Game #18 Preview: Bruins host slumping Blue Jackets

blue_jackets.r

Game #18: Columbus Blue Jackets (6-10-1) vs. Boston Bruins (11-5-1)

Time: 7 PM

Location: TD Garden

TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub

The Bruins, winners of three straight, will play host to the slumping Blue Jackets Thursday night. This meeting will mark the second of three scheduled games between the clubs this season.

Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson all tallied goals for the Bruins in their 3-1 victory over Columbus back on Oct. 12. Tuukka Rask turned aside 27 of 28 shots in the contest. Jack Johnson scored the lone Blue Jacket goal.

Columbus has lost six of their last seven, while the Bruins have won four of their last six. They are 3-0-1 on their current home stand and want nothing more than to close it out on a high note before departing for Ottawa on Friday.

Boston is playing with grit, determination and physicality. Their top line is setting the score sheet ablaze. The Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Loui Erkisson line is finally beginning to gel. The Bruins should emerge victorious if they can piece together another strong 60-minute effort.

Signs point toward Chad Johnson starting in place of Rask. Rask has started 15 of the last 17 games. Johnson lost his last start against the Islanders on Nov. 2.

Projected Lineup:

Lucic-Krejci-Iginla

Marchand-Bergeron-Eriksson

Soderberg-Kelly-Smith

Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk

Seidenberg-Hamilton

Krug-Bartkowski

Chad Johnson

Frank O’Laughlin-Senior NHL Contributor-TitleTown Sports Network

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