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Pregame Notebook vs. Ottawa

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- The Bruins take on the Ottawa Senators tonight in the first match-up of a four game home stand. 

Boston Bruins' Tyler Seguin (19) celebrates a break-away goal with teammate Mark Recchi (28) as Ottawa Senators' Mike Fisher (12) skates by during second period NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)
This is the third of six games between the two teams this season and the second of three at TD Garden. The B's are 1-1 versus the Sens owing to a 4-0 Bruins win in Ottawa on October 30 and 2-0 Ottawa win in Boston on November 13.

Boston comes into the game sitting on top of the Northeast Division with 51 points while Ottawa is tied for last in the division with 38. 

This is the 103rd time in the teams’ histories that they will meet; the Bruins hold a 56-31-8-7 record in those contests. 

Kovalev Out
For the second straight night the Bruins will face a team void of one of their star players as, according to media reports, the Ottawa Senators right-winger Alex Kovalev (8 goals, 10 assists for 18 points) has been sidelined for at least a week with a knee injury, and will not skate against the B’s tonight. 

Boston also faced the Pittsburgh Penguins without the leagues leading scorer, Sidney Crosby last night. 

B’s Power Play Ignites
The Bruins had been on a 0-for-16 power play run that spanned over five plus game before defenseman Zdeno Chara netted a goal on the man advantage with 3:23 left in last night’s victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

Veteran forward Mark Recchi quickly followed things up less than three minutes later with the B’s second power play goal of the night. 

“You hope that this will be good for our power play because…it just seems that our confidence is so low that even when we had opportunities it was almost like we didn’t see them, our guys over-passed or didn’t shoot and didn’t make the right decisions and that has a lot to do with confidence," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said after yesterday’s game. "Right now, you know, our confidence was low and then you score two goals in the third and hopefully you can build on that and get the power play going again.”

Bruins All-Stars
Chara and goaltender Tim Thomas were named to the NHL All Star game today.

Thomas currently leads all NHL goaltenders in goals against average (1.84) and save percentage (.944) and is tied for the league lead in shutouts (5). He has compiled an 18-4-6 record on the season. This is Thomas’ third career All-Star nomination, and he has been the winning goaltender in the previous two All-Star Games (2009, 2008).

Chara leads all Bruins in average time on ice per game (26:38, third in NHL), goals (6) and points (18). The former Norris Trophy winner will make his fifth NHL All-Star Game appearance and has won the hardest shot competition three straight years. Chara set the hardest shot competition record with a 105.4 MPH blast during the 2009 NHL All-Star Game’s SuperSkills competition.

The 18-year-old Seguin has registered six goals and eight assists in 39 games. The second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Seguin ranks in the top 15 in both points and goals among all NHL rookies.

Kampfer Named to AHL All-Star Team
Boston Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer (47) celebrates after scoring against the Tamp Bay Lightning during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010, in Tampa, Fla. Calling the goal is referee Don Van Massenhoven, left. Lying on the ice is Tampa Bay's Dana Tyrell. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer has been named to the AHL's Eastern Conference All-Star Team.

Kampfer, who had played in 20 games for the AHL Bruins with a 3-13-16 line, was recalled by Boston on December 8.

With Boston Kampfer is 3-1-4 in 15 games.

Bartkowski Makes NHL Debut
Rookie Defenseman Matt Bartkowski made his NHL debut in his hometown of Pittsburgh on Monday night and played a total of 9:53 in front of friends and family.

Bartkowski, recalled on January 9 from Providence (AHL) where he had a 4-8-12 line through 34 games, had been with the major league Bruins throughout training camp, but was assigned to the P-Bruins before seeing any NHL action.

Versus the Pens, his favorite team as a child, Bartkowski admitted to some jitters, but said his confidence grew throughout the game.

"Yeah I sort of joined the rush in the third a little bit, but you know just trying not to make mistakes was the main thing today, keep it simple," he said.

Beyond the setting, Bartkowski was thrilled that his first NHL game came in such dramatic fashion.

"Yeah [a loss] wouldn’t have been any fun," said Matt. "This was pretty special.

"We came back with what under [four] minutes left or something like that, so it’s pretty cool."

Rask on Task...
Goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has dressed as Tim Thomas' backup for 27 games this season, has started between the pipes in four of the last five games for the Bruins with a 2-1-0 record.

Last night Rask made 23 saves as the Bruins came back from a two-goal deficit to leave Pittsburgh with another comeback win.

"Yeah, well we did the same thing whatever a month ago here, in

Pittsburgh you know but it’s up there," said Rask when asked if the game marked a high point in the B's Season.

Despite the heroics of Chara, Marchand, Recchi and Campbell, Rask didn't seem surprised that the B's pulled out the victory.

"We had chances throughout the game, and I thought...even in the second period, when we were down 2-0 we created some chances and [Marc-Andre Fleury] made some really huge saves there," he said. "But we just never backed off and just kept going and going

"Tonight it paid off."

Rask is now 4-8-1, with a 2.53 GAA and a .927 SV %.

"You always try to minimize the offense -- goals against -- when you’re out there," said Rask of his latest victory. "And you know this year you lost some games 2-1, 3-2.

"Today we came back and scored four goals so that’s huge for our confidence.”

---Hannah Becker and John Bishop
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