clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Snow Job: Bruins vs. Dallas Stars Preview

Boston may be doing an excellent impression of the planet Hoth right now, but hockey goes on as the Stars visit TD Garden tonight

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The MBTA isn't running, and Boston itself may be all but shut down, but Dallas come to the TD Garden bringing a little Texas heat with them. Well, off the ice, anyway.

On it, the Bruins currently hold the advantage this season, having won the only other meeting between these teams so far this season 3-1 at the American Airlines Center thanks to goals from Patrice Bergeron, Greg Campbell and Dougie Hamilton and a 37-save performance from Tuukka Rask. They also hold the advantage in overall record, with 28-18-7 compared to Dallas' 24-21-8.

Tonight, Niklas Svedberg, recalled from Providence after his conditioning stint, will jump straight into action against Kari Lehtonen in the Stars net as Boston tries to rebound from a 3-1 loss and season sweep against Montreal.

The Stars are finishing off a three-game roadtrip, while for the Bruins, this is the last game at TD Garden before a two-week road swing that takes in, amongst others, the Blues and the Blackhawks.

So, a win is something both teams will want, one to finish off a road trip in style and the other to set themselves up nicely for one.

The Stars offense has been sluggish recently, only finding the twine ten times in the last four games. It does, however, boast some very dangerous players indeed, not least the combination of Tyler Séguin and Jamie Benn on the top line. Séguin leads his team in goals (29) and points (59) while Benn leads in assists. Behind these two there's also the speed of Ales Hemsky and Jason Spezza, so the Stars are, on paper at least, a team for Boston's D to take seriously.

Defensively, though, the Stars are something of a warzone, with Trevor Daley missing through injury, they've had trouble at the other end-the Stars haven't allowed less than two goals in a game since January 1st. This is something of an encouraging stat for a Bruins offense that hasn't scored more than two goals a game in five of their last eight games.

Unlike the Bruins, Dallas are coming off a win, having beaten the NY Rangers 3-2 in OT their last game. Stars coach Lindy Ruff pronounced himself pleased with the play of Kari Lehtonen in net, and will likely go with his starter again tonight.

For Bruins, meanwhile, Niklas Svedberg, who's returned from his conditioning stint in Providence, will start with Rask as backup, meaning Malcolm Subban goes back down to the Baby Bruins. The Bruins didn't practice on Monday due to the snow, so right now there's no indication of whether or not Claude Julien intends to make any changes to his line combinations (which means the unenticing prospect for Bruins fans of a Seidenberg/McQuaid pairing facing one of the speediest top lines in the league on a regular basis tonight).

However, the Stars D is struggling a little too, so tonight is a chance for the Bruins to find some offence again before the long, tricky roadtrip through Western Canada and the Midwest that awaits them over the next two weeks.

This one could be a close one. Hunker down and prepare to ride out what could be a tricky, tense night inside the Garden.