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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Predators

    Game Day Previews

    Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Predators

    Chris Chirichiello December 23, 2014

    The Boston Bruins lived on the edge on Sunday night at TD Garden beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime. Loui Eriksson scored the game-winner on a nifty pass by Milan Lucic, but Dougie Hamilton was magnificent netting two goals for the first time in his career while assisting on another.

    On Boston.com: Dougie Hamilton shines in win over Buffalo

    The Black and Gold will now turn their attention to the Nashville Predators yet again. The Predators beat the B’s one week ago 3-2 in a shootout. Pekka Rinne had 35 saves in the victory.

    Claude Julien’s bunch looks to ride the momentum from Sunday night, although the game shouldn’t have been all that close.

    Here is your complete Bruins-Predators preview:

    Gametime: 7:00 PM
    Records: Bruins 17-14-3 (37 points)/Predators 22-8-2 (46 points)
    TV/Radio: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins’ projected lines:

    Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Seth Griffith
    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
    Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
    Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham

    Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
    Dennis Seidenberg-Matt Bartkowski
    Torey Krug-Kevan Miller

    Tuukka Rask
    Niklas Svedberg

    Predators’ projected lines:

    Filip Forsberg-Mike Ribeiro-Craig Smith
    Colin Wilson-Mike Fisher-Matt Cullen
    Eric Nystrom-Olli Jokinen-Gabriel Bourque
    Taylor Beck-Calle Jarnkrok-James Neal

    Roman Josi-Shea Weber
    Mattias Ekholm-Ryan Ellis
    Victor Bartley-Seth Jones

    Pekka Rinne
    Carter Hutton

    Who to watch for Bruins: Gregory Campbell

    Gregory Campbell has been struggling lately. It’s not fair to single him out as that entire fourth line has been invisible, but the 31 year-old needs a spark for sure.

    He may not play a ton of minutes per night, but Campbell needs to get more involved. He didn’t record a shot against the Sabres Sunday night in over 10 minutes of ice time. He has a total of eight shots in his last 10 games to go along with just one point, a goal against the San Jose Sharks back on December 4th.

    Campbell is still a great penalty killer, but he needs to be the leader on a line that has been on the side of a milk carton lately.

    Who to watch for Predators: Pekka Rinne

    Pekka Rinne recorded 30 saves Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 5-1 rout. Rinne notched his 22nd victory of the season to lead the NHL.

    The Finnish goalie and early favorite for the Vezina Trophy owns an impressive 22-6-1 record with three shutouts on the year. His .934 save percentage ranks third in the NHL as well as his 1.84 goals against average.

    For a team like the Bruins that is struggling to light the lamp, this is a bad combination. The Black and Gold are going to need to find a way to outsmart the 32 year-old netminder if they want to come away with two points before the holidays.

    Game Day Edge: Keep Loui Eriksson on Soderberg line

    It’s no secret that Eriksson is more comfortable playing alongside Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg.

    Eriksson is one of the Bruins that is playing consistent hockey despite the overall poor play of the team. He is now ranked second on the B’s with seven goals (tied with Hamilton). In his last seven games, the Swede has four goals and two assists to go along with a plus-4 rating.

    It looks as if Eriksson is playing with more confidence as of late after scoring two game-winning overtime goals in his last three games. He is putting the puck on net more instead of looking for the extra pass. The 29 year-old has recorded three or more shots in four of his last seven games resulting in goals.

    If the B’s want two points before the Christmas break, they need to take advantage of the Predators playing on a back-to-back and keep Eriksson with Kelly and Soderberg.

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