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20-10-5

Bruins-Canucks Preview

AP - Sports

John Tortorella knows something about losing to the Boston Bruins in the postseason but talk about the 2011 Stanley Cup finals is off limits to him.

The Vancouver Canucks coach has chosen Roberto Luongo as his goalie Saturday night when the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins visit Rogers Arena for the first time since that series in a matchup of streaking teams.

Boston (22-8-2) has pleasant memories of its last game at Vancouver, winning 4-0 in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals that set off rioting in the city.

Tortorella wasn't coaching the Canucks then, but his ill-fated tenure with the New York Rangers ended with a five-game loss in the Eastern Conference semifinals the last time he saw the Bruins last season.

The coach made clear his disdain for talking about that epic Canucks-Bruins series.

"That's all you guys talk about is Boston," said Tortorella after his team's 4-0 home win over Edmonton on Friday. "Didn't that happen about 20 years ago? We'll play the game hard. They'll play the game hard and we'll see what happens in 60 minutes."

Luongo will face Boston for the first time since he was one of the scapegoats for that Cup finals defeat with a 4.67 goals-against average in the final five games.

He made 19 saves for his 65th career shutout Friday - one behind Patrick Roy for 14th on the all-time list. This is the Canucks' seventh set of back-to-back games. Luongo has started both of them just once previously, beating Columbus on Nov. 22 and losing 2-1 to Chicago the next day on goals nine seconds apart in the third period.

"I think it's just a fun game to play in," said Luongo about Saturday's contest. "It's been a few years now and I think we've all moved on but that being said, there's a history there and those are the type of games you want to be playing in."

Vancouver (19-10-5) is one of the hottest teams in the NHL, seeking its first seven-game win streak since March 22-April 3, 2012. Boston is looking for its first five-game win streak and a four-game sweep of this Canadian road trip.

It's unclear if Tuukka Rask will start opposite Luongo after he sat out Thursday's 4-2 win at Edmonton due to the flu, with Chad Johnson taking his place.

The Bruins are also without injured players in Chris Kelly (broken leg), Loui Eriksson (concussion), Adam McQuaid (lower-body injury) and Dougie Hamilton (lower-body injury).

Boston also found out earlier Saturday that forward Shawn Thornton was suspended for 15 games without pay for punching and injuring unsuspecting Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik a week ago. Thornton has already served three games of the ban.

The short-handed club used a fast start to prevail against the Oilers, taking a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. The Bruins were outshot 27-13 the rest of the way.

''It's a road win, and we have to be happy with it,'' said Brad Marchand, who had two goals and an assist in the Game 7 win. ''We know we are not going to put our best game on the ice every night, but we want to keep building. With all of the injuries we have right now, every win is huge.''

The Canucks have killed off all 17 penalties during their win streak while the Bruins are 3 for 7 on the power play on this trip.

The Sedin brothers combined for five points in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals and have totaled just one in the Canucks' last three games, but their coach isn't putting any extra emphasis on this one as Vancouver tries to sweep its five-game homestand.

"We respect Boston, it's a good hockey club but this is just another game in our schedule," Tortorella said. "We talked about this homestand, we've gotten four of them, now we've got to get ready to play another good team."

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