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by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

The Bruins face a tough opponent tonight -- pressure.

Obviously, squaring off against the Colorado Avalanche (and Joe Sakic) is a very daunting task on its own, but in terms of the bigger picture, the B’s must maintain the momentum garnered by beating two Eastern Conference rivals and ride that impetus into a game with a volatile Western Conference foe.

With the playoff standings in flux, each and every remaining game has become a playoff situation for the Black & Gold.

"I think everybody is aware of the importance of (tonight’s game) and we haven’t put that much together, just a couple of victories," said Bruins bench boss Dave Lewis. "There are still at lot of games left and a lot of teams vying for that spot.

"So we are going to try and come out and give ourselves a chance to win tonight."

Normally pretty reserved, forward Petr Tenkrat had his own opinions about what the Bruins need to do versus the Avalanche.

"We have to…work hard," said Tenkrat. "And we have to stay together.

"We’ve (done that) the last couple of games. And it’s very important to keep it that way."

Tim Thomas, back in the Bruins goal after a one game sabbatical, looked ready to go when he spoke to the press this morning after the skate.

"It was paramount that we have some success (over) the weekend," said Thomas. "Now, we are right in the chase -- that’s the big thing.

"There wasn’t any one particular thing (we did well). Our defensive zone play was good. We did a good job communicating and figuring out who’s got whom (defensively). And then we got important goals.

"Some guys stepped up and made some big plays," said Thomas who no doubt, hopes to be the next guy to make a big play.

You can add Shean Donovan to that list, too. The irrepressible Donovan, who wakes up ready to play hockey every day, was, of course, very excited to have such an important contest to play tonight.

"It’s a huge match," said Donovan. "The coaches went over the video today. It’s a team we don’t see very often…but it’s going to be fun.

"We just have to play the way (we can) play and not worry about them. We need to get to know their tendencies and play a good defense in our zone and the neutral zone. And then, kind of play simple, and take advantage of our chances."

In comparison to Sunday, Lewis announced that Kobasew, Allen and Thomas would be the new parts introduced into tonight’s lineup, with Chistov, York and MacDonald sitting.

Axelsson - Savard - Murray
Sturm - Bergeron - Tenkrat
Bochenski - Kessel - Kobasew
Reich - Mowers - Donovan
Chara - Ward - (sg) Thomas
Alberts - Ference - (bg) MacDonald
Wideman - Allen (out: Chistov, York)
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