Categories
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
NHL Nick's Net Playoff Recaps

Hurricanes take 1-0 series lead with, 5-1, victory against Boston

Two goals late in the second period set the momentum in motion for the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night as they opened up their 2022 First Round series against the Boston Bruins with a, 5-1, win in Game 1 at PNC Arena.

Antti Raanta (1-0, 1.00 goals-against average, .972 save percentage in one game played) made 35 saves on 36 shots against in the win for Carolina in his first career start in a Stanley Cup Playoff game.

Boston goaltender, Linus Ullmark (0-1, 4.07 goals-against average, .833 save percentage in one game played), stopped 20 out of 24 shots faced in the loss in his postseason debut.

The Bruins are meeting the Hurricanes for the seventh time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history with Boston holding an all-time series advantage, 5-1.

The two clubs are facing each other for the third time in four years with the B’s having most recently defeated the Canes in the 2020 First Round in five games while the league held its Eastern Conference playoff bubble in Toronto due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that summer.

Carolina won all three games against Boston in the 2021-22 regular season with 16 goals for and one goal against over the course of the year.

The Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) on Monday as the two players missed a combined 69 games in the regular season due to injuries.

Jack Studnicka, Marc McLaughlin, Jack Ahcan and Oskar Steen were all reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) prior to Game 1 against Carolina as Providence is set to take on the Bridgeport Islanders in their 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs First Round series.

Kyle Keyser was recalled from Providence to serve as Boston’s third goaltender at practice this postseason.

Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, reunited his lines from the penultimate game in the regular season for Game 1 against Carolina, rendering Mike Reilly, Chris Wagner, Josh Brown, Anton Blidh and Keyser as healthy scratches for the B’s.

Brady Skjei sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play for an automatic delay of game infraction at 3:00 of the first period, but Boston’s power play failed to convert on the skater advantage.

Midway through the opening frame, Jordan Staal’s stick work pushed the puck over the line while pushing Ullmark’s pad through the crease in the process and was deemed incidental goaltender interference.

As a result, the Hurricanes were not penalized and the call on the ice (no goal) stood.

Moments later, Erik Haula cut a rut to the box for holding and presented the Canes with their first power play of the night at 13:53, but Boston’s penalty kill stood tall and made the kill.

Patrice Bergeron presented Carolina with their second skater advantage of the night for tripping Staal at 16:42, but the Hurricanes failed to capitalize on the resulting skater advantage.

Entering the first intermission, the score remained tied, 0-0, despite the Bruins leading in shots on goal, 14-10.

The B’s also held the advantage in blocked shots (6-5), while the Canes led in takeaways (7-4), giveaways (6-5), hits (22-12) and faceoff win percentage (57-43)– reflecting the momentum of the opening frame where Boston got out to a hot start for about 10 minutes before Carolina rocketed to the intermission.

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

Almost midway through the second period, Ian Cole tripped Trent Frederic at 8:15, but Boston couldn’t muster a shot past Raanta on the ensuing power play.

In another surge in momentum late in the period, Jaccob Slavin riffled a shot from the point that Seth Jarvis (1) tipped through Ullmark’s five-hole to give Carolina the first goal of the game at 16:28 of the second period.

Slavin (1) and Cole (1) tallied the assists on Jarvis’ first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal and the Hurricanes led, 1-0.

Carolina scored a pair of goals in a span of 2:10 when Nino Niederreiter (1) sent a shot past Ullmark on the glove side from just outside the faceoff circles in the attacking zone.

Tony DeAngelo (1) and Martin Nečas (1) notched the assists as the Hurricanes grabbed a, 2-0, lead at 18:38.

Heading into the second intermission, the Canes led, 2-0, on the scoreboard despite trailing the Bruins, 25-19, in shots on goal.

Boston held an advantage in shots in the middle frame alone, 11-9, while Carolina led in blocked shots (13-10), takeaways (11-6), giveaways (14-9), hits (34-30) and faceoff win% (61-39).

Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play through 40 minutes of play Monday night at PNC Arena.

Taylor Hall (1) fluttered a catch and release shot past Raanta to cut Carolina’s lead in half at 2:53 of the third period and the Bruins trailed, 2-1, early in the final frame as a result.

Haula (1) and Charlie McAvoy (1) had the assists on Hall’s goal.

Moments later– after Hall rang the post at the other end of the rink– Teuvo Teräväinen (1) scored on a 2-on-1 while Matt Grzelcyk got caught out of position while trying to pinch, leaving Brandon Carlo to defend on his own.

Vincent Trocheck (1) had the only assist on Teräväinen’s goal to give the Hurricanes a, 3-1, lead at 7:02 of the third period.

Midway through the final frame, Brendan Smith interfered with Craig Smith at 10:00, but the B’s failed to convert on the resulting skater advantage.

Late in the period, Trocheck (1) waltzed right into the attacking zone and cut to the net before flipping the puck over Ullmark as the Bruins goaltender tried to make a save with his mask.

Max Domi (1) and Brett Pesce (1) had the assists on Trocheck’s goal and the Hurricanes took a, 4-1, lead at 16:58 of the third period.

Cassidy pulled his goaltender with about 2:54 remaining in the action to rally his skaters with an extra attacker, but Sebastian Aho quickly received a pass from Aho and selflessly setup Andrei Svechnikov (1) for the empty net goal to give Carolina a, 5-1, lead at 17:59.

Aho (1) and Jarvis (1) tallied the assists on Svechnikov’s goal.

A couple minutes later, Frederic exchanged pleasantries with Smith after a brief stoppage and received a roughing minor as well as a ten-minute misconduct at 19:53 of the third period.

At the final horn, the Hurricanes won, 5-1, and took a 1-0 series lead in their 2022 First Round matchup with Boston.

The Bruins exited the ice leading in shots on goal, 36-25, including an, 11-6, advantage in the third period alone.

Boston finished the night leading in blocked shots, 17-16, while Carolina left their own building leading in giveaways (20-10), hits (48-42) and faceoff win% (57-43).

Both teams went 0-for-3 on the power play on Monday.

The Hurricanes take a 1-0 series lead heading into Game 2 at PNC Arena Wednesday night.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. ET and viewers outside of the local markets can catch the action on ESPN in the United States, as well as SN360 and TVAS2 in Canada.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Bruins drop season finale on the road, 5-2

William Nylander scored a pair of goals in a, 5-2, victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Boston Bruins Friday night at Scotiabank Arena.

Erik Källgren (8-4-1, 3.31 goals-against average, .888 save percentage in 14 games played) made 24 saves on 26 shots against in the win for the Leafs.

Bruins goaltender, Jeremy Swayman (23-24-3, 2.41 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in 41 games played), stopped 22 out of 26 shots faced in the loss.

Boston finished the regular season with a 51-26-5 record (107 points)– good enough for 4th in the Atlantic Division and the first wild card in the Eastern Conference.

The B’s will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs as a result.

Toronto improved to 54-21-7 (115 points) overall and finished 2nd in the Atlantic Division. They will host the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2022 First Round.

The Bruins went 25-13-3 on the road and 0-3-0 against the Maple Leafs this season after going 2-0-1 against Toronto in 2019-20.

The two teams did not meet last season due to the temporarily realigned divisions in light of the ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic.

Boston’s list of injured players and healthy scratches got a bit of a shakeup heading into the final game of the regular season as Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) were joined by Hampus Lindholm, Patrice Bergeron, Matt Grzelcyk, Erik Haula, Brad Marchand, Taylor Hall, Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak among those held out of the lineup.

Zboril missed his 62nd game this season due to an injury sustained on Dec. 2nd in Nashville, while Hall missed his first game of the season as a healthy scratch.

As a result, Charlie Coyle was the only Bruin to suit up in all 82 games this season– marking the first time that anyone in a Boston uniform played in all 82 games in a full 82-game season since Pastrnak and Tim Schaller did so in 2017-18.

Since then, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shortened the 2019-20 regular season and kept 2020-21 limited to 56 games.

Chris Wagner made his season debut on Friday after being recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) with Jack Studnicka, Oskar Steen and Jack Ahcan to fill in for the regulars.

Boston’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, opted to keep Trent Frederic, Coyle and Craig Smith together on the same line, while he moved Jake DeBrusk to the second line left wing with Studnicka at center and Marc McLaughlin on right wing.

Curtis Lazar centered the third line with Nick Foligno and Steen on his wings, while Tomáš Nosek held the fourth line together– flanked by Anton Blidh and Wagner.

On defense, Ahcan was paired with Brandon Carlo on the first pairing, while Mike Reilly and Josh Brown comprised the second pairing with Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton in their regular roles filling out the bottom pair.

The Bruins struck first in quick fashion as Smith wrapped the puck around the back of the net and slipped a pass to Frederic (8) for the flub shot through Källgren’s five-hole.

Smith (19) and Coyle (28) tallied the assists on the goal and the B’s led, 1-0, at 1:10 of the first period.

Boston didn’t hold the lead for long, however as McLaughlin caught Mark Giordano with a high stick at 1:48 of the first period that was reviewed for an injury on the infraction– resulting in a four-minute double minor.

Toronto made it a little past the midpoint of the skater advantage before Giordano sent a shot towards the net that Ilya Mikheyev (21) tipped past Swayman to tie the game, 1-1, at 3:51.

Giordano (27) and Timothy Liljegren (18) notched the assists on Mikheyev’s power-play goal.

Midway through the opening frame, William Nylander (33) got a breakaway and buried the puck in the twine on a forehand tuck after pulling Swayman to the right side of the crease.

Nylander’s goal was unassisted and gave the Maple Leafs their first lead of the night, 2-1, at 13:16 of the first period.

Late in the period, Morgan Rielly floated a shot towards Swayman that Nick Abruzzese (1) tipped for his first career National Hockey League goal.

