The Boston Bruins are coming off what could be a season-defining victory. Can they keep rolling against a team on a hot streak of their own?
All season, the Boston Bruins and the rest of the Eastern Conference have been chasing the Tampa Bay Lightning. Having only played once this season (a Bruins win in November), Saturday’s game marked a chance for the Bruins to show the Lightning that they should be afraid of the Bruins come April.
The Bruins played a complete game against the cream of the crop in the NHL, and came out on top with a 3-0 shutout win. It was the first time the Lightning had been shutout all season, and it came at the hands of the one team poised to knock them off the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The next three weeks stand to be an incredible race to the finish line.
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Looking to keep pace with Tampa Bay, the Bruins head home briefly to take on the streaking Blue Jackets. After scuttling, and finding themselves on the verge of being out of the playoff race, the Jackets have been on a hot streak of their own. At 39-28-5 (83 points), the Jackets find themselves in the first wild card spot.
The who, what, when, and where
Tonight’s 7:00 pm game at the TD Garden in Boston, MA can be found on NESN. The teams both come into the game 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, however, the Jackets are on a 7 game win streak. The Bruins are safely locked into the playoffs, yet Columbus still has to be concerned with the charging Florida Panthers, who are fighting for an unlikely playoff berth.
Tonight marks the night many people have been waiting for. The Bruins signed highly touted NCAA prospect Ryan Donato to a 2-year entry-level contract, and according to the team’s Twitter page, he will be making his debut tonight. Donato had an impressive career at Harvard University, and will be following in his dad, Ted Donato’s, footsteps.
The Bruins will continue to be without the services of Patrice Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy, Zdeno Chara, and Jake DeBrusk. Also missing with be David Backes, who is sidelined due to a nasty cut suffered in the last game. The fact that the Bruins continue to win without such key pieces of the team is a testament to the organizational depth that the Bruins have compiled.
Tuukka Rask was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate. Historically, that points to Rask being the starter for tonight’s game. Rask is coming off that 3-0 shutout of Tampa Bay, his 3rd shutout of the season. Columbus will be sending in their backup, Joonas Korpisalo, giving the edge in the goaltending department to Boston.