Preview: Blackhawks At Bruins

Send a link to a friend  Share

[March 27, 2014]  The Chicago Blackhawks can wrap up a postseason spot with one victory, but they'll have to get past one of the league's hottest clubs when they visit the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Making the playoffs is a foregone conclusion for the Blackhawks, who may not be able to catch Central Division-leading St. Louis but are locked in a three-team battle for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. Chicago beat Boston in a shootout on Jan. 19 in their first meeting since last season's Stanley Cup final.

The rampaging Bruins have taken control of the East and vaulted into contention for the Presidents' Trophy on the heels of a 12-game winning streak that was finally halted in a 2-1 home shootout loss to Montreal on Monday. Boston has not fallen in regulation since a 4-2 setback to Washington on March 1 and holds a seven-point lead over Pittsburgh for the top seed in the conference. The Bruins have limited nine consecutive opponents and 11 of their last 13 to two goals or fewer.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHLN, CSN (Chicago), NESN (Boston)

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (42-16-15): Teuvo Teravainen made his much-ballyhooed NHL debut in Tuesday's win over Dallas, and while the 19-year-old Finn did not register a point, he made a favorable impression on his coach and teammates. The 18th overall pick of the 2012 draft logged 11 1/2 minutes of ice time and won all seven of his faceoffs, which was termed a "good start" by coach Joel Quenneville. "He comes in at the end of the season to a very good team, people put a lot of expectations on him, unfair expectations, but he came in here and played really good," forward Kris Versteeg said.

ABOUT THE BRUINS (49-17-6): Defenseman Adam McQuaid was shut down for two to three weeks in early March but has yet to return from a strained quadriceps that has sidelined him since Jan. 19. Boston has received a boost from rookie Kevan Miller, who has become a regular  if unexpected  contributor since he was called up from the minors in mid-November, posting a plus-17 in 39 games. "He makes smart plays, nothing is fancy, but everything is efficient," coach Claude Julien said. "He wins I'd say 90 percent of his battles along the way. He's such a strong individual, and that's what our team is built around.

OVERTIME

  1. The schedule down the stretch does not favor Chicago, which plays six of its final nine games away from home.

  2. Bruins C Patrice Bergeron has scored a goal in four straight and is riding a five-game point streak.

  3. The Blackhawks are 33-1-7 when scoring first this season.

PREDICTION: Blackhawks 3, Bruins 2

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Sports index

Back to top