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Thursday, March 6, 2014
W2W4: Bruins host Capitals, 7

By Joe McDonald

The Boston Bruins (39-17-5, 83 points) host the Washington Capitals (29-24-10, 68 points) Thursday night at TD Garden. Here’s what to watch for:

YOU AGAIN: It’s the second time in less than a week that the Bruins will face the Capitals. Washington defeated Boston 4-2 last Saturday at TD Garden. The Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of goals, including his 800th career point en route to victory. Thursday is the second of three regular-season meetings between these clubs. Ovechkin has five goals and four assists in the last six games.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY: Since suffering that loss to the Capitals, the Bruins have won two straight, beating the New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers. Boston is 5-1-2 in its last eight games, and 10-2-3 in the last 15. The Bruins are 24-7-2 on home ice, and have a 12-5-0 record against Metropolitan Division opponents. Washington has lost two in a row, dropping a pair of games to the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-4 (OT) and 6-4. The Capitals are 12-14-5 on the road this season.

MASKED MEN: Tuukka Rask will start for the Bruins, his 46th game of the season, which will be a new single-season career-high. He’s 5-3-2 in his last 10 starts. Overall, Rask is 26-14-4 with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. He also has five shutouts in 45 games. Capitals goaltender Bradne Holtby, who started Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and was pulled from the game after allowing four goals on 18 shots, gets the nod against the Bruins. He has a 4-0-0 regular-season record against the Bruins. Overall, Holtby is 19-13-3 with a 3.01 GAA and a .909 SP.

SPECIAL TEAMS: The Capitals enter Thursday’s game with the second-ranked power play in the league. Washington is 8-for-14 on the PP in its last four road games. The Bruins are ranked 13th on the penalty kill and will need to stay out of the box against Washington.