The Boston Bruins have a three-game week ahead of them, and it’s one that the B’s can capitalize on and gain some ground in the standings.
Boston’s only game this week against a team above .500 is Tuesday night when it hosts the Vegas Golden Knights at TD Garden. Momentum certainly is in favor of the Bruins as they’re riding a five-game point streak.
Let’s take a look at the week ahead:
Tuesday, Dec. 14 vs. Vegas Golden Knights, 7 p.m. ET
Thursday, Dec. 16 at New York Islanders, 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Dec. 18 at Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET
What Bruins fans need to know
The Canadiens and Islanders are at the bottom of the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions, respectively, and are among the NHL’s worst teams. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, are fourth in the Pacific Division and are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games. Vegas and Boston have not met since January 2020 when the Bruins came away with a 3-2 victory. The B’s will look to continue with strong goaltending from Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman while the Golden Knights hope to have the same type of offense they showcased in their 6-4 win against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.
Not much is going right for Montreal this season. It has given up a league-worst 102 goals and has one of the worst power plays and penalty kills in the NHL. The Habs also have lost Tyler Toffoli for at least eight weeks after he underwent hand surgery.
It’s also worth noting that while we don’t know the Isles’ plan between the pipes against the Bruins just yet, their goalie situation has been less than ideal. Semyon Varlamov has yet to record a win this season and has an .884 save percentage and 3.29 goals-against average. Ilya Sorokin is 7-6-4, but New York can’t put too much of its workload on one goalie.
Who Bruins need to look out for
Nick Suzuki (Canadiens) — The center has been a bright spot for Montreal this season with a team-leading 18 points and 12 assists. Suzuki’s last points came against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 3-2 loss last Tuesday, but he put up a goal and an assist to keep his team in it against the reigning Stanley Cup champions.
JG Pageau (Islanders) — Pageau had a slow start to the season, but he has begun to heat up a bit. Over New York’s last five games, the forward has points in four. Pageau also has had success against the Bruins in the past. So if he’s going to continue to stay hot, the B’s are the team to do it against.
Chandler Stephenson (Golden Knights) — His 26 points and 17 assists lead Vegas so far this season. Stephenson also has four points on the power play and has won over 48% of his faceoffs.
DraftKings Sportsbooks has the Bruins as the 1.5-goal favorites for Tuesday night, with the over/under set at 6. Brad Marchand, who has goals in Boston’s last two games, is +160 to score against Vegas, while David Pastrnak, who hasn’t scored since Nov. 30, is +120 to light the lamp against the Golden Knights.