NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 6th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (36-16-3) at St. Louis Blues (37-12-6), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins will try to pick up a third straight
victory on Thursday night without defenseman Zdeno Chara as they visit the St.
Chara will miss this game as well as Saturday's home contest against Ottawa
due to him being selected to carry Slovakia's flag on Friday during the
Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
The 36-year-old Chara has 13 goals and 13 assists in 54 games this season, and
the captain will be replaced by David Warsofsky in the lineup.
Coach Claude Julien isn't expecting his club's performance on the back end to
suffer due to the brief loss of Chara.
"I think it's going to be important that our whole D corps does a good job
there. So you can't put all the burden on one guy's shoulder," said Julien on
Boston's official website. "And as much Zee is a big part of that back end,
other guys have done a great job in making our whole D corps pretty solid. So
I would have to expect the same thing."
The Bruins won for the sixth time in seven games on Tuesday with a 3-1 victory
over the Vancouver Canucks. Tuukka Rask made 27 saves and Jarome Iginla backed
the effort with a goal and an assist.
Milan Lucic and Daniel Paille also registered goals for the Bruins, who lead
the Tampa Bay Lightning by six points for first place in the Atlantic
"I thought it was a strong game. The guys worked hard," said Chara.
The Blues come into this meeting second in the Central Division with 80
points, four back of the first-place Chicago Blackhawks, and with points in
five of their last six games. They are 4-1-1 in that span.
St. Louis, though, is coming off a 5-4 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators in
which it failed to hold a third-period lead.
The Blues held a 3-1 advantage going into the third period, but the Sens
ripped off three quick goals to go in front. Jordan Leopold saved a point by
scoring a game-tying tally with 8:52 left in regulation before Ottawa came
through in a five-round shootout.
T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist for St. Louis, which also received markers
from Brenden Morrow and David Backes. Jaroslav Halak stopped 27 shots in the
setback and Jaden Schwartz finished with two assists.
"The boys played hard tonight against a hard-working team," Oshie said. "We
want the two points but we'll take the one point and focus on Thursday."
The Blues fell to 9-0-1 versus the Eastern Conference at home this season and
lost for the first time in 19 games (18-0-1) at home this season when scoring
three goals or more. They are also now 25-0-4 when leading after two periods.
St. Louis concludes a four-game homestand on Saturday, but will first try to
avoid a fourth straight loss as the hosting club versus the Bruins.
The Blues' 3-2 shootout victory in Boston on Nov. 21 marked the seventh
straight win by the road team in this series and gave St. Louis its 10th
triumph in its past 13 encounters with Boston.
Halak is 7-3-0 with two shutouts and a 1.86 goals against average in 10 games
versus the Bruins, making 29 saves in the earlier meeting this season.
Rask stopped 24 shots in that setback, falling to 1-0-2 with a 1.58 GAA versus
02/06 11:04:10 ET