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Need to Know: Bruins at Predators

Bjork shifts up to second-line right wing as Boston looks to snap skid

by Eric Russo @erusso22 / BostonBruins.com

NASHVILLE - The Bruins are in the Music City for a Tuesday night tilt against the Nashville Predators as they look to snap their three-game losing skid. And they're hoping to have a little extra luck on their side with their mothers on hand for the team's moms trip.

"I think any time is a good time to be honest with you," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of the trip coming during a losing streak. "Right now, yeah, it's good timing. Nashville is a good city. Hopefully they get some decent weather to walk around and see a bit of the sights here this afternoon and see their boys tonight.

"For us, yeah, it gives us a little bit more motivation. Nashville's got their motivation tonight with a new boss, so probably a little extra at stake for both teams."

Here's everything else you need to know about Tuesday's tilt in Nashville (8 p.m. ET on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub):

Opposing View

The Predators will indeed have a new boss behind the bench after the hiring of former Devils coach John Hynes on Tuesday morning. Nashville relieved long-time head coach Peter Laviolette of his duties on Monday night after a six-year stint that included a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016-17.

Nashville, which has dropped four of its last five, is 19-15-7 (45 points), leaving them 5 points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"We went through all of our stuff as if they're going to keep a similar system," said Cassidy. "We've seen Jersey over the years, so we have that in our back pocket. We may throw a couple of clips in that they might switch to, that we've seen in the past, but it might be a little bit in special teams.

"I don't know if I was put in that situation how much you could expect to change in one morning. I have a feeling that they'll just want to go out and play, compete hard. That will probably be the message and tweak stuff as they go."

The Predators, who came back to beat the Bruins, 4-3, in overtime on Dec. 21 at TD Garden, are paced by captain Roman Josi, who leads the team with 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) in 41 games.

"It's always a hard game, so we expect more of that," said Brad Marchand. "With their coach now just happening today, I don't know if it will make a huge difference. I'm sure they're gonna compete hard, but system-wise I'm sure it will kind of be the same.

"It always lights a fire. You saw what happened in Toronto and how they bounced back [after the firing of Mike Babcock], and a few other teams. We expect them to be very, very good tonight and it's gonna be a tough game for us so we've got to be ready."

Video: Bruins have their Moms Trip in Nashville 

Getting the Bump

Anders Bjork will become the latest to audition for the Bruins' second-line right-wing spot on Tuesday night as he gets the bump up to ride alongside Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci. The 23-year-old, who has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 35 games this season, has played well in his third-line role, but Cassidy was hesitant to give Bjork a promotion given that he would have to play his off side.

Now, with nearly a half season under his belt, Bjork - a year removed from his second shoulder surgery - has earned the trust of the coaching staff to make the switch.

"He's done better over there," said Cassidy. "He finds himself on that side of the ice. Someone has to go over there. I think he's earned a bit of a look there. We've used a lot of other guys. He was there when he first broke in, he played a bit with Krech. There is some familiarity.

"Maybe this time it will work out better for them as a line. I think they had some success as a line and then there were some injuries that came into it. We'll get a look at it and see how it goes. Hopefully he doesn't put himself in bad spots…I think he'll be fine."

Bjork is eager for the opportunity and is hoping to draw from his experiences of playing with Krejci and DeBrusk for a time during his rookie season in 2017-18.

"I think it's a little different switching sides, but I played a lot there before," said Bjork. "Not nervous about it or anything, just try to bring my skills tonight and use my skating to complement them well…I think it's a good opportunity. Tons of great forwards on this team, so anyone you play with are good players to play with. But obviously these guys have a very high skillset.

"As I said, I'm just gonna be working hard and competing tonight and winning puck battles and complement them and help create opportunities for them and us.

In other lineup news, Brett Ritchie subs back into the lineup for Joakim Nordstrom, who did not travel with the team because of an illness. Tuukka Rask gets the start in goal.

Video: Bjork talks move to 2nd line

Tuesday's Projected Lineup

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Anders Bjork

Danton Heinen - Charlie Coyle - Brett Ritchie

Sean Kuraly - Par Lindholm - Chris Wagner

 

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo

John Moore - Matt Grzelcyk

 

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

 

Scratches: David Backes, Steven Kampfer, and Joakim Nordstrom (illness)

Video: Cassidy talks Moms trip, Predators

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