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Boston Bruins Week Ahead 12/20-12/26

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
SEE YOU IN '09: After the Bruins face the Hurricanes in a 1:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, December 20, they will play their next five games on the road and not return back to the Garden until New Year's Day. The Bruins will play the Blues in St. Louis on 12/21, the Devils in New Jersey on 12/23, the Hurricanes in Carolina on 12/27 the Thrashers in Atlanta on 12/28 and finally the Penguins in Pittsburgh on 12/30. Following the five-game road swing, the Bruins will host the Penguins on January 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. ET.


HOMEBOYS:
Boston has won their last 12 contests on home ice. This win streak is their longest such stretch since a 16-game home win streak from January 10 –  March 25, 1976. It is the longest home winning streak in the league this season and is the fifth longest in team history behind streaks of 20, 19, 16 and 15 games. Their last loss at home came on October 23 against Toronto.

HATS OFF: David Krejci became the third different Bruin to record a hat trick this season, after potting three goals against the Maple Leafs on Thursday night.  Krejci, who is 22, joins 22-year-old Blake Wheeler and 20-year-old Milan Lucic as the three B's to have tallied three goals in a game this year.  The last time three different Bruins registered hat tricks in the same year was during the 2002-03 season, when Glen Murray, Martin Lapointe, and Marty McInnis accomplished the feat.

PHIL'S ON FIRE: Phil Kessel has extended his consecutive-games-with-a-point streak to 16 games following his two goal, one assist performance on Thursday night against Toronto. That ties Rick Middleton's 16-gamer in 1983-1984 as the sixth longest streak in team history and is the longest point streak by a Bruin since Adam Oates had points in 20 straight from January 7 to February 20, 1997.

As the Boston Bruins Week Ahead Stat Machine mentioned last week, the longest point-scoring streak in Bruins history is owned by Bronco Horvath, who tallied points in 22 consecutive games during the 1959-60 season.

TOY COLLECTION UPDATE: Bruins fans, the Bruins organization and Zizzle Electronics have combined to donate a total of 3,366 toys and $3,060.00 to benefit the Greater Boston Toys for Tots program to date. The Bruins have collected toys at each of the Bruins home games in December and will host their final collection on Saturday during the B's/Hurricanes game. Zizzle Electronics made a 200-toy donation.

HIT ME: Winger Milan Lucic currently leads the NHL in hits with 124. Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik and Los Angeles' Dustin Brown are tied for second in that category with 112.

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.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE BOSTON BRUINS: The Bruins organization would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

BRUINS UPCOMING GAME AND PRACTICE SCHEDULE (PLEASE CALL 617.624.1910 FOR THE LATEST UPDATES TO THE SCHEDULE):

Saturday, December 20 (Boston, MA)
-Ice available at TD Banknorth Garden, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. ET
This practice is not open to the public...
-Game vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 1:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
-Travel to St. Louis, MO

Sunday, December 21 (St. Louis, MO)
-Ice available at Scottrade Center, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. ET
This practice is not open to the public...
-Game at St. Louis Blues, 6:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
-Travel to Newark, NJ

Monday, December 22 (Newark, NJ)
-Practice at Prudential Center Practice Rink, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

Tuesday, December 23 (Newark, NJ)
-Pregame skate at Prudential Center, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
-Game at New Jersey Devils, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: VERSUS, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
-Travel to Boston

Wednesday, December 24 (Boston, MA)
-Holiday Break

Thursday, December 25 (Boston, MA)
-Holiday Break

Friday, December 26 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 11:00 a.m. ET- 12:00 p.m. ET
-Travel to Raleigh, NC

AROUND TOWN...
WHAT:  Globe Santa Collection
- The Boston Globe's charity, Globe Santa, will be collecting monetary donations at the Boston Bruins home against the Carolina Hurricanes
- Fans choosing to participate will receive a raffle ticket for each donation
- Raffle prizes include a Boston Bruins team autographed stick, a team autographed jersey, and the opportunity to meet a player postgame
- A representative from Globe Santa will be presented with a donation check for $2,500 from the Boston Bruins Foundation
WHEN: Saturday, December 20, 12:00 p.m. through the end of the game
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114 
- Donation areas will be set up at the West Walkway and Loge Section 4
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: General Manager Peter Chiarelli and Boston Bruins Foundation Director of Development Bob Sweeney

