On Tuesday, March 21, at 7pm ET, the Boston Bruins (38-28-6) host divisional opponent Ottawa Senators (39-24-8).
NEED TO KNOW: SENATORS
While this may not be a “must-win” for Ottawa, it would still be a crucial two points in an effort to close the gap on Montreal. The Sens are currently facing a four-game losing streak after losing both games to Montreal over the weekend in a home-and-home. They still hold second place in the Atlantic with 86 points. They are four points behind the Canadians with a game in hand, and four points ahead of the Bruins with a game in hand. With 11 games remaining on the Sens schedule, a playoff spot is likely, however, positioning and first-round match ups are still up for grabs. Right now, a Boston/Ottawa match up would make for an interesting first round. The season series between these two teams favors Ottawa, who have won both previous games 3-1 and 4-2. They will face each other yet again during the last week of the regular season on April 6th.
While the performance of defenseman Erik Karlsson may be overshadowed by Norris Trophy shoe-in Brent Burns, he should not go unnoticed. He has ten points (four goals, six assists) in the last nine games and is a major reason why Ottawa has found so much success this season. Forward Mike Hoffman has eight points (two goals, six assists) in the past eight games as well.
NEED TO KNOW: BRUINS
Similar to Ottawa, the Bruins are looking to bounce back tonight after dropping the past two. After having two strong outings against Vancouver and Calgary early last week, Boston was embarrassed by Edmonton and faced a devastating late loss last night in Toronto. With these back to back losses, the Maple Leafs have pulled within one point of the Bs and have a game in hand. With Toronto off tonight, a win would put Boston ahead three points with nine games remaining on their schedule. The Bruins have improved at home as of late, winning their last three. The past two seasons, the Bruins have missed the playoffs by collapsing the last couple weeks of the season. Well, we are hitting 20 days left of the regular season and now is not the time to see a collapse for the third year in a row. Tonight, they must get over last nights blunder and take care of business.
Brad Marchand is coming into tonight tied with Sidney Crosby for second in the league in points with 80 and two behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. He is currently on a four-game point streak with five goals and five assists. David Pastrnak has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his last 12 games as well.
Marchand – Bergeron – Backes
Beleskey – Krejci – Pastrnak
Vatrano – Spooner – Stafford
Moore – Nash – Acciari
Chara – Carlo
Krug – McQuaid
C. Miller. – K. Miller