BOSTON – The Bruins and Rangers meet for the second of four clashes this season between the Original Six rivals on Tuesday, but the Rangers won't be returning to Boston again unless the top two teams in the East face each other in the playoffs.
That almost seems inevitable, but for now they'll have to settle for a key regular-season showdown, with the Bruins looking to settle a bit of a score after falling to New York 3-2 in the final seconds of overtime last month.
Rangers coach John Tortorella confirmed that Hendrik Lundqvist will be in goal for New York, while Tim Thomas was the first off the ice at the Bruins' optional morning skate and is expected to be in net for Boston.
The Bruins will have to make a couple of scratches after calling up defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Josh Hennessy on Monday, but the newcomers are expected to sit unless injuries strike or coach Claude Julien wants to send a message to an underperforming veteran.
"I think it serves both purposes," Julien said. "To make players understand that if you're not pulling your weight around here, then there's somebody that can take your spot. That should always be the case. You don't want guys getting comfortable. At the same time if there's an injury on this [upcoming six-game] road trip, it's a lot easier to bring the guy along if he's been around the team, than to just fly him in and expect him to jump in there and do the job."
New York will have a decision of its own. Forward Ruslan Fedotenko skated in the morning and will be a game-time decision after missing the last two games following a blindside hit by Tampa Bay's Dominic Moore.
Dave Jackson and Justin St. Pierre will be the referees, with Derek Nansen and Dan Schachte working the lines.
Projected Bruins lines:
Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot-David Krejci-Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Nathan Horton (concussion), Andrew Bodnarchuk, Josh Hennessy
Projected Rangers lines:
Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Carl Hagelin-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Brandon Dubinsky-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Michael Rupp-John Mitchell-Ruslan Fedotenko
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Anton Stralman
Marc Staal-Steve Eminger
Scratches: Jeff Woywitka, Stu Bickel, Wojtek Wolski
— 30 —