BLUES AT BRUINS
When: Tuesday, April 12 at 6 pm CT
Where: TD Garden in Boston, MA
Watch: Bally Sports Midwest Extra, Bally Sports app | CHANNEL NUMBERS
Listen: 101 ESPN, NHL App
BLUES The St. Louis Blues have kicked into full gear as the Playoff stretch battles on. A dominant victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday was the club’s fifth straight win, bringing their point streak to a season-best eight games (7-0-1).
Satuday’s win capped off a perfect 4-0 homestand, improving their home-ice record to 25-9-4, a Top 5 mark in the NHL. The four teams ahead in home points have all clinched Playoff berths already (Florida, Colorado, Carolina, Toronto).
Robert Thomas continued his stretch of eye-popping performances, adding two assists and a goal to cement Saturday’s 6-1 win. In his last 13 games, Thomas has 10 goals and 13 assists for a blistering 23 points and a career-best active nine-game point streak.
“It was a lot of fun. Good Saturday night in St. Louis,” Jordan Binnington said of Saturday’s win against the Islanders. Binnington made made 30 saves to notch his first win since Feb. 27. “We’ve put ourselves in a good spot here, and we’ve got to carry that going forward.”
The Blues have a lot to feel confident about as they head to the same building they lifted the Stanley Cup in just under three years ago. Boston is the 31st and final team the Blues will face this season. The last time the clubs met was on Oct. 26, 2019.
Tyler Bozak and Torey Krug skated on Monday and will accompany the team on their trip to Boston and Buffalo, with Head Coach Craig Berube saying one of the two could possibly play Tuesday. If Krug were to play, it would be his first time facing the Bruins – he played his entire career with Boston before signing with the Blues in 2020.
After proving they could recoup momentum on friendly ice, the Blues will face a test of their road merits down the stretch – with seven of their final 10 games played in enemy territory.
They’ll come to Boston carrying a record of 42-20-10, worth 94 points and a tie for second in the Central Division. If the season ended Monday afternoon, the Blues would face Minnesota in the first round of the Playoffs.
BRUINS The Boston Bruins will return home from a 2-2-0 road trip to begin a three-game homestand when they host the Blues. Sunday saw the club fall 4-2 to Washington as Alex Ovechkin notched his 45th goal of the season.
The Bruins were missing two key contributors, with David Pastrnak missing his third straight game and Hampus Lindholm missing his second. Pastrnak remains a top contributor in his eighth season with the Bruins, recording 71 points in 69 games this season. Lindholm, acquired at the Trade Deadline from Anaheim, has the second-most points this season among Bruins’ defensemen.
Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said the two players are nearing their return. Both skated prior to Sunday’s game.
Pastrnak unites with longtime Bruins Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to form one of the most dangerous lines in all of hockey. The three forwards have 198 combined points and are the team’s three leading point-scorers in their eighth season as teammates.
After beginning the season at roughly League-average pace, the Bruins flipped the switch with the calendar change to be one of the best teams in hockey. Since the new year began, Boston’s 65 points (31-12-3) are the second most in the NHL, just behind Colorado.
The Bruins carry a record of 45-22-5 into Tuesday’s 2019 Stanley Cup Final rematch, worth 95 points and fourth place in the Atlantic Division. As the top Wild Card seed in the Eastern Conference, Boston would face the Hurricanes in the first round of the Playoffs if the season ended Monday afternoon.
HEAD-TO-HEAD The Blues have only seen the Bruins one time since lifting the 2019 Stanley Cup in Boston – a 3-0 loss at TD Garden on Oct. 26, 2019. St. Louis has lost three straight regular season games in Boston, but went 3-1-0 there during the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. They’ll host the Bruins for a quick rematch at Enterprise Center on April 19 to wrap up the season series.
Video: O’Reilly, Berube on return to Boston
PLAYERS TO WATCH
BLUES Justin Faulk flirted with becoming the first Blues defenseman since Al MacInnis in 1998 to record a hat trick, scoring two goals in a 1:36 span during the second period on Saturday. Faulk now has points in six of his last seven games, totalling five goals and six assists.
BRUINS Charlie McAvoy leads the Bruins’ blueliners with a career-best 52 points this season and ranks 11th in the NHL among defensemen. McAvoy has 12 assists during his active eight-game point streak.
The Blues have four players with active point streaks of five or more games: Robert Thomas (9), Ivan Barbashev (6), Pavel Buchnevich (6), Nick Leddy (5) … Thomas’ point streak is the fourth longest in franchise history among players age 22 or younger … Colton Parayko recorded his 200th career assist in Saturday’s win … Brandon Saad recorded an assist on Saturday as he played in game No. 700 of his NHL career … Both the Blues (7-2-1) and Bruins (7-3-0) have at least seven wins in their last 10 games, two of nine teams in the NHL at this pace.