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Pregame vs Leafs: Game 1 on the Horizon

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA - Whether you're a fan, player, coach, member of the media this time of the year is the same - there's an upped excitement level, an intensified feeling around the locker room, a heightened awareness of what will separate one team from all the rest.

It's the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Game 1 for the Bruins is tonight, at TD Garden, against the Toronto Maple Leafs. You've heard it said before - these teams haven't met in the postseason since 1974. But make no mistake, Boston and Toronto know each other well. And though the Leafs are 1-8-1 in their last 10 against the Bruins, the cliche proves true - this is a new season.

Andrew Ference
Defense - BOS
Goals: - | Assists: - | Pts: -
Shots: - | +/-: -
"There’s always the same excitement," said Andrew Ference, a vet of 106 NHL playoff games, the last five seasons all coming with Boston. "It’s so hard to get to this stage, to get to the playoffs. So there’s that feeling of pride for the season you had, and to battle here, but that’s yesterday."

"You got to turn the page to today and get excited for today, for the challenge. Everyday you wake up and watch the highlights from the other games, and you come in here, and everybody’s kind of got that extra buzz in the room. It’s a really good feeling; it’s fun."

With that, the experienced B's took part in a morning skate as they prep for the series opener tonight. Line rushes saw the combinations below, though, Coach Julien noted that his decisions on the lineup have not been made yet. Nathan Horton will be a "game-time decision."

When asked if Dougie Hamilton would be a healthy scratch tonight, Coach said "probably." Veteran Wade Redden, with 100-plus games of NHL playoff experience, coupled with his 1,000-plus regular season games, has been alongside Adam McQuaid for the past two games.

Projected Lineup:


Expected goaltender match-up is Tuukka Rask against James Reimer for the Leafs. Rask went 2-0-0 against Toronto this season, with a .958 save percentage, while Reimer was 1-1-1 with a .948 save percentage. The Bruins' netminder leads in the NHL playoff experience department, though has not suited up in a posteason game since 2010, when he put up a 7-6 record.

Stay tuned to and updates on Twitter @NHLBruins ^CS for more from the locker room prior to tonight's match-up...


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