Conference powerhouses meet as Bruins host Stars

The NHL season isn’t even two weeks old, but the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars have quickly emerged as the top teams in their respective conferences.

Both will be looking to demonstrate how they got to the top of the standings when they clash in Boston on Tuesday night.

After finishing a stretch of four games in six nights with Saturday’s 4-3 overtime win over visiting Minnesota, Boston enters this early-season showdown as the rested team. Dallas will be completing a back-to-back and plays the third game of its own four-in-six set.

“I thought (Saturday) was our best game of the year (in terms of) how we want to play with and without the puck,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “Things don’t always go your way, but I like the way we keep handling adversity and just forge ahead.”

After the Bruins let a two-goal lead slip in the second period, Taylor Hall scored with 10.2 seconds left in overtime as the team earned its second straight win after regulation.

Boston landed 43 shots for the second time in its six-game start to the season. That fast-paced style has helped Nick Foligno score three goals, surpassing his total through all 64 of his games last season.

“The game becomes fun to play because you’re always tilting the ice,” Foligno said. “You are playing that three-quarter ice game where you are attacking every time and they seem to be tired. So, you feed off that energy that they give you. I think that’s why you see our team start to thrive and come in waves.”

Goaltender Linus Ullmark, who has started back-to-back games, improved to 4-0-0 following a 24-save effort.

Regardless of who starts on Tuesday, Jeremy Swayman will see action this week as the Bruins begin another three-in-four stretch. They host Detroit on Thursday and travel to Columbus on Friday.

“It’s tough to go away from the hot hand, but … Sway is getting back in the net at least once this week,” Montgomery said.

Defenseman Brandon Carlo could be the next Bruin to return from injury after practicing in full on Monday. He suffered a concussion in the team’s Oct. 15 home opener against Arizona.

Like Ullmark, Stars netminder Jake Oettinger is also 4-0-0 following a 32-save effort on Saturday at Montreal, as Dallas recovered from its first loss of the season with a 5-2 triumph.

The Boston University product has never won five games in a row in his NHL career. Dallas will need another bounce-back effort ifOettinger can accomplish that feat after Monday’s 4-2 loss in Ottawa.

“We didn’t do enough (Monday) anywhere on the ice to win a game, but the good news is we have a chance (Tuesday) to go and have a really good road trip,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said.

The Senators, who beat Boston on Oct. 18 to start a four-game winning streak, handed the Stars their first regulation loss of the season.

Joel Kiviranta and Wyatt Johnston each scored for Dallas, which had a 1-0 lead after one period and allowed three goals in the final frame.

Denis Gurianov sat out having entered the week as the only Dallas forward without a point this season.

“There’s been really good moments, but you’re not a young player anymore,” DeBoer said. “Veteran guys, I think, if you’re going to establish yourself in this league, it’s about consistently bringing your best game every night. Right now, it’s flashes, and we need more than that.”

–Field Level Media