The Boston Bruins’ dominance has continued as we enter the final week of January, posting a 9-1 record and riding a five game winning streak. The Bruins went 2-0 last week after topping both the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks dominantly with the opportunity to make it 3-0 with a win over the Montreal Canadiens tonight. Boston still holds the best record in the league, 37-5-4, and are 12 points ahead of the next closest squad with 78.
Boston started its week on the road against the Rangers, winning 3-1. They were in control from the start once Pavel Zacha found the back of the net early in the first period. New York out-shot Boston, 32 to 27, but Jeremy Swayman did his job, stopping 31-of-32 shots, good for a .969 save percentage.
The Bruins traveled back home to take on the Sharks, whom they had just faced only two weeks ago and won the game easily, 4-0. Linus Ullmark posted his second shutout of the season, stopping all 17 shots while David Pastrnak continued his strong play this month, netting the fourth and final goal on the power play and bringing his January total to 11 goals.
There’s one more game this week and it’s in Montreal against the Canadiens. Boston will look to build off the 4-0 win and bring the same intensity into this matchup against a young and undisciplined squad.
Top Goal Scorer: David Pastrnak — 36 goals (Patrice Bergeron is second with 17 goals)
Top Point Getter: David Pastrnak — 65 points (Brad Marchand is second with 44 points)
Top Goaltender: Linus Ullmark — 25-2-1 record, 1.82 goals against on average (GAA), .938 save percentage
(All stats as of Jan. 24)
Bruins upcoming schedule for the week of January 26:
- Thursday, January 26 @ Tampa Bay Lightning
- Saturday, January 28 @ Florida Panthers
- Sunday, January 29 @ Carolina Hurricanes
- Wednesday, February 1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games
Injury Update: none
Thursday, January 26 @ Tampa Bay Lightning
- The Tampa Bay Lightning have a 29-15-1 record, are in third place in the Atlantic Division and are tied for fourth overall in the Eastern Conference with 59 points and a +28 goal differential.
- The Lightning average the fourth-highest goals per game (3.6) but also allow 3.0 goals against, so there should be plenty of points to go around but this game could easily come down to which team maximizes its opportunities efficiently.
- These two teams met twice in November with Boston walking away with the win in both games. The Bruins have won the last five meetings and are 9-1 this month compared to the Lightning’s 6-4 record and two-game losing streak.
- Tampa Bay is incredibly efficient on the power play, posting the second-best percentage in the league (27.1%). Nikita Kucherov unsurprisingly leads his team in points (66) which is good for third-most in the league but has also dominated on the power play with six goals and 28 points. Boston doesn’t face teams that are equally as good on the power play that often so this game will be well-contested from the moment the puck drops.
- Andrei Vasilevskiy has struggled at times this season but overall has been trustworthy in front of the net, posting the fifth-most wins in the league and a 20-12-1 record. He is allowing 2.55 GAA and posts a .916 save percentage on the season but this could be the area that Boston takes advantage of. Tampa Bay allows over 31.0 shots while Boston registers over 33.0 shots per game.
Saturday, January 28 @ Florida Panthers
- The Florida Panthers have a 23-21-5 record, are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division and are tied for ninth overall in the Eastern Conference with 51 points and a -4 goal differential.
- The Panthers register a ton of shots each game and are tied for second with the Hurricanes with an average of 35.3. They have plenty of talent to get the puck in the net and post the sixth-highest goals for total in the league (164). Boston’s defense and goaltending will need to show up to control the amount of offensive pressure Florida tries to create.
- Florida’s biggest weakness is its lackluster goaltending. Whether it’s Spencer Knight (9-7-3 record and 3.05 GAA) or Sergei Bobrovsky (12-13-2 record and 3.24 GAA) in net, the Bruins’ playmakers should have a field day. Overall, Florida has allowed the sixth-most goals against (168) and should struggle against such a high-powered attack like Boston’s.
- Florida struggles in another key area that Boston will certainly take advantage of and that’s committing penalties. Florida has the second-highest penalty minute total in the league (611) but also a bottom-10 penalty kill unit that is only successful 73.9% of the time. Combine the Bruins’ third-best power play unit (27.0%) and the Panthers’ undisciplined approach and it’s going to be a good night for Bruins players.
- These two teams have met three times already this season with the Bruins winning two of three. Boston averaged 6.0 goals in the wins but only scored two goals in its loss while Florida averaged 3.5 goals across all three meetings. Boston is 6-4 against Florida in its last 10 meetings so these two squads play each other tough and this should be well-contested all game.
Sunday, January 29 @ Carolina Hurricanes
- The Carolina Hurricanes have a 29-9-8 record, are in first place in the Metropolitan Division and are tied for second overall in the Eastern Conference with 66 points and a +27 goal differential.
- Despite first place in its division, Carolina has struggled in January, posting a 5-3-2 record thus far. The Bruins have been hot to start the new year with a 9-1 record but these two teams will be very evenly matched. Boston has won six of its 10 regular season meetings against Carolina and has won once this season already, 3-2.
- The Hurricanes goaltending is as good as it gets with Frederik Andersen returning to the lineup and posting a 4-0 record this month. He’s only started 12 games this season but has a 9-3 record and a .910 save percentage. If Carolina opts to rest him against Boston, they’ll still have Antti Raanta, who filled in nicely in Andersen’s absence with a 10-2-3 record and a .894 save percentage. Either way, it won’t be easy to get the puck in the net.
- While Carolina has no true superstar that propels himself ahead of the rest of the team, it has a strong trio consisting of Sebastian Aho (40 points), Martin Necas (41 points) and Andrei Svechnikov (37 points), who have all posted impressive campaigns thus far and can move the puck around the ice beautifully together.
- The Hurricanes’ 35.3 shots per game doesn’t always translate into goals, resulting in a bottom-10 power play unit (18.4). Considering how dominant Boston’s penalty kill has been (87.1%), Carolina won’t see many opportunities to get the puck in the net. In its meeting against Carolina in November, Boston still won 3-2 but goals allowed were on the power play, which is very unusual and very likely won’t happen again.
Wednesday, February 1 @ Toronto Maple Leafs
- The Toronto Maple Leafs have a 29-11-8 record, are in second place in the Atlantic Division and are tied for second overall in the Eastern Conference with 66 points and a +36 goal differential.
- These two teams have met twice this season and both have stolen wins from each other. Boston snapped the four-game losing streak against Toronto with a 4-3 win two weeks ago and is riding a hot start to 2023. The Maple Leafs are 6-5 this month and have struggled to keep up with their opponents as of late.
- Toronto has plenty of talented players but Mitchell Marner (17 goals, 39 assists) and William Nylander (26 goals and 30 assists) have stood out recently. Both of them have 14 points this month and have helped push the squad forward when others were struggling. Auston Matthews has netted seven goals this month, just four shy of Pastrnak’s total.
- The Maple Leafs have had no issue getting the puck in the net with the seventh-highest goal total in the league (163) but things have not been clicking as much as usual and they’ve lost games as a result. Over the last month in their losses, the Maple Leafs allow over 4.4 goals while averaging just under 3.0 goals per game. The matchups are always intense and competitive but Boston may catch Toronto in a lull and capitalize.
- Ilya Samsonov has been solid this season and will likely draw the start in net. He posts a 15-4-2 record, 2.21 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He’s faced over 31 shots in four of seven starts this month alone, which is unusual for Toronto considering it’s averaged 28.3 shots all season. If Boston jumps out to an early lead, this game could get out of control fast based on prior performances by the Maple Leafs this month.
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