Senators aim to prevent Bruins' road sweep
Monday, 02.28.2011 / 4:23 PM
BRUINS (36-19-7) at SENATORS (21-32-9)
TV: TSN (HD), NESN (HD)
Boston 6-4-0; Ottawa 4-5-1
This is the fifth of six games between these Northeast Division rivals. Boston took three of the first four meetings by a combined score of 14-2. The Bruins have also won nine of the last 12 meetings with Ottawa at Scotiabank Place, including a current five-game winning streak.
The Bruins have been perfect on their current six-game road trip with regulation wins in each of their first five games. The recent strong play away from TD Garden has helped the B's to the NHL's best road record at 21-7-4. Meanwhile, the Sens have been steadily improving with victories in three of their last four games, including two straight at home. The Senators also made a big move towards their future by inking defenceman Chris Phillips
to a three-year contract extension Monday and trading away blueliner Chris Campoli
to Chicago for forward Ryan Potulny
, who joins the Senators lineup tonight, and a conditional 2011 draft pick.
The B's were definitely buyers in the weeks leading up to Monday's trade deadline, and it hasn't taken very long for most of their newly-acquired players to begin making an impact. Former Thrasher Rich Peverley scored a goal for the first time in a B's uniform Sunday off an assist from former Senators centre Chris Kelly, who notched his first point for the Bruins in his fourth game since being traded. The contribution from their new players led the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Oilers.
"This trip has been a great opportunity for us to introduce our new players to the hockey club by being on the road," coach Claude Julien said. "The timing was good. We've got a better record on the road than we do at home."
Sens Blog Central
Unlike Tuesday's opponent, the Sens played the role of sellers leading up to the trade deadline. And general manager Bryan Murray wasn't quite done on Monday as he dealt Campoli and a conditional seventh-round pick to Chicago for Potulny and a conditional second-round pick. That was the last trade of the 2010-11 season for Ottawa after it previously dealt away Kelly and fellow forwards Mike Fisher, Jarkko Ruutu and Alex Kovalev as well as goalie Brian Elliott in five separate deals during the weeks leading up to the deadline. But just for some insurance, Murray also claimed goalie Curtis McElhinney
off waivers from the Lightning on Monday.
"There's mixed emotions as you become attached to your teammates, but it became a fit to move me (to Chicago) since Ottawa already has a good core of young defensemen," Campoli told TSN's TradeCentre show Monday.
Milan Lucic has four goals and eight points in his last five games for the Bruins … Jason Spezza
has a three-game point streak for the Sens, with two goals andfour assists over that span.
Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference is still questionable after missing Sunday's game with a lower-body injury, while centre Marc Savard is out for the season with a concussion … Goalie Pascal Leclaire
(lower-body) and forwards Peter Regin
(shoulder) and Milan Michalek
(lower body) are out indefinitely, while captain Daniel Alfredsson
(back) is on injured reserve. Forwards Chris Neil
and Jesse Winchester
, along with defenceman Sergei Gonchar
, all return from the injury list tonight.
Success is usually achieved with a perfectly-balanced attack of defence and scoring, and the Bruins possess both those attributes this season. They are first in the Eastern Conference with an average of 2.31 goals against per game and second in the East with an average of 3.11 goals scored per game.
The mark of a good general manager is sometimes more about the moves that they don't make at the close of the trade deadline. Sometimes your team is good enough as is, and this was exactly the attitude Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli took when being interviewed by B's website reporter John Bishop.
"We feel we've made some pretty strong moves in the last couple of weeks, but I already told the team that we're not making any major roster changes," Chiarelli said.