BOSTON BRUINS (44-17-5) VS CAROLINA HURRICANES (29-28-9)
12:30 p.m. - Pregame Snapshots: BOS vs. CAR
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Johnson (13-3-1, 2.22 GAA, .919 Save %) vs. Ward (8-10-5, 3.06 GAA, .894 Save %). Johnson is 1-0-0 with a 1.97 GAA and .917 save % in one career game against. Ward is 12-12-3 with a 2.63 GAA, .919 save percentage and three shutouts in 27 games against Boston.
BRUINS VS HURRICANES LIFETIME: The Bruins and Hurricanes will meet for the 188th time (includes totals as Hartford Whalers) in their franchise histories. The B’s have compiled a 99-70-16-2 record in those matchups and have outscored Carolina, 640-551. The Black & Gold are 54-32-7-1 in their 94 lifetime meetings against the Hurricanes in Boston, with a scoring advantage of 323-248 in those contests.
CUTS FOR A CAUSE: Shawn Thornton is teaming up with 98.5 The Sports Hub and 19 of his teammates for the seventh annual "Cuts for a Cause" event on Wednesday, March 26 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. Thornton and teammates will have their heads shaved by auction winners to show their support and raise money for the Shawn Thornton Foundation, Boston Bruins Foundation and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. Beginning on March 18 at 9:00 a.m., fans can bid on the opportunity to shave the head of their favorite participating Bruins player by visiting bostonbruins.com/cutsforacause. Bidding ends on Friday, March 21 at 4:00 p.m. Auction winners will also receive admission to the VIP session, where they will meet and greet the players on the event floor and receive a special Bruins gift bag that includes autographed Bruins memorabilia.
STAYING POSITIVE: Patrice Bergeron enters into today’s game tied for the league lead in plus/minus rating at plus-32 (Matt Niskanen, Pittsburgh). Johnny Boychuk’s plus-29 rating is tied for fourth in the league with Chicago’s Brandon Saad, while David Krejci’s plus-27 is tied for sixth with Brent Seabrook (Chicago) and Jaden Schwartz (St. Louis)… A Bruin has led the NHL in plus/minus in three of the last five seasons (Krejci’s +37 in 2008-09; Chara’s +33 in 2010-11; Bergeron’s +36 in 2011-12).
LINDBLAD RECALLED: On March 14, the Bruins recalled forward Matt Lindblad from Providence. Lindblad has skated in 43 games this season for the Providence Bruins, tallying seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points. The forward has appeared in 47 total games for the P-Bruins from 2012-14 and has netted eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points during that span. Lindblad is expected to make his NHL debut, which would make him the seventh player to do so this season, marking the most player debuts in Boston since 2005-06 (10).
STREAKING: The Bruins have won seven straight games which is their longest such streak since a seven-game streak from December 10 – 28, 2011… Zdeno Chara, Jarome Iginla and Milan Lucic all enter today’s game riding a three-game point streak. During that span Chara has tallied 2-1=3 totals, Iginla has notched 2-1=3 totals and Lucic has recorded 1-2=3 totals.
200 AND COUNTING: Following Thursday’s home game against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Boston Bruins have sold out 200 straight regular season and playoff games. This sellout streak began more than three years ago on December 5, 2009 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The last game the Bruins did not have 17,565 in attendance at the Garden was on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 when they hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning (16,553).
HURRICANES NOTEBOOK: Today marks game one of a back-to-back set for the Canes, which will see them take on the Oilers tomorrow back in Raleigh, NC. Carolina has accrued a 9-6-1 record in the first game of back-to-backs and a 4-9-3 in the second game… Seven Carolina players ride point streaks entering today’s game, led by Alexander Semin’s six-game streak (3-5=8)… Manny Malhotra leads the league with a 59.2% faceoff percentage, ahead of Patrice Bergeron’s 59.1%... Jeff Skinner leads the Canes in goal production with 26.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 39-for-188 (20.7%, T-6th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 183-for-219 (83.6%, T-10th NHL)… Hurricanes power play: 30-for-233 (12.9%, 29th NHL), Hurricanes penalty kill: 165-for-203 (81.3%, 18th NHL).