Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Avalanche
With points in each of their last six games, the Boston Bruins ride into TD Garden Thursday night riding a pretty good wave. Their opponent, the lowly Colorado Avalanche, await the Black and Gold having lost six straight.
Fresh off their valiant comeback effort just 24 hours ago in their overtime loss to the Capitals, the Bruins continue to battle through whatever is being put in front of them. Having scored the same amount of goals as they’ve given up over the last two games (seven), the Bruins hope for a more well-rounded performance tonight against an Avalanche bunch that have scored the fewest goals in the league at 52.
The Bruins took the first meeting of the season against the Avs in a 2-0 shutout back on November 13th in Denver to finish off their five-game-in-seven-day slate. Unlike last time, Tuukka Rask will likely get a breather less than 24 hours removed from his start in the nation’s capital.
Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 15-10-2 (32 points), Avalanche 9-14-1 (19 points)
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Tim Schaller-David Krejci-David Backes
Ryan Spooner-Riley Nash-Austin Czarnik
Anton Blidh-Dominic Moore-Jimmy Hayes
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller-Colin Miller
Avalanche projected lines
Rene Bourque-Nathan McKinnon-Blake Comeau
Mikhail Grigorenko-Carl Soderberg-Jarome Iginla
Matt Duchene-John Mitchell-Mikko Rantanen
Cody McLeod-Joe Colborne-Andreas Martinsen
Nikita Zadarov-Tyson Barrie
Francois Beauchemin-Cody Goloubef
Patrick Wiercioch-Eric Gelinas
– Being the second night of a back to back, Anton Khudobin will likely get the nod between the Bruins pipes. In his last start, the Bruins backup played his best game of the season and gave his team a chance to win on a night where they were far from their best against the Hurricanes. As he looks for win No. 2 on the year, the Russian netminder is hoping his fellow teammates can make things a little easier on him against an Avalanche squad that will likely be focusing on improving their draft lottery status as the season progresses.
– Though he hasn’t played his best hockey of his career, Semyon Varlamov has had fairly good numbers in his career against the Bruins. Despite his 2-4-1 mark in seven career games against Boston, the former Caps goalie does possess a pair of shutouts to go along with a respectable 2.44 goals against average and .922 save percentage vs. the Bruins. Varlamov enters tonight’s game having lost each of his last four starts. His last victory came on November 21st against Columbus.
– Unlike last year where their road mark was significantly better than their home record, TD Garden has been a little more friendly for them. For the second time this year, they carry a three-game winning streak on Causeway Street – something that they only did once in 2015-16. The Bruins will look to make it four in a row for the first time since 2014-15 and in the process snap an eight-game skid against the Avs on Garden ice.