A pair of teams that have fallen into ruts both offensively and in the win column will square off Thursday night when the Boston Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes. Boston has dropped four of its last five games and the Hurricanes have lost three of four — with a lack of scoring figuring prominently in each team’s slump.
The Bruins did manage to squeeze out a point in a shootout loss at Philadelphia after erasing a two-goal, third-period deficit, but they have managed only six goals in their last four losses. “It shows character that you can come back in the third period being down 2-0,” goaltender Tuukka Rask said following Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat in Philadelphia. “So that is a positive. A point is a point and we will take it.” Conversely, Carolina blew an early two-goal lead in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at the New York Rangers. The Hurricanes have scored seven times during their 1-3-0 slide that came on the heels of a five-game winning streak.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Carolina, NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (9-9-4): Viktor Stalberg netted both goals for Carolina in the loss at Madison Square Garden to give him four in five games and six on the season — only three shy of his total in 2015-16. Forward Jordan Staal, mired in a seven-game point drought, will sit out his second straight contest with a concussion sustained in Sunday’s win over Florida. Goaltender Cam Ward has lost three straight starts, receiving four goals of support in that span.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (12-10-1): Boston is having issues on the blue line, with captain Zdeno Chara sitting out the past four games with a lower-body injury and John-Michael Liles dealing with a concussion. Defenseman Torey Krug is helping to fill the void with back-to-back two-point games, setting up both goals and playing nearly 26 minutes in Tuesday’s lost at Philadelphia. “That’s when he’s at his best, jumping on those loose pucks and making some plays,” forward David Krejci said.
1. The Hurricanes are 1-for-9 on the power play over the last four games.
2. Rask is 7-3-3 with a 1.89 goals-against average versus the Hurricanes.
3. Carolina was ranked last among NHL clubs by Forbes with a valuation of $230 million.
PREDICTION: Bruins 3, Hurricanes 2