Bruins vs Golden Knights are slated to meet on Thursday evening in a game they both could use to solidify their respective NHL playoffs chances.
Bruins vs Golden Knights are near the end of a long road trip which started Feb. 24th in Seattle and will wrap up in Columbus Saturday evening. While in southern California, Boston drilled the Kings, 7-0, Monday and before Tuesday’s last-minute loss at Anaheim.
On the other hand, the Golden Knights are on a homestand, with Boston being their last game there before heading out to Anaheim. They have struggled at home but must take advantage, or their playoff hopes could vanish.
Boston is currently 32-18-4 and seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They are 16-8-3 on the road, and only one of their last four victories took place on their home ice.
It seems that getting out of Boston is the key to wins for this team. The question is whether they will be able to keep this trend going by the time Thursday rolls around, or will jet lag do to them what it does to most everyone else and knock them flat.
Boston will be looking to their top point man Brad Marchand to lead the way on offense. Marchand has 52 points (23 goals and 29 assists) in 41 games played this season. Fellow forward David Pastrnak has a team-high 28 goals (T-7th in the NHL) and is second on the team with 51 points.
The Bruins have also gotten strong contributions from the likes of Patrice Bergeron, Taylor Hall and Charlie McAvoy. Boston’s strong defense, which has the ninth-best PK% in the league (82.2) and the sixth-fewest goals allowed per game, will come in handy against Vegas’ offense.
Goalies Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have been swapping starts a lot lately, but they each have double-digit wins while each is allowing less than three goals per game.
Vegas is also the current 7th seed (in the west) at 30-20-4, third in the Pacific Division. Losers of two straight against Arizona and Colorado, the Golden Knights snapped that brief skid Tuesday with a 3-1 home win over San Jose.
However, the Knights are just 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. Each remaining game will be big for them as everyone sitting fourth down (save for Arizona, Chicago and Seattle) has a legit shot at making the playoffs.
It is vital Vegas brings their A-game each night. The Golden Knights offense has seen the largest production from centers Chandler Stephenson and Jonathan Marchessault, who lead the way with 41 and 36 points, respectively. Stephenson has 27 assists which is tied for tops on the team with D Shea Theodore.
Meanwhile, Marchessault is tops on the team with 21 goals. Mark Stone continues to play strong as one of the top defensive forwards. Vegas is hopeful that Jack Eichel can return to form; he is just two seasons removed from a 78-point campaign in Buffalo.
Keep an eye on Max Pacioretty, who has had three goals in his last five games but is listed with a lower-body injury that may keep him out of tomorrow’s game against the Sharks.
The sportsbooks who had published odds by the date of release of this article tend to have Vegas as the favorite on the money line despite Boston’s recent successes and better overall record. If Vegas doesn’t get rolling in a hurry, they will soon find themselves on the outside of the playoff club looking in.