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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Capitals

Boston aiming to finish regular season on a high note

by Chris Weyant @NHLBruins / BostonBruins.com

BostonBruins.com - One more regular-season game is left on the docket for the Bruins as the Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals skate into TD Garden on Saturday.

Saturday will be the third and final meeting between the Bruins and Capitals this season, with Washington won the first two contests.

Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST on NBC and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Here is what you need to know:

One More Left

Saturday's matinee against Washington will serve as a final tune-up for a Bruins team that could secure at least the No. 3 seed in the Atlantic Division with a victory. It will also serve as a measuring stick, pitting the B's against the NHL's best.

"I think tomorrow is a big game for us," said Frank Vatrano. "We're trying to move up in the standings and we're playing for home ice in the playoffs."

The Capitals have nothing to play for in terms of playoff positioning, as they already hold the top spot in the east and home ice throughout the entire playoffs. Even though there seems like there nothing to play for, the Bruins know that Washington will want to end their season on a high note.

"I think that everybody is playing for something," said Zdeno Chara. "I don't think you're going to find a team that is going to go into the last few games without trying to establish their game before the playoffs."

Video: Torey Krug out for regular season finale with injury

Boston's two matchups against Washington haven't been pleasant, although most teams playing the Caps this season have had similar experiences.

"They have obviously proven that they have a very strong team throughout the whole regular season," Chara added. "We have to really focus on how we want to play and how we want to finish off."

Unfortunately, the Bruins will be without Torey Krug (lower body) and Noel Acciari (upper body) for Saturday's game. Interim Head Coach Bruce Cassidy deemed both to be "day-to-day."

On the plus side, reinforcements could be in short order. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson's immigration issues have been resolved, making him a potential option among the forward group. Frank Vatrano will play in his second game back from injury, while Tim Schaller and Jimmy Hayes are also nearing their return from injury.

Cassidy confirmed that Anton Khudobin will be between the pipes for their regular season finale.

Opposing View: Washington Capitals

The Capitals (54-18-8, 116 points) have been the elite team in the NHL all season long, now bolstered with their trade deadline addition of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

Brett Connolly and defenseman John Carlson are the only players not traveling to Boston.

A battle to take note of will be that of the Caps power play, which is clicking at a 23.6% rate (good for 3rd in the NHL), against Boston's league-leading penalty kill (85.4%).

Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin fuels their power play. He has 68 points on the season (33 goals and 35 assists), with 26 of those points coming on the man advantage.

Despite Ovechkin's great season, No. 8 has been overshadowed by Swedish superstar Nicklas Backstrom, whose 85 points on the season (23 goals and 62 assists) are good for a tie of fourth place in the NHL alongside Brad Marchand.

It's yet to be determined who will be in net for the Capitals come Saturday, but their No. 1 goaltender has had his way with Boston in the past. Brayden Holtby is 11-2-0 in 13 games against Boston with a goals against average of 1.80 and a save percentage of .945.

Washington ranks 2nd in the NHL in goals for (3.23 goals per game) and 1st in the NHL in goals allowed (2.18 goals per game).

Wait, There's More

  • Tuukka Rask is 4-0-1 in his last five games with a 0.79 goals against average, a .970 save percentage, and two shutouts.
  • Saturday's matchup will be the 154th all-time meeting between the Bruins and the Senators. The Bruins hold a 76-46-21-10 record advantage against Washington.
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