Game: Colorado Avalanche (44-20-6, 94 pts) at Boston Bruins (47-17-5, 99pts)
The Boston Bruins have won 10 straight games, pulling away from the Eastern Conference and solidifying them as a top team in the NHL. They haven’t played since Tuesday, are well-rested, and ready to welcome the Colorado Avalanche to town. The Bruins have scored 40 goals during the 10 game win streak and have only allowed 15. They are the hottest team in the league and will be an extremely tough test for the Avs.
After back-to-back mediocre goaltending performance by Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Reto Berra, Semyon Varlamov will return to the net for the Avalanche. Varlamov has arguably been the MVP of the team and the boy in front of him just seem to play better when he’s in net. He’s the backbone of the team and when he’s on his game, he gives the Avs a chance to win every night.
Boston has the 9th best powerplay and the 10th best penalty. While the Avs have a strong powerplay (6th in the league), their 24th ranked penalty leaves a lot to be desired. The Bruins are last in the league in powerplay opportunities, so if the Avs do wind up in the box, they need to keep Boston from capitalizing if they want to win this game.
Ol‘ Jarome Iginla
Iginla is quietly having a good season, leading the Bruins in goals with 26. Avalanche fans remember him well during his time with the Calgary Flames. In 92 career games against the Avs, Iginla has 37 goals, which is tied for the most he has against any team in the league. He’s been a thorn in the Avalanche side for years and he’ll get another chance to burn them tonight.
Two Complete Lines
Paul Stastny will be back in the lineup against the Bruins, giving the Avs their one-two line combination punch that they missed last game with Tyson Barrie playing right wing on the second line. Stastny, along with Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, gives the Avalanche a consistent attack up front and compliment the first line of Jamie McGinn-Matt Duchene-Ryan O’Reilly very well.