Despite falling to the Carolina Hurricanes in the first of their two-game road trip last week, the Bruins redeemed themselves and got back on track with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. The Black and Gold will look to avenge their loss to the ‘Canes from last week when the two teams lock up for the second time this year tonight at the TD Garden.
Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes
Puck Drop: 7 p.m.
TV: NESN Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
2011-12 series: Hurricanes 1-0
Expected goale matchup: Tuukka Rask vs. Cam Ward
What to watch for (Bruins)
It took the top line awhile to get going, but Nathan Horton finally got on the scoresheet with his first of the year against Chicago; tying the game at 2-2 in the third period. While Horton seems to be gelling with Tyler Seguin (this week’s Bruins Daily Player of the Week) — who is replacing David Krejci (core injury) on the top line — Milan Lucic is still looking to break out of his slump during the early portion of the year.
With Rask the first one off the ice in the morning skate, the presumption is that the Finnish netminder will get his second start of the year. While Rask played very well in his start last week against the red-hot Colorado Avalanche, his team could not muster any offense (again) in the 1-0 loss on Columbus Day. With Tuukka getting most likely getting a few more starts from last year, Boston will hope to get more going offensively when he starts between the pipes.
Krejci and Steven Kampfer are out for tonight, while defenseman Adam McQuaid, who returned to practice yesterday with Kampfer, remains a gametime decision.
What to watch for (Hurricanes)
Signing with the ‘Canes this off-season, ex-Bruin defenseman Tomas Kaberle — acquired last February around the Trade Deadline — makes his return to the TD Garden for the first time since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Bruins fans remember him as someone who didn’t live up to expectations during his brief tenure with the Black and Gold and was often a scapegoat on the lackluster Boston power play during the playoffs, which remains an issue, still, for the Black and Gold. It will be interesting to see the reaction towards Kaberle — who has just one assist and is a minus-5 in five games — but either way, he’ll want to make an impact against his former club.
After letting up eight goals in his first two starts, Ward has bounced back nicely in his last two letting in just five goals on 70 shots in that span. Ward has often been a thorn on the Bruins’ side putting together some clutch performances in the past. Look for the former Conn Smythe winner to play a big role again.
Bruins gameday links:
Head coach Claude Julien’s accomplishments speak loudly for the quiet coach says Joe Haggerty of Comcast Sportsnet
Days of Y’Orr hypes the return of Kaberle in their Bruins-’Canes preview
Jesse Connolly from The New England Hockey Journal talks about the “David and Goliath’s” of the Bruins’ top line
‘Canes gameday links
With the hiring of former Hurricane Rod Brind’Amour as one of the assistant coaches, Carolina has gone from next to last in the league in faceoffs to 21st (Chip Alexander/Newsobserver.com)
Brandon Sutter, who was just called up to fill Zac Dalpe’s void in the lineup, is looking forward to facing the Bruins again (Peter Koutroumpis/Examiner.com)
Corey Sznajder of The Shutdown Line recaps the ‘Canes first week