Bruins Game 12 Preview: Carolina Hurricanes

Marchand Hurricanes

Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

By: Drew Johnson | Follow Me On Twitter: @doobshmoob

The Boston Bruins will be on the road Tuesday night when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Coming off a 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, the Bruins sport a 6-3-2 record as they continue their quest for playoff contention. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have been a big surprise this year – though they were originally expected to struggle, Carolina has a record of 6-4-1 entering play on Tuesday and find themselves in 2nd place within the Metropolitan Division.

Who’s Hot?

Jaroslav Halak will get the start for Boston on Tuesday. He has yet to lose in regulation early on in the 2018-19 campaign featuring a record of 3-0-2. Halak is coming off a 26-save shutout performance against the Philadelphia Flyers last week and should give the Hurricanes a tough time despite the Bruins being short a number of defensemen.

David Krejci has found his game and now has two goals and seven assists in 11 games this season. He has only failed to produce a point in four games this season and has been trusted with more ice time as the year has progressed – Krejci saw 21:32 of play in the game against Montreal which is the most he’s seen thus far. The Bruins certainly hope he can help return Jake DeBrusk to his rookie-year form.

Sebastian Aho has been a force to be reckoned with this season. He has potted four goals and 12 helpers and is looking to continue an 11-game point streak dating back to Carolina’s very first game this year. He will be looking to continue that streak against a slim Bruins defensive core.

Who’s Not?

Yet again, it seems Boston’s depth has been failing them. Outside of Krejci, DeBrusk and Danton Heinen lead the Bruins’ bottom-three lines in production with three points apiece. Noel Acciari has been a disappointment early in the 2018-19 season with no points and is a minus-6. Ryan Donato has also failed to get going just yet with one goal in 10 games. The Bruins will need their bottom lines to kick in some goals here and there. Even if they can’t do that, they need to win 50-50 battles and get some sustained pressure in the offensive zone to keep the momentum in their favor.

Acciari Hurricanes

Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America

Carolina’s fourth line has struggled thus far, though not as much as Boston’s. The Hurricane’s fourth line of Brock McGinn, Nicolas Roy, and Valentin Zykov have only come up with three points so far this year. It should be noted, however, that Roy will only be making his third appearance of the young season on Tuesday.

Bruins vs. Hurricanes Outlook

Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling will be making his first start of the 2018-19 season in Tuesday night’s matchup. So will Bruins defenseman Torey Krug who missed the first 11 games of the campaign due to an ankle injury suffered in the preseason.

Charlie McAvoy has been placed on injured reserve which pens him as an unhealthy scratch. Meanwhile, Matt Grzelcyk was injured during the game against the Canadiens and is considered doubtful, and David Backes isn’t expected to return until Saturday’s date with the Nashville Predators. Kevan Miller also isn’t expected to see action on Tuesday though he has been back on the ice skating.

According to Boston’s line rushes, Jeremy Lauzon and Steven Kampfer will return as the team’s third defensive pair. With a weakened defensive unit, the Bruins will once again need to rely on Zdeno Chara, Brandon Carlo, and John Moore to thwart the opposition’s top lines. Krug’s presence will certainly help the team out who has clearly struggled on the breakout in his absence.

Carolina will need to ride their top two lines in order to get past a very hot goaltender in Halak. Their third line has also been pitching in with goals of their own and will likely see a number of matchups against Boston’s Lauzon and Kampfer duo.

Both teams are coming off tough losses so you can bet it will be a grind out to determine the victor of Tuesday night’s game between the Bruins and Hurricanes.

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