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Boston Bruins Week Ahead 1/31 - 2/6

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
THREE GAME HOMESTAND ENDS; THREE GAME ROAD TRIP BEGINS: The Bruins conclude their three-game post-All Star Break homestand when they host the Rangers Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET. The Rangers captured a 3-2 overtime win in their first and only meeting this season on November 15.  The Bruins will leave immediately after the game for Montreal, who they face on Sunday afternoon at 2:00. The team then has back-to-back midweek tilts at Philadelphia (Wednesday 2/4) and at Ottawa (Thursday 2/5).


DROP THE PUCK: Winchester, MA native Alicia Sacramone will participate in the ceremonial puck drop before the Bruins/Rangers game at the TD Banknorth Garden on Saturday, January 31 at 1:00 p.m. ET. Sacramone, who helped lead Team USA to the Silver Medal in gymnastics at the 2008 Summer Olympics, will join Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and Rangers captain Chris Drury at center ice for the dropping of the puck and a photo following the national anthem.

A 2006 graduate of Winchester High School, the 21-year-old Sacramone is currently enrolled at Brown University. In addition to winning the silver medal in the team all around competition in Beijing, Sacramone is a seven-time medalist at the World Artistic Gymnastic Championships and the 2008 U.S. National Champion on vault.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: Including their games on Tuesday night against third place Washington and Thursday night against second place New Jersey, the combined record of the Bruins opponents through February 13 is 250-131-50. This stretch of nine games includes matchups against Western Conference leading San Jose and Eastern Conference foes Washington (3rd overall in the East), New Jersey twice (2nd in the East), New York Rangers (4th in the East), Montreal (5th in the East), Philadelphia twice (6th in the East) and Ottawa (13th in the East).

THE STAT OF THE WEEK, COURTESY OF THE BOSTON BRUINS WEEK AHEAD STAT MACHINE…
The Bruins have gone into overtime in their last four consecutive games. That matches their modern record which they have done on four previous occasions, with their most recent four-game overtime stretch coming from April  6-11, 2006 (1-0-3).

The modern era of overtime started in the 1983-84 season, when the NHL reinstated overtime in a five-minute sudden-death format. The club’s longest stretch of consecutive overtime games was five straight from Jan. 3-12, 1932 (0-1-4), when overtime featured a non-sudden death ten-minute extra session. Overtime was discontinued in the NHL in November, 1942 due to wartime restrictions on train travel and remained out of the league until 1983-84.

Here are the longest games-going-into-overtime streaks in Bruins history:
5 - Jan. 3-12, 1932
4 - Dec. 27, 1940-Jan. 7, 1941
4 - Nov. 13-19, 1986
4 - Oct. 25-30, 2001
4 - Apr. 6-11, 2006
4 - Jan. 19-29, 2009

The NHL record is seven straight overtime games set by Edmonton from Feb. 29-Mar. 12, 2004.

BRUINS UPCOMING GAME AND PRACTICE SCHEDULE (PLEASE CALL 617.624.1910 FOR THE LATEST UPDATES TO THE SCHEDULE):
Saturday, January 31 (Boston, MA)
-Ice available at TD Banknorth Garden 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. ET
This practice is not open to the public.
-Game vs. New York Rangers, 1:00 p.m. ET (TV:
-Travel to Montreal

Sunday, February 1 (Montreal, QC)
-Ice available at Centre Bell 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. ET
-Game vs. Montreal Canadiens 2:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, CBC RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)
-Travel to Boston

Monday, February 2 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET

Tuesday, February 3 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. ET
-Travel to Philadelphia

Wednesday, February 4 (Philadelphia, PA)
-Pregame skate at Wachovia Center 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET
-Game vs. Philadelphia Flyers 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)
-Travel to Ottawa

Thursday, February 5 (Ottawa, ON)
-Pregame skate at Scotiabank Place 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET
-Game vs. Ottawa Senators 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)
-Travel to Boston

Friday, February 6 (Boston, MA)
-Practice at TD Banknorth Garden 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. ET
This practice is not open to the public.

