Thanks to the Boston Bruins’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals in Washington, and the Ottawa Senators 2-1 loss to the Flyers in Ottawa, tonight’s regular season finale is a huge tilt for both teams.
The Bruins and Senators are both in the playoffs, but who wins and how they win looms large as higher seeding is up for grabs for both the B’s and Sens.
If the Bruins win in regulation, the B’s will finish first in the Northeast Division and will host the New York Islanders when the Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off next week. A regulation loss for the Senators means a first round date with the top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins, clearly a team no one wants to face.
A Bruins win in overtime or a shootout means the B’s and Senators will be back in this very same building next week as the Northeast Division rivals would play each other in the first round.
A Senators win in regulation or overtime gives the Northeast Division crown to the Montreal Canadiens, meaning the Black and Gold would finish fourth and will open the playoffs against the fifth seeded Toronto Maple Leafs.
Both the Bruins and Senators are showing up to win; tonight’s contest should be an entertaining one for sure.
Gametime: 7 p.m.
Location: TD Garden
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network/98.5 The Sports Hub
Records: Bruins (28-13-6, 62 points), (Senators 24-17-6 54 points)
Bruins’ projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Carl Soderberg-Chris Kelly-Kaspars Daugavins
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Wade Redden-Adam McQuaid
Senators’ projected lineup:
Colin Greening-Kyle Turris-Daniel Alfredsson
Milan Michalek-Mika Zibanejad- Jakob Silfverberg
Erik Condra-Jean-Gabriel Pageau- Cory Conacher
Matt Kassian-Zack Smith-Chris Neil
March Methot-Erik Karlsson
Sergei Gonchar-Jared Cowen
Eric Gryba-Chris Phillips
Bruins to watch:
Carl Soderberg has gotten better in each game he has played since debuting as a Bruin last Saturday against the Penguins. Soderberg has yet to find the back of the net, but has two assists in four games for the Bruins. Soderberg would like nothing more to score in the Bruins regular season finale and carry some momentum into the playoffs.
Senators to watch:
Milan Michalek has been very good for the Senators since returning from a knee injury that caused him to miss just over a month. In seven games, Michalek has two goals and two assists for the Senators. Michalek could be key for a Senators team that really wants to win in Boston tonight.
New England Hockey Journal’s Jesse Connolly breaks down last night’s Bruins loss to the Capitals
Nathan Horton may not be ready for the playoffs. (Joe Haggerty/CSNNE)
Senators coach Paul MacLean a playoff vet. (Don Brennan/Ottawa Sun)
Tweets of interest
Haggs has speculation of the Bruins’ playoff schedule for Games 1 and 2:
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 28, 2013
The Hockey Writers‘ Mike Miccoli makes his first round picks in the West:
CHI in 6, DET in 7, VAN in 6, LA in 6.
— Mike Miccoli (@MikeMiccoli) April 28, 2013
As does Bruins Daily‘s own Tim Rosenthal:
Western Conference first round picks: CHI in 6, ANA in 7, VAN in 6, LA in 6
— Tim Rosenthal (@_TimRosenthal) April 28, 2013