Dennis Wideman has been a very solid addition to the Boston Bruins’ defense since he was acquired from the St. Louis Blues nearly one year ago. Brad Boyes, however, has developed into one of the league’s top goal scorers.
Boyes faces his former team for the first time since the trade as the Blues look to build on arguably their most impressive win of the season on Saturday afternoon at TD Banknorth Garden.
In an effort to improve one of the league’s worst defenses, Boston acquired Wideman from St. Louis on Feb. 27 in exchange for Boyes.
After totaling 26 goals and 69 points as a rookie with the Bruins in 2005-06, Boyes, who made his NHL debut with San Jose on March 7, 2004, slumped to 13 goals and 21 assists in 62 games with Boston last season before the deal.
Boyes only scored four goals in 19 games after joining the Blues, but has taken his game to a new level in 2007-08. He leads the team with 20 goals, one of only eight players with that many heading into play Friday.
Boyes has five goals in his last six games, scoring one in each of his last two contests.
He scored the first goal of the game and Lee Stempniak converted on a power play with 5:58 remaining as St. Louis ended league-leading Detroit’s 12-game point streak with a 3-2 victory Thursday.
“That’s the best team in the league,” said Legace, a former Red Wing. “They’re the most talented and their work ethic is second to none. That’s where you got to set your standards. I thought we had a full solid 60 minutes all the way through.”
While Tkachuk’s goal was his first in 16 games, Stempniak continued his consistent production with his ninth point in nine contests. Andy McDonald set up two scores, giving him one goal and three assists in his first two games with the Blues since coming over in a trade with Anaheim.
Wideman’s power-play goal with 2:55 left in regulation helped complete a four-goal comeback as the Bruins salvaged a point in a 5-4 shootout loss Thursday to visiting Pittsburgh.
The Bruins, 1-2-1 on a five-game homestand, remained the only team not to lose consecutive games in regulation this season.
“We were heading toward embarrassment there for a while but you have to give the guys credit for bouncing back and earning a point,” coach Claude Julien said.
Tim Thomas stopped 25 of 29 shots through overtime in his return after missing seven games with a groin strain.
With Thomas sidelined, the Bruins acquired Alex Auld from Phoenix on Dec. 6. Auld could be back in net Saturday after he went 4-2-0 with one shutout and a 1.68 goals-against average in six starts.
Boston likely will be without right wing Glen Murray after he left Thursday’s game in the second period with a middle-body injury. Murray is tied for third on the team with 19 points.
The Blues have won six straight - five after regulation - against the Bruins. Boston’s last win in the series was a 5-1 home victory on Jan. 30, 2001.