Bruins Game 30 Preview: Ottawa Senators

Image result for bruins senators(Photo Credit: The Boston Globe)

By: Evan Michael | Follow me on Twitter @Evan007onTV

Hot on the heels (skates) of the B’s big win over division and could-be playoff rival the Toronto Maple Leafs at home, the Bruins hit the road for Ottawa to take on a middling Senators team also charged up after a big win over Pittsburgh.

The Bruins are hoping to keep the momentum moving in the right direction as they currently are bouncing around the playoff bubble (15-10-4 for 34 points), with the Sens almost as far back as you can go (13-14-3 for 29 points).

WHO’S HOT?

For the Bruins, their new look first line featuring the creative combo of Krejci, Marchand & Pastrnak led the way in points against the Leafs, while youngster JFK added the 3rd goal of his brief, but bright, NHL career — the all important FIRST goal, mind you. If the B’s can repeat this kind of production, or even half of it, they should have no problem against an equally injured Sens team (no Matt Duchene, no Bobby Ryan) that usually wilts when pressure, and the puck, gets placed around their net. In fact, The Bruins have already beat Ottawa twice this season–by the recently familiar score of 6-3 at home and 4-1 on the road in October.

For the Sens, you could argue Craig Anderson and Ryan Dzingel after they both played huge roles in Ottawa’s OT victory versus the Pens, but it appears Anderson, like Halak, will get the night off so the B’s may have a bit of advantage with Mike McKenna in the crease (going up against Tuukka Rask, who is eager to get a W under his jersey again).

WHO’S NOT?

While the Bruins 4th line had newcomer Gemel Smith added to it, the lack of “tangible” production (not counting energy, grit, physicality or what have you) is still as cold as Foreigner’s ice. And it definitely “feels like the first time” anybody on the ice not wearing 63, 88 or 46 scores. But hopefully, the 6-different-goal-scorers effort against the Leafs will lead to the likes of Heinen, Donato, Krug, Backes and more consistently finding that elusive scoring touch — or at least pointing in the right direction.

Speaking of the lineup, here’s a bit of good news concerning Charlie McAvoy from head coach Bruce Cassidy:

As for the B’s opponent, anyone playing on the PK for the Sens is freakin frigid. Ottawa ranks last in the league, 31st for you number hunters out there, on the penalty kill. And the team is also last in the all-important Goals Against category. This means the B’s should have plenty of chances to put the puck in the net during 5-on-5 play and on the Power Play. So, look for the B’s to bring their skating game to the Canadian Tire Centre in the hopes they blow a few tires on the Sens and send them to the sin bin.

BRUINS VS SENS OUTLOOK:

I like the B’s chances of keeping their winning ways going against the Sens after just how well they played versus the Leafs. They got everything they needed, for the first time in a while, from their players: timely scoring, stout goalkeeping, smart breakouts, and solid defense (not counting the few “garbage goals” Toronto scored). Sure, Ottawa is feeling the same way after taking down Sid the Kid and company, but the B’s have had the Sens’ number so far this season and I don’t see that stopping, even on a back-to-backer, because there is a lot at stake — both in the standings and for team confidence & morale.

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