Capitals a tough challenge for Bruins
|02.02.10 at 8:48 am ET|
WILMINGTON ‘ The Bruins went through a series of game situation drills at practice Monday, but they were hard-pressed to replicate the reality of what they’ll face in game action at TD Garden Tuesday night.
In order for the Bruins to end their seven-game losing streak, they will have to defeat the highest-scoring team in the league while it’s playing its best hockey of the season.
The Washington Capitals arrive in Boston having won 10 straight games. Led by Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals have scored a league-best 214 goals, some 23 more goals than San Jose, the second-highest-scoring team in the league.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Bruins have the league’s least effective offense (130 goals) and have not won at home in over a month.
One high-scoring team on a roll, another team stuck in reverse. It could be a tough night ‘ or perhaps the Bruins’ finest hour in several weeks.
‘It’s definitely a challenge,’ Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said. ‘To be honest, there’s not any goalie in the league right now who is excited to go up against them. But you can look at it positively, you know if you shut them down you have done a really good job.’
Although the Caps will present a major challenge, the Bruins have played competitive hockey in their two most recent games, a 2-1 setback at Buffalo Friday and a 3-2 shootout loss to Los Angeles at home Saturday.
‘We have to be ready, it’s a great challenge for us,’ center Patrice Bergeron said. ‘Play hard and follow up from last game, but get the result.’
With Marco Sturm and Steve Begin returning to the lineup Saturday, the B’s forward lines remain intact for the first time in weeks. But as the Bruins look to jump start their offense, they’ll need to avoid falling into an uptempo game that would favor the Caps’ style.
‘We shouldn’t play a run-and-gun game against them, we should stick with the system,’ Bergeron said. ‘Obviously, the offense right now has to come from somewhere, but we can’t force too many things. If we do that against a team like Washington, that’s what they want ‘ to counter.’
The Bruins will have one break in their favor as Washington star defenseman Mike Green will not play Tuesday as the result of a three-game suspension handed out by the league Saturday.