The Bruins will look to get back on track tonight in Game 4 after dropping the last 2 games of their best-of-7 series to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bruins don't have their back against the wall, but I would consider this a "must win game" for the B's.
It looks like the Bruins will be without the services of defenseman Andrew Ference, who appeared to have re-aggravated a lower body (reportedly groin) injury in Game 3. Ference was the only member of the Bruins not on the ice for the morning skate. Shane Hnidy was paired with Mark Stuart this morning, so Steve Montador will most likely slide up to the second D-pair with Dennis Wideman. Blake Wheeler, who left Game 3 after blocking a shot, skated with his usual linemates (Michael Ryder and David Krejci) during the morning skate and is expected to be in the lineup tonight.
Projected Starting Goaltenders:
Bruins Projected Lines & D-Pairs
Milan Lucic - Marc Savard - Phil Kessel
Mark Recchi - Patrice Bergeron - Chuck Kobasew
Blake Wheeler - David Krejci - Michael Ryder
P.J. Axelsson - Stephane Yelle - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Aaron Ward
Steve Montador - Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart - Shane Hnidy
HURRICANES Projected Lines & D-Pairs
Chad LaRose - Matt Cullen - Scott Walker
Ryan Bayda - Rod Brind'Amour - Patrick Eaves
Sergei Samsonov - Jussi Jokinen - Tuomo Ruutu
Tim Gleason - Joe Corvo
Joni Pitkanen - Dennis Seidenberg
Niclas Wallin - Anton Babchuk
LW Marco Sturm: Out for Season (knee)
F Blake Wheeler: Probable (undisclosed injury)
D Matt Hunwick: Out for Series (spleen)
D Andrew Ference: Doubtful (lower body injury)
No Injuries to Report
- We will see if the day off from practice yesterday benefited the Bruins.
- The B's need to do a better job of taking care of the puck in their own end of the rink. The Bruins did not hold up well to the Canes' forechecking pressure in Game 3. The Bruins defensemen's ineptitude at moving the puck in this series has shown how much Matt Hunwick meant to this team.
- The power play is struggling (0 for 9 in the series).
- The Bruins have been fairly disciplined in this series, but they took a couple dumb untimely penalties in Game 3. Michael Ryder's interference call couldn't have come at a worse time and Marc Savard running into Cam Ward late in the second period was completely avoidable.
- The Bruins are once again competing directly with the Celtics for eyeballs tonight.
- Tonight's game will air on NESN at 7:30 PM Eastern
- Public Skate (open thread) starts at 6:30.
Eyes on the Storms
Canes Country (SBN): Bubba and Cory do some great work over there. Their daily Hurricanes Newsstand will point you in the right direction for news and stories on this series from both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Canes Now: The News & Observer's Hurricanes blog (think Boston.com's Bruins Blog).
Tracking the Storm: Blog from Carolina Hurricanes official website. Think of it as Carolina's version of Bish's Blog.
Carolina leads 2-1