After taking the first two games in the season series, the Boston Bruins will look to complete the sweep of the Winnipeg Jets when the two teams battle for the final time in the 2013 season tonight at the MTS Centre.
The first two victories did not come easy for the Black and Gold, however, as both were decided by one goal. In the second game of the season, the Bruins – despite hitting the post five times – edged out a 2-1 shootout win behind a strong penalty kill; and the B’s earned a 3-2 triumph back on Feb. 17 in Winnipeg.
To little surprise, the Bruins won’t have David Krejci in the lineup as he recovers from a knee injury (day-to-day) suffered from a shot by Johnny Boychuk in the third period of Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. After being called up from Providence last night, Ryan Spooner will presumably take Krejci’s spot on the first line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, and its safe to say that we’ll be highlighting him throughout the game (more on that in a bit).
Both teams are within striking distance of the first place team in their respective divisions. The Bruins trail the Montreal Canadiens by one point in the Northeast Division (with one game in hand), and the Jets are tied with the Carolina Hurricanes (who have the extra game in hand) atop the Southeast Division with 32 points.
After the jump, lineups, storylines, linkage and tweets of interest
Gametime: 8 p.m.
Location: MTS Centre
TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (19-5-3, 41 points), Jets (15-12-2, 32 points)
Bruins’ projected lines
Milan Lucic-Ryan Spooner-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Jay Pandolfo-Rich Peverley-Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dougie Hamilton-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Jets’ projected lines
Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane-Ollie Jokinen-Antti Miettinen
James Wright-Nik Antropov-Kyle Wellwood
Eric Tangradi-Patrice Cormier-Chris Thorubrn
Grant Clitsome-Dustin Byfuglien
Ron Hainsey-Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart-Derek Meech
Bruins to watch
We mentioned before the jump that we would keep an eye on Spooner, so let’s get to it shall we?
It’s no secret that the entire Bruins Daily staff is optimistic about this kid’s potential and tonight he’ll get a chance to showcase that as he skates with Lucic and Horton. With 12 goals and 33 assists in 50 games with Providence (along with a plus-8 rating), the former second round pick helped spark the red-hot Baby Bruins to first place in the AHL’s Atlantic Division. Spooner only tallied a hare over five minutes of ice time in his only game with the big club back on Feb. 6, but expect him to get a few more minutes tonight.
Tuukka Rask is having quite the impressive run in 2013 as one of the league leaders in goals against average (1.92, good for seventh), save percentage (ninth at .928) and wins (tied for second with 14). Rask has done well against the Winnipeg franchise in his career – including its days in Atlanta – going 7-3 with a 2.08 GAA in 10 career games against the Jets/Thrashers.
Jets to watch
Despite their two losses to the Bruins, goaltender Ondrej Pavelec has done well against the Black and Gold in both starts. The Czech goalie, despite being 12-12-2 on the season with a 2.80 goals against average and .904 save percentage, has a 1.94 GAA in the two matchups this season. Pavelec will look to continue his success against Boston and help lead a Winnipeg squad that is 5-1-1 in its last seven.
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty says the Bruins hope to follow the Ottawa Senators’ model as they expect to deal with their share of injuries during this busy slate.
Stanley Cup of Chowder grades the Bruins’ goaltending through the midway point of the season.
Another reminder that our friends at SupahFans Streetwear waive off their $5 shipping fee whenever Bruins fans use DailySupahFans as a coupon code at checkout.
With Rob Hainsey and Grant Clitsome on the last year of their contracts, and with the trade deadline looming, Arctic Ice Hockey says that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will have some tough decisions ahead of him.
Speaking of the trade deadline, Jets Nation breaks down Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin as a potential trade target.
Tweets of interest:
Haggs apparently sent some “sympathy snow” to Boston from Winnipeg.
I see Boston got the sympathy snow that I sent from a deep freeze in Winnipeg. Portage & Main lived up to chilly rep last night #BruinsTalk
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 19, 2013
And Hockey Buzz’s Ty Anderson hopes Spooner gets a few more shifts tonight.
Oh, man, that’ll be fun for the three shifts it lasts.
— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) March 19, 2013