RANGERS (21-17-6) at BRUINS (22-14-7)
Last 10 -- New York 6-1-3; Boston 6-4-0
Season series -- This is the third of four meetings between the teams, but the first visit for the Rangers to TD Garden. New York took the first two games at Madison Square Garden, winning 1-0 on Nov. 1 and 3-2 this past Monday night.
Big story -- While the Rangers have earned at least one point in 10 of their last 11 games, the Bruins will be out for revenge after a tough 3-2 loss in New York on Monday. Trailing 2-0 late in the third period, the Bruins rallied to tie the game, but Christopher Higgins' goal with 1:29 remaining sent Boston home with the loss. Not only did the Bruins lose the game, but they also lost their leading scorer Patrice Bergeron, who's expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a broken right thumb. To say the Bruins want this game is an understatement.
Rangers -- One thing is certain for the surging Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist will be rested. Lundqvist was given the night off on Thursday in Atlanta, his first game off since Nov. 28 against the Penguins. King Henrik had started 17 straight games for the Rangers and has started 38 of their 44 games this season.
The Rangers earned a hard-fought point on Thursday night, falling to the Thrashers 2-1 in a five-round shootout. "I thought we battled hard, I really do," said forward Ryan Callahan, who was denied in the shootout. "I thought we could have been better at some areas of the game, but I thought our compete was there. We just didn't get the result we wanted."
The Rangers are tied with the Ottawa Senators for sixth in the Eastern Conference with 48 points. With a regulation win over Boston, the Rangers could creep to within one point of the Bruins for fifth.
Bruins -- The B's will be playing their fourth game in six days when they host the Rangers. Coming off a 5-2 loss to the NHL-best Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, the Bruins may look to backup goaltender Tuukka Rask on Saturday. Rask relieved U.S. Olympian Tim Thomas midway through the second period against the Hawks after Thomas allowed four goals on 24 shots.
When asked what went wrong, Thomas replied, "Everything. They're a good team that played well. They pretty much did everything they wanted to."
The Bruins have been haunted by injuries recently. On Monday, they lost Bergeron; on Tuesday defenseman Andrew Ference hurt his groin; and on Thursday, former All-Star Marc Savard left the game with an apparent right leg injury. While the Bruins did get Milan Lucic back, they need to stay healthy.
Who's hot -- For New York, Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of his past 16 games. Pesky winger Sean Avery tied a career-high with four points on Wednesday against Dallas. Newcomer Erik Christensen has five points in his past five games while forward Ales Kotalik has 2 goals in the past three games.
Blake Wheeler has been red-hot with 4 goals and 3 assists in his previous three games for the Bruins. Mark Recchi has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last five games while center David Krejci has four points in his last four.
Injury report -- The Rangers are expected to be without forward Vaclav Prospal for another week after arthroscopic knee surgery. … Boston will be missing Bergeron for 2-3 weeks. Savard was injured on Thursday and is expected to be out again on Saturday. Mark Stuart is on injured reserved, while Ference is expected to miss at least six weeks with a groin injury.
Stat pack -- Bruins forward Miroslav Satan scored his first goal of the season in Boston's loss to Chicago. The goal was Satan's first goal since signing with the B's on Saturday Jan. 2. His last regular-season goal came as a member of the Penguins last March 1 against the Stars. The 35-year-old veteran had 17 goals in 65 games last season for Pittsburgh.
Puck drop -- Bruins coach Claude Julien was clearly disappointed after Monday's loss to the Rangers.
"We can't win hockey games playing the way we are, just showing up for a period or a half-period," Julien said. "We didn't even deserve a point tonight. That has been our biggest thing this year is to talk about a 60-minute effort, and we are not getting it out of this dressing room so far."
"Some guys have to pick up their games."
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