Video: Beleskey takes a stick to the face, later returns for Bruins

1 Comment

Boston Bruins forward Matt Beleskey took a stick to the face late in the first period, dropping suddenly to the ice and needing help from teammates to get to the bench.

The incident happened right near the penalty boxes, as Beleskey got clipped by the stick of Simon Despres as the Anaheim Ducks defenseman followed through while trying to play the puck.

Good news for the Bruins: Beleskey returned to the game in the second period.

Video: Sharks hold on to defeat Bruins, Brent Burns sets new franchise record

2 Comments

Brent Burns — and that beard of his — has set a new San Jose Sharks franchise record. And in doing so, he helped his team defeat the Boston Bruins by a final score of 3-2 on Tuesday.

Burns scored the tying goal in the second period and assisted on the eventual winner from Joonas Donskoi in the third, giving the affable Sharks’ defenseman 64 points on the season.

He’s still nine points back of Senators’ blue liner Erik Karlsson, who leads all NHL defensemen with 73 points after a three-point performance and OT winner on Tuesday, as he takes another run at the Norris Trophy.

The loss, combined with a Florida Panthers win over the Montreal Canadiens, puts the Bruins second in the Atlantic Division. Boston nearly tied the game right at the buzzer but Torey Krug was denied by James Reimer on a last-second opportunity off the rush.

The Sharks might have a tougher time trying to win the Pacific Division, especially after the L.A. Kings thoroughly beat Chicago and Dallas on back-to-back nights on the road, sending a statement to the rest of the league, and the Anaheim Ducks have won seven of their last 10 games.

San Jose stays five points back of L.A. for that division.

WATCH LIVE: Bruins at Sharks

497593152
Getty Images

The Boston Bruins look to maintain the top spot in the Atlantic Division, while the San Jose Sharks try to keep pace with Anaheim and L.A. for top spot in the Pacific Division on Tuesday at the SAP Center. You can catch the game on NBCSN (10 p.m. ET), or online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some links to check out for this game:

Corsi aside, the Bruins head to California on a roll

NHL on NBCSN Doubleheader: Red Wings at Flyers; Bruins at Sharks

Corsi aside, the Bruins head to California on a roll

Boston Bruins' Tuukka Rask, right, and David Pastrnak celebrate after the Bruins defeated the New York Islanders 3-1 in an NHL hockey game in Boston, Saturday, March 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
AP
4 Comments

If Corsi were everything, the Toronto Maple Leafs wouldn’t be dead last in the standings and the Carolina Hurricanes would be Stanley Cup contenders.

Common sense tells us there’s more to the game of hockey than possessing the puck.

That being said, there’s an undeniably strong relation between teams with high puck-possession stats and teams that win more than they lose.

Which is also common sense, since it’s hard to score if you don’t have the puck first. 

So, what to make of the Boston Bruins? The B’s are 18-7-3 in their last 28 games, and they’ve taken over first place in the Atlantic Division. Yet, according to Puck On Net, their score-adjusted Corsi ranks in the bottom third of the league over that stretch.

It may explain why captain Zdeno Chara is happy with the results, but process-wise, he understands his team has room to improve.

“You want to keep getting points,” Chara told CSN New England. “You want to keep climbing up, but I think the main thing was that the focus was not, and still is not, necessarily how many points we’re going to have at the end of the night but what the performance is going to be like. [The focus] is how we’re going to be improving our game and really focusing on our effort and plays away from the puck, you know, along the boards, you know, winning the battles, races and so on. That’s been the main focus for us.”

Not surprisingly, goaltending has been a big key for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask, after a forgettable October and November, has seen his save percentage climb all the way to .919. In the last month and a bit, he’s won games where he’s faced shot totals of 38, 36, 42, 40, and 51.

