Stop me if you heard this before – the Boston Bruins need a bounce back performance.
Boston fell to the New York Rangers 5-2 in the NHL Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday to drop to 10-7-0. Despite a great first period, the Bruins couldn’t put the Rangers away, let them stick around and ultimately could not get the win.
The good news is that the Bruins have a great opportunity to get a win on Sunday. The Vancouver Canucks come to town losers of three in a row and eight of their last nine. The offense is struggling mightily in B.C. with the Canucks owning a 6-13-2 record and sitting in the cellar of the Pacific.
When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: T.D. Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
"Bruins projected linesMarchand-Bergeron-PastrnakHall-Coyle-SmithFoligno-Frederic-KuhlmanBlidh-Nosek-Lazar Forbort-McAvoyGrzelcyk-CarloReilly-Zboril UllmarkSwayman"
"Canucks projected linesPearson-Horvat-GarlandHöglander-Miller-BoeserDowling-Pettersson-PodkolzinMotte-Dickinson-Chiasson Ekman-Larsson-MyersHughes-SchennBurroughs-Poolman HalakDemko"
The notable omissions for the Bruins are Jake DeBrusk and Erik Haula. The two third-liners will be healthy scratches on Sunday after underwhelming recent performances.
Trent Frederic returns to the lineup after suffering a concussion in Ottawa Senators game on Nov. 9. Karson Kuhlman also draws into the lineup after being a healthy scratches the last few games.
For the Canucks, it will be a familiar face in net for the Bruins, as Jaroslav Halak gets the nod in goal. He is looking for his first win of the season still, sporting a 0-3-1 record with a 2.79 GAA and a .903 SV%.
I’ll make this simple – this is not a good Canucks team. They allow an average of 3.29 goals per game, while only scoring 2.29 goals a game, which is the fourth-lowest in the league. Vancouver also owns the worst penalty kill so far this season, with a a 63.6% kill rate. There is zero reason why the Bruins lose this game.
The Bruins have done very well against non-playoff teams this season. This is another one of those games. Take care of business, get back in the win column and (I feel like I’m saying this for the 500th time this season) get some momentum and string together a few wins.