Among the worst home teams in the NHL, the Boston Bruins are trying to turn things around. A matchup with the San Jose Sharks will make that tougher.
The Bruins attempt to build on just their second home win of the season Tuesday night when they face the Sharks, one of the league's best on the road.
Boston (8-7-1) has won six of eight road games but has failed to carry that success back to TD Garden, where it's 2-5-1 after going 24-10-7 to tie for third-best home record in the Eastern Conference last season.
“It was kind of one of those things where we were playing not to lose,” defenseman Torey Krug said. “I know it's a cliche that you have to play to win.”
The Bruins are hoping Saturday's 3-1 win over Detroit is the start of a turnaround after opening this five-game homestand with a 3-2 loss to Colorado two days earlier.
“It's huge,” said defenseman Kevan Miller, who assisted on Krug's first goal of the season Saturday. “We have three more games at home before we head back on the road. I think it's important that we build on this.”
The issues at home haven't been much of a problem for David Krejci. The center has 10 of his team-leading 18 points there after opening the scoring in Boston's three-goal second period against the Red Wings.
Krejci has one goal and one assist in each of the last two home matchups against San Jose (9-8-0) with the Bruins winning both.
The Sharks, though, are 6-3-0 on the road, winning three straight after taking the first two of this season-high six-game trip. They won 2-1 at Buffalo on Saturday on Patrick Marleau's overtime tally.
“It's nice to get two wins, but you've got to keep it going because if you lose your next two games, you're back to where you started,” defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic told the team's official website after getting one goal and one assist. “In this league you've got to get wins together in order to create separation with the teams behind you.”
Joe Pavelski assisted on Vlasic's power-play goal against the Sabres, giving him nine points on the road. The center leads the Sharks with nine goals and 15 points, and he has seven points in his last six meetings with the Bruins.
Pavelski scored twice and assisted on a goal by Tomas Hertl in a 7-4 home win over Boston on Dec. 4.
Martin Jones is likely to face the Bruins for the first time. He's stopped 56 of 59 shots while winning the first two games of this trip after being pulled for giving up two goals on three shots in the first 3:30 of a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders.
“That's as well as I've seen him play,” coach Peter DeBoer said after Jones made 30 saves against the Sabres. “I thought he was excellent. We needed him to be our best player.”
The Bruins will likely turn to Tuukka Rask, who had 22 saves Saturday after giving up eight goals on 49 shots while losing his previous two at home.
“I look good when the team looks good,” said Rask, who made 37 saves while giving up a career high in goals at San Jose in December.
- Boston Bruins
- David Krejci
- Joe Pavelski
- Kevan Miller
- Marc-Edouard Vlasic
- Martin Jones
- San Jose Sharks
- Tomas Hertl
- Torey Krug
- Tuukka Rask