Boston Bruins week 13: Finishing off 2017 in style edition

OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 30: Patrice Bergeron
OTTAWA, ON - DECEMBER 30: Patrice Bergeron /
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2017 has come and gone.  Based upon how they ended the regular season last year and their play as of late, the Boston Bruins might be sad to see it go.

In the month of December, the Boston Bruins had a record of 10-2-2, and currently sit in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division.  After missing the previous 6 games, David Krejci returned on Saturday, and Adam McQuaid doesn’t seem that far away from his return as well.  So the team is almost fully healthy.

Krejci’s return seemed to spark a recently lethargic PP unit, which scored 3 times against the Senators.  The offense as a whole is clicking without relying on the top line, as the B’s have gotten scoring from guys like Riley Nash, David Backes and Noel Acciari in the past few games.  All in all the Bruins have really found their stride as 2017 comes to a close and we welcome in 2018.

In particular, in the final week of 2017, the Bruins had three more games, two against the struggling Senators.  In between the games versus the Sens, the Bruins made a quick trip to our Nation’s Capital in an attempt to break their 11 game losing streak against the Capitals.  Let the Roundup begin right now.

Game 1: Ottawa Senators

After the Christmas Break, the Bruins hosted the Senators on Wednesday night.  The Bruins struck first as Sens goalie Craig Anderson couldn’t cleanly handle a rebound.  Kevan Miller’s clapper beat him for his first goal of the season, giving the Bruins and early 1-0 lead.  Moments later, Danton Heinen continued his impressive season and doubled the B’s lead and the period ended with the Bruins up 2-0.

Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 27: Riley Nash /

It was the same story in the 2nd, as early in the period, Riley Nash blocked an Erik Karlsson point shot, and out raced him and beat Anderson on the breakaway giving the Bruins a comfortable 3-0 lead.  The Senators would get one back however, as Thomas Chabot’s blast would get by Rask cutting the lead to 3-1.  But late in the frame, recemt offensive dynamo Riley Nash continued his great play and scored his second goal of the period, restoring the Bruins 3 goal lead at the end of 2 periods.

In the final frame with the result pretty much sowed up by the Bruins, all that was needed was a strong defensive period to shut down the Sens.  That is exactly what happened as Ottawa was help scoreless in the period, and for insurance, David Backes buried one late to cap off the Bruins 5-1 victory.

Full recap here.

Game 2: Washington Capitals

One night after defeating the Sens, the Bruins traveled down to Washington D.C. to try and finally beat the Caps.  They got off to a flying start as they scored twice within the first two minutes of the game.  First from David Backes, then Noel Acciari, giving the Bruins an early 2-0 lead.  However, despite multiple chances to increase the lead, the Bruins could not do so, and the period ended with the B’s up 2 goals.

Boston Bruins
WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 28: Noel Acciari /

The Bruins would come to rue those missed chances in the first period, because the Capitals would equalize with two quick goals midway through the period.  Lars Eller got the Caps on the board first.  It appeared the play was offside, but Cassidy decided not to challenge.  The Bruins quickly took a penalty and then Alex Oveckhin would score his patented goal, on the power play with a blast from the left circle to tie the game at 2.  Neither team could find the back of the net before the horn sounded and both teams his the locker room tied at 2.

In the third, the Bruins would jump in front again, as after a strong forecheck resulted in a Caps turnover and Backes would capitalize, scoring his second of the game, giving the Bruins a late 3-2 lead.

Boston Bruins
WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 28: David Backes /

The lead would not last however, due to a defensive breakdown, resulting in former Bruin Brett Connolly to tie the game at 3.  Bruce Cassidy did challenge this goal, but it was deemed onside and the Bruins were assessed a two minute delay of game penalty.  They would kill that off and the game was tied after 60 minutes.

After a scoreless overtime, the game headed to a shootout, where Alex Oveckhin was the only goal scorer and Caps would hand the Bruins their 12 straight loss against the Capitals as the Bruins fall 4-3 in a shootout.

Full recap here.

Game 3: Ottawa Senators

After their disappointing loss to the Caps, the Bruins needed to refocus and take down the Sens, just like they did on Wednesday night.  In the first period, the Bruins got off to another quick start as the B’s power play finally converted when they had the chance.  Ryan Spooner picked up the rebound and fired one through Sens goalie Mike Condon and gave the Bruins a 1-0 advantage after the 1st period.

In the middle frame, the Bruins took firm control of the game.  Noel Acciari scored first after a great backhanded snipe doubled the Bruins lead.  Minutes later, Ryan Spooner out skated a Senators defenseman and slipped one past Condon on the breakaway to give the Bruins a commanding 3-0 lead.  Before the period ended, the Bruins would score once more, as David Krejci stuffed one home on the PP to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes.

Boston Bruins
OTTAWA, ON – DECEMBER 30: Ryan Spooner /

The Bruins began the 3rd on the PP and they would score a fifth time in the game, as Patrice Bergeron tipped home a Torey Krug point shot.  With the game already in hand with a 5-0 lead, the Bruins hunkered down defensively, allowing only 4 shots on net in the period and the final horn sounded with the Bruins getting a resounding 5-0 victory over the Senators.

Full recap here.

Next: Bruins should avoid trade market

The Road Ahead

  • Tuesday, 1/2/2018 at New York Islanders
  • Thursday, 1/4/2018 vs Florida Panthers
  • Saturday, 1/6/2018 vs Carolina Hurricanes

Predictions

After another impressive week for the Bruins, they face three teams all battling for wild card positioning.  I can see the Bruins going 2-0-1 this upcoming week, only dropping points on Saturday’s affair with the Hurricanes, losing in OT.