BOSTON – The Bruins will have a challenge in the form of the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night just 24 hours after an emotional game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Despite the strenuous 35-save effort from Tuukka Rask on Wednesday night against the Habs, the Finnish netminder is back between the pipes for both ends of the back-to-back on Thursday night.
Pretty surprising that the Bruins didn’t opt for Chad Johnson against his former Phoenix Coyotes team. It's the second time since the Olympic break that Rask has started both ends of a back-to-back situation.
He’ll be faced by standout Phoenix netminder Mike Smith, who is 3-6-0 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in nine career games against the Bruins. Dougie Hamilton will return to the lineup after being scratched for the past couple of games. It appeared that Torey Krug would be the healthy scratch as defenseman were rotated in and out of the pregame line rushes.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on the pregame warm-up: