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The Bruins (12-6-2) return home after a brief two-game jaunt through the Sunshine State to host the Carolina Hurricanes (9-12-2) at the TD Garden for a matinee game on Causeway Street.
Boston rebounded from a very rough game in Tampa Monday with a come-from-behind effort Wednesday against the Panthers that earned them a 3-1 victory, giving the B’s a split on their Floridian road trip.
Head coach Claude Julien didn’t see much from his forward lines through the first 40 minutes of play on Wednesday, prompting him to shuffle his forwards in an effort to spark some offense. Mission accomplished. Trailing 1-0, the B’s got a goal from Brad Marchand to even up the score, followed by a pair of scores from veteran Mark Recchi, to deliver the B’s the 3-1 win.
Now, Boston turns their focus to the ‘Canes, losers of three straight. Let’s hope the Bruins can extend that streak Friday afternoon. Without further ado, some pregame notes to get you ready for Friday’s action…
– This will be the first meeting between these two squads this season. Last year, Boston took three of four from the ‘Canes, including both games played at the Garden.
– Getting back to Mark Recchi, with his two goals Wednesday, he became just the 13th player in NHL history to reach the 1,500 point mark for his career. The two goals were the 42-year-old’s 566th and 567th career goals.
– Expect Claude Julien to trot out those same forward lines that you saw in the third period Wednesday. He promoted Patrice Bergeron back to the team’s top line, centering Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, a line that was together during David Krejci’s six-game absence. Krejci was moved to center a line with Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder, a trio that played together often two seasons ago. The third line consisted of Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, and Mark Recchi, while the fourth line saw rookie Tyler Seguin return to the center position, in between Brad Marchand and Shawn Thornton.
– On the Carolina side, they look to rebound from three straight losses, two of which came by way of the shootout. Wednesday, they dropped a tough one to the Capitals, 3-2. Backup goalie Justin Peters was in net for that one, while usual starter Cam Ward was with his wife, who gave birth to the couple’s first child, a son. Ward should be back with the team, and in net for Friday’s matinee start. Ward is 9-7-1 with a 2.84GAA, while Peters is struggling, at 0-3-1 with a 4.21GAA.
– Carolina’s leading trio of scorers includes captain Eric Staal (10G, 14A), followed by forwards Jussi Jokinen (4G, 13A) and Jeff Skinner (6G, 11A).
– The only former Bruin on the Carolina roster is high-flying winger Sergei Samsonov, who spent a handful of years with the B’s in the early part of the 2000’s. The Russian winger has bounced around to a few NHL cities in his recent career, settling in well now with the ‘Canes.