The Boston Bruins are almost at their bye week, but before they can enjoy some much-needed rest, they have a two-game road trip that kicks off in Ottawa against an upstart Senators squad on Thursday night.
With all due respect to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Boston Bruins were an absolute no-show in the first two periods of their 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes on Wednesday night. If not for their captain, Brad Marchand, almost single-handedly completing another comeback against Hurricanes goalie Spencer Martin, as he did on Dec. 3 when Martin was with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Bruins don’t even sniff a point on Wednesday night. They were completely flat for the first 40 minutes of the game, and their powerplay was useless, going 0-for-4.
That can’t happen against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night because it appears that the Senators, who were a rudderless team for the first half of the season, have finally found structure and confidence under interim head coach Jacques Martin and interim assistant coach and hall of famer Daniel Alfredsson. The Senators have won two straight games and gone 4-1-1 in their last six. In addition to that new-found structure and defensive system, they still have plenty of offensive firepower that can burn teams who play loosely goosey with the puck as the Bruins did on Wednesday night.
If the Bruins want to go into their nine-day break on a high note, they will need a much more focused effort against the Senators and then against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon.
Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (29-9-9, 67 pts) vs Ottawa Senators (18-24-1, 37 pts)
Time: 7:08 p.m. ET
How to watch: NESN, RDS2, TSN5
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Money Line: Bruins (-135), Senators (+114)
Puck Line: Bruins -1.5 (+170), Jets +1.5 (-205)
Over/Under: Over 6.5 (-108) Under 6.5 (-112)
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Bost0n Bruins Notes
–David Pastrnak leads the Bruins in goals (30), assists (36), and points with 66 in 45 games.
-Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle is on a six-game point streak with three goals and six assists over that span.
-Goalie Jeremy Swayman will get the start between the pipes for the Bruins. Swayman is 15-3-7 with a 2.31 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
-Winger Milan Lucic (indefinite leave) is out.
-This is the first meeting of the season between the Bruins and the Senators. They play again in Boston on March 19 and in the regular season finale for both teams on April 16.
Boston Bruins Lineup
Brad Marchand-Charlie Coyle-David Pastrnak
James van Riemsdyk-Pavel Zacha-Jake DeBrusk
Jakub Lauko-Morgan Geekie-Trent Frederic
Jesper Boqvist-Matthew Poitras-Danton Heinen
Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm-Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort-Parker Wotherspoon
Brady Tkachuk-Josh Norris-Claude Giroux
Ridley Grieg-Tim Stützle-Drake Batherson
Mathieu Joseph-Shane Pinto-Vladimir Tarasenko
Dominik Kubalik-Mark Kastelic-Parker Kelly
Jake Sanderson-Artum Zub
Thomas Chabot-Jakob Chychrun
Erik Brannstrom-Jacob Bernard-Dokker