Rielly (58) had the only assist on the goal as a result and the Leafs extended their lead to two goals at 19:52.

After one period, Toronto led, 3-1, on the scoreboard and, 10-6, in shots on goal.

The Maple Leafs also led in blocked shots (10-2) and takeaways (2-0), while the Bruins held the advantage in giveaways (4-3), hits (20-15) and faceoff win percentage (56-44) entering the first intermission.

The Leafs were 1-for-2 on the power play, while Boston had yet to see time on the skater advantage heading into the middle frame.

DeBrusk went hard into the boards early in the second period, but skated off on his own power and sat on the bench until his next shift without much discomfort despite play briefly coming to a stop while he laid on the ice.

Late in the period, Foligno tripped Wayne Simmonds and presented the Leafs with a power play at 14:49 of the second period, but Toronto failed to convert on the skater advantage.

Shortly thereafter, Nosek cross checked Liljegren and became entangled in a quick exchange of pleasantries with Rielly– resulting in minor infractions for both Nosek and Rielly for cross checking and roughing, respectively at 19:30.

The two clubs skated at 4-on-4 into the third period as a result.

Through 40 minutes of action Friday night, the Maple Leafs led, 3-1, on the scoreboard and, 20-15, in shots on goal– including a, 10-9, advantage in the second period alone.

Toronto also maintained control in blocked shots (11-5), takeaways (8-3) and giveaways (8-7), while Boston led in hits (45-27) and faceoff win% (53-47).

The Leafs were 1-for-3 and the Bruins were 0-for-0 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Nylander (34) collected his second goal of the night on a similar backhand-forehand effort from his first goal of the game and the Maple Leafs grabbed a, 4-1, lead at 8:00 of the third period.

Moments later, Foligno thought he had his 500th career NHL point by scoring a would-be goal on the doorstep, but Toronto’s head coach, Sheldon Keefe, challenged the call on the ice on the basis that he believed Boston was offside entering the zone prior to the goal.

Upon video review, it was determined that Lazar had gone over the blue line into the attacking zone before Steen broke the plane for a zone entry, rendering the call on the ice reversed. No goal.

Toronto still led, 4-1, and Foligno will have to wait until next season for his 500th point.

Shortly thereafter, T.J. Brodie cut a rut to the box for holding and Boston went on the power play for the first time at 11:55.

Smith sent a shot on goal that DeBrusk (25) buried on the rebound past Källgren’s short side to give the Bruins their third power-play goal in their last two games.

Boston trailed, 4-2, while Smith (20) and Reilly (13) picked up the assists on DeBrusk’s goal at 12:49 of the third period.

With about a minute left in the action, Cassidy pulled Swayman for an extra attacker, but the B’s weren’t able to muster any last-minute comeback efforts.

Pierre Engvall (15) capitalized on a turnover and buried the rubber biscuit in the empty twine for an empty net goal in addition to a three-goal lead at 19:50 of the third period.

Engvall’s goal was unassisted and the Leafs finished their season with a, 5-2, victory on home ice.

At the final horn, Toronto had won and wrapped things up leading in shots on goal, 27-26, despite trailing, 11-7, in shots on net in the third period alone.

The Maple Leafs finished the night leading in blocked shots (13-8) and giveaways (13-11), while the Bruins exited the ice with the advantage in hits (54-48) and faceoff win% (53-47).

The Leafs went 1-for-3 on the power play, while the B’s went 1-for-1 on the skater advantage Friday night.

Boston fell to 37-10-2 (19-5-1 on the road) when scoring first, 6-15-2 (2-8-1 on the road) when trailing after one and 4-20-2 (1-9-1 on the road) when trailing after two this season.

Toronto improved to 19-15-4 (13-7-2 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 29-3-3 (17-0-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 40-1-3 (23-1-0 at home) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.

With the 2021-22 regular season in the rearview mirror, the Bruins look ahead to the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs and their First Round matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Games 1 and 2 will be at PNC Arena in Raleigh.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Bruins host Kraken for first time ever

David Pastrnak sandwiched a pair of goals around a Taylor Hall tally as the Boston Bruins beat the Seattle Kraken, 3-2, at TD Garden in their first-ever regular season matchup in franchise history.

Seattle joined the league as an expansion team this season and nearly forced a comeback– tying things up, 2-2, in the third period courtesy of goals from Joonas Donskoi and Mason Appleton– before Pastrnak’s second power-play goal of the game buried the Kraken.

Linus Ullmark (16-6-1, 2.64 goals-against average, .913 save percentage in 24 games played) made 25 saves on 27 shots against in the win for Boston.

Kraken goaltender, Chris Driedger (3-7-0, 3.18 goals-against average, .895 save percentage in 12 games played), stopped 23 out of 26 shots faced in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 26-14-3 (55 points) overall and remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division, as well as the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, Seattle fell to 14-27-4 (32 points) on the season and stuck in 8th place in the Pacific Division.

The B’s are now 1-0-0 against the Kraken all-time and will face Seattle again on the road on Feb. 24th at Climate Pledge Arena.

The Bruins were without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Trent Frederic (upper body), Nick Foligno (upper body), Tuukka Rask (lower body) and Erik Haula (COVID-19 protocol) on Tuesday.

Frederic and Foligno took part in morning skate in full-contact, but won’t return to the lineup until after the All Star break.

Bruce Cassidy made a few changes to Boston’s lineup from Sunday’s, 6-1, loss in Dallas to Tuesday’s, 3-2, victory against Seattle.

Craig Smtih suited up on the first line right wing alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, while Tomáš Nosek centered the second line with Hall and Pastrnak on his wings.

Charlie Coyle was reunited with Jake DeBrusk and Oskar Steen at left and right wing, respectively, on the third line, while Steven Fogarty centered Anton Blidh and Curtis Lazar on the fourth line.

On defense, Matt Grzelcyk was partnered with Charlie McAvoy as the top-four defenders returned to their usual positions with Mike Reilly alongside Brandon Carlo.

Derek Forbort started the night next to Urho Vaakanainen, though Cassidy would be forced to rotate five defenders by the end of the game as Vaakanainen (upper body) sustained an injury as a result of a bad hit from Yanni Gourde early in the second period.

Frederic, Foligno, Jesper Frödén, Rask, Tyler Lewington, Haula, Zboril and Connor Clifton made up the long list of injured players and healthy scratches for Boston on Tuesday.

Blidh tripped Riley Sheahan and presented the Kraken with the night’s first power play at 3:00 of the first period.

Seattle didn’t convert on the ensuing advantage.

Midway through the opening frame, McAvoy tripped Jared McCann, yielding another power play to the Kraken at 10:16.

Once again, however, Seattle wasn’t able to capitalize on the resulting special teams play.

Entering the first intermission, the Bruins and Kraken remained tied, 0-0, despite Seattle jumping out to a, 9-7, advantage in shots on net.

The Bruins led in blocked shots (3-2), hits (11-8) and faceoff win percentage (60-40), while the Kraken led in giveaways (6-4).

Both teams had one takeaway each, while Seattle was 0/2 on the power play and Boston had yet to see time on the skater advantage.

Early in the middle frame, Gourde checked Vaakanainen from behind– driving the Bruins defender face first into the glass from the numbers.

Vaakanainen was bloodied from a cut from his visor and Gourde was initially assessed a five-minute major penalty, but upon official review, it was downgraded (rightfully or wrongfully) to a two-minute minor for boarding at 1:38 of the second period.

Boston didn’t convert on the resulting power play.

Shortly after emerging from the penalty box, on an ensuing faceoff, Fogarty and Lazar tried to engage Gourde in a physical response– rendering roughing minors for all three players while Forbort and former Bruins defender, Jeremy Lauzon, dropped the gloves and fought separately.

Forbort and Lauzon each received five-minute majors for fighting at 4:00 of the second period.

Seattle’s power play remained powerless as the Bruins made the kill and resumed even strength.

Former Bruin, Marcus Johansson, tripped Hall at 8:49 of the second period and presented the B’s with their first power play of the night.

It didn’t take long for Boston to capitalize on the skater advantage as Hall worked a pass through the slot to the dot where Pastrnak (21) one-timed a goal inadvertently off of Donskoi and over Driedger’s blocker side for his tenth power-play goal of the season at 9:06 of the second period.

Hall (19) and Marchand (27) tallied the assists as the Bruins pulled ahead, 1-0.

Shortly thereafter, Grzelcyk made a hit on Jordan Eberle along the boards in the neutral zone, whereby Eberle accidentally speared his own teammate in the face– rendering Johansson down the tunnel for a few minutes before returning to the night’s action.

Minutes later, Carlo cut a rut to the sin bin for interference at 11:57 and DeBrusk presented Seattle with a 5-on-3 advantage shortly after that when he sent the puck over the glass and out of play– yielding an automatic delay of game minor at 13:20.

Boston’s penalty kill continued to get its job done, however, as the Kraken remained scoreless on the power play.

Late in the second period, Nosek won a battle along the endboards– freeing the puck to Hall in the process, whereby Hall forced it to the slot in an attempt to connect on a pass back to any open teammate.

Instead, Sheahan briefly corralled then fumbled the loose puck and Hall (10) scooped it back up before scoring on Driedger’s stick side from point blank.

Nosek (7) and Pastrnak (21) tallied the assists as the B’s extended their lead, 2-0, at 16:09 of the second period.

Through 40 minutes of play, Boston led, 2-0, on the scoreboard despite both teams amassing 18 shot on goal each.

The Bruins held an, 11-9, advantage in shots in the second period alone, while also maintaining control in blocked shots (7-4), giveaways (9-8), hits (17-12) and faceoff win% (57-43).

Seattle led in takeaways (4-2) and was 0/5 on the power play heading into the second intermission.

Boston, meanwhile, was 1/2 on the skater advantage entering the final frame.

