The Boston Bruins are back on the road for a must-win game Sunday against a Carolina Hurricanes team that is one of the NHL’s worst.
Carolina sits at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division with an 11-23-4 record, which is one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for the worst mark in the league.
The Hurricanes lineup received a boost when top-six forward Jordan Staal made his regular-season debut Dec. 29 against the Montreal Canadiens after suffering a broken leg in the preseason, but the ‘Canes are just 1-2-0 since his return and 4-10-1 since the start of December.
The Bruins lost 3-2 in overtime to an inferior Ottawa Senators squad Saturday at TD Garden and head coach Claude Julien was forced to mix up his top two lines by switching left wingers Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic. Marchand responded with a goal in the third period playing alongside David Krejci and Seth Griffith, while Lucic extended his goal drought to seven games.
Veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid returned to the Bruins lineup Saturday after an 18-game absence and played alongside Dennis Seidenberg. Matt Bartkowski was a healthy scratch as a result. It’ll be interesting to see if Julien returns Lucic and Marchand to their normal lines or keeps them where they finished the Senators game.
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (19-15-5, sixth in Atlantic)
Milan Lucic-Patrice Bergeron-Reilly Smith
Brad Marchand-David Krejci-Seth Griffith
Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Craig Cunningham
Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Adam McQuaid-Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug-Kevan Miller
CAROLINA HURRICANES (11-23-4, eighth in Metropolitan)
Eric Staal-Jordan Staal-Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe-Victor Rask-Jiri Tlusty
Jeff Skinner-Riley Nash-Chris Terry
Brad Malone-Jay McClement-Pat Dwyer
Andrej Sekera-Justin Faulk
Tim Gleason-Ryan Murphy
Ron Hainsey-Brett Bellemore
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/Associated Press