The Boston Bruins return to the comforts of TD Garden for a solo performance today against the San Jose Sharks before embarking on a lengthy road trip leading up to the annual All-Star Game on February 4th. These two teams should be familiar with one another, having recently played on January 7th, with the B’s skating away with a 4-2 win in California.
In that game, the goal scorers were Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak (2), and Craig Smith, while the Sharks got goals from Logan Couture and Mario Ferraro. Furthermore, Linus Ullmark earned a 28-save win, while James Reimer made 25 saves in the loss.
Today’s Bruins Game Notes
After having a rare Saturday night off, the Bruins hit the ice tonight after sweeping through the New York City area last week with wins over the Islanders (4-1) and Rangers (3-1). Although no one needs a reminder, the Bruins are still the best team in the NHL with 78 points, ten more than the Carolina Hurricanes in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.
Despite sitting at the top, the Bruins have been fortunate to avoid significant injuries to key players. However, the New York trip cost them the services of Brandon Carlo and Tomas Nosek. Additionally, the B’s were already without Jake DeBrusk, forcing the team’s depth to be pressed into action.
Whether the team calls up a handful of prospects, like Joona Koppanen, or kicks tires on players available on other teams, there are a few holes the B’s need to patch up until the regular return. The lineup shuffling will be something to keep an eye on, with matchups against the Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Tampa Bay Lightning coming up.
Since the last time these teams met two weeks ago, the B’s have gone 5-1, only losing to the Seattle Kraken, while the Sharks are 2-3 with wins over the Arizona Coyotes and Dallas Stars. Overall, the league’s best team is 8-1-1 in their last ten games, while the Sharks are 3-5-1, suffering a loss on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Bruins & Sharks Players to Watch
After celebrating his 1,000th NHL game last Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers, David Krejci has been on a tear lately, with six points and a plus-six rating in his previous three games. Historically, in 17 games against the Sharks, he’s collected five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. During his career, Krejci enjoys some home cooking, scoring 413 points at TD Garden, accounting for 54% of his totals.
Erik Karlsson has been almost unstoppable for the opponents this season, racking up the league’s third-highest assist total behind Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov. Currently, he’s at 66 points, with seven in his last five, and is only 20 more away from matching a career high set in 2015-16. Although he had a lengthy stint with the Ottawa Senators and faced off against the Bruins 42 times already, he’s only got 22 points and a minus-8 rating. In the previous meeting, Karlsson didn’t impact the game; however, he was one of three players to finish the afternoon with a positive plus/minus rating.
Bruins & Sharks Historical Notes
Tonight’s game will mark the 45th time these two teams have met since San Jose joined the league in 1992. As expected, the Bruins hold an edge in the all-time matchup with a 27-12-5-0 record for a .670 winning percentage. Historically, the Sharks have dreaded playing in Boston, going 0-3-0-0 at the Boston Garden, and are now just 5-11-3 at TD Garden.
The Bruins had won the last ten meetings between the two teams dating back to 2015-16 when the Sharks swept the season series with 5-4 and 3-2 wins.
Who’s Next for the Boston Bruins
The Bruins will be busy next week with a trip to Montreal on Tuesday, followed by a game down in Tampa Bay, and a back-to-back on the weekend in Florida and Carolina. The team will wrap up their road trip next Wednesday in Toronto before breaking for the All-Star Game weekend.
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