Nick and Cam reminisce on the 2022 Stanley Cup Final and talk about Jim Montgomery, offseason plans and free agency reactions so far.
Round 1 of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft was held Thursday night at Bell Centre in Montréal, Québec marking the first time since the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver that the selections were made in person in front of a live audience as the 2020 and 2021 editions of the draft were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coverage of this year’s first round began Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and streaming on ESPN+ in the United States, as well as on SN and TVAS in Canada.
Rounds 2-7 will be televised on NHL Network and ESPN+ in the U.S., while viewers in Canada can tune to SN or TVAS starting at 11 a.m. ET Friday morning.
Here’s a quick recap of the First Round in case you had other things going on Thursday night.
2022 NHL Entry Draft Round 1
- Montréal Canadiens – LW Juraj Slafkovsky, TPS (Liiga)
- New Jersey Devils – D Simon Nemec, Nitra (Slovakia)
- Arizona Coyotes – C Logan Cooley, USA U-18 (USHL)
- Seattle Kraken – C Shane Wright, Kingston (OHL)
- Philadelphia Flyers – C/LW Cutter Gauthier, USA U-18 (USHL)
- Columbus Blue Jackets (from Chicago) – D David Jiricek, Plzen (Extraliga)
- Chicago (from Ottawa Senators) – D Kevin Korchinski, Seattle (WHL)
- Detroit Red Wings – C Marco Kasper, Rögle BK (SHL)
- Buffalo Sabres – C Matthew Savoie, Winnipeg (WHL)
- Anaheim Ducks – D Pavel Mintyukov, Saginaw (OHL)
- Arizona Coyotes (from San Jose Sharks) – C Conor Geekie, Winnipeg (WHL)
- Columbus Blue Jackets – D Denton Mateychuk, Moose Jaw (WHL)
- Chicago (from New York Islanders via Montréal Canadiens) – C Frank Nazar, USA-U18 (USHL)
- Winnipeg Jets – RW Rutger McGroarty, USA U-18 (USHL)
- Vancouver Canucks – RW Jonathan Lekkerimäki, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
- Buffalo Sabres (from Vegas Golden Knights) – C Noah Ostlund, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
- Nashville Predators – RW Joakim Kemell, JYP (Liiga)
- Dallas Stars – D Lian Bichsel, Leksands IF (SHL)
- Minnesota Wild (from Los Angeles Kings) – LW Liam Ohgren, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
- Washington Capitals – RW Ivan Miroshnichenko, Omsk Krylia (Russia)
- Pittsburgh Penguins – D Owen Pickering, Swift Current (WHL)
- Anaheim Ducks (from Boston Bruins) – C Nathan Gaucher, Québec (QMJHL)
- St. Louis Blues – RW Jimmy Snuggerud, USA U-18 (USHL)
- Minnesota Wild – RW Danila Yurov, Magnitogorsk (Russia)
- Chicago (from Toronto Maple Leafs) – D Sam Rinzel, Chaska (High School- Minnesota)
- Montréal Canadiens (from Calgary Flames) – RW Filip Mesar, Poprad (Slovakia)
- San Jose Sharks (from Carolina Hurricanes via Montréal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes) – C Filip Bystedt, Linköping HC (SHL)
- Buffalo Sabres (from Florida Panthers) – C Jiri Kulich, Karlovy Vary (Extraliga)
- Arizona Coyotes (from Edmonton Oilers) – D Maveric Lamoureux, Drummondville (QMJHL)
- Winnipeg Jets (from New York Rangers) – C Brad Lambert, Pelicans (Liiga)
- Tampa Bay Lightning – LW Isaac Howard, USA U-18 (USHL)
- Edmonton Oilers (from Colorado Avalanche via Arizona Coyotes) – LW Reid Schaefer, Seattle (WHL)
Trades made during the first round of the draft:
- The Montréal Canadiens trade D Alexander Romanov and the 98th overall pick to the New York Islanders for a 2022 1st round pick (13th overall).
- Montréal traded a 2022 1st round pick (13th overall, originally belonging to the New York Islanders) and a 2022 3rd round pick (66th overall) Chicago for D Kirby Dach.
- The San Jose Sharks traded a 2022 1st round pick (11th overall) to the Arizona Coyotes for a 2022 1st round pick (27th overall), a 2022 2nd round pick (34th overall) and a 2022 2nd round pick (45th overall).
- Chicago acquired G Petr Mrázek and a 2022 1st round pick (25th overall) from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2022 2nd round pick (38th overall).
