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At the Rink: Canucks at Bruins

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Vancouver Canucks forward Nick Bonino spent Monday night watching his alma mater Boston University win the Beanpot Tournament championship at TD Garden.

Now he's hoping his Boston return will continue to be positive as he tries to make his way back into the Canucks lineup Tuesday against the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET, SN360).

Bonino, who has 11 goals and 14 assists in 52 games, has missed the past seven games because of a lower-body injury; he'll be a game-time decision Tuesday.

"You always want to get back," Bonino said after the Canucks' morning skate. "And if you can do it in Boston, where you've played a little bit in your life, it's always going to be fun."

Bonino centered a line with Shawn Matthias and Radim Vrbata during the morning skate.

"It's always good when you get some guys back," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins. "You know he's a big part for us and we've missed him while he's been out. So if he's back it'll be great."

The Canucks still are dealing with the absence of several other injured players, including goaltender Ryan Miller, who Vancouver announced would miss four to six weeks because of a lower-body injury sustained Sunday against the New York Islanders. Goaltender Eddie Lack will carry most of the load in Miller's place, Desjardins said. Last season Lack was in a similar situation when he took over in goal after the Canucks traded Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers.

Lack didn't perform well then, but he thinks he's better prepared to be the Canucks' go-to goaltender this season.

"I really hope that I've grown a lot," said Lack, who has a 2.47 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 20 games this season. "I feel a lot more confident on the ice, off the ice. I feel like my technique is a lot better. And obviously it's got to translate into the game too. But right now I'm feeling very confident in myself."

The Bruins also are dealing with injuries. C David Krejci will miss four to six weeks because of a tear in his knee, and defenseman Kevan Miller will be out for the season because of a shoulder injury. And center Gregory Campbell will be out at least one week because an upper-body injury, coach Claude Julien said Tuesday.

Krejci's loss hurts the Bruins the most. He has seven goals and 19 points in 38 games this season and the Bruins are 9-9-3 without him this season. The Bruins have to take the right mindset to get through another stretch without their top-line center.

"I think it's, for myself and everyone, it's to have a good team attitude and what we showed in that game against Chicago [a 6-2 win Sunday without Krejci] is if we compete the right way and we play hard and stick to the system, we can have success," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "Obviously it's easy to get down and frustrated again and losing another player, and obviously a key player like [Krejci]. But at the end of the day there's lots to look forward to with 23 games left so there's lots to look forward to with this final push to make the [Stanley Cup] Playoffs."

Here are the projected lineups:


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Zack Kassian

Shawn Matthias - Nick Bonino - Radim Vrbata

Chris Higgins - Linden Vey - Derek Dorsett

Ronalds Kenins - Bo Horvat - Jannik Hansen

Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber

Ryan Stanton - Adam Clendening

Luca Sbisa - Alex Biega

Eddie Lack

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Bobby Sanguinetti

Injured: Alexandre Burrows (lower body), Ryan Miller (lower body), Alexander Edler (upper body), Frank Corrado (upper body), Kevin Bieksa (broken foot), Brad Richardson (ankle), Christopher Tanev (upper body)


Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith

Milan Lucic - Ryan Spooner - David Pastrnak

Daniel Paille - Carl Soderberg - Loui Eriksson

Jordan Caron - Chris Kelly - Brian Ferlin

Zdeno Chara - Dougie Hamilton

Matt Bartkowski - Dennis Seidenberg

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Niklas Svedberg

Scratched: Craig Cunningham

Injured: Gregory Campbell (upper body), David Krejci (knee), Kevan Miller (shoulder)

Status report: Desjardins would not reveal any schedule for when Markstrom might play. He was recalled from Utica of the American Hockey League after Miller was injured. ... Paille was a healthy scratch the past two games but might get back into the lineup so Kelly can center the fourth line. Paille has one goal in 57 games this season.

Who's hot: Henrik Sedin has three goals and eight points in his past four games. ... Smith has two goals and five points during a four-game scoring streak.

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