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Pregame Notes: New Jersey vs. Boston

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS vs. NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Saturday, January 5, 2008
TD Banknorth Garden; Boston MA
Game Time:  7:00 p.m.
NESN and WBZ Radio


Tonight’s Game
The Bruins host the Devils tonight in the third of four games between these teams this season and the second and final game of this season's series at TD Banknorth Garden. The Bruins are 20-16-4  this season and are 10-6-2 this season on home ice. The Devils are 23-14-3 overall this season with an 11-9-3 record on the road. The Bruins are 4-4-2 this season vs. Atlantic Division teams and they are 15-13-4 overall vs. Eastern Conference foes. The Devils are 5-2-0 this season vs. Northeast Division teams and they are 20-12-3 overall vs. Eastern Conference opponents.

Tonight's game is the 41st of the season for both teams, marking the halfway point of their 2007-08 seasons.

Each team is coming off a shutout of their last opponent, Boston with a 2-0 victory over Washington on Jan. 3 and New Jersey with a 3-0 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 4. The Bruins carry a shutout string of 106:42 into tonight's game with their last goal against a Colin Stuart score at 13:18 of the first period on Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta. The Devils carry a shutout streak of 74:54 into tonight's game with their last goal against a Jay Bouwmeester tally at 5:06 of the third period on Jan. 2 vs. Florida.

All-time Series
The Bruins are 60-33-19-7 all-time vs. the New Jersey franchise (includes Kansas City and Colorado) with a 415-344 scoring edge in those 119 games. The Bruins are 32-17-8-4 all-time vs., the Devils franchise in Boston with a 231-190 scoring advantage in those 61 contests. The Devils have won the first two games of this season's series with a 4-3 overtime win in New Jersey on Dec. 5 and a 3-1 victory in Boston on Dec. 13. The Bruins last defeated the Devils with a 4-1 win in New Jersey on Mar. 4, 2007.

Recent Bruins Games
The Bruins have won their last two games with a 5-2 victory over Atlanta on Dec. 31 and a 2-0 win over Washington on Jan. 3. They are looking for their first three-game win streak since Dec. 8-12 of this season. They are 6-6-1 in their last 13 games overall.

Recent Devils Games
The Devils have won their last two games and are 5-1-0 in their last six games with a 3-1 win in Edmonton on Dec. 21, a 1-0 victory in Calgary on Dec. 23, a 2-1 win vs. Buffalo on Dec. 28, a 5-2 loss at NY Islanders on Dec. 29, a 3-2 win over Florida on Jan. 2 and a 3-0 victory vs. Philadelphia on Jan. 4. They are 7-4-1 in their last 12 games following a nine-game win streak from Nov. 17-Dec. 7.

Upcoming Bruins Games
The Bruins continue their current five-game home stand hosting Carolina on Jan. 8 (7:00 p.m.; NESN/WODS 103.3 FM Radio) and Montreal on Jan. 10 (7:30 p.m.; NESN/WBZ Radio). They will then face the Flyers in Philadelphia on Jan. 12 (1:00 p.m.; NESN/WBZ Radio).

*Please note that the Jan. 8 game will be broadcast on WODS 103.3 FM Radio due to New Hampshire primary coverage on WBZ Radio.*

Upcoming Devils Games
The Devils will next return home to host Buffalo on Jan. 8 and will then face a two-game road trip at Carolina on Jan. 10 and in Buffalo on Jan. 12.

Bruins Injuries
Andrew Alberts:  Post-concussion syndrome.
Bobby Allen:  Back spasms.
Patrice Bergeron:      Concussion and broken nose.
Manny Fernandez:  Dec. 12 left knee surgery.
Glen Murray:  Hip flexor strain.
Aaron Ward:  Broken foot.

