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Game 21: Boston Bruins Vs. Carolina Hurricanes Lines, Preview

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

Boston Bruins (17-3-0, 32 pts) vs Carolina Hurricanes (10-6-4, 24 pts)

TIME: 1 P.M. ET,

TV: NESN, NHL Network, Bally Sports South

Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub

The Boston Bruins return home after a two-game swing through Florida to take on the Carolina Hurricanes squad that ended their season last year.  The Hurricanes haven’t quite jumped out to the big start that Boston has over the first couple of months, but they are in a playoff spot behind the surprising New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

The Black and Gold may be hitting the Hurricanes at the right time as they’ve lost four games in a row, but the Boston Bruins themselves are coming off a tough 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers where they handed Florida six power play chances during the game. Pretty clearly the Bruins are looking at an uptick in going to the penalty box as something they’ll need to work on even as they’re off to a dream start this regular season.

The Bruins have taken the 7th most penalties in the NHL this season (94) and that’s clearly a number they’d like to improve upon.

“We were undisciplined. We took too many poor penalties,” said Jim Montgomery, after the loss in Florida. “You can’t turn to the puck over as much as we did against a good team that transitions to offense and expect them to have success.

“When you’re having a lot of success, sometimes what you’re preaching falls on deaf ears. We haven’t harped on it a lot but turnovers and taking too many minor penalties, not using our feet and sticks well enough to stop taking minor penalties.”

The expectation is that Linus Ullmark will be back in between the pipes after Jeremy Swayman came out on the losing end on Wednesday night in Florida, but we shall see when the Bruins take the ice for pregame warm-ups.

Boston Bruins Notes

-The Boston Bruins are experiencing a bit of a PK issue after allowing three power play goals to the Panthers in Wednesday’s loss and allowing PP goals in each of their last five games while adjusting to life without Derek Forbort. The Bruins allowed two PP goals in 32 tries with Forbort in the lineup and have allowed 9 PP goals in 43 kill attempts since the tough, shot-blocking D-man went out of the lineup with a broken finger on Nov. 1.

“We’re just getting a little extended at times. That’s kind of how it goes throughout the year. You’re not gonna be perfect all the time,” said Brad Marchand. “You’re playing against the other team’s top players so they’re gonna make plays at some point. They did that. It’s back to the drawing board for the next game.”

“[The absence of Forbort] hurts for sure. He’s incredible on the PK, blocking shots. He’s got a really long reach, closes quick in the corners. He’s hard to play against. We definitely miss him, no question.”

–Jakub Zboril didn’t even break eight minutes of ice time in Wednesday’s loss to the Panthers and hit the bench after a costly second period turnover led to a Panthers goal that really changed the complexion of the game. It would be surprising if Zboril is in Friday afternoon’s lineup after the way things ended vs. Florida.

-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 at Bruins practices. Trent Frederic was out of Wednesday night’s game with an upper body injury suffered in Tampa and is day-to-day with what looked like a left shoulder injury after a crash into the boards.

-The Bruins are scheduled to be wearing their reverse retro jerseys on Friday afternoon and unveiled their Winter Classic jerseys this morning as well.

Carolina Hurricanes Notes

-The Bruins could and should be facing an ornery Hurricanes crew after they dropped a 4-0 loss to the lowly Arizona Coyotes right before Thanksgiving. That kind of loss must have ruined the turkey dinners on Thursday.

-The Hurricanes have scored 10 goals in their last six games and are struggling mightily offensively at this point in the season.

-It will be an interesting matchup between a struggling Boston Bruins penalty kill and a Carolina Hurricanes power play that’s 0-for-20 as the Canes have struggled to produce offensive as of late. Something is going to have to give unless no penalties are called on Black Friday.

–Antti Raanta was expected to be the starter for Wednesday night’s game, but was nicked up and relegated to backup duty at the last minute as Pyotr Kochetkov got the start with the Hurricanes being shut out. Ranta was able to practice on Thursday so chances are he will be able to suit up for the Hurricanes on Friday.

Boston Bruins Lineup:

Forwards

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Jake DeBrusk

Pavel Zacha-David Krejci-David Pastrnak

Taylor Hall-Charlie Coyle-Craig Smith

Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-AJ Greer

Defense:

Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm-Connor Clifton

Anton Stralman-Brandon Carlo

Goalies:

Linus Ullmark

Jeremy Swayman

Carolina Hurricanes Lineup:

Forwards

Stefan Noesen-Sebastian Aho-Martin Necas

Andrei Svechnikov-Jesperi Kotkaniemi-Seth Jarvis

Jordan Martinook-Jordan Staal-Jesper Fast

Jack Drury-Paul Stastny-Derek Stepan

Defense

Jaccob Slavin-Brent Burns

Brady Skjei-Brett Pesce

Calvin de Haan-Jalen Chatfield

Goalies

Antti Raanta

Pyotr Kochetkov

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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JustJim

Like that third line!

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