The Bruins are back home, facing the New York Rangers for the first night of a 2 game stand to wrap up the series against them this season. It will be broadcast on NESN and MSG, Sportsnet 360, and NBCSN. On the radio on 98.5 the Sports Hub, and the Tri-states’ WEPN, and streaming on NHL.tv.
Last time in Bruins Hockey…
The Bruins were playing the Devils, in hell (Newark), for the 8th and final time this season.
The Bruins played less than their best, and the Devils brought the will to win. Jaro Halak was rusty in net. The Bruins could not maintain a lead, and went to OT, tied 3-3. The Bruins looked tired n OT, and allowed the Devils to win 4-3.
The Bruins are now at 31-14-7 which has them at 3rd in the MassMutual East division, 4 points behind the Penguins and the Caps, 1 ahead of the Isles. They have clinched a playoff spot, and have even odds of moving up in the standings since they have a game in hand vs the Caps & Isles, and 2 vs the Penguins. This really will only determine which of 3 possible matchups they will face in the first round of the playoffs. Their most likely first round opponent appears to be the Penguins.
What will be the lines today?
Well there is still a little movement with the forward lines.
The Injury Report: Ondrej Kaše is skating, Brandon Carlo is back. Mike Reilly is back. Charlie Coyle left the game early after getting hit by a puck on Tuesday and will not play today.
If Kevan Miller got another maintenance day, Connor Clifton would likely be in, but Miller was skating pregame so I assume he is in.
With Charlie Coyle out, Jake DeBrusk will play on the right wing with Sean Kuraly at center. Nick Ritchie will play on the left wing of the 3rd line. Trent Frederic will play on the left side, and Karson Kuhlman will come back – Wags gets another day off.
Tuukka Rask is off, Jeremy Swayman will be in net tonight, with Jaroslav Halak as his backup.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#1 Jeremy Swayman||(#41 Jaroslav Halak)|
Tonight the Bruins will face the New York Rangers. This will be the seventh time this season the two teams have faced off, with the Bruins struggling against them, beating them thrice, and then getting curb-stomped once.
They have quite a few significant injuries right now – Artemi Panarin is out for the season after Capitals jackass Tom Wilson choke-slammed him into the ice, injuring his ankle. (Helmets are good. Wear your fucking helmet.) Brendan Lemieux was shipped out during the trade deadline. Chris Kreider, Julien Gauthier, Jacob Trouba & Brett Howden are banged up. Pavel Buchnevich is suspended for one game after croschecking Anthony Maantha in the face.
The Rangers are generally in less than ideal shape, having played last night, and gotten in some ugly fights.
The Rangers had been chasing the Bruins & Islanders for the 4th playoff spot in the division, with Mika Zibanejad racking up the goals. However, the Bruins took care of business, and the Islanders did enough so they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs. Do we get a demoralized team, tired & missing players, or do we get a team that is hungry & angry after their humiliation against the Capitals? We shall see.
Rangers lines (h/t Vince Mercogliano
#79 K’Andre Miller — #23 Adam Fox
#22 Anthony Bitetto — #42 Brendan Smith
#25 Libor Hajek — #6 Zac Jones
#31 Igor Shesterkin
(#40 Alexandar Georgiev)
Referees: #2 Jon Mclsaac — #16 Brian Pochmara
Linesmen: #83 Matt MacPherson — #86 Jesse Marquis
(as usual, h/t Scouting the Refs)