Bruins forward Reilly Smith is battling the flu right now. The rest of the roster probably is telling the winger to join the club.
Smith is just the latest Bruin to come down with the flu bug that has been making its way through the Boston locker room. The ailment was bad enough to keep Smith off the ice at morning skate Saturday in Vancouver, but he will be in the lineup against the Canucks. The sad reality for the Bruins, though, is that Smith really doesn’t have a choice.
The Bruins remain depleted by injury and suspension and don’t have any extra players at the moment. So they’ll go with Smith and probably a host of others who are still battling at least remnants of the flu bug and hope for the best against Vancouver. It’s the first meeting of the teams since Jan. 7, 2012 and just the second since the Bruins beat the Canucks for the 2011 Stanley Cup.
Roster turnover and injuries will make the lineups look a little different than they did on June 15, 2011, when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup during their last trip to Vancouver. The Canucks on Saturday will feature eight players who played in that Game 7, and 10 Bruins from that Cup-winning team are expected to suit up.
Roberto Luongo will make his second start in two nights for the Canucks, and Tuukka Rask is expected to be in net for the Bruins.
Here are the projected lines for both teams.
Bruins (22-8-2, 46 points)
Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Reilly Smith
Carl Soderberg — Ryan Spooner — Matt Fraser
Jordan Caron — Gregory Campbell — Nick Johnson
Zdeno Chara — Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg — Torey Krug
Matt Barktowski — Kevan Miller
Canucks (19-10-5, 43 points)
Daniel Sedin — Henrik Sedin — Jannik Hansen
Chris Higgins — Ryan Kesler — Mike Santorelli
David Booth — Brad Richardson — Zack Kassian
Tom Sestito — Zac Dalpe — Dale Weise
Dan Hamhuis — Chris Tanev
Ryan Stanton — Kevin Bieksa
Andrew Alberts — Jason Garrison