Game Day Preview: Bruins-Senators Game 1
After a two-year hiatus, the Bruins are finally back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Kicking off their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series tonight against the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins’ blueline will be a little thin. Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo will not be in the lineup Wednesday night. In for the two will be veteran John-Michael Liles and rookie Charlie McAvoy. Wednesday will be McAvoy’s first career National Hockey League game. After missing practice yesterday, Dominic Moore and David Krejci are both expected to be back in the Bruins’ lineup for Game 1.
The Senators are expected to get a key piece back in time for Game 1 as Erik Karlsson should be ready to go Wednesday night. The Sens’ captain missed five of Ottawa’s last seven regular season games due to separate lower-body issues. Zack Smith will also be back in the lineup Wednesday after missing six games with an upper-body injury. Lastly, Mark Methot is a game-time decision after missing nine games with a finger injury.
The Senators swept the season series from the Bruins in four close games. In those four contests, the Black and Gold only scored one five-on-five goal. That will obviously need to change if Bruce Cassidy and company want to advance to the second round.
Gametime: 7:00 pm
TV/Radio: NESN; NHL Network(out of market)/ 98.5 The Sports Hub
Series Record: Tied 0-0
Location: Canadian Tire Centre
Bruins projected lines:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
Drew Stafford-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-Ryan Spooner-Matt Beleskey
Tim Schaller-Dominic Moore-Riley Nash
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
John-Michael Liles-Adam McQuaid
Colin Miller-Kevan Miller
Senators projected lines:
Mike Hoffman-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Mark Stone
Clarke MacArthur-Kyle Turris-Bobby Ryan
Alex Burrows-Derrick Brassard-Viktor Stalberg
Tom Pyatt-Zack Smith-Tommy Wingels
Marc Methot-Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf-Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki-Chris Wideman
– Making your NHL debut is never an easy task. Making your NHL debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs only makes that task much more difficult. In Game 1, former Boston University standout Charlie McAvoy will be facing that uphill battle as he plays in his first game as a Bruin. Signed to an entry-level deal just 10 months after being drafted in the first round by the Bruins, McAvoy will be tasked with a big challenge. In the lineup due to injuries to Carlo and Krug, McAvoy will be asked to fill some of the gap left by the absence of Carlo and Krug. It will be interesting to see how McAvoy handles the speed and size of the NHL. In his four games with the Providence Bruins earlier this month, McAvoy was praised for his calmness and vision. He’ll need both against a tough, speedy Senators team.
– Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 defensive system has been a thorn in the Bruins’ side all season and much of the same is expected in their playoff series. In order for the Bruins to advance to the second round, they’re going to have to figure out a way to get through the neutral zone and into the Senators’ end. Either with quick passes through the neutral zone, or getting pucks deep, the Bruins need to be sharp and smart with the puck in order to generate offense. If the Bruins can’t get into the offensive zone quickly and smoothly, it will be a long night in the series opener.