(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins hope a return to Vancouver can help them get back on track, as they begin a five-game road trip with Friday's clash against the Canucks.
Boston closed January with an 8-1-1 record, but has dropped three of four to begin the new month. All three of the club's February setbacks have come in regulation and the Bruins have lost two straight heading into tonight's clash at Rogers Arena.
Friday's contest is only Boston's second game in Vancouver since the B's won Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. The 4-0 triumph at Rogers Arena secured Boston's first championship since 1972.
The Canucks won two straight meetings with the Bruins following the Stanley Cup matchup, including a 6-2 home win on Dec. 14, 2013. However, the Bruins responded with a 3-1 win in Boston on Feb. 4 of last season.
However, Bruins head coach Claude Julien and his teammates won't be recalling past glories tonight, as the club tries to bolster its playoff chances on this road trip.
"We've hit a bump here, and I don't want it to be any longer than it already has been, so we need to up our intensity and our commitment and go out there and know it's going to be a tough battle," Julien told his club's website on Wednesday.
Boston currently holds the last wild card berth in the Eastern Conference, but is just four points ahead of Florida. The Panthers play Friday in Dallas.
The Bruins hosted Dallas in their last game on Tuesday and fell 5-3. Stars defenseman Trevor Daley provided the turning point by notching the game-winner while shorthanded late in the second period and Erik Cole sealed the victory with an empty-net marker in the final minute of regulation.
David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Dougie Hamilton lit the lamp for the Bruins, who managed to tie the game after falling behind 3-1 in the first before losing in regulation.
"When you're feeling good and everything's positive, it goes the other way again... We have to find a way to change that this road trip," said Hamilton.
Tuukka Rask likely will start in net tonight after he replaced Niklas Svedberg on Tuesday. Svedberg was pulled after surrendering three goals on 10 shots in the first period and Boston's No. 1 goaltender stopped 20-of-21 shots in the relief appearance.
Vancouver has been up and down over the last few weeks, but Willie Desjardins' club is coming off Wednesday's overtime victory in Chicago. The Canucks wasted a late two-goal lead but recovered to beat the Blackhawks 5-4 on Daniel Sedin's overtime tally.
Sedin scored his second goal of the game off a pass from twin brother Henrik 1:20 into overtime after Eddie Lack gave up two goals in the final 2:11 of regulation.
Daniel Sedin moved past Trevor Linden for sole possession of second place on the team's all-time goals list with 320. Markus Naslund leads the franchise with 346 goals.
Linden Vey, Bo Horvat and Zack Kassian had second-period goals for the Canucks. Henrik Sedin, Luca Sbisa and Chris Higgins each had two assists for Vancouver, while Lack finished with 37 saves.
"We battled hard for (the win) and we got it," Lack said.
With Vancouver also set to visit Calgary on Saturday, it's uncertain if Lack or No. 1 goaltender Ryan Miller will get the call tonight.
The Canucks are tied with Calgary at 63 points in the Pacific Division, but Vancouver holds the tiebreaker for third place due to having two games in hand. San Jose is second in the division with 64 points and also plays tonight in Arizona.