Torrid Bruins look to continue streak versus Senators
- Seattle close to naming Ron Francis GM
- Blackhawks trade F Anisimov to Senators
- Caps re-sign F Vrana to 2-year deal
- Wild re-sign Donato, Sturm, Soucy
- D Del Zotto back to Ducks on 1-year deal
As the Boston Bruins look to extend the NHL's longest point streak of the season, they might have to do so without a key contributor once again.
Trying to push that streak to 19 games, the Bruins could be minus budding star forward Jake DeBrusk for a second consecutive contest as they aim to sweep a six-game home stretch Saturday night against the lowly Ottawa Senators.
Boston improved to 14-0-4 since losing to the New York Rangers in regulation on Jan. 19, following a rather miraculous 4-3 victory over Florida on Thursday. The Bruins tied the game on Matt Grzelcyk's goal with 37 seconds left in regulation and went ahead when Patrice Bergeron scored with seven seconds to go.
"The guys want to win every night," coach Bruce Cassidy told the Bruins' official website. "They don't want to say, 'hey, we've had a real good run, it's not our night, let's get on to the next one.'
"I think that's a good, positive sign for us that we've got a bunch of gamers."
The 18-game point streak ties the second-longest run in club history. It's also nearing the team-record surge of 23 contests (15-0-8) without a regulation defeat from 1940-41, according to the team's official website.
"Everyone's just playing well, and the confidence is high right now," Boston defenseman Charlie McAvoy told reporters.
That's especially true for DeBrusk, the second-year winger who has 22 goals on the season and eight with seven assists in his last 10 games. However, his status remains uncertain after he sat Thursday with a lower-body injury.
"He might be ready Saturday. It might be a week," Cassidy said.
The Bruins certainly have the talent to get by without DeBrusk longer if needed.
Bergeron's recorded nine goals with 11 assists during a 14-game home point streak. He has five goals and six assists during a five-game point streak versus Ottawa. Teammate Brad Marchand, who had three assists against Florida, has nine goals and 18 assists over his own 14-game home point streak.
In addition to Boston trying to extend its point streak and conclude a perfect home stretch, it will look for a season series sweep with an eighth consecutive victory over Ottawa.
Tuukka Rask, who made 22 saves Thursday to improve to 9-0-2 in his last 11 starts, has a 1.64 goals-against average while going 3-0-0 against the Senators in 2018-19. Teammate Jaroslav Halak, meanwhile, owns a 1.35 goals-against average during his five-game winning streak.
Owner of a league-low 52 points, Ottawa is 1-8-1 in its last 10 following Thursday's 4-2 home loss to the New York Islanders.
"The emotion is the positive thing right now for us," defenseman Mark Borowiecki told the Senators' official website. "The easy thing for us is to say '14 (games) left, we're all going to the Bahamas after, let's ride this out and not get hurt.'
"That's not the right attitude."
Craig Anderson is expected to start in net for Ottawa. Anderson has a 3.64 goals-against average while going 0-9-1 in his last 10 starts. He made 28 saves in a 4-1 home loss to Boston on Oct. 23.
Teammate Bobby Ryan has an assist in two straight games, and a goal with an assist versus Boston in 2018-19.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 9, 2019