Less than a minute into the third period, Boston failed to clear their own zone and the Kraken took full advantage of the Bruins getting caught a half-step behind the play.

Donskoi (1) ripped a shot, high, glove side from just outside the left circle for his first goal of the season in his 44th game (45th overall for Seattle)– cutting Boston’s lead in half, 2-1, in the process.

An unassisted individual effort, Donskoi’s goal was also just 42 seconds into the third period– making matters worse for the Bruins as they took their time getting out of the lull of the second intermission back into the frantic pace of a 60-minute hockey game.

Momentum certainly was not on Boston’s side as Marchand went off to the box for interference at 4:47 and the Kraken nearly tied things up on the ensuing power play.

Instead, Seattle caught Boston in the vulnerable minute after special teams play as a ricochet off of Appleton (4) and McAvoy before the puck found its way behind Ullmark worked in the Kraken’s favor.

Adam Larsson (10) and Colin Blackwell (4) notched the assists on Appleton’s goal as Seattle tied the game, 2-2, at 7:30 of the third period.

As a result of their lackluster play to start the final frame, Cassidy used his team’s timeout to rally the B’s into shape.

Moments later, Seattle’s captain, Mark Giordano, tripped Fogarty in his own zone and presented Boston with the night’s final power play at 10:28.

As the penalty was being announced, the Bruins tweeted that Vaakanainen would not return to the night’s game with an upper body injury.

A mean 21 seconds into the skater advantage, Boston capitalized on the power play opportunity thanks to some quick work from their first power play unit.

Marchand sent a pass to Bergeron, who promptly setup Pastrnak (22) for a one-timer that may not have even intentionally been a shot, but rather a chance to feed Hall in the slot on a shot pass.

Instead, Pastrnak picked up his second power-play goal (as well as his second goal of the game in the process) and the Bruins led, 3-2, at 10;49 of the third period.

Bergeron (22) and Marchand (28) had the assists this time around.

With about 2:19 remaining in the action, Kraken head coach, Dave Hakstol, pulled Driedger for an extra attacker, but it was to no avail even after Seattle used their timeout after a stoppage with 1:48 left in the game.

At the final horn, the Bruins had won, 3-2, and emerged with two points in the standings, despite trailing the Kraken in shots on goal, 27-26, overall, as well as, 9-8, in shots on net in the third period alone.

Boston left their own ice leading in blocked shots (14-8), giveaways (15-11), hits (26-16) and faceoff win% (51-49), while Seattle exited TD Garden empty handed.

The Kraken finished the night 0/6 on the power play, while the B’s went 2/3 on the skater advantage.

Boston improved to 6-5-1 (3-3-0 at home) when tied after the first period, 17-5-0 (9-3-0 at home) when scoring first and 18-1-1 (7-1-0 at home) when leading after two periods this season.

Seattle fell to 5-6-4 (2-3-2 on the road) when tied after the first, 8-20-3 (2-10-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal and 1-20-1 (0-9-0 on the road) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

After kicking off the month of February against the Kraken, the Bruins venture on their 2022 All Star Break before returning to action on Feb. 8th against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Boston then hosts the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 10th before hitting the road for four games.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Seguin nets pair against former team in Stars’, 6-1, victory

Tyler Seguin bookended a pair of goals in the Dallas Stars’, 6-1, win over the Boston Bruins at American Airlines Center on Sunday night, while Jake Oettinger made 25 saves on 26 shots against in the win.

Oettinger improved to 11-4-0 in 17 games played this season with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in that span.

Linus Ullmark (15-6-1, 2.67 goals-against average, .912 save percentage in 23 games played) made 11 saves on 15 shots against before being replaced after allowing four goals in 27:39 time on ice in the loss.

Bruins goaltender, Jeremy Swayman (8-6-2, 2.31 goals-against average, .916 save percentage in 17 games played), stopped 12 out of 14 shots faced in relief of Ullmark for no decision.

Boston fell to 25-14-3 (53 points) on the season, but remains in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division.

Meanwhile, Dallas improved to 23-27-2 (48 points) overall and remained in 5th place in the Central Division.

The B’s also fell to 1-1-0 against the Stars this season– having wrapped up their two-game regular season series on Sunday. They went 2-0-0 against Dallas in 2019-20, and did not play the Stars as a result of the temporarily realigned divisions (and condensed season) in 2020-21.

Boston previously beat Dallas, 3-1, on Opening Night on Oct. 16th at TD Garden this season.

The Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Trent Frederic (upper body), Nick Foligno (upper body), Tuukka Rask (lower body) and Erik Haula (COVID-19 protocol) on Sunday night.

Haula was added to the league’s COVID-19 protocol ahead of the game on Sunday and will likely be out until after the All Star break.

As a result of Rask’s injury, Troy Grosenick was reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL), while Swayman was recalled from Providence on Saturday.

Swayman joined the B’s in Dallas and began Sunday’s, 6-1, loss to the Stars as Boston’s backup before relieving Ullmark after the latter gave up four unanswered goals.

With Haula out of the lineup in Dallas, Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, jumbled his lines– even more than he already did midway through Friday night’s, 2-1, win in Arizona.

Patrice Bergeron centered the first line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak on his wings, while Charlie Coyle, Taylor Hall and Craig Smith rounded out the top-six forward group.

Steven Fogarty made his Bruins debut on the third line– flanked by Jake DeBrusk at left wing and Oskar Steen at right wing– while Tomáš Nosek centered the fourth line as usual with Anton Blidh and Curtis Lazar on his wings.

On defense, Urho Vaakanainen suited up alongside Charlie McAvoy on the first pairing with Matt Grzelcyk partnered with Brandon Carlo to round out the top-four defenders.

Derek Forbort and Mike Reilly comprised the third defensive pairing, while Jesper Frödén, Tyler Lewington and Connor Clifton had a view of the night’s action from the press box as an assorted array of taxi squad members and healthy scratches for Boston.

Early in the opening frame, Dallas won a defensive zone faceoff and rushed up the ice.

Denis Gurianov deked around McAvoy and Vaakanainen before slipping a pass indirectly off a Bruin to Seguin (13) for a backhand goal while No. 91 in the Stars’ neon green and black alternate jersey fed a backhand goal into the twine while crashing the net.

The official scorer ruled Seguin’s first goal of the game as an unassisted effort as the Stars forward gave Dallas a, 1-0, lead at 6:54 of the first period.

Late in the period, Boston botched a play in the neutral zone in the midst of a line change leaving the Stars as a benefactor of a neutral zone turnover whereby Esa Lindell fed Alexander Radulov a lead pass into the attacking zone on a breakaway.

Radulov (2) deked and wrapped the rubber biscuit around Ullmark on the forehand to extend Dallas’ lead to two-goals at 15:23 of the first period.

Lindell (10) had the only assist as the Stars carried a, 2-0, lead into the first intermission courtesy of Radulov’s first goal in 28 games.

Dallas led in shots on goal, 11-10, as well as in blocked shots (6-4), giveaways (8-1) and hits (8-5) after one period, while Boston led in faceoff win percentage (58-42).

Both teams had one takeaway each as neither club had witnessed any action on the power play heading into the middle frame.

Dallas scored a pair of goals in a span of about 68 seconds early in the second period as Luke Glendening (6) got a stick on a shot by Miro Heiskanen from the point– deflecting the puck past Ullmark and giving the Stars a, 3-0, lead at 6:31 of the second period in the process.

Heiskanen (22) and Jason Robertson (24) tallied the assists on Glendening’s goal.

Shortly thereafter, Jamie Benn (10) wired a shot off the far post and into the top corner on a catch and release goal courtesy of a pass from Seguin as the top Dallas duo entered the attacking zone.

Seguin (8) and Gurianov (11) notched the assists on Benn’s goal as the Stars grabbed a, 4-0, lead at 7:39 of the second period.

After giving up four unanswered goals, Cassidy replaced Ullmark with Swayman.

For the time being, it kept the Stars from scoring for the rest of the period, but the Bruins also remained off the scoreboard entirely through 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, Benn interfered with Hall and took a trip to the penalty box at 8:37 of the second period, presenting Boston with the night’s first power play, but the B’s let the skater advantage go by the wayside.

Late in the period, Lazar tripped Radek Faksa and cut a rut to the sin bin at 14:49, but Dallas’ power play was powerless heading into the second intermission.

The Stars led, 4-0, on the scoreboard and, 20-18, in shots on goal– including a, 9-8, advantage in the second period alone.

Dallas continued to lead in takeaways (3-2), giveaways (13-5) and hits (16-15), while Boston led in faceoff win% (53-47).

Both teams had nine blocked shots aside and were 0/1 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Forbort wrapped an arm around Gurianov and received a holding infraction at 4:13 of the third period as a result.

It didn’t take the Stars long to convert on the ensuing skater advantage as John Klingberg fed Roope Hintz (20) for a catch and release goal to give Dallas a, 5-0, lead at 4:55.

Klingberg (22) had the only assist on Hintz’s power-play goal.

Less than a minute later, Coyle won a battle in a corner and worked the puck free to Smith (6) for a squibbed shot through Oettinger’s five-hole– dismantling his bid for a shutout in the process.

Coyle (10) and DeBrusk (8) had the assists on Smith’s goal as the Bruins trailed, 5-1, at 5:49 of the third period.

Almost midway through the final frame, Carlo caught Joel Kiviranta with a hook at 9:08, but the Stars couldn’t muster anything on the ensuing power play.

Late in the game, Gurianov fed Seguin (14) for a one-timer goal on Swayman’s glove side as the two players broke into the attacking zone free from Boston’s defenders.

Gurianov (12) and Benn (9) notched the assists on Seguin’s second goal of the game at 18:53 of the third period and Dallas led, 6-1, as a result.

