Canucks amassed a lead in takeaways (7-3), and giveaways (10-5) as both teams split faceoff win%, 50-50, entering the extra frame.

As there were no penalties called in overtime, both teams finished the night 1/4 on the power play.

Sacco sent out Bergeron, Marchand and McAvoy to begin the 3-on-3 overtime action, while Boudreau countered with Horvat, Dickinson and Myers.

Despite swapping chances and a few great saves by each goaltender, neither team could top the other in overtime, yielding a shootout and finalizing the stat lines at a, 36-32, total shots advantage for Boston (each team had three shots on goal in overtime alone).

The Bruins also wrapped up Wednesday night’s action before the shootout leading in blocked shots (19-15), hits (28-20) and faceoff win% (52-48).

Vancouver, meanwhile, finished the night leading in giveaways, 11-6, after 65 minutes wasn’t enough.

Boudreau sent out Elias Pettersson with the first shot attempt in the first round of the shootout, but Swayman poke checked the puck away as Pettersson tried a serpentine route towards the net.

Next, Pastrnak drew close to the net from a wide approach before sending a shot off of Demko’s glove and wide of the goal frame.

In the second round of the shootout, Miller started things with a wide skate towards the slot before cutting in and wrapping the puck around Swayman as Miller sold a fake and the Bruins netminder bought it.

Miller put the Canucks up, 1-0, in the shootout with Coyle designated as Boston’s second shooter.

Coyle came right at Demko and fired a shot off of the Canucks goaltenders’ blocker– low on the short side.

All Horvat had to do was score and the game would be over before the Bruins even had a third attempt.

Horvat curled towards the slot and beat Swayman high on the glove side with a clean shot– giving Vancouver the, 2-0, advantage in the shootout and a, 2-1, win on the final scoreboard as a result.

The Canucks improved to 2-1 in shootouts this season, while the Bruins fell to 1-1 in the shootout in 2021-22.

Boston also fell to 1-5-1 (0-2-1 on the road) when tied after the first period, 4-4-2 (1-2-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal and 2-5-2 (0-3-1 on the road0 when trailing after two periods this season.

Vancouver, meanwhile, improved to 6-7-0 (3-3-0 at home) when tied after one period, 6-4-0 (3-0-0 at home) when scoring first and 8-1-0 (4-0-0 at home) when leading after two periods in 2021-22.

The Bruins continue their road trip (0-0-1) through Western Canada with a matchup against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, followed by a visit to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Boston returns home to host the Vegas Golden Knights on Dec. 14th before another three-game road trip thereafter.

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NHL Nick's Net

Stamkos sinks Bruins in overtime on the road, 3-2

Steven Stamkos scored the game-winning overtime goal 91 seconds after the extra frame began to hold off a comeback and give the Tampa Bay Lightning a, 3-2, overtime win over the Boston Bruins Saturday night at TD Garden.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (12-4-3, 2.13 goals-against average, .927 save percentage in 19 games played) made 37 saves on 39 shots against in the overtime win for the Lightning.

Bruins netminder, Jeremy Swayman (7-4-1, 2.27 goals-against average, .918 save percentage in 12 games played) stopped 22 out of 25 shots faced in the overtime loss.

Boston fell to 12-8-1 (25 points) on the season and remain in command of 5th place in the Atlantic Division– two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, Tampa improved to 14-5-4 (32 points) overall and in command of 3rd place in the Atlantic– five points behind their intrastate rival, Florida Panthers, for the division lead.

Prior to Saturday night, the B’s and Bolts hadn’t met in the regular season since March 7, 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic that temporarily realigned the league’s divisions last season.

In their last meeting, which was also at TD Garden, the Lightning won, 5-3, as Boston cemented a 1-2-1 season series record against the Bolts in 2019-20.

Anton Blidh (upper body) remained out of the lineup on Saturday night as Charlie McAvoy (non-COVID related illness) and Jakub Zboril (lower body) joined Blidh among the sick and injured while head coach, Bruce Cassidy, remains in the National Hockey League’s COVID-19 protocol.

Zboril is set to be re-evaluated on Sunday for an injury that he sustained in Thursday night’s, 2-0, shutout in Nashville.

As a result of McAvoy’s game-time decision status, Jack Ahcan and Oskar Steen were recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL), who had enough players cleared to be called up or assigned in the aftermath of a COVID outbreak among Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate.

Acting head coach, Joe Sacco, made two minor changes to his lineup– inserting Ahcan alongside Derek Forbort on the blue line in place of McAvoy and placing Connor Clifton back on the third pairing with Mike Reilly with Zboril out.

Steen served as Boston’s only healhty scratch on Saturday with Brad Marchand (suspension) serving the final game of his three-game suspension for slew-footing Oliver Ekman-Larsson in Nov. 28th’s, 3-2, win against the Vancouver Canucks.

Nick Foligno hooked Erik Cernak 32 seconds into the first period, yielding the night’s first power play opportunity to the Lightning as a result.

Tampa wasn’t able to convert on the ensuing skater advantage, however, as the Bruins made the kill.

Midway through the opening frame, Bolts defender, Zach Bogosian, caught B’s forward, Craig Smith, with a high stick and cut a rut to the penalty box as a result at 13:19.

Boston couldn’t beat Vasilevskiy and the Lightning’s penalty killing unit on the resulting advantage and even gave up their second shorthanded goal against this season less than a minute after Bogosian set a foot in the sin bin.

