Boston set to face-off against Colorado

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Boston set to face-off against Colorado

Boston Bruins Logo vis Wikipedia

Boston Bruins Logo vis Wikipedia

Boston Bruins Logo vis Wikipedia

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After a tough road trip the Boston Bruins (7-6-1) will face the Colorado Avalanche (4-9-1) at TD Garden on Thursday night. The matchup will be the second and last time the two teams will meet during the 2015-16 regular season.

The Bruins were 0-3 prior to their first matchup versus the Avalanche. The team was looking to avoid dropping four games straight.

During the first match up, the Bruins were able to shut down the Avalanche offense as goalie Semyon Varlamov was pulled after allowing five goals in the 19 shots he faced during the first two periods of the game.

The Bruins have been taking too many penalties as of late. Currently they are the worst team in penalties in the league currently.

Matt Duchene is starting to find his game and Nathan MacKinnon is coming in hot, along with Landeskog- forming a deadly line. However, lines could very well change prior to Thursday as Avalanche coach Patrick Roy and Bruins coach Claude Julien have shaken up their lines recently, hoping to spark chemistry — old and new — and production.

MacKinnon is currently on a three-game point streak. He leads the Avalanche with 15 points, which is good enough for 14 most points in the NHL. MacKinnon six goals and nine assist on the season thus far. Three of his six goals were game-winning goals. Look for MacKinnon to be a net front presence on Thursday.

Players to watch on the Bruins include Colin Miller and Frank Vatrano. Miller is coming off of a six-game point streak as he tallied five assists and scored his first NHL career goal against the Dallas Stars last Tuesday night.

Vatrano was recalled from the Bruins AHL affiliate Providence Bruins on Friday afternoon. Vatrano finished October with a total of 12 points, scoring 10 goals and tallying two assists for Providence. He appeared in his NHL career debut on Saturday night against the Canadiens and topped off his night with a goal.

The Bruins lead the league at 33.3 percent on their power play. Of the 48 opportunities they had been given, the Bruins capitalized on 16 of them. They have allowed just as much in their penalty kills as they have in opposing goals. They are ranked dead last in the NHL, so the Bruins need to stay out of the penalty box. The Bruins serving penalties late in the last two games have proven to be difference makers and cost them their road games against the Capitals and Canadians. The Avalanche is 18.5 percent on the power play. They have had the most power play opportunities (59) in the league and they also have the one of the strongest penalty kills at 81.6 percent.

This is a huge opportunity for the Bruins to move up to second in the Atlantic Division.  They will need to score early and often. The defense will need to play physical in order for the Bruins to be successful.  If the Bruins continue to play the way they have, then they will put up a great fight on Thursday.

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