HomeSports NewsMatchups, preview, how to watch Bruins-Devils on ABC, ESPN+

Matchups, preview, how to watch Bruins-Devils on ABC, ESPN+

ESPN’s slate of exclusive broadcasts features a doozy Saturday: It’s a tripleheader on ABC and ESPN+, capped off by the Boston Bruins hosting the New Jersey Devils at 8 p.m. ET.

Not only is this a battle of two of the NHL’s top teams but the Bruins can tie the single-season record for wins (62) if they pull out a victory over the Devils. For more on all the Bruins’ historic exploits this season, head here.

To help get you ready for the game, we’ve put together a guide on the key players to watch for each team, including in-depth statistical insights from ESPN Stats & Information, and more.

Subscribe to ESPN+ | Stream the NHL on ESPN

8 p.m. ET | Watch live on ESPN+

Power Rankings: 1
Leading scorer: David Pastrnak (57 G, 47 A, 104 P)
2022-23 record: 61-12-5, first in Atlantic Division

  • The Bruins’ offense centers on an elite ability to move the puck toward high-quality scoring areas of the ice. Boston averages an NHL-best 14.1 passes to the slot per game (league average is 11.3 per game), per Stathletes data. Furthermore, 39.0% of their shot attempts are taken from the slot, which is the third-highest rate in the NHL, trailing only the Maple Leafs (39.6%) and Blues (39.4%).

  • One-timers are an effective shot selection because their quickness decreases the time for defenses, in particular goaltenders, to defend them. The Bruins generate 29.9% of their scoring chances off one-timers, the highest rate in the NHL (league average is 24.3%), per Stathletes data. Only the Oilers (86) and Kings (83) have scored more goals on one-timers this season than the Bruins have (81). Pastrnak is largely responsible for that total, having scored 20 one-timer goals this season, tied for second most in the NHL with Mark Scheifele and behind only Leon Draisaitl (27).

  • Defensively, the Bruins lead the NHL, having allowed only 2.10 goals per game, the only team below 2.50.

  • Boston simply does an exceptional job at limiting its opponents’ scoring opportunities. Only the Hurricanes (11.5) and Kings (12.3) allow fewer scoring chances per game than the Bruins (12.4).

  • Pastrnak is second in the NHL with 57 goals and is tied for fifth with 104 points, on pace for 60 and 109, respectively. Those totals don’t approach the NHL records, but it is already the fifth-highest total in a season by a Bruin, breaking Phil Esposito’s clean sweep of the top five goal-scoring seasons in B’s history.

  • According to Stathletes data, Pastrnak’s 8.81 shot attempts per game trails only Nathan MacKinnon (9.03) among NHL skaters. He leads the league in one-timer shot attempts per game (2.62) and sits third in shot attempts between the dots per game (6.25) behind only Auston Matthews (6.70) and MacKinnon (6.66).

Power Rankings: 3
Leading scorer: Jack Hughes (42 G, 53 A, 95 P)
2022-23 record: 50-21-8, second in Metro Division

  • Excluding shootout winners, the Devils have outscored their opponents by 56 goals this season, which is third in the NHL behind only the Bruins (+119) and Oilers (+60). Their 63 goals allowed in the third period is fewer than every other team except Boston (56).

  • Each of the Devils’ top four goal scorers this season are under the age of 25: 21-year-old Hughes has 42, 24-year-old Nico Hischier has 31, 24-year-old Jesper Bratt has 31 and 21-year-old Dawson Mercer has 27.

  • New Jersey is the only club this season with each of its top four goal scorers under the age of 25. If Mercer scores three goals in the team’s final five games, the Devils can become the first team in 38 years to feature four players under the age of 25 who score at least 30 goals in a season. In 1984-85, the Jets and Oilers accomplished that feat.

  • Although the Devils’ roster is young, their head coach has been around quite a while. One of five head coaches in NHL history with at least 1,700 regular-season games, Lindy Ruff has led a team to the postseason for the 11th time in 22 campaigns in that role.

  • The Devils are an elite team going from defense to offense, having scored 34.6% of their goals this season off the rush, per Stathletes research. That is the third-highest rate in the league, trailing only the Blues (39.3%) and Sabres (35.6%). Their 93 goals off the rush is tied for third in the NHL, with the Connor McDavid and Draisaitl-led Oilers, again trailing only the Blues and Sabres (99).

  • The Devils are very much a team that subscribes to the philosophy that no shot attempt is a bad shot attempt. They average 64.8 shot attempts per game overall, per Stathletes data, fourth in the league behind the Hurricanes, Flames and Panthers.

Source link



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments