The Bruins welcome the Hurricanes on Saturday in a 1 p.m. matinee that has plenty of playoff implications. This is the Hurricanes’ last game of the season, but the Bruins are hoping it’s not their penultimate game.
If the Rangers lost to the Flyers on Friday night, the Bruins would’ve clinched a playoff berth. But New York lived to see another day in the playoff race with its 4-3 win over the Flyers. If the Bruins lose their two remaining games and the Rangers win their last, the B’s will be booking their tee times because their season will be over.
But the Bruins still control their own destiny still and can secure a spot in the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs by recording one point today, either via a win or a loss in overtime or the shootout. The Bruins could clinch sixth place with a win over the Hurricanes and if Montreal loses to Toronto. because they hold a game in hand on the Rangers, Habs and Flyers. This is the Bruins’ last regular-season home game, and despite struggling mightily on home ice, they have chance to finish over .500 at the TD Garden.
WHEN AND WHERE
Boston Bruins (37-30-13) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (35-36-10)
Saturday, April 10, 1 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Bruins are 2-1-0 against the Hurricanes this season, winning the last meeting 5-2 at Carolina on March 16.
Tuukka Rask is 21-12-5 with a league-leading 1.97 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage to go with five shutouts. He made 31 saves in the Bruins’ 3-1 win over Buffalo on Thursday. Heading into NHL action on Friday night, Rask was first in the NHL in GAA and save percentage.
Tim Thomas is 16-18-8 with a 2.55 GAA, .915 save percentage and five shutouts. He has not started since March 29, when he was pulled during the second period of a 3-2 loss to Buffalo.
Hurricanes Cam Ward is 18-22-5 with a 2.69 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Ward is expected to start on Saturday.
Manny Legace is 10-7-5 with a 2.81 GAA and a .907 save percentage. He has one shutout.
Milan Lucic–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara–Dennis Wideman
Matt Hunwick–Johnny Boychuk
Andrew Bodnarchuk–Adam McQuaid
Jussi Jokinen–Eric Staal–Chad LaRose
Ray Whitney–Brandon Sutter–Erik Cole
Sergei Samsonov–Rod Brind’Amour–Tom Kostopoulos
Zach Boychuk–Patrick Dwyer–Jerome Samson/Drayson Bowman
Miroslav Satan scored on Thursday and has three goals in his last three games.
Dennis Wideman turned boos into cheers with the game-winning goal 1:59 into the third period on Thursday. Wideman has a three-game points streak going, with two lamp-lighters and a helper during that span.
Marco Sturm may lead the Bruins with 21 goals, but he needs to light the lamp soon and get hot. He has not scored in 14 games.
Eric Staal has five goals and four assists in his last two games and leads the ‘Canes with 70 points.
Defenseman Jamie McBain has three assists in his last two games.
Jussi Jokinen has a goal and two assists in his last two games.
BLACK AND BLUE
Zdeno Chara is playing with a broken nose.
Andrew Ference is out until at least next week with a hernia and groin injury.
Mark Stuart is out for two weeks following surgery for cellulitis on his right pinkie finger.
Dennis Seidenberg had surgery for a lacerated flexor carpi radialis tendon in his left forearm and is out for eight weeks.
Marc Savard is out indefinitely with a Grade 2 concussion.
Defenseman Joni Pitkanen (lower body) will not play.
Tuomo Ruutu had shoulder surgery and is out for the season.
Tim Gleason is out with a foot injury.
Alexandre Picard is out with an upper body injury
The Bruins know exactly what they have to do to accomplish their goal of making the playoffs — and they proved it with their resilience in their 3-1 comeback win on Thursday. The B’s will need to adhere to the old cliché of one game at a time and must try to not get ahead of themselves. They need to focus on the Carolina Hurricanes and just stay within their game.
If they can do that and earn two points, they will have the chance to do that again in the best tournament in North American pro sports, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.