Preview: Boston at Dallas
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 20, 2016
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The Boston Bruins have struggled to find the net in their last two outings after erupting for 15 goals in the first three contests of their season-high six-game road trip. The Bruins vie for their fourth win of the trek on Saturday when they visit a Dallas Stars team that has dropped two in a row after winning seven of its previous eight.
Tyler Seguin scorched the club that selected him with the second overall pick in the 2010 draft by recording a hat trick in Dallas’ 5-3 victory over Boston on Nov. 13. The 24-year-old’s scoring surge hasn’t waned as he tallied for the sixth time in nine outings in the Stars’ 6-3 setback to Pacific Division-rival Arizona on Thursday. Forward Loui Eriksson, who was acquired in the blockbuster deal for Seguin in July 2013, also has been enjoying a strong offensive run with five goals in six outings before the Bruins were shut out in a 2-0 loss to Nashville on Thursday. The 30-year-old Swede tallied twice in the previous meeting with Dallas, which selected him in the second round of the 2003 draft.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FSN Southwest (Dallas), NHL Network, NHL.TV
ABOUT THE BRUINS (31-21-6): Boston’s pronounced power-play problems accompanied the team on the trip, as it has failed on all 19 opportunites with the man advantage in the last five games and is 3-for-51 in the last 16 contests. “We’re going to need the power play to score if we’re going to win games on this road trip,” defenseman Torey Krug told The Boston Globe. “Nobody’s been disappointed with the way we’ve been moving the puck. Now it’s about the finish. Maybe we have to get a little bit dirtier around the net.”
ABOUT THE STARS (37-16-6): With nine points (five goals, four assists) in his last 14 games, Ales Hemsky was elevated to the top line with Seguin and captain Jamie Benn during Friday’s practice. “I like where he is at because it adds depth in the lineup, but I think it’s an opportunity in a game to put him there to create something that is real dynamic or if we need a goal,” coach Lindy Ruff said of Hemsky, who has scored twice during Dallas’ three-game road trip. Benn, who tallied on Thursday to reach the 30-goal plateau for the third straight season, joined fellow forward Jason Spezza and defenseman John Klingberg by notching a pair of assists in his last meeting with Boston.
1. Boston G Tuukka Rask has been hot and cold of late, yielding two goals or fewer in five of his last seven contests while getting blitzed for five tallies in the other two.
2. Spezza has recorded 51 points (18 goals, 33 assists) in 55 career meetings with the Bruins.
3. Krug, who had two assists in the first meeting against Dallas, has been limited to just 15 points in his last 46 contests.
PREDICTION: Stars 4, Bruins 2