The Boston Bruins look to snap out of their first regulation losing streak in over two months when they host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
The Bruins dropped their second straight regulation setback on Tuesday with a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. The defeat snapped a seven-game home winning streak and gave Boston its first run of regulation losses since Dec. 7-12.
The Stars have won seven of their last nine (7-1-1) and six of their last eight road games (6-0-2). Dallas kicked off a three-game trip with a 4-1 victory at the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
Thursday’s meeting marks the conclusion of the regular-season series for the Bruins and Stars. The clubs opened the season against each other on Oct. 3 in Dallas, with Boston eking out a 2-1 victory behind 28 saves from goaltender Tuukka Rask.
The Stars have come a long way since then, putting a 1-7-1 start behind them to trail only the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference standings.
Dallas elected to stand pat at Monday’s trade deadline, opting to stick with its current roster.
“We like where we’re at. We like our depth,” general manager Jim Nill told reporters. “I like where the young kids are at, what they’ve added to the team. And I like how the veterans are starting to play.”
Former Bruin Tyler Seguin leads the way for the Stars with 48 points after scoring his 16th goal of the season to kick off a three-goal first period in Tuesday’s win over the Hurricanes. Youngsters Roope Hintz (23 years old), Jason Dickinson (24) and Denis Gurianov (22) further chipped in with three, two and two points, respectively, in the contest.
“They’re learning, and they’re becoming more reliable,” Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said of Hintz and Gurianov, who are now tied with captain Jamie Benn for the team lead with 18 goals.
“We know what they’re going to do with the puck. We know what they’re going to do with their speed, and they’re becoming much more reliable.”
The Bruins similarly are relying on their current roster, acquiring forwards Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase in smaller moves ahead of the trade deadline instead of making a splash. Ritchie made his team debut in Tuesday’s loss, while Kase is a possibility to play Thursday after being held out since Feb. 7 — when he was still with the Anaheim Ducks — with an illness.
“I think he’d like to get a few more reps here with us,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy of Kase on Monday. “That deal is as much for the playoffs and moving forward.”
Boston’s offense fell flat against the Flames on Tuesday in its return home from a four-game road trip. Brad Marchand scored his 25th goal of the season to tie the game midway through the second period before Calgary tacked on four goals in the final 30 minutes.
“We weren’t at our best, for sure,” Marchand said. “We didn’t have it all the way through the game. We were a little sleepy, I guess, at times.”
–Field Level Media