The Boston Bruins are off to one of the best starts in NHL history, and they hope to continue those winning ways when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
With Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings to kick off a three-game California trip, the Bruins tied the 1944-45 Montreal Canadiens for the second spot on the league’s all-time list for fewest games to reach 30 wins. Needing 38 games to hit the mark, the Bruins (30-4-4) are second only to the 1929-30 Bruins, who needed only 35 games.
“We just want to keep things rolling,” Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman said after beating the Kings. “We know how good we are, and games like this, where you have a little adversity with travel or whatever, you want to get on top and get those two points.”
The Bruins are unbeaten in regulation in the past 12 games (9-0-3), and it’s not just their stars producing. Against the Kings, Trent Frederic scored a pair of goals 34 second apart midway through the third period to break open a 2-2 game.
Frederic has nine goals in 35 games this season. He netted eight in 60 outings in 2021-22.
“I haven’t had anything like that, two goals in a shift,” Frederic said. “I was actually ready to change after the first one. Too much on the (celebration). Lucky enough I stayed out there.”
As if the Bruins don’t have enough going for them, the victory over Los Angeles showed another piece of their repertoire. Boston leads the league with 57 third-period goals while posting the fewest third-period goals against with 23.
“It’s the belief that we’re gonna pull things out. … It’s pretty significant and it’s pretty remarkable what these guys have done,” coach Jim Montgomery said.
The Sharks return home after Friday’s disappointing 5-4 overtime defeat to the Pacific Division cellar-dwelling Anaheim Ducks, a game in which they blew leads of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3.
San Jose has only two wins in its past nine games (2-4-3), and the frustration is starting to show.
“Like many times this year, where we just kind of find a way to lose this game. I don’t even know what to say. It’s obviously frustrating,” said Timo Meier, who scored twice on a night he registered 10 shots on goal.
While the hopes of a playoff spot become further out of reach — the Sharks are a dozen points behind the second wild-card spot as they prepare to reach the midway point of the campaign — San Jose does have one star who continues to shine.
Defenseman Erik Karlsson collected an assist in Friday’s loss, which runs his point-scoring streak to 14 games, the longest in franchise history, in which he’s collected 22 points (2-20-22).
Saturday’s game could mean the debut of forward Mikey Eyssimont, who was claimed off waivers from the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. He collected one goal and four assists in 19 games for the Jets this season.
“I’m a player who comes to play every single night,” said Eyssimont, who will add more depth. “Try to bring some grit, some tenacity. Hold onto pucks below the goal line and try to make plays through the neutral zone. Reliable defensively as well.”
–Field Level Media