Berkshire Bank Faceoff: Projected Lines, Pairings For Bruins-Blackhawks

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The Boston Bruins conclude a five-game road trip Sunday afternoon and are still searching for their first win.

Boston has lost all four of its games on this trip (0-2-2), most recently a 5-1 defeat Friday night to the St. Louis Blues despite giving up just 15 shots and playing an excellent first period.

The Bruins’ next opponent is the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the NHL’s deepest and most talented teams. That said, the ‘Hawks are coming off a tough 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

The Blackhawks didn’t match the Avs’ energy, plain and simple. Chicago is hoping to change that against a Boston team that, much like Colorado, is fighting for a playoff spot.

“Not to blow any smoke in our favor, but it’s what we expect,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said of Colorado’s effort, per Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Especially when we’re playing a division team that’s chasing a playoff spot, that’s on its last legs and has to win to survive. We’re in that position, too. We’ve got to think much the same. I don’t know why we’re so comfortable playing a team like that.”

The Bruins won’t be at full strength against the Blackhawks because top-six center David Krejci is out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury. He left Friday’s game in the second period following a nasty collision. Ryan Spooner was recalled Saturday from the Providence Bruins to fill Krejci’s roster spot.

Expect an emotional game between two veteran teams that aren’t happy with their current position in the standings.

Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

BOSTON BRUINS (28-21-9, fourth in Atlantic)

Milan Lucic-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand-Ryan Spooner-Reilly Smith
Chris Kelly-Carl Soderberg-Loui Eriksson
Jordan Caron-Gregory Campbell-Brian Ferlin

Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
Matt Bartkowski-Dennis Seidenberg
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (35-19-5, third in Central)

Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Kris Versteeg-Brad Richards-Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell-Andrew Shaw-Daniel Carcillo
Patrick Sharp-Marcus Kruger-Ryan Hartman

Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Duncan Keith-Michal Rozsival
Kyle Cumiskey-Brent Seabrook

Corey Crawford

Thumbnail photo via Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

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