Bruins Strike First, Force Game Seven

Boston takes the lead with a balanced attack and never looks back. Boston, MA- It took six starts, but the Boston Bruins finally scored the first goal of the game in their series against the Carolina Hurricanes, and they held on for a solid 5-2 win to force a do or die game seven match in… Continue reading Bruins Strike First, Force Game Seven

Bruins Top Carolina 5-2 to Win Two Straight

Boston evens series vs. Hurricanes 2-2 in Sunday matinee. Boston, MA – The Boston Bruins had four goal scorers for the second straight game as they outlasted the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 in front of 17,850 at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon. Brad Marchand’s two third period goals and Jeremy Swayman’s 24 saves on the day highlighted the Bruins’ effort to tie the series with the Hurricanes… Continue reading Bruins Top Carolina 5-2 to Win Two Straight

Bruins Double Up Hurricanes 4-2

Boston cuts series deficit to 2-1 in win over Carolina. Boston, MA – A raucous sellout TD Garden crowd was just what the slumping Boston Bruins needed to get back into their series against the Carolina Hurricanes. 17,850 black and gold-clad fans witnessed a return to form for the Bruins as they put together a solid… Continue reading Bruins Double Up Hurricanes 4-2

Bruins Strike Early, Hold On for 2-1 Win

Two quick goals give Boston all they need versus the Penguins Boston, MA – The Boston Bruins ended a three-game skid with a solid 2-1, sixty-minute effort over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins punched their post-season ticket on the strength of two first-period goals that came just over two minutes into the… Continue reading Bruins Strike Early, Hold On for 2-1 Win

Second Period Woes Down Bruins Again

Young Senators Squad Scores Three Unanswered in Second Period for 3-2 Win

Boston, MA – A pair of second-period penalties led to the Boston Bruins squandering a 2-1 lead for the second straight game. The visiting Ottawa Senators took advantage of a five-on-three, and with the remaining five-on-four, they beat the Bruins 3-2 in front of 17,850 at TD Garden. Boston has dropped three straight and four of five. 

The Senators controlled the action early in the game, but Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark was getting in front of everything Ottawa put on goal. Ullmark had three or four quality stops in the opening two minutes before the Bruins found their footing. Unfortunately for Boston, one of Ullmark’s saves was with his head. The 6′-4″ Swede took an Erik Brannstrom slapshot from the top of the left circle to the helmet early in the game. Ullmark elected to play on after a brief consultation with the Bruins’ training staff. 

Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark made a lunging glove save to rob Ottawa Senators defenseman Artem Zub late in the first-period. Ullmark would make eight saves in twenty minutes of action before departing the game with an injury as Boston lost to Ottawa 3-2 at TD Garden on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Boston forward Marc McLaughlin continued his shot streak by netting his third goal in six games since signing out of Boston College. The forward from Billerica, Massachusetts gave the Bruins the lead at 6:36 of the first when he redirected a Nick Foligno shot past Senators goalie Anton Forsberg (40 saves).

Jesper Froden potted his first NHL goal at 19:01 when he tipped a Matt Grzelcyk shot from the blue line past Forsberg to give the Bruins the 2-0 lead going into the first intermission.

Boston celebrates the first NHL goal for Bruins forward Jesper Froden during the Bruins 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at TD Garden.

“I tried to stay in front of the net, battle for the puck,” said Froden of his goal. “I lost my glove and I was thinking should I change or should I stay? Then I saw that the D got the puck and I just tried to be in the lane and tip the puck there. It went in and it was an amazing feeling.”

“I tried to come in and bring the energy to the guys, skate a lot, and battle,” added Froden of his first game with Boston in over a month and sixth of the season.

Ullmark turned back eight Senators shots during the first period but couldn’t come back out for the second before calling it a night during the first intermission.

Ottawa was 2-14-2 when trailing after the first period coming into the game, while the Bruins were 25-4-1 when leading after one. However, the Senators took advantage of a cold Jeremy Swayman (21 saves) just forty-seven ticks into the middle frame when Brady Tkachuk bounced a shot from behind the goal line off Swayman’s backside, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

The Bruins fell victim to the opposing team’s power-play for the second straight game. Tkachuk drew a High-Sticking call on Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly at 8:39. Patrice Bergeron went to the penalty box for Hooking at 8:46, which led to the Senators’ five-on-three power play.

The Senators capitalized on the five-on-three at 9:30 when centerman Josh Norris blasted a one-timer past Swayman from the top of the right circle. Drake Batherson and Tim Stützle assisted on Norris’ 33rd.

