Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Senators
After the three-day holiday break, the Boston Bruins return to TD Garden carrying a four-game win streak.
Even with the streak, the break came at a good time for the Bruins. Not only were they coming off a seven-game-in-11-day-stretch, but late last week a few members of the Black and Gold – Brad Marchand, Ryan Spooner and Riley Nash – fought through a spreading flu bug.
“In terms of getting some guys back and some guys healthy, the break is always awesome,” Charlie McAvoy said following the Bruins’ morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena Wednesday. “We were definitely playing some good hockey, and I feel like this break shouldn’t interfere with that.”
Rested and healthy – sans David Krejci and Peter Cehlarik (both back skating) – the red-hot Bruins welcome the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night at TD Garden for the first matchup since April’s six-game first-round series.
Since the Senators 4-2 series win over the Bruins in the spring, the two teams are trending in opposite directions. The B’s are winners of 13 of 17 (13-3-1) while Erik Karlsson, Matt Duchene and the rest of the Sens are just 2-6-2 in their last 10.
The Bruins enter a seven-game-in-12-day stretch before their next extended break. The Senators are desperate for points. All this makes for an intriguing matchup on Causeway Street.
Looking for affordable parking and a quick in and out for Bruins-Senators? Head over Constitution Wharf (1 Constitution Rd.) – a short walk to TD Garden – to take advantage of their $15 rate, while avoiding traffic and construction on Causeway St. Tell them Bruins Daily sent you!
Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 19-10-5 (43 points), Senators 11-13-7 (29 points)
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Danton Heinen-Riley Nash-David Backes
Jake DeBrusk-Ryan Spooner-Anders Bjork
Tim Schaller-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller
Senators projected lines
Bobby Ryan-Matt Duchene-Mark Stone
Mike Hoffman-Derick Brassard-Ryan Dzingel
Nate Thompson-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Tom Pyatt
Filip Chaplik-Nick Paul-Alexandre Burrows
Johnny Oduya-Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf-Cody Ceci
Fredrik Claesson-Thomas Chabot
– Fully healed from his tibia injury suffered in October, Adam McQuaid is eager to get back into the lineup. The Bruins aren’t rushing McQuaid’s return, and in this instnace that’s a good thing. Boston’s defense allowed four goals in four games last week and are playing their best hockey of the season. Cassidy has a healthy left-right shot combination on all three of his defensive pairings. Putting McQuaid in would take out Brandon Carlo – and there’s an argument for that given his inconsistent sophomore season – or Matt Grzelcyk. The Bruins defensemen are playing solid hockey right now, so why fix it?
– Acquiring Matt Duchene was supposed to put the Senators right in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The early returns haven’t been pretty, however. Not only is Duchene still trying to fit in with his new team – as seen with his five points (two goals, three assists) in 20 games – but the Sens are just 5-12-3 since three-team trade with the Avs and Predators on November 5. Though he’s gone pointless in 16 of 20 games, Duchene has a good track record against the Black and Gold with 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 12 career contests. The Sens are 29th in goals scored and need an offensive spark, especially from their big-ticket acquisiton. The Bruins would like nothing more than to carry over their defensive play from last week and keep the Sens grounded.