At the final horn, the Stars won, 6-1, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 29-26, including a, 9-8, advantage in the third period alone.

Dallas left their own ice leading in blocked shots (16-15), giveaways (14-9) and faceoff win% (56-44), while Boston exited American Airlines Center with the advantage in hits (23-19).

The Stars went 1/3 on the power play on Sunday, while the Bruins were 0/1 on the skater advantage.

Boston fell to 9-9-3 (3-4-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-9-2 (0-4-1 on the road) when trailing after one period and 3-11-2 (0-5-1 on the road) when trailing after two periods this season.

Dallas improved to 19-6-1 (12-1-1 at home) when scoring first, 16-2-0 (10-0-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 13-2-1 (11-0-1 at home) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins went 1-1-1 in their three-game road trip to close out the month of January with an 11-4-1 record. Boston returns home to host the Seattle Kraken in their first-ever matchup on Feb. 1st in their last game before the All Star break.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Avalanche topple Bruins down the mountain in overtime

The Colorado Avalanche extended their franchise record 17-game home winning streak with a, 4-3, overtime victory over the Boston Bruins Wednesday night at Ball Arena.

Nathan MacKinnon suffered an upper body injury early in the action and was forced out of the game, while Darcy Kuemper (20-5-1, 2.64 goals-against average, .913 save percentage) made 29 saves on 32 shots against in the win for Colorado.

Boston goaltender, Linus Ullmark (14-5-1, 2.61 goals-against average, .914 save percentage in 21 games played), stopped 37 out of 41 shots faced in the overtime loss.

The Bruins fell to 24-13-3 (51 points) overall and remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division, as well as the second wild card berth in the Eastern Conference.

The Avalanche retook the top spot out of all 32 teams in the National Hockey League with a 30-8-3 record (63 points in 41 games) and two games in hand over the Florida Panthers (29-9-5 in 43 games played).

Colorado continues to lead the Central Division by six points over the Nashville Predators.

Due to the ongoing pandemic’s effects on the NHL’s scheduling for the last couple of years, the B’s and Avs met for the first time Wednesday night since Dec. 7, 2019, when the Avalanche beat the Bruins, 4-1, at TD Garden.

Nick Foligno (upper body) joined Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Trent Frederic (upper body) and Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) on the list of Bruins players out of the lineup Wednesday night in Colorado due to various injuries.

Though John Moore returned to practice the other day, he was reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Tuesday prior to Boston’s flight to Denver.

Anton Blidh returned to action for the B’s and was placed on the fourth line in Foligno’s vacated spot.

Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no other changes to his lineup against the Avalanche.

Boston’s short list of healthy scratches on Wednesday included Steven Fogarty, Troy Grosenick, Jesper Frödén and Tyler Lewington as the trio remain on the taxi squad for the Bruins.

Taylor Hall delivered an open ice hit on MacKinnon that caused MacKinnon’s stick to ricochet into his own face– leaving the Avalanche’s top star bloodied and lying on the ice 2:22 into the first period.

Hall was initially assessed a five-minute major on the play, but the on-ice officials reviewed and rescinded the major penalty in favor of a two-minute minor for interference on account of Hall leading with the shoulder and MacKinnon’s own stick doing the utmost damage on an unfortunate result to an otherwise clean hit.

Colorado did not score on the ensuing power play.

A few minutes later, Kurtis MacDermid cut a rut to the penalty box for cross checking against Brad Marchand at 5:29, but the Bruins weren’t successful on the ensuing skater advantage.

Midway through the opening frame, Andre Burakovsky set up MacDermid (1) at the point for a wrist shot off the post and into the back of the twine for his first goal of the season, as well as his first goal as a member of the Avalanche– having been selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 Expansion Draft and subsequently traded to Colorado in July.

Burakovsky (19) and Valeri Nichuskin (9) tallied the assists as the Avalanche jumped out to a, 1-0, lead at 11:25 of the first period.

Momentum was fully on Colorado’s side.

About a minute later, Charlie McAvoy’s stick was apparently close enough to Gabriel Landeskog’s skates as the Avs captain went down and yielded an infraction against No. 73 in black and gold.

Colorado went on the power play once again at 12:52, but wasn’t able to convert on the advantage with Boston’s best defender in the box.

With less than a minute remaining in the opening frame, the Avs botched a line change and were charged with too many skaters on the ice at 19:42.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel served the bench minor as Boston’s power play would extend into the middle frame.

Through 20 minutes of action, Colorado led, 1-0, on the scoreboard despite trailing Boston, 13-8, in shots on goal.

The Avalanche led in giveaways (2-1), while the Bruins held the advantage in blocked shots (8-0), takeaways (4-3), hits (11-7) and faceoff win percentage (75-25).

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

Colorado announced that MacKinnon would not return to the night’s action with an upper body injury just as the second period was getting underway.

As such, Landeskog proceeded to give Hall a hard time on the ice– holding up the Boston forward near the benches and finishing his checks to the disappointment of those in Ball Arena that were wanting more bloodshed as the gloves remained firmly on the hands of each player.

Though, it could be argued that revenge is best served on the scoreboard– a lesson clearly learned by the Avalanche after trying to entice Bruins skaters into exchanging fisticuffs and falling behind in the second period only to force overtime and win the game after a dominant display in the third period.

Stick to your game (especially if it’s good enough to lead the league).

Anyway, after a stoppage in play early in the second period, Blidh and Tyson Jost exchanged pleasantries an received roughing minors at 5:52.

The two teams would skate at 4-on-4 for a pair of minutes, which gave Jake DeBrusk (7) just enough ice late in the 4-on-4 action to rush up the ice and snipe a shot under Kuemper’s blocker side into the upper corner of the net.

DeBrusk tied the game, 1-1, while McAvoy (20) tallied the only assist on the goal at 7:10 of the second period.

A few minutes later, Burakovsky tripped up DeBrusk– and after the Avalanche gained possession to initiate the delayed call– Oskar Steen and Samuel Girard followed Burakovsky to their respective penalty benches as the two skaters received roughing minors.

All three penalties were dictated at 10:29 of the second period and resulted in a power play for Boston.

A minute later, Erik Johnson tried getting his point across by delivering three swift cross checks to Hall’s back, but the on-ice officials felt it was perhaps a bit much.

Johnson skated over to the sin bin with a minor for cross checking at 11:29, resulting in a minute of 5-on-3 action for the Bruins before a regular abbreviated power play.

Shortly before Burakovsky rejoined the ice, McAvoy sent a shot that rebounded off Kuemper to Charlie Coyle (10) in the right place at the right time for a backhand shot from the doorstep– giving Boston the lead in the process, 2-1.

McAvoy (21) and Patrice Bergeron (21) notched the assists on Coyle’s power-play goal at 12:16 of the second period.

Shortly before the time expired on Johnson’s minor, J.T. Compher missed the net on a breakaway at the other end of the ice before David Pastrnak rushed up the ice with Marchand.

Pastrnak dropped it back to Marchand (21) for a wrist shot that sailed over Kuemper’s glove into the far side of the net– giving the Bruins a two-goal lead as a result.

Pastrnak (18) had the only assist on Marchand’s power-play goal and the B’s led, 3-1, at 13:31.

After scoring two goals in a span of 1:15, the Bruins wouldn’t hit the back of the net for the rest of the night.

Late in the period, Tomáš Nosek interfered with Nazem Kadri behind the net and put Colorado on the power play as a result at 15:33.

The Avalanche, however, remained powerless on the skater advantage heading into the second intermission.

Boston led, 3-1, on the scoreboard despite trailing, 30-25, in shots on goal after two periods.

Both teams managed to amass 12 shots each in the second period alone, while the Bruins continued to dominate in blocked shots (11-3), takeaways (5-3) and faceoff win% (67-33).

Colorado, however, led in giveaways (5-3) and hits (19-15) through 40 minutes.

The Avs were 0/3, while the B’s were 1/4 on the power play heading into the final frame of regulation.

Midway through the final frame, Girard (5) let go of a shot from the point that had eyes as it snaked its way through traffic and around the stick of his fellow teammate, Mikko Rantanen, into the twine behind Ullmark– pulling the Avalanche to within one and generating a shift in momentum at 11:46 of the third period.

Cale Makar (24) and Kadri (37) had the assists on the goal as the Avs trailed, 3-2, with plenty of time left to make things interesting.

With 2:33 remaining in regulation, Colorado head coach, Jared Bednar, pulled Kuemper for an extra attacker.

Bednar then used his timeout after a stoppage with 1:10 remaining in the action.

After an icing call was waved off, the Avalanche rushed into the attacking zone and worked the puck around Boston’s defensive end with relative ease– tiring the Bruins skaters that had been on the ice in the process.

Nichushkin sent a pass to Kadri, who setup Landeskog (16) with a saucer through the slot for the one-timer goal as Derek Forbort opted to try to block the shot instead of breakup the passing lane or get a stick on Landeskog’s stick.

Kadri (38) and Nichuskin (10) had the assists as Landeskog tied the game, 3-3, with the goalie pulled at 19:23 of the third period.

Ullmark couldn’t catch up– literally– as the Bruins goaltender dove across the crease glove first.

After regulation, the score was even, 3-3, despite the Avalanche amassing an, 18-7, advantage in shots on goal in the third period alone.

Colorado led in total shots on goal, 38-32, as well as in giveaways, 9-7, while Boston led in blocked shots (16-6), takeaways (6-4) and faceoff win% (61-39).

Both teams had 22 hits aside, while the Avs were 0/3 and the B’s were 1/4 on the power play heading into the extra frame.

Cassidy sent out Coyle, DeBrusk and McAvoy to start overtime, while Bednar countered with Landeskog, Rantanen and Makar.

Each team made at least one change on the fly before Mike Reilly tripped Nichuskin to breakup an otherwise high danger scoring opportunity for Colorado.