- The Arizona Coyotes acquired F Zack Kassian, a 2022 1st round pick (29th overall), a 2024 3rd round pick and a 2025 2nd round pick from the Edmonton Oilers for a 2022 1st round pick (32nd overall).
Trades made earlier in the day prior to the first round of the draft:
- The Colorado Avalanche acquired G Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers in exchange for a 2022 3rd round pick, a 2022 5th round pick and a 2023 3rd round pick.
- The Ottawa Senators traded a 2022 1st round pick (7th overall), a 2022 2nd round pick (39th overall) and a 2024 3rd round pick to Chicago for F Alex DeBrincat.
For the 34th time since making his postseason debut in 2011, Brad Marchand had a multi-point Stanley Cup Playoff game as he amassed 2-3–5 totals in a, 5-2, win for the Boston Bruins over the Carolina Hurricanes Sunday afternoon in Game 4 at TD Garden.
Among active players, only Tampa Bay Lightning forward, Nikita Kucherov, has more multi-point postseason games in that span with 37.
Jeremy Swayman (2-0, 2.00 goals-against average, .925 save percentage in two games played) made 24 saves on 26 shots against in the win for Boston.
Carolina netminder, Antti Raanta (1-1, 2.40 goals-against average, .928 save percentage in three games played), stopped 23 out of 27 shots faced in the loss.
As a result of Sunday’s win in Game 4, the Bruins tied the series 2-2 heading back to PNC Arena Tuesday night for Game 5.
With a five-point effort– including a pair of goals– for Marchand and three points (one goal, two assists) for Patrice Bergeron on Sunday, the Boston duo continued to climb the ranks of Bruins franchise postseason records.
Bergeron is second in club goals in Stanley Cup Playoff history with 49, while Marchand usurped Phil Esposito for sole possession of the third-most with 48.
Bergeron now has 77 postseason assists– good enough for the third-most in team history– while Marchand jumped Bobby Orr for the fourth-most with 68 to Orr’s 66.
Bergeron (126) also surpassed David Krejci (124) for the second-most postseason points in Boston’s franchise history trailing only Ray Bourque (161) for the most overall.
The B’s were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL), Jesper Frödén (lower body), Hampus Lindholm (upper body) and Charlie McAvoy (COVID-19 protocol) in the, 5-2, win against the Canes– prompting head coach, Bruce Cassidy, to make a few changes among his defensive pairings due to McAvoy’s late removal from the lineup.
Matt Grzelcyk and Brandon Carlo were promoted to the first pairing with Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton filling out the rest of the top-four defenders.
Mike Reilly suited up alongside Josh Brown on the third defensive pairing as a result with Trent Frederic, Anton Blidh and Kyle Keyser comprising the short list of healthy scratches for Boston in Game 4.
Reilly caught Max Domi with a high stick and presented the afternoon’s first power play to the Hurricanes as a result at 2:24 of the first period.
The Bruins made the kill on the ensuing special teams play, however.
Midway through the opening frame, Curtis Lazar was penalized for interference at 11:44, but once more Carolina failed to convert on the resulting skater advantage.
The Canes caught Boston in the vulnerable minute after special teams action, though, as Jordan Staal sent a pass to Brett Pesce (1) in the slot as the Carolina defender pinched in from the point and buried the rubber biscuit on Swayman’s five-hole.
Staal (2) and Domi (1) had the assists on Pesce’s goal and the Hurricanes jumped out to a, 1-0, lead at 14:06.
Carolina’s scored first in every game so far this series, but Boston answered back in a hurry about a couple minutes later when Bergeron (3) snuck a shot through Raanta’s five-hole from the doorstep to tie the game, 1-1, at 16:09.
David Pastrnak (2) and Marchand (4) tallied the assists on the goal as the Bruins evened things up 2:03 after Pesce’s goal.
About a minute later, Staal cut a rut to the sin bin for hooking and presented Boston with another power play at 17:25.
The B’s time on the skater advantage was cut short, however, when Taylor Hall tripped Vincent Trocheck at 17:48 of the first period resulting in 1:38 of 4-on-4 action before an abbreviated power play for Carolina in the remainder.
Entering the first intermission, though, the Bruins and Hurricanes were tied, 1-1, on the scoreboard with the Canes leading in shots on goal, 10-6, after 20 minutes.
Carolina also led in blocked shots (4-2), giveaways (4-2), hits (13-12) and faceoff win percentage (62-38), while both teams managed two takeaways aside.
