Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (42-20-5, 89 pts) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (32-31-5, 69 pts)
TIME: 7:05 PM ET
TV: NESN, BSOH
After bouncing back from a lackluster loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday with an 8-1 thumping of the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, the Boston Bruins will try to start another winning streak as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday at TD Garden.
This game will conclude a five-game homestand for the Bruins and a win would put them at 4-1-0 over that span. This game also marks the first of a home-and-home with the Blue Jackets as they will kick off a four-game road trip at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Monday.
Boston Bruins rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman will be back between the pipes Saturday and looking to redeem himself after his worst start of the season in the 6-4 loss to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. Swayman allowed six goals on 25 shots and took his ninth loss of the season. The February Rookie Of The Month is now 19-9-3 with a 2.24 GAA and .920 save percentage.
Elvis Merzlikins will get the start for the visiting Blue Jackets. Merzlikins is 22-17-5 with a 3.42 GAA and .902 save percentage.
Betting: The Boston Bruins are heavy favorites on the money line at -370 and on the puck line (-1.5) at -150, but you can get some value on the first period puck line (-1/2) at -115. I’m also predicting Swayman will get his fourth shutout this season so the Under 6.5 is probably the best play here.
Prediction: Bruins 4 Blue Jackets 0
Boston Bruins Notes
– Defenseman Mike Reilly will play in his second straight game and play on the right side of the third pairing with Derek Forbort. Josh Brown is out with an upper-body injury and Connor Clifton is a healthy scratch for the second straight game.
-Forwards Craig Smith (illness) and Nick Foligno (upper-body) will also return to the lineup tonight after missing the game Thursday. Foligno will be hnored pre-game for playing in his 1,000th game back on March 15.
– Jake DeBrusk has scored in three consecutive games (3g, 1a), including what proved to be the winner in Boston’s 8-1 victory over the Devils on Thursday night.
New Jersey Devils Notes
-Patrik Laine leads the Blue Jackets in goals with 25 and points with 51.
-Jakub Voracek leads the BJ’s in assists with 44 helpers.
-The Blue Jackets have lost two straight games coming into tonight.
Boston Bruins Lineup:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron– Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Anton Blidh-Tomas Nosek-Curtis Lazar
Hampus Lindholm – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Mike Reilly
Columbus Blue Jackets Lineup:
Jakub Voracek – Jack Roslovic – Patrik Laine
Gustav Nyquist – Cole Sillinger – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Yegor Chinakhov – Sean Kuraly – Justin Danforth
Eric Robinson – Brendan Gaunce – Emil Bemstrom
Vladislav Gavrikov – Andrew Peeke
Dean Kukan – Jake Bean
Gavin Bayreuther – Adam Boqvist