NBC’s coverage of the 2016-17 NHL season continues on Sunday afternoon with the Boston Bruins visiting the Chicago Blackhawks.
Puck drop is set for 12:30 p.m. ET and all of the action can be seen on NBC as well as our Live Stream.
Both teams have plenty to play for on Sunday as the Bruins are not only looking for the fifth win in a row after knocking off the Florida Panthers on Saturday afternoon, but are also looking to continue to solidify their playoff position. After all of Saturday’s results the Bruins still occupy the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, remaining four points clear of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the wild card race and only one point back of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division. With both Toronto and Ottawa off on Sunday, Boston could find itself in the No. 2 spot in the division with a win over the Blackhawks.
Boston still has games remaining against both Ottawa and Tampa Bay, before wrapping up their season at home against the Washington Capitals. Combined with Sunday’s game against Chicago that is a pretty tough schedule the rest of the way.
While the Blackhawks’ situation isn’t quite as dramatic as Boston’s when it comes to the playoff race (the Blackhawks have already clinched a playoff spot as well as the Central Division crown and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference) they are still in serious contention for the Presidents’ Trophy, sitting just three points back of the Capitals entering Sunday.
It was right around the start of February when the Blackhawks season really started to take off, having gone 20-4-2 since Feb. 1.
During that stretch the Blackhawks have won more games than any team in the league, outscored teams by a 92-64 margin, while they have three of the league’s top-15 scorers (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Artemi Panarin) during that stretch.
But the Bruins have been equally impressive offensively since then, averaging more than 3.6 goals per game while Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron have also been among the league’s top scorers. Marchand is just one goal away from making a little bit of Bruins history as his next one will be his 40th of the season. Only two Bruins have topped the 40-goal mark since 1993 (Glen Murray in 2002-03, Bill Guerin in 2001-02) and only 13 others have done it all-time.
In other words, these are two of the hotter teams in the NHL right now, the two absolute best offensive teams over the past two months, and they will be putting some high end individual talent on the ice on Sunday.