The Hurricanes were 0-for-3 and the Bruins were 0-for-1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.
The Canes wrapped the puck around the attacking zone quickly in the middle frame before Nino Niederreiter found Staal (1) for a one-timer goal from the slot to give Carolina a, 2-1, lead 33 seconds into the second period.
Niederreiter (1) and Tony DeAngelo (5) had the assists on the goal.
Less than a minute later, Andrei Svechnikov was given an interference infraction at 59 seconds of the second period and the Bruins went on the power play.
Boston’s 5-on-4 quickly became a 5-on-3 skater advantage when Trocheck sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play at 1:37 of the second period, yielding an abbreviated two-skater advantage to Boston for a span of 1:23.
The Bruins, however, did not convert on the power play opportunity.
Teuvo Teräväinen hooked Pastrnak at 13:40, but Carolina’s penalty kill managed to get their job done without issue.
Late in the period, however, Niederreiter tripped Craig Smith at 17:35 and presented the B’s with another skater advantage.
This time, Raanta made a save on a shot by Marchand before the puck dropped to the ice and sat in the crease at the Hurricanes netminder’s feet prior to Jake DeBrusk (1) burying it on the far side with one quick swoop.
Carolina’s head coach, Rod Brind’Amour, challenged the call on the ice on the basis that he believed DeBrusk made enough contact with his stick on Raanta prior to the goal to overturn the call, however the official review deemed DeBrusk’s play to be concurrent with the rulebook in terms of how a player is allowed to go after a loose puck in the crease.
The call on the ice stood. Good goal.
Boston tied it, 2-2, while Marchand (5) and Bergeron (2) tallied the assists on DeBrusk’s power-play goal at 18:44 of the second period.
As a result of the unsuccessful challenge, the Hurricanes were assessed a bench minor and Niederreiter went back to the sin bin to serve the infraction at 18:44.
The Bruins wound up with another 5-on-3 advantage after Sebastian Aho caught Bergeron with a high stick near the Boston captain’s eye and drew blood.
Aho was charged with a four-minute double minor for high sticking at 19:35 of the second period and the B’s went on the 5-on-3 advantage for the next 68 seconds– spilling over into the final frame as a result.
Through 40 minutes of action, Boston and Carolina were tied, 2-2, on the scoreboard despite the Bruins leading in shots on goal, 19-16, including a, 13-6, advantage in shots on net in the second period alone.
The Canes held the advantage in blocked shots (8-6), giveaways (5-4) and faceoff win% (57-43), while the B’s led in takeaways (4-3).
Both teams had 24 hits aside heading into the second intermission.
Entering the final frame, the Hurricanes were 0-for-3 and the Bruins were 1-for-7 on the power play.
Cassidy sent out five forwards to start the third period as the Bruins had time remaining on the power play with Aho in the box for Carolina.
It didn’t take Boston long to pull ahead of the Hurricanes.
Charlie Coyle found Marchand in the high slot by the top of the right circle where Marchand (2) riffled a shot over Raanta’s glove side to give the Bruins their first lead of the afternoon, 3-2, 44 seconds into the third period.
Coyle (2) and DeBrusk (2) notched the assists on Marchand’s power-play goal.
A couple minutes later, Grzelcyk caught Brady Skjei with a high stick and yielded 52 seconds of 4-on-4 action at 2:46 of the third period as a result before an abbreviated power play for Carolina would commence.
The Bruins managed to kill off Grzelcyk’s minor without issue.
Early in the final frame, Bergeron won an attacking zone faceoff over to Marchand before Marchand setup Pastrnak (2) for the catch and release goal from point blank on the low glove side while Raanta dove across the crease.
Marchand (6) and Bergeron (3) tallied the assists on Pastrnak’s goal as the Bruins extended their lead to two-goals, 4-2, at 5:41 of the third period.
DeAngelo cross checked Lazar in the face at the midpoint of the final frame and presented Boston with another power play at 10:00, but the Bruins failed to convert on the advantage while the Carolina defender was in the box.
With 3:48 remaining in the action, Brind’Amour used his timeout and pulled Raanta for an extra attacker.
Shortly thereafter, Marchand (3) buried the puck in the empty net to secure a, 5-2, win for Boston at 19:25 of the third period.
Coyle (3) and Carlo (1) had the assists on the goal as the B’s extended their lead to three-goals.
In the dying seconds of the action, Nick Foligno flipped the puck over the glass for an automatic delay of game minor at 19:57.
