A LOOK AHEAD
The Bruins embark on a rapid-fire road trip this weekend, playing three games in three days, beginning Friday night at 7:15pm at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. The Hartford Wolf Pack have dropped eight straight, and will also host the Bruins Sunday evening at 5:00pm.
Between games in Hartford, the Bruins will square off with the Albany Devils on Saturday at 5:00pm in what will be the last regular season visit to Times Union Center.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Despite a disappointing defeat on Sunday, 5-2 to the Utica Comets, the Bruins still took home four of a possible six points last weekend.
Friday’s 3-0 win over Bridgeport stopped the team’s three game losing streak and also stopped a personal three game skid for Goaltender Zane McIntyre, who notched his second shutout of the season. Jake DeBrusk opened the scoring in the first, registering what would be the first of five points (1-4-5) for the rookie over the course of the weekend.
Saturday’s 4-2 win over Springfield proved to be enough to keep the Bruins on the right side of the playoff line in the Atlantic Division heading into the season’s final 12 games. Malcolm Subban turned in a solid performance in net, and the team scored three unanswered goals, erasing what was a 2-1 deficit late in the second period.
DeBrusk led all scorers over the weekend with his five points. Alex Grant registered three assists and finished the weekend with a +4 rating. Austin Czarnik had a goal and an assist in just his second three-in-three weekend with the PBruins this season.
Six straight wins from the Hershey Bears have dropped the Bruins into fourth place for the time being, just slightly ahead of Bridgeport for the final playoff slot in the Atlantic Division. The Sound Tigers and Bruins are tied with 81 points, but Providence has a game in hand.
While noting the disappointment with Sunday’s loss, Center Colby Cave seemed ready to turn the page. “We got four out of six points and now it’s a new weekend, you’ve got to just put one foot in front of the other and keep going.”
On the reintegration of Austin Czarnik and Peter Cehlarik into the lineup last weekend, Cave said it was just more of the same from a team that has seen a number of roster moves throughout the year. “If guys go down with injury, or there are call ups to Boston, guys step into the job and really do their part. It’s a full team effort.”
Assistant Coach Trent Whitfield didn’t mince words when discussing Sunday’s loss to Utica. “I think our execution Sunday, clearly, wasn’t good enough. We weren’t able to put together two or three passes; we were getting picked off, and it was one of those games where our execution lacked and therefore we weren’t able to produce any offense.”
On Hartford: “Playing against a team – they’re out of the playoffs, and they don’t have a lot to play for in that regard – might be a little bit harder [to prepare for], maybe they’re a little bit looser. We’ve just got to worry about ourselves and play our game, and really focus on our forecheck and our execution.”
On the crowded Atlantic Division standings: “It’s a tight race; it’s going to come down to the last weekend, as we knew it would. We’ve got five really good teams in our division fighting for those four spots and we’ve got to win our games just to keep pace. We’ll watch that [the scoreboard] as close as we can, but we’ve got to take care of our business, and if we do that I think we’ll be fine.”
The Hartford Wolf Pack return to the XL Center for the first time since March 5, having gone 0-5-1 over the course of a six game road trip. Hartford’s lone win in the month of March came on March 1, a 4-3 overtime victory at home against Springfield. The team has allowed at least five goals in six of the last eight games, and has not allowed fewer than three goals in any game this month.
The Wolf Pack will be home all weekend, hosting the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday night between dates with the Bruins.
Coverage of Friday’s 7:15pm contest in Hartford begins at 7:00pm on ahllive.com.