Ducks at Bruins
The red-hot Boston Bruins attempt to make more history without two of their key performers in the lineup Tuesday night when they host the surging Anaheim Ducks, who have won eight straight in the series. The Bruins have earned at least a point in 18 straight games (14-0-4), tied for second-longest streak in franchise history with the 1968-69 team and five away from the club record set in 1940-41.
All-Star forward Brad Marchand, who leads Boston with 21 goals and 50 points, will serve the second contest of a five-game suspension for an illegal headshot and rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy is out until February after undergoing a heart procedure. The Bruins, who have won five in a row, are five points behind NHL-best Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division with two games in hand while Anaheim has won four of five to move into virtual tie for the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Ducks, who were plagued by injuries much of the first half, have a very healthy group of skaters while center Adam Henrique has been a major addition and is riding a five-game point streak (four goals, two assists). However, Anaheim could be without No. 1 goalie John Gibson (17-14-5, .920 save percentage) after he suffered a leg injury during the 4-3 shootout win against Winnipeg on Thursday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Pacific; Prime Ticket (Anaheim), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE DUCKS (24-17-9): Henrique has been a major boost to the forward corps offensively (nine goals, 15 points, 25 games) and right wing J.T. Brown, acquired on waivers from Tampa Bay recently, fits as a defensive stalwart. “You’ve got to know your role within the team and you’ve got to try to make plays when they’re there,” Brown told the Orange County Register. “And if not, you’ve got to do the little things that aren’t the headline thing or might not be in the box score. Those are the things that help the team win.” All-Star Rickard Rakell recorded three of his team-leading 18 goals in the last five games and captain Ryan Getzlaf boasts 15 points (four goals) in the past 12 contests.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (29-10-8): McAvoy, who boasts five goals to go along with 25 points and a plus-18 rating in his first 45 NHL games, will likely miss at least another week after being treated for an abnormal heart rhythm. Forward David Pastrnak registered seven of his 46 points - second on the team - in the last five games while veteran center Patrice Bergeron boasts 18 of his 42 points in the past 11 contests with Danton Heinen (33 points) taking Marchand’s spot on the top line with those two. Goaltender Tuukka Rask is 16-0-2 in his last 18 starts, but will get a little more rest as backup Anton Khudobin (10-2-4 overall) is slated to start against the Ducks.
1. Anaheim G Ryan Miller would get the call if Gibson is not ready and is 27-11-7 lifetime versus the Bruins.
2. Boston D Torey Krug has posted a goal and five assists in his last six games and is fifth on the team with 28 points.
3. Ducks D Josh Manson along with Fs Nick Ritchie and Corey Perry each had two points in a 4-2 victory over the Bruins on Nov. 15.