Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Boston Bruins

Bruins Aim for 'Perfect Ending' to Road Trip in Winnipeg

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

WINNIPEG - The Bruins could end this week's road trip through the Central Division with five out of six points if they pick up a win against the Jets in Winnipeg on Friday night.

They could also hop the Florida Panthers in the standings, and pick up two straight victories for the first time since November 18 and 21.

The Bruins are currently sitting one point behind Florida for the second Wild Card playoff spot. The Panthers picked up two points in a 2-1 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night and have two games in hand on Boston.

"Well, it turns tonight into a very important game. It seems like Florida keeps winning every shootout their in, no matter how many rounds it goes," said Reilly Smith, referencing the Bruins' fellow Atlantic Division opponent, which has won two straight shootouts (the first going to 20 rounds).

"We're battling for the last playoff spot right now. I know there's still more than half a season left, but we want to get those points right now in the middle of the season," said David Krejci, who is expected to play his second straight game since coming back from injury.

"This would be a perfect ending to the road trip with five points, so obviously we're going to do everything we can to get the two points."

The Bruins need to start getting on a roll, and this could finally be the time to get past the up-and-down nature of their play. Their last win streak came from November 15 - 21, when they picked up two straight home wins against Carolina and St. Louis before defeating Columbus in a shootout on the road.

The B's last regulation win came when they capped off their road trip out West with a 5-2 win over Arizona on December 6.

"If you can start [a streak] off on the road especially, get a couple of wins in a row, overlap with some home games after that before the break, it will be good to have some momentum over those three or four days you get off for Christmas," said Smith.

The Black and Gold don't often look ahead, but that may serve them well in this case, with just three more games until the Christmas break.

"Would definitely be a better feeling going into it, a positive time being able to spend it with your families, other than losing a couple and being negative over Christmas, so it's important for a lot of reasons," said Smith.

"It would be a great boost for our team, just to have that positivity."

Krejci, Chara Stabilizing Bruins

Krejci returned to the Bruins' lineup in Minnesota after missing 11 straight games and 17 of the previous 19, while Zdeno Chara played his fourth straight game there.

Both will take time to get their games where they want them to be, but there's no doubt they're still making an impact on and off the ice, whether it's Chara's physicality or Krejci's creativity.

"You know, Krech makes a difference as soon as he steps on the ice," said Smith. "I think last game, he made a lot of space for his line and made a lot of creative, good plays so it's a huge boost to our team and he's a great guy to have in the dressing room as well."

"You miss those guys, so when they come back, it's refreshing," said Head Coach Claude Julien. "Refreshing for everybody - coaching staff, teammates - so now it's up to us to take advantage of it and make it worth our while."

Jets' Blueline Depleted

The Bruins went through their own share of injuries to the back end earlier in the season, and now have just one defenseman sidelined (Adam McQuaid, broken thumb).

The Jets are now experiencing that type of injury bug, with four of their top defensemen out due to injury. Former Bruin Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba, Zach Bogosian and Toby Enstrom are all out for Friday night's matchup.

"We know that there's a lot of injuries back there, but we had a lot of them in November and we still did fairly well, so we can certainly learn from that - knowing that it doesn't mean that it's going to be an easy game," Julien said.

The Bruins needed overtime to take a 2-1 win from the Jets at TD Garden the last time the two teams faced off on November 28.

"I just find them a really good skating team that forechecks well, and they've got speed, they've got guys who are gritty and go to the net and make things happen," said Julien. "So we have to respect that part of their game."

Behind The B

The latest episode of Behind The B, presented by Alex and Ani, will air before Friday night's game on NESN at 6:30 p.m. ET, with game time set for 8:00 p.m.

Projected Lineup vs. Winnipeg 12/19

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Seth Griffith

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith

Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Craig Cunningham

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Dennis Seidenberg - Zach Trotman

Torey Krug - Kevan Miller

Starter: Tuukka Rask // Backup: Niklas Svedberg

Scratches: Matt Fraser, Joe Morrow, Matt Bartkowski

View More