While the Boston Bruins come off a tough overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets, they are gearing up for one of their more important trips of the season out west facing stiff competition. It won’t be easy as Claude Julien will be without Zdeno Chara and David Krejci, both of whom will not make the trip.
It will start Monday night as the Black and Gold take on the Anaheim Ducks. Last season, the B’s split the two meetings against the Ducks both winning on home ice.
Craig Cunningham was recalled from Providence to give the B’s some forward depth. He still remains pointless in five games in the NHL, but has contributed nicely for the Baby B’s this season tallying 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) in 18 games.
The B’s may face the Ducks at the right time as they dropped back-to-back games to the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks. The Ducks own a 7-3-2 record at home while the visiting B’s own a 5-4-0 record away from TD Garden.
Here is your complete Bruins-Ducks preview:
Time: 10:00 PM
TV/Radio: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 14-9-1, 29 points/Ducks 14-6-5, 33 points
Location: Honda Center
Bruins’ projected lines:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Milan Lucic-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Reilly Smith
Matt Fraser-Chris Kelly-Simon Gagne
Dennis Seidenberg-Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski-Kevan Miller
Joe Morrow-Dougie Hamilton
Ducks’ projected lines:
Patrick Maroon-Ryan Getzlaf-Kyle Palmieri
Rene Bourque-Ryan Kesler-Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey-Devante Smith-Pelly-Jakob Silfverberg
Andrew Cogliano-Nate Thompson-Tim Jackman
Cam Fowler-Josh Manson
Hampus Lindholm-Mat Clark
Eric Brewer-Sami Vatanen
Who to watch for Bruins: Tuukka Rask
It seems as if the time when Tuukka Rask got pulled against the Toronto Maple Leafs is a distant memory.
Rask has been playing like the Vezina-trophy winning goalie that he is as of late. Since being benched against the Maple Leafs, he is 3-1-1 with a .956 save percentage in five games. Overall, the Finnish goalie is 11-6-1, but has had his struggles on the road where is owns a 2-3-0 record and a 3.31 goals against average.
Even though Rask is dominant at home, winning away from TD Garden has been tough on the 27 year-old goaltender.
Over Rask’s last 10 starts, he has a 7-2-1 record. One of those losses was on the road against the Maple Leafs and another loss was at home against the Montreal Canadiens, both of Rask’s kryptonite.
In his career, Rask is 1-2-0 against the Ducks with a 3.59 goals against average while sporting a less than pedestrian .853 save percentage in those three games. His last game against the Ducks, he let in five goals on 20 shots, so it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
Who to watch for Ducks: Corey Perry
Corey Perry has been hot of late. In a losing effort against the San Jose Sharks, Perry had two goals and an assist, two hits and six shots on net.
Over his last three games Perry has three goals and an assist. On the young season, the dynamic forward has 14 goals, six assists and a plus-9 rating.
In his career against the Black and Gold, Perry has been no stranger to success. In nine games, he has four goals and three assists. He has four hits and three blocked shots as well while attempting 30 shots. He has done it all against the B’s and if Julien’s group wants to get off on the right foot on this road trip, Perry must be contained.
Perry’s last game against the B’s he had two points including a goal and an assist. This is one player on a very skilled team that must be accounted for from the get go.
Game Day Edge: Score first
It seems as if every game recently the Bruins have been trailing to start the game. It happened versus Winnipeg, Pittsburgh, Montreal and Columbus. The B’s can only get away with this for a little longer.
On Boston.com: Low scoring games becoming the norm for Black and Gold
The Bruins must find away to score first in Anaheim especially on the first stop of this brutal stretch. Setting the tone early in the first period can be a big confidence boost to a team that is struggling to find the back of the net. By scoring first, it can allow the Black and Gold to settle in and play their style of hockey instead of chasing goals like they have been doing over the past two weeks.
It’d be nice to see David Pastrnak light the lamp early for the B’s as he inches closer to finding the back of the net. He can get his first NHL point and the B’s can stick to their system in front of Rask. Or, it’d just be a nice breath of fresh air seeing the B’s have a lead early on.
Game Day video: See what the Bruins have to say about being in close, low scoring games over the last three contests.