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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Blue Jackets

Teams to meet for second time this season

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - The Bruins will be back in Boston for a brief one-game stay at TD Garden Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

It will be the second of three meetings between the teams this season. Boston defeated Columbus, 6-3, on Opening Night. David Pastrnak, David Backes, and Brad Marchand each scored two goals in the win.

Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Here is everything you need to know:

What to Watch For

The Bruins (7-6-0, 14 points) have won four of their last six games and left Montreal on Tuesday night feeling good about the direction in which their overall play is headed, despite a 3-2 loss at the hands of the rival Canadiens.

Boston took the NHL's best team to the wire at Bell Centre while playing the second end of a back-to-back. That effort has them in a good place as they prepare for Thursday night's tilt with the Blue Jackets.

"It's tough, but we have a game Thursday at home," said David Pastrnak, who tallied his team-leading ninth goal of the season Tuesday night. "We have to shake it off and get back to the Garden and play well."

Opposing View

The Blue Jackets made headlines last week with a 10-0 lashing of Montreal, before falling to St. Louis in overtime the following night. Thursday's matchup with the Bruins will be their second game in as many nights after taking down the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2, in overtime Wednesday night.

Entering the tilt with the Ducks, Columbus (now 6-3-2) had garnered points in seven of its first 10 games. The 12 points over the season's first 10 games was tied for the second-best start in team history, 1 point shy of the team record set in 2007-08. The Blue Jackets sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division, 8 points behind first-place Pittsburgh.

Rookie defenseman Zach Werenski notched the winner in OT against Anaheim and leads all first-year defensemen with 11 points (three goals, eight assists). Alexander Wennberg leads the team with 13 points and is tied for the league lead with 12 assists (a league-high eight have come on the power play), one behind Edmonton's Connor McDavid.

Their plus-12 goal differential - helped, no doubt, by their big win over Montreal - is the third-best mark in the Eastern Conference, while their 3.18 goals per game is fifth.

Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who started Wednesday night against Columbus, is second in the NHL in shutouts (three), fifth in goals against average (1.81), and fourth in save percentage (.946).

Columbus is without star defenseman Seth Jones, who will be sidelined for three weeks with a fracture in his foot.

Wait, There's More

  • Pastrnak continues to emerge in his third season in the league. With his ninth goal of the season - and nearly his 10th if not for an unfriendly post in the final minutes - against Montreal, the 20-year-old now sits second in the league in goals behind Patrik Laine, who has 11. "It's been like that since the start of the year," said Julien. "He's really thriving so far this year and it's been great to see that. We need that from a young player who's been getting better every year."
  • Boston's power play has now scored four goals over its last two games after scoring just three over the season's first 11 contests, moving the Bruins from 29th in the league to 23rd (14.6%).
  • Tonight is Military Appreciation Night and the Bruins will wear camouflage jerseys during warmups to mark the occasion. Learn more here.
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