BRUINS (39-23-8) at SHARKS (38-24-6)
TV: 10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NESN
SAN JOSE -- Backup goaltender James Reimer will be in net and face a familiar team when the San Jose Sharks play the Boston Bruins at SAP Center on Tuesday.
Reimer started three games against the Bruins this season for the Toronto Maple Leafs before he was traded to the Sharks on Feb. 27. He went 1-1-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average against Boston this season. For his NHL career, he's 6-6-3 with a 2.43 GAA against Boston in the regular season and also started seven games against them in a first-round series in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which the Bruins won in seven games.
"They're a good team, they're a big team, they skate well and they play heavy," said Reimer, who turned 28 on Tuesday. "They're in the standings where they are for a reason. They play the game the right way. For us, we also take pride in the way we play and doing things right. So it should be a really good matchup tonight. Hopefully we can shut them down."
Reimer is coming off of a 31-save shutout of the Edmonton Oilers on March 8 in his second start and first victory with the Sharks. No. 1 goaltender Martin Jones made 23 saves in a 5-2 victory Saturday against the Washington Capitals.
"He came as advertised," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said of Reimer. "He's a quality starting goaltender in the NHL. That gives us two and it's a great luxury to have. The whole idea when we brought [Reimer] in here was to lighten the load on Jones over the last month here. We've asked a lot of him. And also to make sure we have two legitimate options. That means both guys have to play."
Reimer said that having played Boston so often should help him.
"Although it's a little different when you played them when you were playing for a different team because the way you force them to do some stuff may be a little different," he said. "So it's not exactly the same. But yeah, you're more familiar with them so hopefully you can read the plays maybe a little quicker or sooner than maybe against another team that you hadn't played against."
The Bruins, who are one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers for first place in the Atlantic Division, expect to have second-line center David Krejci in the lineup. Krejci missed practice Monday, but he took part in Boston's optional morning skate at SAP Center.
"I feel all right," said Krejci, who has 52 points. "Should be good to go tonight."
Bruins coach Claude Julien said one other Bruin forward was a potential scratch because of an injury, but he declined to name the player or the injury.
"At this time of year we're keeping everything pretty close to the vest not to expose anybody," Julien said.
Forward Tyler Randell would likely move into the lineup if a Bruin regular is forced to miss the game, Julien said.
The Bruins are opening a four-game road trip against San Jose, which defeated them 5-4 on Nov. 17 at TD Garden. Boston is one of the NHL's best road teams at 23-7-3.
"We've been playing good road hockey lately," Krejci said. "We know we have a tough game in front of us, but we believe in this group."
Sharks forward Tommy Wingels has been cleared by doctors to play after missing 12 games with a shoulder injury according to coach Pete DeBoer but he will be a healthy scratch. DeBoer will use the same lineup that he had against the Capitals other than in goal.
"Those are tough decisions," DeBoer said of leaving Wingels out of the lineup. "That's exactly the spot we want to be in from a coaching perspective. You play well, you keep your job. It's that time of year. You don't or you take your foot off the gas, there's guys there that want opportunity and are ready to take it. I think that type of competitiveness can do nothing but help us as a team."
Here are the projected lineups:
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Lee Stempniak
Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - David Pastrnak
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Jimmy Hayes
Landon Ferraro - Noel Acciari - Brett Connolly
Zdeno Chara - John-Michael Liles
Dennis Seidenberg - Kevan Miller
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid
Injured: Chris Kelly (broken left leg)
Scratched: Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, Tyler Randell, Frank Vatrano
Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson - Logan Couture - Joonas Donskoi
Matt Nieto - Patrick Marleau - Joel Ward
Nick Spaling - Chris Tierney - Dainius Zubrus
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Paul Martin - Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon - Roman Polak
Injured: Matt Tennyson (head)
Scratched: Tommy Wingels
Status report: Kelly, who hasn't played since Nov. 3 against the Dallas Stars, took part in a morning skate for the first time during his rehabilitation. There is still no timetable for his return, but he said he hopes to play again this year and plans to play in the NHL next season. He has not been cleared for contact. "Every day gets better," Kelly said. "Just getting back out there with the guys for an optional morning skate was nice. I've been skating for a bit now by myself."
Who's hot: Pastrnak has three goals in his past three games. ... Eriksson has two goals and two assists in his past two games. ... Pavelski has three goals -- two game winners -- and two assists in his past four games. ... Burns has five goals and six assists in his past seven games.