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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Senators, Tuesday January 11th

The Bruins (22-12-7) kick off a four-game homestand this evening on Causeway Street, facing off with division rivals: the Ottawa Senators (16-20-6) at TD Garden.

The B’s made quite the comeback in last night’s 4-2 win over the Sidney Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins. Down 2-0 with under four minutes to play, Boston rattled off four unanswered goals, avenging the last-minute loss they suffered two nights earlier, up in Montreal.

As for the Senators, they find themselves in an 0-3-2 slump over their last five games, sinking them now 11 points behind the Canadiens for the East’s eighth and final playoff spot. Battling injuries and sub-par performances, the Sens look to right the ship tonight against a Bruins team now two points up on Montreal for the Northeast Division lead.

Let’s not waste any more time and risk breaking up this team’s momentum… time to get right to tonight’s pre-game notes:

  • Tuesday’s game marks the seventh time the B’s have had games on back-to-back nights so far this season. Through their first six instances like this, they are 3-2-1 in the second game of the back-to-back.
  • This game will be the third of six meetings this season against Ottawa. Each team has shut out the other so far, with Boston topping the Sens 4-0 back in October, and Ottawa shutting down the B’s 2-0 in November.
  • Mark Recchi will play his 1,613th career NHL game tonight, which will help him pass former Bruin great Ray Bourque for eighth on the league’s all-time list. Recchi scored the game-winning goal in last night’s victory, over the team that drafted him way back in 1988.
  • Ottawa will be without their top centerman, Jason Spezza this evening, as he continues to nurse a shoulder injury. Also sidelined for the Sens are winger Alex Kovalev (knee) and goaltender Pascal Leclaire (lower-body). Center Mike Fisher (lower-body) is considered day-to-day.
  • In place of Leclaire in goal, Brian Elliott (12-13-5, 2.98GAA) has shouldered the brunt of the workload. Backing him up is Mike Brodeur (0-0-0, 2.73GAA), who was recently called up from the team’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
  • Scoring for the Senators is led by the team’s captain, Daniel Alfredsson (13G, 13A), followed by defenseman Erik Karlsson (8G, 17A) and Spezza (9G, 11A).
  • Ottawa and Boston are two of just six teams remaining across the league that don’t have a player on their roster with 30 points or more. Boston’s Patrice Bergeron leads the way with 29 points for his team, with Alfredsson’s 26 points the tops in Ottawa. The other four teams without a 30-pointer thus far; the Islanders, Panthers, Oilers, and Predators.
  • Lastly, the NHL announced their All-Stars earlier today and two Bruins made the list. Captain Zdeno Chara will make his fifth All-Star appearance, while goalie Tim Thomas will man the crease in his third All-Star game. Rookie Tyler Seguin will also make the trip to Raleigh for All-Star Weekend, participating with 11 other rookies in the Honda SuperSkills competition. Ottawa’s lone All-Star representative will be second-year defenseman Erik Karlsson. The festivities kick off Friday, January 28th with the first ever All-Star Game Fantasy Draft, where two captains will choose the teams amongst the 40 remaining All-Stars. Saturday the 29th, the rookies have at it in the SuperSkills competition, then Sunday the 30th, the All-Stars take center stage for the game itself, starting at 4pm. All three events will be found on Versus.

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