The Boston Bruins are officially back in business. Following a short stretch filled with losses, things have turned around and the Bruins have won seven straight games after topping the Seattle Kraken, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers last week. Boston further improved its record to 46-8-5 and is 11 points ahead of the next closest squad with 97 points. Across their last seven wins, they’ve scored an average of 4.1 goals.
The Bruins started its week against the only team to shut them out this season, the Kraken. Boston got its revenge, winning 6-5, thanks to a full team effort. Six different Bruins found the back of the net with Jake DeBrusk netting the game-winning goal late in the third period. Jeremy Swayman got the start in net, stopping 36-of-41 shots, good for a .878 save percentage.
Two days later, Boston traveled to Vancouver to take on the struggling Canucks. The Bruins won 3-1, thanks to elite goaltending from Linus Ullmark, who stopped 26-of-27 shots and finished with a .963 save percentage. Ullmark got bored of his dominance and decided to score himself, netting an empty-netter in the third period.
After winning back-to-back games, Boston was still tasked with slowing down Connor McDavid and the Oilers on Monday night. The Bruins walked away with the 3-2 victory despite McDavid’s two-goal performance. Boston’s infrequent scorers stepped up in this matchup with both Tomas Nosek and Nick Foligno netting first-period goals to get things rolling early.
One more game remains on the schedule for this week, a road tilt against the Calgary Flames. Boston will look to carry its strong momentum of seven straight wins and tons of scoring into the building on Tuesday.
Top Goal Scorer: David Pastrnak — 42 goals (Patrice Bergeron is second with 21 goals)
Top Point Getter: David Pastrnak — 80 points (Brad Marchand is second with 52 points)
Top Goaltender: Linus Ullmark — 30-4-1 record, 1.86 goals against on average (GAA), .938 save percentage
(All stats as of Feb. 28)
Bruins upcoming schedule for the week of March 2:
- Thursday, March 2 vs. Buffalo Sabres
- Saturday, March 4 vs. New York Rangers
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games
Injury Update: Taylor Hall (lower body) missed Monday’s game vs. the Oilers and will miss Tuesday’s game vs. the Flames. He’s currently listed as out.
Editor’s Note: The Bruins placed Taylor Hall (lower body) on long-term injured reserve and Nick Foligno on injured reserve Thursday afternoon.
Thursday, March 2 vs. Buffalo Sabres
- The Buffalo Sabres have a 31-23-4 record, are in fourth place in the Atlantic Division and are ninth overall in the Eastern Conference with 66 points and a +17 goal differential.
- These two teams last met on Dec. 31, with Buffalo walking away with a 4-3 win. Over the last ten meetings, Boston has dominated, however, posting an 8-2 record and averaging over 4.5 goals scored in wins during that stretch.
- The Sabres have won five of their last six games and are one of the hottest teams in the league as of late. Buffalo is tied for most goals scored per game (3.8) but also allows the league’s eighth-most goals against average (3.5). Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has logged the most starts and posts a 15-8-2 record but also allows 3.57 goals per game. The lack of consistent goaltending is made up for with Buffalo’s elite offensive attack led by Tage Thompson (40G, 39A), who is tied for the third-most goals.
- Buffalo is tied for the second-worst penalty kill unit in the league (72.8) and could be without lead defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, who is day-to-day currently. The Sabres’ defense is already leaky enough but without Dahlin, things could get out of hand quickly and Boston could pour in goals.
- While the Sabres struggle on the penalty kill, their deployment of pure goal scorers on the power play is strong, posting a top-6 power play percentage (25.0). The way these teams play when either shorthanded or on the man advantage will likely be the deciding factor when the final horn blows. Boston’s top penalty kill unit (86.5) certainly won’t make it easy.
Saturday, March 4 vs. New York Rangers
- The New York Rangers have a 34-17-9 record, are in third place in the Metropolitan Division and are sixth overall in the Eastern Conference with 77 points and a +33 goal differential.
- These two teams have met twice already this season, with Boston winning both times and increasing its record to 6-4 across the last ten games versus New York. The Rangers started February off very strong, winning seven straight games but have looked streaky since then, losing four of their last five games. Given Boston’s winning streak and overall unstoppable vibes lately, the odds seem to be in its favor.
- The Rangers have found plenty of success thanks to elite goaltending from Igor Shesterkin (26-10-7 record), who allows 2.65 goals per game and is tied for the third-most wins by a goaltender this season. As a squad, New York is disciplined, allowing just 29.1 shots per game and posting the sixth-lowest penalty minute total (469).
- New York impresses defensively on a nightly basis but its offensive attack cannot go overlooked. As a squad, the Rangers register just over 32.0 shots per game, which translates into an average of 3.2 goals per game. This strong and consistent attack is led by both Artemi Panarin (19G, 48A) and Mika Zibanejad (31G, 33A) and Boston will need to limit their skills to walk away with the win.
- Although the Rangers limit the penalties they take, it hasn’t fully translated into direct success, killing just 78.8% of their opponents’ power play opportunities. This ranks in the middle of the pack so it is by no means a distinct advantage for the Bruins but their top-8 power play unit (23.3) may steal a goal or two if the Rangers make a few mistakes when it matters. It will come down to maximizing opportunities if both squads end up playing relatively clean games.
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