AROUND TOWN:
What: Blazers Battle of the Mascots Night
-The Boston Bruins mascot, Blades is participating in the Blazers professional lacrosse team’s mascot night.
-Team mascots from across the state will be entertaining fans throughout the game, the highlight being an intermission relay race.
When: Saturday, January 31, 2009 beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston MA 02114
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins mascot, Blades

What: Skate With The Ice Girls
-The Boston Bruins Ice Girls and Blades the Bruins mascot will be special guests at the public skating session in Marlboro, MA
-All skaters will have a chance to skate with the girls, meet Blades and enter to win Bruins team autographed memorabilia
-Future appearances can be found at www.bostonbruins.com
When: Sunday, February 1 from 2:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
Where: Navin Arena, 451 Bolton Street, Marlboro, MA 01752
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Ice Girls and Boston Bruins mascot, Blades

What: Partnership to Assist Skaters and Shooters (PASS) Clinic.
-The 7th clinic in a 10-clinic series conducted by the Boston Bruins and sponsored by TD Banknorth
-The PASS clinic focuses on teaching youth hockey players between the ages of 8 and 12 skating and shooting skills
When: Monday, February 2 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Jim Roche Community Ice Arena 1275 VFW Parkway, West Roxbury, MA 02132
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Alumni Tommy Songin

What: B’s Go Green - Environmental School Visit
-Andrew Ference will be visiting the Andrew Peabody School in Cambridge to discuss the school’s environmental friendly practices, and to teach two science classes how to compost 
-The B’s Go Green serves to teach kids grades 3-8 how to make changes in their everyday life to help the environment
When: Monday, February 2, from 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Where: The Andrew Peabody School, 70 Rindge Ave, Cambridge MA 02140
Bruins Participating: Andrew Ference

What: R.O.A.R. Party
-Join Bruins fans at the Hard Rock Café for the second Rally On A Road Trip (R.O.A.R.) watch party 
-Cheer on the B’s with fellow fans as they take on the Flyers in Philadelphia
-Blades and the Bruins Ice Girls will be on hand with great giveaways, prizes and the chance to win Boston Bruins autographed memorabilia
When: Wednesday February 4 from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Where: Hard Rock Café, 22-24 Clinton Street, Boston, MA 02109
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Ice Girls and Blades

What: Ace Bailey Got Skills Competition
-Squirt and Peewee House and travel players can sign up to test their skills: fastest skater, accuracy shooting, breakaways and hardest shot 
When: Wednesday, February 4, and Thursday, February 5, from 4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.
Where: Kasabuski Arena 201 Forest St, Saugus, MA 01906
Bruins Participating: Bruins Alumni Tom Songin, Rick Middleton, and Bob Sweeney
 
What:  Bruins Bleed Black and Gold Blood Drive
-The Boston Bruins will be hosting a blood drive at the TD Banknorth Garden to benefit the American Red Cross. 
-Fans are encouraged to come to the Garden to donate blood, meet and take photos with Blades and Ice Girls, as well as enter to win Bruins autographed merchandise 
-During the blood drive thee Bruins will be hosting practice at the TD Banknorth Garden
When: Friday, February 6 from 11:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114
Bruins Participating: Boston Bruins Ice Girls and Blades the Bruins mascot

MEDIA
THE INSTIGATORS:
Every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., the gloves come off on NESN, as Mike Milbury, Andy Brickley, and Jack Edwards debate the hottest and most controversial issues in hockey on The Instigators.

THE BUZZ: This week’s Buzz comes to you from All-Star Weekend in Montreal. Tune in to hear Claude Julien mic’d up at all-star practice, a behind-the-scenes look at what Tim Thomas was up to in Montreal, features on Marc Savard and Blake Wheeler and a recap of the Bruins best plays of the first half of the season.

