OILERS (13-15-2) at BRUINS (16-9-3)
TV: TVA Sports, SNW, NESN
BOSTON -- Edmonton Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot will start against the Boston Bruins on Monday at TD Garden.
Talbot last started Nov. 27, making 28 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss against the Detroit Red Wings. Since that game the Oilers have gone 6-1-0, including their current five-game winning streak, with Anders Nilsson in net.
"I felt I played pretty well the last start," said Talbot, who is 3-8-1 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. "There's some things to build off of there. I thought I made a lot of big saves that game that I hadn't been making in a few start previous. So I'm looking to build off that and have a good start and hopefully give the guys a chance to win today."
Despite Edmonton's hot play, coach Todd McLellan said he didn't hesitate to start a different goaltender because he wants Nilsson to have time to work with goaltending coach Dustin Schwartz and wants Talbot to get some action.
"I can't tell you how much we believe in [Talbot]," McLellan said. "Obviously he hasn't played lately, but we ran the hot goaltender. We think that we have a tandem moving forward that's going to be real important to our future."
The Oilers' visit here marks the return of general manager Peter Chiarelli, who was fired by Boston on April 15 after nine seasons as Bruins GM.
The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and the Eastern Conference title in 2013 under Chiarelli, who already earned one victory against his former team when Edmonton beat Boston 3-2 in a shootout Dec. 2 at Rexall Place. That was the start of the Oilers' winning streak.
"The players there are good, you know. It's just about putting things together and I'm sure there's going to be some tweaks here and there, but you know we're not going into this game tonight feeling overconfident," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, whose team has won three of its past four games. "I mean they're just coming off five straight wins, thanks to us I guess. … So we started them on that five-game winning streak. We're hoping to end it."
Here are the projected lineups:
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Jujhar Khaira – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Lauri Korpikoski
Luke Gazdic – Anton Lander – Iiro Pakarinen
Darnell Nurse – Andrej Sekera
Oscar Klefbom – Justin Schultz
Brandon Davidson – Eric Gryba
Injured: Connor McDavid (collarbone), Rob Klinkhammer (leg), Nail Yakupov (ankle), Benoit Pouliot (lower body), Oscar Klefbom (finger)
Scratched: Andrew Ference
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Brett Connolly
Matt Beleskey – David Krejci – Loui Eriksson
Frank Vatrano – Ryan Spooner – Jimmy Hayes
Zac Rinaldo – Max Talbot – Landon Ferraro
Zdeno Chara – Adam McQuaid
Dennis Seidenberg – Colin Miller
Torey Krug – Kevan Miller
Injured: David Pastrnak (foot), Chris Kelly (leg), Joonas Kemppainen (upper body)
Scratched: Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, Tyler Randell
Status report: Nikitin, a veteran of 248 NHL games, will make his season debut in place of Klefbom. Nikitin has one goal and eight assists in 14 games for Bakersfield of the American Hockey League. … Pastrnak started skating last week and joined the Bruins for the morning skate for the first time Monday. Julien said there's no timetable for Pastrnak's return to the lineup.
Who's hot: Hall was the NHL Second Star for last week after scoring three goals and six points in two games. … Bergeron has one goal and four assists during a four-game point streak.