Bruins roll into home matchup with Stars
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BOSTON -- Having already successfully lived through their first meeting with former coach Claude Julien, the sizzling Boston Bruins face another piece of their past when Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars visit TD Garden for a Monday matinee.
And Monday's game is followed by Julien's first return visit since he was fired last season when the Montreal Canadiens come to town Wednesday night.
Amid all kinds of whispers about Seguin's off-ice conduct and with Julien often disappointed with his two-way play, the Bruins dealt the talented young player to Dallas on July 4, 2013, in a six-player trade that has been decidedly in the Stars' favor.
Seguin had 37 goals each of his first two years in Dallas and comes in Monday with 21 goals, eight on the power play, and 40 points in 44 games this season.
Both the Stars and Bruins returned from their bye weeks Saturday -- with decidedly different results. Dallas was beaten 4-1 by the Colorado Avalanche, and the Bruins captured a 4-3 shootout victory at Montreal.
The Bruins are 18-3-3 in their last 24 games.
"You learn that it's going to end at some point and you have to get out in front of it," Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. "That's one thing, hopefully when it does end, you correct it quickly so you can get back to that.
"Most of the time when you're on a good run, towards the end of it you're getting away with some bad habits, but things aren't going your way. Are we at the point? I don't know."
The Bruins have been getting a steady mix of goaltending, defense, and a group of veterans and kids throughout the lineup. One of the kids, rookie Jake DeBrusk, delivered a goal, assist and shootout goal in Montreal.
Tuukka Rask won Saturday night. He is 12-0-2 in his last 14 starts.
Rask is 5-2-1 with a 2.34 goals-against average and .924 save percentage lifetime against the Stars.
Backup Anton Khudobin is 1-0 with 1.39/.940 against Dallas. Khudobin was the first Bruins player on the ice for Sunday's practice, but no announcement of a starter was made by Cassidy.
Kari Lehtonen, 9-9-0 with a 2.94 goals-against average and .906 save percentage lifetime against Boston, will be in goal for Dallas on Monday. Ben Bishop goes Tuesday in Detroit, as the Stars begin a four-game (in six days) road trip.
"I think it will be good for us," Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock said of the trip. "There is tough teams and the first team out of the box (the Bruins) are probably the best team in the East right now. That is a very significant opponent and it will be a good test for us. I am looking forward to it."
The Stars (24-17-3, 6-3-0 in the last nine) are playing without important defenseman Marc Methot, who was placed on IR Saturday to rest a knee injury.
"Meth is out for a minimum of two weeks," Hitchcock said. "I can't give you the exact date, but he's going to be evaluated in about 10 days from now and then we'll know the exact date that he's going to be ready to play.
"He felt that he could play through what he's got, but it wouldn't be good long term, so we opted to get it done now."
The Bruins, who have won their last four games in Dallas, ended a three-game home losing streak against the Stars with a win last season.
Updated January 14, 2018