Bruins

David Pastrnak has some fun at NHL All-Star Skills Competition

David Pastrnak has some fun at NHL All-Star Skills Competition

As expected, David Pastrnak showed up with a smile and his trademark charisma to the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday night at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

The NHL’s leading scorer and the captain for the Atlantic Division squad garnered a pre-event television interview with NBC Sports analyst Brian Boucher where he joked he’d been practicing for his Shooting Star event for a couple of weeks (he hasn’t) after an earlier walk down the All-Star red carpet in a typically stylish blue suit.

Pastrnak finished out of the running in the Shooting Stars event despite his NHL-leading 37 goals at the break, and instead finished with just 10 points while missing out on the 10-point arch in the middle of the ice.

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Patrick Kane ended up beating Mitch Marner in sudden death overtime when the two scorers were deadlocked after the initial rounds of the competition.  

On the ice, Pastrnak took part in the goalie “Save Streak” event where he was denied a couple of times on breakaways, which was, unfortunately, more of the same of what Bruins fans have been subjected to in B’s shootouts this season.

St. Louis' hometown favorite Jordan Binnington ended up winning that event with ten saves in a row that wowed the crowd after Isles center Mat Barzal won the fastest skating competition and Carolina Hurricanes D-man Jaccob Slavin, who had replaced an injured Dougie Hamilton, won the shooting accuracy competition.

Canadiens D-man Shea Weber won his fourth hardest shot competition with a 106.5-mph slap shot to beat Washington’s John Carlson, and that means Zdeno Chara’s 108.8-mph bomb still remains the NHL-record in the event.

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 vs. Bruins
Thursday, Aug. 6: Capitals vs. Flyers
Sunday, Aug. 8: Flyers vs. Lightning
Saturday, Aug. 9: Bruins vs. Capitals

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: Penguins vs. Canadiens
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Penguins vs. Canadiens*
Game 5, Saturday, Aug. 8: Canadiens vs. Penguins*

(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 vs. Panthers*
Game 5, Sunday, Aug. 9: Panthers vs. Islanders*

(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: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets*
Game 5, Sunday, Aug. 9: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs*
*If necessary

WESTERN CONFERENCE

ROUND ROBIN
Sunday, Aug. 2: Avalanche 2, Blues 1
Monday, Aug. 3: Golden Knights 5, Stars 3
Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche vs. Stars
Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knights vs. Blues
Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche
Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues

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: Oilers vs. Blackhawks
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Oilers vs. Blackhawks*
Game 5, Saturday, Aug. 8: Blackhawks vs. Oilers*

(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: Predators vs. Coyotes
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Predators vs. Coyotes*
Game 5, Sunday, Aug. 9: Coyotes vs. Predators*

(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 vs. Wild
Game 4, Friday, Aug. 7: Canucks vs. Wild*
Game 5, Sunday, Aug. 9: Wild vs. Canucks*

(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 vs. Jets*
Game 5, Saturday, Aug. 8: Jets vs. Flames*
*If necessary

NHL Playoffs: Bruins hoping a showdown with rival Lightning brings their best

NHL Playoffs: Bruins hoping a showdown with rival Lightning brings their best

The Bruins have been stuck in a quagmire of half-measure efforts and rusty execution in their first two games played inside the Toronto bubble over the last week.

One was an exhibition loss vs. Columbus with zero consequence behind it, and the other was a half-hearted defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers last weekend that really didn’t feel Boston put its best foot forward.

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The hope headed into Wednesday afternoon against the Tampa Bay Lightning is that a showdown with one of their fiercest division rivals will be exactly the kind of magic elixir needed to snap the Bruins out of their somnambulant state.

“I hope it does,” said B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy, when asked if Tampa will bring out the best in the Black and Gold. “I went to the game [on Monday] and it was very physical and very spirited against Washington. They are developing a rivalry, and obviously with us and Tampa I’m expecting a lot of the same.

“It will be physical and competitive. We’re trying to build our game and get better every time out. We’re going to need to if we want to beat Tampa. I’m looking forward to it and I think the guys are too. It’s a tough mental [challenge] right now because we don’t know who our opponent is going to be next week. You still want to pick up wins, but you’re trying to balance that with the urgency of preparing for your first playoff opponent.”

The concern is definitely there with the Bruins given that Boston’s best players have been below average in the first couple of games, and that Tampa has historically been a tough matchup for them over the last few years.

Tuukka Rask has been rather ordinary against the high-powered Lightning in recent seasons — he went 1-2-1 with a 2.73 goals against average and a .902 save percentage in four games this season is 2-9-1 with a 3.09 GAA and a .887 save percentage in his last 12 games against Tampa Bay, including the 2018 second-round playoff series that the Lightning won in five games — and the Bolts are a deeper, more high-impact roster across the board while the B’s are wheeling out a second line of Nick Ritchie, David Krejci and Karson Kuhlman for Wednesday afternoon’s puck drop.

Clearly it isn’t Boston’s best lineup so much as it’s Cassidy attempting to get everybody on his roster a little bit of game action ahead of the conventional four rounds of Stanley Cup Playoffs starting next week. It won’t be Tampa’s best lineup either with Steve Stamkos out while still rehabbing from abdominal surgery, but they still feature high-octane offense with Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, stalwart defense led by Victor Hedman and an all-word goaltender in Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The top competition won’t stop the B’s bench boss from having a long list of expectations for what he’s looking for against Tampa, and what’s been missing in those first two losses to Columbus and Philadelphia where the Bruins were outscored by an 8-2 margin.

“Sixty minutes of Bruins hockey. Or [65 minutes] if need be today is what we’re targeting. Hopefully that results in a win. You can play really well in short spurts and not win. Eventually, you keep playing well with a team like ours you will win. We’re looking for that 60-minute effort. We had 20 minutes the other night, a good start, playing our game. We got away from it in the second period,” said Cassidy. “Our puck management has to improve from the other night… no shooting ourselves in the foot. Taking the plays that are there.

“Offensively, we need to generate more. Some of that will be a shot mentality. Some of that is shaking the rust off. Some of that is having a little more purpose in our game [and be] willing to attack the net. Execute better all over the ice I think is the big thing we’re looking for. This will be our third game and by then you hope the players have now started to regain some of their individual skill level. Let’s see the execution improve and let’s see our puck management improve. I think the passion will be there. Tampa and us always have good, solid games. That alone will make us better.”

That’s the hope anyway. We’ll see how it plays out on Wednesday night where another middling performance from the B’s could really begin to get people worried around Boston.