The Avalanche went on the 4-on-3 power play as a result at 1:14 of the overtime period and it proved to be costly for the Bruins.

Colorado toyed with Boston in the attacking zone before Kadri worked the puck over to Makar (17) for the game-winning power-play goal from the point over Ullmark’s blocker on the short side at 3:01.

Kadri (39) and Landeskog (25) tallied the assists– completing a three-point night (0-3–3 totals) for Kadri as Makar’s goal gave the Avalanche a, 4-3, overtime victory and their 17th win at home since Nov. 11, 2020– extending the ongoing franchise record in the process.

Colorado finished the night leading in shots on goal, 41-32, including a, 3-0, advantage in overtime alone.

The Avs also exited their own building leading in giveaways (9-4) and hits (24-23), while Boston left Ball Arena leading in blocked shots (21-5) and faceoff win% (58-42).

Both teams went 1/4 on the power play on Wednesday as Boston fell to 2-2 in overtime this season (3-3 past regulation overall), while Colorado improved to 4-3 in overtime, as well as 7-3 past regulation in 2021-22.

The last time the Bruins won in Denver was on Nov. 13, 2016, in a, 2-0, shutout victory for Tuukka Rask (21 saves). David Krejci had a goal and an assist, while Dominic Moore scored an empty net goal in the win.

Wednesday night didn’t exactly go Boston’s way like it did almost six years ago.

The Bruins are now 9-8-3 (3-3-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-8-2 (0-3-1 on the road) when trailing after one period and 16-1-1 (10-0-1 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

The Avalanche improved to 23-0-2 (14-0-1 at home) when scoring first, 18-0-0 (11-0-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 4-7-2 (4-2-0 at home) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

Colorado became the first team since the 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins to have five players or more with at least 40 points by the halfway point of their season as Kadri (16-39–55 totals), Rantanen (22-27–49), MacKinnon (9-34–43), Makar (17-24–41) and Landeskog (16-25–41) each have cleared the 40-point hurdle through 41 games for the Avalanche as a team.

The Bruins continue their three-game road trip (0-0-1) Friday night in Arizona with a matchup against the Coyotes before paying a visit to the Dallas Stars on Sunday.

Boston returns home to host the Seattle Kraken in their first-ever meeting on Feb. 1st.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Ducks down Bruins in first meeting since 2019

Hampus Lindholm had three assists in a, 5-3, victory for the Anaheim Ducks as they beat the Boston Bruins on the road Monday night at TD Garden.

John Gibson (14-10-6, 2.55 goals-against average, .919 save percentage in 30 games played) made 23 saves on 26 shots faced in the win for Anaheim.

Boston goaltender, Tuukka Rask (2-2-0, 4.29 goals-against average, .844 save percentage in four games played), stopped 22 out of 27 shots against in the loss in his first consecutive start of the season.

The Bruins fell to 24-13-2 (50 points) overall, but remain in 4th place in the Atlantic Division, while the Ducks improved to 21-16-7 (49 points) and took command of 2nd place in the Pacific Division.

As a result of the ongoing pandemic, the two clubs hadn’t played each other prior to Monday night since Oct. 14, 2019, when David Pastrnak scored all four goals in a, 4-2, win for Boston on home ice.

The Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Trent Frederic (upper body), John Moore (upper body), Anton Blidh (upper body) and Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) on Monday.

Moore and Blidh took part in morning skate ahead of the game, but were not well enough for game action.

Meanwhile, Mike Reilly returned from the league’s COVID-19 protocol and was utilized in his usual spot on the second defensive pairing alongside Brandon Carlo.

As a result of Grzelcyk being out and Reilly returning, Urho Vaakanainen was promoted to the first pairing with Charlie McAvoy.

Boston’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no other changes to his lineup from Saturday afternoon’s, 3-2, win against the Winnipeg Jets to Monday night’s action.

Frederic, Moore, Steven Fogarty (taxi squad), Jesper Frödén (taxi squad), Grzelcyk, Tyler Lewington (taxi squad), Zboril and Blidh comprised the long list of Bruins that were out of the lineup for one reason or another against the Ducks.

Less than a minute into the opening frame, McAvoy hooked Rickard Rakell and presented Anaheim with the night’s first power play as a result 44 seconds into the first period.

The Ducks weren’t successful on the ensuing skater advantage, however.

About midway through the opening period, Oskar Steen checked Nicolas Deslauriers with force from behind at an awkward angle, yielding a five-minute major for boarding initially.

In accordance with league rules, the on-ice officials reviewed the play and rescinded Steen’s major and instead issued a minor infraction on the play– yielding a two-minute power play to Anaheim as a result at 9:09 of the first period.

50 seconds into the skater advantage, Ryan Getzlaf unloaded on a blast from outside the faceoff circle to the left of Rask that was tipped by Derek Grant (7) in the slot to give the Ducks a, 1-0, lead.

Getzlaf (23) and Lindholm (12) tallied the assists on Grant’s power-play goal at 9:59.

Anaheim’s goal marked just the eight shot combined on the night as the Ducks held a, 7-1, advantage in shots on net as Grant opened the scoring.

Heading into the first intermission, the Ducks led, 1-0, on the scoreboard and held an, 11-5, advantage in shots on goal.

Anaheim also led in blocked shots (6-1), while Boston led in takeaways (4-3), giveaways (5-2), hits (11-8) and faceoff win percentage (59-41).

The Ducks were 1/2 on the power play after one period and the B’s had yet to see any action on the skater advantage. That would change quickly in the middle frame.

Trevor Zegras slashed Patrice Bergeron and worked his way over to the penalty box as the Bruins went on their first power play of the night 17 seconds into the second period.

Unfortunately for Boston, the ensuing skater advantage was not kind to them.

Isac Lundeström (9) broke free and crashed the net on a breakaway, sliding the puck under Rask either via the five-hole or under a leg where Rask couldn’t quite get a feel for it as the rubber biscuit trickled through and made its way over the goal line.

Lindholm (13) tallied the only assist on Lundeström’s shorthanded goal and the Ducks led, 2-0, at 1:28 of the second period.

Almost midway through the period, Tomáš Nosek worked a pass across the slot to Pastrnak (20) for a one-timer goal that cut Anaheim’s lead in half, 2-1.

Nosek (6) and Nick Foligno (6) were credited with the assists on Pastrnak’s goal at 7:47 as No. 88 in black and gold reached the 20-goal plateau for his sixth consecutive season– tying Bobby Orr for the most consecutive 20-goal seasons (six) under the age of 25 in Bruins franchise history.

Overall, Pastrnak is tied for the eighth-most consecutive 20-goal seasons, trailing Johnny Bucyk (10), Rick Middleton (nine), Brad Marchand (nine), Phil Esposito (eight), Bergeron (8), Peter McNab (seven) and Orr (seven).

Marchand reached his ninth consecutive 20-goal season this season and Bergeron currently has 12 goals in 2021-22.

Less than a minute later, during a commercial break, Gibson shoved Foligno as the Bruins forward appeared to have been chirping the Anaheim bench.

A scrum ensued, though nobody received any minor infractions.

Shortly after play resumed, Foligno and Sam Carrick exchanged fisticuffs as the Ducks defended their goaltender.

Both players received fighting majors at 8:55 of the second period.

Foligno and Carrick’s fight marked the 14th fight this season for Boston and the eighth since Jan. 1st.

Moments later, Getzlaf (3) entered the attacking zone and ripped a shot over Carlo, as well as over Rask’s right shoulder on the blocker side to extend Anaheim’s lead, 3-1, at 11:04 of the second period.

Rakell (9) and Lindholm (14) had the assists on Getzlaf’s goal as the Ducks retook a two-goal lead.

A few minutes later, Josh Mahura hooked Steen at 14:59 and presented Boston with another power play.

This time the Bruins were sure to take advantage of the skater advantage as Marchand sent a shot pass to the slot where Taylor Hall (9) redirected the puck off the far right post and into the twine behind Gibson.

Marchand (25) and Bergeron (20) notched the assists as Hall’s power-play goal brought Boston back to within one– trailing, 3-2, at 15:52 of the second period.

Through 40 minutes of action, the Ducks led the Bruins, 3-2, on the scoreboard and, 20-15, in shots on goal, despite Boston amassing a, 10-9, advantage in shots on net in the second period alone.

Anaheim held the advantage in blocked shots (11-1), giveaways (10-7) and hits (19-16), while Boston led in takeaways (5-3) and faceoff win% (54-46).

Both teams were 1/2 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Vaakanainen caught Rakell with a high stick 26 seconds into the third period and presented the Ducks with another chance on the power play, but Boston made the kill.

Moments later, Troy Terry (23) entered the attacking zone before curling and dragging the puck for a snap shot over Rask’s blocker side to give Anaheim another two-goal lead, 4-2, at 6:12 of the third period.

Kevin Shattenkirk (16) and Cam Fowler (16) had the assists on Terry’s goal as the Ducks continued to dominate the evening.

Midway through the period, Mahura lost an edge while chasing a loose puck in the low slot and crashed into the left post– requiring an extra minute or two with the assistance of a trainer to get off the ice.

With about 13 minutes left in the game, the Bruins tweeted that Foligno would not return to the action with an upper body injury, joining Deslauriers and Mahura in the pile of injuries on the night.

Greg Pateryn (1) blasted a shot from the point over Rask’s blocker side with traffic in front of the net to make it a four-goal lead for the Ducks at 10:58 of the third period.

Zegras (20) and Rakell (10) had the assists on Pateryn’s goal– his first in 44 games– as Anaheim extended their lead, 5-1.

Erik Haula (4) answered back late in the third with a one-timer goal courtesy of 49 seconds worth of zone time in Boston’s attacking zone as Pastrnak worked the puck deep to Reilly for the backhand behind the back pass through the slot to Haula to bring the Bruins to within two goals.

