Less than 24 hours after playing the team with the best record in the NHL in Vancouver, the Bruins will face the team with the worst record when they continue their road trip in Edmonton on Sunday.
With games on back-to-back nights, the Bruins canceled their morning skate, so there's no indication on the lineup for this one. The Bruins could continue to ride the hot hand with Tim Thomas in goal after he held the Flames and the Canucks to a goal apiece in the last two games.
Thomas is also 3-0-0 with an 0.98 GAA, .968 save percentage and two shutouts all-time against the Oilers. He won his NHL debut in Edmonton 4-3 on Oct. 19, 2002 and has not allowed a goal against the Oilers since. Those performances dropped his GAA back under 2.00 at a league-leading 1.97, to go with a .939 save percentage, seven shutouts and a 28-8-6 record.
The Bruins may want to rest Thomas rather than play him on back-to-back nights, though the club had three days off before the Vancouver game so it wouldn't be too taxing a workload. If Thomas does get a break, Tuukka Rask will be looking to extend his personal win streak to a season-high three games after opening the road trip with victories over the Islanders and Senators.
There's also no word yet on the severity of the lower-body injury defenseman Andrew Ference suffered in Vancouver. Steven Kampfer will return to the lineup after sitting out the last two games if Ference can't play.
For Edmonton, Devan Dubnyk will be in net despite giving up five goals on just 22 shots in a 5-0 loss to St. Louis on Friday. He's 8-8-6 with a 2.88 GAA and a .910 save percentage this year.
The Oilers will be making some changes up front. Gilbert Brule will play for the first time since Jan. 6 as he's been sidelined with rib and ankle injuries. He'll slot in as the center of the fourth line with Ryan Jones and Steve MacIntyre. Jones had been on the third line with Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagner, but Linus Omark will slide into that third-line right wing spot. Omark is a talented rookie who made highlight reels with his shootout moves earlier this season, but has been scratched the last two games.
It will be an entirely new fourth line if the combinations from Saturday's practice hold, with MacIntyre also returning to the lineup along with Brule. MacIntyre once played in the Bruins system in Providence and the 6-foot-5, 250-pound tough guy will definitely add a physical presence to the Oilers lineup. He's played just once in the last six games and only 18 games overall this year.
Friday's fourth line of J.F. Jacques, Colin Fraser and Liam Reddox are expected to be the scratches on Sunday.
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Michael Ryder
Greg Campbell-Tyler Seguin-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Dennis Seidenberg
Steven Kampfer-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Daniel Paille, Andrew Ference (lower-body)
Projected Oilers lines
Dustin Penner-Shawn Horcoff-Ales Hemsky
Taylor Hall-Andrew Cogliano-Jordan Eberle
Magnus Paajarvi-Sam Gagner-Linus Omark
Ryan Jones-Gilbert Brule-Steve MacIntyre
Tom Gilbert-Ladislav Smid
Jim Vandermeet-Kurtis Foster
Theo Peckham-Jason Strudwick
Scratches: J.F. Jacques, Colin Fraser, Liam Reddox
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