The Boston Bruins (22-11-2, 46 pts), will try to extend their win streak to six games when they host the Carolina Hurricanes (25-8-2, 52 pts) at TD Garden on Tuesday night (7 pm, NESN, SNE, SNO, BSSO, TVAS).
While the recent play from the Bruins has fans and media buzzing about the team more, that buzz will be even louder pregame tonight when the Boston Bruins retire the No. 22 in honor of Willie O’Ree on the 64th anniversary of O’Ree becoming the first black player to play in the NHL. Unfortunately, due to COVID, O’Ree will only be able to attend virtually but it will still be a very special moment for him, all whom he paved the way for to play in the NHL, the Boston Bruins, their fans, and the entire NHL.
“I never dreamed of my number being retired and put up in the rafters,” O’Ree told NHL.com. “All I wanted to do was play and try to be the best hockey player I could be. It’s just wonderful, I just can’t keep track of the things happening to me, one after another. It’s just so nice to be with family and friends and experience everything that’s going on. I never dreamed when I first started playing hockey that these things would happen. All I wanted to do was play hockey and have fun, and so much has happened.”
As for the game, Boston Bruins fans should be treated to a dandy as the Bruins come in as the hottest team in the NHL. They’re riding a five-game win streak and are 8-2-0 in their last ten games. The Hurricanes have been one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference and the NHL throughout this season and are 7-2-1 in their last ten games. The Bruins are currently the eighth-seeded team in the East and they are slotted in at the fourth spot.
Tuukka Rask will get his second start of the season after making 25 saves in his season debut and a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers last Thursday.
Old divisional nemesis Frederik Andersen is likely getting the nod for the Hurricanes. The former Maple Leafs goalie is 19-6-0 with a 2.03 GAA and .938 save percentage.
As mentioned above, this has the potential to be a great game and that’s why we’re going with the Draw here at +290.
Prediction: Bruins 4 Hurricanes 3 (OT)
Boston Bruins Notes
-The Bruins have now outscored their opponents 40-21 over their last nine games. The Boston Bruins have also scored five goals or more in five of those nine games.
-The Boston Bruins will get two more defensemen back from COVID protocol as head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed Tuesday morning that Matt Grzelcyk and Connor Clifton are expected to get the green light to play.
-Bruins defenseman John Moore is still day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Forward Nick Foligno (lower-body) got better news than expected from his MRI last Tuesday and will not be out as long as originally feared. Foligno has been skating with the team this past weekend and could return at some point during this seven-game homestand. Forward Trent Frederic (upper-body) is also out again tonight and there is no timetable for his return. Defenseman Jakub Zboril is out for the season after successful surgery for a torn ACL last month.
Carolina Hurricanes Notes
-The Hurricanes are 13-4-1 away from PNC Arena this year. This is only the second road game the Canes have played since Dec. 13 after five of their road games were postponed.
-Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes in goals (16), assists (22), and points with 38 in 32 games.
-Tony DeAngelo leads all Hurricanes defensemen in goals with six lamplighters and assists with 19 helpers.
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Craig Smith
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – Charlie Coyle – Oskar Steen
Anton Blidh – Tomas Nosek – Curtis Lazar
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Urho Vaakanainen – Brandon Carlo
???? – Connor Clifton
*Bruins defenseman Mike Reilly was added to COVID Protocol late Tuesday afternoon so the exact defensive pairings won’t be known until warmups.
Carolina Hurricanes Lines:
Teuvo Teravainen – Sebastian Aho – Seth Jarvis
Andrei Svechnikov – Vincent Trochek – Nino Niederreiter
Steven Lorentz – Jordan Staal – Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Derek Stepan
Jaccob Slavin – Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei – Brett Pesce
Brendan Smith – Ian Cole