Bruins

Talking Points from Bruins' 5-0 win over Islanders: Kuraly sets tone

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Talking Points from Bruins' 5-0 win over Islanders: Kuraly sets tone

GOLD STAR: Fourth-line center Sean Kuraly is having a pretty darn good season. The two goals scored on Tuesday night give him a career-high eight and 20 points with 10 regular-season games remaining. Tuesday night also marked his first two-goal game in the regular season after he scored twice in Game 5 of the 2017 playoff series vs. Ottawa. Both were just flat out good shots. The first goal simply fooled Robin Lehner when he first looked to pass and the second was Kuraly stepping into a pass from Danton Heinen after a quick wraparound attempt. He’s really not a good fit as a top-nine forward after the Bruins tried him on the third line to start the season, but he’s become a really good, well-rounded fourth-line center with just enough offensive pop. A pretty good season for Kuraly with some bumps and bruises along the way.

BLACK EYE: Can you give it to the entire Islanders team? There are so many candidates to choose from, whether it was Lehner, who appeared to be having trouble tracking pucks from the first goal allowed, or Josh Bailey and Leo Komarov, who were both a minus-3 with zero offensive presence. In general, the Islanders managed just two shots on net in the first period and then only another six in the second period. By that point, they were trailing 3-0 with no chance to get back into the game. About the only Islanders player who showed up was Matt Martin challenging Zdeno Chara to a fight to start the second period to try and stir up the troops, but that didn’t even work for a team that just never showed up.

TURNING POINT: After slow starts for the longest time, the Bruins are again hopping on opponents and taking control of games. Kuraly and the Bruins fourth line brought serious energy at the start of the game and it culminated with Kuraly scoring just 1:10 in. Once the Bruins scored that early knockdown, it sure appeared like the Islanders quit with just two shots on net in the first period. Then the Bruins scored two more goals in the second and were off and running after a strong start. It was all about being ready to go at the starting gate for the Black and Gold.

HONORABLE MENTION: Patrice Bergeron had another typically excellent game that culminated with No. 37 scoring a goal in the third period to help widen the lead. It was a top-corner beauty in the slot that Bergeron stepped into after a slick centering pass from Joakim Nordstrom. He finished with a goal, a plus-1 rating and eight shot attempts in 14:36 of easygoing ice time. Bergeron also had a takeaway and 13 of 22 wins on face-offs in a strong, all-around effort while centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak for the first time in a month. There were plenty of good performances, though. This could have gone to Noel Acciari, Jake DeBrusk, Charlie Coyle, Charlie McAvoy or Zdeno Chara among others in a strong all-around effort.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – the number of shots on net for Charlie Coyle in 17:58 of ice time as he continues to generate shots and offense while playing the wing on David Krejci’s right side rather than third line center.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “I thought in every area of the game we were very good. We limited their chances against. I thought we broke up a lot of plays to put us in transition, made good decisions with the puck and really attacked when we could. I thought our D pinched at the right times and the forwards reloaded, and as a result, we got a lot of pucks back. We buried a few early and about halfway through the game I thought we really broke their spirit.” –Bruce Cassidy, to NESN on the dominant 5-0 win.

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Nordstrom, Kuhlman back into the Bruins' lineup; Backes, Wagner out

Nordstrom, Kuhlman back into the Bruins' lineup; Backes, Wagner out

The Boston Bruins are getting ready to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the Bruins facing elimination in Game 6, the team is making a couple of shakeups to their lineup.

The Bruins are apparently rolling with more of a speed-based lineup on Sunday. According to Joe Haggerty, they are including Karson Kuhlman and Joakim Nordstrom to assist on their bottom two lines. Kuhlman will likely play on the third line with Nordstrom playing on the fourth.

To make room for Kuhlman and Nordstrom, David Backes and Chris Wagner will be moved into bench roles. Backes had one point in four playoff games this year while Wagner has logged a minus-2 rating in five postseason games this year.

Kuhlman showed some promise during the regular season, but he sat out the last two games amid the struggles the Bruins' offense was facing. Meanwhile, Nordstrom made way for Sean Kuraly's return from injury last game but did post an empty net goal in his last time on the ice.

We'll soon see if these changes are enough to help the Bruins stave off elimination. 

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B's feeling 'the tension, the excitement' with emotions on high in a do-or-die Game 6

B's feeling 'the tension, the excitement' with emotions on high in a do-or-die Game 6

TORONTO – The Boston Bruins aren’t going to deny there’s tension among their ranks in a do-or-die Game 6 against the Toronto Maple Leafs this afternoon at Scotiabank Arena, and presumably that’s going to bring out their best.

The Bruins are a daunting 3-20 in playoff series where they’ve fallen behind 3-2 in the best-of-seven format, but they’re also a far more decent 10-23 in the Game 6’s when they’ve faced that situation. It may or may not play out that way again in a Game 7 on home ice where they’ve already dropped two out of their three games to Toronto at TD Garden in the series, but the Bruins are planning to wear their hearts on their collective sleeves on Easter Sunday afternoon in Toronto.

“Obviously it’s a big day for us. You can feel the tension, the excitement. There are a lot of emotions going right now, but that’s hockey,” said Brad Marchand, who has been the most effective of Boston’s big three forwards in this series with two goals and six points along with a plus-2 in the five games played. “It’s playoff time and that’s what makes it so exciting. So it’s going to be a fun game. There’s a very energetic crowd in this building. It’s a fun building to play in, so it should be a fun game.”

It remains to be seen how it’s all going to play out, but Bruce Cassidy is looking for the same kind of desperate, physical response that punctuated Game 2, and really seemed to throw the Maple Leafs off their game for the only time in the series.

“I’d much rather see us play on our toes, be assertive and play with urgency and have it not go our way. That’s what we’ve done all year. We’re a team that plays on our toes and we’ve won some and lost some, but we’ve won a lot more than we’ve lost,” said Bruce Cassidy. “That’s typically how we like to play and I’d like to see us get back to our identity in that regard. Some of that has been [about concern for] Toronto stretching the zone, but maybe there’s just too much thinking and not enough freakin’ playing. That’s what we’re up against right now.”

The Bruins will get one more opportunity to “freakin’ play” on Sunday afternoon with elimination on the line, and they did to decide if the urgency is there to live on for at least one more game Tuesday night in Boston for an all-decided Game 7 scenario.  

Pastrnak confident Bruins can 'bring it home' for Game 7>>>

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