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Pregame Notes: Pittsburgh vs. Boston

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON BRUINS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Thursday, December 20, 2007
TD Banknorth Garden; Boston MA
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
NESN and WBZ Radio


Tonight’s Game
The Bruins host the Penguins tonight in the first of four games between these teams this season and the first of two games of this season's series at TD Banknorth Garden. The Bruins are 18-12-3 this season and are 8-5-1 this season on home ice. The Penguins are 16-15-2 overall this season with a 9-8-0 record on the road. The Bruins are 4-3-1 this season vs. Atlantic Division teams and they are 13-10-3 overall vs. Eastern Conference foes. The Penguins are 2-4-1 this season vs. Northeast Division teams and they are 9-14-2 overall vs. Eastern Conference opponents.

All-time Series
The Bruins are 95-49-21-1 all-time vs. Pittsburgh with a 662-520 scoring edge in those 166 games. The Bruins are 59-17-6-0 all-time vs. the Penguins in Boston with a 362-232 scoring advantage in those 82 contests. The Bruins and Penguins are playing the first game of this season's series tonight and these teams split last season's series with both Boston wins coming in a shootout. The Penguins have won the last two games between these teams with a 5-0 win in Pittsburgh on Mar. 25, 2007 4-2 win in Boston on Mar. 29, 2007. The Bruins last defeated the Penguins with a 5-4 shootout victory in Boston on Jan. 18, 2007.

Recent Bruins Games
The Bruins have won four of their last six games with a 2-1 win in Toronto on Dec. 8, a 4-1 victory in Buffalo on Dec. 10, a 5-3 victory in Atlanta on Dec. 12, a 3-1 loss to New Jersey on Dec. 13, a 2-0 victory over Columbus on Dec. 15 and a 3-2 loss to Ottawa on Dec. 18. The Bruins are playing game four of a five-game home stand tonight (1-2-0 ).

Recent Penguins Games
The Penguins have lost three of their last four games with an 8-2 loss in Philadelphia on Dec. 11, a 4-1 setback to Ottawa on Dec. 13, a 3-2 victory at NY Islanders on Dec. 15 and a 4-0 loss at NY Rangers on Dec. 18. That follows a stretch where they won seven of eight games and they are 8-4-0 in their last 12 games overall.

Upcoming Bruins Games
The Bruins conclude their current five-game home stand hosting St. Louis on Dec. 22 (1:00 p.m.; NESN/WBZ Radio). They will finish the pre-holiday portion of their schedule playing in Pittsburgh on Dec. 23 (3:00 p.m.; NESN/WBZ Radio). Following the mandatory Dec. 24-25 break, the Bruins will play in Carolina on Dec. 28 (7:00 p.m.; NESN/WBZ Radio) and in Atlanta on Dec. 29 (7:00 p.m.; NESN/WBZ Radio).

Upcoming Penguins Games
The Penguins next face the Thrashers in Atlanta on Dec. 20. They will then return home to host Chicago on Dec. 22 and will finish the pre-holiday portion of their schedule at NY Rangers on Dec. 23.

Bruins Injuries
Andrew Alberts: Post-concussion syndrome.
Patrice Bergeron: Concussion and broken nose suffered Oct. 27 vs. Philadelphia.
Manny Fernandez: Dec. 12 left knee surgery.

Bruins December Transactions
Dec. 6: Alex Auld acquired from Phoenix for Nate DiCasmirro and 2009 fifth round draft pick.
Dec. 6: Manny Fernandez assigned to Providence/AHL for conditioning.
Dec. 8: Manny Fernandez returned from Providence/AHL conditioning stint.
Dec. 13: Matt Hunwick returned to Providence/AHL.
Dec. 15: Tuukka Rask returned to Providence/AHL.

Bruins 2007-08 Shootouts (1-1)
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)

Bruins 2007-08 Penalty Shots
1. Oct. 27 … Phil Kessel unsuccessful vs. Philadelphia's Martin Biron (15:09 second period).
 