Bruins Recent Transactions
Dec. 15:  Tuukka Rask returned to Providence/AHL.
Dec. 21:  Matt Lashoff recalled from Providence/AHL.
Dec. 22:  Matt Hunwick recalled from Providence/AHL.
Dec. 30:  Vladimir Sobotka returned to Providence/AHL.
Dec. 30:  David Krejci recalled from Providence/AHL.
Jan. 2:  Shane Hnidy acquired from Anaheim for Brandon Bochenski and 2008 sixth round draft pick.
Jan. 3:  Matt Hunwick returned to Providence/AHL.
Jan. 5:  Tuukka Rask recalled from Providence/AHL.

Bruins 2007-08 Shootouts (1-2)
1.  Oct. 10 … NY Rangers 0 at Boston 1 … Boston Goal: Manny Fernandez (W) … NY Rangers Goal:  Henrik Lundqvist (L). Boston Shooters: Bergeron (N), Sturm (N), Kessel (Y) … NY Rangers Shooters:  Shanahan (N), Drury (N), Jagr (N)
2.  Nov. 4 … Ottawa 2 at Boston 1 … Boston Goal: Tim Thomas (L) … Ottawa Goal: Martin Gerber (W). Boston Shooters: Kobasew (N), Kessel (N) … Ottawa Shooters: Alfredsson (Y), Vermette (Y)
3.  Dec. 20 … Pittsburgh 5 at Boston 4 … Boston Goal: Tim Thomas (L) … Pittsburgh Goal: Ty Conklin (W). Boston Shooters: Kessel (N), Sturm (N) … Pittsburgh Shooters:  Christensen (Y), Letang (Y)

Bruins 2007-08 Penalty Shots For and Against:
1F.  Oct. 27 … Phil Kessel unsuccessful vs. Philadelphia's Martin Biron (15:09 second period).
1A.  Dec. 28 … Carolina's Chad Larose successful shorthanded vs. Tim Thomas (15:28 second period).
    
Bruins Fun Facts
- Glen Metropolit is two points shy of his 100th NHL point milestone.
- Shawn Thornton is three games shy of his 100th NHL game milestone.
- Peter Schaefer is five goals shy of his 100th NHL goal milestone.
- Marco Sturm is five assists short of his 200th NHL assist milestone.
- Chuck Kobasew is six points short of his 100th NHL point milestone.

January Birthdays
- Alex Auld will turn 27 on January 7.
- Petteri Nokelainen will turn 22 on January 16.
- Aaron Ward will turn 35 on January 17.

Miscellany
- The Bruins have recorded three shutouts this season, all by different goaltenders. Manny Fernandez recorded a 1-0 shootout victory over NY Rangers on Oct. 20, Alex Auld notched a 2-0 win vs. Columbus on Dec. 15 and Tim Thomas won a 2-0 decision over Washington on Jan. 3.
- It is the first time the Bruins have had three goaltenders record complete-game shutouts since 1997-98 (Jim Carey, Byron Dafoe, Robbie Tallas).
- The Bruins have 17 sets of back-to-back games this season and have completed nine of these series.
- They are 3-4-2 this season in the first game of these series and are 2-6-1 in the second game of these sets  this season.
- The Bruins have four rookies on their current roster – David Krejci, Matt Lashoff, Milan Lucic and Petteri Nokelainen.
- The Bruins have eight players on their active roster who are new to the Bruins this season – Alex Auld (trade with Phoenix), Shane Hnidy (trade), Matt Hunwick (draft), Milan Lucic (draft), Glen Metropolit (free agent), Petteri Nokelainen (trade with NY Islanders), Peter Schaefer (trade with Ottawa) and Shawn Thornton (free agent).
- The Bruins have completed eight of their 24 season series. They are 0-1-0 vs. Anaheim, 1-0-0 vs. Chicago, 1-0-0 vs. Columbus, 0-1-0 vs. Dallas, 1-0-0 vs. Los Angeles, 1-0-0 vs. Phoenix, 0-1-0 vs. St. Louis and 1-0-0 vs. San Jose.
- The Bruins opened this season with a five-game trip against Pacific Division teams, which concluded Oct. 13 in San Jose. That was the last game of the season scheduled for the Bruins outside of the Eastern Time zone.
- The Bruins will host the Central Division teams this season and will not play teams in the Northwest Division.


