The Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes enter tonight’s game both looking to win two games in as many nights. Boston is looking to add to their two point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning for third place in the Atlantic. The Metropolitan Division has been so strong this season, that the only path to the playoffs for the Atlantic teams is likely to finish in the top three.
The Bruins’ success this season is due to their ability to maintain possession. Boston’s 54.9% Corsi-for is the best in the league this season, a full 3.1% better than the seventh-place Hurricanes. Though the Bruins have a -2 goal differential, their ability to dominate the possession has led to a winning record.
David Pastrnak returned from surgery to remove a bursa sac from his elbow last night against the Panthers, a bit ahead of schedule. Despite only playing 28 games this season he is still the second leading scorer on the team with 26 points (19 goals, 7 assists).
Over the past 10 games, Boston has had a 4-4-2 record and had been on a slump until winning last night. In their last meeting the Canes had a one goal lead going into the third, but in typical fashion for this season, they let up a third period goal and lost in a shootout. The Bruins will look to regain their earlier season form against the Hurricanes tonight.
- Road Warriors: The Bruins actually have a better record on the road (10-5-1) than they do at home (7-7-0), they will to continue that trend at PNC.
- As good as the Hurricanes have been on the second half of back to backs, the Bruins have been bad. The Canes have won four of their five back-half games, and Boston has lost five out of six.
- Boston’s power play unit is only successful 13.3% of the time which is second worst in the league. Though the Bruins have not been successful with a man advantage they have been quite good when they are down a man. The Bruins have an 87.1% penalty kill percentage, which ranks third in the league.
- Tuukka Rask started in net last night against the Panthers, meaning that the Canes could see former Cane, Anton Khudobin, in net tonight. This season Khudobin has a .887 Sv% and a record of 1-5-0, but his one win came against the Hurricanes on December 1 in Boston.