Game Day Preview: Bruins at Ducks
In midst of a season-long four-game winning streak, the Bruins are starting to feel a little more confident about themselves under interim coach Bruce Cassidy. Yet, after their win in San Jose on Sunday night, the Black and Gold find themselves outside of the playoff picture entering tonight’s game with the Anaheim Ducks.
With the Panthers’ win over the Blues on Monday night and the Maple Leafs’ overtime triumph over the Jets 24 hours later, the Bruins sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference – one point behind Toronto and tied with Florida (one game in hand) in points. The Panthers are also in action tonight hosting Connor McDavid and the Oilers in Sunrise.
Tonight marks the first game of a back-to-back in Southern California as the Black and Gold look to avenge a 4-3 loss to the Ducks when the teams first met in December.
Unlike the last game where Anton Khudobin got the nod between the pipes against his former team, Tuukka Rask is expected to make his third straight start. The 2014 Vezina Winner has gotten back on track allowing one goal in the last two games, including Sunday’s 29-save performance in the overtime victory over the Sharks.
Gametime: 10:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 30-23-6 (66 points), Ducks 31-20-10 (72 points)
Location: Honda Center
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
Peter Cehlarik-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
Matt Beleskey-Dominic Moore-Riley Nash
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller-Colin Miller
Ducks projected lines
Andrew Cogliano-Ryan Kesler-Jacob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie-Ryan Getzlaf-Ondrej Kase
Joseph Cramarossa-Richard Rakell-Corey Perry
Logan Shaw-Nate Thompson-Corey Tropp
Cam Fowler-Sami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm-Kevin Bieksa
Brandon Montour-Josh Manson
– Sunday marked the first time in a few years where the Bruins earned a road win in California. Unlike last year where they went 0-6-0 against the Sharks, Ducks and Kings the Bruins have a 3-1-0 mark against the aforementioned trio. Unlike last year where their 3-game stretch out west signaled the beginning of the end in 2015-16, the Bruins are at least off to a favorable start. Another win whether it’s tonight against Anaheim and/or tomorrow in Los Angeles could go a long way in the team’s chances of making the playoffs, which stands at exactly 56 percent according to Sports Club Stats.
– His power play minutes have decreased in 2016-17, but Zdeno Chara may have a chance to skate on the second man advantage unit this evening. During the last two days of practice, the Bruins’ captain slotted alongside Frank Vatrano on the point – splitting duties with Colin Miller – with David Krejci, David Pastrnak and Peter Chelarik up front. Chara has one power play point on the season that came during the Bruins’ 4-1 win over the Jets back in November.