Taylor Raddysh received a pass into the attacking zone from Mikhail Sergachev and promptly deked through Reilly by slipping the puck under the Bruins defender’s stick before pulling the rubber biscuit to his backhand and wrapping it tightly around Swayman’s outstretched right leg.

Raddysh (1) scored his first career NHL goal and put Tampa on the board first, 1-0, at 14:13 with his shorthanded goal, while Sergachev (10) recorded the only assist on the tally.

Entering the first intermission, the Lightning led, 1-0, on the scoreboard despite trailing, 12-6, in shots on net.

Boston also held the advantage in hits (11-8) and faceoff win percentage (61-39), while the Bolts led in blocked shots (7-2) and giveaways (5-1).

Both teams had three takeaways each and went 0/1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

After ringing the post three times, the Bruins fell victim to the most common play in hockey– the one rush the other way that goes in.

Anthony Cirelli sent a pass up to Ondrej Palat as the Bolts entered the attacking zone, leading to a great chance for Palat to make a play across the slot for a teammate to one-time the puck.

Instead, Palat (6) faked a shot and sent a pass that deflected off of Tomáš Nosek and into the twine as Swayman couldn’t react to Nosek’s unintentional own goal.

Cirelli (8) and Victor Hedman (18) tallied the assists as the Lightning took a, 2-0, lead at 3:36 of the second period.

Late in the middle frame, Erik Haula snagged a rebound from the slot and made a backhand pass through his legs to Charlie Coyle (7) for the one-timer goal while crashing the net– cutting Tampa’s lead in half in the process.

Haula (4) and Smith (4) were credited with the assists on Coyle’s goal and the Bruins trailed, 2-1, at 16:30.

A couple of minutes later, Matt Grzelcyk was sent to the box for hooking at 18:25, but the Lightning weren’t able to convert on the ensuing power play that carried into the final frame of regulation.

Entering the second intermission, Tampa led, 2-1, on the scoreboard, despite Boston controlling the advantage in shots on net, 28-13, including a, 16-7, advantage in the second period alone.

The Lightning dominated in blocked shots (13-6), as well as giveaways (10-4), while the Bruins led in takeaways (7-6), hits (24-20) and faceoff win% (63-37).

Tampa was 0/2 and Boston was 0/1 on the power play heading into the third period.

Curtis Lazar (1) tied the game, 2-2, at 4:44 of the third period on a backhand shot that he elevated over Vasilevskiy’s glove as the Bruins surged in momentum.

Brandon Carlo (2) and Grzelcyk (4) notched the assists on Lazar’s first goal of the season, but neither team was able to score thereafter– necessitating the use of an overtime period.

There were also no penalties called in the third period, meaning that Boston finished the night 0/1 on the power play, while Tampa went 0/2 on the skater advantage.

The Bruins completed 60 minutes of action leading in shots on goal, 38-21, including a, 10-8, advantage in the third period alone.

The B’s also led in takeaways (9-8), hits (33-31) and faceoff win% (59-41) after regulation, while the Lightning led in blocked shots (18-10) and giveaways (12-6).

Entering overtime, the Bruins had yet to win or lose a game this season in the extra frame, while the Lightning were 3-2 in overtime alone in 2021-22.

Bolts head coach, Jon Cooper, started Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Alex Killorn and Hedman, while Sacco countered with Coyle, Taylor Hall and Reilly.

The two teams traded chances at both ends before a dramatic shift led to a timely save by Swayman that promptly rebounded out through the slot to David Pastrnak for a clear exit from his own zone all the way into Boston’s attacking zone on a breakaway.

Only Sergachev trailed Pastrnak and the Lightning defender was gaining ground.

As Pastrnak barely got a shot attempt off and wide, Sergachev got enough to tie up the Bruins forward– after which, the Bolts blue liner sent a pass up-ice to Stamkos for a breakaway opportunity heading in the other direction.

Luckily for Boston, Reilly was the only skater within range to get back and defend.

Unfortunately for Boston, Stamkos approached Swayman on a 2-on-1 with Palat by his side.

Instead of lobbing a pass for a one-timer, Stamkos (12) wound up and fired an old-fashioned slap shot past Swayman’s short side to win the game, 3-2, at 1:31 of the overtime period.

Sergachev (11) had the only assist on the goal.

Tampa finished the night with the win on the scoreboard and a, 4-1, advantage in shots on goal in overtime alone, despite trailing Boston, 39-25, overall in total shots on net.

The Lightning exited TD Garden with the advantage in blocked shots (19-11) and giveaways (13-7), while the Bruins finished Saturday night’s action leading in hits (33-31) and faceoff win% (58-42).

The Bolts improved to 4-2 in overtime this season, while the B’s fell to 0-1.

Boston also fell to 4-4-1 (3-2-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 2-3-1 (2-1-1 at home) when trailing after the first period and 2-5-1 (2-2-1 at home) when trailing after two periods this season as a result of the overtime loss.

Tampa, meanwhile, improved to 9-1-3 (3-0-2 on the road) when scoring first, 9-1-2 (2-0-2 on the road) when leading after one and 8-1-3 (2-0-2 on the road) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins hit the road for a three-game road trip through Western Canada next week, starting on Wednesday (Dec. 8th) in Vancouver before playing the following night in Edmonton with a day off next Friday before visiting the Calgary Flames next Saturday.

Boston returns home to host the Vegas Golden Knights on Dec. 14th before another three-game road trip thereafter.