Bruins vs. Sharks Preview: Thornton AND Loui Return!

What kind of impact will Shawn Thornton have in his return to the lineup tonight? - Jared Wickerham

Update: Loui Definitely In Tonight!

Just the Facts:

Game Time: 10:30 PM, SAP Center at San Jose | TV Broadcast: NESN | Radio Broadcast: 100.7 WZLX.

Rival SB Nation SiteFear the Fin.

Records: Bruins 28-14-2 vs. Sharks 28-11-6 | Last 10 Games: Bruins 5-5-0 vs. Sharks 7-3-0.

Projected Sharks Lines:

Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns

Matt Nieto - Patrick Marleau - Tommy Wingels

Tyler Kennedy - Andrew Desjardins - Bracken Kearns

James Sheppard - John McCarthy - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Dan Boyle

Brad Stuart - Justin Braun

Scott Hannen - Jason Demers

Antti Niemi

Alex Stalock

Projected Bruins Lines:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jarome Iginla

Reilly Smith - Patrice Bergeron - Brad Marchand

Carl Söderberg - Ryan Spooner - Loui Eriksson

Shawn Thornton - Gregory Campbell - Daniel Paille

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Matt Bartkowski - Kevan Miller

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Chad Johnson

Preview:

Johnny Boychuk will not play tonight as he has returned to Boston for personal reasons. With Shawn Thornton's return from the lineup now that his 15-game suspension has been served, Justin Florek will probably be the healthy scratch. Loui Eriksson was said to be a "game time decision" but it doesn't seem that he is likely to play tonight. If Eriksson does get in the lineup, I would guess that Matt Fraser would be the odd-man out and Spooner will center the greatest line ever with two Swedes on the wing.

In the first game of this two-game season series, the Sharks absolutely dominated the Bruins for the majority of the game. Tuukka Rask stole the game, making 38 saves, while David Krejci gave the Bruins the game winning goal with 0.8 seconds left in what was one of the best moments of this season thus far.

The Bruins are .500 in their last 10 games and are .500 on the road as well (10-10-0). The Sharks have one regulation loss at home this season (16-1-3). The Bruins have the advantage in special teams numbers, as their PP% is 20.2% vs. the Sharks 19.2%; the Bruins PK% is 83.4% vs. the Sharks 82.9%. The Sharks have more goals per game (3.13) than the Bruins (2.89), but the Sharks also give up more goals against per game (2.44) than the Bruins (20.2).

The Bruins leading scorer, David Krejci, has fewer points than the top three scorers for the Sharks. Krejci has 9-27-36 totals vs. Joe Thornton (4-45-50), Joe Pavelski (21-22-43), and Patrick Marleau (20-22-42). The Bruins don't have a 20 goal scorer yet as opposed to Pavelski and Marleau, who have 21 and 20 goals respectively. The leading goal scorer on the Bruins is Reilly Smith with 15.

Tuukka Rask is 21-11-2 with a 2.12 GAA and .928 save percentage. Antti Niemi is 23-9-6 with a 2.43 GAA and .912 save percentage.

Bruins season advanced stats can be found at Extra Skater.

NEVER FORGET Part 1:

NEVER FORGET Part 2:

Rest in Peace Sam Berns. You were an inspiration to us all.

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