Boston in 2012-13:
Boston finished the 2012-13 campaign one point shy of clinching the Northeast Division with a 28-14-6 record for 62 points, earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Narrowly avoiding a repeat early exit for the second year in a row during the first round of the postseason, the Bruins scored three goals in the final 11 minutes of play to force overtime versus the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. Ultimately winning the contest in overtime and stealing the series from the Leafs, it would be smooth sailing for Boston during their Semi-Final and Final matchups, dropping just one game to the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins combined, before losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final four games to two.
The Bolts were blanked by Boston in three games last season and have not earned a win against the “Original Six” team since a 6-1 victory on March 13, 2012. All-time, Tampa Bay has recorded a 20-43-9-5 record in 77 games versus their Atlantic Division opponent.
Scoring 18 goals and adding 18 assists for 36 points in 45 games, forward Brad Marchand led the Bruins offense during the 2012-13 campaign. Forward David Krejci finished second on the team with 33 points in 47 games and his 23 assists led the team. Defenseman Zdeno Chara led all Boston blueliners with 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in 48 games played and starting netminder Tuuka Rask finished the season by posting a 19-10-5 in 36 games during the regular season, while going 14-8-0 during his second postseason appearance with a .940 save percentage and 1.88 goals-against average en route to an eight-year contract extension with the Bruins.
Boston joins the Lightning in the newly-formed Atlantic Division, which also includes Montreal.
Key Acquisitions and Departures:
The Bruins made a flurry of moves in less than a week this summer, including trading forwards Tyler Seguin, who was tied for third on Boston in points (32), and Rich Peverly, and defenseman Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars in exchange for forwards Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser, and blueliner Joseph Morrow. Forward Nathan Horton also chose to not re-sign with the team and later joined the Columbus Blue Jackets. Entering his 17th season in 2013-14, right-winger Jarome Iginla was signed to a one-year contract a day later.
In the System:
Not making a selection until the second round in this year’s draft, Boston selected blueliner Linus Arnesson from Djurgården of Sweden’s Allsvenskan League with their first pick (60th overall). Also, one of the top defense prospects in the league, Dougie Hamilton, appeared in his first full season with the Bruins in 2012-13, collecting 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 42 games, while 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Malcolm Subban, had his best OHL season to date after the 19-year-old posted a 2.14 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in 46 games with the Belleville Bulls.
Tampa Bay is slated to open the season against Boston at TD Bank Garden on Thursday, October 3. Just two weeks later, the Bruins will head to the Tampa Bay Times Forum to face the Lightning on Saturday, October 19, before the Bruins and Bolts meet for the last time before the Olympic break on Monday, November 11 in Boston. The two will then close out the season series on Saturday, March 8 at home.