Boston Bruins vs. Dallas Stars Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 19th 2024

The Boston Bruins look to salvage what largely has been a forgettable homestand when they host the Dallas Stars on Monday afternoon.

Boston has dropped from the top spot in the Eastern Conference after losing four straight (0-2-2) and going just 1-3-2 over the first six contests of the seven-game homestand.

A win against the Stars, who have the second-most points in the Western Conference, will send the Bruins out for a four-game road trip on the right note.

In order to do that, however, Boston will have to get over Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings. The Bruins squandered a two-goal lead and yielded the tying tally with 1:35 remaining in regulation.

“We added to our problems (on Saturday). We had breakdowns that shouldn’t be happening within our structure, and then also just game management,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “You’ve got to close out a game, you’re up twice in the third period and we don’t close it out, and then in the overtime, our power play has got to put it away — we didn’t.”

The homestand began on Feb. 6 with a 4-1 setback to the Calgary Flames before Linus Ullmark responded with a shutout of the Vancouver Canucks two nights later.

While the current skid has followed, the Bruins have lost two of their last three in a shootout and overtime. Forward James van Riemsdyk, who had two goals and an assist against the Kings, hopes that turning the corner will come soon.

“We’ve got to continue to try to string together some good hockey and stick with our process,” van Riemsdyk said. “So, we know that’s when we’re most successful, and (Saturday) was obviously a hard-fought game. … Obviously, some things didn’t go our way out there, too, but I think we’re right on the cusp of turning it the other way.”

Bruins forward Jakub Lauko is questionable for Monday’s game due to an upper-body injury.

Dallas is 8-1-2 in its last 11 games and has points in four straight (3-0-1).

The Stars’ recent story, though, has been a shortened lineup on the back end with defensemen Jani Hakanpaa (upper body) and Nils Lundkvist (concussion) injured. A recall from the American Hockey League could be in line for Dallas.

“We have played two games in a row now with five defensemen for extended periods,” Stars coach Pete DeBoer said. “That is taxing on your group, especially with the schedule we have coming up here. Those guys, particularly, have to get rested up and ready to go. We have a lot of hockey in the next two weeks.”

Given the busy slate, playing smart is key.

Monday marks the start of both a four-game road trip and a back-to-back for Dallas, which will be in New York to face the Rangers on Tuesday.

“It’s (about) making sure you are conserving some energy and making sure you are still defending well, and then just picking your spots up the ice,” defenseman Thomas Harley said.

Matt Duchene collected one goal and two assists in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, moving within one point of 800 for his career. He has registered four consecutive multi-point performances.

The Stars also received a goal and an assist from Mason Marchment and Harley. Marchment is riding a nine-game point streak (four goals, nine assists).

–Field Level Media

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