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Bruins at Avalanche preview

Boston can open season with four road victories for first time; Colorado seeks third straight win

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

BRUINS (3-0-0) at AVALANCHE (2-0-0)

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

 

The Game

The Boston Bruins will attempt to open the season with four straight road wins for the first time when they play the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

The Bruins, who have begun the season with three consecutive victories away from home, can match their second-best start, last accomplished when they were 4-0-0 to begin the 1990-91 season. Boston's best start was 6-0-0 in 1937-38.

The Avalanche will try to start the season with three wins for their best opening to a season since they began 6-0-0 in 2013-14. The record for best start in Colorado/Quebec Nordiques history was 7-0-0, set by the Nordiques in 1985-86. 

 

Players to watch

Bruins forward Brad Marchand has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past two games and needs two assists for 300 in the NHL.

Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen has four points (three goals, one assist) in Colorado's first two games.

 

They said it

"When you go on the road you don't worry about putting on a show for the fans. We're just able to grind out some games. We got some greasy wins. They weren't pretty early on. It's still not where we want to be, but they're stepping stones. I think it's beneficial to go out on the road." -- Bruins defenseman Torey Krug

"I think every season is its own story and for me I'm just excited to get a chance to put last year behind me. It was one of those years where I couldn't catch a break." -- Avalanche defenseman Mark Barberio, who will make his season debut after missing 41 games last season because of injuries

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Karson Kuhlman

Danton Heinen -- Charlie Coyle -- David Backes

Joakim Nordstrom -- Sean Kuraly -- Chris Wagner

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Connor Clifton

Jaroslav Halak

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: Steven Kampfer, Par Lindholm, Brett Ritchie

Injured: None

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Joonas Donskoi -- Nazem Kadri -- Andre Burakovsky

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- Colin Wilson

Matt Calvert -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Valeri Nichushkin

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Cale Makar

Ryan Graves -- Mark Barberio

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Vladislav Kamenev

Injured: Ian Cole (hip surgery), J.T. Compher (lower body)

 

Status report

Nordstrom will make his season debut after missing the first three games with an undisclosed injury. … Cole is participating in contact drills and could play Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes. … The Avalanche assigned defenseman Conor Timmins to Colorado of the American Hockey League. 

 

Stat pack

Halak is 6-4-2 with a 2.71 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout in 12 games against the Avalanche. … Colorado is 4-0-1 in its past five games against Boston. … The Avalanche have won eight consecutive regular-season home games, dating to March 17 of last season.

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