The Boston Bruins (25-13-3, 53 pts) will look to make it five out of a possible six points on a road trip out West when they play in the finale against the Stars (22-17-2, 46 points) in Dallas at American Airlines Arena (8 PM ET, NESN, ESPN+) on Sunday night.
Linus Ullmark has been solid on the road trip and was excellent Friday night in Arizona when he stopped 31-of-32 shots against the Coyotes and backstopped them to a 2-1 win behind goals from Erik Haula and a game-winning PP strike from Charlie McAvoy in the third period. A red-hot Erik Haula has four goals in the month of January after scoring one goal in his first 25 games as a member of the Boston Bruins and has come to life offensively since being put together with Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak.
“I’ve got an opportunity to play with two elite players and it’s a good challenge. I wanted to do really well obviously, and it’s been fun. I just need to bring what I can bring and help them out, and it’s been nice to have some success. Hopefully, we can just keep on getting better,” said Haula. “We have a good feel for each other, and we talk quite a bit, but I think there’s even another level that we can get to. Our goal is to keep getting better and help the team win games.”
Per our friends at BetUS, the Stars are 0-5 in their last five games following a home loss of three or more goals. It just so happens that the Stars were throttled by the Washington Capitals 5-0 on Friday. The Under is 4-0 in Stars’ last four home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. The Under is also 3-0-1 in Bruins’ last four when their opponent allows five goals or more in their previous game.
That’s why our BetUs play for the game here is the Boston Bruins on the Money Line (-125) and the Under 5.5 (even).
Prediction: Bruins 3 Stars 2
Remember, at BetUS, players get a 125% Bonus (for any sport, but it helps to hype a specific reason, such as hockey or football). Players also get a 200% bonus if they use Crypto. You can join BetUS by clicking here.
Boston Bruins Notes
-Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark is getting his third consecutive start for the Black and Gold. The 28-year-old goaltender stopped 30 of 31 shots in Boston’s 2-1 win against the Coyotes on Friday night and has a 15-5-1 record, 2.54 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 22 appearances this season. He’ll be backed up by rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman, who was just called back up from the Providence Bruins.
-Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk returned to the lineup on Friday after missing the previous two games with an upper body injury.
-After spending time at right wing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand in Friday’s win over Arizona, rookie right winger Oskar Steen will start Sunday night’s game against the Stars riding shotgun with Boston’s dynamic duo. That leaves the slumping Craig Smith dropped to the third line while amidst a stretch of six straight games without points, and just one game in the last nine when he’s cracked the score sheet.
-Forward Nick Foligno (lower-body) was left behind in Boston and has missed all three games on the road trip. Boston Bruins defenseman John Moore is still day-to-day with an upper-body injury and also didn’t travel with the group. Forward Trent Frederic (upper body) is also out 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.
-Tuukka Rask has not practiced with the Bruins since serving as the backup to Linus Ullmark in the overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche and has been missing from the ice for the last few days with a lower body injury. Rask received treatment and remained off ice on Sunday morning and has led the way to Swayman’s recall to the NHL club. It’s entirely possible that Swayman will get the start on Tuesday night at home against the Seattle Kraken.
Dallas Stars Notes
-The Stars are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games and sit only two points out of the last wild card playoff spot in the West, so there is still plenty for the Stars to play for. The Stars will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak on home ice.
-Joe Pavelski has been otherworldly during the month of January with seven goals and 21 points in 12 games along with a plus-8 rating to lead all Stars scorers this month. Meanwhile Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn have combined for just five goals this month and haven’t exactly had great seasons for a Stars team looking for them to carry the load.
-It would make sense for Boston Bruins killer Braden Holtby to get the starting nod for the Stars, though he’s struggled with a 3.52 goals against average and an .891 save percentage this month.
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Oskar Steen
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Anton Blidh – Tomas Nosek – Curtis Lazar
Urho Vaakanainen – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly/Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton
Dallas Stars Lines:
Robertson – Hintz – Pavelski
Benn – Seguin – Gurianov
Kiviranta – Peterson – Radulov
Kero – Damiani – Glendening
Suter – Heiskanen