The Hurricanes did not convert on the ensuing skater advantage as the final horn sounded on a resounding victory for the Bruins in Game 4– tying the series 2-2 in the process.
Boston left their own ice leading in shots on goal, 28-26, despite trailing Carolina, 10-9, in shots on net in the third period alone.
The B’s also led in hits (37-29), while the Canes left TD Garden leading in blocked shots (15-6) and faceoff win% (54-46).
Both teams had six giveaways aside and the Hurricanes were 0-for-5, while the Bruins were 2-for-9 on the power play on Sunday.
Boston improved to 2-1 when tied after the first period and 1-0 when tied after the second period this postseason, while Carolina fell to 1-2 when tied after one and 0-1 when tied after two in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Bruins tied the series 2-2 as a result of their win in Game 4, which means a 3-2 series lead is up for grabs for either team Tuesday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh in Game 5.
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 TVAS in Canada.
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.
Patrice Bergeron scored a hat trick in a, 5-0, victory for the Boston Bruins over the Buffalo Sabres as Linus Ullmark recorded his first shutout with the Bruins against his former team.
Bergeron’s trio of goals earned him his 398th, 399th and 400th career tallies in his 1,216th career National Hockey League game– becoming just the fourth player in Bruins franchise history to score 400 goals with the club, while trailing Rick Middleton (402) for third overall.
Ullmark (26-10-2, 2.45 goals-against average, .917 save percentage in 41 games played) finished his regular season campaign with his first shutout of the year in a 37-save effort for his fourth career shutout win overall.
He set a career-best 2.45 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in the most games he’s played as a starter in the first season of his four-year, $20 million contract that he signed with Boston on July 28, 2021, with the future of Tuukka Rask then uncertain in the wake of major surgery and Jeremy Swayman as a young goaltender of the future– still a few years away from taking the full-time reins in the crease.
Though technically you could say both Ullmark and Swayman were the starting goaltenders for Boston all season long as they’ll split the 82-game season in half– 41 appearances each– in their 2021-22 workload.
Even as Rask made a midseason comeback attempt before retiring in February due to his hip not being up to par.
Swayman is expected to get the start Friday night in Toronto as the B’s take on the Maple Leafs in their 2021-22 regular season finale.
With the win on Thursday night, Boston improved to 51-25-5 (107 points) on the season and remained in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division– one point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for 3rd place in the Atlantic.
Tampa needs to win in any fashion to secure a First Round matchup with Toronto, while Boston needs the Lightning to lose in regulation and at least get one point against the Maple Leafs to surpass the Bolts in the division and face the Leafs in the First Round.
If the Bruins and Lightning tie in points, Boston holds the tiebreaker on regulation wins.
Otherwise, if Boston ends up losing Friday night and Tampa gets a point in any fashion, the B’s will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2022 First Round.
If you’re confused just watch the game and/or wait for Friday night’s recap. You’ll know by then.
Dustin Tokarski (9-12-3, 3.32 goals-against average, .899 save percentage in 28 games played) made 27 saves on 32 shots against in the loss for Buffalo.
The Sabres fell to 31-39-11 (73 points) overall and remain in command of 5th place in the Atlantic Division.
For the first time since the 2019-20 regular season, Boston swept Buffalo in their regular season series, 4-0-0.
The Bruins went 7-1-0 against the Sabres last season and 3-0-0 against Buffalo in 2019-20.
Boston finished the 2021-22 regular season with a 26-13-2 record on home ice overall.
The B’s were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) on Thursday, while head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no changes to his lineup.
As a result, Mike Reilly, Marc McLaughlin, Josh Brown and Anton Blidh served as healthy scratches for the Bruins against the Sabres.
Prior to puck drop, NESN presented its annual 7th Player Award as voted on by the fans to this year’s recipient– Jeremy Swayman.
Swayman has gone 23-13-3 in 40 games this season with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage as part of Boston’s tandem goaltending apparatus for 2021-22.
Henri Jokiharju tripped Jake DeBrusk and presented the Bruins with the night’s first power play at 1:26 of the first period, but the B’s fell to 0-for-37 on the skater advantage in their last 13 games instead as the Sabres managed to kill off Jokiharju’s infraction.
Late in the period, Trent Frederic cut a rut to the sin bin for catching Alex Tuch with a slash at 16:41, but Buffalo wasn’t able to convert on the ensuing advantage.
Less than a few minutes later, Brad Marchand rattled off four hacks with his stick before the fifth slash resulting in a minor penalty at 19:30.
