The Bruins will host the Blue Jackets tonight at 7pm EST at the TD Garden. It will be the first and only time these two teams will face each other in an East vs. West battle this season. Boston is 4-2-0-2 against Columbus and hold the scoring edge of 28-17.
Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off for the Bruins this morning, indicating he should start between the pipes for the Bruins this evening. Marco Sturm [leg], Byron Bitz [undisclosed], and Steve Begin [undisclosed] did not skate with the team. Center Drew Larman was recalled for the AHL Providence Bruins yesterday, and was on the ice this morning, available for tonight’s game.
Away Team: Columbus Blue Jackets (19-24-9, 47 points, 14th Western Conference, 5th Central Division, 4-6-0 last 10 games)
- The Blue Jackets are 8-16-4 on the road this season
- 7th overall on the power play [20.7%]
- 14th in the NHL on the penalty kill [81.4%]
- 2.60 goals-for per game ranks Columbus 21st in the league
- The Blue Jackets in down in the 27th spots with 3.19 goals-against per game
Rick Nash is the lead leader in goals  points  and shots on goal . The 6’4″ Captain is riding a three-game point streak in which he has totaled 4-1-5, plus-2, and nine shots on goal.
Forward Kristian Huselius [48 GP: 15-25-40 totals] has been on fire as of late – notching 1-6-7 in his last three games.
Blue-liner Anton Stralman has points in four of his last five, including a three-game assist streak [0-4-4].
Left Wing RJ Umberger [52 GP: 17-18-35] is also in the midst of a three-game scoring streak with 2-3-5, plus-3, and nine shots on goal.
Sophomore-slumping Steve Mason is expected to be in net tonight agaisnt the Bruins. The 2008-09 Calder Memorial Trophy winner has not won a game since Dec. 28, 2009, with an 11-16-6 overall record, a disappointing .890 save-percentage and a 3.32 goals-against average.
Home Team: Boston Bruins (23-17-8, 54 points, 7th Eastern Conference, 3rd Northeast Division, 4-5-1 last 10 games)
- The Bruins are 13-9-3 on home ice this season
- 19th overall on the power play [17.5%] – 0 for their last nine opportunities in a five game span
- 1st in the NHL on the penalty kill [87.9%] – including 23 of their last 25 times short [92%]
- 2.44 goals-for per games ranks Boston second to last, 29th in the league.
- The B’s are in the 6th spots with 2.44 goals-against per game
David Krejci has three assists in his last four games played, with a plus-1 rating and 11 shots on goal.
Forward Daniel Paille has two goals, plus-2, and 12 shots on goal in his last three games played.
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk has a two-game point streak – three assists, plus-2, and four shots on net.
Net-minder Tuukka Rask has a 10-5-2 record in 20 games played in this season, and ranks second in goals-against average [2.09] and save-percentage [.928] respectively.
The 22-year-old Rask is 3-3-0 in his last six starts, has posted a goals-against average south of 2.85, and a steady .907 save-percentage.
From James Murphy on NESN:
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Blake Wheeler
Daniel Paille – Patrice Bergeron – Mark Recchi
Miroslav Satan – Trent Whitfield – Michael Ryder
Shawn Thornton– Vladimir Sobotka – Drew Larman
Zdeno Chara – Derek Morris
Mark Stuart – Dennis Wideman
Matt Hunwick – Johnny Boychuk