Bruins Beat: Final Six Regular Season Games

This past Tuesday’s game in Nashville against the Predators provided the Boston Bruins with another chance to participate in a game that was pure playoff hockey. In a contest that featured multiple scoring chances for both teams, the Bruins, behind the strong 32-save shutout performance by Linus Ullmark, were able to play ‘the right way,’ and hang in there for two hectic scoreless periods. Saving their best for last (period), the locals were able to bounce back effectively in a number of ways…to begin with they delivered a full 60-minute effort, and killed a monster two-minute penalty late in the third period, before Charlie Coyle took a slick pass from captain Brad Marchand and found the back of the Predators net for a shorthanded goal (Coyle’s #24) at 13:18, and a 1-0 Boston lead. It was that spark which ignited the powder keg leading to another pair of goals by Pavel Zacha, his 19th at 17:18, and an empty-netter (#46) by David Pastrnak (18:36), earning his 104th point, to extend the Bs lead to four points in the Atlantic Division over the Florida Panthers, and earn them their 44th win. It was also the third win in Boston’s last four games, and they now trail the New York Rangers by one point for the Eastern Conference’s top slot.

Ullmark used this start, and the opportunity to show his effectiveness, as he competes with Jeremy Swayman for the Game I starter’s job in the playoffs. Ullmark’s numbers since the trade deadline are impressive – four wins and two losses, and a sparkling .950 save percentage. After the game Ullmark gushed with enthusiasm and confidence, remarking: “It was a great job, we battled for all 60-minutes. Every game is a challenge and it doesn’t matter what you did for the last game or the game prior, it’s all about looking forward and keep performing and focus on the process and not get too carried away the results based thinking. It’s been working lately in that department. I’ve got confidence with the fellas, and we feed off each other.” For the Bruins, their PK unit was at the top of their game killing the four power play opportunities the Predators drew. None bigger than the one they killed in the third period, which resulted in Ullmark stopping the puck behind his net and shooting it off the glass, picked up by Marchand whose pass to Coyle broke the scoreless tie – and ironically, Ullmark also earned an assist on Coyle’s game-winning goal.

The 2023-2034 regular season has six games remaining, three on the road, and three at home, as the final two week stretch comes up quickly. Coming up for the Bruins next three include; tonight (Thursday 7:00pm in Carolina) is the first of two games versus the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes, the second to be played at TD Garden on next Tuesday 7:00pm. The Canes at press time were riding a two-game win streak and a last ten game record of 8-1-1.  This Saturday, Boston will open a brief two-game homestand, hosting the mouthpiece-chewing Matthew Tkachuk and his Florida Panthers in a 3:30pm matinee. The struggling Panthers are on a two-game winless streak, and have a record of 2-7-1 for their last ten. Fasten your seat belts, these next two weeks/six games will be a rollercoaster ride for sure!

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