The Players
6—Dennis Wideman—D
- Has 2-3-5 totals in his last nine games…Had single assists each Dec. 13 vs. New Jersey and Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa; a goal Dec. 20 vs. Pittsburgh; an assist Dec. 22 vs. St. Louis; and a goal Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta which was the 18,000th goal in Bruins franchise history.
- Has 4-8-12 totals in his last 18 games.
- Had a seven-game point streak from Nov. 29-Dec. 10 (2-5-7 totals), the longest point streak by a Bruins defenseman since Ray Bourque had an eight-game streak (4-6-10 totals) from Oct. 12-Nov. 2, 1995.
- Has not dressed for one game this season (coach's decision).

11—P.J. Axelsson—LW
- Has four goals in his last seven games with single tallies each Dec. 20 vs. Pittsburgh, Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh, Dec. 28 in Carolina and Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta.
- Has 6-2-8 totals in his last 16 games.

12—Chuck Kobasew—RW
- Has 2-3-5 totals in his last nine games…Had an assist Dec. 15 vs. Columbus; a goal Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa; an assist Dec. 22 vs. St. Louis; his second shorthanded goal of the season Dec. 28 in Carolina; and an assist Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta.
- Has three multiple-point games.
- Had a three-game goal streak from Oct. 6-12 (3-0-3 totals).
- Has taken one shootout shot this season (no goal).

13—Glen Metropolit—C
- Has three assists in his last two straight games with an assist Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta and two assists Jan. 3 vs. Washington…He has assisted on both of Boston's last two game-winning goals.
- Has six assists in his last eight games.
- Has four multiple-point games.
- Played his 200th NHL game Nov. 23 vs. NY Islanders.
- Played his first game as a Bruin Oct. 5 in Dallas…Recorded his first point as a Bruin with an assist Oct. 10 in Anaheim…Scored his first goal as a Bruin Oct. 25 vs. Chicago.
- Signed as a free agent on Oct. 3…Had been invited to training camp on a pro try-out agreement.

16—Marco Sturm—LW
- Snapped a five-game scoreless stretch with an assist Jan. 3 vs. Washington.
- Has five multiple-point games.
- Had a six-game point streak from Nov. 8-23 (4-3-7 totals).
- Had a four-game point streak from Oct. 27-Nov. 4 (2-3-5 totals).
- Played his 700th NHL game Nov. 23 vs. NY Islanders.
- Has taken one shootout shot this season (no goal).
- Has missed one game to injury (1-eye, Dec. 12).

17—Milan Lucic—LW
- Rookie.
- Has 2-4-6 totals in his last 12 games…Had two assists Dec. 10 in Buffalo; a 1-1-2 effort, including the game-winning goal, Dec. 12 in Atlanta; a goal Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa; and an assist Dec. 28 in Carolina.
- Recorded his first NHL assist/point and goal Oct. 12 in Los Angeles with the goal proving the game-winner…Completed his 'Gordie Howe hat trick' with a fight in that game as well.
- Has three multiple-point games.
- Played his first NHL game Oct. 5 in Dallas…Recorded his first NHL assist/point and his first NHL goal Oct. 12 in Los Angeles with the goal proving the game-winner.
- Has not dressed for one game (coach's decision).
- Has missed four games to injury (4-head, Nov. 24-Dec. 1).
- Changed his number from 62 to 17 on October 30.

21—Andrew Ference—D
- Has six assists in his last 11 games with two-assist efforts each Dec. 12 in Atlanta, Dec. 20 vs. Pittsburgh and Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta.
- Has four multiple-point games.
- Has missed 16 games to injury (4-upper core, Nov. 4-10; 12-knee, Nov. 17-Dec. 10).

