On Thursday evening, the Capitals will hit the road for Boston for a brief one-game stop in the northeast. The Capitals are winners of two straight games over Detroit and Philadelphia. The Bruins are rolling right now, as they are winners of five straight games. Puck drop is at 7 PM ET on NBC Sports Washington.
The Bruins are on a roll and have not lost a game since December 27. The Bruins are receiving nice offensive numbers from their top players like Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Marchand recorded a goal and three points against Minnesota on Tuesday night. Pastrnak is leading all Bruins skaters with 25 goals and 52 points through 43 games.
In the standings race, the Bruins have a record of 25-14-4, good for 54 points. They are two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs and fourteen points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division race.
Through the halfway point of the regular season, the Bruins are rotating their netminders. Tuukka Rask played on Tuesday evening against the Minnesota Wild, and recorded the 24-save shutout for the Bruins. On Thursday against the Capitals, the Bruins will likely flip back to former Capitals netminder Jaroslav Halak.
The Capitals are hanging on at the top of the Metropolitan Division by a couple of points. Even without the services of Nicklas Backstrom against the Flyers, the Capitals still pulled out a victory over their arch rivals from Pennsylvania. Backstrom returned to practice on Wednesday, which is a good sign that he will be back in the lineup in Boston.
Even with a few of the Capitals top players not finding the back of the net recently, the Capitals are getting contributions from the depth players in the lineup. Jakub Vrana recorded two goals and three points against the Flyers on Tuesday night, and has already set a career high with goals. In addition to Vrana’s most recent performance, the Capitals fourth line continues to play well. Travis Boyd has showed his offensive skill in the last couple of outings. He recorded a goal against Detroit on Sunday and an assist against Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Pheonix Copley is making a name for himself inside the Capitals net. Copley, 26, is turning some heads after his recent outings for the Capitals. He made 37 saves in the Capitals victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday. In his last four starts, he has recorded three wins and one shutout. He has only surrendered seven goals over his last four starts.
While Copley has been excellent in his most recent outings, the Capitals will likely go back to Braden Holtby against Boston on Thursday evening.
-T.J. Oshie hit the 200 career goal mark with his 2-goal performance against the Flyers on Tuesday night.
-Tom Wilson has recorded 2 goals in his last couple of outings. He is one goal shy from matching his career high of 14 from a season ago.
-John Carlson has recorded 6 goals and 41 points in 41 games.
A LOOK BACK IN TIME
The Capitals last faced the Bruins on Stanley Cup banner raising night. The Capitals thrashed the Bruins 7-0 in the October 3 season opener.
By: George Foussekis