Bruins-Sharks Preview

March 14, 2016

Boston's point streak has survived the defending Stanley Cup champion, this season's best team and a two-game trip to Florida against the teams with whom it's most heavily competing for the Atlantic Division title.

The test will likely grow tougher on a three-game road trip with the Bruins facing off against the best the West Coast has to offer, which starts Tuesday night against San Jose.

Boston (39-23-8) has followed a 4-1 home loss to Tampa Bay on Feb. 28 by going 5-0-2 while allowing 1.86 goals per game. The latest was Saturday's 3-1 home win over the New York Islanders with David Pastrnak scoring twice and Loui Eriksson notching a goal and two assists.

Pastrnak has four goals in his last four games after opening the season with eight in his first 35, interrupted by a 25-game injured-reserve stay and three stints with AHL Providence.

"(It's always good) to help our line get a chance in the end (of periods)," said Pastrnak, who's helped put his team in position to match a season-best 6-0-2 point streak from Nov. 19-27. "I think we had a pretty good game, you know we had a lot of opportunities to score even before."

The Bruins have also won four straight on the road to become the NHL's best away team with 1.48 points per game ahead of Presidents' Trophy shoe-in Washington (1.44) and the Sharks (1.43).

San Jose, however, also happens to be coming off Saturday's 5-2 home win over the Capitals, who won 2-1 in overtime at Boston on March 5.

As for the trip, the Bruins are 0-3-0 this season against San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles with the home losses coming by a 20-8 total.

"It's definitely on our mind and it's definitely going to be a tough road trip coming up here," Eriksson told the team's official website. "We know they're good teams, but at the same time we've been pretty good on the road this year. We'll bring our A game and try to get the win. We get started against San Jose on Tuesday so everyone's looking forward to that one."

The closest of those was a 5-4 loss to the Sharks on Nov. 17, which led into that season-best point streak for the Bruins. It was the Sharks' second straight win over Boston following a 7-4 victory in San Jose on Dec. 4, 2014.

Joe Pavelski had three goals and three assists in those games, while Joe Thornton has two goals and three assists in his last three against his former team.

The win over Washington was the home performance the Sharks (38-24-6) needed. They're 13-15-3 at home and had lost three of their previous four, but still haven't won consecutive home contests since a three-game run Jan. 9-16, going 5-3-3 since.

Thornton, Pavelski, Brent Burns and Brenden Dillon each had a goal and an assist against the Capitals.

"They're a great hockey team," coach Peter DeBoer said. "But, I'd like to think we're a pretty good team, too, and I think that showed tonight."

Burns has five goals and six assists in his last seven games in front of some strong goaltending from Martin Jones and James Reimer.

It'll be Reimer playing Tuesday in his third start since being acquired from Toronto. He made 31 saves in a 3-0 win at Edmonton last Tuesday and is 1-1-2 with a 1.81 goals-against average and .952 save percentage in five games against Boston since the start of 2014-15.

Tuukka Rask has dropped his last two games against the Sharks with 12 goals allowed.