Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Sean Kuraly (52)
It took a blizzard to finally cool off the Boston Bruins, who will be well-rested when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. The Bruins are riding a nine-game point streak and capped a three-game road trip with a pair of dominating performances before Thursday’s contest against Florida was postponed due to a severe snowstorm.
Boston blanked Ottawa 5-0 before rolling over the New York Islanders 5-1 to improve to 16-3-2 over its last 21 games, earning 34 of a possible 42 points. “When you have a group that is united the way we are, it normally carries over out on the ice,” Bruins forward Brad Marchand told reporters. “It’s a lot of fun to see and be a part of, and it’s just enjoyable to come to the rink every day.” Carolina is on a run of its own, posting an 8-2-1 record in its last 11 contests after opening a four-game road trip with a 4-0 triumph at Pittsburgh. The Hurricanes also are riding a five-game point streak (4-0-1) against Boston, although each of those matchups has gone beyond regulation.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Carolinas, NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (19-13-8): Sebastian Aho followed his 24-goal rookie campaign by failing to score in his first 15 games this season, but he has heated up with six tallies in his last six games – including a pair at Pittsburgh. “He’s probably a little underrated around the league, but to our guys and us as a staff, we know how good he is,” coach Bill Peters told reporters. Veteran Cam Ward has wrested the No. 1 goaltending job from Scott Darling, going 6-0-1 in his last seven starts.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (22-10-6): Boston’s fourth line of Tim Schaller, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari helped put away the Islanders with a pair of goals in the final five minutes of the third period. “We’re just trying to be a line that can go out there in any situation and push the game in the right direction for us,” Kuraly told reporters. Tuukka Rask is on a spectacular run, posting an 11-0-1 record in his last 12 starts, but he will not play in both games against Carolina and Pittsburgh this weekend.
1. Aho, who has scored two goals in three games versus Boston, has notched 10 points during his current six-game streak.
2. Rask is 7-3-3 with a 1.89 goals-against average in his career versus Carolina.
3. The Hurricanes have successfully killed all 16 of their penalties over the last seven games.