The Washington Capitals (26-12-4) visit the Boston Bruins (25-14-4) on Thursday for a 7 p.m. puck drop at TD Garden. This is their second of three meetings, the first was on Oct. 3, 2018 where the Capitals crushed the Bruins 7-0 at Capital One Arena. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN+, New England Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington.
The Capitals are coming off 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Both Jakub Vrana and T.J. Oshie recorded a pair of goals along with Tom Wilson scoring his 13th goal of the season.
The Bruins shutout the Minnesota Wild 4-0 on Tuesday night to extend their win streak to five.
What to watch for in the Washington Capitals:
Jakub Vrana was the star for the Capitals in Tuesday’s game, recording two goals and an assist. He has proven that he is an up and coming star for the Capitals due to his performance this season. He has recorded a career best in goals this season with 14 goals in 42 games. Last season, he recorded 13 goals in 73 games played last season. He has shown to head coach Todd Reirden that he can prevail in most situations just based on his speed. His speed was shown in the second period, where he forced a turnover in their own defensive zone and drove it up ice to get a 1-on-1 situation with Mike McKenna, ending with Vrana’s first goal of the night. He is going to be a big part to the offensive play of the Capitals as the season goes on and for a while more as he is only in his second full season since getting into the NHL.
Michal Kempny is in his first full season with the Washington Capitals after coming over from the Chicago Blackhawks late into the 2017-2018 season. In only the 39 games he has played in this season, Kempny has doubled his career goals and along with almost doubling his career assists amount. He has proven to be a good acquisition for the Capitals, due to his defensive strength. He is paired with John Carlson on the first-line, who together make a lethal defensive unit.
With Copley playing Tuesday’s game, Reirden could put Braden Holtby in net for Thursday night’s game against Bruins.
What to watch for in the Boston Bruins:
David Pastrnak is projected to have his best season in his career. He leads his team in goals, with 25, as well as in points. He is currently tied for seventh for goals in the league. He has not tallied a point in two games and looks to change that Thursday night against the Capitals. In the past seven meetings that Pastrnak has played in against the Capitals, he has recorded three goals and four assists.
Left-winger Jake DeBrusk seems to be heating up for the Bruins this season. He has scored three goals in the past three games including two in their Jan. 3 meeting with the Calgary Flames. The 2017-2018 season was DeBrusk’s first season in the NHL, where he scored 16 goals and had 27 assists. This season, he is on pace to have a career high in goals, as he has 14 goals in 34 games thus far.
In net we could see Jaroslav Halak, who last played on Jan. 3 in Boston’s 6-4 victory over the Calgary Flames, leaders of the Pacific division.
Prediction: Capitals 2 – Bruins 4