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At the Rink: Bruins at Oilers

by Derek Van Diest

EDMONTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien would not reveal his starting goaltender against the Edmonton Oilers following the morning skate Wednesday.

Goalie Malcolm Subban was recalled by the Bruins from Providence of the American Hockey League on Monday and could make his NHL debut.

Bruins starting goaltender Tuukka Rask has played in 23 of their past 24 games.

"That will remain the million dollar question for the rest of the day," Julien said. "It keeps you guys [media] interested."

Boston (28-20-8) has lost its past four games and has a two-point lead over the Florida Panthers for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins gave up a three-goal lead in a 4-3 overtime loss at the Calgary Flames on Monday.

"We had some good flashes in the game [against Calgary]," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. "I thought we were playing well, but then again maybe we lost some of the focus and the things we've been doing well and ended up losing the game, maybe on a little bit of bad bounces. But that can't be our excuse, we have to find a way to win and play better for 60 minutes."

Subban, 21, was selected by Boston in the first round (No. 21) of the 2012 NHL Draft. He has a 10-10-3 record with a 2.47 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 24 games with the Providence Bruins this season.

"We have to play a certain way to be successful," Chara said. "We have trust in whoever is playing in the net. We know they are all good goaltenders, they all can perform well. We just have to focus on doing a good job in front of them."

Edmonton (16-32-10) is playing its first game at home after a six-game road trip. Goaltender Ben Scrivens returns from a thigh injury, sustained in a 2-1 win at the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 9. He replaces Viktor Fasth, who was injured during the shootout in a 5-4 loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

Edmonton has traditionally struggled in the first home game after an extended road trip of three games or longer. The Oilers have a 4-19-5 record in such instances since the 2010-2011 season.

"I think it happens with every team," Oilers interim coach Todd Nelson said. "Every team I've been associated with, you go through it. It's not specifically just this hockey team.

"What we're looking for tonight is to get off to a good start, try to get our tempo up and our compete level and just be ready to go the first five minutes. We have to get everybody into the game early. We'll have to have short shifts, so we can get the tempo up. But every team goes through it, it's no different for us."

Here are the projected lineups:


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Reilly Smith

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Loui Eriksson

Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - David Pastrnak

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Craig Cunningham

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Matt Bartkowski - Dennis Seidenberg

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Malcolm Subban

Niklas Svedberg

Scratched: Jordan Caron

Injured: Kevan Miller (shoulder)


Teddy Purcell - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot - Anton LanderIiro Pakarinen

Ryan Hamilton - Derek RoyNail Yakupov

Matt Hendricks - Boyd GordonMatt Fraser

Jeff Petry - Andrew Ference

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Martin Marincin - Mark Fayne

Ben Scrivens

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Keith Aulie, Luke Gazdic, Rob Klinkhammer

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (lacerated spleen), Taylor Hall (leg), Nikita Nikitin (shoulder), Viktor Fasth (knee)

Status report: Miller returned to Boston after re-injuring his shoulder in the loss to Calgary. … Klinkhammer left the Oilers to be with his wife, who gave birth to a boy Monday in Lethbridge, Alberta. He has yet to return to Edmonton. Fraser will be facing his former team for the first time since being waived by Boston and claimed by Edmonton on Dec. 31.

Who's hot: Yakupov has a five-game point streak. He scored two goals in the loss to Winnipeg. … Bergeron has four goals and one assist in his past six games.

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