Highlights from Bruins' 3-2 win over Senators

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Highlights from Bruins' 3-2 win over Senators

FINAL SCORE: Bruins 3, Senators 2

IN BRIEF: The Bruins spotted Ottawa two iffy goals with questionable play in front, but won it in the third period anyways, first with Chris Wagner tying it at 2 and then David Krejci winning it with 44 seconds to go after tipping home a Danton Heinen shot, as Boston ran its historic points streak up to 19 games.


BRUINS RECORD: 42-17-9 (93 points), 2nd in Atlantic Division


You just can’t make it up for the Bruins, as they take points in their 19th straight by scoring a game-winning goal with just 44.7 seconds to play. This time it was David Krejci tipping home a Danton Heinen shot from the slot after the B’s had tied things up in the third period, and now the Bruins are riding a six game winning streak in addition to the point streak. The point streak, by the way, is now the second-longest in Bruins franchise history, and now trails only a 23-game point streak achieved during the 1940-41 season by the Black and Gold. They just keep winning games and piling up points, and now they’re doing it in dramatic fashion. 

Just when it was starting to feel like it wasn't going to be the Bruins night. Noel Acciari, Torey Krug and Patrice Bergeron all hit posts or crossbars in the first two periods, and the Bruins managed only a single goal in 26 shots on net through the first 40 minutes of the game. Piece of evidence No. 2 that the Bruins were looking like they were going to lose this game: They did that thing where they give up a goal a minute after they scored, and thereby completely give up the momentum that they’d built up after Brad Marchand scored on a power play goal

It was a pretty good first few periods from Lee Stempniak -- not exactly world-beating, but pretty solid nonetheless in his first NHL game in almost a year. All it takes is one play for a skilled guy like that to make something happen and get on the scoreboard, so let’s see what happens with him. It’s true that a mark on the score sheet would have even been better, but he’s made more of an impact than most of the other young guys that have played in that spot.

Another three shots on net and six shot attempts overall in the first two periods for Brandon Carlo, who is really amping up the shooting over the last few games amidst his coach jokingly calling him Brent Burns. If Carlo could continue to really get shots through from the point then that’s a legitimate area where he could grow his offensive with a pretty big, booming shot from the point. It’s clearly his best offensive weapon and it’s a good thing he’s trying to use it more. 





SUNDAY: at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
TUESDAY: at Columbus, 7 p.m. (NESN)
THURSDAY: at Winnipeg, 8 p.m. (NESN)
SATURDAY: vs. Columbus, 7 p.m. (NESN)

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NHL sets 2019-20 salary cap at $81.5, $1.5 million lower than expected

NHL sets 2019-20 salary cap at $81.5, $1.5 million lower than expected

The NHL announced it's salary cap for the 2019-20 season Saturday at $81.5 million, which is $1.5 million lower than initial projections.

The Bruins are expected to have about $13 million in cap space, not counting free agents Danton Heinen, Marcus Johansson, Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, Noel Acciari and Brandon Kampfer. 

The Bruins will likely bring back McAvoy, Carlo and Heinen, but the lower cap figure may have an impact on the team's willingness to re-sign Johansson. One avenue the Bruins could take is offloading David Backes contract onto a team with the space to absorb it, but apparently, his deal is "impossible to move."

We'll see what this lower cap result ultimately does to the Bruins plans moving forward, but the last thing teams usually want around free agency is less money to spend. 

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Is David Backes' contract 'impossible to move'?

Is David Backes' contract 'impossible to move'?

In the wake of losing the 2019 Stanley Cup Final in seven games to the St. Louis Blues, the Boston Bruins are facing a tight salary cap situation that could prevent them from bringing back all of their talented players.

On paper, an easy move to free up some space would involve dumping David Backes. The 35-year-old was inactive for a good chunk of the team's postseason run and only had 20 total points last season. But Backes, set to make $6 million this season, has buyout protections in his contract and is due another $6 million in the 2020-21 season. And as one assistant GM pointed out, that makes the contract unmovable.

“Impossible to move,” said one assistant GM of Backes' contract to The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa. “It would be a high-end pick plus a prospect. The only way is a bad contract for a bad contract.”

The Bruins certainly wouldn't like to pay that type of price to offload Backes. But that may mean some sacrifices elsewhere on the roster.

Right now, the Bruins have a few players on their roster set to hit restricted free agency. Young building blocks Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Danton Heinen are all due raises and potential long-term contracts moving forward. Additionally, key bottom-six players Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari are going to be unrestricted free agents, and one would think that the Bruins would have an interest in bringing that duo back -- and Johansson in particular.

However, the Bruins don't have a lot of projected cap space. projects the Bruins to have just under $13 million in space. That may be enough to bring back the restricted players, but it may keep Johansson from rejoining the team.

While clearing Backes' contract could open the space needed to bring back Johansson, it simply appears to be too high of a price to pay to get rid of him. They have a lot of intriguing young talent in their system, so they may turn to them instead if they can't afford to keep some of the free agents on their roster.

Also, it's notable that throughout the offseason, Don Sweeney has praised Backes' veteran leadership and seems to think that he can still contribute. Backes may play on the fourth line and while $6 million would still be a pretty penny for a fourth-line player, at least the Bruins could use him and wouldn't have to sacrifice long-term assets to get rid of him.

We'll soon see if anything changes for the Bruins, but for the time being, it seems likely that Backes will be back for another season.

HAGGERTY: The pros and cons of bringing back Backes>>>

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