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Preview: Bruins close out homestand against Blue Jackets

It’s also the first game of a home-and-home for the two teams tonight.

Boston Bruins v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: The Cannon

Know your enemy

  • 32-31-5, 69PTS, tied for 5th in Metropolitan Division
  • Patrik Laine: 49GP, 25G, 26A, 51PTS; Oliver Bjorkstrand: 66GP, 24G, 26A, 50PTS; Jakub Voracek: 65GP, 5G, 44A, 49PTS
  • Elvis Merzlikins: 22-17-5, 3.42 GAA, .902 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins wrap up their five-game homestand against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight in which they are currently 3-1-0. It’s the two teams’ second meeting of the season. Both will see each other again on Monday when the Bruins open a four-game road trip in Columbus.
  • In their previous match on March 5, the Bruins topped the Blue Jackets 5-4 in a shootout. The win capped off a lengthy road trip in which the Bruins won five of the six games. In the win, Jake DeBrusk, Erik Haula and Craig Smith scored on even-strength while Patrice Bergeron added one on the power play. David Pastrnak scored the lone goal in the shootout for the extra point.
  • March was good to the B’s. They went 10-3-1 in their 14 games played during the month. They almost collected a point in every home game posting a 5-1-1 record in March at the TD Garden.
  • After a lackluster start to the week, the Bruins refocused on Thursday to beat the New Jersey Devils, 8-1. After leading 2-1 to end the first period, the team put on a show in the second period. They scored six goals – three of which came in a 3:03 timespan. Brad Marchand had a two-goal night while Marc McLaughlin netted his first NHL goal in his first professional game.
  • In the win, the Bruins eliminated the Devils from playoff contention. In Columbus’ postseason hopes, they would need to eek out a miracle in this final stretch to pick up a wild card spot. They are currently 15 points out of postseason play.
  • After being snake-bitten, DeBrusk has bounced back. His goal on Thursday extended his scoring streak to three games. Not only is he scoring again, but he’s creating opportunities and his forecheck has also led to his linemates’ success.
  • It hasn’t been the best stretch for the Blue Jackets, who when the Bruins’ last saw them to begin the month were right in the wild-card mix. Now, Columbus is 0-3-2 in their last five games.
  • Tonight is the Blue Jackets’ second home-and-home in a row. Their last didn’t go so great, as they dropped both games to the New York Islanders. They last played on Thursday to complete the home-and-home with a 5-2 loss on the road. Despite rallying in the second period to tie the game at 2-2, the Islanders responded with three unanswered goals to hand Columbus the loss.
  • Injury update: Josh Brown left Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury sustained during the second period. It’s unclear if he’s available for tonight, or if Bruce Cassidy would keep him on the third pairing if he is good.

See ya tonight!