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Linesmen, Get Your Whistles Ready: Wheeler's Back

Unlike most of the hockey world, we will not be getting excited about the Bruins playing the Jets for the first time since 1996, mostly because the Bruins played the Jets in Prague twice last year, and these aren't really the Jets, anyway. 

After a deflating 3-2 shootout loss ended their ten-game winning streak yesterday afternoon, the Bruins will prepare to host old friends Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart and the Winnipeg Jets for the first time this season today. The Jets won a 3-1 decision in Carolina last night, so nobody's allowed to use the "one team was tired" excuse in this one. 

"Just go out and start a new winning streak tomorrow," said Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg after the loss yesterday - and considering how Winnipeg's been playing this year, it shouldn't be all that hard. 

Tim Thomas will be in net tonight for Boston, and it should be Ondrej Pavalec for Winnipeg, which comes in on a five-game point streak, having won four of its last five games. 

Winnipeg's been winning with offense, scoring four goals or more in four of its last five, while Boston hasn't allowed an opponent to score four since a 4-2 loss at Montreal on October 29th, its last regulation loss. Only three opponents (Carolina, San Jose) have scored four against Boston all year, and no team has gotten to five goals against the Bruins. 

Could this game be an emotional letdown game after the high-intensity, drag-out game against Detroit yesterday? There's no denying that. But Thomas has been stellar lately, boasting a 1.55 goals against in seven wins this month. Boston's offense has come down a bit from its torrid, six goal-per-game pace from early in the month, but the Bruins have stood tall in close games and have won big in blowouts. 

Can they keep it going against an overperforming Winnipeg team?

The lines and pairings should be the same as yesterday, but there's no scheduled skate for Boston to confirm it, so we'll just stick to what we know:


Milan Lucic - Davic Krejci - Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin

Rich Peverley - Chris Kelly - Benoit Pouliot

Shawn Thornton - Gregory Campbell - Daniel Paille

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk

Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo

Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas

Tuukka Rask