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Boston Bruins Week Ahead 12/27 - 1/2

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Fresh of their two-day holiday break, the Bruins continue their five-game road trip when they visit the Hurricanes in Carolina on 12/27, the Thrashers in Atlanta on 12/28 and finally the Penguins in Pittsburgh on 12/30. Through the first two games of this swing, the Black and Gold have posted a 2-0 record, having defeated the Blues in St. Louis and the Devils in New Jersey.


The Bruins next home tilt is on New Year's Day when they host the Pens at 7:00 p.m. ET.

HOME ICE ADVANTAGE:
Boston has won their last 13 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. Their last loss at home came on October 23 against Toronto.

BEANTOWN BOUND:
The Bruins have 13 games in January, 10 of which are at home. This includes a six-game homestand to start the New Year from January 1 through January 13. January is quite different schedule-wise from December, when the Bruins had 13 games, 9 of which were on the road.

HIT MAN:
Winger Milan Lucic currently leads the NHL in hits with 135. Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik is second behind Lucic with 124.

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.

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

Saturday, December 27 (Raleigh, NC)
-Pregame skate at RBC Center 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. ET
-Game at Carolina Hurricanes, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
-Travel to Atlanta, GA

Sunday, December 28 (Atlanta, GA)
-Ice available at Philips Arena, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. ET
-Game at Atlanta Thrashers, 5:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
-Travel to Pittsburgh, PA

Monday, December 29 (Pittsburgh, PA)
-Practice at Iceoplex at Southpointe (Canonsburg, PA), 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET

Tuesday, December 30 (Pittsburgh, PA)
-Pregame skate at Mellon Arena, 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
-Game at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030)
-Travel to Boston

Wednesday, December 31 (Wilmington, MA)
-Practice at Ristuccia Arena, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, January 1 (Boston, MA)
-Pregame skate at TD Banknorth Garden, 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. ET
Please note: This session is not open to the public
-Game vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:00 p.m. ET (TV: NESN, RADIO: WBZ 1030 AM)

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

AROUND TOWN:
What: 19th annual Boston Bruins Wives Charity Carnival, Presented by Tufts Medical Center
- The Bruins will host their 19th annual Boston Bruins Wives Charity Carnival, presented by Tufts Medical Center, on Sunday, January 4 at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.
- The proceeds from this year’s carnival will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Fans will have the opportunity to compete against the Bruins players in their favorite games
- The Carnival is broken down into three different sessions:

The VIP Autograph Session goes from 11:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m. Tickets cost $250 for non-season ticket holders and $200 for season ticket holders, and includes entrance to the carnival during the Early Bird session. Fans will meet and get an autograph from every Boston Bruins player on the 2008-09 roster. This session is limited to 100 people and includes complimentary access to participate in all carnival games, with a one-use-per-activity limit.

The Early Bird Session runs from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Tickets cost $50, and the ticket includes entrance to the carnival and one free autograph from a Bruins player of their choice. This session will be limited to only 800 people to ensure shorter lines and more time with players.

The General Admission Session provide guests entrance to the Carnival from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for ages 12 and older, $10 for ages 6-12, and are free for kids under 5. The ticket includes entrance in to the carnival only.

Family packs are available for the early bird session as well. The pack includes 4 carnival tickets and 2 free autographs for $150. The family pack price is only available until December 20.
WHEN: Sunday, January 4, 11:00 – 12:00 p.m., 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: TD Banknorth Garden, 100 Legends Way, Boston, MA 02114  
BRUINS PARTICIPATING: Entire Boston Bruins 2008-2009 roster, coaching staff and wives

COURTESY OF THE BOSTON BRUINS WEEK AHEAD STAT MACHINE…
The Bruins currently have an NHL-best 11 players that are +10 or better. New Jersey and Chicago have the second most, as they both have six players who are +10 or better.  The 11 Bruins are: Marc Savard (+21), David Krejci (+19), Blake Wheeler (+19), Dennis Wideman (+17), Milan Lucic (+16), Phil Kessel (+16), Zdeno Chara (+15), Matt Hunwick (+13), Shane Hnidy (+13), Michael Ryder (+12) and Mark Stuart (+10).

THE BUZZ:  Check out the Buzz this week for the Bruins Best of 2008.  The Buzz airs Saturday, December 27 at 6:00.

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 26):
-The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference in wins (25), fewest losses (5), goals for (126), goals against (77) and points (54)
-The Bruins lead the NHL in goals for (126) and are second in goals against (77, Minnesota 76).
-The Bruins own the NHL's third ranked power play overall (26.6%). They also have the best power play in the league at home (36.1%)
-Marc Savard ranks tied for fourth in the league in points with 40 (E. Malkin, PIT 58)
-Phil Kessel ranks fourth in the league in goals scored with 21 (J. Carter, PHI 26)
-Marc Savard ranks fourth in the league in assists with 29 (E. Malkin, PIT 43)
-Marc Savard ranks second in the league in plus/minus with a +21 (E. Malkin, +22) while Blake Wheeler and David Krejci are tied for fourth at +19.
-Blake Wheeler ranks fifth among rookies in points with 20 (D. Brassard, CBJ 25), tied for third in goals scored with11 (M. Grabovski, TOR 12) and first in plus/minus
-Matt Hunwick ranks fifth among rookies in assists with 11 (K. Versteeg, CHI 17) and second in plus/minus with +13 (B. Wheeler, BOS +18)
-Manny Fernandez ranks thrid in Goals Against Average with a 2.09 mark (S. Mason, CBJ 1.98)
-Tim Thomas ranks second in Goals Against Average with a 2.04 mark, second in Save Percentage (.935%) behind Craig Anderson (.940%) and second in shutouts with 3 (R. Luongo, VAN 5).

BRUINS REGULAR SEASON LEADERS (AS OF DECEMBER 26):
Goals
1. P. Kessel    21
t2. D. Krejci   13
t2. M. Ryder    12
t4. M. Savard   11
t4. B. Wheeler  11

Assists
1. M. Savard    29
2. D. Krejci                    24
3. P. Kessel    16
t4. P. Bergeron 14
t4. M. Lucic    14
t4. Z. Chara    14

Points
1. M. Savard    40
t2. P. Kessel   37
t2. D. Krejci   37
t4. M. Ryder    24
t4. M. Lucic    24

Plus/Minus
1. M. Savard    +21
t2. B. Wheeler  +19
t2. D. Krejci   +19
4. D. Wideman   +17
5. M. Lucic +16

Penalty Minutes
1. S. Thornton  74
2. M. Lucic     71
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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