Oilers at Bruins | 7 p.m. (NESN)

Here’s what to watch for when the Bruins face the Oilers tonight

Jaroslav Halak is expected to start in goal Thursday for the Bruins.
Jaroslav Halak is expected to start in goal Thursday for the Bruins. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff)

The Bruins (2-1-0) are back after a two-day layoff, hoping to make it three wins in a row. Jaroslav Halak will start in goal against the Edmonton Oilers. Puck drop is 7 p.m. at TD Garden.

A quick-hit morning skate update:

They’ve got to handle …

You know who: The guy who skates faster than everyone and makes plays at a different level. How about these numbers from the Oiler’s season-opener, from Dimitri Filipovic, about Edmonton star Connor McDavid:

The Oilers need to figure out how to play around No. 97. It would help them avoid another slow start, which took them out of the running by last December.


“It is a fine line to walk. It’s easy to say, ‘We’ve got 81 left,’” Milan Lucic said. “We kept doing that last year. ‘It’s OK, we’ve got 60 left.’ ‘Yeah, OK, we’ve got 55 left.’ All of a sudden it’s, ‘We’ve got 40 left, and we’re completely out of the mix here.’

“Good teams show up and bounce back right away. The Bruins lost 7-0 the first game and they’ve won [two] straight since. That’s the sign of a good team. We have to find a way to do the same thing and jump on a team that’s playing well.”

Expect some jump from …

Jake DeBrusk: The Edmonton native likes playing against the Oil anyway, but has extra reason to play hard tonight: his dad’s in town this week. Louie DeBrusk, an Oilers radio analyst, took time off work to attend at the Ottawa game Monday and was at practice Wednesday. He will play the right wing on David Krejci’s line, after spending last year on the left and starting this year there.

Joakim Nordstrom: The fourth-liner will get a chance to ride with Krejci today on the left side. Nordstrom spent the majority of last year in Carolina playing with Marcus Kruger and Josh Jooris. The year before he was with Jay McClement and Viktor Stalberg. That year, he also had a run with Jordan Staal, Carolina’s top center. They were a decent duo, possession-wise (54.03 Corsi For percentage together, per Natural Stat Trick) but that was likely more Staal (whose numbers were better without Nordstrom than with him).


Lucic: Obviously. He’s an emotional player, and the big guy has eight years of Boston memories to fuel him tonight.

Gameday reading

■  Milan Lucic finds his past to be a blessing and a burden

■  Here’s how the Bruins will deal with Connor McDavid

■  Saturday’s Bruins-Red Wings game will start at 3 p.m., not 7

■  The Boston Globe’s college hockey preview, featuring new BU head coach Albie O’Connell

Bruins lines

According to the morning skate:

■  Ryan Donato will be the healthy scratch, with Nordstrom taking his spot on the second line. Anders Bjork replaced Donato as the net-front man on the Bruins’ first power play unit.

■  Martin Bakos, whose training camp ended a week early because of a lower-body injury, was on the ice wearing a no-contact jersey. He took a penalty-kill rep with tryout forward Lee Stempniak, who is here through the rest of the week, per coach Bruce Cassidy.

All else is the same as Monday in Ottawa.

Forward lines

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak

Joakim Nordstrom-David Krejci-Jake DeBrusk

Danton Heinen-David Backes-Anders Bjork

Chris Wagner-Sean Kuraly-Noel Acciari

Defensive pairings

Zdeno Chara-Charlie McAvoy


John Moore-Brandon Carlo

Matt Grzelcyk-Kevan Miller


Jaroslav Halak

Tuukka Rask

Oilers at a glance

(2017-18 stats)

■  When, where: Thursday, 7 p.m., at TD Garden.

■  TV, radio: NESN, WBZ-FM (98.5).

■  Goals: Connor McDavid 41, Leon Draisaitl 25, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 24.

■  Assists: McDavid 67, Draisaitl 45, Milan Lucic 24.

■  Goaltending: Cam Talbot (31-31-3, 3.02 GAA).

■  Head to head: This is the first of two meetings. The Bruins went 1-1 vs. Edmonton in 2017-18.

■  Miscellany: McDavid has led the league in scoring each of the past two seasons . . . Edmonton has missed the playoffs in 11 of the last 12 seasons . . . The Oilers’ success rate on the power play last season (14.8 percent) was well below the league average (20.2) . . . These teams will meet again Oct. 18 in Edmonton during the Bruins’ four-game road trip.

Follow Matt Porter on Twitter at @mattyports