Vancouver Canucks vs. Boston Bruins Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 24th 2024

Just over two weeks after meeting for the first time this season, the Boston Bruins conclude the Canadian portion of their four-game Pacific Division road trip with a Saturday night visit to the Vancouver Canucks.

Boston has gone seven straight without winning in regulation (2-2-3) and Vancouver is looking to snap a four-game losing streak, but the teams remain tied atop the overall NHL standings entering Saturday’s slate.

The Bruins, who shut out Vancouver 4-0 in their Feb. 8 meeting in Boston, have gained points in four consecutive games with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

“That’s hockey. It’s an inch or two there and it’s a different story and we’re feeling great about our game,” Bruins forward Charlie Coyle said. “It stings a little bit when you don’t capitalize and get two points, but we worked our way and some things we can definitely look at and build on.”

Coyle scored both Boston goals in Calgary, including the tally at 2:33 of the third period that forced overtime. It was his fourth multi-goal game of the season.

The Bruins are in the midst of their third string of four straight games requiring extra time this season.

Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk did not play on Thursday and is being considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury. As a result, Ian Mitchell was recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League.

Fourth-line forward Anthony Richard has been productive since his recall. He has played in seven games, recording points in three of the last four.

“I think we are seeing his confidence,” coach Jim Montgomery said. “Like the way he competed (Wednesday night in Edmonton) and the way he found his game here after a slow start. That’s the kind of maturation you want to see in a player’s development.”

Saturday marks Vancouver’s return from a winless three-game road trip, which concluded on Thursday with a 5-2 loss in Seattle.

The Canucks, who are in a 1-for-28 stretch on the power play, had not lost three straight games all season before the current skid.

“We’re going to go through this. It’s not going to be a perfect season,” goaltender Thatcher Demko said. “This is the first bit of adversity that we’ve faced, so I’m sure it’s fun to write that we’re struggling or whatever, but it’s part of the game. We’re learning from it.”

Coach Rick Tocchet admitted that his team is “in trouble” if it continues to give such a lackluster effort against hungry opponents as the playoff chase continues.

“Not much compete from the guys and that’s on me,” Tocchet said. “I take the blame for that. I’ll take the heat on this one. We had a lot of no-shows tonight. We have to play smarter and compete. They came up with loose pucks and we didn’t. There’s nothing to really analyze.”

Despite Vancouver’s recent struggles, J.T. Miller has still managed a three-game goal scoring streak. He has five goals and one assist within that span.

Miller had rookie Arshdeep Bains and Brock Boeser on his line on Thursday. Bains was playing just his second NHL regular-season game.

–Field Level Media

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