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Preview: Bruins at Sharks

San Jose forward Joe Thornton faces Boston two assists from 1,000 in NHL career

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

BRUINS (29-23-6) at SHARKS (35-18-6)

8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV

 

Bruins team scope

The Boston Bruins, who are 3-0-0 under coach Bruce Cassidy, will play their first game after a six-day break. NHL teams are a combined 3-12-4 in the first game after a five- or six-day break this season. "We're not going to overanalyze it," Cassidy said after the morning skate. "I think we're well aware that teams have struggled, but I think the road teams is a little different animal. I think they actually played decent hockey. ... Getting out of town and refocusing, I think it's an advantage being on the road to start out of the break." The Bruins defeated the San Jose Sharks 6-3 at TD Garden on Feb. 9 in their first game after Claude Julien was fired as coach. Forward David Pastrnak had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in five games before the break and hopes to pick up where he left off. "I feel good," Pastrnak said. "Obviously it's nice to get some rest and fresh sun and good weather. It's good to be back and to be honest I feel pretty good, way better than yesterday. Yesterday was real tough, but I feel real good today." Goaltender Tuukka Rask, coming off a 25-save shutout in a 4-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 12, will start. Boston holds the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Defenseman Torey Krug will play his 300th NHL game

 

Sharks team scope

Forward Joe Thornton needs two assists to become the 13th player in NHL history with 1,000. Goaltender Martin Jones is expected to make his 50th start of the season in San Jose's final game before a five-day break. Jones backed up Aaron Dell in a 4-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Saturday. The Sharks did not have a morning skate Sunday. Defenseman Brent Burns scored two goals against the Coyotes and has five goals in his past three games. "He's having an MVP season," coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday. "He's been that good for us all year. It's every night. I don't know what else to say. In my mind right now, he's the best player in the League and we're happy to have him on our team." Burns leads the Sharks in goals (27), assists (36) and points (63). San Jose leads the Pacific Division with 76 points, four more than the Edmonton Oilers and six more than the Anaheim Ducks.

 

Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Peter Cehlarik -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Spooner -- Jimmy Hayes

Tim Schaller -- Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller -- Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Matt Beleskey, Joe Morrow, John-Michael Liles

Injured: Austin Czarnik (lower body)

 

Sharks projected lineup

Kevin Labanc -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Nikolay Goldobin -- Tomas Hertl -- Joel Ward

Micheal Haley -- Chris Tierney -- Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Marcus Sorensen, Mirco Mueller

Injured: Joonas Donskoi (upper body), Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist)

 

Status report

Schaller, who was a healthy scratch against Montreal, will return to the lineup and replace Beleskey.

 

Who's hot

Krug has a four-game point streak (one goal, four assists). ... Bergeron has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past eight games and needs one assist for 400 in his NHL career. ... Pavelski has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past nine games. … Thornton has a five-game point streak (two goals, four assists).

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