Happy not-tax-day. The Bruins are at home, hosting the New York Islanders, one game after debuting their latest 3 player acquisitions.
Last time in Bruins Hockey…
The Bruins were hosting the Sabres, at the TD Garden. This seemed like relatively easy pickings, right? The opponent was the league’s worst team, after that team gave up a couple of good players.
So obviously, the Sabres scored first.
Bruins alumnus Colin “Chiller” Miller was the player whose shot got through to net.
However, the Bruins still were the stronger team, and David Krejci would tie up the game before the end of the period. Earlyish in the 2nd period, the Krejci-Hall-Smith line would strike again, with Taylor Hall dishing to Craig Smith for a go-ahead goal. (Hall would not get to keep the point for the assist when it was decided that a Sabres stick got a piece of the pass.)
Great, Bruins win, right?
Not so fast.
They would get hemmed in to the defensive zone in the 3rd, and Rasmus Dahlin would tie the game back up.
Overtime – that should fix it, right?
But fortunately, Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk would score in the shootout while the Sabres would not. But only 1 goal would be awarded to the final score – cuz the shootout rules are weird. Bruins win, 3-2.
The Bruins are now at 22-12-6 which still has them at 4th in the MassMutual East division by victory points, 10 points behind the Caps and 8 behind the Isles.
They are also 4th in the division with a points percentage of .625.
What will be the lines today?
Well we’ve got some new players, so coach Bruce Cassidy has some new lines.
The Injury Report: Ondrej Kaše is skating, Tuukka is back, but Halak is still on COVID quarantine. Brandon Carlo is out, week-to-week, with a different upper-body injury. Matt Grzelcyk is still out with an upper body injury. Kevan Miller seems to have a new problem unrelated to his knee. He’ll be out.
The new guys all played on Tuesday.
Left wing Taylor Hall is likely to play on David Krejci’s left, wearing number 71. Defenseman Mike Reilly was practicing paired with Steven Kampfer. He has chosen the unheralded Bruins jersey number 6.
Jarred Tinordi is out, with Jakub Zboril in his place. Jack Ahcan has been practicing with the big club, but I wouldn’t expect him tonight, had Miller not called out. Still expecting the Zboril Kampfer pairing that I love so much, because they never get in over their heads, trapped in their own defensive zone and start making mistakes.
Trent Frederic is back on the taxi squad.
Tuukka Rask should be in net tonight, on his first night back in a couple of weeks. He is seeking his 300th win, but the Isles are a tough opponent. Jaroslav Halak remains out. Jeremy Swayman is backing up Tuukka. Dan Vladař is back in Providence.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#40 Tuukka Rask||(#1 Jeremy Swayman)|
Tonight’s opponent are the New York Islanders. This will be the 6th meeting between these teams this season, 4 of which were at Nassau, and 3 of those were Bruins regulation losses, the 4th a shoot-out loss, and the 5th was an overtime home loss. The Isles are in the the top of the division at 27-11-4 with a points percentage of .690.
The Isles are missing an injured Anders Lee (out for the season), yet have still stayed perched atop the division. Winger Ross Johnston is also out with an undisclosed injury. They are 5-1-0 in their last six games.
At the trade deadline, they acquired Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac and Brayden Coburn, without losing NHL-level player assets. They seem particularly well suited to beat the Bruins. Isn’t that great.
(h/t Daily Faceoff):
#14 Travis Zajac — #13 Mathew Barzal — #7 Jordan Eberle
#18 Anthony Beauvillier — #29 Brock Nelson — #12 Josh Bailey
#21 Kyle Palmieri — #44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau — #26 Oliver Wahlstrom
#15 Cal Clutterbuck — #53 Casey Cizikas — #17 Matt Martin
#3 Adam Pelech — #6 Ryan Pulock
#2 Nick Leddy — #24 Scott Mayfield
#8 Noah Dobson — #4 Andy Greene
#40 Semyon Varlamov
(#30 Ilya Sorokin)
Bruins vs. Capitals
Referees: #17 Frederick L’Ecuyer — #22 Ghislain Hebert
Linesmen: #97 Kory Nagy — #83 Matt MacPherson
(as usual, h/t Scouting the Refs)