Vegas Golden Knights vs. Boston Bruins Pick & Prediction JANUARY 11th 2024

The Boston Bruins hope a day off in Las Vegas was just the tonic they’ll need to get back on track.

The Bruins will continue their four-game road trip on Thursday night when they visit the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights and former Boston coach Bruce Cassidy.

Boston began its trip with back-to-back 4-3 losses, the first in a shootout at Colorado on Monday followed 24 hours later with an overtime defeat against Arizona.

David Pastrnak was denied on two breakaways, and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark was helped off the ice with a lower-body injury on Tuesday at Arizona.

“Obviously, definitely feeling a little guilty,” said Pastrnak, who scored his 25th goal of the season. “Had two breakaways to end the game there for our team. Definitely that will haunt me tonight.”

It was the third loss in four games for the Bruins, who have won just seven times (7-4-5) over the past 16 games since a blistering 17-4-3 start.

“We’re not a team that makes excuses,” defenseman Hampus Lindholm said when asked about playing the second game of a road back-to-back. “We know every game you’ve got to find ways to come in and play. I think everyone here is professional and does that. That’s not really something we can blame on.”

Now it will be the Golden Knights’ turn to play the second game of a back-to-back that began with a 3-0 loss to the Avalanche in Denver.

Vegas has lost seven of its last nine games overall.

The Golden Knights, who began the season with a 12-game unbeaten streak (11-0-1), have lost more games than they’ve won (12-13-4) since then and trail the first-place Vancouver Canucks by six points in the Pacific Division.

Injuries have played a key role in the latest slump for the Golden Knights.

Defenseman Shea Theodore, a key member of the power play, has missed the last 21 games with an upper-body injury that required surgery, while steady two-way center William Karlsson has missed the last three games with a lower-body injury.

Goalie Adin Hill, one of the stars of the Stanley Cup run, missed his 17th game over the past 18 with a lower-body injury and was a late scratch from the starting lineup on Wednesday.

Vegas, which was shut out just twice during the entire 2022-23 season, was blanked for the fifth time in the last 26 games on Wednesday.

“It’s hard to win when you don’t score,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “This time of the year you’ve got to find ways to score goals in every possible way. I think we’ve got to as a group collectively find a way to score more goals in front of the net. That’s a big topic. Our special teams, whether it’s the power-play one night or the penalty kill the next, we’ve got to find a way to get both of them on track.”

The Golden Knights don’t have any time to dwell on their latest loss, however.

“That’s the beauty of our industry, right?” Pietrangelo said. “You’ve got to kind of take a few minutes here, digest what happened, and then get ready for (Thursday) because we have another strong opponent. … Just got to wake up and get ready.”

–Field Level Media

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