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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Rangers


    Game Day Preview: Bruins vs. Rangers

    Tim Rosenthal March 2, 2017

    With the trade deadline officially over, the Bruins have opted to keep the roster intact while making a minor move in acquiring Drew Stafford from the Winnipeg Jets. With Don Sweeney giving Bruce Cassidy and the rest of the team a vote of confidence, the B’s turn their attention to another red-hot team of late, the New York Rangers, tonight at TD Garden.

    The Rangers come into tonight’s game having lost just three times in regulation during the month of February and are 6-3-1 in their last 10. With injuries to their blue-line, the Rangers added Brendan Smith to their defensive core just prior to deadline day.

    Winners of seven of eight under Cassidy, the Bruins look to keep their momentum going against a Rangers team that earned a 5-2 victory in both meetings in their three-game season series. The B’s have lost four straight to the Broadway Blueshirts and last defeated their Original Six foes on Black Friday, 2015.

    Gametime: 7:00 pm
    TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports hub
    Records: Bruins 33-24-6 (72 points), 40-21-2 (82 points)
    Location: TD Garden

    Bruins projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
    Peter Cehlarik-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
    Frank Vatrano-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
    Riley Nash-Dominic Moore-Matt Beleskey

    Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
    Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
    Kevan Miller-Colin Miller

    Tuukka Rask
    Anton Khudobin

    Rangers projected lines

    Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
    J.T. Miller-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello
    Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Michael Grabner
    Brandon Pirri-Oscar Lindberg-Pavel Buchnevich

    Marc Staal-Ryan McDonagh
    Brendan Smith-Nick Holden
    Brady Skeji-Adam Clendening

    Henrik Lundqvist
    Antti Raanta

    Tonight’s storylines

    – With Stafford landing in Boston later today, the 31-year-old power forward will have to wait at least a couple of days before making his debut in Black and Gold. Despite his battles with injuries all season long in Winnipeg, the former Sabre should provide some versatility for Cassidy and company. Early projections have Stafford pegged on the third line with Ryan Spooner and Frank Vatrano whenever he skates in his first game.

    – Matt Beleskey will return to the lineup tonight for the first time since last Thursday. The former Duck will slot in on the fourth line in place of Tim Schaller. Battling injuries and inconsistency throughout 2016-17, Beleskey has just seven points (two goals, five assists) in 35 games. The 28-year-old hasn’t lit the lamp since November 19th against the Jets and has not tallied a point in his last six games.

    – Though Sweeney did kick the tires on trying to upgrade his D, the Bruins GM ultimately passed. One of the names being discussed was Smith, who will be making his Rangers debut tonight. New York sent Detroit a second round pick in 2018 and a third round selection in this year’s draft in the trade. Smith, who has battled nagging MCL issues, will skate with Nick Holden on the second defensive unit. The 28-year-old tallied five points in 33 games with the Red Wings this season and is mainly known for being a shutdown defender.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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