The Bruins snapped their four-game road losing streak Saturday in Los Angeles. Now they will try close out their three-game road trip with back-to-back wins as they take on the Ducks in Anaheim before returning home.
With games on consecutive nights, the Bruins did not hold a morning skate in Anaheim on Sunday to offer any clues to any potential lineup changes.
It's not likely that coach Claude Julien would look to shake things up much after a solid 4-2 victory over the Kings, but it is possible that forward Rich Peverley could be ready to return. He's been out with a knee injury since Feb. 15, but resumed practicing last week and took warm-ups on Saturday. He will be ready to return soon, perhaps as early as Sunday in Anaheim.
When he does come back, Julien will face a tough decision on who to sit. The third line of Benoit Pouliot, Chris Kelly and Brian Rolston has been pacing the Bruins offense of late, combining for 7-13-20 totals and a plus-20 in the last five games. Rolston, once a candidate for press-box duty when the Bruins got healthy, is 2-7-9 and a plus-7 in that span, so he won't be going anywhere.
Jordan Caron could be the odd man out. He had an assist on Saturday, but didn't have a point and was a minus-2 in his previous four games after an unexpected 4-4-8 breakout in the prior six games. Peverley was playing with Milan Lucic and David Krejci prior to his injury, and a straight switch with Caron could be the simplest solution.
Julien will also have to make a decision in net. With the Bruins still locked in a tight battle with Ottawa and now Buffalo for the Northeast Division lead and trying to hold off Florida to maintain the second seed in the East, he could continue to ride Tim Thomas even with the Bruins playing on back-to-back nights.
Thomas has rounded back into form of late, going 3-1-0 with a 1.48 GAA and a .946 save percentage in his last four games. Backup Marty Turco has not played since his lone disastrous start against Tampa Bay, but Julien has praised his continued work and improvement in practice since.
The Ducks are expected to go with Jonas Hiller in goal, which is not a surprise since he leads all NHL netminders this season with 68 games started.
Anaheim will also get defenseman Toni Lydman back after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury, but they have lost fellow defenseman Nate Guenin, who suffered a fracture orbital bone when hit by a puck in Wednesday's win over St. Louis.
The Ducks will have a decision to make up front. Popular tough guy George Parros has fallen out of favor with new coach Bruce Boudreau, who did not dress an enforcer for most of his tenure in Washington. Parros has been scratched in 10 of the last 16 games, but could get the nod in this one if the Ducks feel the need for some extra muscle against the physical Bruins lineup.
Rob Martell and Brad Watson will be the referees, with Mike Cvik and Mark Wheler working the lines.
Projected Bruins lines
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jordan Caron
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid
Scratches: Nathan Horton (concussion), Rich Peverley (knee), Tuukka Rask (groin), Mike Mottau, Joe Corvo, Trent Whitfield
Projected Ducks lines
Devante Smith-Pelly-Ryan Getzlaf-Corey Perry
Jason Blake-Saku Koivu-Teemu Selanne
Bobby Ryan-Nick Bonino-Kyle Palmieri
Niklas Hagman-Andrew Cogliano-Matt Beleskey
Francois Beauchemin-Cam Fowler
Lubomir Visnovsky-Sheldon Brookbank
Luca Sbisa-Toni Lydman
Scratches: Nate Guenin (facial injury), George Parros, Rod Pelley, Dan Ellis (sports hernia)
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