The Bruins are in New York to take on the Rangers on Wednesday night, and they will be looking to continue their run of road success this season.
Boston is 6-1-0 on the road so far. Much of that has to do with Tim Thomas' amazing start, as the goalie is off to a 9-1-0 start of his own. Thomas was the first goalie off the ice at Wednesday's morning skate at Madison Square Garden, so it appears he'll get a chance to reach double figures in wins in this one as he tries to follow up his fourth shutout of the season, a 28-save effort in Monday's 3-0 win over the Devils.
Thomas could have a familiar face playing in front of him, as defenseman Johnny Boychuk skated in the morning workout and will be a game-time decision. Boychuk hasn't played since the last meeting with the Rangers back on Oct. 23 when he suffered a fractured forearm from a slash by New York forward Brandon Dubinsky.
If Boychuk is able to go, either Adam McQuaid or Matt Hunwick will likely be the scratch on defense. McQuaid was a scratch for the first six games of the year before Boychuk went down, but he has made a strong case to stay in the lineup with his solid play in the nine games Boychuk has been out.
David Krejci (concussion) also made the trip to New York with the team, but will not play on Wednesday. He is getting closer though, as he passed his neuro-psych test and has been cleared for contact in practice.
The Bruins will stick with the line changes made before Monday's win against New Jersey. Michael Ryder, who took 10 stitches to his cheek after a high stick in the game but returned to finish the contest, will remain with Greg Campbell and Brad Marchand, while Shawn Thornton skates with Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille.
The Rangers have a game-time decision of their own, as massive enforcer Derek Boogaard (6-foot-7, 265 pounds) is questionable to play. He did skate with the team in the morning, but missed Monday's game with Pittsburgh after banging up his right hand in a pair of lengthy brawls with Edmonton's similarly-size Steve MacIntyre (6-foot-6, 260 pounds) on Sunday. Todd White would come out of the lineup if Boogaard is able to play.
The Rangers did escape a scare with defenseman Dan Girardi. He was struck in the face with a puck on Monday and needed seven stitches to close the cut it caused. But he returned to the game and assisted on the overtime winner, and should be fine to play on Wednesday.
The Rangers also have star forward Marian Gaborik back in the lineup. He missed 12 games, including the first meeting with the Bruins, with a shoulder injury, but returned three games ago. He has 3-1-4 totals in his first three games back, but all four of those points came in an 8-2 blowout of the Oilers on Sunday.
Henrik Lundqvist was the first goalie off the ice for the Rangers at the morning skate, so he's expected to get the start in this one. That's hardly a surprise, considering his past success against Boston. He's 14-4-2 with a 1.42 GAA, .951 save percentage and four shutouts in 20 career starts against the Bruins.
Projected Bruins lines:
Milan Lucic-Patrice Bergeron-Nathan Horton
Jordan Caron-Blake Wheeler-Mark Recchi
Brad Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille-Tyler Seguin-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Andrew Ference
Matt Hunwick-Dennis Seidenberg
Mark Stuart-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: David Krejci (concussion), Johnny Boychuk (forearm)
Projected Rangers lines:
Alex Frolov-Erik Christensen-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Artem Anisimov-Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Sean Avery-Derek Stepan-Todd White
Marc Staal- Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Michael Sauer-Matt Gilroy
Scratches: Michal Rozsival (shoulder), Derek Boogaard (hand)