Get your game notes: Sabres at Bruins

2 Comments

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

TOP STORYLINES

• Last game (Sunday): WSH def. BOS 2-0 – BOS shut out for just the 4th time this season, second time vs. WSH.

• Both season-high 5-game winning streak and 11 straight games scoring first streak snapped.

• Despite the loss, the Bruins have been playing better hockey since Feb. 22. They are 8-2-1 in their last 11 games, and have closed the gap between themselves and teams just ahead.

• Bruins need this game: Of the Bruins 13 remaining games, 6 are against teams currently in playoff position. Another 4 are against teams in the playoff hunt, including Thursday’s matchup at OTT.

• Sabres slumping continues: Last game (Monday): WSH def. BUF 4-3 SO.

• Surrendered two 1-goal leads; allowed 2 PP goals.

• BUF has lost 7 straight games (0-5-2 record), while scoring 9 goals in their 6 games this month.

• If BUF finishes last overall, they will have a 20.0% chance of landing the first pick in the NHL draft.

• Scoring woes continue: Last season, BUF set an NHL record for the fewest goals in the expansion era of hockey dating to back to 1967 (150 goals; 1.83 g/gm). This season, Buffalo’s scoring is occurring at an even worse rate: 1.81 goals/gm (last in NHL).

SABRES TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Lone All-Star and number-one center Zemgus Girgensons was placed on IR on February 26 after blocking a shot by CBJ defenseman James Wisniewski (since traded to ANA) off his right foot two days prior. Whether or not he will return this season is still to be determined.

• Girgensons’ injury, combined with the trade of veteran center Torrey Mitchell (to MTL), have left Buffalo without much depth (or production) amongst its 4 centers, though both Larsson (5 points in last 4 games) and Hodgson scored last night. With a PP goal Monday vs. WSH, Tyler Ennis now has 5 points (3G-2A) in his last 6 games since returning from a groin injury. He leads the team in goals (18), power-play goals (6), and points (38).

• Since Feb. 19, Matt Moulson has been the team’s most consistent scorer. He logged an assist vs. WSH, giving him 11 points (2G-9A) in the last 12 games.

• Chad Johnson (lower-body) was injured before he could make an appearance with the Sabres after being acquired at the trade deadline from NYI.

• This has made Anders Lindback the everyday goalie – he has started 5 of the 6 games in March, posting an 0-3-2 record, 2.70 GAA, and a .924 SV% in the month.

• Lindback has not won a game in which he has started this season (b/w DAL and BUF). In those 12 starts, he has a record of 0-10-2.

• His two wins this season both came in relief appearances with the Stars.

• In his last 2 starts combined, Lindback has stopped 66 of 70 shots faced (vs. NYR & vs. WSH).

• Should Matt Hackett be named the starter of this 2nd game of a back-to-back, he would be making just his 3rd start of the season.

• He was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 23 shots at WSH on March 7.

• This season: 0-2-0 record, 5.19 GAA, and a .867 SV%.

• In his only career start vs. BOS last season, he allowed 3 goals on 23 shots in the 4-1 loss.

BRUINS TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• David Krejci took part in the team’s morning skate today. This is the first time he has skated with the team since suffering a partially torn MCL at STL on Feb. 20. Krejci is in the 4th week of a 4-6 week timetable that was originally given.

• Boston’s recent winning ways can be attributed to the team’s newfound production out of young forwards Ryan Spooner (3rd-year) and David Pastrnak (rookie).

• After being recalled on Feb. 21, Spooner has 9 points (3G-6A) in the last 11 games.

• Pastrnak now has 8 points (3G-5A) in the last 9 games. See chart below that shows his scoring outburst.

• 2014 1st-round pick (25th overall) and the youngest player in the NHL (May, 25, 1996 – 18 years old).

• Team-leading scorer Patrice Bergeron has also picked up the scoring load for BOS during this surge, logging 9 points (3G-6A), +4 rating in the last 11 games.

• Career vs. BUF: 32 points (9G, 23A) in 54 games.

• 3rd- year defenseman Dougie Hamilton is enjoying a career-year for BOS. For the second consecutive season, he has topped his previous amount of goals, assists, and points.

• Leads all BOS defensemen in points this season (40).

• Career vs. BUF: 9 points (5G-4A) in 11 games.

• Tuukka Rask’s strong goaltending of late has helped the Bruins stay in playoff position. In his last 9 starts, he has gone 6-2-1, with a 1.64 GAA, and a .949 SV%.

