Daily Primer Feb. 4: Bruins set to host CanucksNHL.com @NHLdotcom
The Vancouver Canucks admittedly need some type of spark. Perhaps a game against the Boston Bruins will do the trick.
The combatants from the 2011 Stanley Cup Final meet for the third time since then, the second time this season, at TD Garden on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, SNET-P, NESN).
"There's still guys that were big parts of that Final that are still on the same team," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said, according to the Milford (Mass.) Daily News. "I think that's what makes this rivalry continue."
The return Monday of coach John Tortorella and captain Henrik Sedin from suspension and injury, respectively, did little to change the Canucks' recent fortunes. They lost their fourth in a row, 2-0, at the Detroit Red Wings, managing three shots in the third period of what was a one-goal game until an empty-netter.
Vancouver defeated Boston 6-2 on Dec. 14. Since then, the Canucks, at the time 20-10-5, have gone 7-11-4.
Here is a look at all the games Tuesday:
Vancouver Canucks at Boston Bruins – Boston is 6-1-1 in its past eight games, scoring 32 goals in that span. If it's not one line, it's another. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith had 35 points combined in January; Lucic, Jarome Iginla and David Krejci had 26. Vancouver used Eddie Lack in goal against Detroit, so Roberto Luongo could be in net; he was pulled twice in three Final games at Boston and has not played there since.
Colorado Avalanche at New York Rangers – Colorado has won four in a row after defeating the New Jersey Devils 2-1 in overtime on Monday, scoring with less than two minutes to go in regulation (PA Parenteau) then 28 seconds into overtime (Ryan O'Reilly). Semyon Varlamov, who has one regulation loss since Dec. 12 (15-1-5), will be in goal. New York, off since Friday, is seeking its fourth straight win.
Winnipeg Jets at Carolina Hurricanes – Paul Maurice has won eight out of 10 as Jets coach, including 2-1 Sunday afternoon at the Montreal Canadiens. He returns to face the team he coached from 1997-2004 and again from 2008-12. Carolina won 10 games in January, all by goalie Anton Khudobin, who was named the NHL's First Star of the Month. He had 16 NHL wins prior to that. The teams each have 59 points in the standings.
Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens – Calgary enters on a five-game winning streak; Montreal is 2-5-1 in its past eight. The Flames lost goalie Karri Ramo to a knee injury during a 4-3 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, meaning Reto Berra will start. The Canadiens managed two goals in two games over Super Bowl Weekend and since Jan. 22 have scored one or zero five times.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida Panthers – After starting 2014 with one win in five games, Toronto has 21 out of a possible 24 points (10-1-1). Forward Phil Kessel has 23 points in those 12 games and was Second Star for January. Florida's leading scorer, Brad Boyes, has 26 points the entire season.
New York Islanders at Washington Capitals – Washington had 10 forwards at practice Monday, but Eric Fehr (lower body) is expected to give the Capitals 11 for this game. Defenseman Mike Green is dealing with concussion symptoms and did not play Sunday in a 6-5 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings. The Islanders climbed to the edge of contention in the Eastern Conference with wins in seven of nine, but have drifted backward with a five-game winless streak.
Ottawa Senators at St. Louis Blues – Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson made 46 saves against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, but the two he did not stop were enough to cause a 2-1 overtime loss. St. Louis, since losing three out of four, has won four out of five, but has scored 12 goals in that span.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Minnesota Wild – Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos won't play in this game, but he is targeting a return Saturday. The Lightning survived quite well without him until a recent 5-4-1 stretch caused them to fall four points behind the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division. Zach Parise's return to the Minnesota lineup has helped it go 2-1-2 since he's been back.
Dallas Stars at Phoenix Coyotes – This is the first of two games in five days between teams separated by three points in the Western Conference (62-59). Each is coming off a win against an upper-echelon team Saturday: Phoenix 3-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas 2-0 against the Anaheim Ducks.