Canucks aim for sweep of Bruins
BOSTON -- Their three-game winning streak snapped by a shootout loss in Detroit Tuesday night, the Vancouver Canucks go for a sweep of their two-game season series with the Bruins when they visit TD Garden Thursday night.
The Canucks failed to hold a 2-0 lead and dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Red Wings in the opener of a six-game trip Tuesday, falling to 9-6-1 on the young season.
They defeated the Bruins 2-1 in overtime Oct. 20 and now go for the sweep. They face an 8-4-2 team that is having trouble putting the puck in the net but coming off a 2-1 OT win over Dallas Monday night.
Rookie Elias Petterson continued his early hot scoring with his 10th goal of the season in Detroit. At 19 (20 next week), he is the only teenager in the last 30 seasons to start his career with at least 10 goals through their first 10 career games.
He has six goals and three assists in the last six games.
"I'm happy with that but we didn't win today," he said after Tuesday's game.
The Bruins got a winning goal from OT specialist Brad Marchand during a 5 on 3 to win Monday's game. They have scored just four goals in the last four games, a span that's included their second and third shutouts of the season.
Through Tuesday, they were 24th in the NHL in goals per game, even though they are fifth on the power play -- a sign of their top heavy lineup led by the line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak (league-high 12 goals) and Marchand.
They scored twice Monday, but had one goal waved off by a quick whistle and also hit three posts.
"It's coming. That's the way I look at it, and usually it takes a game or two before the floodgates open," coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win. "And we hope, I'm an optimist, that it's Thursday or at least later this week where it really starts to happen for us."
The Canucks, hampered by injuries up front, dominated the first half of Tuesday's game but then let it get away and lost a valuable point.
"A game can turn on you in a hurry as soon as you take your foot off the gas," said Bo Horvat, who had the OT winner against the Bruins last month. "Teams are going to push back and I thought we played a great 30 minutes. I thought we deserved better. We know what it's like to play these one-goal games and I think we've been doing a good job keeping composed."
Jacob Markstrom has started the last five games in goal for the Canucks and defeated the Bruins Oct.20 to go to 2-3-0 with a 2.39 goals-against average and .918 save percentage lifetime against the Bruins.
Tuukka Rask, who seems to have lost his job as the No. 1 goaltender in Boston, gave up a soft goal to open Monday's game but came on to get the win. Jaroslav Halak led the NHL in goals against (1.45) and save percentage (.952). He is 7-5-4 with a 2.30 goals-against and .920 save percentage lifetime against Vancouver -- while Rask is just 3-5-1 with 2.86/.893 numbers.
Thursday marks the return to TD Garden of Tim Schaller, who played the last two years in Boston before signing with the Canucks. He has three assists in 14 games and is still looking for his first goal with his new team.
Updated November 7, 2018