The Boston Bruins headed into New Year’s Eve with a 28-4-3 record with two opponents for the week, the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins. Boston still sits atop the Atlantic Division, ten points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs and holds the best record in the whole league.
On New Year’s Eve, the Bruins hosted the Sabres, a rather hot squad that had won five games in a row entering this game. Boston hopped out to a quick 1-0 lead with a goal from David Pastrnak, bringing his total to 25 on the season, which ties for fifth-most as of Jan. 3. The Sabres registered just 25 shots on goal against Jeremy Swayman, but made the most of their opportunities, netting a goal in each period (including overtime). Buffalo took the game 4-3 with a goal and beat the Bruins for the first time in the last seven meetings.
Following New Year’s Day, Boston took on the struggling Penguins in the Winter Classic, who had lost four straight games entering this matchup. Linus Ullmark returned to net, stopping 28 of 29 shots, with the lone goal coming in the second period. The Bruins flipped a switch in the third period — primarily Jake DeBrusk who netted back-to-back goals to secure the 2-1 victory in regulation.
Top Goal Scorer: David Pastrnak — 25 goals (Jake DeBrusk — second with 16 goals)
Top Point Getter: David Pastrnak — 50 points (Brad Marchand — second with 31 points)
Top Goalie: Linus Ullmark — 21-1-1 record, 1.86 goals average against (GAA), .939 save percentage
(All stats as of Jan. 3)
Bruins upcoming schedule for the week of January 5:
- Thursday, January 5 @ Los Angeles Kings
- Saturday, January 7 @ San Jose Sharks
- Sunday, January 8 @ Anaheim Ducks
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games
Injury Update: none
Thursday, January 5 @ Los Angeles Kings
- The Los Angeles Kings have a 21-13-6 record and sit second in the Pacific Division and third overall in the Western Conference with 48 points and a -6 goal differential.
- The Kings average 3.2 goals per game and 3.43 goals against per game so this could be a high-scoring affair depending on goaltending on both sides and how fast the Bruins can get going.
- These two teams met just a few weeks ago on Dec. 15, where the Kings came out on top with a 3-2 comeback win via shootout. The Bruins controlled the game but fell apart late in the third period.
- The Bruins have an eye-popping +57 goal differential and just 80 goals against compared to the Kings’ -6 goal differential and the league’s 5th-highest goals against total of 137.
- Jonathan Quick has started 22 games, allowing 3.40 GAA and posting a .884 save percentage so Boston should not have many issues scoring unless the Kings roll with Pheonix Copley, who has started just nine games but has an 8-1 record and is allowing 2.58 GAA.
Saturday, January 7 @ San Jose Sharks
- The San Jose Sharks have a 12-20-7 record and sit second-last in the Pacific Division with just 31 points and a -26 goal differential.
- The Sharks’ goaltending has been lackluster with both goaltenders allowing over 3.0 GAA while failing to reach a save percentage of at least .900. The combination of the Bruins’ league-leading goals for total and goal differential is enough to roll with all the studs in hopes of a dominant win with plenty of points to go around.
- Erik Karlsson has been a lone bright spot for the Sharks, leading the team in points (53) and powerplay points (14) while tying first in the entire league for assists (40). If the Bruins limit him enough from making plays, they will be able to control this game from start to finish.
- San Jose registers the 7th-lowest shots per game total (29.49) while the Bruins rank 4th-best (34.84).
- Boston normally excels on the penalty kill, leading the league at 85.1% but the Sharks rank third (84.1%) on the season. Despite their noticeable struggles, they have been stout when shorthanded and the Bruins won’t have it easy on the powerplay despite the strong 27% powerplay percentage.
Sunday, January 8 @ Anaheim Ducks
- The Anaheim Ducks have a 10-24-4 record and rank last in the Pacific Division with just 24 points and a -70 goal differential. They have the second-worst record in the league behind only the Chicago Blackhawks.
- Anaheim has struggled in all areas this season. They allow the most shots on goal per game (38.39) and the most goals against (156) but also are tied for dead last in powerplay percentage (15.3%) and third-worst penalty kill percentage (70.5%).
- John Gibson has started 25 games this season but posts just a 6-16-3 record, allowing 3.98 GAA. Not only does he lead all goaltenders in losses this season but also a league-leading 91 goals against.
- These two teams met very early in the season on Oct. 20 when the Bruins came out on top, 2-1 in a shootout. The Bruins have won four of their last six meetings against the Ducks.
- The Ducks are 3-6-1 and have a goal differential of -21 in their last ten games. This is a game where the Bruins’ studs will have plenty of chances to add to their point totals.
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