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At the Rink: Bruins at Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- The Boston Bruins are looking to end a three-game losing streak when they visit the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

Forward Patrice Bergeron, whose Bruins find themselves three points up on the Florida Panthers for the second of two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference, admitted his team needs to show a little more desperation to pull out of the slide.

"I think desperation is part of what we need to bring, and just playing our system and playing our game and really going back to what's giving us success in January," Bergeron said. "I think desperation is one of the things that we need to bring. We need to just go out there and execute and find ways to have better pace to our game and better results.

"It's about going back and playing the system, playing the way you can and really executing what's been asked and just everyone doing their jobs."

The Bruins went 8-1-3 in January to jump into a Stanley Cup Playoff position in the East.

But a February stumble has seen Boston win once in five games and be outscored 17-10 during the month.

It's shrunk their lead over the Panthers to three points.

"The standings are so tight on both sides, the East and the West, and every point is huge," Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. "I think this last little bit we've done a good job of getting ourselves back in that playoff position, but if you look at it, we're barely there. There's still lots of work to be done and lots of points to be had."

The start of a five-game road trip through the Western Conference didn't help shake the slump. The Bruins lost 5-2 against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

A date against the Flames could help.

Calgary has struggled against opponents from the East this season. The Flames, who hold the second of two wild-card spots in the West, are 24-10-1 in action within their own conference but 7-12-2 against the East.

"Obviously we love our record against our conference, our division, but we need to be better against the East," said Calgary center Matt Stajan, whose Flames have won five of their past seven games and 10 of their past 14. "You play 30 games against them, that's almost half your season, so we've got to make sure we do well against them.

"They're looking to get points, they're in the wild-card spot on their side and we're looking for the points. Two teams that are really going after it and we need the points, that's the bottom line. We have a lot of games here against the Eastern Conference coming up and we've got to make sure we're picking up points where we can because they all count the same."

Here are the projected lineups:


Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Reilly Smith

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Loui Eriksson

Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - David Pastrnak

Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Craig Cunningham

Zdeno Chara - Kevan Miller

Dennis Seidenberg - Dougie Hamilton

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Niklas Svedberg

Scratched: Jordan Caron, Matt Bartkowski

Injured: None


Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanJiri Hudler

Lance BoumaMikael BacklundDavid Jones

Mason RaymondJosh JoorisCurtis Glencross

Paul ByronMatt StajanJoe Colborne

Mark GiordanoTJ Brodie

Kris RussellDennis Wideman

Raphael DiazDeryk Engelland

Karri Ramo

Jonas Hiller

Scratched: Corey Potter, Brandon Bollig, David Wolf

Injured: Sam Bennett (shoulder surgery), Ladislav Smid (upper body)

Status report: Neither team expects any lineup changes, though Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested he could make some decisions closer to game time.

Who's hot: Bergeron has goals in two straight games, four in his past five and five in his past seven for Boston. … Gaudreau has assists in three straight games and five in his past six for Calgary. Jones has two goals and two assists over his past three games.

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