Dallas at Boston
When: 7:30 PM
ET, Thursday, March 30, 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Bruins are clinging to the second wild card in the Eastern Conference but also would like to inch up one notch in the Atlantic Division standings as they prepare to host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. The Bruins trail third-place Toronto by one point in the division but the Maple Leafs have a game in hand.
The reward for overtaking Toronto would be huge -- it would allow Boston to avoid potential postseason matchups against the iron of the Metropolitan Division, which features three teams with at least 103 points. The Bruins also have three teams within four points of them -- and all have one game in hand -- with six contests left in the regular season. With the Stars eliminated from postseason contention, the most noteworthy aspect of Dallas' visit is the return of leading scorer Tyler Seguin, the former No. 2 overall draft pick who was traded to the Stars in 2013 after three seasons in Boston. The away team has won seven consecutive meetings in the series, including the Bruins' 6-3 victory at Dallas on Feb. 26.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVAS
ABOUT THE STARS (31-34-11): While tied for the team lead with 25 goals, Seguin is having his least productive season in Dallas -- he tallied 37 times in each of his first two campaigns and 33 in 2015-16. Seguin scored one goal and set up another in last month's loss against the Bruins, boosting his career totals against them to four goals and seven points in seven games. Coach Lindy Ruff said netminder Kari Lehtonen "might have hit the wall" Tuesday, which could give Antti Niemi a start.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (40-30-6): Rookie Noel Acciari reached a long-awaited milestone in Tuesday's 4-1 win over Nashville, scoring his first NHL goal in his 43rd career game. Acciari is playing on a fourth line that has been surprisingly effective with four goals and 10 points in the last five games while continuing to provide a physical presence. “I would hate to be playing against him. He’s like a bull out there,” linemate Riley Nash said after Acciari doled out a game-high eight hits on Tuesday.
1. Bruins G Tuukka Rask, who halted a four-start skid Tuesday, is 4-2-1 with a 2.69 goals-against average versus Dallas.
2. Stars D John Klingberg has five points in as many games versus Boston, including two assists in last month's loss.
3. Bruins F Brad Marchand is stuck on a career high-tying 37 goals, but has five tallies and 11 points in eight games against the Stars.
PREDICTION: Bruins 4, Stars 3
Stats and Records