22—Shawn Thornton—RW
- Has played in five of the last six games.
- Played his first game as a Bruin Oct. 5 in Dallas.
- Has not dressed for one game (coach's decision).
- Has missed 20 games to injury (19-foot, Nov. 7-Dec. 18).

27—Glen Murray—RW
- Has missed six games with a hip flexor strain.
- Has 4-1-5 totals in five of his last 11 games…Had single goals each Dec. 1 in Tampa Bay, Dec. 3 at NY Islanders and Dec. 5 in New Jersey; an assist Dec. 6 vs. Montreal; and a goal Dec. 12 in Atlanta.
- Has 9-4-13 totals in ten of his last 18 games.
- Has three multiple-point games with his season-high a 2-1-3 effort Nov. 17 in Montreal.
- Had a three-game point streak from Oct. 12-18 (1-3-4 totals).
- Has had two four-game point streaks, from Nov. 15-23 (3-3-6 totals) and Dec. 1-6 (3-1-4 totals).
- Has missed six games to injury (6-hip, Dec. 22-Jan. 3).

29—Alex Auld—G
- Has dressed as backup for the last two games.
- Has lost his last three starts with a 3-2 loss to Ottawa on Dec. 18, a 4-2 setback (one empty net goal against) Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh, and a 5-0 loss in Atlanta on Dec. 29 as he allowed three goals in 20 minutes before being relieved by Tim Thomas.
- His last win was a 2-0 win over Columbus, which was the fourth shutout of his NHL career, his second of the season and his first as a Bruin.
- Acquired Dec. 6 from Phoenix for Nate DiCasmirro and a 2009 fifth round draft pick.
- Was playing in San Antonio/AHL at the time of the trade, where he was assigned Nov. 20 from Phoenix…Had a 3-6-0 record in nine Coyotes games this season with one shutout, a 1-0 win in Anaheim on Oct. 25…Had a 1-1-0 record with San Antonio, with the win a 7-0 victory over Milwaukee on Nov. 24…Is in his seventh professional season and Boston is his fourth NHL organization (Vancouver, Florida, Phoenix).
- Has dressed as backup for six Boston games.

30—Tim Thomas—G
- Has won his last two starts with a 5-2 victory over Atlanta on Dec. 31 and a 2-0 win over Washington on Jan. 3, his fifth career shutout.
- Is 5-4-1 in his last ten decisions.
- Has faced 30-or-more shots in 15 of his 24 complete games with a 9-5-1 record in those games…His season-high in shots faced was 52 Nov. 17 in Montreal.
- Has allowed two-or-fewer goals in 16 of his 24 complete games this season (10-4-2 record) and has allowed one goal or less in nine of those contests (8-0-1).
- Had a three-game win streak from Oct. 13-25.
- Allowed a shorthanded penalty shot goal by Carolina's Chad Larose on Dec. 28 and has now faced four career penalty shots, allowing two goals.
- Has dressed as backup for eight games.
- Has missed six games to injury (6-groin, Dec. 6-15).

33—Zdeno Chara—D
- Has 1-3-4 totals in his last two straight games with 2-4-6 totals in his last six contests with a goal Dec. 22 vs. St. Louis, an assist Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh, two assists Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta and a 1-1-2 effort Jan. 3 vs. Washington.
- Has 6-13-19 totals in his last 25 contests.
- Has six multiple-point games.
- Had a three-game assist streak from Oct. 6-12 with (0-4-4 totals).
- Had a four-game assist/point streak from Nov. 10-20 (1-4-5 totals).

34—Shane Hnidy—D
- Played his first game as a Bruin Jan. 3 vs. Washington.
- Acquired Jan. 2 from Anaheim for Brandon Bochenski and a 2008 sixth round draft pick.
- Had 1-2-3 totals in 33 games with Anaheim at the time of the trade…Originally drafted by Buffalo as their seventh pick, 173rd overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft and Boston becomes his fifth NHL team (Ottawa, Nashville, Atlanta, Anaheim).

