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Streaking Rangers host Thomas, Bruins

by Dave Lozo
BRUINS (9-5-1) at RANGERS (10-7-1)


Last 10 -- Boston 5-4-1; New York 6-4-0

Season Series -- The Rangers took the first of four meetings with the Bruins this season, winning 3-2 in Boston on Oct. 23. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 35 shots to earn the victory. Tuukka Rask was saddled with the loss for the Bruins.

Big Story -- The Bruins have been scuffling of late, having dropped four of six, but they are coming off a convincing 3-0 home victory against the New Jersey Devils on Monday. The Rangers, meanwhile, have won three straight since the return of Marian Gaborik, who missed 12 games with a shoulder injury.

Team Scope:

Bruins --
Goaltender Tim Thomas earned his League-leading fourth shutout in Boston's win against New Jersey. He made 28 saves to improve to 9-1-0, lower his goals-against average to 1.32 and bolster his save percentage to a League-best .960. The win stopped the bleeding for the Bruins.

"I personally approached it as a must-win, and I think the team did, too," Thomas said. "We needed to get back on track. We needed to show some urgency.

Rangers -- A year ago, the Rangers almost certainly would've lost Monday's game against the Penguins. They led 1-0 throughout, but two Pittsburgh goals in 38 seconds late in the third period turned the tide and left the Rangers on the verge of a crushing loss.

However, Marc Staal scored shorthanded seconds later to tie the game, and Ryan Callahan's overtime goal gave New York a thrilling 3-2 victory.

"I'm still angry -- even though we scored," said Lundqvist, who was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after the Penguins went up 2-1, leaving his team shorthanded. "But it's hockey. Things happened so fast, everything changed. I've got to stay cooler, obviously."

Who's Hot -- Mark Recchi continues to defy his age. The 42-year-old has 1 goal and 4 assists in his last four games and has 11 points in 15 games this season. … After an eight-goal outburst against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, a lot of Rangers have great numbers in recent games. Ruslan Fedotenko, though, is one of the few who has points in each of his last three games -- 2 goals and 3 assists.

Injury Report -- Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (forearm/wrist) took part in pregame warm-ups Monday and could be back in the lineup against the Rangers. Center David Krejci (concussion) is out. … The Rangers have been with out Chris Drury (finger) and Vinny Prospal (knee) for most of the season. Defenseman Michal Rozsival (shoulder) is out. Forward Derek Boogaard missed Monday's game with a hand injury after getting into two fights with the Oilers' Steve MacIntyre on Sunday.

Stat Pack -- This will be the Bruins' fifth game in eight days, and they are in a stretch of 14 games in 26 days. … The Rangers were not awarded a power play in Monday's game. The last time the Rangers did not have a power-play attempt in a game was Jan. 16, 2007, at New Jersey. 

Puck Drop -- "Here we are, we're talking about our kids. I look at the tape, and I have to admit, I'm proud of those guys. When they score the winning goal, look at Cally's face and Dubi's face. It's good stuff for our kids, and I couldn't be prouder of them." -- Rangers coach John Tortorella, after Brandon Dubinsky connected with Ryan Callahan on the game-winning goal Monday.
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