The Boston Bruins look to remain hot as they continue their West Coast road trip with a three-game week.
The San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues all pose tall tasks for Boston, but the Black and Gold have won five straight and have a 10-game point streak that will be tough for their opponents to snap. Boston is coming off a 4-0-0 week, and two of those victories have come without its All-Star winger David Pastrnak, who’s expected to miss at least two weeks after undergoing thumb surgery.
But Boston must stay focused if it wants to continue to create separation from the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens in the Atlantic Division.
Let’s look ahead to the three games the B’s have on their plate this week:
Monday, Feb. 18 vs. San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m. ET
The Bruins begin their week against the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks have been on a tear as of late, claiming victory in seven of their last eight games, including two seven-goal performances. San Jose is eyeing the top spot in the Pacific Division, as the club currently is tied with the Calgary Flames with 77 points heading into Monday’s battle.
San Jose has six players with at least 50 points, with Brent Burns leading the way with 64. The defenseman has been an assist machine this season, with 53 points in 59 games. Even though the B’s have just three players amassing the 50-point mark (one being Pastrnak), Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron all pose a scoring threat when on the ice.
The Sharks will have their hands full if Tuukka Rask gets the start between the pipes. The Boston netminder is riding a personal 13-point streak and is 7-0-2 in his last nine appearances.
Wednesday, Feb. 20 vs. Vegas Golden Knights, 10 p.m.
The Black and Gold made easy work of the Golden Knights back in November with a 4-1 victory, and look to have the same results in the teams’ second matchup this season. The Golden Knights sit in third place in the Pacific Division but are nine points behind the Sharks and Flames for the top spot.
Vegas doesn’t have anyone on the roster with 20 goals heading into its Monday night matchup with the Colorado Avalanche, but Jonathan Marchessault has been a bright spot for the team, potting 19 goals to go along with 21 helpers. The Golden Knights will be looking to catch fire after losing three of its last four games.
Saturday, Feb. 23 vs. St. Louis Blues, 4 p.m.
Boston closes out its week against a red-hot St. Louis Blues team that has won 10 straight games heading into its Tuesday matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins had luck the last time the two clubs met, claiming a 5-2 victory Jan. 17. Since that loss, St. Louis has been on an absolute tear, winning 11 of its last 12 and scoring 44 goals during that stretch. The Blues have recorded four shutouts in their last 10 games.
The Black and Gold will need to be cautious of Vladimir Tarasenko, who has a 12-game point streak heading into Tuesday. Boston was able to keep him off the board in January, however, and will hope to do so again.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images