35—Manny Fernandez—G
- Is out of the lineup following Dec. 12 knee surgery.
- Had his two-game win streak stopped with a 6-1 loss in Montreal on Oct. 22…That followed an 8-6 victory in Los Angeles on Oct. 12 and a 1-0 shootout victory over NY Rangers on Oct. 20, his 14th career shutout.
- Recorded his 14th NHL shutout and first as a Bruin with a 1-0 shootout win over NY Rangers on Oct. 20.
- Has played in one shootout this season (1-0, 0 goals/3 shots).
- Played his first game as a Bruin Oct. 5 in Dallas with a 4-1 loss…Earned his first win as a Bruin with an 8-6 victory in Los Angeles on Oct. 12.
- Has dressed as backup for six games.
- Has missed 29 games to injury (29-knee, Nov. 1-Dec. 5; Dec. 8-Jan. 3).

37—Patrice Bergeron—C
- Is out of the lineup with a concussion and broken nose suffered Oct. 27 vs. Philadelphia.
- Had his three-game point streak stopped Oct. 20 vs. NY Rangers with 1-4-5 totals in that span…Had an assist Oct. 12 in Los Angeles, a 1-1-2 effort Oct. 13 in San Jose and two assists Oct. 18 vs. Montreal.
- Has 3-4-7 totals in five of his ten games played this season.
- Has two multiple-point games.
- Has taken one shootout shot this season (no goal).
- Has missed 30 games to injury (30-concussion/broken nose, Nov. 1-Jan. 3).

38—Bobby Allen—D
- Has missed the last five games with recurring back spasms after playing in the previous three games…Had missed the previous five games with the back spasms.
- Has not dressed for 15 games (coach's decision).
- Has missed 11 games to injury (1-arm, Nov. 10; 10-back, Dec. 8-15; Dec. 23-Jan. 3).

40—Tuukka Rask—G
- Rookie.
- Recalled this morning from Providence/AHL for the fourth time this season … Was 14-3-0 in 17 games with the AHL Bruins this season and his 2.04 GAA is second among all AHL goaltenders.
- Has lost his last two Boston decisions at 0-1-1 with a 4-3 overtime loss in New Jersey on Dec. 5, allowing the overtime goal while playing 4:26 in relief of an injured Tim Thomas and a 4-2 setback to Montreal on Dec. 6.
- Won his first two NHL starts, earning his first NHL win in his first NHL game with a 4-2 victory in Toronto on Nov. 20 and taking his second by a 6-3 decision in Philadelphia on Nov. 26.
- Has dressed as backup for 16 of 20 games over three previous recalls to Boston from Providence/AHL (Nov. 5-11, Nov. 15-18; Nov. 19-Dec. 15).
- Has dressed as backup for 16 Boston games.

41—Andrew Alberts—D

- Has missed the last eight games with post-concussion syndrome.
- Recorded his second assist of the season Nov. 26 in Philadelphia.
- Has missed eight games to injury (8-post-concussion syndrome, Dec. 18-Jan. 3).

44—Aaron Ward—D
- Has missed six games with a broken foot.
- Has two assists in his last nine games played, recorded Nov. 29 in Florida and Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has one multiple-point game.
- Has missed 11 games to injury (2-concussion, Nov. 10-15; 3-ankle, Dec. 3-6; 6-foot, Dec. 22-Jan. 3).

45—Mark Stuart—D
- Scored his second goal of the season with the game-winning effort Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta…His older brother Colin scored for the Thrashers in that game as they became just the second siblings to tally in the same game this season (Marian and Marcel Hossa on Dec. 7, NY Rangers at Atlanta).

46—David Krejci—C
- Rookie.
- Had an assist Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta in his first game since his Dec. 30 recall from Providence/AHL for his second stint of the season in Boston…Had 7-21-28 totals with 19 PIM in 25 AHL Bruins games with a +14 rating.
- Has one multiple-point game.
- Began the season in Boston and had three assists in 12 games before his Nov. 4 assignment to Providence/AHL…Recorded his first NHL point with an assist Oct. 6 at Phoenix.

