The Boston Bruins look to conquer the Washington Capitals on the anniversary of last years playoff game 7 between the two. A game in which the Bruins were knocked out of the first round playoffs in overtime thanks to quick hands from Joel Ward, resulting in some class-less fans among the fan base.
Today, the Bruins look to redeem themselves as they face off against the Caps for the final meeting of the season. Their focus is to remain consistent and stay rue to their physicality, much like they did against Tampa Bay. Just like when they play the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Bruins are going to have to contain Alex Ovechkin as he has been a wrecking machine in the home stretch of the season, exploding in the points column.
The Bruins have managed to win two out of the last three meetings, tying for first place in the Northeast Division with rival Montreal Canadiens. If the Bruins are able to keep themselves focused and win the next two games straight, they will clinch the #2 seed int eh Eastern Conference and Division Title, having a game in hand against the Canadiens. With their previous two wins, they are feeling more confident in their game and the way they have been playing, knowing they still have some work to do. However, with the amount of improvements they made form Tuesday’s game to Thursday’s, there is no doubt they will be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs mid-week if they continue at their current pace.
The Bruins are currently being led by forward Brad Marchand. He paces the team with his 18 goals, veteran frorward Jaromir Jagr sitting in a close second behind him with 17 goals on the season. Milan Lucic has been making his presence known in the past couple of games, using his body to edge out his opponents against the boards and in the crease. He’s also made himself known on the shot-sheet as well, a welcomed sight as the playoffs near.
“We understand that Washington’s been a tough team for us in the past; it’s been a tough building for us to play in as well. So we’ve got a good challenge – I say a good challenge because that’s the kind of thing we need right now is a good challenge and we have to respond properly tomorrow.”(Claude Julien via Bruins site)
Brad Marchand also reiterated in stating:
“We’ve got a job to do,” said Marchand. “We want to get that second spot and we want to continue to build on it going into the playoffs. We played well [Thursday] night; except for the Philly game, the last number of games we’ve been playing pretty well. We want to continue to build on that and hopefully play our best in the playoffs.”
With Tuukka Rask earning the start in net against the Tampa Bay Lightning, there is the possibility that Anton Khudobin could be between the pipes against Washington in order to rest Rask for the playoffs. It is also likely that we will see the likes of Dougie Hamilton reinserted in the Bruins lineup and guys like Zdeno Chara sitting out for a days rest in preparation.
The Bruins are holding their hopes high to head home to Boston with a win in hand and only one more to attain. Faceoff is set for 7:00PM ET and can be seen on NESN.