Malcolm Subban to start for Bruins

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Malcolm Subban will make his NHL debut tonight in St. Louis, where he’ll start in goal for the Boston Bruins.

And what a start for his first. The B’s have been reeling, now just one point up on Florida for the second wild-card spot in the East. The Blues, meanwhile, have gone 21-6-2 at home this season.

Subban, 21, gets the nod over both Tuukka Rask, who could probably use a break given he’s played fewer minutes than only three goalies in the entire NHL, and Niklas Svedberg, who lasted just one period in his last start on Feb. 10 against Dallas.

There has been speculation that Subban, the 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft and one of the most highly touted goaltending prospects in hockey, could be used as a trade chip prior to the March 2 deadline.

Despite all the speculation, it’s not clear if the Bruins are willing to entertain offers. Obviously, they’d expect a significant return if they did pull the trigger on a deal. GM Peter Chiarelli has, in the past, called Subban “a big part of our future.”

Of course, that comment did beg the question — with Rask signed through 2020-21, how big could Subban’s future really be in Boston?

The Bruins will have actually have two new faces in the lineup versus the Blues, with AHL call-up Brian Ferlin making his NHL debut as well.

Seidenberg would waive trade clause if Bruins asked

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Dennis Seidenberg has a no-trade clause in his contract, but if the Boston Bruins want to trade him, he won’t stand in their way.

The German blueliner told CSNNE.com that much on Thursday.

“People have mentioned those rumors to me, but all I can do at the end of the day is play hockey and work hard. That’s what makes you strong,” Seidenberg said. “If they feel like they want to move me, then there’s nothing I can do. Even if I have a no-trade clause, I don’t want to be here if they don’t want me.

“But my job is to play with full effort on the ice, and hopefully that’s enough for them to want to keep me. We’ll see.”

The veteran defenseman presents an interesting case if the Bruins decide to aggressively shop him.

From traditional standpoints, he has some serious selling points. He logs the second highest ice time per game (21:57) among Bruins defensemen behind Zdeno Chara, with 2:34 of that average coming on the penalty kill. The experience is there, and at 32, he’s either in his prime or just past it.

On the other hand, his possession stats argue that he’s not quite as effective as his reputation might suggest. More than a few people believe that he has been overexposed at times when he’s been on a top pairing with Chara.

Really, the biggest factor might be asking price, though.

Seidenberg’s current contract carries a $4 million cap hit and runs through the 2017-18 season. Much like his perceived value, some will look at that as a positive thing (he wouldn’t be a rental) while others would see him as a risk.

The Bruins’ cap situation is tight, and their situation is tense (if not desperate), so GM Peter Chiarelli has to be pleased that he has the option to move Seidenberg, if nothing else.

Pressure on Bruins increases after Panthers win six-round SO over Habs

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The Florida Panthers met the Montreal Canadiens for the second time this season and once again 65 minutes of hockey wasn’t enough to settle their differences. This time around though, it was Florida that came out on top in a 3-2 shootout victory.

Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo deserves a lot of credit for this outcome as Montreal managed to out shoot the Panthers 39-21 prior to the skills competition. Despite that, Brendan Gallagher was the only member of the Canadiens that solved Luongo in regulation time tonight, although for a time it looked like that might be enough as he gave Montreal a 2-0 lead.

Florida clawed its way back into this one with 26-year-old defenseman Steven Kampfer eventually tying the contest with his first goal of the season:

Dave Bolland accounted for the deciding goal in the shootout.

Florida’s comeback is bad news for the Boston Bruins as it magnifies their recent struggles. After losing five straight games, Boston’s edge over Florida in the battle for the second Wild Card spot has been reduced to a single point. The fight between those two squads might come down to the wire and if that’s the case then they’ll have plenty of opportunities to directly gain an edge as the Bruins and Panthers are scheduled to meet on March 21, March 31, and April 9.

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Marincin scores the winner as the Oilers edge the Bruins in a 12-round shootout

Marincin scores the winner as the Oilers edge the Bruins in a 12-round shootout

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Oilers defenseman Martin Marincin scored the shootout winner as Edmonton edged the Boston Bruins 4-3 Wednesday night.

Marincin, who celebrated his 23rd birthday Wednesday, was the only player in the 12-round shootout to find the back of the net.

Nail Yakupov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave Edmonton a 2-0 lead in the first.

After Loui Eriksson got the Bruins on the board, Teddy Purcell restored the two-goal lead with his seventh of the season. Purcell also added an assist in the win.

Reilly Smith and David Pastrnak scored third period goals to tie it 3-3 and force overtime.

Dougie Hamilton had two assists in the loss.

Jordan Eberle had two helpers for the Oilers, who lost defenseman Jeff Petry and forward Anton Lander to injuries in the second period.

Boston has picked up just two of a possible six points on its four game road trip and are winless in five (0-3-2). The Bruins conclude the trip Friday in St. Louis.

“We’re not going to stand here and think that we’re doing OK,” said Claude Julien. “We’re underachieving right now and our game’s got to get better.

“I still feel we’ve got the group in there to make it better, so it’s up to us to take charge.”

Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots in the loss.

Ben Scrivens made 38 saves in his first game back from a thigh injury.

Oilers lose Petry and Lander vs. Bruins

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The Edmonton Oilers will finish tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins without the services of defenseman Jeff Petry and center Anton Lander.

Petry suffered a rib injury after being hit by an Adam McQuaid shot in the second period.

The club announced Lander suffered a shoulder injury in the middle frame.

Petry, who is set to become an unrestricted free-agent after this season, was rumored to be heading out of Edmonton prior to the March 2 trade deadline. The 27-year-old has 15 points in 57 games this season while averaging 21:11 in ice time a night.

Lander, 23, has split this season with the Oilers and AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons. In 21 games with the parent club Lander has four goals and 11 points.