Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
CHICAGO – The Boston Bruins are playing like a team with an eye on winning the Stanley Cup as they visit the Chicago Blackhawks tonight in an Original Six matchup. Boston, which lost to St. Louis in the Final in seven games last season, defeated Vancouver 4-0 on Tuesday for its fourth straight victory and eighth in the last 11 games (8-2-1), and leads the Atlantic Division by five points over Tampa Bay while one behind Washington in the Presidents’ Trophy race.
“You could sense a little mental fatigue there before the (All-Star) break,” Tuukka Rask, who made 25 saves Tuesday, told reporters. “Obviously it was a long grind, a lot of games, so the break helped that mentally and now (it seems) like we’re sharp physically and mentally. I think the mental aspect of it plays a huge part too going forward.”
Chicago rallied from a two-goal deficit before losing 3-2 in overtime at Minnesota on Tuesday but the point earned was a big one as they sit on the periphery of the Western Conference playoff race. The Blackhawks rushed into postseason contention with a five-game winning streak prior to the break but are 1-1-1 since with a difficult five-game trip through Western Canada starting Sunday. Chicago defeated Boston 4-3 on Dec. 5 in the first of two meetings this season on Jonathan Toews’ goal 54 seconds into overtime.
TIME: 8 p.m. ET. TV: NBC Sports Network, TVA
ABOUT THE BRUINS (32-10-12): Brad Marchand scored his 23rd goal of the season Tuesday – second on the club to David Pastrnak, whose 38 are second in the league to Alex Ovechkin’s 40. Charlie Coyle had a goal and an assist Tuesday for his third such game in his last 11 contests, giving him 10 goals and 29 points. Jaroslav Halak, who is 8-2-3 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .929 save percentage versus Chicago, is expected in goal Wednesday.
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (25-21-7): Patrick Kane (team highs of 25 goals and 65 points) had his 12-game point streak snapped Tuesday – a stretch during which he recorded five goals and 18 points. Rookie left wing Dominik Kubalik (21 goals) has gone three straight games without scoring after recording 10 goals in the previous eight contests. Toews has missed the scoresheet in the last three games as he remains stuck on 799 career points.
- Boston LW Joakim Nordstrom will miss his second straight game because of an “allergy-related condition.”
- Chicago D Duncan Keith has 99 goals and 498 assists.
- The Bruins boast the No. 2 power play in the league, going 6-for-14 in their last three games after a 1-for-6 performance versus Vancouver,. and rank third on the penalty kill.
PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Blackhawks 2