NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Boston 2 0 0 2
Dallas 0 1 0 1
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET21:30 BRT, October 3, 2019
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas  Attendance: 18,532

Bruins renew Cup pursuit with opener at Dallas

Boston Bruins at Dallas Stars

  1. The Bruins have taken points in each of their last seven meetings against the Stars dating back to February 2016, posting a record of 5-0-2 in that span. They've also gone 6-1-1 in Dallas since the start of the 2009 season -- the lone regulation loss came on New Years' Eve in 2011.
  2. Boston lost to St. Louis in a seven-game Stanley Cup Final, the club's first Game 7 loss in any playoff series since 2014. The Bruins' 107 points last season marked their second straight season with 100+ points -- they have not reached the century mark in three straight seasons since doing so in five straight from 1975-76 to 1979-80.
  3. Dallas lost to St. Louis in seven games in the Second Round after posting 93 points -- their most since 2015-16 (109 points). The Stars allowed 2.44 goals per game last season -- second best in the NHL (Islanders, 2.33) and the franchise's lowest average since 2006-07 (2.35).
  4. Brad Marchand led the Bruins with a career-high 100 points (36g, 64a) last season, including 34 power-play points (10g, 34a). He was one of six NHL skaters with 10+ power-play goals and 20+ power-play assists, and the first Bruin to meet those numbers since 2006-07, when Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron both did so.
  5. Tyler Seguin led the team with 80 points (33g, 47a) and 334 shots on goal -- 125 more than the next-most on the team (Alexander Radulov, 209). That was the second-largest gap between any team's top two shots leaders last season, behind the Capitals (Alex Ovechkin, 388; Evgeny Kuznetsov, 193).
  6. Ben Bishop led the NHL with a .934 save percentage and ranked second with a 1.98 GAA, posting career bests in both categories. He joins Marty Turco in 2002-03 as the only Stars' netminders to post a save percentage of .930+ and a GAA below 2.00 since the club moved to Dallas in 1993-94 (min. 25 games).

Less than four months removed from a Game 7 loss in the Stanley Cup Final, the wound is still fresh for many on the Boston Bruins.

"We did a lot of good things last year, but didn't reach our ultimate goal," coach Bruce Cassidy said at the start of training camp. "... It's a new year, every team's starting from scratch, we're no different. That's our focus now is to put ourselves in the same position we were in last year."

That quest for redemption begins Thursday night as the Bruins open the 2019-20 season on the road against the Dallas Stars. Boston begins the year among the favorites to return to the Stanley Cup Final, though Dallas is not far behind according to most sportsbooks.

The Bruins (49-24-9, 107 points last season) return mostly the same roster, including their high-scoring, top-line trio of Brad Marchand (36 goals, 64 assists), Patrice Bergeron (32 goals, 47 assists) and David Pastrnak (38 goals, 43 assists). The Stars (43-32-7, 93 points) are packing additional firepower, boosted by the addition of five-time 30-goal scorer Joe Pavelski and former Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry.

Just like the Bruins, the Stars were ousted from the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season in a Game 7 against the eventual champion St. Louis Blues. Dallas had upset the Nashville Predators in the first round of the playoffs before losing in double overtime in the deciding game of the second round to cap coach Jim Montgomery's first season on the bench.

The trip to the postseason was the first in three years for the Stars, who were carried by Vezina Trophy finalist Ben Bishop (NHL-leading .934 save percentage, 1.98 goals-against average) in net. Add in the offensive production of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, a strong defensive core and the signing of Pavelski on a three-year deal, and it's easy to understand why Dallas has been a popular pick to win the Central Division and even contend for the Cup.

"I think it's everybody's goal, but we don't talk about it," Montgomery said of winning a title. "We're worried about Thursday night and trying to make the playoffs before we start talking about that."

The Bruins represent a difficult opponent to begin the season against, having beaten the Stars in five of their last seven meetings (one in overtime). Playoff hero Tuukka Rask will be in net as Boston kicks things off with a four-game road trip.

The Bruins might be without forward David Krejci, who is a game-time decision Thursday due to a lower-body injury. Krejci practiced in a standard jersey Wednesday and said he will go by how he feels in the morning.

"Right now, it's all good," Krejci said. "I feel better every day. Hopefully feel better tomorrow, and hopefully I play. That's the goal. I want to play."

Joakim Nordstrom (undisclosed) is out for Boston.

The Stars will be without Perry, who is expected to miss at least the first five games of the season with a broken foot. Playing for a new team after 14 years with the Anaheim Ducks, Perry had his contract bought out in June following a season marred by a knee injury.

"I'm going to come in here and be another piece of the puzzle," Perry told Sports Illustrated.

--Field Level Media

Updated October 2, 2019

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