Sunday afternoon on the NHL ice and the Central Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the Colorado Avalanche duke it out with the Boston Bruins at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Avs enter this game off a 4-3 OT loss to The Islanders on the road, while the Bruins check in off a 5-4 OT win over the Kings at home.
And Yet Another Loss For The Avs
The Colorado Avalanche are struggling mightily at the moment as they come in having lost their last six games in a row after falling to the Islanders on the road by a score of 4-3 in OT. Going back a bit farther and we see that the Avs are just 3-16 over their last 19 games. Despite that pathetic run, the Avs are still just three points out of the 8th spot in the Western Conference. It is amazing that they are still in the race, but if the Avs want to stay in it, then they will need to start putting some more wins in the win column. Their problem of late has been in the crease as they have allowed 4.50 gpg over their last six games. Scoring in the loss to the Islanders was Carl Soderberg, which was his 18th of the year, Erik Johnson, which was his 5th and J.T. Compher, which was his 11th.
Absorbing the loss to the Islanders was Semyon Varlamov, who allowed four goals on 41 shot attempts to fall to 13-20 with a 2.95 GAA on the year. Philipp Grubauer will get the nod in this one and he has gone 9-10 with a 3.47 GAA on the year, including 5-5 with a 3.51 GAA on the road. In his career, he has gone 2-0 with a 0.98 GAA against the Bruins. The Avalanche have gone 12-17 on the road and they have averaged 3.45 gpg and have allowed 3.52 gpg in those games. Colorado enters this game ranked 6th in the league in power play conversions at 23.9% and 27th in penalty kill at 76.2%.
Bruins Take Down Kings In OT
The Boston Bruins had some recent struggles, but they are getting back on track as they come in having won three of their last four games. The Bruins are in 4th place in the Atlantic Division and 16 points out of first, but they are also just three points out of 2nd place and if the playoffs started today, then they would have the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. Boston trailed their game against the Kings by a score of 2-1, but they scored three goals in the first 6:49 of the 3rd period to take a 4-2 lead. The Kings then scored two goals to tie it before the Bruins eventually won it in OT. Scoring in the win was Charlie McAvoy (2nd), Danton Heinen (8th), David Krejci (12th), Brad Marchand, 20th) and Patrice Bergeron, whose 20th of the year was the game-winner in OT.
Snatching up the win over the Kings was Tuukka Rask, who stopped 25 of the 29 shots that he faced to improve to 17-12 with a 2.36 GAA on the year. Jaroslav Halak will get the nod in this one and he has gone 13-13 with a 2.50 GAA on the year, including 9-4 with a 2.33 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 5-6 with a 2.88 GAA against the Avs. The Bruins have gone 19-10 here at home and they have averaged 3.45 gpg and have allowed 2.48 gpg in those games. Boston enters this game ranked 2nd in the league in power play conversions at 27.2% and 18th in penalty kill at 79.5%.
- 9-1 in their last 10 vs. Western Conference
- 32-18 in their last 56 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- 33-75 in their last 108 games playing on 0 days rest
- 6-21 in their last 27 games following OT on the previous da