The Bruins are on the road, visiting the New York Islanders at the Coliseum.
The Bruins are now at 40-13-12, putting them 1st in the Atlantic, and 1st in the league, 7 points ahead of the Tampa. And also 6 points ahead of the Blues. They are now the 2nd team in the league (along with Tampa) to reach 40 regulation wins.
Last time in Bruins Hockey..
The Bruins were in Boston, defending their home ice from their hated rival, the Dallas Stars…
Wait, the Stars are not a team that the Bruins care about and are largely irrelevant to their fortunes? Well, you might not have known that on Thursday.
Corey Perry pulled a few inappropriate dick moves – a high late hit, snowing the goalie, but nothing that really invoked retaliation or a penalty.
It was noted tough guy David Krejci who really started the fireworks by escalating an in-game spat with Joe Pavelski into actual fisticuffs.
This resulted in an increase in the chippiness of the game.
Later in the period, Ben Bishop gave Krejci a little shove, resulting in Mattias Janmark menacing Krecji – and the Mayor of Waltham was having none of it, engaging Janmark and dragging him to the ice. Wags got the two minutes, and some sort of injury that caused him to leave the game.
On the scoring front, each team got a power play goal in the first period
This Coyle goal was fairly photogenic:
What a fun goal by Charlie Coyle pic.twitter.com/OkbUWJZk5J
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) February 28, 2020
The Bruins would score 2 in the 2nd, clearly inspired by Krejci’s antics.
The Stars would score one in the 3rd, followed by another Pasta goal.
The Stars would get closer by a puck bouncing in off Chara’s skate, but the Bruins hung on for the win.
What will be the lines today?
Bruce was kicking around some new lines on Thursday
Anton Blidh is still with the team.
Brett Ritchie & Steven Kampfer are still in Providence.
Ondřej Kaše and Nick Ritchie appear to be integrated into the lineup.
Chris Wagner, is day to day with an upper body injury after a tussle with Mattias Janmark. He did not practice on Friday and did not travel to Nassau. Coach Bruce Cassidy is hoping he can join them in Florida.
Injured defensemen Kevan Miller (fractured kneecap) “has no timeline” for his season debut, but has been skating on his own. Connor Clifton is on the roster but still on IR.
Nick Ritchie and Ondřej Kaše were on a Ritchie-Krejci-Kaše line vs Dallas, presumably they will be on that line today. Will they ever be put on a line with Chris Wagner that would be the Duck Tales line? Will Kaše-Krejci-Pastrnak be a Czeching line? Enquiring minds want to know!
Kuhlman is in for Bjork.
Tuukka Rask will be in net today.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Today’s opponent are the New York Islanders. This is the third of three meetings between the two teams this season with the Isles winning the first in a shootout and the Bruins taking the second in a rare OT victory. The Isles have been fairly strong in the standings all season, currently in 4th place in the Metro division with a record of 35-20-8 (78 points), placing them in what would be the 1st wildcard position.
They are 2-2-2 in their last six games, having lost some of their early season OT magic. They have been excellent at keeping the puck out of their own net, running at 2.68 goals allowed per game (tied for 5th in the league in lowest GAA). Their goaltending has been decent, with Varlamov saving at .918 and Greiss at .916.
They’re still having a hard time to get pucks on net – at 29.4 shots/game, they are near the bottom of the league, resulting in a sub-par rate of scoring. Their special teams have not been special.
The Islanders were relatively quiet at the trade deadline, acquiring JG Pageau for picks (he has since been signed for 1000 years) and acquired Jordan Schmaltz, trading Matt Lorito to Toronto.
On the injury front, Casey Cizikas has been placed on IR with a lower body injury and is expected to miss the next week or two. Cal Clutterbuck has returned to practice after wrist surgery but is still out. Defenseman Adam Pelech tore his Achilles and is out for the season. D-man Andy Greene is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. On a related note, NYI really has to stop giving out the number 4, especially to a string of 2nd-rate defensemen.
(h/t Daily Faceoff):
#27 Anders Lee — #13 Mathew Barzal — #7 Jordan Eberle
#18 Anthony Beauvillier — #29 Brock Nelson — #10 Derick Brassard
#28 Michael Dal Colle — #44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau — #12 Josh Bailey
#17 Matt Martin — #21 Otto Koivula — #47 Leo Komarov
#2 Nick Leddy — #6 Ryan Pulock
#25 Devon Toews — #24 Scott Mayfield
#8 Noah Dobson — #55 Johnny Boychuk
#40 Semyon Varlamov
(#1 Thomas Greiss)