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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Oilers

    Daily News

    Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Oilers

    Tim Rosenthal October 11, 2018

    It’s another hockey night in Boston as the Bruins eye their third consecutive victory since their season-opening shellacking at the hands of the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.

    The difference between that 7-0 loss in D.C. and their last two victories against the Sabres and Senators was night and day. Though they still have some areas to address, the B’s effort and execution was significantly better in their pair of Atlantic Division contests.

    Thursday’s opponents, the Edmonton Oilers, were last year’s preseason darlings as potential Cup favorites. But their disappointing 2017-18 campaign and their season-opening 5-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils in Sweden have dampened that optimism despite having an all-world standout in Connor McDavid.

    Thus, Oilers coach Todd McLellan treating this as a pivotal matchup.

    A strong statement indeed from a coach feeling the heat. The former Sharks bench boss would like nothing more than to cool down his hot seat this evening.

    The Bruins, meanwhile, have a few changes of their own against former teammate Milan Lucic and company. More on that in the storylines…

    Gametime: 7 p.m.
    TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins 2-1-0 (4 points), Oilers 0-1-0 (0 points)
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
    Jake DeBrusk-David Krejci-Joakim Nordstrom
    Danton Heinen-David Backes-Anders Bjork
    Chris Wagner-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari

    Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy
    John Moore-Brandon Carlo
    Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller

    Jaroslav Halak
    Tuukka Rask

    Oilers projected lines

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Connor McDavid-Ty Rattie
    Milan Lucic-Leon Draisaitl-Kailer Yamamoto
    Tobias Reider-Ryan Strome-Zack Kassian
    Drake Cagguila-Jujhar Kharia-Jesse Puljujarvi

    Oscar Klefbom-Adam Larsson
    Darnell Nurse-Kris Russell
    Matt Benning-Evan Bouchard

    Cam Talbot
    Mikko Koskinen

    Bruins-Oilers storylines

    – The revolving second line door at right wing continues. Joakim Nordstrom becomes the third Bruin to skate with Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci as Ryan Donato will sit and watch from the press box. Despite a goal in three games, the former Harvard standout hasn’t been as consistent in the early going. Both DeBrusk and Danton Heinen — who skated on Line 2 in the season opener — bounced back after early healthy scratches last year. Will the same hold true for Donato?

    – Another odd October schedule is creating challenges for Bruce Cassidy’s goaltending plan. The third-year Bruins bench boss will slot Jaroslav Halak for his second start of the season. The ‘former’ Sabres netminder couldn’t have asked for a better start in his seventh NHL stop after his 32-save shutout in Buffalo a week ago. Though Tuukka Rask bounced back with a solid effort against the Sens on Monday, going with Halak is the right call here, especially with the Western Canada trip coming up.

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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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