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Preview: Boston Bruins @ Dallas Stars (11:30am CST)

It’s national television today for the Stars on NBC. In the morning.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins are in an interesting place. Search the internet and you'll find articles and blog postings on subject matter ranging from why they should do nothing at the deadline, who they should acquire to make a push, and who they should sell as a window for their franchise pretty much closes.

Are they coming or going? They occupy a playoff spot today- Tied in points with the Islanders just below them. Two points ahead of the Panthers. Five ahead of Philly. It's a dense race in the East's really weird playoff situation thanks to the Metropolitan's dominance.

And in the middle of all that- With a good shot at making the playoffs, they fire their head coach. A subject that's been mentioned in passing around here a time or two.

On February 8th Boston GM Don Sweeney told media “I had come to a conclusion that in moving this group forward with an eye toward the plans that have been put in place, that I wasn’t willing to commit to a longer term basis with Claude."

One wonders if Jerry Jones consulted on that meandering, circuitous explanation. Anyway..

It is an interesting mirror in which to peer for the Stars' fan-base. One could imagine Jim Nill espousing similar sentiments about Lindy Ruff the way the local media openly concedes that a change is likely- Yet they will not make a change mid-season where the Bruins did.

It's not apples-to-apples, however. The Bruins have been disappointed with their season but they actually spend their days flitting in and out of that second Wildcard playoff spot in the East. They've got a good shot at it- There's the contrast.

New coach. Uncertainty at the deadline (Sweeney says they'll likely be pretty quiet). A close race for points. It's an emotional time in the NHL and the Bruins do not lack for motivation heading into this one.

Friday night they got pretty much dominated by the Kings and managed to win 4-1. Because hockey.

Boston attempted just 48 shots in the contest, nursing a 2-1 lead through the final two periods while generating basically no attack at all, according to the Corsi graphs. They added two empty-net goals in the game's final 62 seconds, perverting the scoreboard, but by all accounts barely survived.

Backup netminder Anton Khudobin stopped 27 of 28 in the win, their fifth in their last six outings as they've gone streaking a bit since the coaching change, including wins over San Jose and Vancouver.

Their lineup:

  • Marchand-Bergeron-Backes
  • Cehlarik-Krejci-Pastrnak
  • Vatrano-Spooner-Hayes
  • Beleskey-Moore-Nash

—-

  • Chara-Carlo
  • Krug-McQuaid
  • (Kevan) Miller-(Colin) Miller

From Stars PR:

THE SECRET LIFE OF B'S

The Boston Bruins travel to Dallas to face the Stars on Sunday morning at American Airlines Center. The contest, which will be televised nationally on NBC, is the first of two games between the clubs during the 2016-17 campaign. The Stars went 1-1-0 last season against the Bruins, and are looking to snap a three-game home losing streak (0-3-0) to Boston. In the lone meeting last season in Dallas, the Bruins defeated the Stars, 7-3, on Feb. 20, 2016 at American Airlines Center. Forward Antoine Roussel notched two points (1-1=2), with forwards Patrick Sharp (1-0=1) and Ales Hemsky (1-0=1) each lighting the lamp for Dallas. The Stars defeated the Bruins, 5-3, on Nov. 3, 2015 in the first game of the 2015-16 season series at TD Garden. Forward Tyler Seguin notched a hat trick (3-0=3) and three other Stars skaters recorded multi-point games including captain Jamie Benn (0-2=2), forward Jason Spezza (0-2=2) and defenseman John Klingberg (0-2=2). In two games last season against the Bruins, Tyler Seguin (3-0=3) and Jamie Benn (0-3=3) shared the team-lead with three points.

THE BEST THERE'S EVER BENN

Captain Jamie Benn recorded the game-winning goal and an assist (1-1=2) against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night for his 14th multi-point game of the 2016-17 campaign. Benn has points in six of his last seven games (5-5=10) and has recorded 22 points (11-11=22) in 19 games since returning to the lineup on Jan. 12 after missing four games due to an upper body injury. The captain ranks second on the Stars and shares 10th in the NHL with 56 points (21-35=56) in 57 games this season. Benn has reached the 20-goal plateau for the seventh time in his eight NHL seasons and since entering the League in 2009-10, he is one of 10 players to have potted 20 goals seven-or-more times over that span. Among club leaders, he ranks first on the team in game-winning goals (4) and takeaways (38), along with ranking sixth on the club in hits (73). Benn is riding a 10-game point streak at American Airlines Center (7-7=14), which is tied for the longest active point streak on home ice in the NHL (other: Nicklas Backstrom, 10 games). He has points in 13 of his last 14 games in Dallas (7-12=19) and shares fourth in the NHL with 34 points (12-22=34) in 31 games on home ice this season. The native of Victoria, B.C. is riding a three-game point streak vs. Boston (2-3=5). Benn inked the scoresheet in six of his last seven games (4-5=9) against them, with all nine of his career points vs. the Bruins coming over that span. At American Airlines Center, the captain has points in two of his last three games against Boston (1-3=4).