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Preview: Sharks at Bruins

Bruce Cassidy to make Boston coaching debut; San Jose seeks to stay hot on road

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

SHARKS (33-17-4) at BRUINS (26-23-6)

7 p.m. ET; SN360, SNW, TVA Sports, NESN, CSN-CA, NHL.TV


Sharks team scope

The San Jose Sharks, who are 8-1-2 in their past 11 games and 4-0-1 in their past five road games, are playing the second game of a four-game road trip. The Sharks will face the Boston Bruins in their first game under coach Bruce Cassidy, who replaced Claude Julien who was fired on Tuesday. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said there could be differences in the Bruins. "A little bit. There's always some changes with a new coach," DeBoer said. "So you try and look back at maybe some of the things he did in his last head coaching job in the American League and some of their tendencies. But other than that, what we're expecting is a big push. There's always a big jump in energy when a new guy goes in and that's probably the biggest thing we're preparing for." Defenseman Brent Burns, who's third in the NHL with 57 points and leads all defensemen in points and goals (22), is on a 14-game road point streak, with 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in that span. "He's having a dominant year and he's obviously a huge part of our team," DeBoer said. "I think like him we don't look a lot at the comparisons or the records or the streaks. I think it's just showing up and playing his game. I think when he does that, good things happen and that other stuff kind of takes care of itself. But there's no doubt he's as dominant a guy night in and night out as anyone in the league right now."


Bruins team scope

Cassidy, who was an assistant on Julien's staff, will make his Bruins coaching debut and coach an NHL game for the first time since he was with the Washington Capitals in the 2003-04 season. The Bruins have lost their past two games after winning three in a row, and are one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference, and two points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division. Boston is looking for a spark from the coaching change. "It's a wakeup call. ... And if there's not enough of an incentive to earn your job every day, to keep your job here every day, the message has been sent that we need to do more and have better efforts from everybody and better results and execution," forward David Backes said after practice Wednesday. "That's certainly hit me square in the forehead and I think there's a lot of guys in here with that same sort of mentality." Defenseman Zdeno Chara didn't practice the past two days because of illness and is a game-time decision.


Sharks projected lineup

Tomas Hertl -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau -- Logan Couture -- Mikkel Boedker

Timo Meier -- Chris Tierney -- Joel Ward

Micheal Haley -- Ryan Carpenter -- Melker Karlsson

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun

Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Marcus Sorensen, Joakim Ryan

Injured: Joonas Donskoi (upper body)


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Matt Beleskey -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Spooner -- Jimmy Hayes

Tim Schaller -- Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller -- Colin Miller

John-Michael Liles -- Brandon Carlo

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Joe Morrow, Peter Cehlarik

Injured: Austin Czarnik (lower body), Zdeno Chara (illness)


Status report

The Bruins did not hold a morning skate because of inclement weather. Cassidy said after practice Wednesday that his forward line combinations were fluid, so there could be changes to the lineup from practice. ... Carpenter is back in after being a healthy scratch the past two games. Sorensen will sit after making his NHL debut Tuesday.


Who's hot

Marleau has seven goals and four assists during a seven-game point streak. ... Bergeron has three goals and five assists during a five-game point streak.

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