NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 14th
(All times Eastern)
Boston Bruins (22-8-2) at Vancouver Canucks (19-10-5), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Though the stakes won't be as high as their last trip to
Vancouver, the Boston Bruins can still pick up a season-high fifth straight
victory on Saturday night when they visit the Canucks for the first time since
the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals.
The Bruins have not played a game at Rogers Arena since a 4-0 victory on June
15, 2011 in Game 7 that gave Boston its first championship since 1972.
Boston did host Vancouver in the regular season on Jan. 7, 2012, losing a 4-3
decision, and the clubs did not meet last campaign due to the lockout-
The Bruins, who have won seven of their last 10 regular-season trips to
Vancouver, have won a season-high four in a row overall for the third time
this season and are looking to conclude a four-game road trip perfect. They
kept their win streak intact by picking up a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers
Jarome Iginla scored twice, Dennis Seidenberg posted a goal and an assist and
Brad Marchand also tallied to help Boston improve to 14-3-1 over its last 18
games and take a five-point lead over Montreal for first place in the Atlantic
Chad Johnson made 39 saves in the win. No. 1 netminder Tuukka Rask did not
start due to the flu, but did dress as the backup.
"I didn't like the goals we gave up for what we expect of our team. They were
sloppy," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said.
The Bruins have limped through this road trip, missing Loui Eriksson
(concussion), Daniel Paille (upper body), Dougie Hamilton (lower body), Chris
Kelly (broken ankle) and Adam McQuaid (lower body) due to injury. Shawn
Thornton also remains out as he awaits the official length of his suspension
for his actions versus Pittsburgh last Saturday when he grabbed Brooks Orpik
of the Penguins from behind during a scrum and began punching him.
Rask appears over his bout with the flu and should start tonight. It would
mark just his second career start versus the Canucks and first since he
stopped 29-of-31 shots faced in a shootout loss in Boston on Feb. 6, 2010.
He served as the backup to Conn Smythe Trophy winner Tim Thomas in the 2011
Roberto Luongo will get a chance to avenge that Game 7 loss, when he stopped
17-of-20 shots faced. Though he shut the Bruins out twice during the Finals,
he yielded 20 goals total in the other five games.
"It's just a fun game to play," Luongo said of facing the Bruins after Friday
night's win over Edmonton. "It's been a few years now and I think we have
all moved on. That being said there is a history there and those are the type
of games you want to be playing in."
In the regular season, Luongo is 11-10-0 with three ties, four shutouts and a
2.40 goals against average versus the Bruins.
While the Canucks won't have the advantage of rest over the Bruins, they are
coming off a 4-0 victory against the Oilers. Luongo made 17 saves for his 65th
"I felt pretty good. I wasn't getting much action, so not the type of game I
love to play," said Luongo, who is tied for the league lead with three
shutouts this season. "But I was seeing the puck well in warmups and sometimes
you just have that feeling when you know you're seeing the puck well. I had
that tonight and obviously the guys did a great job in front of me."
Zack Kassian, Chris Higgins, Daniel Sedin and Dale Weise scored a goal apiece
for the Canucks, who have won a season-high six straight games and are looking
to wrap a five-game homestand perfect tonight.
Jason Garrison had three assists to set a career high and Ryan Kesler added
two helpers in the win.
The Canucks' past two wins have come via a shutout. Backup Eddie Lack stopped
all 31 shots he faced in Monday's 2-0 win over Carolina.
12/14 10:25:56 ET