Boston at Dallas
When: 12:30 PM ET, Sunday, February 26, 2017
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas
DALLAS – (Special Preview to Digital Sports Desk by The Sports Xchange) – The Boston Bruins are enjoying plenty of success under interim coach Bruce Cassidy and they’ll try to cap a four-game road trip in style when they meet the Dallas Stars on Sunday afternoon in the first of two meetings this season. Boston improved to 2-1-0 on its trek and is 5-1-0 since Cassidy took over from Claude Julien after Thursday’s 4-1 victory over Los Angeles, improving its position in ultra-tight playoff races in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.
“The first three games we won (under Cassidy) we generated a lot of offense and lot of goals,” Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask told reporters about the 14-goal outburst. “As long as we can keep the feet moving and the puck moving – and also remember the defensive play – we’ll be fun to watch.” Boston’s David Pastrnak, who scored 19 goals in his first 26 games this season, recorded his 26th of the season Thursday – tied with Brad Marchand for the club lead – and has six in his last seven contests after scoring one in his previous 21 games. Dallas came out of its league-mandated break with a 5-2 victory over Arizona on Friday but began waving the white flag on its fading postseason hopes by trading Patrick Eaves and his team high-tying 21 goals to Anaheim on Friday for a conditional first or second-round pick in June. Stars captain Jamie Benn, who recorded his 21st tally Friday, isn’t giving up despite Dallas being nine points out of a wild-card spot entering Saturday, telling reporters: “We put ourselves in this situation, but we’ve still got a chance to get in this, and it started with (Friday).”
TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC
ABOUT THE BRUINS (31-24-6): Marchand scored his 26th goal of the season Thursday and recorded his 35th assist, giving him five goals and five assists in eight February games and a team-leading 61 points. Pastrnak is next with 49 points while David Krejci (15 goals, 41 points) has five goals and seven assists in his last 12 contests. Rask (28-14-4, 2.28 goals-against average, .912 save percentage) is 3-1-0 in his last four starts, allowing eight goals during that span.
ABOUT THE STARS (24-27-10): Dallas still possesses pleny of firepower with former Bruin Tyler Seguin (21 goals, team highs of 38 assists and 59 points) and Benn (56 points). Defenseman Johnny Oduya, who could be moved prior to Wednesday’s trade deadline, is questionable to play Sunday after missing the last 15 games – and 25 overall this season – with a lower-body injury. Patrick Sharp – like Oduya in the final year of his contract – could also attract interest from a playoff team in need of an extra scorer but with seven goals in 35 games, he isn’t the same player that produced eight 20-goal seasons (20 in 2015-16) and 276 in his career.
1. Seguin has three goals and five points in six games versus Boston after playing his first three seasons with the Bruins.
2. Boston won its last five games against an opponent that allowed two or fewer goals in its previous contest while the Stars lost their last eight games when scoring five or more goals in their previous contest.
3. The teams split the last three season series 1-1 with the visiting team winning every game.