Bruins vs Sens Game Preview

Mark Stone, Tuukka Rask

Photo Credit: Winslow Townson (AP Photo)

By: KG                   Follow me on Twitter: @kgbngblog and on FanCred at K G

The Bruins are coming off of a 4-3 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals, adding onto their losing streak to the Caps that has been going since March of 2015. The B’s find themselves 9 points ahead of Florida for third place in the Atlantic division. Boston comes into tonight’s game as one of the hottest teams in the league with a record of 7-1-2 in their last ten games. On the other hand, the Senators are third worst in the league after being one goal away from the Stanley Cup Finals last spring. They have had a lot of issues, including being shutout 5 times since the start of December. The Bruins come into tonight’s game scoring an average of 3.46 goals per game in the month of December. It’ll be one red-hot offense against one that hasn’t been able to score nearly enough to be considered functioning well.

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Players To Watch

OTTAWA

Erik Karlsson: Karlsson put on a show last playoffs against the Bruins. His Hail Mary saucer pass to Mike Hoffman will be remembered for a long time. He has 17 career assists in 35 games against Boston and has three in his last five games played. I expect him to be a big focus of the Bruins defensive gameplan.

Matt Duchene: In 13 career games played against the Bruins, Duchene has 12 points. A big part of his success is from the Colorado teams that always seem to give the Bruins a lot of trouble. Boston has only seen him once as a Senator, but twice on Colorado this year. He has one goal and two assists in those games, but all points coming from his games as part of the Avalanche.

BOSTON

Danton Heinen: In his only game played against Ottawa, Heinen has a goal and an assist. That game was on the 27th, just three days ago. If he can keep playing like he has been in the last couple of games, I believe that he can find success tonight again.

Tuukka Rask: After starting off the season slower than Bruins fans hoped, Rask has been lights out since the start of December. He’s 9-0-1 in his last 10 starts. That is very impressive, especially after going 1-3-1 in his first five starts of the season. He has a .945 save percentage and gives up 1.4 goals per game over those last 10. But the real question is what will we see out of Rask tonight? He only gave up one goal last time these two teams met, but his overall record against Ottawa is 9-7-4. Not the best, but also not terrible. If the Bruins can win tonight, they move into the second place spot in the Atlantic division, and if they do, they’ll only trail Tampa by 8 points. That would be incredible for them since Tampa is the best team in the league currently.

Boston has really become the team that they are meant to be. The majority of their regular players are healthy (Krejci, McQuaid, and Cehlarik are still on the IR) and they have been winning against some good teams (Winnipeg, Columbus) to help boost their place in the standings. Ottawa just seems to be missing something, and I don’t see them finding it tonight.

Final Prediction: 4-1 Bruins

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Sources: NHL.com, TSN.ca, ESPN.com, Hockey-Reference.com

Follow KG on Twitter @KGbngblog and on FanCred at K G Like, share and comment your takes on the article

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