The Boston Bruins are looking to overcome the stinging burn of a last-second heartbreak in their last contest while the Columbus Blue Jackets had won six of eight before hitting a sour note against the red-hot St. Louis Blues. The Bruins hit the road for their lone contest away from TD Garden in an eight-game stretch on Monday when they visit Nationwide Arena to face the Blue Jackets.
“It’s something that happens once in a blue moon. Tough way to lose,” Boston forward Brad Marchand told reporters after Tyler Toffoli scored as time expired in overtime of a 2-1 setback to Los Angeles on Saturday. Marchand netted his team-leading seventh goal versus the Kings to record his 11th point (six goals, five assists) over his last seven games overall and erupted for two tallies and three assists in three encounters with Columbus last season. Another slow start plagued the Blue Jackets on Saturday before Matt Calvert scored in the third period of a 4-1 setback to St. Louis. “We’ve got to find a way to get prepared, and everybody gets prepared in different ways,” veteran center Brandon Dubinsky told reporters. “Guys (have) got to maybe find a way to change it up and figure it out, but we’ve got to find a way to come to work on time.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, NESN (Boston), FSN Ohio (Columbus)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (4-3-2): Promising defenseman Charlie McAvoy lamented a pair of point-blank opportunities on odd-man rushes to end Saturday’s game before Toffoli broke Boston’s heart. “When you get chances like that, you have to score. I have to find a way to put those in there,” the 19-year-old McAvoy told reporters. “Marchy (Marchand) makes two great plays there, two point-blank chances, I gotta score.” The Bruins’ need for an offense jolt is underscored due to the absence of forward David Krejci (upper body), who is “highly likely” to be out Monday, according to coach Bruce Cassidy.
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (7-4-0): While the team collectively may have sleepwalked through parts of the last two games, Columbus’ penalty kill has been alert as can be by thwarting 15 straight short-handed opportunities and all 16 on home ice to start the season. The Blue Jackets killed off all seven short-handed situations last season versus Boston, but the Bruins erupted for 14 goals to win two of the three encounters. Two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky surrendered 12 of them, and owns a 1-4-2 mark with a 3.36 goals-against average in eight career appearances versus Boston.
1. Columbus F Cam Atkinson, the team’s 2016-17 leading scorer with a career-high 62 points, is questionable to play Monday after sustaining an apparent lower-body injury versus St. Louis.
2. Bruins C Patrice Bergeron has been held off the scoresheet in each of his last three games since erupting for one goal and three assists in his season debut versus Vancouver on Oct. 19.
3. Blue Jackets LW Artemi Panarin (team-leading nine assists, 10 points) has collected two goals and three assists in four meetings with Boston.
PREDICTION: Blue Jackets 3, Bruins 1