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Game 18: Boston Bruins Vs. Vancouver Canucks Lines, Preview

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Perhaps this will be known as the Jaroslav Halak (0-3-1, 2.79 goals against average and .903 save percentage) revenge game when it’s all said and done as the Boston Bruins (10-7-0, 20 pts) welcome the Vancouver Canucks (6-13-2, 14 pts) to TD Garden for a Sunday evening game (7 pm, NESN) that seems to be turning into a regular thing for the Black and Gold.

The former B’s backup netminder is a few games into his stint with a Canucks team that has been awful this season and has the buzzards circling around the heads of head coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning. It should be an easy two points for the Black and Gold against a Vancouver team that’s just 2-7-1 in their last 10 games.

These are actually the kinds of games where Boston has taken care of business this year while struggling against the better teams in the league.

Boston Bruins Notes

-Struggling Boston Bruins forwards Jake DeBrusk and Erik Haula will both be scratched for Sunday night’s game against the Canucks. Haula has just one goal this season and was a defensive liability in Friday afternoon’s 5-2 loss to the Rangers while DeBrusk has drifted away from playing an engaged brand of hockey with just one goal in his last 12 games.

“I think what happens with Jake and what we’ve seen over the last few years is that when the production is there, you’re getting more second effort,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy following the game-day skate on Sunday morning. “They kind of go hand and hand and when it’s not there, we lose a little bit of that, and that’s been the ask of him for a number of years now. No drop-off on this side of the ledger just because the production isn’t there. You can label him as. …hey, any 20-goal scorer only scores once every four games, right? If that’s kind of playing every game more or less. You still need to do other things.”

– Linus Ullmark will be the starting goaltender after sitting out the last two games after tweaking something during Wednesday morning’s morning skate in Buffalo. He declared himself ready to play and “back in business” after Saturday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

“I feel great…back in business and ready to play,” said Ullmark, who is 6-4-0 with a 2.42 goals against average and a .908 save percentage this season. “It was nothing really that happened that [Wednesday] morning. It was something earlier that I thought would be better in that morning at practice, but it wasn’t good enough [to play] basically. The sensible decision was to step away from it, do some rehab and get treatment to be ready for the future.”

Trent Frederic had been out since Nov. 9 with the second concussion of his pro hockey career but will return to the lineup replacing Erik Haula while Karson Kuhlman will also draw in for the Black and Gold.

Vancouver Canucks Notes

-Nils Hoglander has four goals and five points in his last eight games for the Canucks while JT Miller leads Vancouver with six goals and 10 points in 12 games during the month of November.

– Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Connor Garland are a combined minus-15 for the Canucks this month and have a lot of company in the minus category with Vancouver this year. In a related development, FOH (Friend of Haggs) Rob Simpson is out with his quarter season report cards and the grades are appropriately unkind for all of the players listed above.

– Jaroslav Halak has faced the Bruins 17 times in his career (8-9-0), owning a .925 SV% and a 2.39 GAA prior to playing for them the last few seasons, but this Vancouver team may register as one of the worst he’s played on when suiting up against the Black and Gold.

Boston Bruins Lines

Forwards

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith

Nick Foligno – Trent Frederic– Karson Kuhlman

Anton Blidh – Tomas Nosek – Curtis Lazar

Defense

Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy

Derek Forbort – Brandon Carlo

Mike Reilly – Jakub Zboril

Goalies:

Linus Ullmark 

Vancouver Canucks Lines

Forwards

Tanner Pearson–Bo Horvat–Conor Garland
Nils Hoglander–J.T. Miller–Brock Boeser
Justin Dowling–Elias Pettersson–Vasily Podkolzin
Tyler Motte–Jason Dickinson–Alex Chiasson

Defense

Oliver Ekman-Larsson–Tyler Myers
Quinn Hughes–Luke Schenn
Kyle Burroughs–Tucker Poolman

Goalies:

Jaroslav Halak

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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