Bruins Fun Facts
- Brandon Bochenski's next game will be the 100th of his NHL career.
- Peter Schaefer is five goals shy of his 100th NHL goal milestone.
- Marco Sturm is seven assists short of his 200th NHL assist milestone.
- Glen Metropolit is seven points shy of his 100th NHL point milestone.
- Shawn Thornton is eight games shy of his 100th NHL game milestone.
- The Bruins have 17 sets of back-to-back games this season and have completed six of these series .
- They are 3-2-1 this season in the first game of these series and are 2-3-1 in the second game of these sets.
- The Bruins have three rookies on their current roster – Milan Lucic, Petteri Nokelainen and Vladimir Sobotka.
- The Bruins have seven players on their active roster who are new to the Bruins this season – Alex Auld (trade with Phoenix), Milan Lucic (draft), Glen Metropolit (free agent), Petteri Nokelainen (trade with NY Islanders), Peter Schaefer (trade with Ottawa), Vladimir Sobotka (draft) and Shawn Thornton (free agent).
- The Bruins have completed seven 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 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 2-7-9 totals in nine of his last 11 games…Has single assists each Nov. 29 in Florida, Dec. 1 in Tampa Bay and Dec. 3 at NY Islanders, a goal Dec. 5 at New Jersey, an assist Dec. 6 vs. Montreal, the game-winning goal Dec. 8 in Toronto, and single assists each Dec. 10 in Buffalo, Dec. 13 vs. New Jersey and Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa.
- 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.
- Had a three-game assist streak from Nov. 10-17 (0-3-3 totals).
- Has not dressed for one game this season (coach's decision).

10-Brandon Bochenski-RW
- Has not dressed for the last three games…His next game played will be the 100th of his NHL career.
- Has single assists each in two of the last three games with an assist on the game-winning goal Dec. 8 in Toronto and an assist Dec. 12 in Atlanta.
- Has one multiple-point game, matching his previous career-high for assists in a game with a two-assist effort Nov. 15 vs. Toronto.
- Had a two-game conditioning stint in Providence/AHL from Oct. 23-28 with one goal and no PIM in those contests.
- Dressed, but did not play Oct. 10 in Anaheim.
- Has not dressed for 12 games this season (coach's decision).

11-P.J. Axelsson-LW
- Has 2-2-4 totals in four of his last eight games with an assist Dec. 5 in New Jersey, single goals each Dec. 6 vs. Montreal and Dec. 10 in Buffalo (game-winner), and an assist Dec. 12 in Atlanta.

12-Chuck Kobasew-RW
- Has points in each of his last two games with an assist Dec. 15 vs. Columbus and a goal Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa.
- Has 6-3-9 totals in his last 15 games with 10-4-14 totals in his last 21 contests.
- 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 1-2-3 totals in three of his last six games with an assist on the game-winning goal Dec. 8 in Toronto, a goal Dec. 10 in Buffalo and an assist Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa.
- Has 5-4-9 totals in his last 16 games with three of the goals proving game-winning tallies.
- Has two 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
- Has 1-2-3 totals in his last nine games with single assists each Dec. 3 at NY Islanders and Dec. 5 in New Jersey and a goal Dec. 15 vs. Columbus.
- Has 5-6-11 totals in his last 18 games
- Has four 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 2-3-5 totals in three of his last five games with two assists Dec. 10 in Buffalo, a 1-1-2 effort, including the game-winning goal, Dec. 12 in Atlanta, and a goal Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa.
- 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 played the last four games, with two assists Dec. 12 in Atlanta, after missing 16 of the previous 17 games with injuries.
- Has two 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 been cleared to play after missing the last 20 games with a broken foot suffered Nov. 4 vs. Ottawa.
- Scoreless in 13 games this season.
- Played his first game as a Bruin Oct. 5 in Dallas.
- Has missed 20 games to injury (19-foot, Nov. 7-Dec. 18).

27-Glen Murray-RW
- Has 4-1-5 totals in five of his last ten 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 17 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).

29-Alex Auld-G
- Took a 3-2 loss to Ottawa on Dec. 18 in his last start.
- Has won four of his six games as a Bruin, including 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.
- Won his first three starts as a Bruin with a 2-1 victory in Toronto on Dec. 8, a 4-1 win in Buffalo on Dec. 10, facing 45 shots in that game and a 5-3 win in Atlanta on Dec. 12.
- Dressed as backup Dec. 6 vs. Montreal…Was acquired earlier that day from Phoenix for Nate DiCasmirro and a 2009 fifth round draft pick.
- Was been playing in San Antonio/AHL, 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…His last NHL game this season was a 6-0 loss to San Jose on Nov. 15 with his last NHL win a 6-5 overtime decision in Anaheim on Nov. 7…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 a 49-50-2-11 record and 2.94 GAA in 117 career NHL games.
- Has dressed as backup for one Boston game.

