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Bruins-Rangers Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Boston Bruins (27-30-11) at New York Rangers (38-19-10).

TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.

More than two years after he got traded away, New York Ranger fans finally have the chance to welcome back one of the franchise's best players.

Brian Leetch returns to Madison Square Garden when the Boston Bruins face off against the Rangers.

Leetch, a two-time Norris Trophy winner, spent 17 seasons with New York after being selected ninth overall in the 1986 entry draft. He holds Rangers records for most games played (1,129), goals (240) and assists (741) by a defenseman, and is second in franchise history with 981 points, trailing only Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert.

Leetch's best season came in 1991-92, when he had 80 assists and 102 points. Two seasons later, he led the league in postseason scoring with 23 assists and 34 points as New York won its first Stanley Cup since 1940.

The Rangers traded Leetch to Toronto on March 4, 2004 for defenseman Maxim Kondratiev, forward Jarko Immonen and two draft picks.

Leetch was signed as a free agent by the Bruins after the lockout ended.

A knee injury sidelined Leetch for 10 games in November, causing him to miss the Bruins' first game at New York this season. The 38-year-old has played just 48 games this season, but still leads Bruins defensemen with 30 points.

On Saturday, Leetch assisted on rookie Brad Boyes' third goal - completing his first NHL hat trick - in the Bruins' 4-2 win over Carolina.

"I don't know what it was, maybe the net looked a little bit bigger for me," said Boyes, who had one hat trick last year with the Bruins' AHL affiliate in Providence, R.I. "For whatever reason, sometimes you get one and you kind of keep rolling. I can't remember anything like this."

Boston is tied with Florida for 12th place in the Eastern Conference playoff race, six points behind eighth-place Montreal.

As has been the case for much of this season, New York will look to league scoring leader Jaromir Jagr for offense.

Jagr had a goal and three assists Saturday to become the first player in the league to reach 100 points as the Rangers defeated Toronto 5-2. New York has won its last two games, following a six-game losing skid.

"I am not trying to look for any records," said Jagr, who has an NHL-best 46 goals along with 54 assists. "I wanted to help this team make the playoffs."

New York has not been to the postseason since 1996-97.

With his scoring outburst, Jagr passed Gilbert for points in a season by a Rangers right wing and tied Vic Hadfield's single-season mark of 23 power-play goals.

A five-time Art Ross Trophy winner, Jagr also became the sixth player in Rangers history to reach 100 points in a season and first since Mark Messier and Leetch in 1991-92.

Jagr needs just four goals to become the third Ranger with 50 in a season, joining Hadfield in 1971-72 and Adam Graves, who had a franchise-best 52 in 1993-94.

Jagr has 30 goals and 47 assists in 57 career games against Boston.

STANDINGS: Bruins - 65 points, 5th place, 33 PB, Northeast Division. Rangers - 86 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Bruins - Marco Sturm, 25 goals; Patrice Bergeron, 36 assists and 57 points; Hal Gill, 102 PIM. Rangers - Jagr, 46 goals, 54 assists and 100 points; Darius Kasparaitis, 95 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins - Power play: 15.7 percent (56 for 357), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (342 for 406), 9th. Rangers - Power play: 18.8 percent (70 for 372), 8th. Penalty killing: 85.3 percent (347 for 407), 4th.

GOALTENDERS: Bruins - Tim Thomas (10-7-5, 1 SO, 2.32 GAA); Andrew Raycroft (8-18-2, 0, 3.67). Rangers - Henrik Lundqvist (27-9-8, 2, 2.11); Kevin Weekes (11-10-2, 0, 2.90).

SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 21; Rangers, 3-2 (SO). At Boston, Petr Sykora had a goal in regulation and scored in the sixth round of the shootout. Sturm and Brad Stuart scored regulation goals for Boston.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 13-16-5 on the road; Rangers - 21-7-6 at home.

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