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Canucks host Bruins for first time since 2011 Final

by John Kreiser

BRUINS (22-8-2) at CANUCKS (19-10-5)


Last 10: Boston 8-2-0; Vancouver 7-2-1

Season series: The Boston Bruins are making their first trip to Rogers Arena since beating the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. It's the first of two games this season; the Canucks come to TD Garden on Feb. 4.

Big story: It's almost 2 1/2 years to the day since the Bruins last came to Vancouver and left with the Stanley Cup. The stakes on Saturday night aren't the same, but the sellout crowd will be revved up and eager for a little revenge.

Team Scope:

Bruins: Boston brings a four-game winning streak to the Pacific Northwest, including three wins on a road trip that has seen them beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

In Edmonton, the Bruins got a lift from backup goaltender Chad Johnson, who got the start because Tuukka Rask had the flu and made 39 saves to help the Bruins hang on after grabbing a 3-0 first-period lead.

Rask is among a number of Bruins who've been battling the flu bug that's been making its way through an already-battered roster. Rask did dress as Johnson's backup in Calgary, but the Bruins had to use a college goaltender at practice because he wasn't well enough to dress.

We just have to play through it … just suck it up like we have to, and play through it," coach Claude Julien said Friday, an off-day for the team.

Canucks: Coach John Tortorella probably would have liked a night off before a game against one of the NHL's elite teams. Failing that, a 4-0 victory against the Oilers in which he was able to reduce the ice time his top-six forwards had to play in the third period might have been the next-best thing.

The Canucks didn't look past the Oilers; they limited Edmonton to 19 shots, took 40 of their own and blew the game open with three goals in the third period to win their sixth in a row.

With the Oilers in the rear-view mirror, Tortorella is trying to downplay the Bruins' first visit since they took the Cup back to Boston.

"We'll play the game hard. They'll play the game hard. We'll see what happens in 60 minutes," said Tortorella, who was coaching the New York Rangers at the time. "We respect Boston, but this is just another game in our schedule."

Who's hot: Johnson has won six of seven decisions in his backup role. Jarome Iginla has three goals in three games on this trip. ... Vancouver defenseman Jason Garrison had three assists on Friday and has one goal and seven points in the Canucks' past five games. Roberto Luongo earned his 65th career shutout by blanking the Oilers; he is 4-0-0 and has allowed four goals in his past four starts.

Injury report: Boston is without center Chris Kelly (broken right fibula), forwards Loui Eriksson (concussion) and Daniel Paille (upper body), as well as defenseman Adam McQuaid (lower body) and Dougie Hamilton (lower body). McQuaid is the only one of the group on the trip. … he Canucks are without defensemanAlexander Edler (lower body) and forward Alexandre Burrows (broken jaw), neither of whom is close to returning.

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