Boston managed to kill Marchand’s infraction despite Buffalo’s power play spewing over into the middle frame.
After one period, the B’s and Sabres were tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard despite Buffalo attaining a, 12-6, advantage in shots on goal.
The Sabres dominated in blocked shots (10-2), takeaways (5-3), giveaways (6-4) and faceoff win percentage (63-38), while the Bruins led in hits (12-5).
Buffalo was 0-for-2 and Boston was 0-for-1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.
Taylor Hall tripped John Hayden at 2:55 of the second period, yielding another skater advantage to the Sabres that went unconverted.
Moments later, Bergeron (23) gathered a loose puck on the doorstep and buried it in the twine to give the Bruins a, 1-0, lead at 6:16 of the second period after DeBrusk fired an initial shot on goal.
Bergeron’s first goal of the game was unassisted, however.
A couple minutes later, Jeff Skinner tripped Erik Haula and made his way to the sin bin at 8:54.
Boston failed to capitalize on the resulting power play, however.
Midway through the middle period, Bergeron (24) scored one of his patented goals from the bumper to extend the lead to two-goals.
This time, DeBrusk (17) and Marchand (47) tallied the assists as the B’s took a, 2-0, lead at 12:29 of the second period.
Sabres coach, Don Granato, challenged the call on the ice, however, on the basis that he believed Nick Foligno had been offiside prior to the goal.
Upon video review, however, Foligno had extended his right leg far enough to break the plane at the blue line in the midst of a line change while Boston entered the attacking zone– thereby remaining onside.
The call on the ice stood as a result and the Sabres were charged with a bench minor for delay of game due to their unsuccessful challenge at 12:29.
Victor Olofsson skated across the rink to serve Buffalo’s infraction, but Boston fell to 0-for-39 on their last 39 power plays as neither team took another penalty nor scored another goal before the second intermission.
Through 40 minutes Thursday night, the Bruins led, 2-0, on the scoreboard, but trailed, 27-20, in shots on goal as the Sabres continued to outshoot Boston– including a, 15-14, advantage for Buffalo in the second period alone.
The Sabres led in blocked shots (13-4), takeaways (8-5), giveaways (13-6) and faceoff win% (53-47), while both teams had 16 hits aside and were 0-for-3 on the power play heading into the final frame.
Then it happened.
Peyton Krebs caught Marchand with a high stick at 1:28 of the third period.
Less than a minute later, Hall setup David Pastrnak (40) for a power-play goal through the five-hole– reaching the 40-goal plateau for the second time in his career in the process.
Oh, also, Boston snapped their drought on the power play in their 40th consecutive opportunity.
Hall (41) and Marchand (48) notched the assists as Pastrnak’s power-play goal put the Bruins up, 3-0, at 2:11 of the third period, but not before Granato challenged the call on the ice on the basis that he believed Hall had gone offside prior to the goal while Marchand dangled the puck at the blue line.
Video review confirmed the call on the ice, however, as Marchand did not drag the puck completely past the blue line back into the neutral zone and Hall remained onside.
The Sabres, as a result, were charged with a four-minute double minor for delay of game due to their second unsuccessful challenge of the night at 2:11.
Shortly after the second consecutive power play began while Olofsson was back in the box serving the bench minor, Hall (20) collected the garbage on the doorstep of the crease off the right leg pad and slipped the puck into the net to give Boston a four-goal lead.
Pastrnak (38) and Bergeron (40) tallied the assists on Hall’s power-play goal and the B’s led, 4-0, at 4:16 of the third period.
With the secondary assists on the goal, Bergeron reached the 40-assist plateau for the fifth time in his 18-year NHL career.
Meanwhile, Hall reached 20 goals or more for the seventh time in his 12 NHL seasons.
Less than a minute later, Tomáš Nosek and Casey Fitzgerald went to the box for roughing and brought the action down from 5-on-5 to 4-on-4 for a couple minutes.
Late in the period, Bergeron (25) scored another bumper goal for his second hat trick of the season (eighth of his career), as well as his 400th career goal.
Charlie McAvoy (46) and Hampus Lindholm (22) had the assists on Bergeron’s third goal of the game and the Bruins took a, 5-0, lead at 17:47 of the third period.
Only four Bruins have ever scored 400 or more goals; Johnny Bucyk (545), Phil Esposito (459), Rick Middleton (402) and now Bergeron (400).
