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At the Rink: Bruins at Avalanche

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com

DENVER -- The Boston Bruins hope playing their first road game will be the tonic they need to win their first game when they play the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Wednesday.

The Bruins, outscored 16-7 while being swept on a three-game homestand to open the season, will complete the two-game trip Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

"It's not a bad thing and it's not just because of wins and losses," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of getting away from TD Garden. "Even if we had won our first three games I'd be happy to be going on the road to get our team together. There's some teams that have had good success out of the gate by being on the road, just going out there and being together. There's probably a little less pressure playing away from home."

Julien said goalie Jonas Gustavsson will make his first start, but not because Tuukka Rask has a 4.72 goals-against average and .846 save percentage.

"I think he deserves a start at some point," Julien said. "I think our initial thought process was, no matter what the outcomes (of the first three games), he was probably going to play here."

The Bruins will need to play a lot better in front of Gustavsson than they did for Rask if they are going to leave Pepsi Center with a win. The Avalanche combined for 10 goals in their first two games, four on power plays.

"I hope our team shows some progress in those areas where we've been struggling, defending those goals against," Julien said. "You're not going to win too many hockey games in this League giving up the number of goals we've been giving up since the start of the season. I think we're well aware of that and we've just got to clean up that part of our game. If we do, our chances of success are much greater."

Former Bruins center Carl Soderberg is looking forward to playing against his former team. He signed a five-year, $23.75 million contract with the Avalanche after they acquired his rights June 25 for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Soderberg, 30, is centering rookies Mikko Rantanen and Borna Rendulic on the third line and has two assists.

"He's like a big brother to them," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "I think he's been helping them a lot."

Soderberg spent two full seasons with the Bruins after leaving his native Sweden and had 29 goals and 63 assists in 155 games. He had 13 goals and 31 assists in 82 games last season.

"It's going to be fun," he said. "It's my old teammates, so it's going to be a special game for sure. That's the team where I started my NHL career."

The Avalanche acquired Soderberg when they couldn't reach a contract extension for Ryan O'Reilly, who was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. The Bruins traded Soderberg, who was about to become a free agent, because it would have been difficult fitting him under the salary cap.

"That's how the business is and the Avalanche was one of the most interested teams, so I was really glad when they wanted me," he said. "I'm an Avalanche and I am going to give my very best performance tonight."

Here are the projected lineups:

BRUINS

Loui Eriksson -- Patrice Bergeron -- Brett Connolly

Matt Beleskey -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Chris Kelly -- Ryan Spooner -- Jimmy Hayes

Zac Rinaldo -- Joonas Kemppainen -- Max Talbot

Zdeno Chara -- Kevan Miller

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Zach Trotman -- Colin Miller/Tommy Cross

Jonas Gustavsson

Tuukka Rask

Injured: Brad Marchand (concussion), Joe Morrow (flu)

Scratched: Tyler Randell

AVALANCHE

Blake Comeau -- Matt Duchene -- Jarome Iginla

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Alex Tanguay

Mikko Rantanen -- Carl Soderberg -- Borna Rendulic

Cody McLeod -- John Mitchell -- Jack Skille

Francois Beauchemin -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Tyson Barrie

Brad Stuart -- Nick Holden

Semyon Varlamov

Reto Berra

Injured: Jesse Winchester (concussion)

Scratched: Brandon Gormley, Mikhail Grigorenko, Nate Guenin

Status report: Julien said Cross, 26, might make his NHL debut Wednesday. He was the Bruins' second-round pick (No. 35) in the 2007 NHL Draft. Cross was recalled Tuesday from Providence of the AHL. "There's a good chance," Julien said. "I told him to be ready."

Who's hot: Krejci has two goals and three assists in a three-game scoring streak. Krug has four assists in a two-game streak. … Landeskog has three goals and two assists in a two-game streak. MacKinnon has one goal and four assists in a two-game streak. Beauchemin has five assists in a two-game streak.

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