The Boston Bruins have taken their 14-game point streak to the nation’s capital, where they will take on a Capitals team fighting for its playoff life on Saturday afternoon.
B’s head coach Claude Julien has decided to give No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask a day off and will start backup Chad Johnson, who has dominated in the month of March with a 5-0-0 record and a .945 save percentage.
Johnson’s last outing was on March 21 against a talented offensive team in the Colorado Avalanche, when he earned a 31-save shutout to improve his record to 16-3-1.
Johnson has not played against Washington this season.
The Capitals will start Braden Holtby in net. The 24-year-old goalie has allowed 14 goals in his last four games and has seen his playing time decrease significantly after the team acquired Jaroslav Halak from the Buffalo Sabres at the March 5 NHL trade deadline. Halak is 2-0 with a 1.87 goals against average versus Boston this season as a member of the St. Louis Blues.
With that said, Holtby has fared quite well versus the Bruins in his career. He’s 4-1-0 with a 2.13 GAA and a .940 save percentage against the Original Six franchise.
In other lineup news, Andrej Meszaros will be back on the B’s blue line in place of Matt Bartkowski. Defenseman Corey Potter and forward Jordan Caron are Boston’s other two scratches.
Check out the projected pairings and lines for Bruins-Capitals below. Puck drop is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.
Bruins (50-17-6, 1st Atlantic)
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly — Carl Soderberg — Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille — Gregory Campbell — Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara — Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski — Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug — Kevan Miller
Capitals (34-27-12, 5th Metropolitan)
Evgeny Kuznetsov — Nicklas Backstrom — Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich– Marcus Johansson — Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera — Eric Fehr — Joel Ward
Martin Erat — Jay Beagle — Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner — John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov — Mike Green
John Erskine — Connor Carrick