Reilly (6) and Pastrnak (17) tallied the assists on Haula’s goal and the B’s trailed, 5-3, at 16:28.

With 3:02 remaining in the action, Cassidy pulled Rask for an extra attacker.

After a stoppage with 15.1 seconds left on the clock, Cassidy used his timeout to rally his players for a chance at a double-miracle that ultimately went by the wayside.

At the final horn, the Ducks had won, 5-3, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 27-26– despite Boston holding an, 11-7, advantage in the third period alone.

Anaheim left TD Garden with the advantage in blocked shots (23-3) in addition to two points in the win column, while the Bruins exited their own arena leading in giveaways (13-11), hits (30-25) and faceoff win% (59-41).

The Ducks went 1/3 and the B’s went 1/2 on the power play on Monday.

The Bruins fell to 9-8-2 (6-5-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-8-1 (4-5-1 at home) when trailing after one period and 3-10-2 (3-6-1 at home) when trailing after two periods this season.

Anaheim, meanwhile, improved to 17-6-3 (6-4-1 on the road) when scoring first, 14-1-2 (4-1-0 on the road) when leading after the first period and 15-2-1 (5-2-0 on the road) when leading after the second period in 2021-22.

Boston went 5-2-0 in their seven-game homestand and will hit the road to finish the month of January with a three-game road trip.

The B’s visit the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET on TNT), Arizona Coyotes on Friday and Dallas Stars on Sunday before returning home to host the Seattle Kraken in their first ever matchup on Feb. 1st.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Bruins beat Jets in first matchup in almost two years

The last time the Boston Bruins and Winnipeg Jets faced each other, Canada Life Centre was still known as Bell MTS Place and the World Health Organization (WHO) was still a little over a month away from declaring the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (also known as COVID-19) a global pandemic.

Seriously, it’s been that long.

722 days since they last played each other to be exact.

Saturday afternoon at TD Garden in Boston, the Bruins beat the Jets, 3-2, courtesy of a game-winning power-play goal for David Pastrnak in a game that had a little bit of everything.

Tuukka Rask (2-1-0, 3.86 goals-against average, .857 save percentage in three games played) made 22 saves on 24 shots against for a .917 SV% in the win for Boston.

Winnipeg goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck (14-12-5, 2.83 goals-against average, .912 save percentage in 31 games played), stopped 29 out of 32 shots faced for a .906 SV% in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 24-12-2 (50 points) overall and– prior to Toronto’s win later Saturday evening– were temporarily one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for 3rd place in the Atlantic Division.

Instead, the B’s remain 4th in the division, but in command of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Meanwhile, the Jets fell to 17-14-6 (40 points) this season and remain in 6th place in the Central Division. Winnipeg is four points behind the San Jose Sharks for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.

Though he missed most of Thursday night’s, 4-3, win against the Washington Capitals after sustaining an upper body injury, Brad Marchand took part in warmup and did not skip a beat as Bruce Cassidy made a few minor changes to his lineup.

With Anton Blidh (upper body) fresh out of the action due to an injury against the Capitals, Oskar Steen went back in on the third line with Jake DeBrusk on the opposite wing and Charlie Coyle centering the two.

Meanwhile, Nick Foligno slotted in on the fourth line in Blidh’s usual role at left wing with Tomáš Nosek at center and Curtis Lazar at right wing.

Boston was without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Trent Frederic (upper body), John Moore (upper body), Mike Reilly (COVID-19 protocol) and Blidh (upper body) on Saturday.

Moore practiced with the team on Friday and is close to returning to the action if Cassidy is to make any changes to his defensive pairings between now and then.

Steven Fogarty and Jesper Frödén were recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) ahead of Saturday’s matinée and assigned to the taxi squad with the expectation that Fogarty would make his Boston debut if Marchand wasn’t ready to go.

Looks like Fogarty is waiting to don the Spoked-B in a National Hockey League game another day.

Fogarty and Frödén were joined by Tyler Lewington in the press box on Saturday.

Dominic Toninato dropped a pass back to Jansen Harkins (4), who snuck a shot off of Rask’s arm and under the glove side to give Winnipeg a, 1-0, lead at 2:46 of the first period.

Toninato (3) had the only assist on the goal as the Bruins gave up a goal on their opponents’ first shot of the game for the second consecutive game.

About a few minutes later, Connor Clifton dropped the gloves with Harkins and exchanged fisticuffs in what was Clifton’s second fight of the season and Harkins’ first.

Both players received five-minute fighting majors at 5:19 of the opening frame.

Shortly thereafter, Pierre-Luc Dubois sent Matt Grzelcyk awkwardly into the boards from behind, leaving the Bruins defender struggling to make his way down the tunnel.

Grzelcyk would return for the second period, however.

Midway through the first period, DeBrusk worked the puck deep in the attacking zone and sent a pass to Coyle, who one-touch redirected it over to Steen (2) for a spin, sweep and throw goal.

Coyle (9) and DeBrusk (7) tallied the assists on Steen’s goal as the Bruins tied the game, 1-1, at 11:37.

Almost two minutes later, Brandon Carlo and Austin Poganski exchanged pleasantries behind the Boston net yielding fighting majors in the process at 13:07.

Six seconds after the ensuing faceoff, Derek Forbort caught Dubois with a high stick and cut a rut to the penalty box at 13:13.

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

Instead, the Jets sustained the pressure as they had been doing virtually the entire period.

Mark Scheifele sent a shot towards the slot that caught a double deflection– first off of his own teammate, Andrew Copp’s, skate and then again off of the skate of Boston defender, Urho Vaakanainen before making its way to the back of the twine.

Copp (11) gave Winnipeg a, 2-1, lead courtesy of being in the right place a the right time and with a little more luck than just that at 19:34 of the first period.

Scheifele (17) had the only assist on the goal as the Jets took a, 2-1, lead on the scoreboard, as well as an, 11-4, advantage in shots on net into the first intermission.

It was the worst offensive output for the Bruins so far this season as they only managed four shots on net in the first period.

That said, the B’s led in blocked shots (4-3), takeaways (5-3) and hits (13-11), while the Jets led in giveaways (4-1).

Both teams split faceoff win percentage, 50-50, while only Winnipeg had witnessed any action on the power play– going 0/1 in the process– entering the middle frame.

Forbort blasted a shot from the point that likely was going for Hellebuyck’s five-hole early in the second period had it not been for Coyle’s (9) excellent hand-eye coordination to tip the puck past the Winnipeg goaltender’s right pad instead.

Forbort (4) had the only assist on Coyle’s goal as the Bruins tied things up, 2-2, at 2:31 of the second period.

A few minutes later, Boston got their first chance on the power play courtesy of an interference minor against Toninato at 5:15, but the B’s were powerless on their first skater advantage of the night.

Nobody else scored and nobody else took a trip to the penalty box for the rest of the second period as the two teams were tied, 2-2, after 40 minutes of action with the Bruins leading in shots on goal, 20-17– rallying for a, 16-6, advantage in shots in the second period alone.

Boston also held the lead in blocked shots (13-9), hits (21-20) and faceoff win% (55-45), while Winnipeg led in takeaways (9-6) and giveaways (8-2).

Both teams were 0/1 on the power play heading into the final frame.

Dubois checked Coyle early in the final frame and popped a pane of glass out behind the Winnipeg net.

The TD Garden “Bull Gang” (rink crew) quickly put it back in place and made the necessary repairs in about 90 seconds before play resumed.

Adam Lowry tripped up Coyle at 2:27 of the third period to the dismay of his father and Jets interim head coach, Dave Lowry– presenting another power play to Boston in the process.

A blocked shot found its way back to the point as Grzelcyk corralled the loose puck as the Bruins established an umbrella setup in the attacking zone.

Grzelcyk worked the puck over to Pastrnak (19) for a one-timer blast from his usual spot at the faceoff circle to give the B’s their first lead of the afternoon, 3-2, at 3:59 of the third period.

Grzelcyk (14) and Marchand (24) had the assists on Pastrnak’s power-play goal that became the game-winning goal on account of the fact that no one else scored afterwards.

Steen cut a rut to the sin bin for catching Dubois with a high stick at 5:19 of the third period, but the Bruins killed off the minor infraction.

Boston stood tall once again on the penalty kill when Rask sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play, yielding an automatic delay of game penalty that was served by Taylor Hall at 8:15.

With 1:49 remaining in regulation and down by a goal, Winnipeg used their timeout to draw up a plan to try to tie the game at the very least and force overtime.

Hellebuyck vacated the crease with 1:34 remaining for an extra attacker, which quickly became a de facto two skater advantage for the Jets as Nosek caught Copp with a high stick and was sent to the box at 18:33.

Winnipeg had a 6-on-4 opportunity, but Boston kept blocking shots mixed in with a few more clutch saves from Rask as time winded down and the final horn sounded.

The Bruins had won, 3-2, and finished the afternoon leading in shots on goal, 32-24– including a, 12-7, advantage in the third period alone.

The B’s left their own building with the advantage in blocked shots (17-13), hits (28-25) and faceoff win% (52-48), while the Jets left Boston holding the advantage in giveaways (9-8).

Winnipeg went 0/4 on the power play, while the Bruins went 1/2 on the skater advantage Saturday afternoon.

Boston improved to 9-7-2 (6-4-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-7-1 (4-4-1 at home) when trailing after one period and 5-2-0 (5-1-0 at home) when tied after two periods this season.

