For the first time, This Week In Boston Bruins History will look back on some of the great Boston playoff runs before the NHL started playing right on through April. Also featured are a milestone for one of the all-time greats, some milestone victories, a double-digit win streak, a few instances of matching up against the Canadiens in the playoffs, the final game for one coaching great and, most importantly, the team’s first Stanley Cup championship. This is This Week In Boston Bruins History.
On March 24, 1963, the B’s completed their season on a nine-game winless streak. In the season finale, they lost, 4-3, to the Black Hawks. The team finished the season with a 14-39-17 record and just 45 points.
On March 24, 1968, the Bruins played their first 71st game of the season as the season length had previously been 70 games. They would fall to the Red Wings in Detroit by a score of 5-3.
On March 24, 2006, the team signed longtime forward, P.J. Axelsson to a three-year contract extension. In 11 NHL seasons (all with the B’s), Axelsson scored 103 goals in 797 games and added 184 assists. He ranks 10th all-time in franchise history in games played.
On March 24, 2011, rental, Tomas Kaberle, scored his only goal as a member of the Bruins in a 7-0 win over the Habs. Kaberle would help the team to win their sixth Stanley Cup during his half-season in Boston.
On March 25, 1937, the B’s beat the old Montreal Maroons, 4-0, in Game 2 of the opening round of the playoffs. They would go on to lose the series, 2-1, in three games, however, and finished the season at 23-18-7.
On March 25, 1950, they would lose, 8-0, to the Leafs in their second-to-last game of the season and fall to 22-32-16 on the year. It was their worst loss of the season in George Boucher’s only year as coach.
On March 25, 1954, the Bruins lost to the Canadiens, 8-1, in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs. They would be swept, four-games-to-none, in the series and get outscored, 16-4, in the span.
On March 25, 1982, Barry Pederson became just the fifth rookie to ever score 40 goals in a season as he picked up No. 40 in the team’s 75th game of the year – a 5-1 win over Buffalo.
On March 26, 1927, the Bruins won their regular-season finale, 4-3, against the Rangers in overtime before making their first postseason appearance in their third season. They would lose to the Senators in the Stanley Cup Finals.
On March 26, 1942, they beat the Black Hawks, 3-2, to advance to the NHL semi-finals where they were eliminated by the Red Wings in two games.
On March 26, 1950, Boucher coached his final game with the team in a 3-3 tie against the Maple Leafs. The team finished the season 22-32-16 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 1943-44.
On March 26, 1983 the Bruins scored seven goals in consecutive games with a 7-4 win over the Whalers. They would finish the season 49-18-9, but go on to lose to the Islanders in the Conference Finals.
On March 26, 2002, the B’s beat the Hurricanes, 3-2, to improve to 41-21-5-7. Goals were scored by Sergei Samsonov, Brian Rolston and Glen Murray. Boston would lose to Montreal in six games in the first round of the playoffs.
On March 27, 1952, the team lost to the Canadiens, 4-0, in the first round of the playoffs to go down 0-2 in the series. They were outscored, 9-1, in the first two games and wound up losing in seven after picking up wins in Games 3, 4 and 5.
On March 27, 1974, the B’s won their 50th game of the season – something they have done just eight times in their history with the last time being in 2008-09. They beat the Rangers, 3-2, to improve to 50-14-9 on the year, but would lose to the Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals.
On March 27, 1982, the Bruins began a three-game stretch in which they allowed six or more goals in each, losing all three. They fell, 6-5, to the North Stars in this one before going down, 9-5, and 8-5 in their next two. Despite the skid, they still finished 43-27-10 under Gerry Cheevers, but lost to the Nordiques in the division finals.
On March 27, 1997, Ray Bourque recorded his 1,000th career NHL assist in a 6-3 loss to the Islanders. He became the fifth to ever do it and the first to have accomplished the feat with just one team.
On March 27, 2007, the Bruins won their only game in a 12-game stretch to end the year, beating the Senators, 3-2. They would lose 11 of their final 12 games and finish the season at 35-41-6.