30-Tim Thomas-G
- Dressed as backup Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa after missing the last six games with a groin strain suffered Dec. 5 in New Jersey…Did not earn a decision in that game, allowing three goals in 58:50 before suffering the injury.
- Is 3-2-0 in his last five decisions with a 2-1 win over NY Islanders on Nov. 23, a 2-1 setback at the Islanders on Nov. 24, a 4-3 win in Florida on Nov. 29, a 4-1 loss in Tampa Bay on Dec. 1 and a 3-1 win at NY Islanders on Dec. 3.
- Has faced 30-or-more shots in 13 of his 20 games with a 7-4-1 record in those games (one no-decision)…His season-high in shots faced was 52 Nov. 17 in Montreal.
- Has allowed two-or-fewer goals in 14 of his 20 games this season (8-4-2 record) and has allowed one goal or less in eight of those contests (7-0-1).
- Had a three-game win streak from Oct. 13-25.
- Has dressed as backup for seven games.
- Has missed six games to injury (6-groin, Dec. 6-15).

33-Zdeno Chara-D
- Has 1-3-4 totals in his last eight games with a goal Dec. 5 in New Jersey and single assists each Dec. 6 vs. Montreal, Dec. 10 in Buffalo and Dec. 13 vs. New Jersey.
- Has 3-5-8 totals in his last 12 games with 4-9-13 totals in his last 18 contests.
- Has four 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).

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 22 games to injury (22-knee, Nov. 1-Dec. 5; Dec. 8-18).

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 23 games to injury (23-concussion/broken nose, Nov. 1-Dec. 18).

38-Bobby Allen-D
- Returned to the lineup Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa after missing the previous five games with back spasms.
- Has missed six games to injury (1-arm, Nov. 10; 5-back, Dec. 8-15).
- Has not dressed for 14 games (coach's decision).

41-Andrew Alberts-D
- Recorded his second assist of the season Nov. 26 in Philadelphia.

44-Aaron Ward-D
- Has two assists in two of his last eight games played, recorded Nov. 29 in Florida and Dec. 8 in Toronto.
- Has one multiple-point game.
- Has missed five games to injury (2-concussion, Nov. 10-15; 3-ankle, Dec. 3-6).

45-Mark Stuart-D
- Scored his first goal of the season Oct. 18 vs. Montreal…It was his first goal scored since he scored his first career NHL goal on Apr. 10, 2006 vs. Washington.

53-Jeremy Reich-LW
- Scored his first NHL goal Dec. 15 vs. Columbus in his 61st NHL game and his eighth professional season.
- Has not dressed for 12 games this season (coach's decision).

56-Petteri Nokelainen-C/W
- Rookie.
- Has 2-1-3 totals in three of his last nine games… 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 Washington while with the NY Islanders), had a goal Dec. 12 in Atlanta and an assist Dec. 15 vs. Columbus.
- 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 Washington 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.

60-Vladimir Sobotka-C
- Has recorded his first two NHL points in his last four games with single assists each Dec. 12 in Atlanta and Dec. 15 vs. Columbus.
- Has played ten games, including his first NHL game Nov. 24 at NY Islanders…Became the fourth Bruin this season to play his first NHL game (Lucic, Hunwick, Rask).
- Recalled Nov. 23 from Providence/AHL where he was second in that team's scoring race with 7-7-14 totals and 12 PIM in 15 AHL Bruins games with a +10 rating.
- Has missed three games to injury (3-upper body, Dec. 6-10).

72-Peter Schaefer-LW
- Has 2-1-3 totals in three of his last five games with single goals each Dec. 10 in Buffalo and Dec. 12 in Atlanta and an assist Dec. 18 vs. Ottawa.
- Has 5-5-10 totals in his last 17 games, including a season-high 2-1-3 effort Nov. 15 vs. Toronto, which matched his previous career-high for goals in a game.
- Has two multiple-point games.
- 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 1-3-4 totals in three of his last eight games with an assist Dec. 5 in New Jersey, a goal Dec. 6 vs. Montreal and two assists Dec. 12 in 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 been held scoreless in consecutive games for the first time this season.
- Had his three-game point streak stopped Dec. 15 vs. Columbus with 3-1-4 totals in that span…Had 1-1-2 totals Dec. 10 in Buffalo and single goals each Dec. 12 in Atlanta and Dec. 13 vs. New Jersey…Has not gone consecutive games without a point this season.
- Has 5-18-23 totals in 15 of his last 18 games, including a career-best 12-game assist/point streak from Nov. 10-Dec. 6 (2-17-19 totals) and has 7-21-28 totals in 19 of his last 24 games.
- Has seven 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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