Bruins aim to extend win streak to seven against Blue Jackets

The Boston Bruins have rode their offense to six straight wins and the B's will shoot for a seventh consecutive victory when they host the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at TD Garden.

After posting a disappointing 3-7-0 record in October, the defending Stanley Cup champions have kicked off November with six wins in as many games. Boston has scored 34 times during the hot streak and its lowest goal total during that stretch came in Tuesday's victory over New Jersey. It marks the most goals scored by Boston in a six-game stretch since the Bruins tallied 35 times over six tests from Feb. 23-March 7, 1994.

The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, do not seem like a good candidate to slow down Boston's red-hot offense. In addition to having an NHL-low seven points on the season, Columbus is also dead last in the league with an average of 3.71 goals allowed per game.

The last four victories of Boston's win streak have come on home ice and the Bruins will try to complete a perfect five-game homestand tonight. Claude Julien's club is now 7-5-0 as the host after losing five of their first seven games of the year at TD Garden.

Boston recorded a 4-3 regulation win over the visiting Devils on Tuesday, as the clubs combined to score five times during a wild third period. Benoit Pouliot's tally with 3:01 left in regulation capped the scoring and stood as the game-winner.

After a right-circle faceoff win, Joe Corvo sent a shot on net, and though Pouliot misfired on his chance from the outer edge of the right circle, the puck had just enough force to fool Johan Hedberg and get by him to the far post.

"I was like 'Oh boy, that's not going to get there,'" Pouliot said of the winning marker.

Brad Marchand and Shawn Thornton also tallied in a three-goal final stanza for the Bruins, who last won six in a row during a seven-game tear from Feb. 17- March 3 of last season.

Marchand enters tonight on a six-game point streak and has four goals and five assists during that run.

Tim Thomas stopped 27 shots to record his fourth win in as many starts. Thomas, who won the second Vezina Trophy of his career last season, is 0-1-1 in two career games against Columbus.

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is questionable for tonight after missing the last game with a lower body injury. Meanwhile, forward Daniel Paille could play tonight after sitting out the last three games following surgery to repair a broken nose.

The Blue Jackets have lost four of their last five games and recently closed a three-game homestand with a 4-2 loss to Minnesota. Columbus fired 45 shots at Niklas Backstrom, but he stopped 43 of them as the Wild scored four unanswered goals en route to the win.

Antoine Vermette and Mark Letestu scored first-period goals to stake Columbus to an early 2-0 lead, but the Jackets still wound up losing for the sixth time in eight games. Steve Mason allowed three goals on 23 shots in the loss.

"We just couldn't get anything back after they tied the game," said Columbus head coach Scott Arniel. "We just started making mistakes that we shouldn't be making."

The Blue Jackets have still yet to record a point on the road this year, posting an 0-7-0 mark as the visiting team. This is the longest Columbus has gone into a season without a road win since it began 2003-04 with an 0-11-2-1 mark as the visitor.

Columbus has won three of the last five meetings with the Bruins and the clubs have split the four all-time encounters in Beantown.