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Flames at Bruins preview

Rittich to start for Calgary with Smith injured; Boston seeks 20th win in 25 games

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

FLAMES (29-19-8) at BRUINS (34-12-8)



The Game

The Calgary Flames will look for their fifth win in six games but will be without goaltender Mike Smith when they visit the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Tuesday.

David Rittich will start in place of Smith, who will miss at least two games because of a lower-body injury he sustained with two seconds left in the Flames' 3-2 win at the New York Islanders on Sunday. The Flames are in third place in the Pacific Division, two points behind the San Jose Sharks and one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings.

Goaltender Tuukka Rask will start for the Bruins, who will look for their sixth win in seven games and 20th in 25. Rask is 17-1-2 with a 1.73 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in his past 20 starts for Boston, which is second in the Atlantic Division, three points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and three points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Bruins are 8-2-0 in their past 10 games and 19-2-3 in their past 24.


Players to watch

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has nine points (three goals, six assists) in a six-game point streak.

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has five points (three goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak and 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists) in his past 18 games.


They said it

"It's tough, it's obviously a tough blow for a team to lose him for any amount of time. … Just got to play a solid game in front of [Rittich], keep trying to play that same mindset of team defense first and then create from that." -- Flames captain Mark Giordano on playing without injured goaltender Mike Smith

"Slot coverage from plays that start below the goal line, communication between our two D and our low forward, generally our centerman. … It's in our system that we want to make sure we don't give them too much time in that trapezoid." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy on Boston's strategy against Calgary


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Garnet Hathaway

Ryan Lomberg -- Matt Stajan -- Curtis Lazar

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak -- Michael Stone

David Rittich

Jon Gillies

Scratched: Matt Bartkowski, Marek Hrivik

Injured: Kris Versteeg (lower body), Mike Smith (lower body), Troy Brouwer (upper body)


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Ryan Spooner

Danton Heinen -- Riley Nash -- David Backes

Tim Schaller -- Sean Kuraly -- Noel Acciari

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk -- Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Paul Postma

Injured: Anders Bjork (upper body), Frank Vatrano (lower body), Kevan Miller (upper body)


Status report

Gillies was called up on an emergency basis from Stockton of the American Hockey League on Monday because of Smith's injury.


Stat pack

Stone will play his 400th NHL game. ... The Flames have the second-best road winning percentage in the League (16-6-5) behind Boston (16-6-4). ... The Bruins have scored three shorthanded goals in their past three games.

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