BATTLE ROYAL: The Bruins face the Blues for the first of two meetings this season in a matchup of two of the top teams in the NHL. Boston enters Thursday’s game 6-1-1 in its last eight games, including a 5-0-1 record in its last six games on home ice. St. Louis is in the midst of the best 20-game start in franchise history. The Blues are 5-2-1 on the road this season.
FULL STEEN AHEAD: Blues forward Alexander Steen is tied for the league lead in points (26) with Pittsburgh Penguins’ star Sidney Crosby. Steen has been outstanding this season and has collected 17 goals and nine assists in 20 games. He also has a plus-11 rating.
MASKED MEN: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (12-5-1) is playing his third game in four nights. Tonight against the Blues will be his 19 start of the season, and he’s coming off a 43-save performance in a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers. He’s also an early-season favorite for the Vezina Trophy with a 1.61 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage. The Blues’ Jaroslav Halak (11-3-2) will get the nod against the Bruins. In 16 starts this season, he’s posted a 2.38 GAA and a .903 SP.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Kevan Miller will make his NHL debut Thursday night for the Bruins. Boston’s blue line is depleted with injuries to Adam McQuaid (lower body) and Dennis Seidenberg (lower body), so the Bruins recalled Miller from the Providence Bruins of the AHL. Miller, 26, is in his third pro season.