Johnny Boychuk, Derek Dorsett, Gregory Campbell

Get your game notes: Bruins at Rangers

1 Comment

Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the New York Rangers hosting the Boston Bruins starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— Since 2007-08, the Rangers and Bruins have met 23 times during the regular season. Eighteen of those games were decided by one goal (including two in overtime and five in a shootout). Six of those games ended with a 1-0 score. New York won 14 of the 23 meetings (14-7-2) while outscoring Boston 48-43. (Note: Including the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinal series, 21 of their last 28 meetings have been decided by one goal.)

— Over the weekend, the Rangers became only the second team in NHL history to split two games on consecutive days, both by a 1-0 score line (def. Montreal on Nov. 16, lost to Los Angeles on Nov. 17), The 1999-2000 Sabres (def. Ottawa on Jan. 28, 2000, lost to Boston on Jan. 29, 2000) were the first. Former Rangers goalie, Martin Biron, tended the goal for Buffalo in both games. (Elias Sports Bureau)

— Since allowing goals on five consecutive opposition power plays in late-October, the Bruins have killed off 32 consecutive penalties, their longest PK streak since Mar. 7-25, 1999 (also 32 straight). The longest PK streak of the 2013-14 season is 35 straight, by the Capitals, Oct. 12-Nov. 2.

— The Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist, who is expected to make his 28th consecutive start vs. Boston (dating back to Jan. 13, 2007), has the best regular-season home record vs. the Bruins among all active goaltenders with at least 10 appearances. (Elias Sports Bureau)

source:

— Patrice Bergeron is expected to suit up in his 600th NHL game, all with the Bruins. Only 15 other forwards have represented the historic franchise (90th season) in as many regular-season games.

— Loui Eriksson has an active six-game point streak (two goals, five assists). If he registers a point tonight, he will tie David Krejci for the longest point streak by a Bruins player this season.

— For no team does scoring the game’s first goal affect the eventual outcome more than the Rangers. They are 9-1-0 (.900) when scoring first, and 1-9-0 (.100) when allowing the first goal.

— Bruins defensemen have scored 25% of their team’s goals this season (14 of 56), putting the team up near the top of the league in blueline scoring. Torey Krug’s six goals equal or eclipse the combined goal output of 11 other teams’ defensive corps. The league leaders in goals from defensemen:

source:

Latest way the Wild lost? Killed by penalty kill

Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk sits on the ice after giving up a goal to St. Louis Blues' Jori Lehtera, of Finland, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
AP
2 Comments

It’s said that variety is the spice of life, yet it seems to be the spite of the Minnesota Wild.

As head coach Mike Yeo said, this struggling team appears to find a new way to lose virtually every night. That couldn’t have happened once again on Saturday, when they fell 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues, could it?

Actually …

If you ask Jarret Stoll, the latest problem was the penalty kill.

Honestly, Stoll may have been too specific, likely trying to throw his own unit under the bus. Instead, it might be more accurate to say that Minnesota’s special teams let them down.

Indeed, the Wild struggled to limit the Blues’ power play, which went an unsettling 3-for-6. That said, Minnesota had a chance to trade blows with St. Louis. Instead, the Wild managed one power-play goal on seven opportunities.

The silver lining is that the Wild believe that they showed more fight than this fragile bunch had been generating before.

On the other hand, with Jonas Brodin on IR and Jared Spurgeon apparently hurt, that silver lining may not be so easy to see.

Statement in Blackhawks’ blowout of Stars? Coach Q says they’re even

7 Comments

Worry (if you’re pulling for the Stars) or gloat (if you’re a Blackhawks fan) all you want, but the bottom line is that the Central Division’s No.1 spot is clearly in Chicago’s control after Saturday night.

The Blackhawks earned a decisive 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, giving them a five-point standings lead over Dallas for the Central Division lead.

You may feel like that’s more of the same, but consider this: things would look a lot closer if Dallas won or gained points, as they hold three games in hand on the ‘Hawks.

At least one Blackhawks player admits this game means a little more than your average W.

Indeed, while Antti Niemi was pulled from the game and Kari Lehtonen faced his own struggles in Dallas’ net, Corey Crawford ranked as one of the big reasons why the score was so lopsided.

(Artem Anisimov had a big say in that, too.)

As a wise coach with 1,000+ games of experience would do, Joel Quenneville didn’t go overboard in assessing the victory.

Was this a statement game? Who knows, but a certain statement is that the Blackhawks now have a five-point standings lead.

Brad Marchand wins it … on a penalty shot … in overtime

11 Comments

Looking at the standings, beating the Buffalo Sabres was pretty important for the Boston Bruins. The Atlantic Division’s run for spots appears particularly congested out East.

Of all the Bruins to get a chance to win it all, the team might have wanted Brad Marchand to have that opportunity. He’s on pace to destroy his previous career-highs for scoring, and Marchand’s been particularly hot lately.

Either way, Marchand came up big indeed, scoring the rare overtime game-winner on a penalty shot. Check out the drama below:

That can be a big extra point and ROW (regulation/overtime win) when the regular season is finished.

Note: Many believe that Marchand should not have received a penalty shot on the play.

Crosby kills the Cats: Penguins end Panthers’ winning streak

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collides with Florida Panthers' Connor Brickley (86) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP
3 Comments

For quite some time, it looked like the Florida Panthers would keep the Pittsburgh Penguins under wraps.

Florida nursed a 1-0 lead into a 2-0 margin almost halfway through the third period, looking to win its sixth consecutive game. That looked great … and then Sidney Crosby + Kris Letang happened.

Let’s put it this way: this GIF of Crosby being frustrated is amusing, yet it doesn’t exactly tell the story of Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win for the Penguins:

Instead, Crosby grabbed his 900th point assisting on a Letang goal, and finished the night with 902 by collecting the game-tying goal and grabbing a helper on Letang’s overtime game-winner.

Crosby crossing that barrier is indeed special, even if it prompts “What if?” questions about No. 87’s health.

The resurgence of Crosby and Letang already played a big role in the Penguins going from disjointed and frustrating to sneaky and scary, so it  shouldn’t be that surprising to see them play so well. Doing so in such brisk order is a little bewildering, however.