WASHINGTON, DC–On Thursday afternoon, the Boston Bruins will have an opportunity to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Washington Capitals with a win in game four of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series. After a bit of late-game heroics lead the B’s to a 4-3 victory on Monday evening the team will look to secure a Verizon Center sweep and earn the chance to complete the series on Saturday in Boston.
X-Factor: Through three games this postseason the Bruins’ first two offensive units have produced a grand total of one goal. While the contributions from the bottom-six have been an invaluable asset to the B’s early success in these playoffs, they must see improved production from both the David Krejci line and the Patrice Bergeron line if they are to finish off the Caps in this series. Bergeron was quick to praise the recent play of Boston’s third and fourth lines during an interview following Thursday’s morning skate in Washington.
“They’ve been great all year. They give us some scoring. Depth this time of year is very important and right now it shows. It’s about every line doing their job.” – Patrice Bergeron
Series: Boston Leads 2-1
Location: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
Time: 7:30 P.M. (EST)
Tonight’s Lineup (Subject To Change):
Scratches– ….. Mike Mottau, Jordan Caron
Nathan Horton (Concussion) – Boston’s top right winger was officially ruled out of the 2012 Playoffs by General Manager Peter Chiarelli during a press conference last Wednesday morning.
Tuukka Rask (Groin) — The B’s back up goaltender has been practicing with the team, but head coach Claude Julien did confirm to us this morning that no. 40 isn’t quite ready to return to action.
Adam McQuaid (Upper Body) — In what’s become one of the more unpredictable injuries of the season, Boston’s dependable blueliner will be forced to sit out again on Thursday after not making the voyage south to DC.
Opposing Goaltender: Braden Holtby (3 GP/2.00 GAA)
Prediction: Despite the suspension to Nicklas Backstrom, I believe that the Capitals will still find a way to pull out a game four victory. In sports it is often times the more desperate team that wins the game, and I think that old adage will hold true once again on Thursday at the Verizon Center. However, if the B’s are able to get off to a hot start and take the crowd out of the game, it’s entirely possible that we could be heading back to Boston with the Bruins holding a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Bruins 4 , Capitals 5
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.