If there was ever a team that the Bruins needed to see, it’s the Edmonton Oilers. Following Thursday night’s embarrassing loss to the Habs, the Oilers come into The Garden this afternoon with an 18-32-6 record while just 8-18-4 on the road.
Yes, the Oilers have won their last 3-games, two against playoff teams. But in their last win against San Jose, the Oiler’s Ben Scrivens was called on to make 59-saves in their 3-0 win.
But they are syill the last place Oilers who are second in the NHL having given up a whopping 190 goals in 56 games. Only the Islanders (191 goals) have given up more.
Look for a determined Bruins squad to crash the net in front of Scrivens.
Former Bruin Andrew Ference will be making his first return to The Garden this afternoon. Ference has missed the last three games when he suffered a concussion Jan 24 against the Coyotes.
The Bruins will need to keep an eye on Oilers forward David Perron who leads the team in goals with 22. Perron has 5-goals in three of his last six games played. Taylor Hall has rebounded this season mostly because he has stayed relatively healthy. Hall has played in 49 of the Oilers 56 games. He leads the team in points with 54 ( 19G, 35A). He’s having a good season, but being stuck in Edmonton with a team that’s second to last in total points, it’s hard for hockey fans to pay attention.
It appears that the Bruins will be going with Chad Johnson in net.
THE CAPTAIN LEADING: Zdeno Chara enters this week tied for first among NHL defensemen in goal scoring with 13 tallies thus far this season (Shea Weber, NSH). The defenseman has scored four goals in his last four games, including a goal against the Islanders on 1/27, which marked his 500th NHL point. With Tuesday’s win against the Panthers the Bruins improved to a perfect 11-0-0 when Chara has scored a goal in a game and 18-2-0 when he registers a point.
BERGERON LINE BURNING: The line composed of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith has combined for 30 points over the course of their last eight games with Bergeron chipping in 4-6=10 totals, Marchand registering 7-5=12 totals and Smith tallying 3-5=8 totals.
MATINEE SUCCESS: The Bruins have 17 matinee games this season and will play their tenth such game todayTODAYon Saturday, February 1 against the Edmonton Oilers. Thus far, the B’s have played in nine afternoon matchups, compiling a 7-1-1 record.
BERGERON QUICK ON THE DRAW: Bruins centerman Patrice Bergeron enters the weekend third in faceoff percentage at 59.8%, behind former Bruins Vladimir Sobotka (61.6%, St. Louis) and Rich Peverley (60.2%). Bergeron however leads the league in faceoff wins (696), ahead of Sidney Crosby who ranks second with 673 wins.
BRUINS IN THE OLYMPICS: Five Bruins were selected to represent their respective countries in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia – Patrice Bergeron (Canada), Zdeno Chara (Slovakia), Loui Eriksson (Sweden), David Krejci (Czech Republic) and Tuukka Rask (Finland). In the last three Olympic Games, several Bruins players have seen success on the international stage and have brought home medals: Bergeron (Gold, Canada) and Tim Thomas (Silver, U.S.) in 2010; P. J. Axelsson (Gold, Sweden) in 2006; and Brian Rolston and Bill Guerin (Silver, U.S.) and Sergei Samsonov (Bronze, Russia) in 2002. Jarome Iginla won Gold with Canada in both 2010 and 2002 but was not with the Bruins at that time.
UPCOMING BOSTON BRUINS CASINO NIGHT: On Saturday, February 1 the Bruins will host their annual “Casino Night” benefiting the Boston Bruins Foundation and featuring the current Bruins roster and Bruins alumni. Fans will have the opportunity to play at casino tables alongside current and former Bruins players at “Casino Night” on Saturday, February 1 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Westin Boston Waterfront. At 8:00 p.m. the Bruins will honor their friend Sam Berns who lost his battle to Progeria earlier this month. There will be a video tribute for Sam followed by a special presentation by Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara to Sam’s aunt, Audrey Gordon. A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit the Progeria Research Foundation, of which Gordon is the President and Executive Director. Media wishing to attend the Bruins “Casino Night” should contact Erika Wentzell (firstname.lastname@example.org or 857.241.8352) for credential information. The best media opportunities will take place from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.