(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins hope to put their recent slide further in the rearview mirror when they continue their postseason push in Tuesday's home test against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Bruins halted a costly six-game slide (0-4-2) with an impressive 6-2 win Sunday afternoon in Chicago. Boston had won nine of 12 games prior to the skid.
The two points gained in the rout over the Blackhawks gave the Bruins a bit of breathing room for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston is three points ahead of the Florida Panthers for the last playoff berth and is four in front of Philadelphia. The Flyers and Panthers both play on Tuesday, with Philly visiting Carolina and Florida facing the Blackhawks on the road.
Patrice Bergeron posted a goal and two assists to lead Boston's lopsided victory in the Windy City. Reilly Smith and Dougie Hamilton each added a goal and an assist, while Gregory Campbell, Milan Lucic and Loui Eriksson also lit the lamp.
Tuukka Rask turned aside 26 shots in the win.
"Mentally we had to be strong and stick with our game plan and not get rattled," said Boston head coach Claude Julien. "With the situation we've been in we could have gotten flustered and stressed, but they guys did a great job of staying with it."
Boston played Sunday without centerman David Krejci, who suffered a partially torn MCL in his left knee during Friday's loss in St. Louis. Krejci, the club's first-line pivot, is expected to miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with the injury.
The veteran forward has been suffering through a disappointing season, posting 26 points in 38 games after a 69-point campaign in 2013-14.
The Canucks, meanwhile, will have to get by without their No. 1 goaltender Ryan Miller tonight after he suffered a lower-body injury in the second period of Sunday's 4-0 road win over the New York Islanders. Miller was injured when teammate Jannik Hansen crashed into the net and made contact with his right leg.
Miller was sent back to Vancouver for an MRI exam and the club recalled Jacob Markstrom from Utica of the American Hockey League. Markstrom will serve as the backup to Eddie Lack tonight when the Canucks make the fourth stop on a five-game road trip that ends Thursday in Buffalo.
The 34-year-old Miller is 28-15-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage this season.
Vancouver has won three of its last four games and is 2-1-0 on the road trip. The club enters Tuesday's tilt with a three-point lead for second place in the Pacific Division. Calgary, Los Angeles and San Jose are all tied at 68 points for third place, but the Kings hold the current tiebreaker due to having played the fewest amount of games.
Miller and Lack combined for 37 saves as the Canucks stifled the Islanders on Sunday. Miller made 10 saves before exiting with his injury and Lack completed the shutout by stopping all 27 shots fired his way.
Radim Vrbata tallied a goal and an assist and Zack Kassian, Bo Horvat and Yannick Weber also lit the lamp for the Canucks, who bounced back from Friday's 4-2 loss to New Jersey.
"Our goalies were huge. Miller was stopping everything, then Lack came in and kept it up," said Vrbata. "This is a team win."
Kassian has registered three goals over his last two games, bringing his season total to eight.
Vancouver, which owns a solid 18-11-2 road record this season, beat a visiting Bruins' club by a 5-2 score on Feb. 13. Shawn Matthias powered the victory with a hat trick, helping the Canucks beat Boston for the third time in the last four meetings. The B's hold a 3-1-1 record in the past five encounters at TD Garden.
The Bruins will try to snap a two-game home slide tonight. Boston is 17-9-4 as the host this season.