Bruins

Bruins in a winning streak but 'not satisfied with what's been happening'

Bruins in a winning streak but 'not satisfied with what's been happening'

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- The Bruins have, for the most part, gotten healthy over the last few weeks. And, not so coincidentally, they're once again winning and climbing up the standings.

Sure, Charlie McAvoy is still out (though he may be close to a return) and Joakim Nordstrom will be sidelined for at least a few more weeks. But the rest of the roster is pretty much healthy and playing, and as a result the B's have won four in a row and seven of their last nine, including their come-from-behind victory at the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.

The Bruins are scoring again, too. They've averaged 3.75 goals per game during the four-game winning streak and 3.55 in the nine-game stretch, which started with a 4-0 shellacking of the Canadiens in Montreal on Dec. 17.

Right now the B's have sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs and are tied for fourth overall in Eastern Conference. They're only four points behind the Leafs with a trip to Toronto set for this weekend.

Clearly it’s a time when the Bruins need to accumulate points and enjoy some success while the going is good. But it’s also a period where they don’t want to get too ahead of themselves.

“[We've] obviously been going well,” said Patrice Bergeron, but he added, “it’s about improving, just keep getting better and meeting the goals that we’re setting for ourselves as a team, whether that is defensively or offensively.

“We just need to keep chipping away at that. We are going good, but there are obviously some areas where we can be even better. Having the guys back [healthy] gives some stability to our lines and our D-pairings and whatnot, and it helps guys get established with their roles and gaining some chemistry with their linemates. That being said, I think our focus has been playing better and keeping improving, and I think we’re doing that. We’re not satisfied with what’s been happening.”

It’s probably not a very good idea to get satisfied in the middle of the regular season for a team still fighting its way upward in the playoff standings, so that’s a good attitude to hold. Now it’s a matter of proving it on Tuesday night against a non-conference opponent (the Minnesota Wild) that’s given them a lot of problems at home over the years. 

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Bruins vs. Hurricanes schedule: 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs dates and times

Bruins vs. Hurricanes schedule: 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs dates and times

The Boston Bruins will begin the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a first-round matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes.

You probably remember these teams meeting in the 2019 Eastern Conference Final, a series the B's won in a sweep before losing to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

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This year's series should be much more competitive because the Hurricanes are not only better than they were in 2019, they're also riding the momentum of a qualifying round sweep of the New York Rangers.

While the Hurricanes enter the playoffs playing some of their best hockey of the season, the Bruins come into Round 1 after three lackluster performances in the NHL's round robin. Boston went 0-3-0 in the round robin and was outscored 9-4. The power play didn't score once, and the Bruins' top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak tallied only one point (a Bergeron assist) in the three games. 

Boston's top line scored six goals against the Hurricanes in last year's East Final, and another strong effort from that trio would go a long way in helping the Bruins achieve a similar outcome versus Carolina this season.

This first-round matchup will be the fourth playoff series between these teams:

--1999 Eastern Conference quarterfinals: Bruins win 4-2
--2009 Eastern Conference semifinals: Hurricanes in 4-3
--2019 Eastern Conference Final: Bruins win 4-0

Here's the complete schedule for the Bruins vs. Hurricanes first-round playoff series. All games will be played at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto (all times ET):

Game 1: Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 8 p.m.
Game 2: Thursday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 at noon
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m.
Game 5*: Wednesday, Aug. 19 at TBD
Game 6*: Thursday, Aug. 20 at TBD
Game 7*: Sunday, Aug. 23 at TBD
*if necessary 

The Bruins will be the home team in Game 1, Game 2, Game 5 and Game 7, so they will get last change in those matchups.

NHL round robin, qualifying series schedule 2020: Dates, scores for every game

NHL round robin, qualifying series schedule 2020: Dates, scores for every game

The NHL is officially returning to play.

