Tuukka Rask will be back in the crease for the first time in 1 1/2 weeks when the Boston Bruins continue their three-game homestand Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers. Rask has not played since losing in Anaheim on Nov. 15, as backup Anton Khudobin started - and won - each of Boston’s last four contests.
The 30-year-old Rask fell to 3-7-2 after allowing four goals against the Ducks - the same amount Khudobin surrendered over the next three games before the Bruins edged Pittsburgh 4-3 on Friday in the opener of their homestand. “It’s his turn to go,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters regarding Rask. “We’ve gotten terrific goaltending out of (Khudobin). We’d like to get terrific goaltending out of Tuukka so everything could be terrific.” Edmonton has lost three of the first four contests of its five-game road trip, including a 3-1 decision at Buffalo on Friday. The Oilers have dropped four of five overall and five of their last six away from home.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA (Edmonton), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE OILERS (8-13-2): Edmonton expects to have three players back in the lineup Sunday, including two that have been battling the flu. Defenseman Oscar Klefbom sat out the loss to the Sabres and goaltender Cam Talbot was relegated to serving as the backup due to the illness, while left wing Anton Slepyshev likely will return after missing seven games with a groin injury. Connor McDavid, who leads the team with 10 goals and 28 points, was kept off the scoresheet Friday after collecting a tally and five assists over his previous three contests.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (10-7-4): Brad Marchand will miss his sixth consecutive game due to an undisclosed injury, but Cassidy is hopeful the 29-year-old left wing will return Wednesday against Tampa Bay. Despite his lengthy absence, Marchand still ranks second on the team in both goals (eight) and points (15). Ryan Spooner notched an assist versus the Penguins in his second game back from a groin tear but missed Saturday’s practice and will be a game-time decision.
1. The Bruins are 1-for-28 on the power play over their last nine games and enter Sunday scoreless in their last 16 opportunities.
2. Edmonton has won five straight meetings with the Bruins after losing 13 in a row in the all-time series.
3. Boston recalled RW Jordan Szwarz on an emergency basis from Providence, as LW Peter Cehlarik is day-to-day with a leg injury, and assigned D Rob O‘Gara to the American Hockey League club.
PREDICTION: Bruins 4, Oilers 3