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Preview: Bruins at Flyers

Boston defensemen Zdeno Chara, John-Michael Liles out; Steve Mason in goal for Philadelphia

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

BRUINS (12-10-0) at FLYERS (10-10-3)

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNO, TVA Sports, NESN, NHL.TV

 

Bruins team scope

With veteran defensemen Zdeno Chara and John-Michael Liles out with injuries, Joe Morrow will return to the lineup for the Boston Bruins. Morrow has an assist and is averaging 15:53 of ice time in eight games, but he was a healthy scratch for a 4-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. "When he gets in he's done a good job," coach Claude Julien said. "He's a guy that can skate, he's a guy that can move the puck well. … He's been good but he slipped a little bit the last two games, but probably he'll get a chance to come in and give us a good hand." Morrow said he's gotten more reliable as an all-around defenseman and wants to make sure the coaching staff sees it. "I feel like I've definitely solidified trust in how I play defense now and how I can break the puck out and work with the partners to shut down some of the top lines," Morrow said. "The coaches see it some games where I came ready to play, came focused and they'll throw me and whoever I'm playing with out there against the top lines at some points of the game that are pretty crucial." Morrow also likely will see time on the penalty kill, which has killed 16 straight power plays the past seven games. "I think we try to be aggressive when we can," said center Dominic Moore, who is third among Bruins forwards with 1:50 of shorthanded ice time per game. "There's times you have to be a bit more passive. But reading and reacting together is a key as a four-man unit. And obviously good goaltending helps."

 

Flyers team scope

The Philadelphia Flyers generally don't count on left wing Chris VandeVelde for much offense, but he's got a point in three straight games, tying his NHL best, and also has scored a goal in back-to-back games. VandeVelde had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 win against the Calgary Flames on Sunday; it was his first multipoint game of the season. "Just playing hard, playing the same way," VandeVelde said. "Last couple games here I got put with [center Brayden Schenn]. Brings a little more offense. Definitely showed last game. I just think it's hard work paying off." He's doing it with two black eyes and some swelling in his face after he was hit into the boards in the first period of a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 19. VandeVelde sat out the remainder of that game but was back in the lineup for the next game three days later. "Really couldn't see there in my right eye for a while," VandeVelde said. "Other than that it felt fine. It hurt for a couple days but that's to be expected. Some stitches and some swelling. They thought it [orbital bone] was broken, so just very fortunate it wasn't worse." Coach Dave Hakstol has relied on VandeVelde mostly in defensive roles but had hoped to see more offensive contributions from him. "I think his mindset going in [to the season] was to improve and expect a little bit more from himself offensively than what he was able to produce last year," Hakstol said. "The type of goals he's scoring, like [against Calgary], going to the net front, going to the top of the blue paint, which he's always done, but he's finishing on a few more of those. It's been important for our team and something we need to continue." Goalie Steve Mason is expected to start after rookie Anthony Stolarz made his NHL debut in the win against Calgary.

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Tim Schaller -- David Krejci -- David Backes

Matt Beleskey -- Riley Nash -- Austin Czarnik

Ryan Spooner -- Dominic Moore -- Jimmy Hayes

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller -- Brandon Carlo

Joe Morrow -- Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: None

Injured: Zdeno Chara (lower body), John-Michael Liles (upper body), Noel Acciari (lower body)

 

Flyers projected lineup

Michael Raffl -- Claude Giroux -- Jakub Voracek

Travis Konecny -- Nick Cousins -- Wayne Simmonds

Matt Read -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Dale Weise

Chris VandeVelde -- Brayden Schenn -- Roman Lyubimov

Michael Del Zotto -- Mark Streit

Andrew MacDonald -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Ivan Provorov -- Radko Gudas

Steve Mason

Anthony Stolarz

Scratched: Scott Laughton, Nick Schultz

Injured: Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Boyd Gordon (upper body), Brandon Manning (upper body), Sean Couturier (lower body)

 

Status report

Chara will miss his fourth straight game, but Julien did not rule him out for Boston's next game, against the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden on Thursday. "He skated, or is supposed to skate again, today back home," Julien said. "So I don't have that news. We'll see how he progresses. We want him back as soon as possible. There's a part of it that's got to be medically cleared and the player has to feel like he's ready to go as well." Rask will start for the ninth time in the past 10 games. … Manning is listed as day to day because of an upper-body injury sustained against the New York Rangers on Friday. Gordon took part in the morning skate but is not close to returning. He's been out since Oct. 29.

 

Who's hot

Pastrnak has goals in three straight games. … Giroux has points in back-to-back games.

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