The Boston Bruins continue with their western trip when they face the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at the T-Mobile Arena. With a thrilling overtime win over the San Jose Sharks, the B’s are looking to make it seven in a row. With the uncertainty of when David Pastrnak will return to the line-up, the time for “next man up” has been more pronounced these past few games.
In the past four games without Pastrnak (which the B’s have won), the team has scored 19 goals, with many coming from second-year players that have been going through their sophomore slump. Both Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen have finally found their voice, and are enjoying the recent burst of offensive play. DeBrusk has had goals and assists in all four games, while Heinen has had a goal and three assists. The fourth line has also contributed with three goals and four assists.
“We miss Pasta…we have enough solid leaders that it’s –next man up is the term, no passengers…next guy that goes in has to do the job. Did we expect to score this many goals without Pasta? No. We were trending as a lower-scoring team…Maybe that’s just the guys saying, ‘We’ve got to pick up the pace here.’Coach Bruce Cassidy
Defense has also stepped up for the B’s with Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy each picking up goals in the recent game against the Sharks. McAvoy has netted three goals in six games and scored the winning goals in Los Angeles and San Jose. With the trade deadline fast approaching and rumors flying, the team’s focus continues to be assertive with the puck and racking up crucial points.
The Bruins are now second in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of Toronto, and fourth in the league with 78 points (tied with San Jose). They are now 35-17-8. Brad Marchand leads the team with 70 points and 47 assists. The injured Pastrnak still leads the team with 31 goals; Marchand has 22, while Bergeron has 21 (DeBrusk is fourth with 18). Coach Bruce Cassidy announced that Jaroslav Halak will get the start in net tonight. Halak is sixth in the league for goals against average (2.35) with a 15-9-4 record. Goaltender Tuukka Rask has been playing stellar as of late: he is 12-0 in his last 12 games played.
VIVA LAS VEGAS
The Vegas Knights are coming off a 3-0 shut-out loss to the Colorado Avalanche this past Monday night in their final road trip game in February. They have dropped their last four out of five games and are 3-8-0. Right-winger Alex Tuch leads the team with 42 points and 26 assists. Jonathan Marchessault leads the team with 19 goals. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury leads the league with 29 wins and six shutouts. Fleury has a record of 29-18-4 with a 2.61 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. The Knights are third in the Pacific Division and are 32-25-4.
The two teams last met on November 11, with Boston winning 4-1.
WHEN TO WATCH: Tonight with puck drop at 10:00 PM here in the East Coast
WHERE TO WATCH: NBCSN
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @pastagrl88