B’s Looking To Stay On Top

Thomas gets the nod in net tonight against the Senators. (Photo Credit: Steph Phillips)

Tonight the Boston Bruins take on the Ottawa Senators for the fifth and final time in the regular season. The last time these two teams met up was Saturday night with the Bruins taking a 5-3 victory for their fourth this season against the Division rivals. Tonight the Bruins are expected to be without defenseman Johnny Boychuk who suffers from a mild concussion after a legal hit sustained by Chris Neil on Saturday. While defenseman Zdeno Chara stepped up and defended his partner, Joe Corvo had some choice words for his offender after Monday’s practice:

“Hopefully he’s a man and he’ll step up when I come after him,” said Corvo, “I’m not going to try and hurt him, but I want to fight him.”(via NESN)

Early in the third period of Saturday’s  game Kyle Turris left his feet and planted a huge hit to the head of Joe Corvo, sending him to the ice cradling his head. Turris received a two-minute boarding penalty and no suspension from the League, outraging Corvo even more.

Today the defenseman seems to have calmed down a little bit, stating he put his “individual priorities over team priorities.”

Regardless Turris seemed un-threatened by the comments from Corvo and claimed:

“It’s just another game…You’ve always got to defend yourself on the ice and in certain situations,” Turris said. “If I have to defend myself, I have to defend myself.”(via NESN)

While Boychuk is out of the line-up, forward Shawn Thornton is expected to play tonight after missing the last game with flu-like symptoms. Along with Thornton, Mike Mottau and Brian Rolston are looking to make their debuts as Bruins tonight and are both excited to play.

“It’s a thrill to be here, to be back…Couldn’t be happier that this team picked me up…the right fit.” said the former Bruin Brian Rolston, who has known Tim Thomas since they played together at age 6. (via @NHLBruins)

Greg Zanon arrived in Boston after this morning’s practice and reportedly will not be playing in tonight’s game. Instead the Bruins have recalled forward Max Sauve from Providence, after being bounced back and forth yesterday, for an emergency-basis.He did practice with the team this morning and is available for game-time should the Bruins need him.

The Ottawa Senators are looking to have Zenon Konopka back in their line-up, who is leading the League with 17 fighting majors. We can expect some heavy fisticuffs to be thrown around tonight, with both him and Thornton being present.

Tonight’s goaltenders are Tim Thomas for the Bruins, sporting 8-3-0 in his last 11 starts, including a 5-3 victory over the Senators. On the other side of the ice, starring in his third game for the Sens is Robin Lehner. Lehner was an emergency call-up for Sunday’s game against the New York Islanders on Sunday and helped bring them a victory pulling them within three points of Boston in the Division.

Tonight the players to watch for the Senators are going to be the always present Jason Spezza who has 8 goals and 12 assists in 9 games, two of which came from Saturday’s game against the Bruins.  Erik Karlsson is also on a point streak with 6 goals and 11 assists in 7 games. Daniel Alfredsson also poses a threat to Boston, proving on Saturday that he can confidently put the puck in the back of the net from seemingly anywhere on the ice, making two bad angle shots off the boards against Thomas that sliced through the Bruins lead late in the third.

While Zdeno Chara‘s efforts in the third period Saturday were understandable, the big defenseman is going to have to remain out of the box tonight if the Bruins plan on coming up with another victory. With Chara’s absence along with Boychuk’s in the third it was painfully obvious the defense was hurt. Had Chara been on the ice, it is questionable as to whether or not Alfredsson would have scored both of his goals.

For the Bruins look for forwards Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to shine. Bergeron has 4 goals and 5 assists in his last 11 contests, while Brad leads the team in goals and sports 6 goals and 5 assists in his last 15. In scoring his 22nd goal on Saturday, Brad set a new career season-high for himself.

The projected lines for tonight are:

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin

Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-David Krejci

Jordan Caron-Brian Rolston-Benoit Pouliot

Daniel Paille- Gregory Campbell- Shawn Thornton

Defensive pairings without Boychuk and Zanon:

Zdeno Chara – Andrew Ference

Dennis Seidenberg – Joe Corvo

Mike Mottau – Adam McQuaid

Tonight’s game is at 7:00pm EST on the New England Sports Network(NESN).

 

Fun Facts:

Joe Corvo is two assists shy of his 200th NHL assist.

Milan Lucic is five points shy of his 200th career point.

Information provided by the Game Notes (PDF)

 

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