Dallas Stars vs. Boston Bruins Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 6th 2023

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The Dallas Stars host the Boston Bruins in a Monday night clash of early-season NHL heavyweights who are looking to shake off tough weekend losses.

Boston let an early 2-0 lead slip away for the second straight game and later surrendered three third-period goals in Saturday’s 5-4 loss at Detroit, its first regulation setback of the season.

“If you want to be a playoff team, you have to be good down the stretch and find a way to regroup,” captain Brad Marchand said. “… It’s always been a motto of our group.”

Now 9-1-1, the Bruins did not have defensemen Charlie McAvoy (who is appealing a four-game suspension for an illegal check to the head), Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort available to begin their two-game road trip.

Instead, the back line featured 22-year-old Mason Lohrei playing only his second NHL game, as well as Parker Wotherspoon and Ian Mitchell, who have 14 and 86 games under their belts, respectively.

“You know, we’re a young team,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “We’ve got a lot of guys playing different minutes, right? Those minutes add up. We’ve just got to get used to it. I think we’re going to see more of this than what we saw last year just because of our group.”

Montgomery believed his team gave up too many high-danger chances, forcing Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Linus Ullmark to make 35 saves for the second consecutive game.

The Bruins have followed an exact goalie rotation all season. Jeremy Swayman, who is 5-0-0 with a sparking 1.38 goals-against average, is in line to make Monday’s start.

“What I like about (Swayman’s) game is it’s maturing as far as game management,” Montgomery said. “How well he handles pucks behind his net. He made real good decisions with the puck (last Thursday against Toronto).”

Despite Saturday’s loss, rookie center Matthew Poitras continued his strong start, matching James van Riemsdyk and David Pastrnak with a goal and an assist.

Pavel Zacha is on a six-game point streak, scoring four goals in that span.

Dallas is 7-2-1 and had won three straight before falling 2-0 Saturday at Vancouver. The Stars have been limited to one and zero goals in their two regulation losses.

“I think it was one of those nights where whoever gets that first goal, it’s a big advantage,” Dallas coach Peter DeBoer said. “It looked, right from the start, like neither goalie was going to give up a whole lot.”

The Stars’ Jake Oettinger (26 saves) was dealt his first loss after a 5-0-1 start, though he still entered Sunday tied for sixth in the league with a .938 save percentage.

Center Matt Duchene, who was on a five-game point streak, left the game after taking a hit from Vancouver defenseman Ian Cole in the second period.

While there was no official update on Duchene’s status following Saturday’s game, DeBoer said it was understood that “he (was) doing pretty good.”

The top line of Roope Hintz, Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson has factored into the Stars’ early success in a major way, though there is believed to be more to give.

The three are among the team’s top four in points, along with Jamie Benn.

“It’s coming,” Pavelski said following Thursday’s 4-3 win at Edmonton. “There’s been times where it could be a little better from a line, and what we expect of each other.”

Hintz has a team-leading five goals and 11 points in nine games.

The Bruins have swept two of the last three head-to-head season series with Dallas, including last season.

–Field Level Media

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