Bruins kick off playoff series against the Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets (47-31-4, fifth in the Metropolitan Division during the regular season) vs. Boston Bruins (49-24-9, second in the Atlantic Division during the regular season)
Boston; Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT
EASTERN CONFERENCE SECOND ROUND: Boston hosts series opener
BOTTOM LINE: The Boston Bruins host the Columbus Blue Jackets to open the Eastern Conference second round. The teams meet Thursday for the fourth time this season. Boston went 2-1 against Columbus during the regular season.
The Bruins are 29-19-4 against Eastern Conference opponents. Boston averages 9.7 penalty minutes per game, the second-most in the NHL. Brad Marchand leads the team serving 96 total minutes.
The Blue Jackets are 31-19-2 against conference opponents. Columbus has converted on 15.4 percent of power-play opportunities, scoring 34 power-play goals.
TOP PERFORMERS: David Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 38 goals and has collected 81 points. Marchand has five goals and six assists over the last 10 games for Boston.
Cam Atkinson leads the Blue Jackets with 41 total goals and has totaled 69 points. Oliver Bjorkstrand has eight goals and four assists over the last 10 games for Columbus.
DURING THE PLAYOFFS: Blue Jackets: Averaging 4.8 goals, 7.3 assists, 2.8 penalties and 8.5 penalty minutes while giving up two goals per game with a .932 save percentage.
Bruins: Averaging 3.3 goals, 4.7 assists, 2.4 penalties and 4.9 penalty minutes while giving up 2.4 goals per game with a .928 save percentage.
Bruins Injuries: Kevan Miller: out (upper body).
Blue Jackets Injuries: Markus Nutivaara: day to day (upper body).