The Boston Bruins look to continue their hot play coming off the all-star break as they host the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.
The Bruins have won both their games since returning to action, including a 6-1 drubbing of the Minnesota Wild on the road Saturday. Boston has won four of five overall.
The Canucks had a five-game winning streak snapped last time out when they lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. After Tuesday, Vancouver wraps up a five-game road trip Thursday at Minnesota before returning home for six straight.
The Bruins and Canucks face off for the first time this season before meeting again in Vancouver on Feb. 22. Boston has lost three straight in the series.
The Bruins are an NHL-best 17-2-9 at home this season. They will travel to Chicago for the second end of a back-to-back Wednesday night.
After an uneven start to January that ended in a 6-3-2 mark for the month, Boston got February off on the right foot with its rout of the Wild.
Bruins defenceman Torey Krug led the way with a two-goal, two-assist night.
“I had a lot of chances,” said Krug. “Obviously you feel good when the puck’s finding your stick, but it was a fun night.”
David Pastrnak scored the third of three power-play goals in the second period of the blowout to extend his league lead to a career-high-matching 38. The marker was the Bruins’ league-leading 47th on the man advantage this season (27.2 per cent), three ahead of the Canucks in third.
“A lot of good things,” said Pastrnak. “Special teams came up huge. Tonight, PK was unbelievable (four penalties killed). It’s obviously nice, one of those games.”
The Canucks were having plenty of those games during their winning streak before it came to a halt Sunday. Even in that contest, Vancouver got a tying goal from Elias Pettersson at 9:06 of the third period to send the game past regulation.
“I’m sure we will look back and say we’re happy to get a point, but everyone in here is competitive and we expect to get two every night,” said goaltender Thatcher Demko, who made 29 saves. “Hard-fought game from the guys. I’m really proud of handling the ebbs and flows of that one.”
On Monday afternoon, Vancouver centre J.T. Miller was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week after putting up seven points (three goals, four assists) in four games during the period. Miller’s 53 points this season (20 goals, 33 assists) are five short of his career high.
“I think we have a lot of confidence right now,” said Miller after Sunday’s loss. “When you’re winning, that confidence is there. We’ve in this stretch that we’re playing pretty well in, and it doesn’t matter. We try not to change our game if we’re winning or losing.”
The Canucks have gone 13-13-2 on the road this season.
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