At the final horn, the Bruins won, 5-0, and Ullmark picked up his first shutout of the season, as well as his first shutout with Boston, despite Buffalo outshooting the B’s, 37-32.
The Bruins left their own ice leading in blocked shots (17-4) and faceoff win% (59-41), while the Sabres exited TD Garden leading in giveaways (17-10) and hits (21-19).
Buffalo went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Boston went 2-for-6 on the skater advantage.
The Bruins honored Don DelNegro in his final home game of the regular season. After 29 years working for the organization, DelNegro is retiring from his head athletic trainer role to go hit up the local golf courses some more on his own time.
Bergeron and the rest of the B’s surrounded DelNegro at center ice for a team photo.
In addition to his hat trick, Bergeron also moved ahead of Bucyk for the most career game-opening goals in franchise history Thursday night with his 86th career game-opening goal.
Marchand (795), meanwhile, had two points on the night to surpass Wayne Cashman (793) for sole possession of the seventh-most points in Bruins history.
No. 63 in black and gold trails Bobby Orr (888) by 93 points for sixth overall and is now five points shy of his 800th career NHL point.
The Bruins snapped Buffalo’s four-game winning streak by extending their own win streak to four games and improved to 17-6-2 (8-3-1 at home) when tied after the first period, 37-9-2 (18-5-1 at home) when scoring first and 33-1-3 (16-1-1 at home) when leading after two periods this season.
The Sabres fell to 13-10-3 (5-5-1 on the road) when tied after one, 8-26-6 (3-15-2 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal and 2-29-2 (2-15-2 on the road) when trailing through the second period in 2021-22.
The Bruins visit Toronto on Friday night in their final road game– as well as the final game– of the 2021-22 regular season.
The B’s will face either the Leafs or Hurricanes in the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs with Games 1 and 2 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto or PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina depending on the matchup.
Games 3 and 4 will be Boston’s first taste of postseason action on home ice.
It was a historic night at Bell Centre Sunday night as the Montréal Canadiens and their fans honored the life and memory of the late Guy Lafleur with a tribute and a 10-minute standing ovation before the Patrice Bergeron and Erik Haula each scored a pair of goals in a, 5-3, win for the Boston Bruins.
Bergeron surpassed Montréal native, Ray Bourque, for sole possession of the fourth-most goals in Bruins franchise history, while Haula scored the second penalty shot goal of the season in an unconventional fashion.
Meanwhile, Charlie McAvoy’s late second period goal held up to be the game-winner for Boston as goaltender, Jeremy Swayman (23-13-3, 2.37 goals-against average, .915 save percentage in 40 games played), made 23 saves on 26 shots agaisnt in the win.
Canadiens netminder, Sam Montembeault (7-18-6, 3.79 goals-against average, .892 save percentage in 37 games played), turned aside 37 out of 41 shots faced in the loss.
The Bruins improved to 49-25-5 (103 points) overall and remain in command of 4th place in the Atlantic Division as well as the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Montréal fell to 20-49-11 (51 points) on the season and stuck in 8th place in the Atlantic Division as Habs fans await the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery on May 10th.
For the first time since the 2017-18 season, Boston swept Montréal in their regular season series, 4-0-0. The B’s also went 4-0-0 against the Habs in 2017-18, and did not face the Canadiens last season due to the temporarily realigned divisions and condensed 56-game schedule.
Boston went 3-1-0 against Montréal in 2019-20.
The Bruins were without Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Jesper Frödén (lower body) on Sunday, while David Pastrnak and Hampus Lindholm joined Josh Brown and Anton Blidh on the list of healthy scratches against the Canadiens as expected.
Bruce Cassidy promoted Tomáš Nosek from his usual fourth line center duties to that of the second line right wing role, while Curtis Lazar slid over on the fourth line to Nosek’s regular spot with Marc McLaughlin re-entering the lineup.
On defense, Matt Grzelcyk was paired with McAvoy, while Mike Reilly and Brandon Carlo rounded out the top-four defenders.
Linus Ullmark served as Swayman’s backup, while Pastrnak, Lindholm and Ullmark were all expected to be given the night off as Cassidy told reporters ahead of the game that he’d manage playing time with the playoffs in mind.
A pair of milestones unrelated to performance were met on Sunday as Carlo suited up in his 400th career NHL game, while Charlie Coyle took part in his 700th career game.
Joel Edmundson tripped Connor Clifton at 6:23 of the first period, but Boston wasn’t able to convert on the resulting power play– their first and only skater advantage of the night.
