Calgary Flames at Boston Bruins
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 3, 2019
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
BOSTON – The Boston Bruins move back indoors as they seek their third straight victory and sixth in eight games when they host the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames on Thursday. Boston improved to 2-1-0 all-time in the outdoor Winter Classic as David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron each recorded two points in Tuesday’s 4-2 triumph over Chicago at Notre Dame Stadium.
“It’s only one game, and at the end of the day, every game is different,” Boston’s Brad Marchand told reporters after scoring a goal before 76,000 fans on Tuesday. “But there was a lot of excitement going into this one. We’ve had two big wins in each of our last two games, and the majority of us (on the roster) are healthy now. So hopefully we can just keep rolling.” Pastrnak, who on Wednesday was named to the Atlantic Division team for the All-Star Game after becoming the first Bruin to reach 50 points in the win over Chicago, notched an assist in a 5-2 loss at Calgary on Oct. 17. The Bruins will have to find a way to contain former Boston College star Johnny Gaudreau, who registered four points for the second straight game on Wednesday as the Flames outlasted Detroit 5-3. Gaudreau, who was selected to represent Calgary in the All-Star Game and named the NHL’s Second Star of the Month for December on Wednesday, has collected seven goals and seven assists in his last six contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet West, TVA (Calgary), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE FLAMES (25-12-4): Gaudreau recorded 11 goals and 15 assists in 14 games last month and has registered 40 points over his last 22 contests to push his season total to 59 – six behind league leader Nikita Kucherov of Tampa Bay. Linemate Sean Monahan also has been wielding a hot stick, notching 10 of his 50 points in the last four games, while Elias Lindholm – the third member of the unit – has recorded 13 of his 47 in the last eight contests. With emerging goaltender David Rittich (lower body) sidelined, Mike Smith made 29 saves on Wednesday to win for the seventh time in his last eight decisions.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (22-14-4): Marchand, who returned on Tuesday after a one-game absence, has recorded nine of his 42 points in the last six games while Bergeron has collected four goals and three assists in five contests since returning from a month on the shelf due to a rib injury. Tuukka Rask made his franchise-record 469th appearance Tuesday and posted his second straight win, drawing within four of Tiny Thompson (252) for another team mark. Sean Kuraly has scored three of his four goals in the last five games.
1. Calgary captain Mark Giordano, who notched his third assist in four games on Wednesday, leads the league with a plus-27 rating.
2. Boston D Kevan Miller (three assists, plus-9 rating) is slated to play in his 300th NHL game on Thursday.
3. The Flames scored twice on the power play Wednesday after going 1-for-13 over their previous three contests.