Boston at Winnipeg
Where: Bell MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets are heading to the playoffs thanks in part to the dynamic scoring of Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers, but their hottest player entering Tuesday’s home game against the Boston Bruins is a rookie. Forward Kyle Connor scored four goals – including back-to-back game-winning overtime tallies – in three games last week, earning NHL Third Star is the Week honors.
“I think every game you play in this league, you get more confidence,” Connor told reporters after finishing with one goal and two assists in Sunday’s 5-4 shootout victory over Nashville, giving him 29 goals on the season – tied for the NHL lead among rookies. The Bruins began the week trailing Tampa Bay by two points for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, going 3-0-2 in their past five games following Sunday’s 2-1 overtime triumph at Minnesota. Brad Marchand once again found the net in the extra period, his NHL record-tying fifth overtime goal of the season and 12th of his career, giving the forward nine goals and 22 points in his past 12 contests. “This year I’ve played with a lot of guys that can make plays and I’ve benefited from that,” Marchand told the media afterward.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), TSN3 (Winnipeg)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (47-17-10): Perhaps the best news from Sunday’s victory was the return of top-line center Patrice Bergeron, who finished with two assists after missing the previous 13 games with a broken right foot. Tuukka Rask, who made 24 saves against the Wild, is fifth in the league in goals against average (2.32) and tied for sixth in wins (32). Boston allows the second-fewest shots on goal per game (29.2).
ABOUT THE JETS (46-19-10): The trio of Laine, Ehlers and Connor has combined for 100 goals, 43 coming from the 19-year-old Laine, who ranks second in the NHL. Connor Hellebuyck ranks third in wins (39) and seventh in goals against average (2.36) entering Monday. Winnipeg leads the league in home victories, going 29-7-2.
1. Boston F David Pastrnak has scored eight goals (18 points) in his past 13 games.
2. Both teams excel on special teams: Winnipeg is third in the NHL on the power play (23.4 percent) and fifth in penalty kill at 82.8 percent, while Boston is eighth with the man advantage (22.0) and tied for sixth in penalty kill (82.7) through Sunday.
3. Winnipeg D Jacob Trouba (concussion) has been cleared for full contact, but coach Paul Maurice said the Jets will bring him along slowly.
Boston 2, Minnesota 1
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
ST. PAUL – Brad Marchand scored his fifth overtime goal of the season and Tuukka Rask made 24 saves as the Boston Bruins beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in NHL action Sunday night in Saint Paul, Minn.
Marchand, sprung by Torey Krug, zipped down the wing and ripped a top-corner shot past Wild goalie Alex Stalock 28 seconds into overtime to stun the Xcel Energy Center faithful.
Marchand finished with a goal and an assist, giving him a five-point weekend in which he had a hand in all five goals over two games. He tied the record for most overtime goals in one season, also held by Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews and Alex Galchenyuk.
Proving low-scoring games aren’t always dull affairs, the Wild and Bruins provided plenty of entertainment. The hosts mustered just one shot through the first 10 minutes but made up for it going forward only to see Rask provide all kinds of big stops, notably against Ryan Murphy and Matt Cullen.
The Bruins received a boost with Patrice Bergeron returning after missing 13 games due to a fractured foot, and he showed his value setting up David Pastrnak to break a scoreless deadlock 3:15 into the second period. Kevan Miller made a great play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, and soon after, Bergeron made a no-look pass across the slot, where Pastrnak one-timed a shot past Stalock for his 30th goal of the season.
Mikko Koivu finally solved Rask at 9:20 of the third period to tie the game 1-1. Koivu deflected Matt Dumba’s point shot wide of the net, but the puck bounced back to the front of the cage, where he pounced on it.
The Bruins are trying mightily to reel in the Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot in the Atlantic Division. Boston trails by two points, has a game in hand and has won both meetings with Tampa Bay this season, in regulation time, with two more remaining on the schedule.
The Bruins also benefited from Krug returning after he missed two games due to an upper-body injury, but they are still without forwards David Backes, Rick Nash and Jake DeBrusk and defensemen Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy.
Stalock stopped 26 shots for Minnesota.