The Jets fell to 12-4-3 (5-3-3 on the road) when scoring first, 6-3-1 (3-2-1 on the road) when leading after the first period and 3-3-5 (3-2-4 on the road) when tied after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins (5-1-0) conclude their seven-game homestand against the Anaheim Ducks next Monday before hitting the road for a few games in Colorado next Wednesday (Jan. 26th), Arizona next Friday (Jan. 28th) and Dallas next Sunday (Jan. 30th) to close out the month of January.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Pastrnak scores twice in thrilling, 4-3, win for Boston

David Pastrnak had a pair of goals, while Charlie McAvoy scored the game-winning goal late in the third period as the Boston Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-3, Thursday night at TD Garden.

Linus Ullmark (14-5-0, 2.55 goals-against average, .915 save percentage in 20 games played) made 14 saves on 17 shots faced in the win for Boston.

Washington goaltender, Vitek Vanecek (8-5-5, 2.57 goals-against average, .909 save percentage in 20 games played) stopped 29 out of 33 shots against in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 23-12-2 (48 points) overall and remain 4th in the Atlantic Division, while the Capitals fell to 22-10-9 (53 points) on the season and fell to 4th place in the Metropolitan Division.

With one game remaining against Washington this season on April 10th in Washington, D.C., the B’s have already clinched the regular season series 2-0-0.

Nick Foligno returned to the lineup after missing his 13th game this season due to injury and/or an illness, having most recently sustained a lower body injury on Jan. 8th in a, 5-2, win in Tampa.

As a result, Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, placed Foligno on the third line right wing in place of Oskar Steen– scratching the Boston rookie in the process– at least for the night.

The B’s were without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Trent Frederic (upper body), John Moore (upper body) and Mike Reilly (COVID-19 protocol) on Thursday.

No other changes were made to the lines of defensive pairings against Washington.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, Steven Fogarty and Kyle Keyser were reassigned from the taxi squad to the Providence Bruins (AHL).

Tyler Lewington joined Steen in the press box as Boston’s pair of healthy scratches against the Capitals, while Reilly, Frederic, Moore and Zboril were out due to injury and/or COVID protocol.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (13) kicked things off with a toe drag snap shot over Ullmark’s shoulder on the blocker side– off the crossbar and into the twine– at 4:07 of the first period.

Alex Ovechkin (29) and Trevor van Riemsdyk (10) tallied the assists on Kuznetsov’s goal as the Capitals jumped out to a, 1-0, lead early in the opening frame.

It wasn’t long (50 seconds to be exact), however, before the Bruins tied things up, 1-1, courtesy of a goal from Pastrnak (17) as No. 88 in black and gold entered the attacking zone, dropped a pass back for Taylor Hall, then proceeded to crash the net and redirected a pass behind Vanecek’s right pad for the goal.

Hall (18) and Erik Haula (10) notched the assists on Pastrnak’s goal at 4:57 of the first period.

Midway through the opening frame, Hall was caught Kuznetsov with a high stick and was assessed a minor infraction at 8:14, yielding the night’s first power play to Washington.

The Caps weren’t able to convert on the ensuing skater advantage.

Late in the first period, Brad Marchand tripped up Nick Jensen and cut a rut to the box at 14:22. Once again, however, the Capitals let the resulting power play go by the wayside.

Shortly thereafter, Tom Wilson delivered a huge, clean, hit on Anton Blidh– knocking the fourth liner out of the game with an upper body injury.

Wilson led with his shoulder and caught Blidh’s chest first, but still drew the ire of Bruins skaters as they watched their teammate get help off the ice from a trainer.

McAvoy responded minutes later with a big hit on van Riemsdyk behind Washington’s own net.

The temperature of the action on the ice, though, was notably rising.

After 20 minutes of action, the B’s and Caps were tied, 1-1, on the scoreboard, despite the Bruins outshooting the Capitals by a 2:1 ratio (10-5).

Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (7-4), giveaways (5-2), hits (15-10) and faceoff win percentage (61-39), while Washington led in takeaways (4-2).

The Capitals were 0/2 on the power play, while the Bruins had yet to see any time on the skater advantage.

Boston later tweeted before the middle frame began that Blidh (upper body) would not return to the night’s action.

Haula hooked Connor McMichael and cut a rut to the sin bin at 4:33 of the second period as a result.

Shortly after killing off Haula’s minor, the Bruins went on their first power play of the night thanks to Garnet Hathaway’s interference infraction at 6:48– although it came with a price as Hathaway nearly charged and ran Marchand into boards– leaving the Boston winger clutching his shoulder before eventually making his way down the tunnel.

Marchand, as with Blidh and Jensen, would join the growing list of players with upper body injuries that were confirmed not to return to the game on Thursday night by the end of the second intermission.

While Hathaway was in the box, the Bruin took their time to capitalize on the skater advantage and score a power-play goal as Pastrnak (18) broke free on a drive to the net and followed up his own rebound– slipping the rubber biscuit through Vanecek in the process.

Matt Grzelcyk (13) had the only assist on Pastrnak’s power-play goal and Boston led, 2-1, at 8:37 of the second period.

About four minutes later, Craig Smith went to the box for tripping Hathaway, but the Capitals couldn’t capitalize on the ensuing power play at 12:38.

Late in the middle frame, Lars Eller (7) entered the attacking zone and floated a shot from the left faceoff dot off of Ullmark’s glove and into the top right corner of the net– knotting things up, 2-2, in the process.

McMichael (7) had the only assist on a goal that Ullmark probably wishes he had back at 16:12 of the second period.

Heading into the second intermission, the score was tied, 2-2, despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 20-11, including a, 10-6, advantage in the second period alone.

Washington led in takeaways (8-4) and hits (29-20), while the B’s held the advantage in giveaways (8-6) and faceoff win% (58-42).

Both teams had nine blocked shots each, while the Caps were 0/4 and the Bruins were 1/1 on the power play.

Kuznetsov slashed Pastrnak to kick things off at 5:17 of the third period, but Boston couldn’t beat Vanecek on the ensuing power play.

Almost midway through the third period, however, Jake DeBrusk (6) slipped a shot through Vanecek’s five-hole that had eyes as the Vulcanized rubber trickled over the goal line before a Capitals defender fished it out and play kept going without skipping a beat.

Until the horn sounded to signal that the replay booth in the NHL’s Toronto offices had deemed a goal had been scored at 9:41 of the third period.

DeBrusk’s goal gave Boston a, 3-2, lead and was unassisted.

Less than a minute later, however, Nicklas Bäckström (1) wired his first goal of the season (after having missed most of the season due to rehabbing an injury) on a shot from afar in the attacking zone after Brandon Carlo and the rest of his Boston teammates failed to clear the puck.

Wilson (17) had the only assist on Bäckström’s goal as Washington tied things up, 3-3, at 10:17– just 36 seconds after DeBrusk’s goal.

Late in the third, Nic Dowd tripped Derek Forbort and presented Boston with another power play at 17:26.

In the dying seconds of the ensuing skater advantage, Haula worked the puck to DeBrusk, who whipped a pass back to McAvoy at the point.

McAvoy (6) sent a wrist shot over Vanecek’s blocker high on the short side while pinching into the zone to give Boston a, 4-3, lead at 19:15 of the third period.

DeBrusk (6) and Haula (11) tallied the assists on McAvoy’s power-play goal that went on to serve as the game-winner as the Caps failed to score with the goaltender pulled shortly after the ensuing faceoff at center ice.

With less than a minute remaining, Peter Laviolette, tried everything he could to rally Washington to one more tie, but it was to no avail as the final horn sounded– signaling a victory in Boston’s favor.

The Bruins had won, 4-3, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 33-17, and even had a, 13-6, advantage in shots in the third period alone.

Boston also left their own building leading in blocked shots (17-14), giveaways (10-7) and faceoff win% (55-45) on Thursday night, while Washington exited with the advantage in hits (36-27).

The Capitals went 0/4 and the Bruins went 2/3 on the power play.

Boston improved to 8-7-2 (5-4-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-5-1 (2-3-0 at home) when tied after one period and 4-2-0 (4-1-0 at home) when tied after two periods this season.

Washington fell to 17-8-4 (8-5-2 on the road) when scoring first, 7-5-3 (6-3-2 on the road) when tied after the first period and 7-1-2 (3-1-0 on the road) when tied after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins (4-1-0) host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday before the B’s wrap up their current seven game homestand against the Anaheim Ducks next Monday prior to hitting the road for three games with stops in Colorado, Arizona and Dallas to close out the month of January.

Categories
NHL Nick's Net

Marchand nets hat trick in, 5-1, victory over Montréal

Brad Marchand scored a hat trick, while Curtis Lazar had three points (two goals, one assist) and Linus Ullmark made 24 saves in a, 5-1, win for the Boston Bruins over the Montréal Canadiens Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Ullmark (12-5-0, 2.48 goals-against average, .918 save percentage in 17 games played) turned aside 24 out of 25 shots faced in the win for Boston.

Montréal starter, Jake Allen (5-16-2, 3.15 goals-against average, .901 save percentage in 24 games played), made five saves on seven shots against before an injury forced him out of the game in the loss.

Canadiens head coach, Dominique Ducharme, replaced Allen with Sam Montembeault (1-6-2, 3.99 goals-against average, .895 save percentage in 12 games played) 17:11 into the action.

Montembeault made 31 saves on 34 shots for no decision.

The Bruins improved to 20-11-2 (42 points) overall and remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division standings, while the Habs fell to 7-24-4 (18 points) on the season and stuck in 8th place (last) in the Atlantic.

The B’s are now 2-0-0 against the Canadiens this season in their regular season series with a pair of games left to play in Montréal.

Tuukka Rask served as the backup goaltender for Boston on Wednesday after recovering from offseason hip surgery and signing a one-year contract with a cap hit of $1.000 million ($545,000 in actual salary given the time of the signing) on Tuesday.

Rask went 15-5-2 in 24 games last season with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage in that span, as well as two shutouts.

