With their seven game winning streak being snapped on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators, the Boston Bruins will look for a quick bounce back as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night to wrap up March.
The Bruins are 4-1-0 in their last five games and are on Presidents Trophy watch, with a win against the Blue Jackets securing the Presidents Trophy for the Bruins. The Blue Jackets are in a different kind of race. They are the worst team in the league thanks to a 23-43-7 record, right in the hunt for a certain Connor Bedard guy. They are 2-3-0 in their last five games.
Boston and Columbus last faced each other on December 17, with that one also coming at TD Garden. The Bruins won 4-2 behind goals from David Pastrnak, David Krejci, Taylor Hall, and Tomas Nosek. Jeremy Swayman started and got the win.
The Bruins are 2-0-0 against the Blue Jackets this season, winning at home in December and shutting out the Blue Jackets 4-0 on the road in October. This is the last time the Bruins and Blue Jackets will play each other this season, so the Bruins can secure a season series sweep.
Just like last time, it’s Swayman in net for the Bruins after Linus Ullmark’s start against the Predators. Swayman enters this game with a 20-6-4 record to go with a 2.21 GAA and .921 save percentage, with four shutouts to his name. He is 4-1-0 in his last five starts and has two shutouts.
Swayman will be opposed by Latvian goalie Elvis Merzlikins for Columbus. Merzlikins is in the midst of a not-so-great season, entering the game with a 7-18-2 record. He has a horrendous 4.23 GAA and a .876 save percentage in 30 games. He is 1-3-0 in his last four starts.
There is not a whole lot of news on the injury front, but Jakub Lauko was spotted in a non-contact jersey at Wednesday’s practice. He is still reportedly a possibility to play in this game, but I’m leaning towards another missed game thanks to his non-contact designation in practice.