Game Day Preview: Bruins at Capitals
Can five in a row turn into six in a row for the Boston Bruins?
Better yet, can the Black and Gold finally snap an 11-game losing streak against Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals?
At least in the case, Bruce Cassidy’s bunch is in the same proverbial boat as Alex Ovechkin and company.
Both teams traveled following their Wednesday night tilts against the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers. The Bruins earned a convincing 5-1 victory in front of 17,565 at TD Garden, while the Capitals fell to the Rangers in a 1-0 shootout at Madison Square Garden.
Aside from the goalies – Holtby and Anton Khudobin – the B’s and Caps will trot out the same lineups in their second game of a back-to-back.
Gametime: 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN, NBCSN (out of market)/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 20-10-5 (45 points), Capitals 22-13-3 (47 points)
Location: Capital One Arena
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
Capitals projected lines
Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom-Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana-Evgeny Kuznetsov-T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky-Lars Eller-Brett Connolly
Devante Smith-Pelly-Jay Beagle-Alex Chiasson
Christian Djoos-John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov-Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik-Madison Bowey
Dmitry Orlov to Brad Marchand: Cross-checks to my back WILL NOT BE TOLERATED pic.twitter.com/yKvKK2S0pt
— Ian Oland (@ianoland) December 15, 2017
– In both meetings this year, Tom Wilson has gotten under Brad Marchand’s skin. Wilson’s dangerous hit to Marchand in November caused the veteran to miss a few weeks with an upper-body injury. Exactly two weeks ago, Wilson was at it again after being the third man hit following an altercation between Marchand and Dmitry Orlov. Both Wilson and Marchand earned matching 10-minute misconducts during the third period of the Caps’ 5-3 victory on December 14. Thursday marks the final meeting of the regular season. Wilson’s reckless play is the last thing that Marchand and the Bruins want to endure.
“That’s his game, he plays that way and he’s effective at it,” Marchand said about Wilson. “So that’s what got him a job in the NHL and continues to allow him to play. Again, he’s effective at what he does.”
– Whether its the top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak or the trio of Danton Heinen, Riley Nash and David Backes, the Bruins are getting timely offense from all four lines. They’ll need a lot more of that if they want to finally snap their 11-game skid against the Caps. The Bruins have just 16 goals against Holtby the Caps during the skid. Boston is due for a setback, but they’re also long overdue for a win over Cassidy’s former squad. Something has to give in the Nation’s Capital.