The Boston Bruins are coming off another crucial win as they made quick work of the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon, winning 3-1 at TD Garden. David Pastrnak netted two goals in the victory and has certainly found his stride during the team’s recent string of success.
It will not get any easier as the B’s kick off their California road trip Tuesday night beginning in San Jose against the Sharks. Former Bruin Joe Thornton and company downed the Black and Gold, 5-4, in the first meeting of the season back in November.
Both teams are playing great hockey, but San Jose has trouble winning at home (13-15-3) while the Black and Gold’s road record is tops in the league at 23-7-3. Frank Vatrano was recalled by the B’s on an emergency basis while David Krejci missed practice on Monday.
Gametime: 10:00 p.m.
Records: Bruins 39-23-8 (86 points), Sharks 38-24-6 (82 points)
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Location: SAP Center
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Lee Stempniak
Loui Eriksson-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
Landon Ferraro-Noel Acciari-Brett Connolly
Zdeno Chara-John-Michael Liles
Joe Morrow-Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Sharks projected lines
Tomas Hertl-Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson-Logan Couture-Joonas Donskoi
Matthew Nieto-Patrick Marleau-Joel Ward
Nick Spaling-Chris Tierney-Dainius Zubrus
Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Justin Braun
Paul Martin-Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon-Roman Polak
Matchup to watch: Bruins D vs. Sharks top line
The B’s defense will get another stiff test Tuesday night as they face off against another powerful first line. Hertl, Thornton and Pavelski have combined for 64 goals highlighted by Pavelski’s 32 tallies. The trio have also combined for 104 assists.
There is no question this line has a lot of chemistry. Much like the chemistry on the other side in Marchand, Bergeron and Stempniak.
Chara will need to lead the charge and set the tone early Tuesday night. This is one of those games that if the B’s create mistakes in the neutral zone or their defensive end, it will result in the back of the net. Not only will the defense need to be on their toes, but whoever is between the pipes for Boston as well, most likely Rask.
Storyline to watch: Can the B’s start the trip on a high note?
The B’s begin their three-game California swing Tuesday night against the Sharks. This game may be their most winnable game on the trip as they then travel to Los Angeles to face off against the Kings and Anaheim to face off against the Ducks.
As previously stated, the B’s are playing great hockey as of late at 5-0-2 in their last seven games while the Sharks are playing sub .500 hockey on home ice. This would be a great time for Boston to take advantage of their struggles and keep their momentum going on the first leg of this road trip.
Boston is no stranger to winning on the road as they notched 23 victories away from TD Garden. Taking two points Tuesday night would build their confidence moving forward against two teams that embarrassed them on home ice earlier this season.