Bruins, Stars have rematch in Dallas
However, when these sides meet in the rematch on Friday at American Airlines Center in Dallas, the Bruins (10-6-2, 22 points) will look a bit different, especially on defense.
That's because Boston, who started its four-game road trip with a 6-3 loss at Colorado on Wednesday, a setback where the Bruins allowed five unanswered goals to the Avalanche, is decimated by injuries in the back end.
The latest of those happened in Denver when Zdeno Chara left the game with a lower-body injury in the first period on Wednesday and did not return.
Boston, who is 3-4-2 on the road, recalled Connor Clifton, a fifth-round pick in the 2013 draft, from AHL Providence, where he had four assists in five games, on Thursday morning, and Clifton could make his NHL debut against Dallas.
And for Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, "next man up" is again a fitting mantra for his patchwork defense.
"We don't make excuses, so the next guy that goes in there gets a chance to play," Cassidy said postgame in Colorado. "Our guys are going to have to understand what we have back there and work together as a group of five. And then your goaltending's going to have to be a little sharper, and that's just a fact."
Dallas (9-7-2, 20 points) is also facing a bit of adversity after a tough 2-1 home loss to Columbus on Monday night.
One sticking point in that defeat with the Blue Jackets was the Stars' power play going 0-for-4, making that unit 4-for-34 over the past 13 games.
First-year Stars coach Jim Montgomery has made that group a big focus during practices these past three days.
"There was a lot of things wrong the other night (Monday), but there was a lot of things right in practice today (Thursday)," Montgomery said. "That's the best that our power play has probably looked (in practice) since the first couple of weeks of the season. Hopefully tomorrow (Friday) they'll have the same intensity and purpose when they're out there."
Dallas also has an injury issue on defense with veteran Marc Methot landing on injured reserve Thursday with a lower-body injury. The Stars recalled Gavin Bayreuther from AHL Texas, where he had three assists and five points in seven games.
And Montgomery talked about where he will play Bayreuther, who will make his NHL debut against the Bruins, on Friday.
"Well, we're going to play him with (fellow rookie) Joel Hanley on our third pairing," Montgomery said. "Because of his shot and his poise offensively we want to see him on the power play on the second unit."
Bayreuther caught the eye of Montgomery and his coaching staff during training camp for two simple reasons.
"(He's) just a very intelligent hockey player, very competitive," Montgomery said.