BRUINS (21-12-7) at RANGERS (19-17-5)
-- Boston 5-3-2; New York 5-2-3.
-- This is the second of four meetings. The Rangers won the opener 1-0 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 1. Marian Gaborik
scored and Henrik Lundqvist
made 29 saves for the shutout.
-- It's the first game for the Bruins following their thrilling 2-1 OT win against the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Will they have a bit of a letdown playing in front of a mere 18,200 fans?
-- You'll have to excuse the Bruins if they're still a little lost in the clouds of their Classic victory, an OT win thanks to a goal by Marco Sturm.
“It’s Fenway Park. It’s history. It’s something you’re going to remember the rest of your life,’’ said Patrice Bergeron
, who set up Sturm's winner. “You want to be on the good side of the outcome. You want to win.’’
And that's what the B's have done of late, having emerged victorious in four of their last five.
-- It's getting beyond redundant for the Blueshirts: The only offense is coming from Gaborik, and Lundqvist's great performances are being wasted.
After Saturday's 2-1 loss in overtime to the League-worst Carolina Hurricanes in which Gaborik scored the only goal, it was more of the same.
"It can't just come from one guy," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "I can't sit here and tell you what we are going to do. We have to get someone to step up and score a goal other than Gabby."
Despite the offensive woes, the Rangers have earned points in seven of their last eight games, posting a 5-1-2 mark.
-- For the Bruins, Marc Savard
was held without a point during the Winter Classic, but still has 1 goal and 7 assists in his last six games.
Of course Gaborik is hot for the Rangers, but center Brandon Dubinsky
has points (4 goals, 3 assists) in five of his last six games.
-- Boston will be without defenseman Mark Stuart (sternum) and forward Milan Lucic
For the Rangers, Vinny Prospal is improving, but will be out of the lineup after having knee surgery last week.
-- The last two teams to win the Winter Classic (Penguins in '08, Red Wings in '09) won their next four games. ... Monday will mark Lundqvist's 16th consecutive start, tying his career-high. ... The Rangers have lost 8 of 9 at Madison Square Garden.
-- Talk about a compressed scheduled. Tonight's game is the second of 16 the Rangers will play in January. If you're unsure, there are 31 days in January, so it's not as bad as it could be.