Things continue to go well for the Boston Bruins following their two trade deadline moves on April 11.
Since acquiring defensemen Mike Reilly from the Ottawa Senators and forwards Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar from the Buffalo Sabres, the Black and Gold have ripped off six straight wins following a 5-1 victory over the Sabres Thursday night at KeyBank Arena.
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With the win, Boston increased their lead over the New York Rangers for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division to eight points following a 3-2 Philadelphia Flyers win Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. Here are some takeaways from Boston’s 27th win of the season.
- Injuries have been a big part of the Bruins 2021 season and early in the first period, everyone held their breath when Charlie McAvoy took a slap shot off the back of his leg and needed help off the ice and into the locker room. Fortunately, he returned a couple of minutes later and finished the game. It was a needless scare for Bruins fans as Matt Grzelcyk failed to get the puck out of the defensive end with a turnover prior to McAvoy’s injury, but in the end, McAvoy was OK.
- Jeremy Swayman continues to impress. The rookie goalie made 29 saves for his fifth win of the season in six games. Of course, what would a Swayman game without some saves on breakaways and odd-man rushes? In the second period, he stopped a Sabres’ 3-on-1 with a nice save on a Casey Mittlestadt shot. In the third period, he stopped Tage Thompson on a breakaway. The kid is making the decision harder by the day as to who should be the backup.
- Talk about a gift goal. With the game tied 1-1 in the second period, Grzelcyk’s 55-foot wrist shot from the point somehow found its way through Dustin Tokarski and into the net. It appeared the Sabres’ goalie saw the shot the whole way and missed it.
- Speaking of the second period, the Bruins literally survived those 20 minutes. They spent eight minutes of the period on the penalty kill. They survived the biggest threat early in the period when Charlie Coyle lost a faceoff in the defensive end, broke his stick, but Buffalo failed to capitalize despite having nearly a minute of zone time.
- As bad as the second period was, the third period was a strong period. Three goals, one each by David Pastrnak, Nick Ritchie and David Krejci allowed the Bruins to pull away and collect two very big points in the standings.
- The Bruins power play went 0-for-2 and didn’t look any better than it has lately.
The Bruins will close out their three-game stay in Western New York tonight against the Sabres, looking to increase their season-high winning streak.