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Preview: Bruins at Flames

Calgary aims for franchise record 11th straight win; Boston seeks fourth consecutive victory

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

BRUINS (37-26-6) at FLAMES (39-26-4)

9 p.m. ET; SN, NESN, NHL.TV


Bruins team scope

Goaltender Anton Khodubin will make his fourth start in the past 14 games with the Boston Bruins looking for their fourth straight win. Khudobin is 4-5-1 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .895 save percentage, and has won his past three games. "It's good to see him play well the last few starts," center David Krejci said. "He gives the whole bench confidence. We know he can get the job done." Forward Ryan Spooner, who has missed the past three games because of a concussion, will return. "I'm excited for it," Spooner said. "I was out for seven days. I'm excited to play. We have 13 games left, so it's going to be fun." Boston is 11-3-0 since Bruce Cassidy took over as coach for Claude Julien on Feb. 7. "I think we're starting to execute better," said forward Brad Marchand, whose 35 goals are tied with Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the NHL lead. "Guys are playing with a little more confidence, which always helps." The run has Boston third in the Atlantic Division, three points ahead of the fourth-place Tampa Bay Lightning and four points ahead of the fifth-place Toronto Maple Leafs. "We're not concerned about other teams or how they're going to play or the standings, really," Marchand said. "We're more concerned with how we play each night and being prepared and looking at the game at hand. You can't look ahead. It can play with your mind. We have to just worry about tonight and we'll go from there."


Flames team scope

Goaltender Chad Johnson will make his first start in eight games when the Calgary Flames seek to set a franchise record by winning their 11th consecutive game. Brian Elliott, who has won nine games during Calgary's streak, will not start because of illness. "You want to be a part of it at this time of year when things are going well and the team's playing well," Johnson said. "[Elliott] deserves to play and everyone that's been in the lineup deserves to play that's contributed the way we have the last little bit." Johnson last started in a 4-2 victory at the Florida Panthers on Feb. 24, the third of the 10 straight wins. "I reminded everybody here a week ago that this streak that we're on, [Johnson] was involved in Florida," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We wanted to get [Johnson] involved. We feel we have two good goalies, and [Johnson is] going to go tonight." Calgary tied the franchise record of 10, set as the Atlanta Flames from Oct. 14-Nov. 3, 1978, with a 4-3 shootout win against the Penguins on Monday. "Our mindset isn't really on trying to set records," Johnson said. "You want to always be in the record books, but it's not your main focus." The Flames could also be without rookie forward Matthew Tkachuk. Tkachuk did not skate Wednesday morning. "A little bit of maintenance for him right now," Gulutzan said, "and we'll wait and see if he's going to be a player tonight." Goalie Jon Gillies was recalled on an emergency basis from Stockton of the American Hockey League to back up Johnson. 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Drew Stafford -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Spooner -- Jimmy Hayes

Matt Beleskey -- Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Colin Miller -- Kevan Miller

Anton Khudobin

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: John-Michael Liles, Joe Morrow, Austin Czarnik, Peter Cehlarik

Injured: Tim Schaller (lower body)


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Troy Brouwer

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Alex Chiasson

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Deryk Engelland

Matt Bartkowski -- Dennis Wideman

Chad Johnson

Jon Gillies

Scratched: Curtis Lazar, Freddie Hamilton, Rasmus Andersson

Injured: Michael Stone (upper body), Brian Elliott (illness)


Status report

Lazar could make his Flames debut if Tkachuk is unable to play. Lazar has been a healthy scratch in five games since being acquired from the Ottawa Senators prior to the NHL Trade Deadline. …Elliott is questionable as Johnson's backup.

Who's hot

Bergeron has 25 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in his past 19 games. … Marchand has 15 points (10 goals, five assists) in his past nine games. … Pastrnak has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in a nine-game point streak. …Krejci has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in his past 14 games. … Gaudreau has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in his past 10 games. … Monahan has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. … Dougie Hamilton has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games.

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