Who said the Boston Bruins would regress? Boston has continued its strong start to the season with wins over the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks last week and will look to remain undefeated and complete the 4-game road trip with a win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
The Bruins had no issue handling the Sharks, winning 3-1, thanks to two first-period goals by Brad Marchand (1G) and James van Riemsdyk (1G). Boston out-shot San Jose, 36 to 27, respectively, while Linus Ullmark (.963 save percentage) stopped 26-of-27 shots on his way to his second win of the season.
Boston had back-to-back games over the weekend and it began with a 4-2 win over Los Angeles on Saturday. None other than David Pastrnak (1G, 2A) got the scoring going early in the first with his first power play goal of the season. Marchand netted back-to-back goals at the end of the second and start of the third period — both assisted by Pastrnak. The following day was no different as the Bruins beat the Ducks, 3-1. The game was tied 0-0 entering the third period but Matthew Poitras (2G) netted back-to-back goals following a Ducks’ goal and the Bruins never looked back. Boston was out-shot by both Los Angeles and Anaheim yet still won by two goals in each game.
On tap for the Bruins are the Ducks again on Thursday followed by the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers.
Top Goal Scorer: David Pastrnak — 6 goals (Brad Marchand is second with 4 goals)
Top Point Getter: David Pastrnak — 8 points (Brad Marchand is second with 7 points)
Top Goaltender: Linus Ullmark — 3-0-0 record, 1.00 goals against on average (GAA), .962 save percentage
Bruins upcoming schedule:
- Thursday, October 26 vs. Anaheim Ducks
- Saturday, October 28 vs. Detroit Red Wings
- Monday, October 30 vs. Florida Panthers
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games
Injury Update: Milan Lucic (ankle) and Derek Forbort (undisclosed) considered day-to-day
Thursday, October 26 vs. Anaheim Ducks
- The Anaheim Ducks have a 1-4-0 record, are in 7th place in the Pacific Division and are 15th overall in the Western Conference with two points and a -4 goal differential through five games.
- Anaheim has dropped its last three games but each game has been competitive till the end thanks to improved goaltending from John Gibson, who is allowing just 2.72 goals per game through the first five games after allowing a whopping 3.99 in 2022. As a team, Anaheim is allowing 30.0 shots per game, a much better average than their league-leading 39.1 average in 2022.
- While these areas have been cleaned up thus far, both the power play and penalty kill units are still struggling. They deploy the 4th-worst power play unit this season — a unit that has been successful just 6.7% of the time. Although their 21st rank penalty kill percentage (74.1%) looks much better than their 31st overall rank in 2022, it is just two percentage points better thus far (72.1%). The Bruins should be able to take advantage of the man advantage despite deploying the 15th-ranked power play unit thus far (16.7%).
- An offensive spark is needed for this team to find consistent success this season and it starts with Frank Vatrano, who leads the team in goals (4) and points (5). There are seven other Ducks’ skaters that have found the back of the net so far this season but an offensive attack that already ranked dead last in goals per game in 2022 (2.5) is already tied for the 5th-lowest goals per game (2.22) and fewest goals for (11) through five games.
Saturday, October 28 vs. Detroit Red Wings
- The Detroit Red Wings have a 5-1-0 record, are tied for first place in the Atlantic Division and are tied for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 10 points and a +15 goal differential through six games.
- The Red Wings have been red hot to start the new season, leading the league in goals (30), deploying the 2nd-best power play unit (39.1%) and allowing the 6th-lowest goals against average (2.5). Their offensive attack has been about as consistent as you can be and its primary leader has been offseason acquisition Alex DeBrincat (8G, 4A), who leads the team in goals and points. 14 different skaters have at least one goal and half of them have at least two goals. The top offensive team up against the top defensive team — it will be Boston’s first true test of the season.
- On top of already allowing just 2.5 goals per game, Detroit isn’t letting up a ton of shots either (29.3). Veteran defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (2G, 4A) and goaltender James Reimer (1.00 GAA) have proved to be solid offseason acquisitions, as well. Whether it’s Reimer or Ville Husso (3.04 GAA) in net, the Bruins will have a tough task finding the back of the net and keeping up with the Red Wings scoring.
- One key area is how well the Bruins’ penalty kill will be able to slow down the Red Wings’ power play unit. Detroit’s 2nd-ranked power play has already faced other top penalty kill units such as the Flames and Kraken, so having to face Boston’s 2nd-ranked penalty kill (95.5%) won’t make too much of a difference. The Bruins’ goaltending will make the difference in slowing down their high-powered attack.
Monday, October 30 vs. Florida Panthers
- The Florida Panthers have a 2-3-0 record, are tied for 8th place in the Atlantic Division and are tied for 15th overall in the Eastern Conference with four points and a -3 goal differential through five games.
- One would assume there’s going to be a huge revenge factor for the Bruins in this one considering the Panthers knocked them out in the first round of the playoffs last postseason. Florida’s coming off a loss to the Canucks and has played some sloppy hockey to start the season, mainly because of injuries to its defensive depth. As a team, the Panthers rank 31st in penalty kill percentage (65.2%) and 22nd in power play percentage (10.0%). On top of that, they have given the puck away in their defensive zone 60% of the time.
- It’s primarily been the Sam Reinhart show in Florida as he leads the team in both goals (6) and points (8) and is the only member of the team with a power play goal (2) thus far. There is no shortage of stars whether it’s Aleksander Barkov (1G, 5A), Matthew Tkachuk (4A) or even Evan Rodrigues (2G, 5A) but the consistent goals haven’t been there. They’ve allowed more goals (17) than they’ve scored (14) and the goaltending from Sergei Bobrovsky (3.06 GAA) hasn't been good enough.
- Florida’s dealing with injuries to its top defensive pairings, making this a great spot for a revenge game from Boston and an even better spot for the power play unit to get back on track and start netting goals consistently.
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