The Bruins matched their longest streak of games without a power play goal (10) for the first time since their inaugural season (1924-25).
Midway through the opening frame, Josh Anderson and Derek Forbort each cut a rut to their respective sin bins for roughing at 10:55.
After two minutes of 4-on-4 action, the two teams resumed 5-on-5 play without issue.
Late in the period, Bergeron (21) gathered a loose puck on the doorstep and buried it into the open twine as Montembeault was caught behind the play after Jake DeBrusk fired the initial shot on net.
DeBrusk (16) and Brad Marchand (44) tabbed the assists on Bergeron’s goal and the Bruins took a, 1-0, lead at 15:03 of the first period.
Bergeron’s first goal of the game put him in sole possession of the fourth-most goals in club history for the B’s, surpassing Bourque in the process as Bergeron collected his 396th career goal (all with Boston).
The goal also marked Boston’s 2,000th goal against Montréal in franchise history.
A few minutes later, Mike Hoffman slashed Haula’s stick while skating alongside No. 56 in black and gold yielding– for some reason– a penalty shot for Haula at 18:03 as the on-ice officials determined that Hoffman’s infraction was enough to negate a scoring chance on a breakaway, apparently.
Haula (16) skated past the puck on his initial entry on the penalty shot, but as he never touched the rubber biscuit with his blade– and therefore did not move it forward before going back to retrieve it– he kept his composure, collected the puck, approached Montembeault and wired a shot under the glove side to give Boston a two-goal lead, 2-0.
For just the fourth time in franchise history, Haula joined Tim Taylor (April 15, 1998), Leo Boivin (Jan. 4, 1964) and Woody Dumart (Jan. 14, 1940) as the only Bruins to score a penalty-shot goal against the Canadiens.
Less than a minute later, Marchand retaliated against Jeff Petry for a clean hit that Petry made on Bergeron.
As a result, Marchand was sent to the box with a roughing infraction at 18:52 of the first period.
The B’s would be down two skaters after the first intermission when Trent Frederic picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct minor at 20:00 of the first period after he tried to engage Petry after the opening frame came to an end.
After one period of action, the Bruins led, 2-0, on the scoreboard and led in shots on goal, 17-8, as well as in blocked shots (4-2) and hits (14-11).
The Canadiens held the advantage in giveaways (7-5), while both teams had two takeaways each and split faceoff win percentage, 50-50.
Montréal and Boston were also 0-for-1 on the power play heading into the middle period.
The B’s survived Marchand’s minor, but couldn’t survive Frederic’s infraction as the Canadiens continued to pressure in the attacking zone before Petry forged a pass via Brendan Gallagher to Anderson (19) for a power-play goal on a shot with eyes past Swayman.
Gallagher (16) and Petry (19) had the assists on Anderson’s goal and the Habs trailed, 2-1, at 1:51 of the second period.
Boston responded less than a few minutes later as Clifton sent a pass up to Nosek on a rush before Nosek setup Haula (17) with a tape-to-tape pass for the catch and release goal at 4:04 of the second period.
Nosek (14) and Clifton (8) notched the assists and the Bruins went ahead by two goals once more, 3-1.
About a minute later, Haula headed off to the box for interference– taking Jake Evans with him, though, as Evans was assessed an embellishment infraction to present some more 4-on-4 action at 5:16.
Less than a minute later, however, Grzelcyk tripped Anderson and yielded an abbreviated 4-on-3 power play to the Canadiens at 5:47.
Montréal could not convert on the ensuing skater advantage.
Moments later, Laurent Dauphin checked Taylor Hall along the boards leaving Hall out of breath, but the Bruins forward managed to skate off on his own after a stoppage and never went down the tunnel.
Cassidy informed reporters that Hall must have simply “had the wind knocked out of him” and indicated that he didn’t expect the Boston forward to miss any time.
Marchand and Anderson exchanged pleasantries late in the period yielding slashing and cross checking minors, respectively, at 16:12 and resulting in more 4-on-4 action for the two squads.
On an attacking zone faceoff, the Bruins won the puck back to the point where McAvoy (10) snapped a shot past Montembeault’s blocker side to give Boston a three-goal lead.
Bergeron (37) had the only assist on the goal as McAvoy made it, 4-1, at 18:09 of the second period.
Through 40 minutes of action Sunday night, the Bruins led, 4-1, on the scoreboard and held a, 31-16, advantage in shots on goal– including a, 14-8, advantage in shots on net in the second period alone.
