With their bye week now concluded, the Boston Bruins didn’t lose too much ground in the playoff structure. Only the Florida Panthers surpassed them in the standings as they now sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with a game in hand on the Black and Gold.
Tonight it’s back to business for the Black and Gold as they begin their four-game west coast trip in San Jose against the Sharks as the two teams meet for the second time in 11 days. The Bruins earned a hard-fought 6-3 win against Joe Thornton and company in the first game of the Bruce Cassidy era last Thursday.
The Sharks are coming off a 4-1 win over the Coyotes last night in a game where Norris Trophy favorite Brent Burns scored his 27th goal matching the franchise’s all-time mark in goals for defensemen that he set a season ago.
The well-rested Bruins will likely have the same lineup carrying over to the west coast trip. After three straight wins, it’s hard to argue against that sentiment.
Gametime: 8:30 p.m. TV/Radio: NBSCN/98.5 The Sports Hub Records: Bruins 29-23-6 (64 points), Sharks 35-18-6 (76 points) Location: SAP Center
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
Peter Cehlarik-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
Tim Schaller-Dominic Moore-Riley Nash
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller-Colin Miller
Sharks projected lines
Kevin Labanc-Joe Thornton-Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau-Logan Couture-Mikkel Boedker
Nikolay Goldobin-Tomas Hertl-Joel Ward
Michael Haley-Chris Tierney-Melker Karlsson
Paul Martin-Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic-Justin Braun
Brenden Dillion-David Schlemko
A week after notching a shutout against the Habs, Tuukka Rask and the Bruins will have to shake off the bye-week cobwebs against the Pacific Division leading Sharks. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)
– How rusty will the Bruins be coming off the bye week? That is a question on any team’s mind after a week off. If the results around the NHL are any indication, then the Bruins may be in for a tough night. Teams in their first game back are just 3-12-4 this year following their week off. Even against a team that will be playing their second game in less than 24 hours, the odds are certainly going to be against Cassidy and company.
– Though the week off is usually detrimental, overworked goaltenders often benefit from a bit of rest. Carey Price is living proof of that after Saturday’s performance where he singlehandedly kept the Habs alive against the Jets in their first game under Claude Julien. Tuukka Rask, who earned his first career regular season win against Montreal at TD Garden one week ago, will likely need to put together a similar performance for the Black and Gold if they want to come away with two points this evening.
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