Preview: Wild at Bruins
With their lineup nearly back to full health, the Boston Bruins will look to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games as they resume a four-game homestand against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. Boston beat Atlantic Division-rival Buffalo for the second time during its four-game winning streak to improve to 15-5-0 at TD Garden.
The Bruins have won seven of nine and are receiving offensive support throughout the lineup, a welcome change after they were so reliant on the No. 1 line for much of the early season. "It's huge. Obviously you saw it last game, over this stretch," forward Jacob DeBrusk said. "You need secondary scoring to win games in this league. Guys have a done great job here." The Wild will look to complete a perfect four-game road trip against Boston, where they have won eight of their last 11 meetings. Minnesota made it three wins in a row for the first time since Nov. 8-11 by blanking Montreal 1-0 on Monday night following identical 4-3 decisions over Ottawa and Toronto.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, FS North, FS Wisconsin (Minnesota), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE WILD (21-17-3): Mikael Granlund took over the team scoring lead from Zach Parise in clutch fashion Monday night, ending a 15-game goal drought with an unassisted third-period tally for the decisive marker to give him 39 points. With Devan Dubnyk registering his first shutout of the season and 30th career in the win over Montreal, backup Alex Stalock is expected to be in net versus Boston in his first start since Dec. 6 at Calgary. Coach Bruce Boudreau did not have an update on forward Eric Fehr, who had to exit Monday's game after he was knocked into the boards by Montreal's Kenny Agostino.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (24-14-4): Goaltender Tuukka Rask has shrugged off a slow start to win all three starts while allowing a total of five goals since the Christmas break. "He does look comfortable, maybe part of that is he's getting more reps in the net," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "He's certainly earning them. It appears to be his time of year, off he goes and we're just going to ride it. If that what he brings, awesome." David Backes looked at home on the No. 2 line with David Krejci and DeBrusk in his return from a three-game suspension, scoring a goal and registering five shots on net versus Buffalo.
1. Rask is 4-3-1 with a 1.97 goals-against average in his career versus Minnesota.
2. Wild captain Mikko Koivu is one goal shy of 200 for his career.
3. Boston D Charlie McAvoy (lower body), out the past five games, skated Monday for the first time since he was hurt.
PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Wild 1