Bruins Return to Boston for Matinee With Senators

Bruins Return to Boston for Matinee With Senators After going 1-1-1 on their West Coast road trip, the Bruins begin a three-game homestand at the Garden when they take on the Senators in their annual Martin Luther King Day matinee.

The Senators come into the game riding a two-game win streak, but have yet to beat the Bruins this season. With a win though, they would tie Boston for second place in the Northeast Division and fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

WHEN AND WHERE

Monday Jan. 18, 1 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

RECORDS

Bruins (23-16-8, 54 points; second place in Northeast Division; fifth place in Eastern Conference)
Senators (24-21-4, 52 points, Third place in Northeast Division, sixth place in Eastern Conference)

HEAD TO HEAD

This is the fifth meeting of the season between the Bruins and Senators. Boston has dominated the season series so far, winning all four games, with the last one a 4-1 victory at Ottawa on Jan. 5.

The two teams will complete the season series at TD Garden this Saturday at 1 p.m.

Boston leads the lifetime series 55-28-8-7

SKINNY

Before the Anaheim game last Wednesday, the Bruins were 12-1-0 when leading after two periods. Now they're 12-2-1. Before Saturday, they were 14-1-0 when leading by two goals at any point in a game. They’re now 14-1-1.

The four goals by the Senators on Saturday was the first time they had scored more than two goals in a game since Jan. 3.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Bruins
Forwards

Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Mark Recchi–Miroslav Satan
Milan Lucic–Steve Begin–Byron Bitz
Vladimir Sobotka-Trent Whitfield–Shawn Thornton

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Adam McQuaid
Mark Stuart–Johnny Boychuck
Matt Hunwick–Derek Morris

Goaltenders
Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

Note: Steve Begin will be a game time decision and it is not known who will replace him if he can't go.

 
Senators
Forwards

Nick Foligno–Mike Fisher–Daniel Alfredsson
Ryan Shannon–Peter Regin–Alex Kovalev
Jarkko Ruutu–Chris Kelly–Chris Neil
Jonathan Cheechoo–Zack Smith–Shean Donovan

Defensemen
Chris Phillips–Anton Volchenkov
Chris Campoli–Erik Karlsson
Alex Picard/Filip Kuba–Matt Carkner

Goaltenders
Mike Brodeur
Brian Elliot

GOALTENDER MATCHUP

Bruins

Tim Thomas is 13-11-5 with a 2.39 GAA and .921 save percentage with four shutouts. Thomas made 31 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Kings on Saturday. Thomas has won 11 straight starts against the Senators and has not lost since a 2-1 shootout loss in Boston on Nov. 4, 2007. Thomas is 16-5-2 overall against the Senators.

Tuukka Rask is 10-5-2 with a 2.04 GAA, .930 save percentage and one shutout. Rask is third in the NHL in GAA and second in save percentage. Rask has two shutouts.

Senators

Mike Brodeur (no relation to Devils goalie Martin Brodeur) is 3-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .966 save percentage. The rookie netminder has one shutout. Brodeur has stopped 84 of the 87 shots he has faced in the NHL.

Brian Elliot is 10-11-3 with a 2.91 GAA and .893 save percentage. Elliot has two shutouts.

STAT SHEET

Bruins
Patrice Bergeron
leads the team in points with 31.

Zdeno Chara leads the team in assists with 23. Chara also leads the defense in points with 27.

Blake Wheeler is now second on the team in points after posting a goal and an assist in the Bruins 4-3 shootout loss on Saturday. Wheeler has 12 goals and 16 assists.

Miroslav Satan scored his second goal as a Bruin on Saturday and now has two goals and an assist in six games.

Milan Lucic had a helper on Saturday and now has four assists this season. Lucic also has two goals in 15 games played.

Johnny Boychuk had two assists on Saturday and has six this season.

Michael Ryder broke a nine-game goal drought with his eighth goal of the season Saturday.

The Bruins killed off two two-man advantages by the Kings on Saturday and all three L.A. power plays. They’ve allowed only 20 goals on 166 power plays faced and lead the NHL with an 88.1 percent success rate.

The Bruins power play was 0-for-1 Saturday night and they are now 28-for-158 with a 17.7 percent success rate.

Senators
Mike Fisher
leads the Sens with 35 points. He had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Habs and has three points in his last two games.

Daniel Alfredsson made a triumphant return to the Senators lineup on Saturday with a goal and two assists. Alfredsson is second on the team with 34 points.

Alex Kovalev has been his usual streaky self in Ottawa but has been producing as of late with an assist in each of his last two games. Kovalev has 20 helpers and 31 points.

The Senators shut down the league-leading Montreal power play as the Habs were 0-for-6. The Ottawa penalty kill has allowed 34 goals on 198 power plays faced.

The Senators have the worst power play in the NHL with just a 13.8 percent success rate. They’re 23-for-167.

BLACK AND BLUE

Bruins
Marc Savard
is out a minimum two more weeks with a knee injury, but says he is recovering well.

Andrew Ference is out for at least four more weeks with an injured groin.

Patrice Bergeron (broken thumb) has been practicing with the team and could return on Monday against the Senators.

Steve Begin is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Marco Sturm did not play on Saturday and is day-to-day with a leg injury.

Dennis Wideman (flu) is a game time decision.

Senators
Filip Kuba
was scheduled to return from an upper body injury but was a late scratch on Saturday with the flu. He has missed the last four games but could return on Monday.

Pascal Leclaire is day-to-day with a concussion. He has missed the last two games.

Milan Michalek has missed the last five games with a concussion and is out indefinitely.

Jason Spezza has missed the last 16 games with torn knee ligaments and is expected to be out until February.

Jesse Winchester is expected to be out until mid-February with a right knee injury.

THIS DATE IN BRUINS HISTORY

On January 18, 1973 John “Chief” Bucyk scored four goals in a 9-7 loss to the Islanders.

OVERHEARD

“I think the guys stepped up and played really, really well. We didn’t have any easy games on this trip; we faced three good teams. We showed we could play well against them, no matter who we had out of the lineup. The effort was there, the guys played hard the whole trip. That wasn’t an easy trip to play. It was probably the worst travel schedule the league could have set up for us. But we played hard and stuck with it.”
–Defenseman Derek Morris on his team’s resiliency on their recent three-game road trip.

PRESS BOX

Bruins
Here’s the game story from the Bruins 4-3 shootout loss to the Kings.

The Bruins and Coyotes may open the 2010-11 season in Prague.

Michael Ryder finally found the back of the net Saturday.

Senators

The Senators’ captain made a brilliant return to the lineup Saturday.

Jason Spezza practiced with his team yesterday and is ahead of schedule in his recovery from torn knee ligaments.

Goalie Mike Brodeur has earned the No.1 goalie job for the Senators.

NHL

Could the Wings vacate “The Joe”?

Some of the top prospects for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft will play an exhibition for teams coached by Don Cherry and Bobby Orr Wednesday in Windsor, Ontario.

Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault is not happy with Ron MacLean of CBC.

OUTLOOK

First games back from road trips out west can always be tough, especially 1 p.m. matinees, so a solid start to the game for the Bruins will be imperative. It may take them a bit to get their legs going but they can’t let the Senators take advantage of that. Ottawa is playing better as of late and will try to jump on what they hope to be a flat Bruins team. The Bruins therefore need to match that early intensity.

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