–Field Level Media
Boston Bruins at Minnesota Wild
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Ryan Donato (17)
MINNEAPOLIS – With a spot in the playoffs already secured, the Boston Bruins still have the Presidents’ Trophy in their sights. The Bruins continue their quest for first overall in the NHL when they resume their four-game road trip Sunday against the Minnesota Wild.
Boston is second in the Atlantic Division and trails Nashville and Tampa Bay by four points for the top spot in the league with a game in hand on the Predators and two on the Lightning. The club is 1-0-1 on its trek and extended its point streak to four games (2-0-2) on Friday with a 3-2 triumph at Dallas in which David Pastrnak completed a third-period comeback from a two-goal deficit with 12 seconds remaining. Minnesota also is riding a four-game point streak (3-0-1) after posting a 4-1 victory over the Predators on Saturday in which Jason Zucker recorded a goal and an assist. The Wild, who are wrapping up a three-game homestand, own a two-point lead over Colorado for third place in the Central Division.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
ABOUT THE BRUINS (46-17-10): Brad Marchand leads the team with 78 points after registering a goal and two assists in the victory over the Stars. The 29-year-old left wing has matched the career high of 46 assists he set last season and is seven points away from tying his personal best, which he also totaled in 2016-17. Pastrnak, who notched an assist prior to his game-winning goal on Friday for his career-high 71st point, has not been kept off the scoresheet in consecutive contests since a four-game stretch from Feb. 10-17.
ABOUT THE WILD (42-24-8): Zucker’s tally on Saturday was his 30th of the season, marking the first time the 26-year-old left wing has reached the plateau in his career. Nino Niederreiter and Eric Staal both enter Sunday with a four-game point streak, as each has collected two goals and two assists during their runs. Zach Parise, who missed a bulk of the campaign due to injury, also tallied on Saturday to reach double digits for the 12th time in his 13-season career.
1. Bruins G Tuukka Rask has posted a 7-0-1 record over his last eight starts.
2. Minnesota’s Bruce Boudreau on Saturday became the 26th coach in league history to record 500 victories.
3. Boston F Noel Acciari’s next appearance will be the 100th of his NHL career.
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
DALLAS – David Pastrnak scored with 11.1 seconds left in regulation and Brad Marchand collected one goal and three points as the Boston Bruins scored three unanswered goals in the third period to beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 Friday night in Dallas.
Bruins’ goalkeeper Tuukka Rask
Just as it appeared the game was headed to overtime, Marchand dished the puck down low to Pastrnak, who worked around Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen before burying a shot, stunning the Stars and their faithful at American Airlines Center.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 40 saves as the under-manned Bruins snapped a two-game losing skid without forwards Patrice Bergeron, David Backes and Rick Nash and defensemen Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug, among others.
Marchand was definitely the hero, leading the charge after his team trailed 2-0 through two periods. First, he put the Bruins on the board just 77 seconds into the third period when Pastrnak’s shot bounced off his leg as he was causing chaos in front of the net.
Marchand then set up Tim Schaller’s shorthanded goal at the 9:47 mark of the third period to tie the game 2-2. A lucky bounce on a clearing attempt sprung the pair on a rush that Schaller finished with a backhand deke.
It was a painful defeat for the Stars, who returned home after a winless six-game road trip that put them outside a wildcard spot in the Western Conference playoff chase.
The Stars had early momentum when Esa Lindell opened the scoring just 2:26 into the game, ripping a wrist shot from just inside the top of the left circle that squeezed under Rask’s armpit.
Things looked even better for the hosts when captain Jamie Benn netted a shorthanded breakaway tally with 37.5 seconds left in the second period to double the lead. Benn held off the check from Marchand as he deposited a one-handed backhand, giving him five goals and nine points in a six-game stretch.
But the Stars and Lehtonen — who made 33 saves — couldn’t hold the lead and now sit four points out of a playoff spot with seven games remaining.
–Field Level Media
St. Louis 2, Boston 1
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
ST. LOUIS – Jaden Schwartz scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner 30 seconds into overtime to send the St. Louis Blues past the visiting Boston Bruins 2-1 on Wednesday night.
