The Boston Bruins (26-14-3, 55 pts) will try to bounce back from a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, when they host the Carolina Hurricanes (31-10-3, 65 pts), at TD Garden Thursday night (7:05 PM ET, NESN, BSSO).
The Hurricanes have owned the Boston Bruins this season. They snapped a five-game winning streak for the Bruins on January 18 when they embarrassed the B’s with a 7-1 thrashing at the Garden. They also shut the Bruins out 3-0 back on Oct. 28 in Carolina. The Canes however have hit a bit of a skid recently, losing their last two games straight.
The Bruins will look to extend that losing streak for the Hurricanes to three games but they will need to do it with arguably their two best players in Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The Bruins captain is out with a head injury he suffered in the loss to the Penguins on Tuesday and Marchand is suspended six games for high-sticking and roughing Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry at the end of that game.
“Not to give you the cliché that everybody needs to give a little bit more, but it’s true in a sense,” Boston Bruins winger Taylor Hall said after practice on Wednesday. “When you’re missing your captain and a player like [Marchand] it’s not as simple as everybody doing a little bit more. We’re going to miss those guys, there’s no doubt. So we all have to find a way to be the best version of ourselves and [do that] collectively as a team.”
Linus Ullmark (16-6-1, 2.64 GAA, .913) will be back between the pipes for the Bruins and Vezina Trophy candidate Frederik Anderson (24-6-1, 2.08 GAA, .927 save percentage).
Per our friends at BetUS, the Hurricanes are 6-1 in their last seven games as a road favorite of -110 to -150 and the Bruins are 0-4 in their last four games as a home underdog. The B’s are also 1-4 in their last five home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
Without Bergeron and Marchand the Bruins will be a team in disarray and struggle against a much better team in the Hurricanes.
That’s why our BetUs plays for the game here are the Hurricanes -1.5 (+175), and Hurricanes team total over 2.5 (-165).
Prediction: Hurricanes 4 Bruins 1
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Boston Bruins Notes
-With Bergeron and Marchand out, the Taylor Hall-Erik Haula-David Pastrnak line will become the top line and the only line not be affected by Bergeron and Marchand being out.
-Pastrnak has been en fuego lately with two goals in each of his last two games.
-Forward Trent Frederic returns to the lineup tonight for the first time since he suffered an upper-body injury on Jan. 10.
Carolina Hurricanes Notes
-If the Boston Bruins can jump out to an early lead again, they better protect it better than the 2-0 lead they had after the first period on Tuesday. The Canes have a league-best +24 goal differential in the third period. They’ve allowed just 28 goals in 44 third periods this year.
-Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes in goals (19) and points with 46. Defenseman Tony DeAngelo leads the team in assists with 28 helpers.
Boston Bruins Lines:
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Trent Frederic – Jack Studnicka – Nick Foligno
Anton Blidh-Tomas Nosek-Curtis Lazar
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton
Carolina Hurricanes Lines:
Teuvo Teravainen – Sebastian Aho – Martin Necas
Andrei Svechnikov – Vincent Trochek – Seth Jarvis
Nino Niederreiter – Jordan Staal – Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook – Derek Stepan – Steven Lorentz
Jaccob Slavin – Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei – Brett Pesce
Ian Cole – Ethan Bear