Game Day Preview: Avalanche at Bruins
With a pivotal five-game homestand beginning tonight, the Boston Bruins are hoping to string together some wins and re-establish their home ice advantage. Awaiting them is the Colorado Avalanche, who have not lost a game at TD Garden since March of 1998.
The Bruins took the first meeting of the season out in Denver and will look for the season sweep against the Avalanche. Oddly enough, their only home win so far this season came when they swept their season series against the Arizona Coyotes, so perhaps they could find some good karma again tonight.
Although David Pastrnak is still out with a foot injury, the Bruins do have some good news on the injury front. Dennis Seidenberg, who has not seen any game action since April, is scheduled to make his first appearance of the season for the Black and Gold while Torey Krug should be in after a couple of maintenance days.
Gametime: 7:00 P.M.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 7-6-1 (13 points), Avalanche 5-9-1 (11 points)
Location: TD Garden
Bruins’ projected lines
Frank Vatrano-David Krejci-Loui Eriksson
Matt Beleskey-Patrice Bergeron-Brett Connolly
Brad Marchand-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
Zac Rinaldo-Joonas Kemppainen-Tyler Randell
Zdeno Chara-Colin Miller
Dennis Seidenberg-Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
Avalanche projected lines
Gabriel Landeskog-Nathan MacKinnon-Matt Duchene
Blake Comeau-Carl Soderberg-Jarome Iginla
Cody McLeod-Mikhail Grigorenko-Dennis Everberg
Andreas Martinsen-Ben Street-Jack Skille
Francois Beauchemin-Erik Johnson
Nick Holden-Tyson Barrie
Brandon Gormley-Mark Stuart
Matchup to watch: Bruins power play vs. Avalanche penalty kill
There have been only three games this season in which the Bruins failed to score on the power play. One of those meetings came during the B’s first road game of the season in Denver, where they were held scoreless on two attempts.
With an 82 percent success rate, the Avalanche come into tonight’s matchup with the 13th ranked penalty kill. Additionally, the Avs are averaging under 10 penalty minutes a night and their 82 minutes of shorthanded time this year is good for 12th in the league.
Although the Bruins offense hit a bit of a lull last week — scoring eight goals in four games — they have still found success on the power play. The Black and Gold’s league-leading man advantage unit has scored in seven straight games, and they remain the only squad who has a success rate of over 30 percent.
For a team looking to find a rhythm at home, scoring on the power play can only help.
Storyline to watch: Dennis Seidenberg’s potential impact upon returning
Sidelined with a back injury since Training Camp, Dennis Seidenberg could give the Bruins defense some much-needed help.
After the morning skate, head coach Claude Julien told reporters that Seidenberg will take part in warmups and will likely suit up for the first time in the 2015-16 season. The German blue-liner skated with Adam McQuaid on the second defensive pairing during today’s on-ice session.
Although he lost a step after coming back from a knee injury last year, Seidenberg’s importance is vital to the young B’s blue-line. The veteran d-man brings additional leadership to a team and a defense that is in transition in 2015-16. With Chris Kelly out, Seidenberg will also be relied upon heavily to help the league’s worst penalty kill.
Bruins fans may not see the Seidenberg of old, but they should be breathing easier now that his return is on the horizon.