BLUE JACKETS (22-16-Eight) vs. BRUINS (27-Eight-12)
BUY TICKETS (Third jersey sport)
When you have been sleeping final week, the Blue Jackets continued to be one of many hottest groups within the NHL.
In a quartet of video games that each one began after 10 p.m. Jap, Columbus beat Los Angeles and Anaheim, misplaced to San Jose after which completed the four-game West Coast swing with a Saturday night time win in Las Vegas.
The three-1 journey improved Columbus to 11-2-Four in its final 17 video games, firmly planting the Blue Jackets again within the playoff image. However that is not one thing head coach John Tortorella is considering because the workforce heads house for a stretch of 4 house video games in 5 contests heading into the All-Star break.
“It isn’t in regards to the playoffs for me proper now,” Tortorella mentioned Monday. “I am not taking a look at 5 video games (earlier than the break). I am taking a look at tomorrow night time’s sport towards an excellent Boston workforce. The best way I am taking a look at it, I would like our street journey to face up by discovering a technique to come house and win your first house sport.”
It will likely be no straightforward activity contemplating Boston is likely one of the greatest groups within the NHL, however the Blue Jackets have to love the best way they have been taking part in, together with a 2-1 time beyond regulation victory in Beantown towards the Bruins on Jan. 2.
The stretch run into the All-Star festivities will permit the Blue Jackets to construct on momentum coming off the profitable street journey. Columbus hosts the Bruins on Tuesday adopted by two house video games towards Metropolitan Division rivals in Carolina (Thursday) and New Jersey (Saturday). Then comes a Sunday street sport on the New York Rangers earlier than one other house sport Wednesday towards Winnipeg.
The setup is much like a five-game stretch going into Christmas that included three house video games for the Blue Jackets. Columbus gained all 5 of these video games to enter the vacation on a excessive word.
“We at all times speak in regards to the video games proper earlier than the break, how vital these video games are to get factors within the financial institution,” Jones mentioned. “We did a great job earlier than Christmas. That is one other week and a half right here at house that’s going to be much more vital for us to maintain clawing our approach again into the playoff race and stand up there with these different groups in our division.
“It is good we’re at house now from a fairly good journey, and hopefully we are able to win some video games in entrance of our followers.”
The Blue Jackets must shore up a number of points from the journey, together with a trio of gradual begins towards the California groups, however the workforce is continuous to journey the momentum it has established over the previous 17 video games.
The important thing all through has been a cliché however one which the workforce has lived by.
“Simply take it in the future at a time,” Tortorella mentioned. “It is nothing miraculous. We’re simply making an attempt to take it one sport at a time. They need to be ok with their journey, although.”
Know the Foe
Boston involves city third within the NHL with 66 factors after final night time’s shootout loss at Philadelphia, with the Bruins only a level behind Washington and St. Louis. The workforce’s eight regulation losses are an NHL low, and Boston enters within the high 10 within the NHL in purpose scoring (Three.38 per sport, seventh in NHL), workforce protection (2.51 objectives allowed per sport, second), energy play (28.Zero %, second) and penalty killing (83.5 %, fifth).
Protection has been a key to the season for the Bruins, who’ve allowed simply 76 objectives at 5-on-5 in 47 video games and are third within the NHL in anticipated objectives allowed per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 (2.01). The goaltending duo of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak has been improbable, with Rask (17-Four-6, 2.27 GAA, .925 save proportion) possible getting the beginning after Halak began Monday in Philadelphia.
The highest line additionally has been among the best within the NHL with the trio of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron creating as a lot offense as any line within the league. Pastrnak is 5 objectives away from anybody else within the league with 36 this yr, and his 66 factors are tied for fifth within the NHL. Marchand, in the meantime, has a 20-43-63 line that locations him third within the NHL in assists and sixth in factors. Bergeron provides a 19-20-39 line.
David Krejci is having one other Krejci-esque season, with 11 objectives, 32 factors and a plus-19 score. Torey Krug is the top-scoring defenseman with 5 objectives and 26 assists for 31 factors, together with 19 factors on the ability play to tie him for first within the NHL amongst defensemen in that class. Jake DeBrusk provides 14 objectives, whereas Dublin native Sean Kuraly has a Three-13-16 line in 47 video games
The Bruins lead the NHL with 12 time beyond regulation losses, and the workforce has battled by way of accidents as properly. Defensemen Connor Clifton and Kevan Miller are out, and Matt Grzelcyk has been banged up, although he did swimsuit up towards the Flyers.
Three Keys to the Sport
Deal with the highest line: The Blue Jackets saved the Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak trio in verify in Boston, and this time Columbus can have the final change as properly. They need to see a gentle eating regimen of Jones and Zach Werenski in addition to some shifts towards David Savard and Vladislav Gavrikov.
Keep affected person: The Bruins simply do not offer you a lot offensively, and Columbus cannot open up and permit Boston to get transition probabilities. The Blue Jackets have been affected person within the sport in Boston, sticking with the plan and ultimately getting a tying purpose within the third interval earlier than successful in OT.
Everybody on board: The win in Boston might need been Columbus’ greatest efficiency of the season, with every participant doing his half to get the win. The identical has to occur at house this time round.
Of Be aware
Elvis Merzlikins has stopped 215 of 228 photographs (.943 save proportion) previously seven video games, going 5-2-Zero. … Werenski has 12-10-22 with a plus-12 score in his final 23 video games in addition to 9 objectives in 13 video games since coming back from harm. He has 5 objectives in his final two house video games. … Pierre-Luc Dubois has a 5-11-16 line in his final 15 video games. … Tortorella is 2 wins from 200 as Blue Jackets head coach. … Columbus will play 4 straight towards Jap Convention opponents and 14 of 16. The Jackets are 15-7-5 this yr vs. Jap foes. … The Blue Jackets have outscored foes 19-9 in its final six house video games whereas going Four-1-1. … Columbus is Eight-Four-Four within the final 16 video games vs. Boston. The groups full the three-game season collection March 16 in Boston.
(Topic to alter)
Sonny Milano – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Emil Bemstrom
Gustav Nyquist – Boone Jenner – Nick Foligno
Nathan Gerbe – Alexander Wennberg – Kevin Stenlund
Jakob Lilja – Riley Nash – Eric Robinson
Zach Werenski – Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov – David Savard
Scott Harrington – Markus Nutivaara
Scratches: Ryan MacInnis, Gabriel Carlsson, Joonas Korpisalo (harm)
Roster Report: The Blue Jackets have saved the identical lineup for the previous 4 video games, one thing that appeared inconceivable a short time again when the harm bug hit the workforce. Three gamers on injured reserve — forwards Cam Atkinson and Oliver Bjorkstrand and defenseman Andrew Peeke — skated with the workforce Monday, nevertheless it stays to be seen if any can be activated and return to the lineup.