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Bruins resume pursuit of top spot against Senators

by Mike G. Morreale
SENATORS (27-19-6) at BRUINS (31-14-2)
Last 10:
Ottawa 6-4-0; Boston 5-4-1
Season series:
This will be the Senators' second visit to TD Garden and the third meeting between the teams. The Bruins have won the previous two matchups -- beating the Senators 5-3 at TD Garden on Nov. 1 and scoring a 5-2 decision at Scotiabank Place on Dec. 14. The Bruins have not only won the last six meetings, but 18 of the last 22.
Big story:
It'll be interesting to see the reception Bruins goalie Tim Thomas receives from the hometown faithful on Tuesday. Thomas refused to accompany his teammates to the White House with the Stanley Cup on Jan. 23, instead making a political statement by exercising his "right as a free citizen."
"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People," Thomas wrote in a statement on Facebook. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spent a long time trying to get Thomas to change his mind, but it didn't help.
Said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in an interview on NHL Tonight: "This was an opportunity for [Thomas] and his teammates to be honored for their great accomplishment … winning the Stanley Cup. It was a chance for the team, the League and the players to be recognized and honored. It wasn't a political moment, and I think that while everyone's free to have an opinion, I think it was his loss."
Team Scope:
Senators: Goalie Craig Anderson (25-16-4) not only leads all NHL goalies in ice time (2,626:59), but has faced more rubber (1,411 shots against) and made more saves (1,284) than any other at his position. Despite starting the team's last 14 straight games, Anderson wasn't complaining.
"I think you just take it one game at a time, focus at the task at hand," he said. "You don't really think about what's gone on in the past or how many you've played, what all the statistics are. Played this game long enough, you've been in this situation before. You know how to deal with it and move forward."
Bruins: The Bruins are 2-2-1 over their last five games and have allowed 19 goals over that span. Still, despite the slip, the team remains two points behind the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers through 47 games. Captain Zdeno Chara hasn't scored a goal in 16 games with just 6 assists during that drought. Meanwhile, right wing Tyler Seguin has scored twice in his last two games and entered the break tied for the team scoring lead with center Patrice Bergeron with 43 points.
Who's hot: Bergeron has 10 goals and 24 points in the last 20 games. … Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson has 3 goals and 5 points in the team's last five contests.
Injury report: The Senators are without forwards Peter Regin (shoulder) and Jesse Winchester (concussion). Defenseman Brian Lee (lower body) is day-to-day. … For the Bruins, right wing Nathan Horton missed the team's last game with a mild concussion and is considered questionable.
Stat pack:
Thomas is 16-3-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average and five shutouts in his past 19 meetings against Ottawa. His six career shutouts over the Senators doubles his total against any other opponent. … Anderson, meanwhile, is 1-6-0 with a 4.54 GAA against the Bruins.
Puck drop:
In 18 games since being acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes on Dec. 17, Senators second-line center Kyle Turris has produced 4 goals and 13 points. The 22-year-old Turris totaled 19 goals and 27 assists in 137 career games with the Coyotes.

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