Boston at Washington
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
WASH DC – (Wire Service Preview) – The Boston Bruins lost four of their last five games in November, but they are perfect this month and take a three-game winning streak into Wednesday’s matchup at the Washington Capitals. Boston is in the midst of a favorable portion of the schedule, with the Capitals the only team in a six-game stretch that currently is not in the bottom half of their respective divisions.
The Bruins haven’t exactly been dominant during their hot stretch, with each of the wins coming by one goal, including a shootout and overtime victory. Boston’s defense received a boost with the return of captain Zdeno Chara, who was back in the lineup for Monday’s win over Florida after sitting out six games. Washington also is coming off an overtime victory, outlasting Buffalo 3-2 to halt a three-game skid (0-2-1) in which it scored three goals. “We’ve been going down a little bit of the wrong path right now,” Capitals defenseman John Carlson said. “The world isn’t ending, but we know it’s not good enough for this group and our expectations of each other and ourselves.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
ABOUT THE BRUINS (15-10-1): David Pastrnak scored twice against Florida, including the decisive tally in overtime, to boost his goal total to 15. The 20-year-old Pastrnak, a first-round draft pick in 2014, already has matched his career-best total from last season and has more than doubled the goal output of any teammate. “He’s been a talent for many, many years and now he’s finally taking the last step and kind of making a real name for himself in the league,” Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask said of Pastrnak.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (14-7-3): Much like Pastrnak, Washington forward Marcus Johansson is coming off a two-goal game, scoring the tying goal in the third period before delivering the game-winner in the extra session. Johansson has registered 11 goals on the season, including five game-winners, and is more than halfway to his career high of 20, set in 82 games in 2014-15. “That’s something you want to do for your teammates and it’s fun to be able to help the team to get two points,” Johansson said.
1. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has 17 goals and 38 points in 39 games against the Bruins.
2. Rask has been tormented by the Capitals, beating them once in 13 decisions (1-8-4) to go with a 2.92 goals-against average.
3. Capitals G Braden Holtby has dominated Boston with a 9-2-0 record, 1.57 GAA and three shutouts.