On March 28, 1946, the team beat the Red Wings, 4-3, in overtime to clinch their semi-final series with their third straight win and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they would, again, fall to the Canadiens in five games.
On March 28, 1972, the Bruins lost just their 11th game of the season with a 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Red Wings in the 75th game for them. They would finish the season 54-13-11 on their way to winning their fifth Stanley Cup.
On March 28, 1973, the B’s won their 10th straight game, handling the Rangers, 6-3, in New York. They would win 50 games for the third consecutive year, finishing at 51-22-5, but lost to the same Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The team also had win streaks of five (twice), six and eight games that season.
On March 28, 1979, the Bruins lost, 9-2, to the Sabres in what was tied for their most lopsided loss of the season. It was also tied for the most goals they allowed on the year and the team would go on to lose, 5-4, to the Canadiens in overtime of Game 7 of the NHL semi-finals.
On March 28, 2009, the B’s beat the Maple Leafs, 7-5, in the second of six straight wins for them. They improved to 30 games over .500 at 47-17-10 with the win. Matt Hunwick and Dennis Wideman each had three points for Boston while Boyd Devereaux was minus-3 for Toronto.
On March 29, 1929, the Bruins defeated the Rangers, 2-1, to win their first Stanley Cup championship. The team went 5-0 in the playoffs, sweeping both the Canadiens and Rangers and won each of their final nine games dating back to the regular season. Cy Denneny led the team to a division-best 26-13-5 record and Tiny Thompson played every game in net for the team. Eddie Shore was third on the team with 12 goals and Dit Clapper and Lionel Hitchman were also on the first championship team.
On March 29, 1941, the Bruins would lose for the last time in the playoffs with a Game 5 setback against the Leafs. They would come back to win the series, 4-3, and then sweep the Cup Finals over the Leafs culminating with their sixth straight win to claim their second championship in three years.
On March 29, 1969, the B’s played their first 75th regular-season game in a 5-3 loss to the Canadiens.
On March 29, 2008, they won their 40th game of the season in Game No. 78, improving to 40-28-11 with a 4-0 win over the Senators. Four different Bruins scored in the game, but, again, the team would go on to lose to the Habs in the first round of the playoffs.
On March 29, 2011, Boston beat Chicago, 3-0, as nine different players registered points in the contest for the eventual champs. They improved to 43-23-10 with the win.
On March 30, 1933, the Bruins beat the Leafs in Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs in the third straight overtime game played in the series. They won the game, 2-1, to take a 2-1 series lead, but would lose the next two, ending their season with a three-games-to-two first-round playoff loss.
On March 30, 1949, Clapper coached his final game for the Bruins as they were eliminated from the playoffs with a 3-2 loss to Toronto.
On March 30, 1969, the team beat the Habs, 6-3, in their regular-season finale. In the process, they became the first NHL team to ever score 300 goals in a single season as they finished with 303 on the year. They wound up 42-18-16, but would obviously lose to Montreal in the second round of the playoffs.
On March 30, 1993, the B’s started an eight-game winning streak in their final eight games of the regular season with a 3-1 win over the Hartford Whalers. Bourque and Cam Neely each scored goals in the game. The team finished up at 51-26-7, but were swept by the Sabres in the first round of the playoffs.
On March 30, 2004, the Bruins won their 40th game of the season, 3-2, over the Hurricanes. They improved to 40-18-15, but, if you have not picked up on the pattern yet, they lost to the Canadiens in seven games in the first round of the playoffs. They blew a 3-1 series lead to the seventh-seeded Habs and lost in seven.
Sorry about all the playoff losses to the Canadiens. Not a good time of year to be playing them apparently. Hopefully, this Wednesday will yield a better outcome and it seems pretty much impossible that the teams will match up in the first round of the playoffs this year. Look out a week from today for history from March 31 through April 6 with a special look at April Fool’s Day events.
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