It’s been a long 10 days for Bruins fans, but Boston gets back on the ice Tuesday when it begins a three-game week with a tilt against the Winnipeg Jets.
The B’s exit the All-Star break in fourth place in the Atlantic Division after finishing the first half of their season with a 1-2-1 week that ended with a loss to the New York Rangers.
Boston has a tough stretch ahead but hopes to have Tuukka Rask (concussion) healthy enough to be between the pipes. The netminder left the loss to the Rangers in the first period, and even though his agent and David Pastrnak said Rask was feeling good, there’s still no word whether he will play this week.
Let’s look ahead to the Bruins’ opponents this week:
Tuesday, Jan. 29 vs. Winnipeg Jets, 7p.m. ET
Boston begins the week at home welcoming the Central Division-leading Jets to TD Garden. The Jets won four of their last five games, including a 5-1 win over the Nashville Predators.
This is the first time these two teams will meet this season, but the Bruins hold the edge with a 36-17-6 all-time record against Winnipeg. This game certainly will be a test for the B’s, as Boston ranks second in the league with 128 goals allowed, while the Jets rank fourth with 133.
The Black and Gold will need a plan to contain Blake Wheeler, who leads his team in assists with 52, and has six points (two goals, four assists) in his last five games.
Thursday, Jan. 31 vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m. ET
The Bruins look to have a better outcome than they did in their last meeting with Philly when they lost 4-3 on Jan. 16. The winner will take the season series.
The Flyers have been dreadful on the power play this season, converting just 13.3 percent of the time. But Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier continue to be bright spots for the Metropolitan Division’s seventh-place team. The duo has combined for 92 points and posted five points in their latest contest with the B’s. Couturier netted a hat trick while Giroux tallied two assists.
Sunday, Feb. 3 vs. Washington Capitals, 12:30 p.m. ET
Boston looks to salvage one win from the defending Stanley Cup champions after losing its first two contests against the Capitals this season.
Washington is in quite the slump, losing its last seven games giving up at least seven goals in three of those instances. The Caps have not won a game since their Jan. 10 win over the Black and Gold and hope to get back on track and sweep the season series.
Alex Ovechkin and Co. have dropped to second place in the Metropolitan Division and will face the Calgary Flames before their date with Boston. Ovechkin has netted points in five of Washington’s seven games during its losing streak, including a hat trick. He also accounted for two goals in his most recent visit to the Garden, so the Bruins will need to be mindful while he’s on the ice.
The Bruins hope to begin Super Bowl Sunday with a win that would be a nice appetizer or Sunday night’s main course in Atlanta.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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