In the second game of a back-to-back, the biggest change for the Boston Bruins will be their choice in goaltender, as Anton Khudobin will get the start Thursday against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden.
The decision had been made prior to Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, with Tuukka Rask getting Detroit, and Khudobin handling the Caps.
It should be a tough test for the Bruins’ backup. After winning four straight starts beginning Nov. 16, the 31-year-old was yanked in his most recent appearance, allowing four goals on 14 shots against the Nashville Predators on Dec. 4.
Opposing Khudobin will be Caps netminder Braden Holtby, a winner of four of his last five starts. The Bruins historically have had trouble figuring out the 28-year-old, with Holtby posting a 12-2-0 career record with a 1.81 goals against average and a .944 save percentage against the B’s.
Kevan Miller also is expected to return to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s game following the birth of his first child.
The Bruins have won nine of their last 11, including six straight victories over conference opponents, while the Capitals are on a hot stretch of their own, winning eight of their last 10.
Here are the projected lineups for Thursday’s Bruins-Capitals game:
BOSTON BRUINS (15-9-4)
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk — David Krejci — Anders Bjork
Danton Heinen — Riley Nash — David Backes
Tim Schaller – Sean Kuraly — Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara — Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug — Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk — Kevan Miller
WASHINGTON CAPITALS (19-12-1)
Alexander Ovechkin — Nicklas Backstrom — Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Alex Chiasson
Andre Burakovsky — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson — Jay Beagle — Devante Smith-Pelly
Brooks Orpik — John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos — Madison Bowey
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images