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At the Rink: Bruins at Canadiens

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- Boston Bruins forward Frank Vatrano will make his NHL debut Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, TVA Sports, SN, NESN).

Vatrano was recalled Friday from Providence of the American Hockey League. The 21-year-old native of East Longmeadow, Mass., led the AHL with 10 goals in 10 games, and was third in the league with 12 points.

"I'm going to see what he's going to give us tonight," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "Obviously he's had a good start in the American (Hockey) League, but we know he shoots the puck well, he's a straight-line forward, so he's got an opportunity with the great start that he had in Providence to come in here and see if he can help us."

Friday was a whirlwind for Vatrano, who signed an entry-level contract with the Bruins on March 13 after his final season at UMass-Amherst. He scored one goal in five games with Providence last season.

"I don't think it's really sunk in yet," Vatrano said. "I was just at the mall getting something to eat before the road trip and I got the call, so I had to grab something quick, go pack my things, and I don't really know what I packed, and I just got things together quickly and headed to the airport."

The 5-foot-9, 201-pound forward will play on a line with David Krejci and Loui Eriksson.

"It was pretty incredible out there," Vatrano said after the morning skate. "Those are guys that I've grown up watching and to be a part of skating with them this morning, it was awesome."

Krejci said Vatrano's stats in Providence show he can shoot the puck, and he and Eriksson need to acclimate their new linemate to the League so that all three can make the most of his debut.

"It's kind of exciting because the first NHL game you always remember for a long time and it's going to happen on my line," Krejci said. "So that's kind of cool, but for me and Loui we're going to have to make him feel comfortable and hopefully we'll click right off the get-go and get something going."

Goalie Jonas Gustavsson is expected to get the start, though Boston coach Claude Julien would not confirm his starter against Montreal.

Gustavsson has won his first three starts with the Bruins and has a 2.00 goals-against-average and a .914 save percentage.

"He's been good," Julien said. "He's given us exactly what we've asked from him and he's ready to play any time we ask him to, so no complaints about that. You need a backup goaltender that can go in there and do a job, and he's done just that."

Boston has one win in its past 11 games against the Canadiens (1-8-2), including five consecutive losses.

Montreal rookie Mike Condon will make his fifth straight start. The 25-year-old native of Needham, Mass., has won five of six starts and is 3-0-1 since Carey Price was sidelined by a lower-body injury.

"I'm sure it's going to be a special game for him," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "He's from Boston and as a young kid he saw the rivalry, so I don't have to sit down with him to explain the rivalry between the Canadiens and the Bruins."

Here are the projected lineups:


Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brett Connolly

Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - Frank Vatrano

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Jimmy Hayes

Maxime Talbot - Joonas Kemppainen - Tyler Randell

Zdeno Chara - Colin Miller

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Joe Morrow - Kevan Miller

Jonas Gustavsson

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: Zach Trotman, Zac Rinaldo

Injured: Dennis Seidenberg (back surgery), David Pastrnak (foot), Chris Kelly (broken leg)


Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Devante Smith-Pelly

Tomas Fleischmann - David Desharnais - Dale Weise

Paul Byron - Torrey Mitchell - Brian Flynn

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert

Mike Condon

Dustin Tokarski

Injured: Carey Price (lower body)

Scratched: Jarred Tinordi, Alexander Semin

Status report: Seidenberg made the trip and took part in the morning skate. Rask is 3-14-3 in 21 games against Montreal, including a 4-2 loss at TD Garden on Oct. 10. The Bruins assigned forward Alex Khokhlachev to Providence on Friday. … Therrien said there will be no changes to his lines or defense pairings. Semin is a healthy scratch for a sixth consecutive game. Tinordi has yet to play.

Who's hot: Collin Miller has one goal and four assists during a five-game point streak. Hayes has a three-game points streak, and two goals and three assists in his past five games. … Weise has five goals and one assist during a four-game point streak. Petry has four assists in his past four games.

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