VANCOUVER - The Bruins annual Western Canada swing will come to an end on Saturday night. The Black & Gold have a chance to head home with a perfect road trip if they can come out on top in Vancouver. After a full 60-minute performance and a 3-1 win in New York to kick off the trip, the Bruins have won their next two contests in entertaining fashion.
Against the Edmonton Oilers, David Pastrnak buried an overtime winner to give the B's the 2-1 victory. Friday in Calgary, the Bruins twice overcame two goal deficits to edge out the Flames. Now for the second time this month, it will be the Vancouver Canucks who stand between the Bruins and two points.
"I thought for us we played a very fundamentally strong game," said head coach Bruce Cassidy, referencing the B's 4-0 victory over the Canucks on February 4th. "Anytime you get a shutout you know you've done something well on the defensive side of the puck and I don't think it was all Tuukka. He was solid, don't get me wrong. I thought we were opportunistic when we had to be. Our power play wasn't great that night and we still manage to score a goal.
"I thought we were physical when we had to be. They were on a road trip so you know you have to take the energy level higher for us. Can't get outworked in those situations and I thought our start was good. All those things led to a good win for us."
The Canucks are powered by J.T. Miller (24-35=59) and 2018-20 Calder Trophy winner Elias Pettersson (24-34=58). Rookie defenseman Quinn Hughes also leads all first-year players in points with 47, and is a favorite for the Calder Trophy as well.
"I think that they are a very good team with a lot of skill players," said captain Zdeno Chara. "They play the game with a lot of speed and a lot of pace. I think that we try to really focus on that and same thing for tonight. We realize they are very motivated team, they play for every point and they battle hard so it's going to be a good game."
For the Bruins, the contest is an opportunity to win their sixth in a row and 12th out of their previous 13 games.
"Everybody is on the same page," said British Columbia-native Danton Heinen. "Less thinking, more just playing. Playing with pace and sticking to what's made us successful."
When the B's do return home, they will have newly acquired forward Ondrej Kase waiting to join the competition for a spot in the lineup.
"It's great," said Heinen of the addition. "That's what you want, right? You want a competitive group and we know we have a bunch of guys, anybody can step in at any point and play and that's what you want. It's great to have another guy in the mix and it'll be great to have him."