NHL trade watch begins as Bruins begin road trip in Anaheim
ANAHEIM, Calif. — A few quick quacks from Ducks Country, where the sun has come out to play after a few days on IR:
■ With Toronto and Tampa Bay each putting up six-packs of goals in Thursday night wins, the Bruins (32-17-8) hope to continue their scoring ways even without leading scorer David Pastrnak (left thumb surgery, slated for reevaluation around Feb. 26).
Tuesday, in their first game of the year without No. 88, five different Bruins tallied in a 6-3 win over Chicago. That may or may not continue. Regardless, we are officially on trade watch, 10 days shy of this cycle’s Feb. 25 last call. The Bruins’ needs — second-line right wing, third-line center — are clear.
■ Ducks general manager Bob Murray, who won his first game as coach after axing Randy Carlyle, is listening to trade offers as he tries to rebuild his wounded club. Among players who could intrigue Boston: right winger Jakob Silfverberg (13-8—21 in 48 games) and second-line center Adam Henrique (10-18—28 in 57).
The Bruins have won five of their last six (5-0-1), while Anaheim has been going in the opposite direction (1-4-0, and 3-7-0 in its last 10). Before Wednesday’s 1-0 win, the Ducks had lost seven in a row (outscored, 37-8) and 19 of their previous 21.
■ The Bruins (72 points) entered the weekend 3 points shy of Toronto (75) for second place in the Atlantic, and 3 clear of wild-card holder Montreal (69). In the East, only red-hot Philadelphia (8-1-1 in its last 10 games) and Tampa Bay (7-1-2) had better runs going than Boston (6-1-3) and Toronto (7-2-1).
■ Jaroslav Halak, after allowing one goal on 36 shots in a win over Colorado, will start the first half of this SoCal back-to-back. Tuukka Rask will face the Kings Saturday. Halak (14-9-4, 2.44, .921) was to face an attack that ranks last in the league in goals per game (2.19), goals at five-on-five (87), shots per game (27.4), and home power-play success (11.6 percent).
■ Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (lower body) and call-up winger Karson Kuhlman will be scratches in Anaheim, but coach Bruce Cassidy suspected both will be in his lineup in Los Angeles. Grzelcyk, the coach said Thursday, was “very close, if not ready.” John Moore is expected to skate with third-pair partner Kevan Miller. David Backes would be a logical scratch in LA, if Kuhlman (12-13—25 in 50 games with AHL Providence) enters the lineup.
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Danton Heinen
Peter Cehlarik-David Krejci-Jake DeBrusk
Joakim Nordstrom-Trent Frederic-David Backes
Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari-Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
John Moore-Kevan Miller
■ When, where: Friday, 10 p.m., at Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.
■ TV, radio: NESN, WBZ-FM (98.5).
■ Goals: Jakob Silfverberg 13, Ryan Getzlaf 11, Ondrej Kase 11, Pontus Aberg 11.
■ Assists: Getzlaf 25, Brandon Montour 19, Adam Henrique 18.
■ Goaltending: Kevin Boyle (1-0-0, 1.20 GAA), Ryan Miller (4-2-1, 2.71 GAA).
■ Head to head: This is the second and final meeting. The Bruins won the first, 3-1, Dec. 20 in Boston.
■ Miscellany: The Ducks are 3-19 since Dec. 18 and snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 1-0 win over Vancouver Wednesday . . . Anaheim has scored the fewest goals (128) in the NHL . . . The Ducks average the fewest shots per game (27.4) and have the third-worst power play (14.6 percent).