Preview: Bruins vs Stars

Preview: Bruins vs Stars

Tonight the Bruins look to get back on track against the Dallas Stars. The Bruins have dropped their last two games and have not looked like the same team that is leading the NHL in points. The Stars come in having won their last two games and are looking to climb in the Central Division standings. Currently, in third place with 80 points, the Stars sit just a point behind Colorado for second place and that coveted home playoff series. Like the Bruins, Dallas has a powerhouse of a top-line, but their depth has not lived up to expectations. The Bruins defense will have its hands full trying to stop Seguin, Benn, and Radulov.

Starting Goalies

In net for the Stars will be Ben Bishop. Bishop has a record of 21-13-4 with a 2.45 goals against and a .922 save percentage. Bishop has been one of the top goalies in the NHL once again this year, and with some goal support is almost unbeatable. Fortunately for the Bruins Dallas has struggled offensively this year, and even on nights when Bishop has played well enough to win his team has let him down.

For the Bruins, Jaroslav Halak will be in net. Halak has a record of 16-6-6 on the year with a 2.42 goals against and a save percentage of .918. Halak also has a five-game winning streak as a starter on the line tonight. Halak has been instrumental in the Bruins’s success this year and is more like a 1A than a true backup. Even with the Stars scoring struggles they still have superstar talent and Halak will need to be on his game from puck drop to the final horn.

Players to Watch

Obviously for Stars players like Seguin and Benn are the main defensive focus. Even with both having down years they are still dangerous every time they are on the ice. Sequin has four points in his last five games, sharing those stats with Benn who also has points in three straight. Outside of this dynamic duo, Roope Hintz has emerged as a consistent source of depth scoring for Dallas. Also with four points in his last five games, Hintz will look to take advantage of the big guns taking up the Bruins best defensive options.

For the Bruins two players to watch will be Ondrej Kase, making his debut, and other new addition Nick Ritchie. Both will be on the Bruins second line with Krejci to start the game. Being teammates on the Ducks, and the endless adaptability of Krejci to seemingly fit with any wing, this trio could have instant chemistry. Kase and Ritchie have yet to play with a passer of Krejci’s caliber, so this is a very exciting line to watch tonight. Another player on a new line to watch is Jake Debrusk. Debrusk has been held pointless in his last eight games and will look to get his game going on the third line with Coyle and Bjork. The Bruins third line has created chances left and right but has not had the finish to get the puck in the net. Adding Debrusk to this electric line could provide the goal-scoring touch it has been missing.

Final Thoughts

With the Bruins, recent struggles switching up the lines might be just what the doctor ordered. The Stars have not been the offensive powerhouse many expected at the start of the year, but they are still a very dangerous team. The Bruins defense will be tested tonight in a matchup between two playoff-bound teams. With Bishop in net for Dallas, the Bruins forwards should look to keep him moving laterally. At 6’7” Bishop is a monster in the net, but that also means when he moves laterally space will open up at the bottom of the net. Look for plenty of screens in front and some cross-ice passes to create shooting lanes. Don’t forget to check out our other team pages to keep track of all things Boston sports.

Featured image courtesy of Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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