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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Senators, Monday 12/21

The Bruins (16-11-7) will look to get back to their winning ways tonight in Canada’s capital city, as they head into ScotiaBank Place to take on the division rival Ottawa Senators (18-13-4). These two teams have been battling back and forth in the Northeast Division standings, leapfrogging each other since the very beginning of the year. As of now, Ottawa owns a one-point advantage over Boston for second place in the division, all while Buffalo extends their lead to five over Ottawa and six over the Bruins.

Boston is coming off a poor showing in Toronto Saturday night, losing to the resurgent Maple Leafs 2-0 at Air Canada Centre. Meanwhile, the Sens are coming off a back and forth week last week, losing to Toronto, then beating Buffalo, then falling to New Jersey, followed by a win over Minnesota.

Let’s look at tonight’s game a little closer, leading up to the opening faceoff…

  • Boston will yet again try to kickstart the offense by juggling the forward lines heading into this evening. It’s been reported that former fourth-line center Steve Begin will jump up to the top line as a winger to center Marc Savard. Begin is likely to play on Savard’s left side, while Marco Sturm flips to the right wing spot. Former top line winger Michael Ryder will drop to the third line with David Krejci and Blake Wheeler.
  • The bumps & bruises on the blue line continue for the Black & Gold. While Dennis Wideman will return to tonight’s lineup, defenseman Derek Morris will miss tonight’s game with an undisclosed injury.
  • Boston has taken a pair of 4-3 shootout wins from Ottawa in the two previous meetings of these two teams this season.
  • The goalie matchup from the previous two matchups will remain the same, according to pregame reports. Boston will go with Tim Thomas, while Ottawa will start Brian Elliot (9-8-5, 2.70GAA).
  • Also in goal for Ottawa nowadays is Mike Brodeur, a distant relative of Devils goalie Martin Brodeur. Mike made debut Saturday with 22 saves in the 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild.
  • Ottawa’s scoring is led by veteran winger Daniel Alfredsson (9G, 22A), followed by center Mike Fisher (15G, 14A), winger Milan Michalek (16G, 6A), and veteran Alexei Kovalev (7G, 13A).
  • Jason Spezza, Ottawa’s All-Star center, will miss his fourth game tonight with a knee injury. Also sidelined for the Sens are former Bruin Shean Donovan (knee), Chris Neil (knee), Nick Foligno (knee), and goalie Pascal Leclaire (fractured cheekbone).

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