The Boston Bruins look to win three straight games for the first time since the first week of the season when they host the New York Rangers.
Boston snapped a three-game skid with a 4-3 overtime victory over Anaheim on Monday before winning 5-2 at Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia on Thursday night. It won a season-high three in a row from Oct. 8-13.
The Bruins finished with a season-low 18 shots on goal against the Flyers, but scored three goals on just five shots in the second period and needed only 12 shots to get their first four scores.
"The shots are an indicator, but they're not a complete indicator of play," Boston coach Mike Sullivan said. "I thought the scoring chances we generated were some high-quality ones and we were able to capitalize on them."
Travis Green scored twice, and rookie Tim Thomas made 35 saves to pick up his second win of the season.
"Keep it simple and try to play it not like it's any old game because let's face it, it's not any old game for me," Thomas said. "It's more important than that."
Boston's top two goalies, Andrew Raycroft and Hannu Toivonen, are both out with injuries so the Bruins claimed Craig Anderson off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
Anderson appeared in 14 games for Chicago this season, going 2-8-0 with a 3.90 goals-against average.
The Rangers are looking to end their four-game road trip with consecutive victories after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 on Thursday. New York began the trip with back-to-back 4-3 losses to Detroit and Columbus.
On Thursday, rookie right wing Petr Prucha scored his 22nd and 23rd goals of the season, and Michal Rozsival had an assist and scored the decisive goal late in the third period to lift the Rangers.
"All that's important for me is that we win," said Prucha, who began the season in the minors but has 30 points in 41 games for New York.
Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis has missed two straight games with a mild knee sprain, but could return against the Bruins.
This is the second game between these teams this season, and former Ranger Brian Leetch will not have appeared in either contest. Leetch, who played 17 seasons with New York until he was traded late in the 2003-04 season to Toronto, sat out on Nov. 20 because of a strained right knee and is currently on injured reserve with a groin strain.
STANDINGS: Rangers - 59 points, 2nd place, 5 PB, Atlantic Division. Bruins - 43 points, 5th place, 23 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Rangers - Jaromir Jagr, 29 goals, 41 assists and 70 points; Rozsival, 54 PIM. Bruins - Marco Sturm and Sergei Samsonov, 16 goals; Patrice Bergeron, 22 assists and 36 points; Hal Gill, 64 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 19): Rangers - Power play: 15.9 percent (42 for 264), 22nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.4 percent (244 for 289), 7th. Bruins - Power play: 16.0 percent (39 for 244), 21st. Penalty killing: 83.6 percent (240 for 287), 11th.
GOALTENDERS: Rangers - Henrik Lundqvist
(18-6-5, 2 SO, 2.18 GAA); Kevin Weekes (8-8-2, 3.11). Bruins - Thomas (2-0-1, 1.93); Anderson (2-8-0, 3.90).
SEASON SERIES: Rangers, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 20; Rangers, 3-2. At New York, Jagr snapped a third-period tie with his 19th goal and set up two others to lift the Rangers.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 12-9-3 on the road; Bruins - 9-9-3 at home.
- Associated Press