49—Matt Lashoff—D
- Rookie.
- Scored his first NHL goal Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta and now has 1-1-2 totals in his last five games as he recorded an assist Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh.
- Has played the last six games after being recalled on Dec. 21 from Providence/AHL for his second stint in Boston this season…Played one scoreless game Nov. 10 vs. Buffalo during his first recall from Nov. 9-11.
- Had 4-16-20 totals with 35 PIM and a +9 rating in 28 AHL Bruins games at the time of the recall.

53—Jeremy Reich—LW
- Has 1-1-2 totals in his last nine games, scoring his first NHL goal Dec. 15 vs. Columbus in his 61st NHL game and his eighth professional season and adding a shorthanded assist Dec. 20 vs. Pittsburgh.
- Has not dressed for 12 games this season (coach's decision).

56—Petteri Nokelainen—C/W
- Rookie.
- Has 3-1-4 totals in his last 11 games…Had a goal Dec. 12 in Atlanta; an assist Dec. 15 vs. Columbus; and single goals each Dec. 20 vs. Pittsburgh and Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh.
- Played his first game as a Bruin Nov. 4 vs. Ottawa…That was his first NHL game since April 2, 2006 vs. Philadelphia while with the NY Islanders…Scored his first goal/point as a Bruin with the game-winning tally Dec. 3 at NY Islanders (his first NHL goal/point since Oct. 13, 2005 in New Jersey while with the NY Islanders).
- Recalled Nov. 4 from Providence/AHL where he was third in that team's scoring race with 3-5-8 totals and 4 PIM in eight AHL Bruins games.

72—Peter Schaefer—LW
- Has 2-3-5 totals in his last 11 games with single goals each Dec. 10 in Buffalo and Dec. 12 in Atlanta and single assists each Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa, Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh and Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta.
- Has two multiple-point games, including a season-high 2-1-3 effort Nov. 15 vs. Toronto, that matched his previous career-high for goals in a game.
- Played his 500th NHL game Oct. 20 vs. NY Rangers.
- Played his first game as a Bruin Oct. 5 in Dallas and recorded his first point as a Bruin with an assist in that game…Scored his first goal as a Bruin Oct. 18 vs. Montreal.

81—Phil Kessel—C/W
- Has single goals each in two of his last four games, scored Dec. 28 in Carolina and Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta.
- Has three multiple-point games.
- Scored his first career hat trick and recorded a career-high for points in a game with a 3-1-4 effort Oct. 12 in Los Angeles.
- Scored the deciding shootout goal in a 1-0 win over NY Rangers on Oct. 20…It was his fifth career shootout deciding goal.
- Took his first career penalty shot on Oct. 27, unsuccessful vs. Philadelphia's Martin Biron.
- Has taken two shootout shots this season (one deciding goal).
- Played his 100th NHL game Dec. 12 in Atlanta.

91—Marc Savard—C
- Has 1-5-6 totals in his last seven games with single assists each Dec. 20 vs. Pittsburgh and Dec. 23 in Pittsburgh, two assists Dec. 28 in Carolina, an assist Dec. 31 vs. Atlanta and the game-winning goal Jan. 3 vs. Washington.
- Has 4-6-10 totals in his last 11 games with 6-23-28 totals in his last 25 contests.
- Has eight multiple-point games.
- Had a career-best 12-game assist/point streak from Nov. 10-Dec. 6 (2-17-19 totals).
- Recorded his 500th NHL point with the first assist of a 1-4-5 effort Oct. 12 in Los Angeles…Played his 600th NHL game Nov. 10 vs. Buffalo.
- Has missed one game to injury (1-groin, Oct. 10)…Missed the Oct. 10 game in Anaheim with the injury, snapping his consecutive games-played stretch at 166 games dating back to his previous game missed (April 3, 2004 at Ottawa while with New Jersey).
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