• Niklas Svedberg is expected to get the start in net vs. BUF.

• This season: 7-5-0 record, 2.43 GAA, and a .918 SV%.

• He’s won his last 2 starts (2.44 GAA, .929 SV%) at NJ (Feb. 27) and vs. DET (March 8).

Goalie nods: With Halak hurt, Neuvirth looks to snap Isles’ skid

5 Comments

All the latest from the blue paint…

Neuvirth faces ‘Hawks

The New York Islanders are looking to avoid their longest losing streak of the season tonight, but will have to do it without the services of their No. 1 netminder.

Jaroslav Halak will miss this evening’s tilt in Chicago with a lower-body injury, meaning Michal Neuvirth will try to keep the Isles’ skid from extending to four games.

Neuvirth, acquired at the trade deadline from Buffalo in exchange for Chad Johnson, has started three games for the Isles, going 1-1-1 with a .889 save percentage and 2.57 GAA. In his last outing, a 3-1 loss to Montreal on Saturday, Neuvirth allowed just two goals on 29 shots and finished with a .931 save percentage, his best outing as an Islander to date.

For the ‘Blackhawks, Corey Crawford will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Pens at Devils: Thomas Greiss (probable) vs. Cory Schneider

Sens at ‘Canes: Andrew Hammond vs. Anton Khudobin

Sabres at Bruins: (No Buffalo starter yet) vs. Niklas Svedberg

Habs at Panthers: Dustin Tokarski (probable) vs. Dan Ellis

Wild at Preds: Devan Dubnyk vs. Pekka Rinne (probable)

Sharks at Jets: Antti Niemi vs. Ondrej Pavelec

Blues at Flames: Brian Elliott vs. Jonas Hiller

Flyers at Canucks: No starters yet for either team.

Report: Habs’ Bournival played despite dizziness

3 Comments

Per La Presse, Montreal youngster and current AHL Hamilton forward Michael Bournival played games with both the Canadiens and Bulldogs this season while experiencing dizziness.

Bournival, who suffered a concussion last spring, will reportedly undergo testing this week in an effort to figure out his injury status. The 22-year-old had only appeared in 29 games with Montreal this season, scoring three goals and five points while averaging 7:53 TOI per night — something of a step backwards, especially after a solid rookie campaign in which he scored 14 points in 60 regular season and made 14 playoff appearances.

This year, Bournival hasn’t been as regular a lineup fixture. He was healthy scratch on numerous occasions to start the season, and didn’t get his first game until Nov. 4.

Earlier this month, Bournival was demoted to the Bulldogs shortly after Montreal acquired forwards Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn at the Mar. 2 trade deadline. He subsequently appeared in five games for Hamilton, registering just one assist while going scoreless over his last four contests, and was held out of Sunday’s game against the Marlies.

Lightning win rough one, move into virtual Atlantic tie with Habs

13 Comments

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens might not seem like natural rivals, but they don’t seem to like each other, either. At least, that’s certainly the case with Brandon Prust and Ben Bishop.

The tough guy and goalie mixed it up again on Monday (particularly when Prust received a goalie interference penalty while checking Bishop behind his net) as the Lightning edged the Habs 4-2.

Technically, Tampa Bay didn’t tie Montreal for the Atlantic Division’s top spot, as the Canadiens hold a game in hand. This win definitely makes a big difference as far as the race for the division title is concerned, though.

Let’s be clear: if it comes down to a head-to-head tiebreaker, the Lightning will win that in a walk. They were victorious in all five games between the teams with Montreal only nabbing one out of a possible 10 standings points.

It should be an interesting ride to the finish line in that regard, and things could be awfully entertaining if the two teams happen to meet in the 2015 postseason.

Check out two angles of that Prust hit on Bishop, via My Regular Face:

source:

 

The hit didn’t bother Lightning head coach Jon Cooper all that much, it seems.

Video: Stamkos scores on Pacioretty pass gone wrong

4 Comments

Not that long ago, Max Pacioretty was chasing in on other peoples’ mistakes. He found himself on the other end of that proposition on Monday.

A very unfortunate Pacioretty pass found its way to Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos, who scored against Carey Price:

That goal was unassisted … technically.

So far, it’s been one of those nights for the Montreal Canadiens, who find themselves down 3-0 to Tampa Bay as of this writing.