Both the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins hope their trade-deadline day acquisitions continue to be difference makers when they kick off the Stanley Cup playoffs in an opening-round series Saturday in Washington, D.C.
The Capitals (36-15-5, 77 points) finished second in the East Division, having benefited from the addition of forward Anthony Mantha, who collected four goals and four assists in 14 games after being acquired from the Detroit Red Wings and will suit up in the NHL playoffs for the first time in his career.
As impressive as Mantha’s contributions are, they are overshadowed by what Taylor Hall has done since joining the Bruins via trade from the Buffalo Sabres. Hall, the No. 1 overall draft choice in 2010, scored eight goals and added six assists in 16 games for the Bruins (33-16-7, 73 points), who finished third in East Division.
“It’s been 16 games. It’s probably been some of the most enjoyable hockey I’ve played in my career,” said Hall, the 2018 Hart Trophy winner while with the New Jersey Devils, whose addition has given the Bruins a potent second line. “I really hope there’s more to come.”