Fifty-seven seconds later, the Senators had the lead for good when Stützle banged in a loose puck in front of Swayman for his 18th. Batherson and Tkachuk assisted on the go-ahead power-play goal.

Ottawa Senators forwards Josh Norris and Tim Stützle celebrate Stützle’s power-play goal to give Ottawa the 3-2 lead in the second period of the Senator’s win against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

“I don’t know if it’s fatigue or lack of urgency. It’s tough to see,” said Bruins defenseman Grzelcyk of the second-period struggles. “The two penalties, they capitalize on both. We have to put out the fire there, but it’s something we have to address.”

“They (Ottawa) made a lot of good plays. They got to run the plays they wanted to, went through Stützle a lot,” said Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’s a dangerous player, and made some good plays. We were a little late with our assignments. That five-on-three was a good shot (by Norris); give credit for executing. What they did a lot better than us was hit the net quick with their plays. They hit the net.”

In the third, the Bruins controlled the early action, but Forsberg’s play and a continuation of the penalties kept the Bruins from establishing consistent pressure on Ottawa. Swayman turned back two Connor Brown breakaway bids to keep the Bruins within striking distance. 

Credit the Senators, who, despite being 27-40-6 and in seventh place in the Atlantic Division, lock down the win when leading after two periods. Ottawa is now 21-1-2 when leading after two. 

Boston has struggled without David Pastrnak on the power play. The team’s leading scorer has been out of the last five games due to a core injury. Meanwhile, a patchwork defense has been inadequate as Grzelcyk, Brandon Carlo, and Hampus Lindholm have all missed time over the last few games. 

“Losing Pasta and his shot, teams know how good he is over there,” Grzelcyk said of the power-plays lack of success. “A lot of times they take him away, and we kind of play four-on-three from there so we lose a little bit of that.”

“They’re doing a great job,” said Grzelcyk when asked about McLaughlin and Froden contributing to the cause. “They both work really hard. They’re not the biggest guys but they’re both fast and smart hockey players. It’s really impressive with them both stepping into the lineup.”

The Bruins will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at 12:30 pm EST at TD Garden.

Bruins Falter as Tarasenko, Blues win 4-2

Boston, MA – The St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins haven’t faced each other in 899 days. Still, there was an intensity and familiarity at TD Garden on Tuesday as the two teams renewed acquaintances for the first time since October 26, 2019. The 2018-19 Stanley Cup Finals were still fresh in everyone’s minds when the two clubs… Continue reading Bruins Falter as Tarasenko, Blues win 4-2

Haula’s PPG Gives Bruins the Win

Erik Haula scores twice to help Boston outlast Columbus.

Boston, MA – The Columbus Blue Jackets took advantage of a minute-and-a-half of shaky play by Boston Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman, coupled with a forty save performance from their goalie Elvis Merzlikins, to hang around the TD Garden longer than they should have. In the third period, Erik Haula‘s second goal of the game and a pair of empty-net goals gave the Bruins the push they needed to close out the Blue Jackets. Boston earned two points in the Eastern Conference standings to keep pace with the Toronto Maple Leafs and gain a point on the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

On a night when the Bruins and Blue Jackets were honoring Boston forward Nick Foligno‘s 1,000th game, which came March 15, 2022, in Chicago against the Black Hawks, the pesky Columbus squad turned in a solid effort against their former captain. Fortunately for Foligno and Boston, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Bruins’ power-play, which took advantage of their lone opportunity late in the third.

“We got back to playing the way we were supposed to,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy of their third-period performance. “Patient, responsible hockey, attack when the situation dictates, play behind their D, and create turnovers on the forecheck.”

“I thought we were doing that in spurts in the first and second periods, that’s how we were creating a lot of offense tonight, by pressuring their D,” added Cassidy. “Their goalie was seeing the puck well, so we needed some second and third effort around the net to get it by him.”

Haula continued his scoring ways when he banged in a loose puck during a scrum in the Columbus crease. Hampus Lindholm carried around the Blue Jackets net where he dished to a charging Charlie McAvoy. Merzlikins made a leg save on McAvoy’s backhander while laying on his stomach, but Taylor Hall knocked the puck to the opposite post, where Haula tapped it in for his 11th.

The Blue Jackets tied the game with 28 seconds left in the opening period when Gustav Nyquist crashed the Bruins’ net and knocked in a loose puck after Swayman (22 saves) couldn’t hold onto an Andrew Peeke shot from the blue line. Nyquist’s goal was his 17th. 

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Gustav Nyquist celebrates his first-period goal with the Blue Jackets bench on April 2, 2022.

