The Bruins are at the TD Garden again today for a matinee game, finishing up the series against “flortheast division” rival, the Florida Fancy Cats.
The Bruins have had an up + down couple of weeks since their 5 week long winning streak, but one thing has been pretty consistent – and that is their dominance at home. The Bruins have won their last 12 home games in a row, and gone to OT in the two games prior to that.
The Bruins now have 103 points, clinching a playoff berth, remaining 3rd place league-wide, and in 2nd place in the Atlantic division, behind Tampa Bay who are obviously uncatchable with 19 points ahead of them at 122. 3rd-place Toronto is now 6 points behind Boston, with 5 games remaining.
The Bruins have three 30+ goal scorers in Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, and appear to have discovered some secondary scoring, with additional goals recently coming from both the Krejci and Acciari lines as well as from defense.
The lines are still rearranging themselves, but mostly trending towards better.
Sean Kuraly and John Moore are freshly injured, but previously injured David Pastrnak, Torey Krug, Marcus Johansson and Jake DeBrusk are all back in the lineup. Defensemen Kevan Miller and Matt Grzelcyk have both been out for an extended stretch of time, but are finding their way back, and were wearing their usual black sweaters during Friday’s practice, rather than the red no-contact ones they were sporting previously. Both are listed as game-time decisions.
#NHLBruins updates per Bruce Cassidy:
Grzelcyk and Miller will both be game time decisions against Florida. Grzelcyk looks “likely” for tomorrow, Miller more likely to return Sunday.
Tuukka will start tomorrow against Florida, Halak on Sunday in Detroit. pic.twitter.com/elttSc69Dq
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 29, 2019
David Pastrnak has been playing on the Bergeron & Marchand line with Marcus Johansson skating with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, however, Coach Bruce Cassidy swapped them around during practice, and will stat with Johansson on the top line, & Pasta with Krejci. Charlie Coyle has been playing with Heinen & Wagner as the “3rd” line.
Steven Kampfer and Connor Clifton have been in for Grizz & Moore/Miller. John Moore has an arm injury and is out week-to-week. Grizz was skating with Clifton and Miller with Kampfer in practice on Friday. It looks like Grizz-Clifton will be in today, with Miller returning tomorrow. AHL call-up Karson Kuhlman was called up again “on emergency basis”, but the forward lines seemed to be fully staffed, so it is not clear if he will work his way into the game. Tuukka Rask will be in net.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Today’s opponent are the Florida Panthers. They’ve been a middling team all season, and have a 1-2-0 record vs the Bruins. They’ve been less effective most recently, going 2-4-0 in their last six games, and are 34-32-12 on the season for 80 points and 5th place in the division. They’ve only 1 guy formally out with injury – Derek MacKenzie (shoulder) – but backup goaltender James Reimer has been struggling with a leg injury, giving Sam Montembeault some opportunities to play. Their best scoring forward is young Aleksander Barkov who has 34g/56a (90pts) and a solid faceoff win percentage of 53.7 but negative +/- of -9. They have two 30 goal scorers in Barkov and Huffman, with Huffman having a slight edge at 35 goals to Barkov’s 34. Bobby Lu will be in net for the Fancy Cats. (h/t Daily Faceoff and Jameson Olive):
#11 Jonathan Huberdeau — #16 Aleksander Barkov — #63 Evgenii Dadonov
#68 Mike Hoffman — #21 Vincent Trocheck — #8 Jayce Hawryluk
#62 Denis Malgin — #95 Henrik Borgstrom — #72 Frank Vatrano
#73 Dryden Hunt — #15 Riley Sheahan — #22 Troy Brouwer
#3 Keith Yandle — #5 Aaron Ekblad
#13 Mark Pysyk — #2 Josh Brown
#52 MacKenzie Weegar — #25 Brady Keeper
#1 Roberto Luongo
(#33 Samuel Montembeault)