The league and NHLPA ratified the Return to Play Plan and a new CBA deal Friday, paving the way for the 2019-20 season to finish. The regular season is over, but the league is not yet jumping into the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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The top four teams in each conference will determine their seeding for the first round by playing a round robin format. The teams ranked No. 5 through No. 12 in each conference will square off in a qualifying round that will use a Best-of-5 series format. The four winners of the qualifying series in each conference will be matched up against the top four teams for the first round based on seeding.

These games will take place in two host cities. The Eastern Conference games will be played at Scotiabank Place in Toronto, and the Western Conference matchups will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Here's the schedule for every round robin game and qualifying round series. Check back to this article after each game for scores and updated schedules.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND ROBIN
Sunday, Aug. 2: Flyers 4, Bruins 1
Monday, Aug. 3: Lightning 3, Capitals 2 (SO)
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Lightning 3, Bruins 2
Thursday, Aug. 6: Flyers 3, Capitals 1
Sunday, Aug. 8: Flyers 4, Lightning 1
Saturday, Aug. 9: Capitals 2, Bruins 1

QUALIFYING ROUND
(No. 5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (No. 12) Montreal Canadiens
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Canadiens 3, Penguins 2 (OT)
Game 2, Monday, Aug. 3: Penguins 3, Canadiens 1
Game 3, Wednesday, Aug. 5: Canadiens 4, Penguins 3
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Canadiens 2, Penguins 0
Canadiens win series 3-1

(No. 6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (No. 11) New York Rangers
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Hurricanes 3, Rangers 2
Game 2, Monday, Aug. 3: Hurricanes 4, Rangers 1
Game 3, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Hurricanes 4, Rangers 1
Hurricanes win series 3-0

(No. 7) New York Islanders vs. (No. 10) Florida Panthers
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Islanders 2, Panthers 1
Game 2, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Islanders 4, Panthers 2
Game 3, Wednesday, Aug. 5: Panthers 3, Islanders 2
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Islanders 5, Panthers 1
Islanders win series 3-1

(No. 8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (No. 9) Columbus Blue Jackets
Game 1, Sunday, Aug. 2: Blue Jackets 2, Maple Leafs 0
Game 2, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Maple Leafs 3, Blue Jackets 0
Game 3, Thursday, Aug. 6: Blue Jackets 4, Leafs 3 (OT)
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Maple Leafs 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT)
Game 5, Sunday, Aug. 9: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs

WESTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND ROBIN
Sunday, Aug. 2: Avalanche 2, Blues 1
Monday, Aug. 3: Golden Knights 5, Stars 3
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche 4, Stars 0
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights 6, Blues 4
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights 4, Avalanche 3 (OT)
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars 2, Blues 1 (SO)

QUALIFYING ROUND
(No. 5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (No. 12) Chicago Blackhawks
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Blackhawks 6, Oilers 4
Game 2, Monday, Aug. 3: Oilers 6, Blackhawks 3
Game 3, Wednesday, Aug. 5: Blackhawks 4, Oilers 3
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Blackhawks 3, Oilers 2
Blackhawks win series 3-1

(No. 6) Nashville Predators vs. (No. 11) Arizona Coyotes
Game 1, Sunday, Aug. 2: Coyotes 4, Predators 3
Game 2, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Predators 4, Coyotes 2
Game 3, Wednesday, Aug. 5: Coyotes 4, Predators 1
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Coyotes 4, Predators 3 (OT)
Coyotes win series 3-1

(No. 7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (No. 10) Minnesota Wild
Game 1, Sunday, Aug. 2: Wild 3, Canucks 0
Game 2, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Canucks 4, Wild 3
Game 3, Thursday, Aug. 6: Canucks 3, Wild 0
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Canucks 5, Wild 4 (OT)
Canucks win series 3-1

(No. 8) Calgary Flames vs. (No. 9) Winnipeg Jets
Game 1, Saturday, Aug. 1: Flames 4, Jets 1
Game 2, Monday, Aug. 3: Jets 3, Flames 2
Game 3, Tuesday, Aug. 4: Flames 6, Jets 2
Game 4, Thursday, Aug. 6: Flames 4, Jets 0
Flames win series 3-1