Columbus pulled ahead only forty-two seconds into the middle frame when Justin Danforth knocked in a rebound at the top of the crease. Swayman made the initial stop on Yegor Chinakhov‘s shot from the goal line, but Danforth was there to swat in the puck. Chinakhov and Sean Kuraly assisted on Danforth’s seventh.

Brad Marchand tied the game for Boston with his 31st late in the period when he finished off some nifty passing with line-mates Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk at the left post. The Bruins had solid pressure in the Blue Jackets zone thanks to McAvoy keeping the play alive at the blue line before Boston equalized at 18:13. 

McAvoy raced to keep the puck in at the boards in front of the Bruins bench before firing it back into the zone where Marchand picked it up behind the Blue Jackets’ goal. Marchand dished to Bergeron for the one-timer that Merzlikins turned away, but again, McAvoy skated in and harassed Patrick Laine into passing straight to DeBrusk. DeBrusk walked out and dished to Bergeron, who faked a shot before sliding a pass to Marchand at the far post for the tap into an empty net.

The Boston Bruins celebrate Brad Marchand’s 31st goal of the year during the first period of Boston’s 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden on April 2, 2022.

Peeke drew a Hooking penalty at 14:06 of the third period giving the Bruins their first man-advantage. Columbus almost got away scot-free, but Haula re-directed a Brandon Carlo slap-pass past Merzlikins for the go-ahead goal as the penalty was expiring at 16:06.

Haula’s second of the game, and fifth in the last four games, proved to be the difference. Haula has ten points in the previous six games.

“It’s awesome when you can help the team win, yeah I’m happy,” said Haula. “I’m having a lot of fun. I feel like the team’s playing really well and it’s obviously helping a lot. I’m just enjoying the ride, trying to do my best to prepare for every game and trying to bring it.”

“I don’t know if it gets to me, but I have moved a lot lately,” Haula said when asked if surviving the trade deadline has helped his recent production. “Maybe there’s a little thought in the back of the head, of the past, you work through that obviously, and it is nice when you know ‘this is our team’ but that’s ultimately out of my control.”

“Now it’s put the foot on the gas and try to do something special here,” added Haula.

The Bruins added a Jake DeBrusk (19) empty-net goal at 18:00 and a Charlie Coyle (15) empty-netter at 19:54 for the icing on the cake. 

Boston completes a five-game homestand where they went 4-1 and will face off against the Blue Jackets again on Monday night in Columbus, Ohio, to kick off a four-game road trip. 

 Erik Haula’s photo appears courtesy of Carolyn Mooney. Follow her on Instagram @caramooneyphoto

Maple Leafs Trounce Bruins 6-4

Early Mishaps Sink Boston in Pivotal Game

Boston, MA – The Toronto Maple Leafs were too much for the Boston Bruins to handle on Tuesday at the TD Garden. A pair of three-goal outbursts proved too daunting for the Bruins to overcome, one in the first two periods. The Leafs’ speed, coupled with unforced errors by the Bruins, saw Boston trailing 3-1 after one and 6-1 after two.

The Maple Leafs and Bruins came into Tuesday’s game tied for third in the Atlantic Division on identical 41-19-5 records. The Bruins had lost once in their last ten games and caught up with Toronto, 6-3-1 in the same stretch, by chipping away at their lead. With a month to go, playoff seeding was at stake.

“You have to take care of the puck,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “We didn’t do enough of that early on. Obviously, we weren’t prepared to play, so we can share responsibility. That’s our job as coaches, getting them ready to play. Players have to be ready to play.”

“We weren’t sharp early on,” said Cassidy. “You need your goaltender to bail you out, and that didn’t happen either. Give them (Toronto) credit for starting on time. That’s where the game got away from us and they’re a thought team to chase the game against.”

Toronto struck first when former Harvard Crimson forward Colin Blackwell tipped a Jason Spezza pass over Jeremy Swayman’s outstretched leg for his first goal as a member of the Leafs at 5:09. A miscommunication between Bruins defensemen Connor Clifton and Matt Grzelcyk led to Spezza intercepting an errant Clifton pass along the boards.

The Bruins would counter with a David Pastrnak power-play goal less than a minute later. With Leafs forward Michael Bunting off for Tripping, the Bruins won the face-off in the Toronto zone. Pastrnak hit the post with a one-timer from the left circle to get another crack at it shortly. The second time he had help from Leafs’ defenseman TJ Brodie’s stick to redirect the puck past Petr Mrazek for his 38th. Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy assisted.

Mrazek would depart the game with an injury at 7:44. The 6′-2″ Czech goalie finished with three saves on four shots before giving way to Erik Kallgren. 

