Preview: Blues at Bruins
Forgive the Boston Bruins if they cannot erase the memory of the last visit by St. Louis to TD Garden, which ended with the Blues hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time in 39 years. The Bruins have earned points in five consecutive games as they prepare to face visiting St. Louis on Saturday night for the first time since dropping a winner-takes-all Game 7 in June.
Boston has lost only once in regulation despite opening the season with a four-game road trip, but the players are not putting any added emphasis on the revenge factor against the Blues. "It's just another game," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said after Friday's practice. "Doesn't change anything that's happened in the past. You're not going to get any retribution by winning the game tomorrow. At the end of the day, it's two points." St. Louis answered a four-game winless drought by posting back-to-back victories at home, but star forward Vladimir Tarasenko exited Thursday's 6-3 win over Los Angeles due to an upper-body injury. “Any time you lose a player it (stinks),” teammate Robert Thomas said. “Obviously a player like Vladi, it’s even worse. ... Hopefully he’s back soon, but I think as a forward group we responded really well.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
ABOUT THE BLUES (5-2-3): Tarasenko was riding a five-game points streak before he was injured in the first period against the Kings and did not accompany the team on its two-game weekend road trip to Boston and Detroit. “Hopefully it's not too serious. Obviously he's a huge piece for us, scores a lot of goals, makes a lot of plays," teammate Brayden Schenn said of Tarasenko, who will be re-evaluated Monday for what appeared to be an injury to his upper chest area. Schenn has been on a tear with eight goals and three assists over his last nine games.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (6-1-2): Second-line enter David Krejci (upper body) returned to practice in a non-contact jersey Friday and will sit out his fourth consecutive game but forward Joakim Nordstrom (upper body) will return to the lineup after sitting out the past two contests. Marchand, limited to two goals and five points in the Stanley Cup Finals, has five tallies and nine assists during an eight-game point streak overall. No. 1 netminder Tuukka Rask (5-0-1, 1.77 goals-against average) will make consecutive starts for the first time this season.
1. Bruins F David Pastrnak has eight goals during a four-game streak and 17 points during a seven-game string.
2. Blues C Ryan O'Reilly has one assist in his last six games but scored five goals in the Stanley Cup Finals.
3. Boston's power play is 8-for-18 over the past five games.
PREDICTION: Bruins 4, Blues 2