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Boston Bruins vs Columbus Blue Jackets: Game 5 Preview

Series: Series tied 2-2

Location: TD Garden

Time: 7:15 p.m. ET; (NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS)

Overview:

On Thursday night the Bruins evened the series 2-2 with a 4-1 win at a sold-out Nationwide Arena.  Tonight’s Game 5 will be at TD Garden and both teams hope to be within one win away to reach the Eastern Conference Final. The winner of this series will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final. Here are important headlines for tonight’s game.

Boston Bruins Notes

Bruins top line of  David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand finally stepped up in Game 4 after struggling in Games 1-3. Out of the three, Pastrnak had only one point in Games 1-3 with a goal. In Game 4 the trio had six power-play opportunities to go back to their scoring ways. They showed improvement in the power-play with two goals from center Patrice Bergeron and Pastrnak scoring a goal and assist. Marchand finished the night with a power-play assist off of Bergeron’s goal. This was a pivotal game for the top-line and the Bruins to gain momentum.

Rask’s had a terrific 39 save performance from Game 4. So far he’s been outstanding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In this series, he has two wins with a 1.80 goals-against average and .942 save percentage. The highlight of Game 4 is when Rask stopped Boone Jenner shorthanded penalty shot at 6:52. So far Rask has been the Bruins MVP for the playoffs. All eyes will be on him to have a stellar performance. 

Noel Acciari will be a game-time decision tonight. If Acciari is out, then forward Chris Wagner will play for the first time since Game 2.

The Bruins will win if they have a great performance from their top line and Tuukka Rask. Special teams will be a big factor for tonight.

Blue Jackets Notes

Before Game 4 the Blue Jackets won the previous two games. They looked like the same team that swept President Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning. In Game 4 they looked like a completely different team on 5-on-5 and special teams. The Bruins were 2-for-6 in the power-play in Game 4. They have to stay more discipline and avoid the penalty kill.

One thing positive about the penalty kill was Jenner’s generating offense by shooting four out of his six shots on the penalty-kill. It’s great to have a player like Jenner creating chances when they are down a man. But it’s best for the Blue Jackets to be on the power play more.

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Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky struggled earlier in the game when Pastrnak and Bergeron scored goals in which he was supposed to save. So far this series, Bobrovsky has two wins with 2.23 goals-against average and .934 save percentage. Columbus needs to be more disciplined and confident to give Bobrovsky some breathing room. If they do that and win, they’ll head to Nationwide Arena with a 3-2 series lead.

 

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