Bruins-Senators preview: Looking to get on a roll

Bruins-Senators preview: Looking to get on a roll
April 2, 2013, 3:45 pm
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BOSTON -- The Bruins should finally get their boost of energy. Who knew it would be a shot of Jagr? The Black and Gold will play their final game before the arrival of future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr when they host the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night at TD Garden in another divisional feud between the B’s and the Sens. Boston will be looking to build on the third period that saw them score a pair of goals in handling the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night, and want to start gaining some momentum with the final month of the regular season finally here.

“We know we’ve played them a few times already this year, and they’ve given us really tough games,” said David Krejci. “We know it’s going to be a tight game, but we’re ready for it.”

The Senators, meanwhile, have points in eight of their last 10 games and sit tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Northeast Division with the Bruins comfortably ahead of both hockey clubs. The Senators are desperately trying to cobble together some deals prior to the NHL trade deadline tomorrow afternoon, and the Bruins are still seeking a mobile, puck-moving defenseman that they can bring in prior to the 3 p.m. deadline.

Hopefully the action on the ice can be every bit as exciting as the board room drama of the last week that took away Jarome Iginla – and landed the Bruins Jaromir Jagr – but there is no guarantee of that. Still, Boston and Ottawa will drop the puck and the Bruins are looking to add to their 12-1 record over the last 13 games against their unfortunate Sens opponents.

PLAYER NEEDING HIS TIRED PUMPED: Even though Nathan Horton has scored goals in three straight games, it may be the Bruins right winger that drops down to the third line with Jaromir Jagr on the way to Boston. Jagr has been playing right wing for the Dallas Stars and would seem to make an excellent pairing with Czech countrymen David Krejci on Boston’s top line. That leaves Milan Lucic as the left wing on the top line, and Horton potentially skating with Rich Peverley and Chris Kelly – once he gets healthy – on the third line once the playoffs begin. For a guy entering unrestricted free agency at the end of the season, it might amount to a reduction in ice time and offensive opportunities.

DRESSING ROOM MANTRA HEADED INTO THE GAME: “They’ve established a work ethic that they bring every game and they believe in it. It gives them a chance to win on most nights. If I was them, I wouldn’t change it.” –Bruins Claude Julien on the Ottawa Senators, who continue to win games despite massive injuries on their roster.

KEY MATCHUP: The Senators are among the top ranked teams in goals against (first in the NHL while allowing 2.1 goals per game) and penalty kill success (killing 89.1 percent of the power plays they face), and are making it difficult on every team they come up against. That means the Bruins will need to bring their hard hats for the day, and power forwards like Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton will need to do some damage against defensemen that aren’t as mistake-prone as in the past. The Bruins are also allowing only 2.1 goals per game and lead the NHL in PK success percentage, so there’s also a mirror image quality to the two hockey clubs. That being said, Daniel Paille leads the Bruins in goals against the Sens this season.

STAT TO WATCH: 7 – the consecutive games in which the Bruins haven’t scored a goal in the first period dating back to their March 17 matinee loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

INJURIES: Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid (shoulder strain) and Chris Kelly (broken left tibia) are both out, but have skated the last couple of days as they work their way back from injuries. The Senators are still missing center Jason Spezza (back), defenseman Erik Karlsson (Achilles), Milan Michalek (knee), Craig Anderson (ankle) and Jared Cowen (hip) in what’s close to an All-Star lineup of players.

GOALTENDING MATCH-UP: Anton Khudobin will be getting his second back-to-back chance for the Bruins this season after shutting out the Sabres on Sunday night in an excellent 26-save performance. The last time he played in back-to-back games he was pulled from the contest in the third period after letting up his third goal in a 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Robin Lehner has received the last few starts against the Bruins for the Ottawa Senators, and was handed his only regulation loss by the Bruins at Scotiabank Place last week. Lehner is 3-1-5 with a 2.05 goals against average and a .940 save percentage this season.