NHL Sports

Game 1 Preview: Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets

The second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs starts with a Game 1 matchup between the Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets. This will be Columbus first game since April 16, when they swept the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning 7-3. For the first time in franchise history, Columbus will play a second-round playoff series. Now the Blue Jackets will play an experienced Boston Bruins team that just won Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets had not played a game in over a week. Starting the series fresh is a bonus for any team. The only issue is if they are still in playoff mode. They will face a Bruins team that worked hard to win back-to-back elimination games against Toronto. Boston is a better team on paper, but the Blue Jackets is the hottest team right now. Since March 24, the Blue Jackets are 11-1-0 in the past 12 games. The only loss was against the 6-2 defeat against the Bruins on April 2. Expect to see the same lineups from the First Round. The power-play lineup had been stellar scoring 5 times out of the ten power plays against the Lightning. Don’t expect Columbus to continue to be 50% in the power play against the Bruins penalty kill. During the regular season, the Blue Jackets were the top penalty kill percentage. Right now they will face the Bruins hot power play line up.  

Boston Bruins

The Bruins have on their three star forwards Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. All three players provide balance and playoff experience for the Bruins. Goaltender Tuukka Rask had an outstanding.928 save percentage in the first round. In Games 6 and 7, Rask stepped up and made key saves. Rask performance in the big games is a bonus. A strong special teams’ performance is key for the Bruins too advanced. Their power play lineup is hot right now! In seven games, they scored seven power-play goals from six different players (Bergeron has two). It will be a test against the top penalty-killing team in the league.

Expected lineups

 

Bruins projected lineup (According to NHL.com)

 

Offense:

Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Danton Heinen

Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — David Pastrnak

Marcus Johansson — Charlie CoyleChris Wagner

Joakim Nordstrom — Sean Kuraly — Noel Acciari

Defense:

Zdeno CharaCharlie McAvoy

Torey KrugBrandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk — Connor Clifton

Goalies:

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: David Backes, Karson Kuhlman, Steven Kampfer

Injured: Kevan Miller (lower body), John Moore (lower body)

 

Columbus projected lineup (According to NHL.com)

Offense

Artemi PanarinPierre-Luc Dubois — Oliver Bjorkstrand

Ryan Dzingel — Matt Duchene — Cam Atkinson

Alexandre Texier — Nick Foligno — Josh Anderson

Riley NashBoone JennerBrandon Dubinsky

Defense

Zach WerenskiSeth Jones

Dean KukanDavid Savard

Scott Harrington — Adam Clendening

Goalies:

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Keith Kinkaid, Andrew Peeke, Alexander Wennberg, Markus Hannikainen, Vladislav Gavrikov, Lukas Sedlak, Eric Robinson

Predictions:

Boston beat Columbus in overtime, 3-2. Bergeron scoring the winning goal.

 

Tonight the Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets will start at 7 p.m. ET; (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

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