BRUINS RADIO APPEARANCES:
Check the following radio stations for exclusive live interviews with Bruins players every week:
Tuesday mornings at 7:20: Andrew Ference on WFNX 101.7 FM
Wednesday mornings at 8:00:  Aaron Ward on WBCN 104.1 FM
Wednesday mornings at 8:20: Marc Savard on WZLX 100.7 FM

TICKET INFO
STUDENT NIGHTS:
Every Bruins home game on Monday through Thursday is “Student Night” at the Garden, where students can purchase discounted tickets for $23.50. The Bruins Student Sections are in sections 320 and 321, rows 3-15.

LEADERS AND STATS
BRUINS ON THE NHL LEADERBOARD (AS OF JANUARY 30):

-The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference in wins (35), points (76), goal differential (+62), goals for (174) and goals against (112).
-The Bruins are second in the NHL in points (76) wins (35) and are third in the league in goals against (112).
-The Bruins own the NHL’s third ranked power play overall (24.9%).
-Marc Savard is fourth in the league in points with 59 (E. Malkin 71).
-Phil Kessel is tied for seventh in the league in goals scored with 24 (A. Ovechkin 31).
-Marc Savard is tied for fourth in the league in assists with 41 (E. Malkin 52).
-Dennis Wideman leads all skaters with a +28 rating, Blake Wheeler is second and tops among rookies with a +27, Marc Savard is third with a +26, and David Krejci is tied for fourth in the league with a +25.
-Michael Ryder is second in the NHL in game-winning goals with 7.
-Milan Lucic is fifth in the NHL in hits with 160 (C. Clutterbuck 173).
-Blake Wheeler leads the rookies plus/minus ranking with a +27. He is tied for second in goals scored by a rookie with 14 (B. Ryan 17) and is tied for second in assists by a rookie with 16 (K. Versteeg 23) and is tied for third among rookies in points with 30 (K. Versteeg 36).
-Tim Thomas ranks first in Save Percentage (.932) and is tied for fourth in both Goals Against Average with a 2.15 mark and shutouts with 3 (S. Mason 6).
-Manny Fernandez ranks second in Goals Against Average with a 2.07 mark (S. Mason 2.04) and third in Save Percentage (.928).

HARDWARE:
Tim Thomas- Second Star, Week ending November 2
Marc Savard- First Star, Week ending November 23
Phil Kessel- First Star, Week ending December 14
Manny Fernandez/Tim Thomas- First Star, Month of December
Zdeno Chara, Marc Savard, Tim Thomas- Eastern Conference All-Stars
Milan Lucic, Blake Wheeler- NHL YoungStars participants
Claude Julien- Eastern Conference All-Star head coach
Blake Wheeler- NHL YoungStars Game Most Valuable Player
Zdeno Chara- NHL’s Hardest Shot Competition winner (105.4 MPH, NHL record)

BRUINS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS (AS OF JANUARY 30):
Goals
1. P. Kessel    24
t2. D. Krejci    18
t2. M. Ryder    18
t2. M. Savard    18
5. B. Wheeler    13

Assists
1. M. Savard    41
2. D. Krejci    35
3. D. Wideman    23
t4. P. Kessel    19
t4. Z. Chara    19

Points
1. M. Savard    59
2. D. Krejci    53
3. P. Kessel    43
4. M. Ryder    34
5. D. Wideman    33

Plus/Minus
1. D. Wideman    +28
2. B. Wheeler    +27
3. M. Savard    +26
4. D. Krejci    +25
5. Z. Chara    +23

Penalty Minutes
1. S. Thornton    93
2. M. Lucic    84
3. Z. Chara    58
t4. M. Stuart    50
t4. M. Savard    50

MEDIA AND FAN INFORMATION LINE:  Call 617.624.1910 for the latest updates to the Bruins practice schedule. 
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