After falling in overtime to the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets, the Bruins head to St. Louis, to take on the playoff-chasing Blues.
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The Bruins have 11 games left this season and are only four points back of the Lightning for the Division title. While there is still two more head to head matchups with Tampa, this upcoming roadtrip could really help or hinder their chances of winning the division. All four teams on the trip are either in the playoffs or are just on the outside looking in.
Looking on the previous game, the Bruins took on the Blue Jackets at home and unfortunately fell in overtime. On the bright side, we saw the NHL debut of U.S. Olympian Ryan Donato from Harvard and he did not disappoint. In the game, Donato scored his first career goal, had 2 assists and was on the first powerplay unit. The game did not end in the result the Bruins and their fans may have liked, but Donato showed his insane talent and should be another key feature in the very bright Bruins future.
On to tonight’s opponent, the St. Louis Blues. Currently, they are outside of the playoffs at 83 points, three points back of the final wild card slot. The Blues are coming off an overtime win in Chicago on Sunday, and are winners of four out of their last five games. The Blues are one of the weakest offensive teams in the league as they average 2.75 goals for per game, which ranks 23rd in the league. However, the Blues are much stronger defensively, as they average 2.68 goals against per game, which ranks 7th in the league. St Louis’s powerplay and penalty kill units are both below par, as both units have been struggling. Their penalty kill unit works at an 80.5% clip, ranking 15th in the league, while the powerplay works at a 15.9% clip, ranking 29th in the league.
The Who, What, When, and Where:
Puck drop tonight is at 8:00pm at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The game will air on NBSCN, as part of their Wednesday Night Rivalry and be broadcast nationally. Similarly to the Bruins, the Blues will also be missing some key contributors to their team. The Blues are not expecting Vladimir Tarasenko to be in the lineup tonight. Tarasenko is probably the Blues most skilled forward, as he is second in team scoring with 58 points on the year. The banged-up Bruins defensemen will breathe a huge sigh of relief that Tarasenko won’t be on the ice tonight.
The Bruins, meanwhile continue to be adding on to the injury list as another player was injured Monday night. Rick Nash was a late scratch before the game with an upper-body injury and did not play Monday and is not expected to play tonight. The Bruins also recalled two players, Jordan Szwarz, and Paul Postma. Szwarz is expected in the lineup tonight.
After his superb debut Monday, Donato was not at practice Tuesday, but don’t worry he isn’t injured. He was back in class at Harvard, one day after his NHL debut. Donato flew out to St. Louis after his class and should be on Krejci’s wing for this evening’s tilt. Tuukka Rask is expected to start the between the pipes tonight. In his last start against the Blues, Rask gave up 1 goal on 33 shots, in a 3-1 Bruins win on February 1, 2018.
- David Backes will not play against his former team, as he was cut by a skate in Tampa Bay and will miss a few games.
- Watch out for David Pastrnak tonight. After a very forgetful month of February, where he only registered 8 points, in March he already has 15 points and with the continuing rash of injuries, he may need to pick up the offensive duties along with Brad Marchand.
- Torey Krug set a new career high in points at 52 in Monday’s OT loss to Columbus.