Boston also led in hits (23-22), while Montréal led in takeaways (4-3), giveaways (13-9) and faceoff win% (51-49) after two periods.
Both teams had eight blocked shots aside, while the Canadiens were 1-for-3 and the Bruins were 0-for-1 on the skater advantage.
McLaughlin lifted the puck over the glass for an automatic delay of game infraction at 3:10 of the third period and the Habs didn’t take long to capitalize on the ensuing advantage.
Montréal won a faceoff back to the point where Petry slid a pass across the ice to Hoffman (13) for a one-timer blast off the iron and in– bringing the Canadiens to within two goals at 3:13.
Petry (20) and Christian Dvorak (19) had the assists on Hoffman’s power-play goal and the Habs trailed, 4-2.
Almost midway through the final frame, Nick Suzuki (21) caught a pass and released a shot from the slot past Swayman after the Bruins failed to clear their own zone.
Mathieu Perreault (4) and Michael Pezzetta (4) had the assists on Suzuki’s goal and the Canadiens trailed, 4-3, at 7:19 of the third period.
With 2:20 remaining in the action, Montréal’s interim head coach, Martin St. Louis, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker.
After Forbort’s shot attempt was knocked down by a high stick in Boston’s attacking zone, however, Montembeault had to return to the crease otherwise the Canadiens would’ve allowed a surefire empty net goal.
With 51.8 seconds remaining, Montembeault vacated the net once more.
After a stoppage with 26.2 seconds left, St. Louis used his timeout to rally his skaters for one last chance, but the Bruins wound up getting another rush in the dying seconds of the game after Nosek and Marchand won a battle along the boards.
Marchand fed an indirect pass off the boards across the width of the ice for Bergeron (22) to retrieve and skate into the attacking zone mostly unguarded before burying the puck in the empty net for his second goal of the game and another two-goal advantage for Boston.
Marchand (45) had the only assist on Bergeron’s empty net goal and the Bruins led, 5-3, at 19:53 of the third period.
As a result of the goal, Bergeron now trails Rick Middleton by five goals for the third-most in franchise history, while Marchand is nine points away from reaching the 800-point plateau in his career.
He’s also two points away (791) from tying Wayne Cashman (793) for the seventh-most points in Bruins franchise history.
At the final horn, Boston had won, 5-3, and left Bell Centre leading in shots on goal, 42-26, including an, 11-10, advantage in the third period alone.
The Bruins also finished the night leading in giveaways (19-16) and hits (36-28), while the Canadiens exited their own ice with the advantage in blocked shots (17-10) and faceoff win% (52-48).
Montréal went 2-for-4 on the power play on Sunday, while Boston went 0-for-1.
Meanwhile, Swayman picked up his 23rd win of the season and moved into sole possession of the fourth-most wins by a rookie goaltender in B’s franchise history, trailing Frank Brimsek (33), Andrew Raycroft (29) and Tiny Thompson (26) as a result.
Tuukka Rask, Marco Baron and Jack Gelineau are now tied for the fifth-most with 22.
The Habs are now on a nine-game losing streak (all in regulation) and fell to 6-38-8 (3-21-3 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-32-8 (2-16-3 at home) when trailing after one period and 3-40-6 (1-22-2 at home) when losing after two periods in 2021-22.
Boston improved to 36-9-2 (19-4-1 on the road) when scoring first, 28-5-1 (14-2-1 on the road) when leading after the first period and 31-1-3 (17-0-2 on the road) when leading after the second period this season.
The B’s have three games remaining in the regular season, while the Toronto Maple Leafs have two games and the Tampa Bay Lightning have three games left in their schedules.
Toronto is 2nd in the Atlantic Division and can clinch home ice in the First Round with at least one point in their remaining games, while Tampa would need to win out their final three games and hope for the Maple Leafs to lose their last two games in regulation.
Boston cannot finish higher than 3rd in the Atlantic and is not destined to have home ice in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs unless they meet another wild card in the later rounds.
Entering Monday, the B’s would face the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2022 First Round, though if Boston falls behind the Washington Capitals (100 points) in the wild card standings, there’s always a chance they’ll face the Florida Panthers.
In any case, Toronto would face Tampa if Boston is a wild card team.
Otherwise, we could be looking at another Bruins vs. Leafs First Round series if Boston is able to overcome the Lightning in the division standings.
The Bruins host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday and Buffalo Sabres on Thursday before closing out the 2021-22 regular season Friday night on the road against the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena.