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Pregame Notebook vs. Carolina

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- The Bruins will take on the Carolina Hurricanes this afternoon in the final game of a four-game home stand. 

Boston is coming off a 3-2 loss on Saturday to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but are still 5-2-3 in their last ten games with a 6-3-1 record in their last ten home games.

The Bruins will face a surging Hurricanes squad that is 7-1-2 in their last ten games.

After the B’s practice at Ristuccia Memorial Arena on Sunday afternoon, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien talked about the teams’ upcoming tilt. 

“Well I think this is a pretty good team that is probably flying under the radar a little bit, because you know their record in the last ten games is pretty good,” said Julien. “They’re a team that skates extremely well, they’re a team that goes to the net hard and really creates a lot of havoc around our net area.

"So I think there’s a lot of respect there for that team."

Ference Skating

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, center, is congratulated by teammates Andrew Ference, left, and Brad Marchand, right, after scoring the third goal of his hat trick against the Ottawa Senators, during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Before the Bruins took the ice for practice Sunday at Ristuccia Memorial Arena, injured defenseman Andrew Ference skated with the B’s strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides.

In 43 games this season Ference has posted 2-5-7 totals with a +18 rating, which is tied for best on the Bruins. 

Ference returned to the ice Sunday for the first time since leaving the ice during last Thursday’s 7-5 loss to Philadelphia. 

“He’s feeling much better. You know he’s obviously questionable for tomorrow, but we think after that he’s probably a possibility and so he’s probably a day or two away at the most,” Julien said yesterday.

B’s Finish Up a Homestand
This afternoon’s tilt with Carolina marks the fourth and final game of the Bruins four-game homestand that began with a 6-0 win against Ottawa on Tuesday night. 

Through the first three games the B’s are 2-1, with the only loss coming to Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon.

In today’s game Boston is looking to pick up a win and another two points in the fourth and final game this afternoon. 

“If you want to make it a successful one, you've got to win tomorrow and hopefully have a winning record in that home stand, so there’s a lot of importancy for that. There’s a lot of importancy as far as us moving up in the standings and keeping our spot, where we are at least, and all those reasons why to play well and why to continue to win hockey games,” Julien said Sunday. 

Kampfer Okay
In the Bruins 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon B's defenseman Steven Kampfer suffered a broken nose but was right back on the ice on Sunday at the B’s practice and is likely to play today. 

“Yeah, I’m good to go. I talked with Claude this morning, I talked with the trainers, everything is fine.  I feel fine, I just can’t breath out of the nose. There’s no concussion problem, nothing like that so I feel good and ready to go (today),” Kampfer said after practice. 

Coach Julien wasn’t concerned with Kampfer's breathing issues and reiterated Kampfer's conclusions on his availability for today’s game.

“I think there’s still a lot of blood up there, hopefully that clears up before tomorrow's game and that get’s a little better as far as breathing through his nose.  But he’s fine to go; I think he’s feeling good enough to play and he looked fine out there today,” he said.

Kampfer was wearing a protective shield at practice and will continue to sport the mask until he gets his nose re-evaluated sometime next week. 

“Just trying to get used to the full shield again you know that was one thing I guess I get out of college and then I go right back into it, putting it back on,” Kampfer said. 
Stuart off IR, Bartkowski Assigned
The Boston Bruins released the following statement yesterday regarding Mark Stuart and Matt Bartkowski’s placement on the team's roster.

“Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has assigned defenseman Matt Bartkowski to the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) and activated Mark Stuart from injured reserve.

"Bartkowski made his NHL debut earlier this season on January 10 and has made two appearances for Boston this season. The 22-year-old Bartkowski has skated in 34 games for the P-Bruins this season with 4-8=12 totals.

"Bartkowski was acquired by the Bruins on March 3, 2009 from the Florida Panthers with Dennis Seidenberg for Byron Bitz, Craig Weller and a 2010 second round pick. He was originally selected by the Florida Panthers in the seventh round (190th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

"Stuart sustained a fractured right finger in the club’s game on December 7 and has been sidelined since then. Stuart was expected to miss 4-6 weeks with the injury. He has skated in 26 games this year with 0-2=2 totals.”

Bruins Hope to Bounce Back
Boston Bruins Mark Stuart (45) and Tim Thomas, center, watch the puck after a deflection off Carolina Hurricanes' Ryan Carter, right, in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Nov. 26, 2010, in Boston. The Hurricanes won 3-0. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
After Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh, Coach Julien said he was pleased with the teams’ overall effort, but pointed out a few areas that the B’s can improve on to move back into the ‘W’ column. 

“I think the first half of the game, even though I thought our effort was there, our puck management and puck decision wasn’t very good or wasn’t as good as it should have been,” Coach Julien said. 

The Bruins found themselves down 2-0 just over halfway through the game before defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and forward Michael Ryder netted goals 13 seconds apart to bring the B’s back to even. 

Boston continued their offensive pressure, laying 20 third period shots on Pen’s netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, but weren’t able to stifle the solid goaltender. 

“The third period we threw everything at the net and you know we really controlled the period but we just couldn’t seem to get that goal to get up back in to a tie game and get us that win,” he said.

“But the effort was there and I thought we played pretty well. Right now it’s about bouncing back and getting yourself a win in the next one.”

---Hannah Becker
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