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  • Game Day Preview: Oilers at Bruins

    Game Day

    Game Day Preview: Oilers at Bruins

    Tim Rosenthal December 14, 2015

    Things are a little different from the last time the Bruins and Oilers met in Edmonton. For starters, former B’s General Manager Peter Chiarelli has seen his new team notch five wins in a row. The Black and Gold, meanwhile, find themselves in third place in the Atlantic Division and are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games.

    The Oilers notched a 3-2 shootout victory against the Bruins for their first win in their current five-game win streak. Tonight, the Black and Gold look to build off two impressive victories over the Canadiens and Panthers and put an end to Edmonton’s hot streak.

    Gametime: 7:00 p.m.
    TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins 16-9-3 (35 points), Oilers 13-15-2 (28 points)
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Brett Connolly
    Matt Beleskey-David Krejci-Loui Eriksson
    Frank Vatrano-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
    Zac Rinaldo-Max Talbot-Landon Ferraro

    Zdeno Chara-Adam McQuaid
    Dennis Seidenberg-Colin Miller
    Torey Krug-Kevan Miller

    Jonas Gustavsson
    Tuukka Rask

    Oilers projected lines

    Taylor Hall-Leon Draisaitl-Teddy Purcell
    Jujhar Kharia-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Jordan Eberle
    Matt Hendricks-Mark Letestu-Lauri Korpikoski
    Luke Gazdic-Anton Lander-Iiro Pakarinen

    Darnell Nurse-Andrej Sekera
    Oscar Klefbom-Justin Schultz
    Brandon Davidson-Eric Gryba

    Cam Talbot
    Anders Nilsson

    Matchup to watch: Bruins vs. Oilers third line

    Oilers at Bruins

    Matt Hendricks had a goal and an assist in the Oilers’ shootout win over the Bruins 12 nights ago. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    In the first meeting 12 days ago, the Oilers third line — specifically the Letestu-Hendricks duo — scored twice. Hendricks, Letestu and Korpikoski frustrated the B’s third trio of Hayes, Spooner and Ferraro that night and head coach Claude Julien had to shake things up by switching some players around in the bottom six in hopes of getting a spark from his team.

    Twelve days later, Hayes and Spooner will be joined by Vatrano on the third line. Sparked by Spooner’s two goals, the three are coming off a solid performance against the Panthers, and they’ll need to build off that against the Oilers checking line that outmuscled and outskated the Bruins’ bottom six in Edmonton. Otherwise, Julien will have to return to making some in-game adjustments with his line charts — something that has become the norm in Boston this season.

    Storyline to watch: Chiarelli returns to TD Garden

    Oilers at Bruins, Bruins GM

    Former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli makes his first appearance at TD Garden since being relieved of his duties in April. (Photo by Joe Makarski, Bruins Daily)

    Forced to part ways with some key veterans, including Johnny Boychuk, Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton (to name a few), and trading Tyler Seguin was just a sample of the ugly ending of Chiarelli’s tenure in Boston. Still, he had a remarkable nine years in The Hub and transformed the Bruins roster into a Stanley Cup champion in 2011, a Cup finalist in 2013 and a Presidents Trophy winner in 2014.

    From acquiring Nathan Horton, Dennis Seidenberg, Mark Recchi, Andrew Ference and others, Chiarelli certainly played a big role in the Bruins’ success. But he also is partly responsible for last year’s downfall and, as a result, Cam Neely and the Jacobs family parted ways with Chiarelli and upgraded Don Sweeney from Assistant GM to GM.

    Now the GM and President of Hockey Operations in Edmonton, Chiarelli is starting another rebuilding project. He has some talent in Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle and this year’s No. 1 pick Connor McDavid, who is still on IR with a fractured clavicle.

    Whether the Bruins will honor Chiarelli with a tribute tonight is anyone’s guess. Despite the B’s and Chiarelli going their separate ways, the Harvard alum deserves to be recognized in his return to TD Garden.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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