(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins hope to put the brakes on a costly losing streak when they visit the Chicago Blackhawks for an afternoon clash Sunday at United Center.
The Bruins are on their longest losing streak in five years, dropping six in a row (0-4-2) to allow the Florida Panthers to pull within one point of them for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Florida had a chance to take control of the second wild card spot from Boston on Saturday, but lost a regulation decision in Ottawa.
Boston's six-game slide is the club's worst winless drought since a 0-6-4 slump from Jan. 16-Feb. 6, 2010.
The Bruins also have lost five straight on the road and hope to end that skid today in the Windy City when they complete a five-game trek. Boston is 0-2-2 on the trip so far.
The B's were handed a 5-1 loss Friday night in St. Louis. Vladimir Tarasenko led the Blues offense in the rout scoring twice while teammate Alex Steen added three assists.
Brad Marchand picked up the lone goal for the Bruins and rookie goaltender Malcolm Subban did not fare well in his NHL debut.
Subban started the contest, but he was pulled after yielding three goals on six shot. Tuukka Rask spelled him, giving up a pair of goals on nine shots.
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so you've just got to take that approach to tomorrow, and the day after," Subban said.
Rask will get the start today, while Subban was sent back down to Providence of the AHL on Saturday. Niklas Svedberg will return his role as Rask's backup.
In addition to suffering another loss, Bruins centerman David Krejci also left the game with an injury in the second period after a hit by Steen and did not return.Krejci will not expected to play today.
Also, Boston announced Saturday that defenseman Kevan Miller will undergo season-ending surgery for a right shoulder dislocation. Miller had two goals, five assists and a plus-20 rating in 41 games before leaving Monday's game against Calgary with the injury.
Chicago enters Sunday in a funk of its own, albeit a less serious one. The Blackhawks have lost two straight and four of their last six, but have still managed to record at least point in seven of eight outings.
However, the Blackhawks saw their 4-0-3 point streak come to end Friday with a 4-1 home setback against the Colorado Avalanche. Chicago has a disappointing 2-1-3 mark on an eight-game homestand that ends Tuesday against the Panthers.
The Blackhawks entered Friday's game with the best penalty-killing unit in the NHL, but were burned by a pair of Colorado power-play goals in the loss. Gabriel Landeskog and Tyson Barrie scored power-play goals 24 seconds apart on a two-man advantage in the third period to key the victory.
"It was one of those games where it was tight, not a lot happening, and then all of a sudden a 5-on-3 blows the whole thing up," said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville.
Corey Crawford gave up four goals on 30 shots for Chicago and Kris Versteeg scored the lone goal.
Chicago is 18-8-4 as the home team on the season and is currently sitting third in the Central Division with 75 points, five less than second-place St. Louis and four more than fourth-place Winnipeg.
The Blackhawks have won two of the last three meetings with the Bruins and posted a 3-2 regulation win in Boston on Dec. 11. The Blackhawks also have taken two of the past three encounters as the host. Each of the last four meetings at United Center have been decided in the shootout.