The Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights will complete their home-and-home season series within a six-day span on Sunday night.
In Vegas, Boston looks for payback against former coach Bruce Cassidy’s squad after its NHL-record season-opening home win streak was snapped at 14 with last Monday’s 4-3 shootout loss.
The Bruins, who have suffered all four of their regulation losses on the road, also had a 19-game win streak against Arizona snapped with their most recent result — a 4-3 Friday setback in Tempe.
A questioned no-icing call led directly to Lawson Crouse’s winning goal with 14 seconds left in regulation. Nick Foligno had evened the score for Boston with 5:29 to play.
“It’s going to happen during the year when you lose games — we’ve won a couple where the puck bounced our way, (but Friday) it didn’t bounce our way,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “I love the fact that we keep playing no matter what happens.”
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating night for Boston, which had a 46-16 edge in shots on goal.
Jeremy Swayman did not come through with the big save on a night he was rarely tested. He made just 12 stops, and Boston had a five-game point streak snapped.
“I wanted to make sure I was keeping it one shot at a time and making saves when I needed to, and I was one save short,” Swayman said. “I want to fix that and move on.”
Like they have all season, the Bruins will move forward. They have not gone without points in consecutive games.
Should Linus Ullmark (league-best 15-1-0) start, he will look to build upon his 23-save shutout in Wednesday’s 4-0 win at Colorado.
The Bruins also kept playing through the last meeting with Vegas, tying the game with three straight goals after facing a 3-0 deficit in the first period.
“We got beat through the middle of the ice too often (Monday),” Montgomery said. “That usually doesn’t happen to us.”
Vegas had lost three straight at home before nabbing a 2-1 overtime win Friday over Philadelphia.
Jonathan Marchessault lit the lamp 3:21 into Friday’s overtime, extending his goal scoring streak to a career-high four games.
“It was that type of game that someone had to (make a play),” Cassidy said. “You play the right way. You keep playing. Now you get your chance at what you’re better at, an open space type of shot. That’s how we won. Guys make special plays.”
William Carrier matched his career high with his ninth goal, which came on a deflection off Philadelphia goalie Carter Hart’s chest.
“It’s not always those pretty goals, two-on-ones and stuff,” Carrier said. “A lot of these goals are just scrambles and you got to be around.”
Vegas had not won at home since Nov. 23.
Forward Jack Eichel returned after missing two games — including Monday’s in his home state of Massachusetts — with a lower-body injury, but defenseman Shea Theodore left after colliding shins during Friday’s overtime and did not practice the following day.
“He’s feeling better (after the game) than what it looked like,” Cassidy said.
While the Bruins and Golden Knights will not meet in the regular season after Sunday, early-season results proved that a Stanley Cup Final rematch in June is certainly possible.
“I would like to be (back in Boston) in the spring,” said Cassidy, who coached the Bruins for the previous six seasons. “Wouldn’t that be nice, eh?”
–Field Level Media