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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, November 14th (All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (6-10-1) at Boston Bruins (11-5-1), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins will try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they host the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets in Thursday's clash at TD Garden.
After winning a season-high four straight from Oct. 17-24, the Bruins were mired in a 1-3-1 stretch until recording wins in each of their past three trips to the ice. Boston has yielded a total of two goals during the three- game win streak, outscoring the opposition by a combined 10-2 margin along the way.
The Bruins earned their most recent victory on Monday afternoon, notching a 3-0 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Boston received goals 20 seconds apart from Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille in the second period and Jarome Iginla added an empty-net tally with 59 seconds remaining in the third.
Tuukka Rask recorded his 18th career shutout with 28 saves and improved to 9-1-0 lifetime against the Lightning.
"After two periods they kept pushing, creating chances, so as a goalie you just try to maintain that lead," Rask said.
Rask is 4-1-0 with a 1.56 goals against average in five career appearances against Columbus, but with the Bruins playing divisional foe Ottawa on the road tomorrow, head coach Claude Julien could opt to rest his No. 1 goaltender on Thursday.
If Rask is saved for Friday's game then Chad Johnson will get just his third start of the season tonight. Johnson has never faced the Blue Jackets.
Boston, which is 7-3-1 as the host this season, is closing a four-game homestand on Thursday before kicking off a three-game swing tomorrow against the Senators.
Although Columbus enters Thursday with six losses in seven games, the club has shown signs of breaking out of their slump recently. The Blue Jackets snapped an 0-5-0 skid with a 5-2 win over the visiting New York Islanders on Saturday and then earned a point in Tuesday's overtime loss at Washington.
However, Columbus did blow a late lead in the OT loss against the Capitals. The Jackets went ahead 3-2 on Cam Atkinson's goal with 5:41 remaining in the third period, but Mikhail Grabovski scored the tying goal for Washington with 1:45 left in regulation. Alex Ovechkin then scored on a rebound 94 seconds into the extra session to lift the Capitals to the win.
Brandon Dubinsky scored shorthanded and Jared Boll added the other goal for Columbus, which has dropped five in a row on the road and is 2-4-1 as the guest this season. Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves for the Blue Jackets.
Columbus expects to get forward Nick Foligno back Thursday after he missed two of the team's last three games to deal with a family emergency. Foligno has three goals and three assists in 11 games this season.
The Blue Jackets have not fared well against Boston in recent seasons, losing four straight and eight of the past 11 games in this series. Columbus is 2-2-1 all-time on the road versus the Bruins.
11/14 10:45:46 ET