The Boston Bruins look to continue their strong play to finish out 2018 with a two-game week before the Winter Classic.
Boston finished 3-1-0 over its last four games with victories against the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators. The team got some reinforcement back with the return of Patrice Bergeron, and look to continue its strong play against the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres.
The Black and Gold have some time off after Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes to regroup and get ready for the week ahead.
Let’s take a look to the two games the B’s have on their plate for this week:
Thursday, Dec. 27 vs. New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m. ET
The Bruins potentially could get some big bodies back into the lineup come Thursday, as head coach Bruce Cassidy noted defensemen Zdeno Chara (MCL) and Kevan Miller (throat) could make their return to the lineup. Jake DeBrusk, who has been battling a concussion, also could return, providing an offensive boost to the Boston lineup.
The Devils will be looking to bounce back after a tough stretch where they lost four of their last five games. New Jersey has scored nine goals over that time. This is the first time the two clubs go head-to-head this season, but if history repeats itself, the Devils will have a difficult time against Boston.
New Jersey is 51-77-19-8 all-time against the Bruins, and will be tasked with the tough job of trying to stop Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Bergeron. Bergeron has four points since his return to the lineup, while Marchand and Pastrnak have eight points over their previous four contests.
The B’s, however, will have to find a way to contain former No. 1 draft pick Taylor Hall, who’s been a bright spot for the Devils with six points in three games, including a four-point performance against the Ottawa Senators.
Saturday, Dec. 29 vs. Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m. ET
Boston will look to get revenge on the Sabres after Buffalo took the last contest between the two team’s by a score of 4-2 on Dec. 16.
The Black and Gold will need to find an answer for Jack Eichel, who amassed four points for Buffalo in its latest tilt against Boston. The Sabres will face a tough task before welcoming the B’s to KeyBank Center when they take on the St. Louis Blues.
Buffalo also sits just three points ahead of the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division and is 1-1 with Boston this season. The Sabres have lost two of their last three games but have quietly been a division pest this season, but will need to contain Marchand, who has eight points in four games.
David Krejci, who had his eight-game point streak snapped against Nashville, will be looking to start a new streak for his team with the week ahead.
The B’s have a chance to close out 2018 on a high note before ringing in the new year against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images