BOSTON — The Boston Bruins (92 points, 3rd in the East) play host to the New York Rangers (85 points, 7th in East) at the TD Garden. Puck drop just after 1:00 p.m. EST. Tuukka Rask — 10-12-2, 2.75 GAA, .917 SV% on the year — will get the nod for the B’s, while Henrik Lundqvist — 32-24-5, 10 SO, .922 SV%, 2.28 GAA this season — is in the cage for the visiting Rangers.
Rask is 2-2-0, 1.76 GAA, .944 SV%, 1 SO all-time versus the Blueshirts, while Lundqvist ‘s all-time numbers against Boston are 14-5-2, .947 GAA, 1.49 GAA, 4 SO
“They’re [New York Rangers] a big team, they’re a heard-working team, they’re a grinding team, they play with a lot of passion,” said head coach Claude Julien of their opponents this afternoon. “They’ve got a great goaltender that keeps them in every game, so it makes for an interesting matchup against us all the time.”
Julien also said during the pregame interview, that we can expect the same lineup as Thursday night’s blowout-win against Montreal.
Now the challenege will be to keep the same energy, focus and determination this afternoon against this New York team — that is just two-points behind the sixth-place Habs — as they did against Montreal just two nights ago.
“You can talk about it all you want but it’s a mindset. What’s done is done,” Julien said of keeping the players sharp and ready after the emotional victory. “I think right now we’ve had two good games this week. Now’s not the time to let your guard down. And it’s a challenge in itself for players to go out there and continue to do the things they’ve done well, but that’s the challenge you have to be ready to face at this time of year.
“When you go in there and play those big games, and there’s obviously the next day after a big game like that, there’s a relief. And now it’s about picking it up again and saying, ‘Let’s refocus here. Lets get that focus and energy back to where it should be; the determination that’s been there, let’s bring it back tonight,’ and that’s what guys have to do here,” Julien said. “That’s where you have to challenge your players to try and get to that level where they can bounce back from an emotional game and continue to play as well.”