Thu 19/02/2015 - 19:57 EST

Bruins Not Likely To End 5-Game Losing Streak At Blues

The Boston Bruins were supposed to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this season but they are stumbling along with just 65 points, which has them barely holding onto the final wild-card spot in the East. In addition, Boston has an NHL-high five-game losing streak heading into Friday's tough  matchup at Western Conference contender St. Louis. Bet on the game at Sportsbook.ag.

Boston possibly hit rock bottom on Wednesday with a 4-3 shootout loss at Edmonton, by far the worst team in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins opted against starting backup goalie Malcolm Subban Wednesday night, further underscoring the importance placed on getting two points against lousy Oilers. After coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the second period, the Bruins held even with the Oilers through the third period and overtime before losing in a 12-round shootout that saw Boston fail to score once. Tuukka Rask surrendered the shootout's only goal to Martin Marincin on the 24th overall attempt. He has no goals and one assist in 17 games this season with Edmonton.

Nail Yakupov, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Teddy Purcell scored in regulation for the Oilers , who broke a 13-game losing streak against Boston, dating to 2001. Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and David Pastrnak had goals for the Bruins (28-20-9). There was speculation that recent call-up Subban would get his first NHL start, but the Bruins to give Rask his 24th appearance in 25 games. He has made 15 straight appearances between the pipes for Boston, with 14 of those being starts. The netminder has always said he'd play every game if he could, but at this point, he could use a rest.

"Yeah, and I think that’s why we talked about bringing Malcolm [Subban] in, and we want to also see Malcolm at some point," said coach Claude Julien. "So I realize, even though he’s told me he’s feeling fine, I think realistically you have to consider the fact that he may need a good break here, so there’s a possibility there that we may have to make that decision (Friday)."

St. Louis is second in the Central Division with 78 points. The Blues' three-game winning streak ended with a 4-1 home loss to Dallas on Tuesday. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock yanked goalie Brian Elliott in favor of Jake Allen after Dallas took a 3-0 lead before the midway mark of the first period, the last two goals coming in a 20-second span. The top line of David Backes, T.J. Oshie and Alexander Steen were all minus-2 in the first period. The Blues haven't been shut out at home since losing 3-0 to Detroit in the regular-season finale last season.

The Bruins may choose to start Rask as he owns a 1.53 GAA versus St. Louis -- his second-best mark among West opponents -- and made 33 saves in a 2-0 home win over the Blues on Nov. 28 as he outdueled Elliott. Meanwhile, Elliott has a 3.24 goals-against average in eight starts since the All-Star break, prior to which his 1.86 mark ranked fifth in the NHL.

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