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NHL: Vegas Golden Knights @ Boston Bruins

The Vegas Golden Knights are the next team that will try and end Boston Bruins' all-time record 14-game winning streak to begin an NHL season at home.

With former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy in charge, Vegas will arrive at TD Garden on Tuesday with a strong 11-2-1 road record and holding top spot in the Pacific Division (18-7-1).

The task of beating Boston on home ice will be a huge one, however, especially after they thrashed the reigning Stanley Cup champions Colorado Avalanche 5-1 at TD Garden on Sunday, tying the all-time record for fewest games needed to reach 20 wins.

Vegas are +150 to do it, and Boston -170 to extend their impressive record further.

Cassidy motivated by return

Vegas fired coach Peter DeBoer in the off-season and hired Cassidy who was surprisingly let go by the Bruins after six seasons in charge.

Tuesday's meeting will be the 57-year-old's first return to Boston where he went 245-108-46 and qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each season.

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His post-season record was 36-37 which included a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019, when the Bruins lost to the St. Louis Blues in seven games.

On firing Cassidy, Boston General Manager Don Sweeney said that the Canadian's approach and delivery had begun to wear negatively on the players, and his decision to change coaches to Jim Montgomery has certainly proven a smart one.

Those words will have stung Cassidy, however, and he will be motivated to get one over on his former employers with his new team where his methods have clearly had a major impact, at least in the short-term.

With both coaches having impressive starts with their new teams, Cassidy is +800 to win the Jack Adams award as coach of the year, and Montgomery +600.

Home cooking

The previous record for consecutive wins at home to begin an NHL season sat at 11 by the 1963/64 Chicago Blackhawks and 2021/22 Florida Panthers.

Boston haven't just smashed that, but their overall home winning streak is now at 21 games dating back to 16th April (regular season and playoffs), which is the longest in team history and third-longest in NHL history behind Philadelphia (24 from Jan-April 1976) and Detroit (23 from Nov 2011-Feb 2012).

The Bruins have outscored opponents 56-22 this season and conceded more than one goal just five times in the 14 wins.

Key to that has been the form of goalie Linus Ullmak who is 9-0-0 at TD Garden joining Gilles Gilbert (16-0-0 in 1973/74) and Manny Fernandez (9-0-0 in 2008/09) as the only goalies in Boston history to earn wins in each of their first nine home games of a season.

Ullmark proving tough to beat

The 29-year-old Ullmark joined the Bruins from the Buffalo Sabres ahead of the 2021/22 season and, while his debut season was strong, he has taken his performances to another level for the black and gold in the current campaign.

Ullmark leads all goalies with a .936 save-percentage and 1.93 goals-against-average (GAA) and has an overall 14-1-0 record.

The Swede shared starts with 24-year-old Jeremy Swayman last season but has well and truly established himself as the number-one now with Swayman providing reliable back-up.

American Swayman is 5-2-0 this season with a .902 save-percentage and 2.60 GAA.

Thompson up to the task

At the opposite end of the ice, Vegas' Logan Thompson, 25, has also been in excellent form and holds a 12-5-0 record with a .920 save-percentage and 2.54 GAA.

With just 37 games to his name, Thompson has quickly put to bed any concerns about his ability to carry the load for Vegas in the absence of Robin Lehner who was ruled out for the entirety of the season before a puck had dropped.

Thompson has also enjoyed strong support from Adin Hill, 26, who was acquired from San Jose Sharks and is 6-2-1 with a .908 save-percentage and 2.55 GAA.

Because of their excellence this season, both Thompson and Ullmark are set to contend for regular season awards with Thompson +650 to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year and Ullmark +550 to be awarded the Vezina Trophy as goalie of the year.

Measuring stick

Both the Bruins and Golden Knights see themselves as Stanley Cup contenders this season and the game will be a fascinating measuring stick.

For Boston guaranteeing home advantage throughout the playoffs is a huge motivating factor to remain at the top of the standings and win the Presidents' Trophy (+140 to do so).

The Bruins won all three home games in their first-round playoff exit to Carolina Hurricanes last season, but lost all four on the road.

Taking their form at TD Garden this season into consideration as well, if they do gain the advantage in the all-important playoffs, they will certainly have a strong chance of delivering on their +550 odds to win their first Stanley Cup since 2011.

Vegas missed the playoffs completely last season, in large part down to injuries to key players and with them healthy again, they have improved substantially with General Manager Kelly McCrimmon believing the team they have built, is the best they have ever had.

The Golden Knights are +800 to bring the Stanley Cup to Vegas for the first time, a pursuit they have been ruthless about since entering the league and making the Cup final in their first season of 2017/18.

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