In 560 career National Hockey League games since making his NHL debut in the 2007-08 season, Rask has 306 wins, a career 2.27 goals-against average, a career .921 save percentage and 52 shutouts.

He holds Bruins franchise records in games played by a goalie (560), wins (306), shots against (15,485), saves (14,269), save percentage (.922) and minutes (32,206) and ranks second in goals-against average (2.27, trailing Tiny Thompson’s 1.99 career GAA in a B’s sweater), as well as shutouts (52, trailing Thompson’s 74).

As a result of Rask’s signing, Jeremy Swayman was assigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) as Swayman is not eligible for the NHL’s taxi squad designation.

Boston Sports Journal‘s Conor Ryan noted in a tweet on Tuesday that Rask “was assigned to Providence 10 times between Sept. 2007 and Feb. 2009 before finally carving out an NHL spot. One of those assignments was two days after a 21-year-old Rask had a 35-save shutout against NYR. It’s part of the process,” in an effort to quell feelings of uneasiness watching Swaymen get sent down among Bruins fans.

B’s General Manager, Don Sweeney, informed reporters on Tuesday that Swayman, while disappointed, understands the organization’s decision and shows the drive to get back to the NHL level if an injury or otherwise should occur and necessitate another call-up.

The Bruins were without the services of Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Nick Foligno (lower body), Connor Clifton (COVID-19 protocol), Derek Forbort (COVID-19 protocol) and Trent Frederic (upper body) on Wednesday night.

Boston head coach, Bruce Cassidy, told reporters ahead of the game against Montréal that Frederic would miss the next two games– at least– while Foligno could return to action next week.

Meanwhile, Jake DeBrusk and Tomáš Nosek returned from the league’s COVID-19 protocol and were re-inserted in the lineup against the Canadiens.

DeBrusk suited up on the third line in his usual spot at left wing with Charlie Coyle at center and Oskar Steen at right wing, while Nosek resumed his regular role as the fourth line center– flanked by Anton Blidh and Lazar on the wings.

On defense, Cassidy left his pairings alone from Monday night’s, 7-3, win in Washington, D.C. despite Boston having called up Tyler Lewington on an emergency basis.

Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, Troy Grosenick and Steven Fogarty were reassigned to Providence on Tuesday in what was simply a paper transaction for Vaakanainen and Moore (the pair were recalled prior to facing the Canadiens), while Grosenick and Fogarty remained with the P-Bruins on Wednesday.

Boston’s long list of players out of the lineup against Montréal included Frederic (upper body), Foligno (lower body), Forbort (COVID-19 protocol), Lewington (taxi squad), Zboril (right ACL), Clifton (COVID-19 protocol) and Karson Kuhlman (healthy scratch).

Prior to the singing of the anthems, the Bruins held a moment of silence to honor the life of Teddy Balkind, a 16-year-old hockey player from Connecticut that was killed as a result of an injury that he sustained in a game last week.

Midway through the opening frame, Jeff Petry had his helmet knocked off by Blidh and kept on playing as if nothing had happened. Except that’s a penalty these days.

Petry cut a rut to the box for playing without a helmet and presented the Bruins with the night’s first power play at 9:22 of the first period, but Boston couldn’t muster anything on the skater advantage.

Late in the period, Marchand snuck onto the ice in the midst of a line change and stood open on the left side of the net on the doorstep as Nosek sent a shot-pass to Marchand (17) for the redirection behind Allen.

The Bruins led, 1-0, as Nosek (5) and Lazar (6) notched the assists on Marchand’s first goal of the night at 14:43 of the first period.

A mere 15 seconds later, Marchand (18) one-timed the puck out of mid-air through Allen’s five-hole after the rubber biscuit was initially shot by Craig Smith off of a Montréal defender— high and wide before bouncing off the glass over the net to Marchand.

Smith (8) and Patrice Bergeron (16) tallied the assists on Marchand’s second goal of the game and Boston led, 2-0, at 14:58.

Marchand, as a result, became the first Bruin to score a pair of goals in 15 seconds since Milan Lucic notched a pair en route to scoring a hat trick against the Florida Panthers in a, 4-0, win on Nov. 18, 2010, at TD Garden.

Coincidentally, Marchand would later complete a hat trick of his own in Wednesday night’s victory.

After giving up two goals that were 15 seconds apart, Allen spoke with a Canadiens athletic trainer and was taken out of the game.

Late in the period, DeBrusk sent a shot towards the net looking for an intentional deflection off of Lazar’s (4) foot and into the twine.

DeBrusk (5) and Matt Grzelcyk (12) earned the assists as the Bruins took a, 3-0, lead at 19:10 of the first period.

Heading into the first intermission, Boston led, 3-0, on the scoreboard and, 13-6, in shots on goal.

The B’s also led in faceoff win percentage (59-41), while the Canadiens dominated in blocked shots (7-1), takeaways (5-1), giveaways (2-0) and hits (14-12).

Montréal had yet to see any action on the skater advantage, while Boston was 0/1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

Bergeron slashed Jonathan Drouin to avoid giving up a quick goal in the second period, but was sent to the box at 3:19 anyway– yielding a power play to the Canadiens as a result.

Montréal couldn’t convert on the ensuing skater advantage, but got another chance at 6:41 of the second period when Erik Haula was assessed a hooking minor for yanking on Mike Hoffman with his stick.

The Canadiens were subsequently embarrassed on the ensuing special teams play, however, as Marchand (19) scored a shorthanded goal to complete his hat trick and give Boston a, 4-0, lead at 7:10.

Moore (1) and Bergeron (17) had the assists as Marchand picked out a hat from the ice to give to an equipment manager on the Bruins’ bench for safekeeping until after the game.

For the fifth time in his career, Marchand had scored a hat trick and became just the second Bruin to amass three goals in a game this season as Bergeron had previously done so in a, 5-1, win against the Detroit Red Wings on Nov. 4, 2021.

Less than a minute later, Ben Chiarot was sent to the box for roughing at 7:50, but Boston couldn’t capitalize on the resulting power play.

Moments later, Michael Pezzetta (2) received a pass from Brett Kulak and spun around before flinging the puck on Ullmark’s short side– scoring a goal as the Bruins failed to clear the zone and broke down in their own end.

Kulak (7) had the only assist as the Canadiens trailed, 4-1, at 10:46 of the second period.

A minute later, Bergeron went back to the box for roughing at 11:49 as he retaliated for a hit behind his own net that he didn’t like when a Montréal player took down Grzelcyk below the goal line.

Montréal’s power play was cut short as Nick Suzuki was penalized for holding at 13:41, resulting in a little 4-on-4 action for nine seconds before an abbreviated power play for Boston began.

Finally, at 19:10 of the second period, Kulak cut a rut to the sin bin for slashing, but the Bruins wouldn’t convert on the skater advantage even as it bled into the final frame of regulation.

Through 40 minutes of play, the B’s led, 4-1, on the scoreboard and dominated in shots on goal, 28-15, including a, 15-9, advantage in the middle frame alone.

The Habs, meanwhile, led in blocked shots (10-3), takeaways (6-2), giveaways (5-4) and hits (22-17), as Boston controlled faceoff win%, 53-47.

Montréal was 0/3 and the Bruins were 0/4 on the power play heading into the second intermission.

Prior to the start of the third period, the Bruins tweeted that Moore would not return to the night’s action with an upper body injury.

Smith tripped Joel Armia 47 seconds into the third period and yielded 26 seconds of 4-on-4 action before an abbreviated power play for Montréal as a result.

The Canadiens didn’t score on the ensuing skater advantage.

Moments later, Marchand took down Suzuki as the Canadiens forward almost had his stick on the puck resulting in an interference minor for Marchand at 5:48 of the third period.

It wasn’t that much longer before things started to get chippy on the ice between the two rival clubs.

A scrum after a whistle at 6:57 of the third period quickly descended into an exchange of forceful shoves and move as Pezzetta and Carlo received roughing minors while Chris Wideman head-butted Haula– further escalating the situation.

Haula received a minor for roughing, while Wideman was assessed two minutes for roughing as well as an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction.

Both teams skated at 4-on-4 for a little longer before resuming full even strength, resulting in a dominant possession for the Bruins at the other end.

Vaakanainen blasted a shot from the point that deflected off of Lazar’s (5) blade and flew under Montembeault’s blocker to give Boston another four-goal lead at 10:19 of the third period.

Vaakanainen (3) and Blidh (6) tallied the assists on Lazar’s second goal of the game and the Bruins led, 5-1.

Minutes later, Ullmark and Laurent Dauphin exchanged pleasantries leading a quick chop that went uncalled as Ullmark instead received an interference minor and Dauphin was handed an embellishment infraction.

Taylor Hall served Ullmark’s penalty while Dauphin had to answer Haula in an exchange of fisticuffs as the boiling point had been reached at 15:o5 of the third period in just the ninth fighting major this season for the Bruins.

The action simmered down afterwards and remained relatively calm as the final minutes winded down and the final horn sounded.

Boston had won, 5-1, and finished the night leading in shots on goal, 41-25.

Montréal left TD Garden with the advantage in blocked shots (10-4), giveaways (10-5) and hits (29-21), while the Bruins exited their own ice leading in faceoff win% (54-46).

Both teams went 0/5 on the power play on Wednesday as the B’s earned their third three-game win streak of the season.

Boston improved to 13-5-0 (6-3-0 at home) when scoring first, 14-0-0 (6-0-0 at home) when leading after one period and 15-1-0 (5-1-0 at home) when leading after two periods this season.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, fell to 2-20-1 (0-11-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 1-13-2 (0-9-2 on the road) when trailing after the first period and 1-20-2 (0-11-2 on the road) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

The Bruins (1-0-0) continue their seven-game homestand on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) before hosting the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

The Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets and Anaheim Ducks will also visit Boston before the B’s hit the road on Jan. 26th in Colorado.