The Bruins were swept by the Hurricanes for the first time in franchise history last year - including the years when they were the Whalers.
Just the Facts
Game Time: 7:00 PM EST at PNC Arena. Broadcasted on New England Sports Network (NESN) inside New England, NHL-N in the rest of the US and Canada; on the radio at 98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (3-0-1) vs. Hurricanes (2-2-0)
Projected Hurricanes lines:
Tlusty - E. Staal - Semin
Skinner - J. Staal - Dalpe
Bowman - Jokinen - LaRose
Dwyer - Brent - Westgarth(Boychuk (and before you ask, I believe they're cousins))
Gleason - Faulk
Pitkanen - McBain
Harrison - Corvo
Projected Bruins lines (these are always the same, pretty much?)
Lucic - Krejci - Horton
Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin
Bourque - Kelly - Peverley
Thornton - Campbell - Paille
Chara - Boychuk
Seidenberg - Hamilton
Ference - Johnson
Tonight's game against Carolina is a deceptively important one, considering the Hurricanes gave the Bruins absolute fits last year, from the front all the way back to the goaltending. Remember when Tuukka Rask tried to fight Cam Ward? And when practically half the team ended up in the penalty box? Not good.
This year's Canes team looks a little different than last year, and their top two scoring lines are pretty deadly. After scoring just two goals in their first two games, they've put nine goals on the board in their most recent two, both against the Buffalo Sabres.
Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, and Jeff Skinner lead the team with four points in four games; Skinner is riding a three-game goal streak, as well. Why the Canes don't have him on a line with E. Staal and Semin is beyond me (Jiri Tlusty, really?) but it seems to be sort-of working for them recently.
Tuomo Ruutu is out with a hip injury, and Justin Faulk is a game-time decision. If Faulk is out, Bobby Sanguinetti will fill in as the seventh defenseman. (Update: Faulk is indeed out.)
On the Bruins' side, it seems that aside from the ever-present black cloud that is the power play, everything's good to go, with one exception: Adam McQuaid will sit tonight out for personal reasons. Aaron Johnson will likely see time with Andrew Ference, while the other two defensive pairings remain the same.
We may get the chance to see the debut of Anton Khudobin in net tonight, as well; if not tonight, then tomorrow for certain. Claude Julien has said that Khudobin will definitely play one of the games of this back-to-back series.
If the Bruins come out strong and play the way they did against the Islanders, they should be able to overpower the Canes' offense. Cam Ward, likely to be in goal tonight, has seen a slow start to his season. He's allowed 11 goals on 71 shots through three games this season so far - if the Bruins can capitalize on that, they should be all set tonight.