The Boston Bruins entered last week on a league-leading 10-game winning streak while averaging 4.4 goals per game but came back down to Earth again, dropping two games to the Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings. Boston finally reached double-digit losses after falling to the Red Wings in the second half of a back-to-back set but still holds the best record in the league, 50-10-5, with 105 points and a +103 goal differential.
Boston started its week off against Edmonton with a 3-2 loss at home. The Bruins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period and completely shut down Connor McDavid but it wasn't enough in the end as they let the Oilers score three unanswered goals. Jeremy Swayman had a rather poor night, stopping just 19-of-22 shots but David Pastrnak (1G, 1A) shined despite the overall team struggles.
The Bruins then had a back-to-back set against the Red Wings, winning 3-2 on Saturday but losing 5-3 a day later. It was promising to see Boston get back on track with a win after the loss but an action-packed second period led by three Red Wings goals proved to be too much in the end. Jake DeBrusk (1G) netted his 20th goal of the season and fourth in 11 games since returning from injury.
Boston still has Chicago on the radar for tonight, a squad that has lost three straight games and surrenders the third-most high-danger chances in the league (176). Having lost two of its last three games, Boston should come with some extra juice and dominate in this one.
Top Goal Scorer: David Pastrnak — 46 goals (Patrice Bergeron is second with 24 goals)
Top Point Getter: David Pastrnak — 88 points (Brad Marchand is second with 55 points)
Top Goaltender: Linus Ullmark — 33-4-1 record, 1.89 goals against on average (GAA), .938 save percentage
(All stats as of Mar. 14)
Bruins upcoming schedule for the week of March 16:
- Thursday, March 16 @ Winnipeg Jets
- Saturday, March 18 @ Minnesota Wild
- Sunday, March 19 @ Buffalo Sabres
- Tuesday, March 21 vs. Ottawa Senators
Bruins DraftKings Fantasy Preview for Upcoming Games
Injury Update: Taylor Hall (lower-body) and Nick Foligno (lower-body) remain on injured reserve while Hampus Lindholm (foot) is considered day-to-day.
Thursday, March 16 @ Winnipeg Jets
- The Winnipeg Jets have a 38-26-3 record, are in fourth place in the Central Division and are eighth overall in the Western Conference with 79 points and a +20 goal differential.
- These two teams last met at the end of December, with the Bruins walking away with a 3-2 win. Across its last ten games, Boston holds an 8-2 record compared to Winnipeg's poor 3-5-2 record. As for the last ten meetings between these two teams, the Bruins hold a 7-3 record over the Jets, scoring an average of 3.3 goals per game.
- The Jets may not have the flashiest players on their roster but Kyle Connor (27G, 46A) leads the team in points and power play goals while both Mark Scheifele (38 G, 22 A) and Pierre Luc-Dubois (24G, 31A) have provided ample support and production when sharing the ice. It is worth mentioning that Luc-Dubois is currently listed as out with a lower-body injury. Leading defenseman John Morrissey (15G, 52A), who posts the third-most assists by a defenseman, is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
- Although Morrissey has been impressive, the rest of the defense has been lackluster. As a squad, Winnipeg posts the eighth-highest giveaway total in the league (525) but when it is in its defensive zone, things get worse. The Jets turn the puck over in their defensive zone 74.67% of the time, the second-highest percentage in the league and most certainly an area the Bruins must take advantage of to find easy chances.
- Despite Boston’s power play unit slowly falling down the ranks over the past few weeks, it still ranks top-10. Even with its defensive struggles, Winnipeg posts a top-7 penalty kill unit that kills penalties 82.7% of the time, making this area one of the top storylines. Combine the Jets’ poor play in their defensive zone with Boston’s power play units filled with goal-scorers and there will be plenty of extra scoring chances.
Saturday, March 18 @ Minnesota Wild
- The Minnesota Wild have a 38-21-8 record, are in second place in the Central Division and are fourth overall in the Western Conference with 84 points and a +17 goal differential.
- These two teams last met in October, with the Bruins coming out with a 4-3 win. Boston has won eight of its last games versus Minnesota but it won’t be as easy this time around because the Wild have not lost in regulation in their last ten games. They’ve gone 7-0-3 across their last ten games and have scored ten more goals than they’ve allowed in that span.
