(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins will aim for their longest winning streak since the middle of January when they host the Calgary Flames in Thursday's clash at TD Garden.
The Bruins ended February with two straight wins, marking the club's first set of consecutive victories since Jan. 29-31. The club hasn't won three in a row since a five-game run from Jan. 7-15.
Boston needs every win it can get at this stage of the season. The Bruins are holding the last wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and are two points ahead of the Florida Panthers, who host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.
Calgary, meanwhile, also is locked in a tight playoff battle out West. The Flames, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks each have 72 points, tying them for the last of three automatic postseason bids in the Pacific Division, but Calgary currently holds tiebreakers over both clubs. The Kings and Sharks are also three points in back of Minnesota for the last wild card berth in the West.
Los Angeles hosts Montreal this evening, but the Sharks are idle.
Boston last played on Saturday when it won for the third time in four outings with a 4-1 decision over the visiting Arizona Coyotes.
Tuukka Rask stopped 31 shots to anchor the victory, while Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand all scored for the Bruins.
"Now we just have to continue to play like we did the last four or five games," said Chara. "We're getting towards the playoffs and if we want to get in we need to get some points."
Saturday's triumph began a four-game homestand for the B's and pushed their record in Beantown to 18-10-4. Rask also is expected to start the second part of the residency and Boston's No. 1 netminder owns a 3-0-1 record and 1.22 goals against average in four career outings versus the Flames.
Boston could have one of its recent trade acquisitions in the lineup tonight, while another suffered an injury a day before he was slated to make his Bruins debut.
Forwards Brett Connolly and Max Talbot were both acquired Monday before the trade deadline, but Connolly broke his right index finger Wednesday while practicing with his new team. The 22-year-old winger is expected to miss six weeks. Connolly, who came over from Tampa Bay for a second-round draft pick, had 12 goals and three assists in 50 games this season with the Lightning
Talbot, a veteran centerman, also was picked up Monday in a deal with Colorado and is expected to play in tonight's game.
The Flames enter Thursday having split the first four tests of a seven-game road trip and the last two tilts have come without captain and All-Star defenseman Mark Giordano, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a torn biceps.
Calgary won for the second time in three games with Tuesday's overtime victory in Philadelphia. The Flames coughed up a 2-0 lead in the third period, but Jiri Hudler scored at 1:23 of OT to give the visitors a 3-2 victory.
The Flames entered the third period with a two-goal cushion thanks to markers from Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund, but the Flyers evened things with tallies from Sean Couturier and Mark Streit.
In overtime, Johnny Gaudreau fed a streaking T.J. Brodie up the left wing, and his pass into the slot hit Hudler, who sent the puck trickling through Steve Mason's pads to end the contest.
"We just find a way and we believe in each other and we try to get as many pucks on the net as we can," said Monahan, who notched his 22nd of the season, matching his total from his rookie season in 2013-14.
Calgary improved to 17-13-1 on the road this season. The Flames will visit Detroit tomorrow before capping their swing Sunday in Ottawa.
The Flames halted a five-game skid in the series against Boston with a 4-3 OT victory in Calgary on Feb. 16, when Brodie scored the game-winner with just fractions of a second left in the extra session.
The Bruins still have won four in a row as the host in this matchup and Calgary hasn't earned a victory in Boston since Dec. 18, 2003.