Now, granted, an early Bruins lead was a factor in a lot of those games. Last Monday in Florida, they were up 4-1 on the Panthers before the contest was 20 minutes old. Naturally, they hung back in the second and third periods, eventually winning, 5-4, in overtime. That was the game Rask faced 51 shots.

Still, there’s a reason people are curious to see how the Bruins will fare in California. They’re at San Jose tonight, Anaheim Friday, and Los Angeles Saturday. In the aforementioned last 28 games, the Sharks, Ducks and Kings are all in the top five in score-adjusted Corsi. They’ve been winning a lot of games, too. 

“Obviously, I’m sure someone’s going to bring it up, but our record against those teams is not the greatest. They’re always tough buildings to play in, and tough games to play against,” said Rask, per CSN New England“We really have to bring our ‘A game’ in order to get some points out of the trip. It’s one of the most important times of the year and probably one of the biggest trips of the year. So we look forward to the challenge.”

Bruins since Jan. 15 (stats per war-on-ice.com)

Record: 18-7-3
5-on-5 shooting percentage: 8.9 (tied for fourth in NHL)
5-on-5 save percentage: .933 (fifth)
PDO: 102.2 (second)

Related: Rask upping his play along with Bruins teammates

NHL on NBCSN Doubleheader: Red Wings at Flyers; Bruins at Sharks

Flyers Red Wings Hockey
Associated Press
4 Comments

The 2015-16 season is winding down and the playoff picture is becoming increasingly clear, but the Wild Card spots in the East are far from decided.

The Philadelphia Flyers will have an opportunity to close the gap between themselves and the final playoff spot when they take on the Detroit Red Wings at 7:30 pm ET. You can watch the game on NBCSN by clicking here.

The Flyers enter tonight’s game trailing the Red Wings by three points. Philadelphia has two games in hand. Winning tonight’s game would improve their playoff chances significantly. A month ago, their chances of making the postseason looked slim, but their recent run has put them back in striking distance.

“The way we’re playing, [Detroit has] got to be more worried about not making the playoffs than us because … everybody knows how good we’re playing right now and everybody watches the games,” said injured forward Jakub Voracek, per CSN Philly.

The Red Wings are coming off a 1-0 loss (in regulation) to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night. Detroit had their oppotunities, but they were unable to beat Jonathan Bernier. A win would have given them a five-point lead over Philadelphia and more importantly, they would’ve controlled their own destiny.

After the shutout loss to Toronto, the Wings decided it was time to give top prospect Anthony Mantha an opportunity to prove himself. The former 50-goal scorer in the QMJHL is expected to suit up in tonight’s crucial game.

After that game, NBCSN will have coverage of the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks starting at 10:00 pm ET. If you want to watch that game online, you can do so here.

 Neither one of these teams is in danger of missing the playoffs right now, but they both are battling for top spot in their respective divisions.

The Bruins are currently in top spot in the Atlantic Division by a slim one point margin. Boston has been terrific on the road this season (23-7-3), but their recent trips through California have been a bit of a disaster.

“Obviously, I’m sure someone’s going to bring it up, but our record against those teams is not the greatest. They’re always tough buildings to play in, and tough games to play against,” said goaltender Tuukka Rask, per CSN Boston. “We really have to bring our ‘A game’ in order to get some points out of the trip. It’s one of the most important times of the year and probably one of the biggest trips of the year. So we look forward to the challenge.”

The Sharks are five points behind the Kings in the chase for the Pacific Division crown. San Jose is also three points behind Anaheim for second spot in the division. Passing either one of those teams would give them home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

Like the Bruins, the Sharks are also playing some good hockey. They’re coming off an impressive win over the Washington Capitals. The Sharks have suffered just one regulation loss in the month of March.

“We’ve been doing a lot of stuff on video, it’s nice to be able to get out and practically work through some situations,” head coach Peter DeBoer said after Monday’s practice, per CSN Bay Area. “We had great jump today. A win always makes you feel better, especially against a good team. We’re in a good place right now.”