On Tuesday, March 28th, at 7pm ET, the Boston Bruins (39-30-6) host the Nashville Predators (39-25-11). There are 13 days left in the regular season. Both Boston and Nashville have seven games remaining.
Need to know: Predators
Nashville comes into tonight sitting third in the Central Division. They have 89 points and are looking up at Chicago and Minnesota who have both clinched a spot in the playoffs. The St. Louis Blues hold the second wild card spot and are only one point behind Nashville. While making the post season is 99% likely, where they fall is still up for grabs. At this point, it is likely Chicago and Minnesota will remain one and two. With seven games left, Nashville is looking to secure points just as much as the Bruins.
After beating the Isles last night, Nashville is now on a four-game winning streak and have won seven of their last eight. After resting last night, it looks like Pekka Rinne will be between the pipes tonight. During the last meeting between these two teams in January, backup Juuse Saros was in net and the Predators came away with a 2-1 victory.
Need to know: Bruins
Nashville’s win last night also helped the Bruins case in the playoff race. With that loss, the Isles remain two points back of Boston. However, Tampa Bay was able to rally last night with an OT victory over Chicago and pulled within one point of Boston with 83. While the Bruins are barely holding on to the last wild card spot with 84 points, they are only one point behind the Maple Leafs who have a game in hand. The Leafs are also in action tonight against the Florida Panthers. Right now, Boston has roughly a 67% chance of making it to the post season. A win tonight and a loss by Toronto will push them back into a divisional spot, while the Leafs still hold a game in hand.
It appears Tuukka Rask will be between the pipes tonight, but that start does not come without controversy from this weekend. After a poor performance in Thursday night’s loss to Tampa Bay, Interim Head Coach Bruce Cassidy was very vocal about his lack of success. Then, Tuukka was out with a lower body injury and did not travel with the team to Brooklyn. However, Rask now says he is “good to go” tonight. This has been a long season for Rask, with a lot of minutes, but the Bs in front of him need him now more than ever.
Rask is not the only Bruin struggling as of late. David Krejci is a game-time decision as of now, but is likely to play after leaving practice yesterday early. It is no secret the top two lines have struggled to find the back of the net as of late. On Saturday, it was the heroics of Nash that pushed the Bs past the Islanders. While Boston is one of the top teams in terms of shot attempts, there is a lack of translation to goals. Immediately following the coaching change, there was a different team on the ice and goals seemed to be coming in bunches. But, things have slowed and the Bruins are hitting a skid at the wrong point in the season. There is hope on the horizon, at least defensively. Top prospect defenseman, Charlie McAvoy is likely to sign with Providence by the end of the week and could potentially join the Bruins for the end of the regular season and hopefully for a playoff run.
Marchand – Bergeron – Backes
Stafford – Krejci – Pastrnak
Vatrano – Spooner – Hayes
Moore – Nash – Acciari/Beleskey
Chara – Carlo
Krug – McQuaid
Liles – K. Miller