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Need to Know: Bruins at Rangers

Nordstrom, Wagner sidelined as Boston plays first back-to-back of the season

by Eric Russo @erusso22 /

NEW YORK - The Bruins will be right back to it on Sunday evening as they visit the New York Rangers for the second half of their first back-to-back of the young season. Already without David Krejci (upper body) and Karson Kuhlman (leg fracture), Boston will be further shorthanded as two members of the fourth line sit out with injury.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said on Sunday morning that Joakim Nordstrom will not play as he deals with an "infection issue" and Chris Wagner is also likely to sit out after blocking a shot with his foot during last night's win over St. Louis.

Per Cassidy, winger Peter Cehlarik is likely to be recalled from Providence. Cehlarik has been off to a torrid start for the P-Bruins, having notched six goals and eight points in six games. In 37 career NHL games, Cehlarik had five goal and five assists, including a 4-2-6 line 20 games last season.

Here's everything else you need to know for tonight's tilt at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. puck drop on NESN and 92.9 FM):

Going Back-to-Back

The Bruins are closing out for their first of 13 back-to-backs this season as they visit the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Boston did not skate on Sunday morning, instead reporting to the rink for video meetings after last night's win over St. Louis.

"I think the biggest thing is to try to stick to the same routine daily, regardless of the situation," said Brad Marchand. "That's kind of how we work. We prepare and when we go through our routine every day it allows us to mentally get into a mindset that we're gonna be good. I just try to be consistent with that.

"At this point, I think we're all pretty good pros and we know we need to take care of ourselves to get ready for these games. I actually like these better because I don't like to skate in the morning, so it kind of works out in my favor."

Last season, Boston finished an impressive 9-3-2 in the second half of back-to-backs, success that Cassidy attributes to having two strong goaltenders in Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak to split the duties. Halak will get the start on Sunday night in New York.

"What I think we've done well is we've had good goaltending, two really good goaltenders, so it doesn't really matter who plays the front end or the back end," said Cassidy. "Guys are confident in front of them as well. Typically, the way our team is conditioned, we don't have a big drop off compared to some of the other teams. I actually give the credit to the players for their ability to bounce back in these situations."

Video: Carlo Addresses Media Before Sunday Night game at MSG

Opposing View

The Rangers are off to a 3-4-1 start, which places them seventh in the Eastern Conference Wild Card standings. New York is paced offensively by Mika Zibanejad (team-high 11 points in eight games) and newcomer Artemi Panarin (team-high five goals), who was signed to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract over the summer.

The Blue Shirts also look a tad different on the back end after the acquisition of defenseman Jacob Trouba (1-5-6) from the Winnipeg Jets last June. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is 2-3-0 this season with a 3.25 goals against average and a .912 save percentage.

"New York has a lot of great things to offer as a team," said Carlo. "They're gonna come out and compete. Overall we've just got to match that intensity."

Video: Marchand Talks to Media Before the B's Game at NYR

Wait, There's More

  • David Pastrnak enters Sunday's game with an eight-game point steak (11-7-18), a career-high five-game goal streak, and a league-leading 11 goals. Not bad.
  • Marchand, meanwhile, carries a nine-game point streak (5-10-15) and a career-high eight-game assist streak into tonight's contest. 
  • Patrice Bergeron remains two assists shy of 500 for his career.

Video: The Bruins Get Set for the Rangers in the Big Apple

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