The Boston Bruins have had a tough stretch since returning from the All-Star break, and their schedule isn’t about to get easier. The B’s have a four-game week head with matchups against the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders, as well as the Colorado Avalanche.
Bruce Cassidy called out his defense after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on home ice Thursday night, and voiced his frustration with the lack of secondary scoring. Boston responded the next game in a big way, defeating the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals in a 1-0 shutout Sunday afternoon for their first victory over the Caps since March 2014.
The lone goal came from David Krejci, while David Pastrnak and Torey Krug collected the assist. So even though Pastrnak helped set up the game-winning goal, Cassidy got what he wanted.
Let’s look ahead to the four games the B’s have on their plate this week:
Tuesday, Feb. 5 vs. New York Islanders, 7 p.m. ET
The B’s kick off their week with a matchup against a tough team.
The Isles sit atop the Metropolitan Division and have won six of their last eight games. The biggest test Boston will have is New York’s goalie Robin Lenher, who totes an NHL-best .932 save percentage and 2.02 GAA. Even if Lehner doesn’t get the nod, Thomas Greiss will pose a threat in net to Boston with his .924 save percentage, good for sixth in the league.
This is the second time the two teams meet this season. Boston claimed victory over New York back in November in a shootout, and also swept the season series last year.
Wednesday, Feb. 6 vs. New York Rangers, 8 p.m. ET
Boston looks to have a better outcome on the road than when the Rangers visited TD Garden on Jan. 19, when the B’s they lost 3-2. New York sits seventh in the Metropolitan Division, but has won four of its last six games heading into Monday.
The Bruins will need to be wary of Mika Zibanejad, who’s been a force for the Rangers this season. The center has 20 goals and 32 assists and has gobbled up points in five of his team’s last six games, including a hat trick against the New Jersey Devils. He also accounted for two of New York’s three goals against the Black and Gold in their last meeting.
The Rangers will have their hands full with the top line of Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The trio combined for three points and eight shots on goal in the Jan. 19 loss.
Saturday, Feb. 9 vs. Los Angeles Kings, 1 p.m. ET
The Kings make their first and only trip to TD Garden this season for a Saturday afternoon matchup.
Los Angeles has lost two of its last three games, including a 7-1 throttling at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, ahead of its Monday tilt with the Rangers. The Kings have struggled offensively this season and it shows in the stat lines. No one in the lineup has amassed 20 goals, and only Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty have over 20 assists.
The Kings are second-to-last in power play goals with 21 while Boston has more than double that with 45.
Boston suffered an overtime loss to LA last season, which is the last time the two clubs met.
Sunday, Feb. 10 vs. Colorado Avalanche, 3 p.m. ET
The B’s wrap up their week with a matinee matchup against the Colorado Avalanche, who have lost six of their last eight games coming into this week.
Boston will be tasked with keeping Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon, who own the top two spots in goals for Colorado. Mikko Rantanen also has been for a force for the Avalanche, amassing 74 points in his first 51 games this season.
The Bruins and Colorado have not met since the beginning of the last season, when the Avalanche took both games of the home-and-home series.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images