As the Bruins enter their last game of October, the early storyline of bouncing back after a tough loss will once again be front and center.
Though they enter tonight’s game in Columbus with points in each of their last four games, the Black and Gold are still searching for a little consistency. Despite an entertaining contest against the red-hot Los Angeles Kings, the Bruins fell in heartbreaking fashion when Tyler Toffoli’s one-timer off a faceoff win found the back of the net with just .4 seconds left in overtime.
The Black and Gold have cooled off a little bit offensively with three goals in two games. The Blue Jackets and reigning Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky come into tonight’s game ranked fifth in goals against (27) and average goals against per game (2.45).
Following a solid outing in his return between the pipes on Saturday night, Tuukka Rask will make his second straight start since returning from a concussion. Zane McIntyre, who was recalled from Providence on an emergency basis on Sunday, will serve as the B’s backup as Anton Khudobin did not make the trip.
The Bruins took two of three in last year’s meeting with the young and talented Blue Jackets. Tonight marks the only visit to Ohio’s capital city for the B’s.
Gametime: 7:00 pm
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 4-3-2 (10 points), Blue Jackets 7-4-0 (14 points)
Location: Nationwide Arena
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Anders Bjork
Jake DeBrusk-David Backes-David Pastrnak
Kenny Agostino-Riley Nash-Frank Vatrano
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Danton Heinen
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
Paul Postma-Brandon Carlo
Blue Jackets projected lines
Artemi Panarin-Nick Foligno-Josh Anderson
Boone Jenner-Brandon Dubinksy-Cam Atkinson
Matt Calvert-Alexander Wennberg-Oliver Bjorkstand
Sonny Milano-Zac Dalpe-Pierre-Luc Dubois
Zach Werenski-Seth Jones
Jack Johnson-David Savard
Ryan Murray-Markus Nutivaara
– Sometimes the plus/minus statistic can be misleading when discussing a player’s season. In Torey Krug’s case, his minus-10 rating is pretty accurate to his early season struggles. Both of Krug’s miscues in his first-period turnover and the icing in overtime led directly to Toffoli’s two goals. Krug was also on the ice for four of the Sabres’ five goals during Buffalo’s come from behind win last weekend. His jaw injury to start the year along with fellow defensive pairing Adam McQuaid (lower body) being placed on injured reserve hasn’t helped things for Krug in the early going. Admittedly, Krug pointed the finger at himself following Saturday’s loss to the Kings. A quick turnaround with only one day’s rest could be beneficial to Krug as he looks to continue the Bruins’ early-season trend of bouncing back following a tough performance.
– Like Saturday’s game against the Kings, the Bruins expect another tight-checking matchup against a physical Blue Jackets squad. Even with the tough ending, the Bruins could take a lot of positives against the red-hot Kings. Finding time and space against John Tortorella’s bunch will be hard to come by and Patrice Bergeron and company hope to make the most of whatever chances they get. “They play hard, they’re on the puck, they have a system where they’re really aggressive and don’t give you that much space. You need to work for every inch,” Bergeron told the press about what he expects from the Blue Jackets. “We did that against L.A. and hopefully we can bring some of that tonight.”