Life has been frustrating for the Boston Bruins lately, and the first period of Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres held true to that pattern.
For one thing, the Sabres generated a 2-0 lead and 16-9 shot advantage against the Bruins.
That’s a smaller concern than the health of forward David Backes, however. It’s too early to tell if he suffered an injury via this hard hit by William Carrier. Video of the hit is avaliable above, but you can also watch the check from a couple angles in GIF form:
In eight games of action so far this season, he had averaged a career-high 20:14 minutes per game, even better than 2015-16’s career-high of just under 19 (18:49). So the Kings are getting a valuable piece back.
Los Angeles already is at its best when it is hogging the puck and winning by suffocating the opposition, and it seems like that will be even more of an emphasis with McNabb returning and Tyler Toffoli out for some time. Kyle Clifford‘s also a little banged-up, so the Kings are likely to try to keep things close to the vest, even by their standards.
It’s reasonable to expect McNabb to be in the lineup against the Edmonton Oilers tonight.
Burns, Pavelski sink Ducks with sweet overtime-winner
The San Jose Sharks are starting to fatten their Pacific Division lead thanks in large part to their big guns making the ultimate difference.
The Sharks got that extra point against the Edmonton Oilers in overtime on Friday, and they did the same against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. Things are going pretty swimmingly for the Sharks thanks to little breaks like these:
1. Sharks – 45 points in 35 games
2. Oilers – 42 points in 36 GP
3. Ducks – 41 points in 36 GP
4. Flames – 40 points in 37 GP
5. Kings – 38 points in 34 GP
In the case of Tuesday’s overtime win against the Ducks, it came down to this sweet play set up by Joe Pavelski and finished up by Brent Burns:
Burns assisted on the overtime-winner against the Oilers, too, so he’s been especially “clutch” as of late. You can understand why the Sharks are even getting a little weird about it on Twitter:
Burns may not be first star on the scoresheet, but he is in our hearts.