WHAT: Fourth/Final Boston Bruins "Toys for Tots" Toy Collection
- The Boston Bruins are collecting new, unwrapped toys to benefit the Greater Boston Toys for Tots program
- Toys will be available for purchase at each of the entrance turnstiles for fans that did not to bring a toy for donation, but would like to contribute
- At each Bruins home game in December, any Bruins fan that donates a toy will receive a voucher for a free kids ticket for children 12 and under. The offer is valid with the purchase of an adult ticket for the Thursday, Feb. 26 game vs. the Anaheim Ducks (in select locations and subject to availability)
WHEN: Saturday, December 20, 12:00 p.m. through the end of the game
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA, 02114 
- Donation areas will be set up at entrance turnstiles
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Boston Bruins Ice Girls

WHAT: TD Banknorth PASS Clinic. 
- The 5th clinic in a 10-clinic series conducted by the Boston Bruins and sponsored by TD Banknorth. 
-The PASS or Partnership to Assist Skaters and Shooters, focuses on teaching youth hockey players between the ages of 8 and 12 skating and shooting skills.
WHEN: Monday, December 22, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Frances Murphy Rink. 1880 William Day Blvd, South Boston, MA, 02127
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Tommy Songin

COURTESY OF THE BOSTON BRUINS WEEK AHEAD STAT MACHINE…
Three of Shawn Thornton's nine NHL goals have come against the Carolina Hurricanes, who the B's host on Saturday afternoon and then visit next Saturday, December 27.

THE BUZZ: 
Check out the Buzz this week for a recap of the Bruins annual Toy Delivery to Greater Boston hospitals, an exclusive sit down interview with captain Zdeno Chara, a look at analyst Gord Kluzak's Christmas Wish List and a review of Phil Kessel's performance last week where he garnered NHL First Star honors.  The Buzz airs Saturday, December 20 at 12:00.

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

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.

BRUINS ON THE NHL LEADERBOARD (AS OF DECEMBER 19):

-The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference in wins (22), fewest losses (5), goals for (114), goals against (72) and points (48)
-The Bruins lead the NHL in goals for (114) and are second in goals against (72, Minnesota 69).
-The Bruins own the NHL's second ranked power play overall (27.0%) and the best power play in the Eastern Conference. They also have the best power play in the league at home (36.7%)
-Marc Savard ranks fourth in the league in points with 38 (E. Malkin, PIT 53)
-Phil Kessel ranks third in the league in goals scored with 21 (T. Vanek, BUF 24)
-Marc Savard ranks third in the league in assists with 29 (E. Malkin, PIT 39)
-Marc Savard and Blake Wheeler are tied for fourth in the league in plus/minus with +18 (A. Semin, WSH, E. Malkin +20)
-Blake Wheeler ranks fourth among rookies in points with 18 (D. Brassard, CBJ 25), fourth in goals scored with 9 (M. Grabovski, TOR 11) and first in plus/minus
-Matt Hunwick ranks fourth among rookies in assists with 11 (K. Versteeg, CHI 16) and second in plus/minus with +14 (B. Wheeler, BOS +18)
-Manny Fernandez ranks second in Goals Against Average with a 2.02 mark (S. Mason, CBJ 1.91)
-Tim Thomas ranks fourth in Goals Against Average with a 2.15 mark and tied for second in Save Percentage (.932%) behind Craig Anderson (.940%)

BRUINS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS (AS OF DECEMBER 19):

Goals
1. P. Kessel    21
t2. D. Krejci   11
t2. M. Ryder    11
t4. M. Savard   9
t4. B. Wheeler 9
t4. M. Lucic    9

Assists
1. M. Savard    29
2. D. Krejci    23
3. P. Bergeron  14
4. P. Kessel    13
t5. M. Lucic    12
t4. D. Wideman  12

Points
1. M. Savard    38
2. P. Kessel    34
3. D. Krejci    32
4. M. Ryder 22
5. M. Lucic 21

Plus/Minus
1. M. Savard    +18
2. B. Wheeler   +18
3. D. Krejci        +16
t4. M. Hunwick  +14
t4. D. Wideman  +14

Penalty Minutes
1. S. Thornton  67
2. M. Lucic 62
3. Z. Chara 46
4. M. Stuart    43
4. M. Savard    40

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