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Preview: Bruins host Stars in season opener

Hockey is back on Causeway!

Dallas Stars v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Defending Big D

Know your enemy

  • 1-0-0 for 2 points
  • Miro Heiskanen: 1GP, 1G, 1A, 2PTS; Radek Faksa, Jacob Peterson, Ryan Suter and Jamie Benn with 1PT in 1GP each
  • Anton Khudobin: 1-0-0, 0 GAA, 1.00 save percentage; Braden Holtby: 0-0-0, 2.49 GAA, .926 save percentage

Game notes

  • It’s opening night folks! The 2021-22 season kicks off tonight for the Boston Bruins as they host the Dallas Stars. It’s the first time seeing a Western Conference team since February 27, 2020 – which was also against the Stars a few weeks before COVID-19 cut the 2019-20 season short. In that meeting, the Bruins topped Dallas 4-3 at home.
  • And with the return of the Stars to the TD Garden, there’s a renewed sense of normalcy to kick off the season. Facing 31 opponents instead of seven divisional opponents all year?? THANK YOU.
  • With ten days between their last preseason game and tonight, the Bruins are one of the last teams to start the new season. The B’s will have seven games this month with three home games.
  • The Stars opened their season Thursday with a 3-2 overtime win over the New York Rangers as part of a four-game road trip. Peterson scored late in the first period to open the scoring for Dallas. Faksa extended the Stars’ lead in the second period with a power-play goal before the Rangers scored the next two to tie the game. Heiskanen netted the overtime winner to give his team their first win of the season.
  • Holtby made 25 saves on 27 shots faced in his debut for the Stars on Thursday before leaving the game in the third period due to dehydration. John Klingberg also left the game with a lower-body injury.
  • Charlie McAvoy had himself a big pay day yesterday, signing an eight-year, $76M extension. The 23-year-old has consistently put up strong offensive numbers in his four NHL seasons. It’s definitely challenging figuring out who should round out the top defensive pairing with him this season, but the Bruins will first try out McAvoy with Derek Forbort’s left-shot.
  • Throughout camp and preseason, McAvoy and Forbort have been the top pairing. While it’d be easy to pair McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk, tonight could be the first indication of how the combo could play out for the year. McAvoy and Forbort have two have different styles. McAvoy is more offensively-minded than Forbort’s more classic defense and physical approach. Forbort has played on the top pairings for his other teams with similar types of defensemen like McAvoy.
  • Jeremy Swayman will start in net for the Bruins. Last season, the 22-year-old appeared in 10 games with a 7-3-0 record. He registered two shutouts, a 1.50 GAA and .945 save percentage. This preseason, Swayman played two full games and half of another. During those games, he had a .932 save percentage on 73 shots and allowed two goals on even strength and three on the penalty kill.
  • Injury updates: With Curtis Lazar listed as week-to-week, Karson Kuhlman will slide into the fourth line’s right wing.

See ya tonight!