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Game 18: Boston Bruins Vs. Chicago Blackhawks Lines, Preview

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Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:

Boston Bruins (15-2-0, 30 pts) vs Chicago Blackhawks (6-7-3, 15 pts)

TIME: 7 P.M. ET,

TV: NESN, NBCS CHI

Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

The Boston Bruins are off to one of the best starts in NHL history with 15 wins in 17 games, and are a perfect 10-0-0 on TD Garden ice to start this season. The opening couple of months have practically everybody singing “Everything Is Awesome” from the Lego Movie, but the veteran group of Bruins players are trying to keep things in perspective.

“I wouldn’t get carried away. Obviously, we have a great start, but it’s a long season. It’s a really long season and we’re going to hit some rough patches. “That’s just the way it is,” said Boston center David Krejci, who is on pace for a very Krejci-like 20 goals and 53 points this season with four goals and 11 points in 17 games to start the year. “But for right now we’re rolling, so we’re trying to get as many wins as we can. We’re not really focusing too much ahead.”

Instead the Boston Bruins are focusing on the process and keeping good habits while the winning continues, but there certainly could be a danger of the B’s looking ahead of a so-so Blackhawks team with a big road trip through Florida and the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers facing them next week.

“They’re playing with good spirit and a lot of energy,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “It tells you that the group is invigorated and is playing the right way.”

That will be the challenge on Saturday as they drop the puck against a non-conference foe in Chicago that hasn’t exactly been playoff-worthy over the last few seasons while they rebuild from the very foundations of their past Stanley Cup teams.

Boston Bruins Notes

-The Boston Bruins will be looking to extend their best home open to the season with an 11th straight win at TD Garden and be looking to win their sixth game in a row. The B’s are just the fifth team in NHL history to win their first 10 games of the season on home ice.

–The expectation is that Jeremy Swayman is going to get the start for the Boston Bruins after Linus Ullmark led the Boston Bruins to another victory on Thursday night against the Flyers. Swayman hasn’t had any game action since leaving the Nov. 1 win over the Penguins with a knee injury after slamming his leg into the post.

-Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk will be moved back to the right wing skating with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand while David Pastrnak will slide down to the second line with David Krejci and Taylor Hall.

-Defenseman Derek Forbort remains week to week after surgery on a broken middle finger, but he has resumed skating on his own ahead of Bruins practices.

Chicago Blackhawks Notes

-Petr Mrazek is expected to get the start for the Chicago Blackhawks. The veteran netminder is 1-2-1 with a 3.16 goals against average and .897 save percentage this season.

-The Blackhawks got two goals from Andreas Athansiou, but that was all the offense they could muster in a 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday evening. They should be well-rested at this point entering Saturday’s game against the Black and Gold.

-Max Domi has four points in his last four games for Chicago and is heating up while centering a top Blackhawks line with Patrick Kane on it. Kane, incidentally, is beginning to hear his name crop up in rumors with the Boston Bruins among other teams as it seems clear he is going to be trade bait for a rebuilding franchise.

–The Blackhawks have killed off 11 straight penalties while going against a Boston Bruins power play that scored a pair of third period goals to help pull away from the Flyers in Thursday night’s win at the Garden.

Boston Bruins Lineup:

Forwards

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk

Taylor Hall-David Krejci-David Pastrnak

Trent Frederic-Charlie Coyle-Pavel Zacha

Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-A.J. Greer

Defense:

Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm-Connor Clifton

Anton Stralman-Brandon Carlo

Goalies:

Jeremy Swayman

Linus Ullmark

Chicago Blackhawks Lineup:

Forwards

Andreas Athanasiou-Max Domi-Patrick Kane

Phillipp Kurashev-Jonathan Toews-Taylor Raddysh

Mackenzie Entwistle-Jason Dickinson-Sam Lafferty

Colin Blackwell-Jujhar Khaira-Reese Johnson

Defense

Jared Tinordi-Connor Murphy

Jack Johnson-Jake McCabe

Filip Roos-Ian Mitchell

Goalies

Petr Mrazek

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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