Despite losing two of their last four games in overtime, the Boston Bruins remain the top squad in the entire league with a 13-1-3 record, 29 points and a +23 goal differential. The Bruins lead the league in both point percentage (.853) and fewest goals allowed (37). Boston started its week off with a 5-2 over the Montreal Canadiens after suffering its first overtime loss of the season to them just last week. The Bruins went on the road two days later to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning but lost, 5-4, in overtime.
After last week's loss, Boston took care of business this time around with an easy 5-2 win over Montreal thanks to two goals from Trent Frederic (2G). David Pastrnak (3A) logged six shots but was the playmaker for the night, finishing with three assists. Ten Bruins’ skaters recorded at least one point.
Two days later, the Bruins suffered their third overtime loss of the season to the Bolts, 5-4. The Bruins were out-shot 46 to 27, recorded 14 penalty minutes and allowed a game-tying goal with just 4.8 seconds remaining in the third period. It was just the fourth time that Boston has allowed more than two goals in a game this season. Jeremy Swayman (.891 save percentage) stopped a whopping 41-of-45 shots in just his second loss of the season.
Boston will look to get back on track when it heads on the road again on Wednesday to take on the Florida Panthers — a team it has beaten seven of the last 10 times in the regular season.
Top Goal Scorer: David Pastrnak — 12 goals (Brad Marchand is second with 7 goals)
Top Point Getter: David Pastrnak — 29 points (Brad Marchand is second with 19 points)
Top Goaltender: Jeremy Swayman — 7-0-2 record, 2.09 goals against per game, .933 save percentage
(All stats as of Tuesday, Nov. 21)
Bruins upcoming schedule:
- Friday, November 24 vs. Detroit Red Wings
- Saturday, November 25 at New York Rangers
- Monday, November 27 at Columbus Blue Jackets
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games
- Bruins D Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) returned to practice last week and is expected to return on Nov. 25 versus the Rangers.
- Bruins C Morgan Geekie (upper body) was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 9.
- Bruins LW Milan Lucic (ankle) has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team.
Friday, November 24 vs. Detroit Red Wings
- The Detroit Red Wings have an 8-6-3 record, are tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Division and are tied for sixth overall in the Eastern Conference with 19 points and a +4 goal differential.
- Boston has won six of the last 10 meetings versus Detroit but has dropped two of the last three by a total of three goals. The Nov. 4 meeting in Detroit remains Boston’s only regulation loss thus far.
- After starting the season strong, the Red Wings have cooled down quite a bit — dropping seven of their last 10 games. In that span, Detroit averaged 3.8 penalties per game, an area Boston will look to exploit. On the season, the Red Wings have totaled the 12th-most penalty minutes (189) and deployed the 16th-ranked penalty kill unit (78.8%), and will likely struggle to contain the Bruins’ 11th-ranked power play unit (22.8%).
- There’s no shortage of offensive firepower for Detroit, however, as it deploys 15 skaters with at least five points and seven with double-digit points already on the season. The Red Wings have scored the sixth-most goals (61) and have averaged the seventh-most goals per game (3.59) thanks to strong starts from both Alex DeBrincat (11G, 6A) and Dylan Larkin (5G, 12A), who continue to carry the team in the production department. Both Shayne Gostisbehere (4G, 8A) and Moritz Seider (1G, 10A) have provided ample support, as well, forever making the Red Wings a tough team to limit fully.
- Depending on who gets the start between the pipes, whether it’s Ville Husso (3.61 GAA) or James Reimer (2.30 GAA), the Bruins may have a tough time generating consistent chances but shouldn’t struggle to score as the Red Wings have allowed the ninth-most goals per game (3.35) and just 30 shots per game. Even with the Bruins struggling to out-shoot their opponents this season, a struggling Red Wings’ squad seems like the perfect team to find some consistency against.
Saturday, November 25 at New York Rangers
- The New York Rangers have a 12-3-1 record, are in first place in the Metropolitan Division and are tied for second overall in the Eastern Conference with 25 points and a +15 goal differential.
- Boston has won six of the last 10 meetings versus New York, averaging 3.0 goals per game while only allowing an average of 2.1 goals per game. The Rangers have been on fire lately, however, winning and averaging 3.6 goals per game in eight of their last 10 games.
- The Rangers are about as fundamentally sound as you can get as they’ve allowed the third-fewest goals per game (2.44) and seventh-fewest shots per game (28.3%). On top of that, they deploy a top-three power play unit (26.9%) and 15th-ranked penalty kill unit (85.7%) all while totaling the fifth-fewest penalty minutes (146). Oftentimes, the Rangers only lose games because they beat themselves up too much in one specific area. I’d be willing to bet their lack of consistent shot totals could cost them against a team like the Bruins.
- Boston will certainly have its hands full containing New York’s top six led by Artemi Panarin (10G, 16A) and others like Chris Kreider (10G, 5A) and Vincent Trocheck (5G, 10A). Both teams average at least 3.47 goals per game but also allow at most 2.44 goals per game — so which side gives in? New York’s goaltending led by Igor Shesterkin (2.60 GAA) or veteran Jonathan Quick (1.98 GAA) has stolen games just like Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have done for the Bruins and are stationed behind a strong defense. Both squads have each allowed 32 high-danger chances on the season. It’s an elite matchup on paper that will come down to which goaltender steals the game.
Monday, November 27 at Columbus Blue Jackets
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have a 4-11-4 record, are in last place in the Metropolitan Division and are last overall in the Eastern Conference with 12 points and a -19 goal differential.
- Having to face Detroit and New York only to be followed by Columbus will be a nice change of pace for Boston. Columbus is the polar opposite of those teams as it has lost nine straight games, allowing over 3.9 goals and averaging just 2.8 goals across the last 10 games. The Bruins have won eight of the last 10 meetings against the Blue Jackets, with their last loss coming in 2020.
- It’s never a good sign when two defensemen rank top three in points so far this season. Both Ivan Provorov (1G, 11A) and Zach Werenski (1G, 10A) have provided ample playmaking support while Columbus’ top six led by Boone Jenner (8G, 3A) have struggled for the vast majority of the season. Only six skaters have scored at least four goals and only the three players listed above have eclipsed double-digit points. As a squad, the Blue Jackets have generated the sixth-fewest goals per game (2.68) and the seventh-lowest expected goal percentage (47.7%). On top of that, their power play has been abysmal, finding success just 9.8% of the time this season — good for the third-worst in the league.
- As you can guess, the struggles have bled into the goaltending as both Elvis Merzlikins (3.31 GAA) and Spencer Martin (3.37) have not been great by any means. Merzlikins will likely draw the start but he has just a 3-6-3 record and has yet to record a shutout this season. Columbus isn’t making it any easier for him, though, as it has allowed the fifth-most shots (32.7) and 11th-most high-danger chances per game (39). As a result, the Blue Jackets have allowed 3.63 goals per game, tied for the fifth-highest average.
- One area that Columbus excels in is the penalty kill. Its unit ranks fourth in the league in penalty kill percentage (87.3%), suggesting Boston may not have as many easy chances when on the man advantage as expected. Nonetheless, Boston’s 11th-ranked power play unit has steadily improved as the season has progressed.
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