Game Day Preview: Bruins at Predators
Head coach Bruce Cassidy and the Bruins managed to navigate a rough October stretch filled with injuries and a lack of secondary scoring. But they know things aren’t getting any easier to begin their November calendar.
The good news is they’ll have David Backes in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 18 as they try to get more secondary scoring. Torey Krug, fresh off his solid regular-season debut, should also help in that department, while the Bruins will ride Jaroslav Halak’s hot hand for the fifth time in the last seven games.
This is unquestionably Halak’s toughest test of the season as the Bruins go up against P.K. Subban, Filip Forsberg and a potent Nashville Predators squad Saturday night in the Music City.
Gametime: 8 p.m.
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins 7-3-2 (16 points), Predators 10-3-0 (20 points)
Location: Bridgestone Arena
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Danton Heinen-David Krejci-Jake DeBrusk
Anders Bjork-Joakim Nordstrom-David Backes
Chris Wagner-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-John Moore
Steven Kampfer-Jeremy Lauzon
Predators projected lines
Filip Forsberg-Ryan Johansen-Kevin Fiala
Calle Jarnkrok-Kyle Turris-Craig Smith
Ryan Hartman-Nick Bonino-Colton Sissons
Miikka Salomaki-Frederick Gaudreau-Rocco Grimaldi
Roman Josi-Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm-P.K. Subban
Matt Irwin-Yannick Weber
– More often than not, the Bruins are a solid 5-on-5 bunch. Yet, their lack of secondary scoring is hampering them as seen with their -5 5v5 goal differential, but their 29 5v5 goals against are second fewest in the league. That will bode well against a Preds squad that ranks fourth in 5v5 goals for with 31, but the Bruins still need someone other than Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak to light the lamp at even strength. Easier said than done against Nashville’s top-4 blue-line that includes Subban, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm, and the reliable Pekka Rinne between the pipes.
– Marchand is hard to stop when he gets going, and he found his shooting groove for the first time this season Tuesday night in Carolina. It’s no coincidence that Marchand’s season-high five shots on goal resulted in his first two-goal outing of the season in Boston’s 3-2 victory. Of course tough matchups aren’t anything new for Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak but the Josi-Ellis or Ekholm-Subban parings will be a tough draw. Either way, the Bruins could use more shots on net from Marchand in this difficult road matchup.