As if things needed to get any harder for the Bruins, they welcome in one of the elite teams in the NHL on Saturday, the Vancouver Canucks, in the first of back-to-back matinees. The Bruins will try to snap their nine-game losing streak before they head north for a rematch with Montreal at the Bell Centre on Sunday afternoon.
Thankfully for the Bruins, the Canucks come to Boston in the midst of a grueling 13-game road trip and are coming off two straight losses — one at Montreal on Tuesday and one at Ottawa on Thursday. The Bruins are hoping they can catch a road-weary squad because if not, they could be in for a long afternoon going up against the NHL’s leading scorer Henrik Sedin and one of the best between the pipes in Roberto Luongo.
Saturday, Feb. 6, 1 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Bruins (23-21-10, 56 points, fourth place in Northeast Division, 10th place in Eastern Conference)
Canucks (34-20-2, 70 points, first place in Northwest Division, third place in Western Conference)
This is the first and only meeting of the season between the Canucks and the Bruins.
Last season, the Bruins shut out the Canucks 1-0 at GM Place in Vancouver on Oct. 28.
The Bruins lead the all-time series 39-7-7.
The Bruins have not won since a 2-1 shootout victory at San Jose on Jan. 14 and are 0-6-3 over their last nine games. This is their longest winless streak since an 0-5-3-1 stretch from Feb. 15-Mar. 3, 2003, and their longest losing streak since their inaugural season in 1924-25, when they went a club record 11 games without a win.
The Bruins are also on the verge of breaking their club record of 11 straight home losses, set in that same season. Boston is 0-6-2 in its last eight home games, and its last home win came on New Year’s Day in the Winter Classic. The Bruins' last win at the TD Garden was on Dec. 30, a 4-0 shutout against the Thrashers.
Milan Lucic–Marc Savard–Miroslav Satan
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton/Byron Bitz
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Johnny Boychuk–Adam McQuaid
Daniel Sedin–Henrik Sedin–Alex Burrows
Mason Raymond–Ryan Kesler– Pavol Demitra
Tanner Glass–Kyle Wellwood–Mikael Samuelsson
Darcy Hordichuk–Ryan Johnson–Rick Rypien
Christian Ehrhoff–Shane O'Brien
Alexander Edler–Brad Lukowich
Aaron Rome–Nolan Baumgartner
Bruins Andrew Raycroft
Tim Thomas is 13-15-7 with a 2.52 GAA and a .915 save percentage. He has four shutouts and is winless (0-4-2) in his last six starts.
Tuukka Rask is 10-7-3 with a 2.12 GAA and a .924 save percentage. Rask has two shutouts and is winless in his last five starts, going 0-4-1. Rask is second in the NHL in GAA. Canucks
Roberto Luongo is 29-15-2 with a 2.33 GAA and a .919 save percentage.
Andrew Raycroftis 5-4-0 with a 2.17 GAA and a .912 save percentage.
Patrice Bergeron (12 goals, 21 assists) leads the Bruins in points with 33.
David Krejci had an assist on Thursday to extend his points streak to three games. Krejci now has three points during that stretch and four points in his last five games.
Mark Recchi scored on Thursday and has two goals in his last three games.
Blake Wheeler snapped a three-game pointless streak with a goal on Thursday.
Dennis Wideman had an assist for the second straight game on Thursday, giving him points in consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 23-27.
The Bruins allowed one power-play goal on two Montreal power plays on Thursday. They have killed off 13 of the last 18 power plays they have faced and have allowed only 27 power-play goals on 197 power plays faced, boasting a 86.3 percent success rate.
The Bruins were 1-for-6 on the power play on Thursday and are 5-for-24 over their last five games. This season, the B's are 33-for-187 with a 17.6 percent success rate.
Henrik Sedin is second in the NHL in assists with 53 and in points with 79. He leads the Canucks in both categories and is tied for the team lead in goals with 25.
Daniel Sedin has four points in his three games and is second on the team with 52.
Alex Burrows is tied for the team lead in goals with 25 and is third on the team in points with 49.
Andrew Ference has been practicing with the team this week but is still expected to remain sidelined with a groin injury until after the Olympics.
Mark Stuart is out until after the Olympics with a broken finger.
Kevin Bieksa is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on his left ankle tendon.
Willie Mitchell is on injured reserve with a concussion.
On Feb. 6, 1971, Phil Esposito has three points in a 4-3 win over Buffalo to become the first NHL player to record two 100-point seasons.
"There are a lot of good things going on here right now. When you have 90 shots in two games and you only have one point to show for, that is the frustrating part. There are so many other things that we're doing now and we have to keep that up now."
–Mark Recchi on how the Bruins are keeping things positive
The 2009-10 Bruins are not as bad as the 2008-09 Canadiens, according to former Hab Steve Begin.
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Cue the Journey for the Bruins!
Prospect Cody Hodgson is training on his own.
Here’s the game story from the Canucks’ 3-1 loss to Ottawa.
Steve Bernier is in the doghouse.
Ilya Kovalchuk says he gave his all in Atlanta.
Where could recently-fired Ken Hitchcock end up?
What players will get moved next?
Things just keep getting worse for the Bruins. They poured on 89 shots in their last two games and garnered only one point, but the good news is they have showed more determination and are creating offense.
Expect the B's to do the same on Saturday — but the problem is, they will be facing Roberto Luongo. Patience will be huge and the Bruins will need their goalie to steal a win.
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