Bruins

BSJ Game Report: Lightning 3, Bruins 2 – Charlie McAvoy returns, but B’s can’t rally back

Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 3-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:

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Bruins in uncharted territory: A grueling NHL schedule leads to its fair share of bumps and bruises, but it’s all crashing together into a perfect storm for the Bruins. There’s plenty of things you can point to for the B’s — whether it be injuries or a laboring offense — but the bottom line is that Boston is crumbling at a crucial time.

During a stretch in which Boston faces off exclusively against Atlantic Division foes, Boston has now dropped three straight games in regulation — the first time the B’s have had to go through a stretch like that since losing four in a row all the way back on March 16-23, 2017.

The effort level was better against a loaded Lightning club, but once again, Boston’s offense could not bring the B’s back into a contest — with the Bruins only tallying 16 goals over their past 10 games. With Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak generating most of the scoring chances for the B’s, Boston’s attack is doesn’t have much to offer right now.

McAvoy returns: After a 20-game absence, No. 73 made his anticipated return to the lineup on Thursday, with McAvoy rejoining the club after getting activated off IR hours earlier. The general consensus ahead of puck drop was that McAvoy was nearing a return, but few expected him to jump back into game action right away.

Well, after some initial hiccups, the 20-year-old defenseman looked pretty solid in his return, logging 21:02 TOI and adding a strong presence on the blue line of Boston’s second power-play unit. Still, it’s evident that the rust is there for the defenseman (47.06 Corsi For Percentage, 40.91 Shots For Percentage).

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