Columbus at Boston Bruins
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 16, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Columbus Blue Jackets continue to fight for their playoff lives as they begin a four-game road trip Saturday against the Boston Bruins. Columbus, which defeated Boston 7-4 on Tuesday in the first of three meetings in a 22-day span, shut out Carolina 3-0 on Friday behind 46 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky and is tied with the Hurricanes for the Eastern Conference wild-card spots, two points ahead of Montreal in what is shaping up to be a three-team race to the finish.
The Bruins have lost three straight in regulation – all on the road – for the first time since Dec. 1-6 after Thursday’s 4-3 loss in Winnipeg. Saturday’s game is Boston’s only home contest in an eight-game stretch that culminates with a four-game road trip against two non-playoff teams, the New York Islanders and league-best Tampa Bay. “Listen, I don’t like to lose one in a row so there’s always concern,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters. “There’s different factors that go into it. I think we played three very good hockey teams this week, that’s part of it. Part of it is, as mentioned, is we haven’t started on time so we’ve put ourselves in a hole so we’re playing catch-up every night. That’s a bad formula in the National Hockey League.” Boston is second in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of Toronto as the clubs continue to battle for home-ice advantage in what shapes up to be a memorable first-round series.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Ohio (Columbus), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (40-28-3): Artemi Panarin (team-high 75 points) has an assist in each of his last two games after going without a point in four straight contests. Boone Jenner (15 goals, 35 points) had an assist versus Carolina and boasts five points in his last three games, including his first career hat trick Tuesday. Josh Anderson (24 goals, 41 points) scored his second short-handed goal of the season Friday after collecting a goal and three assists versus Boston for his first career four-point game.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (42-20-9): Brad Marchand (30 goals, team-high 85 points) scored twice versus Columbus on Tuesday but had his eight-game point streak snapped Thursday after accumulating six goals and eight assists during that span. David Krejci (19 goals, 62 points) had two assists Thursday, giving him four goals and three assists in his last six games, while Patrice Bergeron (26 goals, 65 points) had five goals and nine points in eight contests before being held off the scoresheet Thursday, leaving him with 799 career points. Jake DeBrusk (22 goals) could return Saturday after missing the last five games (lower body) while Torey Krug (48 points) will likely miss a second straight contest (upper body).
1. Marchand needs one point to achieve a career season high after recording 85 in each of the last two campaigns.
2. Columbus scored a short-handed goal in three of its last four games and has four in its past 12 contests while killing 29-of-31 penalties during that span.
3. Boston’s Zdeno Chara, 41, needs one goal to become the 22nd defenseman in NHL history with 200.