Halfway through a four-game homestand, the Boston Bruins are still looking to get back in the win column for just the second time since Dec. 3.
That quest continues Saturday night when they host the Nashville Predators. Boston has dropped seven of its last eight contests (1-4-3), its funk continuing with defeats in overtime and a shootout to begin its home stretch into the holiday break.
The Predators, meanwhile, will look to complete their four-game road trip without a loss in regulation. Nashville is 2-0-1 so far through its trek against Eastern Conference foes.
The Bruins' latest setback came 3-2 in a shootout to the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Defenseman Torey Krug tied the game during the third period with a goal seven seconds into a 5-on-3 power play. Boston, however, couldn't do anything more with the 1:53 remaining on the second penalty.
"I think we need to really get back to hating to lose, because when you hate to lose the more you don't accept these outcomes and the way we are playing," Krug said. "It starts with our top guys, and it trickles all the way down to our depth players, but everyone has a role to play on this team."
Indeed, the Bruins' two biggest star players are each in funks of late.
League-leading goal scorer David Pastrnak has tallied just three times in his last nine games, and Brad Marchand is mired in an 11-game drought. Pastrnak was able to convert in his round of the shootout Thursday, but Marchand couldn't do the same with the game on the line as Boston fell to 0-5 this season in the extra session.
"We feel we have guys that can score in the shootout," coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Hasn't happened for us, and other teams have finished better than us. I don't have an answer for you there."
The Predators weren't able to get to the shootout as they fell 5-4 in overtime to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Nashville stormed back from a 4-1 deficit in the third period, but a costly holding penalty during 3-on-3 play allowed Ottawa to get the winner.
"It's a huge point for us, but at the same time, we've got to realize that we have to play for 60 minutes," said captain Roman Josi, who scored the tying goal at 13:07 of the third.
"We can't take periods off, and I thought we did in the second. It's just not going to get you a lot of wins in this league."
Wins have been hard to come by this season for the Predators, who atypically sit in sixth place in the Central Division.
"We are in a hole right now that only we can dig ourselves out of, and the last two games were steps," defenseman Ryan Ellis said. "The third period tonight was good -- we got a point -- but at the end of the day we need every point we can get."
The Predators have won five of their last eight meetings with the Bruins. The teams will play again in Nashville on Jan. 7.
--Field Level Media