The Bruins seek revenge on Saturday when they welcome the Rangers to the TD Garden after absorbing a 3-2 beating from New York on Monday. The Rangers are 2-0-2 in their last four games while the Bruins are 2-2-0.
This is the Bruins' last game before a three-game roadie out west, and they would love to embark on that trip with a win under their belts after a less-than-stellar week. They also want to keep the Rangers in their rearview mirror in the standings.
When And Where
Saturday, Jan. 9, 1 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
Bruins (22-14-7, 51 points, second place in Northeast Division, fifth place in Eastern Conference)
Rangers (21-17-6, 48 points, third place in Atlantic Division, seventh place in Eastern Conference)
Head to Head
This is the third of four meetings between the long-time Original 6 rivals. On Monday night, the Bruins erased a late 2-0 deficit at Madison Square Garden, only to allow the Rangers to win the game on a Christopher Higgins goal with 1:29 left in regulation. The Bruins also lost 1-0 to the Rangers at MSG on Nov. 1 and are 0-0-2 against New York this season.
The Bruins and Rangers will complete the season series at the TD Garden on March 21.
The Bruins lead the all-time series 281-234-97-6.
The Bruins are a banged-up squad right now, missing their top two centers in Marc Savard (knee) and Patrice Bergeron (broken thumb), as well as forward Byron Bitz (back) and defensemen Andrew Ference (groin) and Mark Stuart (broken sternum). But the players realize they can’t use those injuries as an excuse, and they know that no matter what, the compete level needs to pick up.
“Every other team is shorthanded, too, in the league,” said defenseman Derek Morris. “Everybody’s got injuries. That’s an easy excuse. Like I said, we all have to look in the mirror. All the way from the top to the bottom, [we need to] say, ‘Did I play my best? Did we play our best every single night?’"
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Marco Sturm–Vladimir Sobotka–Mark Recchi
Milan Lucic–Steve Begin–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Trent Whitfield–Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara–Dennis Wideman
Adam McQuaid–Johnny Boychuck
Matt Hunwick–Derek Morris
Brandon Dubinsky–Erik Christensen–Marian Gaborik
Christopher Higgins–Chris Drury–Ryan Callahan
Sean Avery–Artem Anisimov–Ales Kotalik
Donald Brashear–Brian Boyle–Enver Lisin
Marc Staal–Michal Rozsival
Dan Girardi–Michael Del Zotto
Wade Redden–Matt Gilroy
Tim Thomas is 12-10-5 with a 2.41 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Thomas has four shutouts.
Tuukka Rask is 10-4-2 with a 1.92 GAA, a .933 save percentage and one shutout. Rask is second in the NHL in GAA and save percentage.
Henrik Lundqvist is 19-14-5 with a 2.40 GAA and a .920 save percentage and one shutout. Lundqvist stopped 26 of 28 shots in a 3-2 win over the Bruins last Monday.
On Thursday, Chad Johnson stopped 31 of 32 shots in regulation and overtime — and even registered an assist — before losing his first NHL start in a shootout in Atlanta, 2-1. He is 0-0-1 with a 2.29 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
Patrice Bergeron leads the team in points with 31 (11 goals, 20 assists).
Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist on Thursday night against Chicago and now has three-game point and goal streaks going with seven points and four goals during that span.
With a goal and an assist on Tuesday night, Mark Recchi tied Hall of Famer and Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita as the NHL’s 13th all-time leading scorer with 1,367 points. Recchi’s goal came on the power play and he now leads the Bruins in power-play goals with six. Recchi has four points in his last five games and is third on the team with 25 points.
On Thursday, forward Miroslav Satan scored his first goal of the season and first as a Bruin in only his second game.
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk has three assists in his last two games and now has four helpers and six points.
Zdeno Chara leads the team in assists with 22 and is tied for third in points with 25. Chara also leads the defense in assists and points.
Defenseman Derek Morris has a two-game point streak going with two assists during that span.
The Bruins killed off Chicago's lone power play on Thursday. They have allowed only 19 goals on 153 power plays faced and lead the NHL with an 87.6 percent success rate.
The Bruins' power play was 1-for-3 on Tuesday night and it is 28-for-151 with an 18.5 percent success rate overall.
Marian Gaborik leads the NHL in goals with 28 and in power-play goals with 12. He is third in points with 53. He also leads his team in points, goals and power-play goals.
Brandon Dubinsky had two assists against the Bruins on Monday and he has 13 assists and 20 points this season.
Erik Christensen scored a goal against the Bruins on Monday and has five points in his last five games.
Ales Kotalik has two goals in his last three games. He has eight lamplighters and 22 points this season.
Sean Avery had a goal and three assists on Wednesday against Dallas, but that was the only game in his last seven in which he registered a point. Avery has 13 assists and 18 points this season.
Chris Drury has a goal and an assist in his last three games and has 16 points this season.
Michael Del Zotto leads the Rangers' blue line with 16 assists and 21 points. He is second in points amongst NHL rookie defensemen.
The Rangers have the fifth-best penalty kill in the NHL with an 86.1 percent success rate. It has allowed only 25 goals on 180 power plays faced.
The Rangers' power play is ranked 11th in the NHL with a 19.9 percent success rate. It is 33-for-166.
Black and Blue
Marc Savard is reportedly out a minimum of two to three weeks with a knee injury, according to TSN. The Bruins are expected to make an announcement regarding his status on Saturday morning.
Byron Bitz is out on Saturday and is day-to-day with a back injury.
Andrew Ference is out for six weeks after injuring his groin on Tuesday night in Ottawa.
Patrice Bergeron will be out for two weeks with a broken thumb. Bergeron is, however, skating and practicing with a splint on his right thumb.
Mark Stuart (broken sternum) is on injured reserve. Stuart has been skating the last four days but is still expected to miss another two to three weeks.
Vinny Prospal underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Dec. 28 and will be out until at least mid-January.
This Date in Bruins History
On Jan. 9, 1979, Bobby Orr’s number is retired and raised to the Boston Garden rafters.
"It's just adversity that we have to face and it's the cards that we've [been dealt]. Again, we're going to need guys to step up. It's happened before in the past so this is a chance for guys to step up.”
—Milan Lucic on the adversity the Bruins are facing because of all the recent injuries
Marc Savard will reportedly be out 2-3 weeks
Injuries aren't the only problem with the Bruins
The signing of Miroslav Satan is pushing other players to excel
John Tortorella benched the Rangers best player Thursday
The Rangers were denied a practice on Fenway ice
Former BU star Matt Gilroy watched his old team beat rival BC at Fenway Park last night
It appears that Thrashers sniper Ilya Kovalchuk could be dealt and the Bruins could be suitors for his services
Looking ahead to the second half of the NHL season.
Veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider is still making a hefty NHL salary playing in the AHL
Six of the last 10 games between the Bruins and the Rangers have been decided by one goal, so this could be a close matchup. Special teams is always huge when these two teams do battle because the games are so close, so the Bruins will have to be disciplined and also keep their power play clicking, which has been better as of late.
Goaltending and defense — both of which were suspect in the Bruins' 5-2 loss to the Blackhawks on Thursday — will need to be much better as well, with less rebounds given up by the goalie and better play in the neutral zone by the defense.