The Ottawa Senators (23-39-6, 52 points, 8th in the Atlantic Division) visit the Boston Bruins (41-17-9, 91 points, 2nd in the Atlantic Division) Saturday night at TD Garden in their final meeting of the season. The Bruins are 3-0-0 in the season series and are looking to sweep the Senators in back-to-back regular seasons.
Boston defeated Ottawa, 6-3, on Oct. 8th in Boston, 4-1, on Oct. 23rd in Ottawa and, 2-1, in overtime on Dec. 9th in Ottawa.
After being recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on emergency basis, Lee Stempniak is set to make his season debut for the B’s as Jake DeBrusk (lower body) is expected to miss this weekend’s action, along with his fellow second-line winger, Marcus Johansson (lung contusion).
David Pastrnak (left thumb) and Kevan Miller (upper body) are also still out of the lineup for Boston as the Bruins look to extend their 18-game point streak.
Tuukka Rask (23-8-5, 2.31 goals against average, .921 save percentage in 37 games played) will be in net for the B’s on Saturday, while Jaroslav Halak will start Sunday night on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
John Moore will take part in his 500th career NHL game and the B’s are looking to close out their current homestand with a perfect 6-0-0 record.
Joakim Nordstrom is expected to lineup alongside David Krejci’s left side on the second line, while Stempniak will fill in for Johansson on Krejci’s right wing.
Peter Cehlarik will take Nordstrom’s slot on the third line left wing alongside Charlie Coyle and David Backes, while Boston’s first and fourth lines remain the same.
The Bruins have not lost a game in regulation since Jan. 19th and are 20-3-5 this season since Jan. 1st.
Ottawa is slated to start Craig Anderson (14-22-4, 3.54 GAA, .903 SV% in 42 GP) in net on Saturday as the Sens are coming off a, 4-2, loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday.
Boston is coming off a, 4-3, comeback victory against the Florida Panthers on Thursday as Matt Grzelcyk and Patrice Bergeron scored the game-tying and game-winning goals for the B’s in the final minute of regulation.
Grzelcyk’s goal was his first in 49 games.
It was just the 2nd time in franchise history that the Bruins overcame a deficit to win in the final minute of regulation (previous, Dec. 4, 1986) as Boston extended it’s current points streak to 18 games– matching their 2nd best point streak in franchise history back in the 1968-69 season (Dec. 16, 1968-Jan. 30, 1969, 14-0-4).
The longest point streak in Bruins franchise history was 23 games (15 wins, eight ties) from Dec. 22, 1940 to Feb. 23, 1941.
Rask made 22 saves on 25 shots faced in the win against Florida, while Bergeron scored a pair of goals for his 39th career multi-goal game.
Krejci also had a goal for Boston on Thursday.