Preview: Bruins at Senators
The Boston Bruins experienced a bit of a lull after a red-hot start and are beginning to warm up again with four consecutive victories as they complete a two-game trip with a matchup against the improving Ottawa Senators on Wednesday. The Bruins went 1-2-3 after beginning the season 11-1-2, but posted 21 goals during their current winning streak after rolling to an 8-1 victory at Montreal on Tuesday, and have won nine in a row against Ottawa.
Brad Marchand went over 600 career points with three - giving him four goals and six assists in the past four games - while linemate David Pastrnak boasts seven of his league-leading 23 goals in the past five contests after his hat trick Tuesday for Boston, which tied the league lead for the most points (37). The Bruins won the first of four meetings this season 5-2 at Boston on Nov. 2 as Pastrnak registered three points and Marchand added a pair while the Senators are seeking their first win in the series since an overtime triumph on April 23, 2017. Ottawa had won five of its previous six games before suffering a 1-0 loss to Columbus on Monday despite limiting the Blue Jackets to 19 shots on net. “It was one of those nights where one (goal) was going to get it done,” Senators goalie Craig Anderson told reporters following the loss. “. … We didn’t generate much. They didn’t generate much. We have to be happy with our effort and our structure defensively. We gave ourselves a chance.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), TVA, Sportsnet360 (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (16-3-5): Boston looked just fine offensively in the first game since top-line center Patrice Bergeron was lost indefinitely with a lower-body injury as six players finished with multiple points. Defenseman Torey Krug has recorded a goal, four assists and a plus-6 rating in two games since returning from a near-two week absence because of injury while David Krejci boasts 14 points in his last 11 contests after posting two assists Tuesday. Jaroslav Halak earned his fifth win of the season Tuesday, which should give Tuukka Rask (11-2-2, 2.18 goals-against average, .928 save percentage) the start against Ottawa.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (11-12-1): Anderson played Monday, so Anders Nilsson (7-4-1, .928 save percentage) will likely be between the pipes Wednesday to try to extend his winning streak to four games after allowing five goals in his past three. Versatile forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau had four shots on net Monday after scoring twice and recording two assists in the previous three games to push his team-leading totals to 13 goals and 19 points while improving to a plus-17 rating - among the league leaders. Defenseman Thomas Chabot (two goals, 14 points) was reportedly dealing with an injury, but played 26 minutes, 21 seconds Monday.
1. Boston F Jake Studnicka, 20, had an assist in 14:30 of ice time Tuesday in his NHL debut.
2. Ottawa LW Mikkel Boedker had one shot in 6:09 of ice time Monday after being a healthy scratch nine straight games.
3. The Bruins are 6-of-9 on the power play in the last four games while the Senators have killed off 20-of-21 in the past seven contests.
PREDICTION: Bruins 5, Senators 3