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Bruins at Stars preview

Pavelski ready for Dallas debut; Krejci game-time decision for Boston

by Josh Clark / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

BRUINS (0-0-0) at STARS (0-0-0)

8:30 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-SW, NESN, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Joe Pavelski will make his debut with the Dallas Stars when they host the Boston Bruins in their season opener at American Airlines Center on Thursday.

The forward, who signed a three-year contract with the Stars on July 1, is expected to play on the top line alongside Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin. Pavelski played the first 13 seasons of his NHL career with the San Jose Sharks and had 64 points (38 goals, 26 assists) in 75 games with the Sharks last season.

David Krejci will be a game-time decision for the Bruins because of a lower-body injury, but the center took part in the morning skate.

Goalie Tuukka Rask, who will start, is 7-2-2 with a 2.04 goals-against average and .936 save percentage in 11 games against Dallas.

It will be the Bruins' first game since a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 12.

 

Players to watch

Bruins forward Brad Marchand led Boston with an NHL career-high 100 points (36 goals, 64 assists) last season. He has scored at least 34 goals in each of the past four seasons.

Stars goalie Ben Bishop, who will start, led the NHL with a .934 save percentage last season and was second with a 1.98 goals-against average, behind Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (1.89).

 

They said it

"I think our guys are excited and ready to play. A lot of our core guys did not play a lot of exhibition, so they want to play some meaningful hockey. I don't think it will be nerves, but more so the energy level and to make sure they use it the right way." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy

"There's no better way to start, really. Our first two are against last year's top two teams. It's going to be some good competition and we're hoping to get off to a good start." -- Stars captain Jamie Benn on opening the season against Boston and St. Louis

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Karson Kuhlman

Danton Heinen -- Charlie Coyle -- David Backes

Sean Kuraly -- Par Lindholm -- Chris Wagner

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Connor Clifton

Tuukka Rask

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Brett Ritchie, Steven Kampfer

Injured: Joakim Nordstrom (undisclosed)

 

Stars projected lineup

Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Joe Pavelski

Jason Dickinson -- Roope Hintz -- Alexander Radulov

Andrew Cogliano -- Radek Faksa -- Blake Comeau

Mattias Janmark -- Justin Dowling -- Denis Gurianov

Esa Lindell -- John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen -- Andrej Sekera

Jamie Oleksiak -- Roman Polak

Ben Bishop

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Taylor Fedun

Injured: Corey Perry (foot), Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), Martin Hanzal (back)

 

Status report

Perry remains sidelined and will be re-evaluated next week.

 

Stat pack

Boston opens the season with a four-game road trip. … Boston is 5-0-1 in its past six games at Dallas; the Bruins' last regulation road loss to the Stars was on Dec. 31, 2011.

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