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At the Rink: Predators at Bruins

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins played the Nashville Predators to a draw for 65 minutes before losing 3-2 in a shootout one week ago.

So despite the Bruins recent struggles -- they're 2-2-2 in their past six games -- they can at least take the ice Tuesday against the Predators at TD Garden with confidence they can skate with the NHL's fourth-place team.

"I think no matter what the situation is, confidence or no confidence, we have to come out and start playing well for as close to 60 minutes as possible," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate. "As we keep mentioning day after day here, get some results from our scoring chances and from the end of the game ending up with wins. Like I mentioned with our chances, coming up with some goals and making those kind of things happen here. Again it's, when you get on a roll, everything seems to follow. Right now our job is to get on a bit of a roll here."

The Bruins are coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres. Boston twice overcame one-goal deficits, including a late game-tying goal during a 6-on-5 by defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Forward Loui Eriksson then scored the game-winner.

Defenseman Torey Krug said the Bruins offensive outbursts were a positive sign for a team that's scored more than three goals once in the past six games.

"You know that's one thing that good teams have. We haven't had enough of that this season," Krug said. "Good teams are able to find a way to win games. Maybe when games aren't going well they're able to score big goals and timely goals. That's something we need more of this season. We haven't been able to do that so far. For us, maybe that's what we need more of. And that was a good example that we definitely still have it. We've just got to start bringing out more."

The Predators win against the Bruins on Dec. 16 began a three-game winning streak. They have won five of their past six. Nashville did not hold a morning skate after arriving in Boston late after a 5-1 win on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.

Goaltender Pekka Rinne made 33 saves against the Bruins last week and was perfect on three shootout attempts. He has been in net for all 22 of Nashville's victories and has made 13 straight starts.

Here are the projected lineups:


Filip ForsbergMike RibeiroCraig Smith

Colin WilsonMike FisherMatt Cullen

Eric NystromOlli JokinenGabriel Bourque

Taylor BeckCalle JarnkrokJames Neal

Roman JosiShea Weber

Mattias EkholmRyan Ellis

Victor BartleySeth Jones

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Viktor Stalberg, Derek Roy

Injured: Paul Gaustad (lower body), Anton Volchenkov (lower body)


Milan LucicDavid KrejciCraig Cunningham

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronReilly Smith

Chris KellyCarl Soderberg- Loui Eriksson

Daniel PailleGregory CampbellMatt Fraser

Zdeno CharaDougie Hamilton

Matt BartkowskiDennis Seidenberg

Torey KrugKevan Miller

Scratched: Seth Griffith, Zach Trotman

Injured: Adam McQuaid (thumb)

Status update: Neal returned from a one-game absence for the Predators on Monday. … The Bruins search for a right wing to play with Lucic and Krejci continued with Cunningham after Julien reunited Eriksson with Soderberg and Kelly. The open audition will continue against the Predators. … Bartkowski should play for the third straight game after he was a healthy scratch for five straight.

Who's hot: Smith had two goals Monday and now has three goals and one assist in his past two games. … Weber has a three-game point streak with four assists over that span. … Soderberg has one goal and three assists during a three-game point streak.

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