In overtime, Schwartz took the puck behind the net in his own end and skated all the way down the ice before firing a wrist shot past Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin for his 22nd tally of the season.
It was the third straight game in which St. Louis fell behind and came back to win in overtime. The Blue now have 85 points and sit two points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
“We’ve got that belief back in ourselves,” Schwartz told NBC Sports Network after the win. “We went through some adversity a few weeks ago. It was tough on us, but I think learned from it and realized how tough it is to win, and I think it made us a lot more hungry.”
St. Louis had dropped seven consecutive games and nine of 10 from Feb. 11 to March 8.
Ryan Donato scored the lone goal for Boston, which clinched a playoff berth for the second straight season under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a point, Boston’s 100th. The Bruins have lost two straight and four of six (2-2-2).
Jake Allen recorded 21 saves in the winning effort for the Blues while Khudobin had 18 saves for the Bruins.
Boston jumped on top with 9:48 remaining in the first period. Alex Pietrangelo’s clearing attempt from behind the St. Louis net deflected off a referee and trickled right to Donato, who slammed in a power-play goal.
Donato scored a goal and had two assists in his NHL debut Monday in a 5-4 overtime loss to Columbus. The 21-year-old former Harvard standout joined the Bruins last Sunday on a two-year, entry-level contract.
After a scoreless second, Schwartz tied the game with 10:24 left in the third. He received a feed from Alexander Steen at the top of the left circle and fired a wrister past Khudobin.
Dmitrij Jaskin’s backhanded effort off a rebound in front of the net was stopped by Khudobin in the closing seconds to force overtime and send the Bruins into the playoffs.
–Field Level Media
Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues have answered a disastrous 1-7-2 stretch with wins in four of their last five contests, including consecutive overtime triumphs that moved them within three points of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Blues aim to continue their recent surge on Wednesday when they host the Boston Bruins, who have dropped three of five in their bid to push Tampa Bay for the top spot in the East.
Captain Alex Pietrangelo has led by example with seven points (three goals, four assists) in the last two outings, resulting in St. Louis’ 4-3 overtime win over the New York Rangers on Saturday and a 5-4 triumph versus Chicago the following night. “Obviously you want to win every game in regulation, but right now we just need points, especially two. … These last two games, (if) you want to get in, you gotta win games like that,” said Pietrangelo, who was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week. The Bruins fell on the wrong side of overtime on Monday, spoiling the impressive NHL debut of U.S. Olympian Ryan Donato. The 21-year-old Boston native and son of former Bruin and current Harvard ice hockey coach, Ted Donato, scored a goal and set up two others in a 5-4 setback to Columbus, one day after signing his entry-level contract.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVAS
ABOUT THE BRUINS (45-17-9): Brad Marchand, who leads the team in goals (31), assists (44) and points (75), increased his point total to 20 (nine goals, 11 assists) in his past 12 games with a goal and an assist against the Blue Jackets. David Krejci also tallied on Monday for his sixth goal this month, and joined fellow forwards Patrice Bergeron and former Blues captain David Backes in each scoring in a 3-1 win over St. Louis on Feb. 1. Backes (leg) and Bergeron (fractured right foot) have been ruled out for Wednesday’s contest, with the former expected to miss multiple contests while the latter could return to game action at some point during the team’s four-game road trip, general manager Don Sweeney said.
ABOUT THE BLUES (39-28-5): Vladimir Tarasenko’s availability against Boston is murky at best after he missed Sunday’s tilt versus the Blackhawks after sustaining an upper-body injury in Saturday’s tilt. “We were hopeful that he was going to be able to come to the rink and practice today, and once we determined that wasn’t going to happen, then I would say that he’s doubtful for tomorrow,” coach Mike Yeo said on Tuesday. Alex Steen is expected to replace Tarasenko (team-leading 27 goals) on the top line with Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn (club-best 35 assists, 60 points).
1. St. Louis rookie D Vince Dunn has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past seven games while former Boston LW Vladimir Sobotka has five (two goals, three assists) in the past five.
