Bruins Focus: Boston Looks To Keep Momentum Going Vs. Penguins, Capitals

The Bruins will face Zdeno Chara for the first time this year

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It appears the Bruins have found some momentum.

Boston is riding a two-game win streak after taking both games from the Philadelphia Flyers last week. It’s worth noting the first win came in a shootout, marking the second time this season the Bruins have done so. (You probably remember last season’s shootout struggles).

The Bruins now face a red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins team at TD Garden before traveling to Washington to take on the first-place Capitals.

It will be no easy task. And with the Bruins still shorthanded a bit, they will need everyone to be on their A-game.

Let’s take a look at what the Bruins have on deck:

Tuesday, Jan. 26 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Thursday, Jan. 28 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Saturday, Jan. 30 at Washington Capitals

What Bruins fans need to know
Three of the four Penguins’ wins have come in the shootout or overtime, and have yet to lose in OT. They sit one point behind the Washington Capitals in the East standings but have one more win.

Pittsburgh, though, has a habit this season of giving up the first goal and playing most of the game trying to catch up. The Pens been successful in doing so, but if they give up the first goal to the B’s they may be in trouble.

Sure, a four-game win streak is nice, but the way the Penguins have been playing isn’t exactly sustainable. If you’re constantly playing from behind, at some point, you will get burnt out.

The Bruins have let small leads slip away, but they’ve scored 11 goals in their last two games and really appear to have found a groove.

However, Boston still is without David Pastrnak, Matt Grzelcyk and Ondrej Kase. It won’t have Pastrnak back against the Penguins, but he could return against Washington. It’s unclear when Grzelcyk and Kase will return to the ice, but head coach Bruce Cassidy said the team will see how Grzelcyk feels Tuesday.

The Capitals, meanwhile, have lost three of their last four games (which all have gone to overtime or a shootout).

Who Bruins need to watch out for
Zdeno Chara (Capitals) — This will be the first time since the 2006-07 season that Chara will wear a new jersey after spending the last 14 years with the Bruins. The 6-foot-9 defenseman is averaging 20:03 of ice time and, as the B’s know, is not an easy person to go against.

Alex Ovechkin (Capitals) — Ovechkin missed a few games for violating the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols, but notched an assist in his return against the Penguins.

Theodor Blueger (Penguins) — Blueger has points in three of Pittsburgh’s last four games. He’s tied for second-most goals on the time, just one behind Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby (Penguins) — Crosby leads the Penguins with seven points (four goals, three assists). Two of his goals have come on the power play, and he’s always a threat to score when he’s on the ice.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images

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