The Boston Bruins desperately needed a victory over the weekend. They got it in convincing fashion.
Now with a slight cushion in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Bruins will look to add to their point total Tuesday night against the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
Boston (29-21-9) had lost six straight to nearly fall out of the playoff picture but answered with a 6-2 win in Chicago on Sunday. Six players scored and Tuukka Rask earned the victory after posting a 3.57 goals-against average in his previous four appearances.
The Bruins capped a five-game road trip that opened with a 5-2 defeat to Vancouver (34-22-3) on Feb. 13.
"You know, obviously we struggled during this road trip, but (Sunday) was a good, convincing win," general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Bruins’ official website. "And again, it’s not up to where we should have been on the overall road trip, but … I think our legs and hands are coming around."
Boston owns a three-point lead over Florida for the final playoff spot in the East, while Vancouver is three points better than Los Angeles, Calgary and San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division.
The Canucks won for the second time in the first three games of a five-game trip by beating the New York Islanders 4-0 on Sunday.
Ryan Miller and Eddie Lack led Vancouver to its NHL high-tying eighth shutout, with Lack making 27 saves after Miller left with a lower-body injury.
With Miller potentially sidelined, Lack expects to start Tuesday. He has a 2.13 GAA in his last six games.
"I hope I can step up," Lack told the Canucks’ official website. "I don’t know if it’s even going to be a game that Miller is out. … Just take it day by day here and see what’s going on."
Jacob Markstrom was called up Monday from Utica of the AHL. He’s 12-27-5 with a 3.19 GAA in his career, appearing in four games with Vancouver last season.
"Eddie can carry the load going forward if he has to," general manager Jim Benning said. "Jacob has been outstanding in Utica, too. We have great depth at goaltender."
Lack has yet to face Boston, which got a goal and two assists from Bergeron on Sunday. Bergeron also scored in Vancouver and has five goals and four assists in his last nine games.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin failed to record a point in the first meeting for the Canucks, who are averaging 3.7 goals during a 6-3-0 stretch. Henrik has two points in each of the last four games, while Daniel has recorded six assists.
Forward Zack Kassian has also been productive with three goals over his last two games and six in his past eight after scoring twice in his first 26 contests.
The Bruins have lost three of four to the Canucks but won 3-1 in the last meeting in Boston on Feb. 4, 2014, as Rask stopped 27 shots.