BOSTON, MA -- The Boston Bruins will have a new look to their lineup tonight when they host the Calgary Flames at 5:00 PM MT (SN-Flames, FAN 960).
The Bruins acquired veteran winger Lee Stempniak from the New Jersey Devils and defenceman John-Michael Liles from the Carolina Hurricanes and both are expected to play this evening.
Given each player's experience in the league, head coach Claude Julien expects Stempniak and Liles to mesh well with his lineup. He noted that Lilies can play on either side, making him versatile when Julien is deciding on his defence pairings.
As for Stempniak, working within New Jersey's system this season will make the transition easier.
"I don’t think he has to adjust to anything because the Devils played a very, very similar style to ours, although people think they’re still defensive minded and all that stuff," Julien told BostonBruins.com. "I know that when we watched the play, a coach that’s spent a lot of years here definitely had an influence on their approach to their game, they do a lot of things very similar to ours. So I don’t think it’s going to be a big adjustment for him, I think he’s going to fit right in."
Also expect to see Providence College alumnus Noel Acciari in the lineup. He was summoned from the Providence Bruins this morning.
"I like what I saw from training camp, a real strong, gritty guy, good hockey sense, skates, forechecks hard," was Julien's assessment. "Will go to the dirty areas and so on, so forth. We’re going to have a real good look at him here, it’s a great opportunity for him, but it’s certainly coming in at this time of the season, for him to have that opportunity is pretty special.
"We’ll have a good look at him tonight, we’ll see how well he does. I suspect he’ll do well, from what I hear I’ve had nothing but great reports on him. So we’ll see where he is when it comes to playing at this level."
In addition to those transactions, the Bruins have assigned forwards Max Talbot, Zac Rinaldo and Joonas Kemppainen to Providence.
BREAKING DOWN THE BRUINS
Power Play: 21.4 percent overall (39 goals scored in 182 chances with the man advantage), 24.2 percent at home (22 goals scored in 91 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 81.9 percent overall (38 goals allowed in 210 times being short-handed), 76.3 percent at home (23 goals allowed in 97 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 0-0-1
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 0-0-2
Notable Injuries: Chris Kelly (femur)
Who's HOT: Matt Beleskey
Beleskey went on a scoring tear at the tail-end of February, potting five goals in his last five games. During that stretch, the 27-year-old has six points and 16 shots on net.
In 61 games this year, Beleskey has netted 13 goals and recorded 32 points. He was signed by the Bruins in the off-season to a five-year contract.
Honourable Mention: Brad Marchand
The pesky winger had a red-hot February and now sits fourth in team scoring with 32 goals and 48 points in 58 games. He scored a goal in seven straight games from Feb. 2-14, which was a career-high goal streak for him and was the longest by a Bruin since Patrice Bergeron scored in seven straight in 2013-14.
In his last five games, Marchand has four goals and five points.
Who's NOT: Zdeno Chara
Chara currently leads all Bruins defencemen in scoring but has been held pointless in his last four games and hasn't had a shot on net since Feb. 24.
In 61 skates, the Bruins captain has scored eight goals and 32 points.