Following a week with two tough matchups, the Boston Bruins now stand at 5-1-2. They are currently in second place in the Atlantic Division, trailing only the Buffalo Sabres who currently have 15 points and an impressive 7-1-1 record. Following two straight wins, the Bruins faced their toughest tests of the season in both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite losses in both games, the Bruins were able to take both teams past regulation and gained a point in both matchups.
The week started with a Thursday night game at home against the Lightning and the game went back and forth in every period. After the Bruins took an early 1-0 lead, Brayden Point tied the game for Tampa Bay with just .8 seconds left in the first period. Both battled in the second and third periods, each scoring once in both periods. After an entertaining overtime and competitive shootout, the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos ripped a goal top shelf past Tuukka Rask in the seventh round to win the game.
Following the tough shootout loss, the Bruins traveled to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs in yet another tight in-division matchup. After falling behind 2-0, the Bruins battled back, scoring goals in the first and third periods to tie the game. The Maple Leafs answered with a goal of their own, but the Bruins were able to tie the game again late in the third period. The overtime period saw both teams go back and forth with chances before Mitch Marner beat Jaroslav Halak to end the game.
3rd Star: Patrice Bergeron
Bergeron continues to be an integral part of the Bruins top line, consistently producing and setting up important scores particularly from the current NHL goals leader David Pastrnak.
Bergeron tallied a goal and two assists in his two games this week. This included an assist on the game-tying goal from Pastrnak against the Maple Leafs to send it to overtime, as well as a first-period assist and second-period goal against the Lightning.
His veteran presence and ability to do the little things are a big reason for the Bruins success and will continue to be as the season goes on. More matchups against tough teams like the Lightning and Maple Leafs are coming and it will take Bergeron at his best to continue the success of the Bruins top line.
2nd Star: Tuukka Rask
Rask continues to play solid hockey for the Bruins even against his toughest opponents.
He once again answered the call against the Lightning in his lone matchup this week. Rask made 33 saves on 36 shots against a prolific Lightning offense and kept them from breaking away from the Bruins on the scoreboard, allowing his offense to tie the game.
While Rask did not have his best performance of the year, he made key stops at key times and gave the Bruins every chance to win the game in overtime and into the shootout. He was able to match reigning Vezina Trophy-winner Andrei Vasilevskiy save-for-save right up until the end of the shootout. While he did not get the best of Vasilevskiy this time, there will be more battles between these two Eastern Conference favorites.
Rask currently sits in sixth place in goals against average with a 1.72 and is fourth with a .946 save percentage. He has been great for the Bruins so far and they will need him to stay consistent throughout a long 82-game season.
1st Star: David Pastrnak
Pastrnak continues scoring at a torrid pace after three goals on the week and five total points in two games.
The winger scored the opening goal on Thursday night against the Lightning and followed that up by scoring again in the final minutes of the third period to tie the game and send it to overtime. Pastrnak was also involved in all three Bruins goals, adding an assist on the Bruins second goal scored by Patrice Bergeron.
Pastrnak added yet another goal late in the game against the Maple Leafs, once again tying the score at three and sending the game to overtime. He also added another point assisting on Danton Heinen’s second-period goal, as well.
After another productive week, Pastrnak is now tied for the NHL lead in goals with nine and sits in fourth in points with 15. The Bruins have benefited from the incredible scoring presence of Pastrnak, but cannot continue to bank on him throughout the season as even Bruce Cassidy stated they will need more secondary scoring.
My name is Tim Kearns and I am a sophomore journalism major at The University of Maryland. I have previously written for the Maryland Baseball Network and a blog style website called “What The Sports.” I am from just outside of Boston and am a diehard Red Sox, Bruins, and Patriots fan. I have always had a passion for hockey and I’m incredibly thankful to cover the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers.