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Preview: Bruins look to find their offense in a critical Game 4

Let’s aim for fewer posts and more between the posts, shall we?

Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:30 PM

Where: Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH

How to follow: NBCSN, CBC, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Jackets Cannon

Know your enemy

  • Points: Matt Duchene, 9
  • Goals: Duchene, 5
  • Assists: Seth Jones, 6

Game notes

  • Here we go, folks! The Bruins are faced with the same scenario they faced in the first round: win Game 4 on the road and regain home ice advantage, or lose Game 4 on the road and put yourself in quite the hole. They responded well in Toronto. What are we feeling tonight?
  • It’s key in any hockey game, but especially so tonight: the Bruins can’t fall behind early again. John Tortorella’s teams have long followed the same formula: get a lead, pack the front of the net with bodies, and hope your goalie can bail you out from time to time. It worked for them in Game 3, but they were a little more porous when they had to play tied or from behind in Games 1 and 2. So uh...score the first goal, maybe?
  • It appears that we’ll see David Backes in tonight, and truthfully, I don’t hate it. Backes had his flashes against Toronto, and could be enough of a bother in front of Sergei Bobrovsky to make a difference. Plus, you never know with the playoffs. Guys tend to step up at random times. Could this be Backes’ random time?
  • Reuniting the first line seems to be a “f*** it” moment for Bruce Cassidy. That’s not meant as an insult; rather that he’s tried just about everything else to get those three individuals going, and nothing has worked. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak have, separately, been disappointing in this series. Maybe reuniting them can rekindle some of that regular season magic.
  • It will be interesting to see if this game is called tightly from the outset, especially given the spotlight that was cast on the officiating after Brad Marchand’s antics. The refs have been fairly good about letting the teams play for the most part, with far fewer sketchy calls than I remember from the Toronto series.
  • Speaking of Marchand, tonight would be a great night for him to redeem himself after an all-around bad performance in Game 3. Marchand thrives on the booing, so you know there’s nothing he’d enjoy more than scoring tonight.
  • If you told me coming into this series that we’d be heading into Game 4 and Cam Atkinson, he of 41 goals during the regular season, would have a 0 on the board, I’d have thought the Bruins would be in better shape.
  • Artemi Panarin was held without a point in Game 3, the only game this postseason where he’s been kept off the scoresheet.
  • Keep a close eye on the ongoing saga of The Bruins vs. Riley Nash. He’s had a target on his back since his predatory, borderline late hit on David Krejci in Game 1. Zdeno Chara flattened him in Game 2. Charlie McAvoy got him last night. Nash might be uninvited from the team reunions.
  • Is tonight the night Josh Anderson finally takes a dumb penalty? He’s been flying around trying to play physical, especially with Chara, and has been borderline reckless at times. Last game, he tried and failed to get his elbow up near Chara’s head, a tall task for any human.

See ya later on tonight!