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Bruins, Capitals meet for first time since blowout, Marchand-Eller

For a technically low-stakes activity* in mid-January, Thursday’s bout amongst the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins brings a ton of sizzle to the desk.

You’re forgiven if this could possibly sneak up on you, but this is the very first time these two groups will facial area off given that the memorable period-opener when the Capitals bombarded the Bruins 7-.

Normally, this also means that this is the very first time that Lars Eller can actual revenge – or, probably, acquire a foolish penalty attempting to actual revenge – on Brad Marchand, who memorably went just after Eller just after the Dane rubbed him the wrong way with a purpose celebration in the course of the blowout.

The Bruins could possibly (secretly) hope that Marchand can get the Capitals off their game titles, which is plausible with Eller keeping that grudge, and also contemplating that Tom Wilson was unavailable in the course of that opener thanks to his suspension. Boston could possibly want that distraction when you comprehend that the Capitals have dominated the Bruins for fairly some time, even outside of that 7- drubbing.

As NBC Sports activities Boston’s Joe Haggerty notes, the Bruins are attempting to brush off the reality that they want to split Washington’s 13-activity successful streak from the B’s.

“It’s more about that this staff has had our variety for the final variety of yrs, and we need to have to get over that hurdle,” Bruins mentor Bruce Cassidy mentioned. “We’ve got to get over the hurdle. They are the Stanley Cup champions, and if you want to be the very best then you’ve got to defeat the very best. I know it is a very long period, but we’re taking part in excellent hockey and I’d like to think our guys are heading to be assured heading into the activity. Not considering about what transpired opening night time or over the yrs, but nonetheless have a little bit of an ‘Enough is enough’ sort of angle as properly. You just never want to overthink and go ‘Here we go again’ if the very first 10 minutes never go your way.”

That’s the factor when it comes to Eller and Marchand, and the possible issues that can appear from score-settling. When the Bruins and Capitals are comfortably positioned in playoff position, there are carrots dangling for both of those groups. Washington can reinforce its grip over the top spot in the Metro. In the meantime, the Bruins are only two points behind the Maple Leafs for the next Atlantic seed (while Toronto has a activity in hand), yet the Sabres are only two points behind Boston for the 3rd spot (with both of those groups at 43 game titles played).

This is more than just a prospect for the Bruins to ultimately distinct the impediment that is the Capitals. They also can give a glimpse of what they’re capable of as a healthier staff, some thing they’ve now performed by rattling off five consecutive wins.

Fairly than heading just after Marchand, the Capitals have a prospect to rather harm the Bruins on the scoreboard — at the time again.

Not poor for the “dog days” of the NHL period, proper?

* – Following all, both of those groups would make the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs started proper now, and they’re comfortably positioned to keep that way.

James O’Brien is a writer for Professional Hockey Converse on NBC Sports activities. Drop him a line at or abide by him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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