3/30 Bruins 1 – Panthers 4
Entering the last full week of the season for the Bruins and having won 12 straight games in TD Garden, the teams longest home win streak since 2009, they had a bad game. Plain and simple, they were not good. It’s not the end of the world that they played as bad as they did, I mean, they already secured a playoff spot and will most likely be locked in the 2 seed, but now would be the time for a team that wants to make a deep run in the playoffs to get hot.
In the first period, the Panthers would jump out to a 2-0 lead and head to the dressing room looking like they would keep their foot on the gas. However, the second period was all Bruins as they had chance after chance with Roberto Luongo saving everything. The Bruins finally broke through when Noel Acciari would score late in the period to get within a goal, but unfortunately this is where the Bruins lost momentum. With the Bruins on the power play with about five minutes to play in the period, they would give up a shorthanded goal which essentially shifted the game back to the Panthers. In the third period it was more of the same as Luongo was a brick wall not allowing another goal. The Panthers would eventually put one in the empty net to end the game 4-1.
3/31 Bruins 3 – Red Wings 6
In the second game of a back-to-back, the Bruins had to take the trip from Boston to Detroit where they blow a lead in the 3rd period and lose their second game in a row. While some Bruins fans may be panicking having lost two games in a row to bottom of the table teams, but it’s not all that bad. The Bruins are really just getting fully healthy after getting Marcus Johansson and Kevan Millar back, these guys need to get their conditioning back a bit. Sean Kuraly remains out for the Bruins which doesn’t seem like a big loss, but he is having probably the best season of his career and has made an impact on just about every game this season.
In the first period of this game, the Detroit Red Wings would jump out to a 2-0 lead with the Bruins looking tired as I’m sure they were. When it got to the second period the tides changed as the Bruins would build on a strong period with three goals to take the lead. Jake DeBrusk started it as he and David Krejci played some give-and-go leading DeBrusk on a breakaway where he would score. With about 10 minutes to play and the Red Wings on the power play, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron would go on a 2-on-1 shorthanded breakaway as they have done so many times, and Marchand scored his 26th career shorthanded goal setting a franchise record. With exactly a minute to play in the period the Bruins would get their only lead of the game as David Backes tipped a Kevan Millar shot in past Jimmy Howard.
In the third period the game shifted back to the Red Wings who would go on to score four unanswered goals including two goals within the first two minutes of the period to get the lead back. The Red Wings would add another goal later in the period before depositing the puck into the empty net as the Bruins pulled Halak for the extra attacker. The Bruins will look to bounce back in Columbus against a team fighting for a playoff spot, so they’ll need to be better than the first two games of this week.
4/2 Bruins 6 – Blue Jackets 2
After losing two straight games to teams that find themselves eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Bruins headed to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets who are still fighting for a Wild Card spot. While it seemed that they would come out strong, the Bruins absolutely shut them down and quieted the building early on. Jake DeBrusk led the way for the Bruins with two goals and an assist while Brad Marchand would pick up his 100th point on the season and Tuukka Rask earned his 27th win this year.
The scoring was started less than two minutes into the game when Jake DeBrusk would score his first on a crazy play you just don’t see very often. He managed to get a tip on the puck which popped it up over Sergei Bobrovsky onto the top of the net where it bounced and hit Bobrovsky in the back and went into the goal. It was one of the luckiest goals you will ever see in a hockey game. With about two and a half minutes to play in the first period, the Bruins would double their lead when Marcus Johansson would get his first goal as a Bruin. With just under five minutes to play, some more puck luck led to Brad Marchand scoring his 36th goal of the season after a few deflections led to an essentially empty net. 46 seconds later, Jake DeBrusk would score his second of the game when he played give and go with Karson Kuhlman.
In the third period the Bruins would make it 5-0 before a minute passed as David Pastrnak scored from the assist of Marchand who would earn his 100th point on the season with the helper. Brad Marchand became the first Bruin since Joe Thornton in the 2002-2003 season to reach 100 points on the season, and extending his career high in points. Columbus would score two straight goals to make the score a little more respectable for the moment, but they couldn’t get another shot past Tuukka. Karson Kuhlman would score his 2nd career NHL goal as he never gave up on a puck in front of the net and forced it into the goal giving the Bruins the 6-2 lead sealing the deal.
With the win in this game and the loss from Toronto the same night, the Bruins locked themselves in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division setting up a first round playoff series with Toronto. It should be a great series.
4/4 Bruins 3 - Wild 0
In the second to last game of the season the Bruins decided to rest some of the regular starters to give them some extra time off before the playoffs. In this one, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, and Chris Wagner all got the night off with many Providence Bruins making their way into the lineup. Zach Senyshyn, Trent Frederic, Danton Heinen, Connor Klifton, and Steven Kampfer all got to play and will likely be out there for their last game of the season on Saturday.
This was kind of a slow developing game for both teams as the game was scoreless in the first period. The Bruins were able to break through and score the game’s first goal when Joakim Nordstrom knocked home a rebound shot about halfway through the period.
It remained a 1-0 game heading into the third period until about three minutes to play where the Bruins would double their lead when David Pastrnak scored his 38th goal of the season.
The Bruins would seal the win with two minutes to play when Zach Senyshyn would score his first career NHL goal in his NHL debut when he buried the puck in the empty net. Jaroslav Halak earned the shutout for his 5th shutout on the season as he had another strong game. With the win in this game, the B’s now have 107 points on the season with one game remaining.
The Week Ahead
It won’t be so much of a week of hockey as it will be one game, the final game. The Bruins will be in Boston for their final regular season game of the season when the Tampa Bay Lightning will be in town at 1pm. Fear not, the Bruins will be back in action shortly after this game concludes as the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be underway where the Bruins will be taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second year in a row in the first round.
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