Facing Canucks will be measuring stick

at Rogers Arena | 10 p.m. ET

The Boston Bruins make a rare visit to Vancouver tonight to face the league's top team in a potential preview of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Canucks lead the entire NHL with 87 points through 62 games and are coming off a victory over St. Louis on Thursday night. The Bruins haven't fared well against Western opposition, with a 4-7-2 record this year, but did get a big win against a red-hot Calgary team earlier this week. They're looking to build on that success.

“I thought we played a solid game; that’s important on the road -- a solid game,” Claude Julien told the media following Saturday's game-day skate. “Defensively, we were very good, and offensively, we capitalized on some plays when we had opportunities and we made some good plays that way.

“You watch [the Canucks] play on TV and see how well they’re doing. The fact that you get a chance to measure yourself up against a team right now that’s first [in the West] is a good opportunity to seize. It’s going to be a good game, a good challenge, and after the game, you have a pretty good idea of where you stand.”

It looks like Tim Thomas will get the start after being the first goaltender off the ice during the morning skate. Thomas came within a third-period goal of his eighth shutout of the season against the Flames on Tuesday. Roberto Luongo sat out the Canucks game on Thursday and was first off the ice for Vancouver this morning, so it appears the Canucks all-World netminder will be between the pipes when puck drops in Vancouver just after 10 p.m. ET tonight.