Both teams are on a similar trajectory through this young season. The Stars are 8-5-1 and the Bruins are 8-4-2. The difference is that almost all of the Stars losses have happened on the road while the Bruins have spread their losses out a little more evenly.
In their last meeting, the line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Jason Spezza played most of their minutes against the Bruins line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak. This was a good match up for Boston, as most of the possession in that ice time swung toward the Bruins. The Stars top line was kept to 5 shots on goal the entire game, while Boston’s top line had 11.
Good news for Stars fans is that Alexander Radulov is back in the line up. He missed the last meeting with the Bruins and is always a difference maker when he plays.
Gavin Bayreuther, freshly back from a concussion that had him missing a lot of the early season with the Texas Stars, will be making his NHL debut. Bayreuther’s promotion leaves Ben Gleason down with the Texas Stars while Joel Hanley fills out the rest of the Stars depleted blue line.
Devin Shore is still out of the line up for at least ten days. John Klingberg and Connor Carrick are out until at least December.
The Bruins lost Zdeno Chara to a lower body injury during Wednesday’s game in Colorado. The well-past-his-prime defenseman took an awkward fall while finishing a check and did not return to the game. He’s been sent home to Boston for further evaluation by the team’s doctors.
Boston is having the same difficulty the Stars are with keeping their blue line healthy, and may be debuting an NHL rookie against the Stars, Jakub Zboril, a first round pick from 2015.
Here is what the Stars have as of this morning:
Jamie Benn - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov
Mattias Janmark - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie
Blake Comeau - Radek Faksa - Tyler Pitlick
Gemel Smith - Jason Dickinson - Valeri Nichushkin
Esa Lindell - Julius Honka
Miro Heiskanen - Roman Polak
Joel Hanley - Gavin Bayreuther
The Bruins, meanwhile, are dealing with a cavalcade of injuries of their own, particularly on defense—though it remains to be seen whether the Stars can take advantage of it. Expect their lineup to be somewhat similar to what they iced in Colorado Wednesday, before Zdeno Chara left with an injury. Connor Clifton was called up as a result and he may play tonight. Here’s what we have for Boston:
Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Nordstrom - Krejci - DeBrusk
Heinen - Forsbacka Karlsson - Bjork
Wagner - Kuraly - Backes
Lauzon - Grzelcyk
Krug - Clifton/Miller
Zboril - Kampfer