The Bruins(18-14-4) are set to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets(23-5-4) tonight, for the third and final time these teams meet this season. The Bruins have dominated the series thus far winning the first match up 6-3 and the second 5-2. This might sound like tonight’s game will be an easy win for the Bruins, but the Blue Jackets are red hot, winning their last 12 straight, making them #1 in the league right now.
Both teams are coming back from the holiday break, Columbus entered the break after beating Montreal 2-1, while the Bruins let a 2-0 lead slip to a 3-2 loss in OT to Carolina last week.
Where to Watch
Time: 7:00 pm EST
Arena: Nationwide Arena
Radio: 98.5 Sports Hub
Projected Line Up
Marchand- Bergeron- Pastrnak
Spooner- Krejci- Backes
Vatrano- Czarnik- Nash
Blidh- Moore- Hayes
K.Miller – C.Miller
What to Watch For
The Bruins post promising numbers against the Blue Jackets in the history of match ups, and will look to play similarly to how they have in the past. Columbus has only lost five times this season in regulation, two of which came at the hands of Boston. The Bruins have also won six of the last seven games at Nationwide Arena. In addition, Columbus’s goalie Bobrovsky is 0-4-2 when facing the Bruins.
The Bruins power play has struggled a bit this season, but has produced a goal in each of the past two games. This will be crucial for success tonight. Boston also needs to stay disciplined and out of the box. Columbus is currently ranked #1 in the league for their power play unit, averaging a goal about 27% of the time.
Bobrovsky is on fire for the Blue Jackets, undefeated in December playing in 9 of the 11 games (previous to tonight’s game). He currently is posting a 1.88 GAA and .935 save%. He will be the key tonight for the Blue Jackets.
Similarly Tuukka Rask has been Boston’s saving grace, posting a 1.87 GAA and .930 save%. He has been a strong holding player for Boston this year, being the difference maker in many games. The Bruins will need to back Rask up tonight with plenty of offense and a strong defense to deter Columbus’s pressure.
Puck drops at 7:00 pm in Columbus.