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By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

The Boston Bruins will look to continue off of the successes of their last three consecutive wins as they begin a five-game Western road trip tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. The Bruins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday by a final score of 6-3. Without David Pastrnak in the lineup (out 2 weeks with a thumb injury), the Bruins managed to find scoring further down the lineup – with help from Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Boston currently holds the third position in the Atlantic Division with 72 points, three points ahead of Montreal and three points behind Toronto.

The Anaheim Ducks have been the true definition of a dumpster fire this season. The Ducks are 3-7-0 in their last ten games and before Wednesday’s win over the Canucks, were on a seven-game losing streak. Their losing ways resulted in the firing of head coach Randy Carlyle earlier in the week. Anaheim is the fifth-worst team in the National Hockey League with a 22-26-9 record and only fifty-three points.

Starting Goaltenders:

BOS: Jaroslav Halak 14-9-4 2.44 GAA .921 SV% Last Game: 35 Saves in 2-1 Win vs COL

ANA: Kevin Boyle (Not Confirmed) 1-0-0 1.20 GAA .967 SV% Last Game: 35 Saves in 1-0 Win vs VAN

Who’s Hot

Brad Marchand is on a five-game point streak for the Bruins right now and all of which have been multi-point games. Marchand recently potted a goal and three assists in the 6-3 win over the Blackhawks. On this five-game point streak, Marchand has 3-9-12 totals and has been either a plus rating or an even rating in every game. Marchand has now passed Pastrnak for the team-lead in points with 22-47-69 numbers in 56 games this season.

If Kevin Doyle does get the start tonight, it will be the first game since his NHL debut where he stopped all thirty-five shots by the Vancouver Canucks en route to his first NHL shutout. For a Ducks team who has struggled in net this season with John Gibson, it is a breath of fresh air to see this young, 26-year-old Manalapan, New Jersey native do well early.

Patrice Bergeron continues to play at a high level. even though he just recently reached his 1000th NHL regular season game. Like Marchand, Bergeron is on a five-game point streak with 4-5-9 numbers in that span. Bergeron has fourteen points in his last ten contests and has continued to be one of the best, if not the best defensive forwards in the National Hockey League today.

Danton Heinen was given first-line minutes with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand and he has, surprisingly, succeeded. Now with Pastrnak out, the Bruins have almost no choice but to keep Heinen on the top line where he has six points (3G, 3A) in four games. Heinen was one of four Bruins with three or more points against Chicago, scoring a goal and two assists in the game. Heinen has brought some more skill and he has the defensive side of the puck that does not make him a liability.

Who’s Not

Twenty-three games. That’s how long it has been since Ducks forward Ryan Kesler has scored a point. Kesler only has 4-2-6 totals in 49 games played this year and is making over $6.8 million for the next three years. Kesler did deal with injuries earlier in the year, but has still been getting ice time, ice time that is decreasing game-by-game. It’s been a big fall for Kesler who once put up 41 goals and 73 points in 2010-11 before losing to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals.

It may be a stretch to say that Jake DeBrusk is “hot” right now, but after a three-point outing against Chicago, the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada native may be able to turn a lackluster 2019 around. DeBrusk was demoted to the Bruins third-line for a few games, but with Pastrnak’s injury keeping him out of the lineup, DeBrusk is back up in the top-six. It will take a few more games for DeBrusk to get back in the groove, but his most recent game was most definitely a step in the right direction. As of right now though, he is still “struggling”.

Adam Henrique has the second-most points on the Ducks roster, but he is still having a poor year this year. The 29-year-old has 10-18-28 numbers in 57 games to go along with a -6 rating. In his last eight games, Henrique has only one goal and was a minus rating for three of them as well.

Milestone Watch

Boston Bruins:

  • D Zdeno Chara is two goals away (198) from 200 career NHL goals
  • F Patrice Bergeron is one even-strength goal (202) from tying Peter McNab (203) for 8th most even-strength goals in Bruins history
  • F Brad Marchand is one short-handed goal away (24) from tying Rick Middleton (25) for most SHG in Bruins history
  • F Patrice Bergeron is three shots away (2982) from tying Bobby Orr (2985) for 4th most shots in Bruins history and four shots from passing him.

PHOTO CREDITS: (Bleacher Report)

Anaheim Ducks:

  • D Cam Fowler is one assist away (204) from passing Scott Niedermayer (204) for sole possession of 6th most assists in Ducks history
  • F Ryan Getzlaf is one penalty minute away (812) from passing George Parros (812) for sole possession of 2nd most penalty minutes in Ducks history
  • F Richard Rakell is one even-strength goal away (84) from passing Andrew Cogliano (84) for sole possession of 7th most even-strength goals in Ducks history

Bruins vs Ducks Outlook

The Bruins and Ducks have met once before, on December 20th where the Bruins took a 3-1 win in Boston. It was a relieving performance, as Boston lost both meetings against one of the three California teams in the 2017-18 campaign.

In the last game between the two, it was the power-play of Boston that played the deciding factor. David Pastrnak and Torey Krug (GWG) each scored on the man-advantage, finishing the night with two power-play goals on four attempts. Entering tonight’s game, the Bruins have the second-best power-play in the league at a 26.8% success rate. The Ducks have the third-worst PP percentage in the league at 14.6%. Boston will not have their top power-play scorer, David Pastrnak due to injury.

On the penalty-kill, the Bruins have the 15th-best PK, at 80.3% while Anaheim has the 19th-best at 80.1%. Below are the morning rushes for the Bruins heading into the game.

Matt Grzelcyk (lower-body) and David Pastrnak (thumb) are out tonight.

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