Bruins forward Craig Smith and Bunting drew matching Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties at 8:34, setting up four-on-four action. The Leafs took advantage of the open ice as William Nylander carried into the Bruins zone, around Brandan Carlo, and had his shot blocked by Swayman. John Tavares grabbed the puck behind the net and dropped a pass back to Morgan Reilly for a top-shelf snipe past Swayman to make it 2-1 at 9:43.

Alex Kerfoot put the Leafs ahead 3-1 at 18:44 of the first when he blocked a Clifton shot at the Toronto blue line and then raced in alone on Swayman, where he beat him with a backhand-forehand deke at the left post. The unassisted goal was the 11th for the former Harvard Crimson star.

“They (The Leafs) were just stronger on pucks,” said Curtis Lazar. “We were defending with our structure and I feel like we got away from that. We played that high octane, fast-paced, scramble hockey that they relish and we got down early.”

The second period wasn’t any better for Boston as the Leafs’ top line came alive. Mitch Marner scored his 28th at 8:28 when he one-timed an Auston Matthews feed past Swayman to make it 4-1. Craig Smith could not connect with Jake DeBrusk in the neutral zone, and Bunting sent Matthews into the Bruins zone, where he feathered to pass to Marner. 

A Roughing penalty on Taylor Hall at 15:18 gave the Leafs a power play. Matthews picked up his league-leading 49th goal at the 4:00 minute mark of the second when he banged in a rebound in front of Swayman to put the Leafs ahead comfortably. Tavares and Marner assisted on the power-play goal. 

David Kampf made it 6-1 just forty-seven seconds later when he tipped a Reilly shot past Swayman for his 9th of the season. 

Boston pulled one back on a DeBrusk redirect in front of the Leafs’ goal. The winger notched his 17th when a McAvoy shot hit DeBrusk’s skate and hopped past Kallgren (23 saves) at 18:19. 

“We were working back to it,” Cassidy said of Boston playing better later in the game. “Some guys got frustrated with some calls. So that took them out of the right mindset. It’s a loss, a home loss. They were clearly better than us.” 

As the period closed out, Bruins forward Brad Marchand voiced his displeasure with the officiating crew and drew a 10 Minute Misconduct for Unsportsmanlike. 

“I’d say (our effort) was complete,” coach Sheldon Keefe said of Toronto. “Obviously we gave a couple late ones up in the third, but I just thought we didn’t give them a lot and managed a couple of response pushes that they had. But it was a real patient game, and we took advantage of the opportunities that we had.”

The Bruins showed signs of life in the third, with Linus Ullmark in goal for Boston. Swayman finished with 19 saves on 25 shots in forty minutes of play. Ullmark stopped all seven shots as he helped stem the bleeding.

Cassidy added he didn’t think about switching goalies after the first period. “Not after 20. He deserves a chance to go and get a big save for us because we’re going to need one.”

“It just seemed like we broke down in front of him,” added Cassidy of Swayman. “It (the puck) was going by tonight, even the tips that some nights will hit you. As a goalie, nothing seemed to hit him. Some of those ones that won’t go in like the fifth or sixth goal, but it was.”

Boston netted two in the third to make the game interesting as the clock wound down. Curtis Lazar banged in a rebound of a Clifton shot off the boards. Lazar whacked at the puck with Kallgren at the post, and the puck bounced over the Swede for Lazar’s seventh goal. 

After a video review by the officials, Hall notched his 15th when he drove to the net and beat Kallgren five-hole. The goal was waved off by the official, citing Goalie Interference on Hall, but the goal stood as Boston challenged the call. 

“I think we showed good fight in the third,” said McAvoy. “We crawled back and had a couple chances at the end. That’s a good sign of our makeup and resilience, but we can’t go down as much as we did and expect to win.”

The Bruins face the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at TD Garden at 7:00 pm EST.

West Coast Swings Well for Boston

The Bruins Pick Up Ground & Gain Momentum on Road Trip The Boston Bruins return home from a successful west coast road trip, going 5-1-0 against the Pacific Division. The Bruins started trailing the Washington Capitals by three points in the Wild Card race. They now have a three-point advantage over the Capitals. Boston also… Continue reading West Coast Swings Well for Boston

Bruins Trounce Avalanche in Matinee

Boston, MA – The Boston Bruins stopped by TD Garden for a one-game homestand against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday afternoon. The Bruins threw down the gauntlet at the skates of the NHL’s best team and met with little resistance as they peppered Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper with 45 shots on goal. Kuemper couldn’t stop five of them in the loss, while his counterpart… Continue reading Bruins Trounce Avalanche in Matinee