<
>

W2W4: Bruins host Capitals, 1 ET

The Boston Bruins (37-16-5, 79 points) will host the Washington Capitals (28-23-9, 65 points) Saturday afternoon (1 p.m.) at TD Garden. Here’s what to watch for:

A LITTLE WD-40: After nearly a two-week break for the Olympics, the NHL scheduled resumed this week and the rust is evident. There will be plenty of opportunity to shake it off, as the condensed schedule in the month of March will be a lion. The Bruins will play 17 games in 31 days, including six pairs of back-to-backs. The Bruins are currently atop the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY: Boston dropped a 5-4 decision to the Buffalo Sabres in overtime Wednesday night at First Niagara Center. Bruins coach Claude Julien was pleased with the team’s offensive production, but said the defense needed to be tightened up. Prior to the break, the Bruins were 8-1-2 in their last 11 games. The Capitals defeated the Florida Panthers 5-4 Thursday night at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. The Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin registered a three-point game and now has 41 goals this season. He’s two points shy of 800 for his career.

MASKED MEN: After helping Finland win a bronze medal at the Olympics, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was given a few days off to rest and recover. He did not make the trip Wednesday to Buffalo. He’s expected to start on Saturday against the Capitals. Rask is 25-13-4 with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. Washington netminder Braden Holtby’s 30-save performance helped the Capitals to a 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers Thursday night. He’s 18-13-2, with a 2.91 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

NO McQUAID: The Bruins were hoping veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid, who has been sidelined with a leg injury since Jan. 19, would be ready to return to the lineup Saturday. However, the team’s medical staff informed Julien prior to Friday’s practice that McQuaid would not be cleared to play at all this weekend. He did not practice Friday, which means he won’t be able to play against the New York Rangers on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.