The Boston Bruins will look to snap out of their potentially disastrous late-season swoon Friday night against a St. Louis Blues team that’s allowed a grand total of one goal over its last five games.
The Blues have been red-hot of late, outscoring opponents 15-1 during their current five-game winning streak as they jockey with the Dallas Stars for the top spot in the NHL’s Central Division. The Bruins haven’t enjoyed nearly the same good fortune in recent weeks, dropping six of their last seven games as they battle for their playoff lives.
Boston leads the Detroit Red Wings by only one point for the Atlantic Division’s final guaranteed playoff spot, and it’ll be down a couple of bodies for its date with St. Louis, as defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and winger Brett Connolly did not make the trip. D-man John-Michael Liles and center Ryan Spooner did travel, however, and are expected to play after both sat out Tuesday’s loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Forward Seth Griffith also will be available for the B’s after he was recalled Wednesday from Providence. Forward Austin Czarnik also was called up Wednesday on an emergency basis but since has been sent back to the American Hockey League.
The Bruins held only an optional pregame skate Friday morning, and head coach Claude Julien declined to reveal the exact lineup he will trot out against the Blues.
“All 23 (players) hopefully will be out for warmup, and we’ll make a game-time decision if that’s the case,” Julien told reporters, via NHL.com.
The Blues shut out the Bruins 2-0 on Dec. 22 in the teams’ first meeting this season.
UPDATE (7:40 p.m. ET): Based on pregame line rushes, here are the lines and pairings for both teams:
BOSTON BRUINS (40-29-8)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Loui Eriksson
Matt Beleskey — David Krejci — David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano — Ryan Spooner — Lee Stempniak
Landon Ferraro — Noel Acciari — Seth Griffith
Zdeno Chara — John-Michael Liles
Joe Morrow — Kevan Miller
Torey Krug — Adam McQuaid
ST. LOUIS BLUES (46-22-9)
Jaden Schwartz — Jori Lehtera — Vladimir Tarasenko
Magnus Paajarvi — Paul Stastny — Troy Brouwer
Patrik Berglund — Alexander Steen — David Backes
Scottie Upshall — Kyle Brodziak — Ryan Reaves
Joel Edmundson — Alex Pietrangelo
Kevin Shattenkirk — Colton Parayko
Petteri Lindbohm — Robert Bortuzzo
Thumbnail photo via Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand
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