Preview: Boston at Ottawa
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, January 9, 2016
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
The Boston Bruins look to build on the 3,000th victory in franchise history when they continue their five-game road trip against the Atlantic Division-rival Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Boston began its trek with a 4-1 triumph at New Jersey on Friday after dropping its first two games of the month – both at home – as Ryan Spooner and defenseman Colin Miller helped the team overcome some key absences on offense by notching a goal and an assist apiece.
Brad Marchand, who is tied for the club lead in goals with 15, returns to the lineup Saturday after serving a three-game suspension for clipping while David Krejci could miss his fifth straight contest with an upper-body injury. Ottawa hopes to recover from becoming Florida’s 11th consecutive victim Thursday as it dropped a 3-2 decision for its fourth loss in five games. The Senators can carry a few positives into Saturday’s showdown as it allowed a season-low 16 shots while Milan Michalek returned from a lengthy injury absence to score his first goal since Nov. 24. Boston and Ottawa are meeting for the third time in less than two weeks as the clubs split a home-and-home series as December came to a close.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), CITY, TVA2 (Ottawa)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (21-14-4): Jimmy Hayes is one goal away from reaching double digits for the third straight season after tallying against New Jersey on Friday. The 26-year-old Boston native registered his first career hat trick in the Bruins’ 7-3 home victory over Ottawa on Dec. 29. Tuukka Rask is expected back in the crease versus the Senators after Jonas Gustavsson continued his mastery over the Devils on Friday.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (19-16-6): Michalek’s appearance against Florida was his first since Dec. 1 as he missed 16 games with a broken finger. captain Erik Karlsson leads the team with 43 points and has recorded at least one in nine of his last 11 contests. Mark Stone (10) and Mika Zibanejad have combined for 17 goals this season, with four (two apiece) coming against Boston.
1. With their milestone win Friday, the Bruins are second to Montreal (3,283) in all-time NHL victories.
2. Ottawa C Kyle Turris is tied for second on the team with 13 goals but is in the midst of a 10-game drought.
3. Claude Julien will coach his 900th game for Boston on Saturday.
PREDICTION: Senators 3, Bruins 2