The Boston Bruins hold a lot of the cards entering tonight’s first round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Washington Capitals.
They hold a massive advantage in the goaltending department where Tuukka Rask has nearly 200 games of NHL playoff experience and has played in decisive Game 7’s and has twice been to the Stanley Cup Final as Boston’s No. 1 goalie. The top two goalies (Vitek Vanacek, Ilya Samsonov) for the Washington Capitals have zero games of playoff experience and third string goalie Craig Anderson isn’t expected to get any playing time in the series.
The Boston Bruins are relatively healthy while Washington has a group of banged up players either just returning from injuries (Alex Ovechkin, TJ Oshie) or still physical question marks entering the series. The Bruins are also 12-4-1 in their last 17 games since the NHL trade deadline and have been on a consistently steady upward trajectory over the last month headed into the postseason.