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Game 38: Boston Bruins Vs. Winnipeg Jets Lines, Preview

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The Boston Bruins (23-12-2, 48 pts) will look to continue a new winning streak against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday afternoon (3 pm, NESN, 98.5 the Sports Hub, ESPN+, Sportsnet) after prevailing in the final minute of regulation against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

The Bruins have lost just two games during the month of January and have pushed their way up the Atlantic Division standings with a six-point playoff cushion ahead of the Detroit Red Wings. The Bruins are enjoying a red-hot David Pastrnak, who scored two goals against the Capitals on Thursday and has 10 goals scored in 11 games during the month of January.

In a big development, Brad Marchand is going to take warmups on Saturday afternoon and may even play after it looked like he was going to miss time with an upper body injury suffered after getting hit from behind by Garnet Hathaway. It sure looked like a serious shoulder injury, but there are few players tougher than No. 63 in the NHL. Even if Marchand can’t play on Saturday, it looks like Monday might be a possibility for the NHL’s best left winger.

If Brad Marchand can’t go then Steven Fogarty will draw into the Boston Bruins lineup, and it’s expected that Jake DeBrusk will be playing in Marchand’s top left wing spot alongside Patrice Bergeron. Either way it’s an amazingly good sign that Marchand somehow dodged a potentially serious injury.

“It’s a great sign. If it’s not today then it would be Monday for sure if he’s that close,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “I’m happy to see that.”

Tuukka Rask (1-1-0, 5.27 goals against average and .821 save percentage) will get the start for the Bruins after getting pulled after the first period in Tuesday night’s blowout loss to the Hurricanes where he allowed five goals on 12 shots.

Boston Bruins Notes

-The Bruins have lost just two games during the month of January and have benefitted greatly from hot streaks for Brad Marchand (nine goals and 16 points in 11 games) and David Pastrnak (10 goals and 13 points in 10 games) during that time.

-Brad Marchand (upper body) is going to take warmups on Saturday afternoon and there’s a chance he’s going to play after it looked like he suffered a serious shoulder injury after being hit from behind by Garnet Hathaway. “It’s a good sign,” said Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, who said that Marchand may play Monday if he isn’t quite feeling up to playing on Saturday. If Marchand can’t go then veteran forward Steven Fogarty will make his Boston Bruins debut on Saturday afternoon against Winnipeg.

-Bruins defenseman John Moore is still day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Forward Trent Frederic (upper-body) is also out again tonight and there is no timetable for his return. Defenseman Jakub Zboril is out for the season after successful surgery for a torn ACL last month.

–Anton Blidh (upper body) is out after being the victim of a big, punishing Tom Wilson hit in Thursday’s win over the Capitals.

Washington Capitals Notes

– Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (14-11-5, 2.82 goals against average and .912 save percentage) has started nine consecutive games for the Jets, which ties his longest streak of the season for consecutive starts. He’s started 18 of Winnipeg’s past 19 games.

-The Jets have activated Blake Wheeler from LTIR ahead of Saturday afternoon’s game and placed Nikolaj Ehlers on long term injured reserve. Forward Kristian Reichel was also placed back on the taxi squad.

-This will be the only trip to Boston this season for the Winnipeg Jets amidst the oft-times strange NHL compacted regular season schedule. The Jets are in a stretch of four games in six days on the road that ends with back-to-back games in Boston and Pittsburgh this weekend before heading back to Winnipeg.

Boston Bruins Lines

Forwards:

Steven Fogarty/Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Craig Smith

Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk – Charlie Coyle – Nick Foligno

Oskar Steen – Tomas Nosek – Curtis Lazar

Defense:

Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy

Urho Vaakanainen – Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton

Goalies:

Tuukka Rask 

Linus Ullmark

 

Winnipeg Jets Lines:

Forwards:

Copp-Scheifele-Stastny

Connor-Dubois-Perfetti

Harkins-Lowry-Wheeler

Vesalainen-Toninato-Svechnikov

Morrissey-Demelo

Samberg-Pionk

Stanley-Schmidt

Hellebuyck

Comrie

 

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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