The Boston Bruins will host the Colorado Avalanche tonight at TD Garden. This will be the concluding game of the Bruins lengthy home stand, before they embark on a 4-game Eastern road trip. This game will start shortly after 7:00 PM EST, and can be followed on NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub for all of my fellow Canadian and American viewers.
Yesterday, Patrice Bergeron (wore a red non-contact jersey) joined his teammates during practice at Warrior Ice Arena for the first time in a while. Head coach Bruce Cassidy was cautiously optimistic and had this to say about Bergeron’s imminent return:
Tonight’s matchup will also mark the conclusion of the 2-game season series between these two teams. In their previous matchup back on October 10th in Colorado, the Avalanche won by the score of 4-1. The Bruins hope that tonight will have a different result. It would definitely be a welcoming change if the Bruins could play a game with the lead, instead of mounting comebacks time after time like they’ve been accustomed to as of late.
On Thursday night, the Bruins staged a dramatic 3-goal comeback in the 3rd period, but lost to the Chicago Blackhawks by the final score of 4-3 in overtime. The positive spin on that overtime loss was that the Bruins kept their unbeaten in regulation streak alive and well. November 8th vs. Detroit was the last time they endured a loss in regulation time. The Bruins still own the #1 home record (12-0-5) in the NHL, coupled with the fewest regulation losses (3).
Defenseman John Moore returned to the lineup on Thursday night for the first time this season. Moore saw Blackhawk’s forward Zach Smith take a run at David Pastrnak, and decided to engage in a fight with Smith. After the fight, Moore immediately went to the dressing room in some discomfort, as he favoured his surgically-repaired shoulder. Fortunately for Moore, he returned to the game later on and there was no further injury to his shoulder. Moore was interviewed after the game by Boston Hockey Now reporter, Jimmy Murphy and had this to say about Smith’s running of Pastrnak,
“It was my turn there, I saw someone taking liberties and felt like something had to be done and I just stepped in and did something.”
It remains to be seen if the Avalanche will continue this most recent trend of taking liberties at Pastrnak. The Bruins will need to sustain/limit this high-powered Avalanche squad. Regardless of how tonight’s result plays out, this West vs. East showdown is one matchup you don’t want to miss.
Here's a look at tonight’s projected lineups:
Marchand - Coyle - Heinen
DeBrusk - Krejci - Pastrnak
Nordstrom - Kuraly - Wagner
Bjork - Lindholm - Ritchie
Chara - McAvoy
Krug - Carlo
Moore - Grzelcyk
Note: David Backes, Connor Clifton, and Steven Kampfer will all serve as the healthy scratches.
*Article written by Travis Hauer