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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins at Blue Jackets


    Game Day Preview: Bruins at Blue Jackets

    Chris Chirichiello December 27, 2014

    The Boston Bruins will return from their Holiday break Saturday night as they travel to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets. On November 21st, the B’s overcame a 2-0 third period deficit to shock the Blue Jackets in a 4-3 shootout victory.

    The B’s are winners of three of four and have scored three or more goals in those three wins. It’s no secret that if Claude Julien’s team can find a way to score goals consistently, they will start to get two points a lot more.

    Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson led the Black and Gold in their last win before their three-day break against the Predators in the 5-3 victory. Marchand and Eriksson each netted two goals on a Pekka Rinne-less Predators team.

    The B’s sit on the outside looking in at the moment in the playoff picture trailing the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers by a single point for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference, but each of those teams have games in hand.

    Although the Blue Jackets sit at the bottom of the Eastern conference, they have an 8-1-1 record in their last 10 games. So, it’ll be another stiff test for the B’s away from home.

    Here is your complete Bruins/Blue Jackets preview:

    Gametime: 7:00 PM
    Records: Bruins 18-14-3 (39 points)/Blue Jackets 14-16-3 (31 points)
    TV/Radio: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
    Location: Nationwide Arena

    Bruins’ projected lines:

    Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Seth Griffith
    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
    Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
    Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham

    Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
    Dennis Seidenberg-Matt Bartkowski
    Torey Krug-Kevan Miller

    Niklas Svedberg
    Tuukka Rask

    Blue Jackets’ projected lines:

    Scott Hartnell-Ryan Johansen-Jeremy Morin
    Matt Calvert-Brandon Dubinsky-Cam Atkinson
    Nick Foligno-Alexander Wennberg-Jack Skille
    Corey Tropp-Michael Chaput-Jared Boll

    Jack Johnson-David Savard
    Kevin Connauton-James Wisniewski
    Fedor Tyutin-Dalton Prout

    Curtis McElhinney
    Anton Forsberg

    Who to watch for Bruins: Milan Lucic

    He may not be on the hot streak like Loui Eriksson is on, but this game has significance for Milan Lucic as he tries to get revenge on Dalton Prout. Prout sucker-punched Lucic knocking him down on the ice the last time these two teams met. Lucic called the hit “gutless” and surely has this game circled on his calendar.

    Putting the antics aside, Lucic has one goal and two assists in his last five games. In his last game against the Blue Jackets, the left-winger had zero points, 12 penalty minutes, three shots on net while compiling 17:31 of ice time.

    In his career against the Blue Jackets, Lucic has some success. In 10 games played, “Looch” has four goals and three assists. He has also 33 hits, 41 penalty minutes, four blocked shots and 17 shots on net.

    Who to watch for Blue Jackets: Nick Foligno

    During the Blue Jackets 8-1-1 stretch, Nick Foligno has been a big part of the success. In those 10 games, Foligno has six goals and two assists to lead the charge.

    This season, Foligno is sixth in the NHL in goals with 16 while he ranks 19th in the league in points with 30. His eight power-play goals rank him second in the NHL as well. The 27 year-old can do it all.

    In his last meeting with the Black and Gold, Foligno had one goal and one assist in the shootout loss.

    In his career against the Bruins, Foligno’s numbers have been pedestrian. In 33 games, he has five goals and seven assists with a minus-10 rating. The Black and Gold know how to score a lot of goals when Foligno is on the ice. Let’s see if they can do that tonight and not vice versa.

    Game Day Edge: Keep up the winning ways

    The Bruins have won three out of four, but then had three days off. The Black and Gold can’t let that get to them. They need to get back to right where they left off: scoring goals, getting pucks in deep and playing a strong brand of hockey.

    Beating Nashville was a little statement win from the B’s to not write them off, but if they lay an egg in Columbus, it’s almost all for not. Points are at a premium now with ground to make up and the B’s know every period is crucial.

    It seems as if every Bruin is playing with more confidence including their hottest player-Loui Eriksson. If he continues to be on the roll he is on and the first-line starts to come to life, the B’s will make a run and that run should start tonight in Columbus.

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