- As a squad, Minnesota is tied for the third-fewest goals against per game (2.6). However, despite the stellar defensive stats, the Wild don’t generate a ton of goals, averaging just 2.8 goals per game, good for the fourth-lowest total in the league. Kirill Kaprizov (39G, 35A) has been a one-man show for much of the season, posting 12 more points than the next closest teammate.
- It’s hard to fathom how successful Minnesota has been despite scoring such a low amount of goals but it’s mainly thanks to trustworthy goaltending from two viable starters. Whether it’s Filip Gustavsson (17-8-5 record) or Marc-Andre Fleury (21-13-3 record), the Bruins won’t have it easy. Gustavsson has been much more impressive out of the two, posting a .931 save percentage and allowing just 2.01 goals per game but Fleury could give Boston fits as well.
Sunday, March 19 @ Buffalo Sabres
- The Buffalo Sabres have a 33-28-5 record, are in fifth place in the Atlantic Division and are tied for eleventh overall in the Eastern Conference with 71 points and a +3 goal differential.
- These two teams have faced three times already this season with the Bruins holding a 2-1 record in the season series. Over the last ten matchups, the Bruins have won eight games with the most recent matchup being a dominant 7-1 win. Buffalo is 4-5-1 across its last ten games but is in the middle of an intense playoff race.
- Boston has proved it can shut down opposing star players and it must do that with Buffalo forward Tage Thompson (42G, 45A), who has been lights out this season. It doesn't help the Bruins that Alex Tuch (30G, 34A) returned to the lineup after an extended absence, a player that wasn't there for the recent 7-1 onslaught. Buffalo lacks physicality, posting the lowest hit total in the league (866) but Tuch provides that from the forward position.
- The Sabres have had their success hindered all season by poor goaltending and defense. They’ve voluntarily rolled with three goalies this season with Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (15-10-3 record) logging the most starts (28) despite his poor .895 save percentage. Teams have taken advantage of Buffalo’s goaltending woes as they allow an average of 3.6 goals per game, the fourth-highest total in the league. They will absolutely provide a ton of offensive firepower but the Bruins should not have zero issues scoring against this squad.
- Buffalo deploys the fourth-best power play unit in the league (24.8%) led by Rasmus Dahlin (14G, 49A) and of course, Thompson. Dahlin has 28 power play points on the season and the main storyline of the night will be how well the Sabres can exploit the Bruins’ top penalty kill unit that kills penalties a whopping 85.6% of the time.
Tuesday, March 21 vs. Ottawa Senators
- The Ottawa Senators have a 33-29-4 record, are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division and are twelfth overall in the Eastern Conference with 70 points and a -5 goal differential.
- These two teams have faced three times already this season with the Senators holding the 2-1 record in the season series. In the most recent matchup, Boston came out on top with a 3-1 win but Ottawa has proved to be a tough opponent that matches up well on paper. Both teams are hot as of late with the Senators going 6-4 and the Bruins going 8-2 across their last ten games played.
- Much like the Sabres, the Senators are in the middle of an intense playoff race with plenty of young and talented playmakers. Tim Stutzle (32G, 39A) and Brady Tkachuk (26G, 40A) have led the way for Ottawa in the offensive department while Thomas Chabot (9G, 27A) has held it down on defense. It’s worth mentioning that the Senators traded for Jakob Chychrun (2G, 2A) prior to the deadline, a move that could prove crucial despite only appearing in just six games this season.
- The Senators find themselves in quite the predicament with less than 20 games remaining in the season with both of their goaltenders sidelined with injuries. Both Cam Talbot (15-14-1 record) and Anton Forsberg (11-11-2 record) haven’t impressed by any means but it’s forced Ottawa to resort to starting 22-year-old Mads Sogaard (5-2-1 record). Sogaard has impressed in limited action thanks to five wins in eight starts but still allows 3.07 goals per game and posts a .894 save percentage. Considering the Senators already rank seventh in high-danger chances allowed (146), the Bruins’ playmakers should have very few issues.
- Despite minor inconsistencies across the board including the fourth-most penalty minutes (781) and fourth-highest giveaway percentage (65.37%) in the league, Ottawa has been exceptional on the penalty kill, posting a top-5 penalty kill unit (83.0%) this season. They also post a top-8 power play unit (23.5%), totaling six players with at least 20 power play points on the season.
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