Bruins Weekly: Lysell, Krejci, Zacha & More

It was one of the busiest weeks of the 2022-23 season for the Boston Bruins. They won two out of three games on a trip out West, before returning to the TD Garden and beating the New York Islanders, 4-3 in a shootout.

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On the road, the Bruins beat two good teams, both dealing with injuries at the time, and lost to the one team on the trip everyone thought they would beat. Strange things do happen in the NHL. In this edition of Bruins Weekly, we look back at the road trip, an injury that fells a veteran center, the Black and Gold kick off a homestand, and more.

Bruins Avoid Back-to-Back Losses for First Time 2022-23

The NHL season is two months and incredibly, the Bruins have yet to lose back-to-back games. They sport a 23-4-1 record and avoided losing back-to-back twice in the last week on their three-game road trip.

Related: 3 Takeaways From Bruins’ 3-Game Road Trip

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After losing at home in a shootout on Dec. 5 to the Vegas Golden Knights, they bounced back with a 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver two nights later. On Dec. 9, the Arizona Coyotes scored with 13.7 seconds left in regulation for a stunning 4-3 win. In their second matchup with Vegas in six days, the Bruins got revenge for their loss at home with a 3-1 victory on the strength of two third-period goals, one each by Jake DeBrusk and Charlie Coyle. Twenty-eight games into an 82-game season and the Black and Gold not losing back-to-back games yet is pretty remarkable.

Zacha’s Flexibility Continues to Be Needed

Against the Coyotes, David Krejci blocked a shot with his foot in the first period, and left for the remainder of the period before finishing the game. He did not practice the next day in Vegas and coach Jim Montgomery said he missed practice for a maintenance day. Before the game on Dec. 11, Montgomery ruled him out with a lower-body injury and Pavel Zacha moved to the middle between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak in his place.

Pavel Zacha Boston Bruins
Pavel Zacha, Boston Bruins (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

Zacha once again proved that he could have a future in Boston as a middle-six center with a strong game, including setting up DeBrusk with a pass across the front of Golden Knights’ goalie Logan Thompson for the game-winning in the third period. Krejci did not play against the Islanders either, leaving Zacha back in the middle on the second line. The Bruins are getting consistency from Zacha this season and he is well on his way to a career season.

Home Sweet Home

The Bruins have benefitted from a home-heavy schedule to begin the 2022-23 season and they have taken full advantage. They won their first 14 games on home ice before falling in a shootout to the Golden Knights. After a three-game road trip out West where they won two out of three games, they returned home to kick off a five-game homestand against the Islanders.

This season the Bruins have secured 29 out of a possible 30 points at the TD Garden and they have an opportunity to bank more before Christmas. The Los Angeles Kings, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, and Winnipeg Jets come to Boston before a road game against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 23 leads them into their Christmas break. Banking points over the next week at home will go a long way toward remaining at the top of the Atlantic Division standings.

Lysell Returns to Providence Lineup

Top prospect Fabian Lysell was absent last week from the Providence Bruins lineup in the American Hockey League (AHL) with an illness. He started working his way back in practice and made an impressive return against the Bridgeport Islanders on Dec. 10 on the road.

Fabian Lysell Boston Bruins
Fabian Lysell, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

In the P-Bruins 3-2 win, he tallied two goals, including the game-winning tally with 3:47 left in the game, then on Dec. 11 in a 5-2 loss to the Islanders in Providence, he had an assist. In 19 AHL games this season, he has seven goals and 10 assists. He will soon turn his attention to the 2023 World Junior Championship in two weeks and play for Team Sweden, who captured the Bronze Medal in the rescheduled 2022 WJC in August.

Bruins Quotes of the Week

  • Coyle speaking about Frederic’s performance in Colorado: “It’s awesome to see. Freddy’s such a great guy and he’s such a great team guy. He’ll do anything for anyone. Sometimes it takes a little bit in the league – you find out about yourself and confidence is a great thing when you use it. He’s playing the right way and doing the right things and finding the scoresheet. It’s huge.”
  • Montgomery on the non-icing call against Arizona that led to the game-winning goal for the Coyotes: “We thought it should have been icing. It shouldn’t matter. The only thing that should matter is whether our D-man could touch the puck before it crosses the goal line.”
  • Hall speaking after the Bruins split the season series with Vegas on Dec. 11: “We needed to reset. It was a tough ending to the game [in Arizona] – a game that we thought we played pretty well – and have a short memory. A building that’s not easy to play in and a team that has motivation to beat us. [Coach Jim Montgomery] said [at Saturday’s practice] that we want to win every series against every team this year, and for us to do that, we had to get a regulation win tonight. It’s a really good road win and a good way to end our road trip.”
  • Montgomery on Krejci missing a second straight game against the Islanders: “If it was playoffs, he’d be playing, but we’re just making sure we’re being cautious.”

Bruins Week Ahead

  • Thursday: vs. Los Angeles Kings, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, 1 p.m.
  • Monday: vs. Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.

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