Stars-Bruins Preview

BY foxsports • November 3, 2015

After being shut down by one of the league's lowest-scoring teams, the Dallas Stars now face one that can match their firepower.

The Boston Bruins bring a four-game winning streak and the NHL's most potent offense into Tuesday night's clash of early success stories.

Boston has recovered strongly from an 0-3-0 start by notching points in seven consecutive games, six of them victories. The Bruins (6-3-1) have amassed 32 goals over the stretch and are averaging 3.9, slightly better than rival Montreal for the league's top mark.

Brad Marchand has five goals and four assists over a six-game point streak and Brett Connolly has scored four times on an identical run while playing on Boston's top line. Both recorded third-period goals as the Bruins extended their surge with Saturday's 3-1 triumph at Tampa Bay.

"We're feeling good right now," Connolly said. "We're confident, and that goes a long way.''

A return to form from Tuukka Rask has boosted the Bruins as well. After posting a 4.40 goals-against average and .854 save percentage over his first five starts, the 2013-14 Vezina Trophy winner has stopped 55 of 56 shots in consecutive victories over Arizona and Florida.

"It's nice to see him playing with confidence again," defenseman Zdeno Chara told the NHL's official site.

Rask figures to face a greater challenge against Dallas (9-3-0), which ranks third in scoring and boasts the league's top point producers in Jamie Benn (18) and ex-Bruin Tyler Seguin (17). Boston's David Krejci sits fourth in the race with 15 points and has five goals and five assists over the last seven games.

Benn scored his NHL-leading 10th goal and Seguin garnered a league-best 12th assist Monday in Toronto, but the Stars generated nothing else despite 44 shots in a 4-1 loss that halted a three-game winning streak in the opener of a four-game trip.

''I think we had our chances,'' Seguin said. ''We gave them a few, myself included, didn't bear down, but we had opportunities of scoring."

Benn, the NHL's First Star for October, joined Brad Richards in 2010-11 as the only Stars players with 18 points through their first 12 games.

Seguin has two assists in four meetings with his former team since his July 2013 trade to Dallas, though the Stars have won in both of his returns to TD Garden. Benn had two goals in a 5-3 triumph at Boston on Feb. 10.

Rask owns a 1.88 GAA in four career appearances against Dallas and thwarted 36 of 37 chances in winning his lone 2014-15 start in the series.

With Antti Niemi having started Dallas' past four games, coach Lindy Ruff could turn to Kari Lehtonen for this one. Lehtonen won his first three outings but was pulled early in the second period of his last, a 6-2 loss to Florida on Oct. 24 in which he surrendered three goals on 11 shots.

Lehtonen recorded a 3.04 GAA in splitting two decisions with Boston last season, making 41 saves in the February win at TD Garden.

The Bruins lost their first four at home prior to a 6-0 rout of Arizona on Oct. 27. They will play three straight on the road following Tuesday's tilt.

share story