2. Bruins G Tuukka Rask improved to 5-2-3 in his career versus the Blues after turning aside 32 shots in the first encounter.
3. St. Louis owns a 19-9-1 mark against Eastern Conference representatives while Boston is 5-4-1 versus Central foes.
Columbus 5, Boston 4
Where: TD Garden, Boston
BOSTON – Cam Atkinson scored the game-winning goal with 2:05 remaining in overtime to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets back from two goals down to beat the Boston Bruins 5-4 on Monday night in Boston.
Artemi Panarin netted his team-leading 22nd goal and Thomas Vanek (20 goals), Sonny Milano (12) and Boone Jenner (11) each had a goal for Columbus. Joonas Korpisalo recorded 34 saves as the Blue Jackets won their season-high eighth straight game.
Brad Marchand scored his team-leading 31st goal while David Krejci (17), Riley Nash (15) and Ryan Donato (1) also scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask made 20 saves as the Bruins failed to build off of Saturday’s 3-0 win at Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay.
Jenner scored for the fourth straight game and stretched his personal points streak to a career-high six games when he one-timed a pass from Vanek past Rask with 15:45 remaining in the first period.
Donato’s first career goal in his NHL debut tied it at 1 with 14:19 to play in the second. The former Harvard star who signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Bruins on Sunday fired a one-timer past Korpisalo off a feed from Torey Krug. He also had two assists in the contest.
Marchand gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead when he flipped a backhanded shot over Korpisalo with 12:32 left in the second. Nash stretched the lead to 3-1 when he popped in a rebound with 3:28 to go in the period.
Milano’s backdoor tip snapped the Blue Jackets’ drought to make it 3-2 just 25 seconds later.
Vanek redirected Markus Nutivaara’s slap shot past Rask with 14:22 left in the third to tie it.
Panarin’s goal with 8:30 left on the clock gave Columbus a brief 4-3 lead, but Krejci struck 20 seconds later to knot the score once more.
Rick Nash was out for the Bruins with an upper-body injury and is considered day-to-day.
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron (fractured right foot) missed his 11th straight game, Charlie McAvoy (sprained left MCL) missed his eighth and Zdeno Chara (upper body) his third. David Backes, who left Saturday’s game with a right leg laceration, also sat out for Boston.
Josh Anderson (knee) missed his 10th game in a row while Seth Jones (upper body) sat out his second straight for the Blue Jackets.
Columbus wraps up its two-game road trip Tuesday against the New York Rangers. Boston opens a three-game trip Wednesday in St. Louis.
–Field Level Media
Ryan Donato at the recent Olympic Games
- –Field Level Media
Boston 3, Tampa Bay 0
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa
TAMPA – Tuukka Rask had 23 saves while picking up his third shutout of the season and Torey Krug had three assists to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in a battle of the Atlantic Division’s top two teams on Saturday night at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.
It was the 41st career shutout for Rask and marked the first time this season that Tampa Bay (48-19-4, 100 points) was shut out. David Pastrnak, David Backes and Riley Nash each scored goals for the Bruins (45-17-8, 98), who moved within two points of the first place Lightning with a game in hand. It also was the fifth time that Rask shut out Tampa Bay in his career.
Andrei Vasilevskiy had 24 saves for the Lightning, who dropped their second consecutive game.
Boston, coming in off a 3-0 blanking at Florida on Thursday, scored two goals in the first 10:54 to take a 2-0 first-period lead. Pastrnak started the scoring when he took a pass from Krug while cutting in front of the net and backhanded a shot just inside the right skate of Vasilevskiy for his 28th goal of the season.
Backes followed with a rebound of a Krug shot which caromed off the back boards and straight in front of the net.
The Bruins scored their second power play goal of the night at 12:33 of the second period when Riley Nash put in a rebound in front of the net for his 14th goal of the season.
Backes left the game with 21.2 seconds left in the first period after suffering a laceration above his right knee from the skate of Yanni Gourde during a goalmouth scrum and didn’t return. The team tweeted the injury required “several stitches” and that Backes was “resting and would not return.”
–Field Level Media