The Boston Bruins wrapped up their regular season schedule with a quick back-to-back against the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals. After a thrilling overtime victory against the Islanders, the Bruins locked up the 3 seed in the East Division, and booked themselves a first round series against the Washington Capitals. Although they lost tonight’s contest against the Capitals, there was really nothing on the line, and shouldn’t be of any concern as we head into a seven game set against them.
Last night’s game against the Islanders was really for all the marbles. If Boston forced overtime, they would lock up the third seed in the process. The Bruins opened the scoring with a power play goal from Taylor Hall, as he lasered in a shot from an incredibly tight angle. The Islanders would get one back early in the second period, before Brad Marchand and Mathew Barzal would trade goals later on in the period. A scoreless third meant the Bruins had achieved their goal, and had locked up the third seed. They weren’t content with just the single point however, as Hall would show of his handles and score an absolutely filthy goal for the game winner, sending the fans home happy in the process.
That set the stage for a meaningless game tonight against the Washington Capitals, as all the teams in the East were already locked into their positions. As a result, the Bruins rested most of their starters, and wound up losing the game 2-1. Curtis Lazar would open the scoring in the second period, only for Carl Hagelin to tie it back up a few minutes later. It seemed like the game was set to head to overtime, only for Michael Raffl to net the winner with three seconds left in the period. While it was a tough way to end the regular season, it was ultimately an inconsequential loss, and allowed some of the reserve players to get some more minutes before we head to playoffs.
So that wraps up the season for the Bruins. They sandwiched some really solid stretches of hockey around a cold stretch in the middle, but still found themselves in the playoffs regardless. The trade deadline acquisitions of Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly have really seemed to light a spark under this squad, and they could be set for a deep playoff run if things go their way. Although they may have fallen a little bit lower in the standings than they would have liked, this team still has Stanley Cup aspirations.
So, now they head into an opening round set against the Washington Capitals. Boston went 4-2-2 against them in the regular season, which also includes tonight’s loss, so they’ve really been quite even for the most part. It should be a great series, with Game 1 kicking off on Saturday.
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