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Preview: Bruins look to step up their offense against the Capitals tonight

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The Bruins close out the first half of the season’s meetings against the Capitals.

NHL: MAR 03 Capitals at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7 PM

Where: TD Garden- Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, NHLN, TVAS, SN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Japers’ Rink

Know your enemy

  • 13-5-4 for 30 points, first in East
  • Nicklas Backstrom: 22GP, 10G, 15A, 25PTS; John Carlson: 22GP, 5G, 14A, 19PTS; Tom Wilson: 20GP, 7G, 10A, 17PTS; Alex Ovechkin: 18GP, 7G, 10A, 17PTS
  • Vitek Vanecek: 10-4-3, 2.69 GAA, .910 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins get another shot at the Washington Capitals tonight to close out their first home series against them this season. On Wednesday night, the Bruins were outshot by the Capitals who handed them a 2-1 shootout loss. The game was scoreless through the first 40 minutes, and the Bruins won a challenge on a potential goal with an offside ruling. David Pastrnak put the Bruins up 1-0 in the second period off a 2-on-1 feed from Brad Marchand. Lars Eller evened the game. The Capitals dominated overtime and Tuukka Rask came up big, but ultimately this one was settled with a lone shootout goal from Jakub Vrana for Washington’s win.
  • The Bruins are now 4-1-1 at home and are 2-0-1 in overtime or a shootout at the TD Garden. Last game was the first at home this season where the Bruins did not outshoot their opponent. They had even outshot the Devils (by one shot) in their sole home regulation loss. Wednesday’s game was also the first home game this season that they did not score on the power play.
  • The Bruins have the best penalty kill in the East at 88.6%. Against the Capitals, the Bruins’ PK units are 71% effective. Boston allowed one power-play goal each game on the road in Washington, but held the Capitals off in both man-advantage situations on Wednesday.
  • Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak are on a three-game point streak. Pastrnak has one goal and four assists in his last three games while Marchand has one goal and three assists. For Washington, Lars Eller is now on a four-game point streak with three goals and two assists.
  • Last game, four Caps had a 50% or better face-off percentage against the Bruins. Most notably, Nic Dowd was 75% on the face-off, winning nine out of 12. He leads the team in overall face-off wins, averaging 55% this season. Dowd didn’t see as much playing time against the Bruins on Wednesday as opposed to the other two games, but expect him to make an impact for Washington by winning battles when he’s out there.
  • Blood is sure to boil. Trent Frederic tried to drop the gloves with Alex Ovechkin twice last game, and also with Nic Dowd and Tom Wilson. I’d be surprise if he doesn’t stir the pot and get something going with just about anyone on the Capitals tonight.
  • Jaroslav Halak will man the pipes. He’s 4-2-1 on the season with a 2.42 GAA and .903 save percentage. I’m sure Halak would like everyone to forget his most recent game- the 7-2 disaster loss to the New York Islanders. Besides that game, he’s had a good stretch this year. He has two games where he’s only allowed one goal and also has the only shutout of the season.

See ya tonight!