The Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals are two of the best teams in the East Division with more than enough talent on both rosters. The Bruins are coming off a tough mini-series against the Flyers where they split the two games while the Capitals are coming off a tough 1-0 loss to the Islanders. Both teams are fighting for key playoff positions in the division and this game is going to be pivotal in deciding which team will finish this season with a better record.
Bruins defense lead the wayThe Boston Bruins have won 20 of their 36 games to give them the fourth-best record in the East Division and their defense has gotten the job done, allowing 2.4 goals per game. The question for the Bruins will be if they can continue to win with some of their key players potentially being out for the next game. Charlie McAvoy has looked like a Norris Trophy candidate with 3.2 defensive point shares, 61 blocked shots, and 18 assists on the offensive end but has been dealing with an upper-body injury. Likewise, Tuukka Rask, who is saving .907 percent of shots and allowing 2.4 goals per game, was recently placed or injured reserve and is out for the foreseeable future.
900th career point ✅— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 7, 2021
Sixth career hat trick ✅
Two points ✅ pic.twitter.com/cjjuB3nYUm
In addition to the questions on defense for the upcoming game, the offense has struggled this season with a top-heavy lineup only scoring 2.7 goals per game. The top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak have combined for 49 goals but the rest of the shifts have struggled with Nick Ritchie being the only other skater on the team with 10 goals or more this season.
Capitals offense continues to impressThe Washington Capitals have won 25 of their 39 games for the second-best record in the East Divison. The main reason for the team's success has been their offense, which is scoring 3.3 goals per game and has 5 skaters with 10 goals or more this season. Alexander Ovechkin has led the unit with 19 goals this season but Niklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie have 24 combined goals to give the Capitals a great top line while also playing well in the later shifts.
38 saves on 39 shots— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 7, 2021
This is a VV appreciation post 👏 pic.twitter.com/08FMAi01fx
While the offense has led the way, the defense has been more than impressive this season, allowing only 2.9 goals per game. Zdeno Chara and Justin Schultz have led the way for the Capitals with a combined 4 defensive point shares and 84 blocked shots while the trio of Dmitri Orlov, Nick Jensen, and Brendan Dillon have combined for 4.6 defensive point shares. In addition, the Capitals have gotten great play from their starting goaltender Vitek Vanecek, who is allowing only 2.6 goals per game and saving .912 percent of shots.