NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, December 18th
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (21-7-3) at Boston Bruins (18-11-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The top two teams in the Northeast Division will meet
tonight in Boston, as the Bruins welcome the streaking Ottawa Senators to TD
Ottawa leads the Eastern Conference with 45 points and is six ahead of Boston
for the division lead.
The Senators have wiped away memories of their recent seven-game losing
streak, as they've followed that slide up with five straight victories.
Ottawa's latest triumph came in Saturday's blowout victory over the visiting
Atlanta Thrashers. Dany Heatley notched a pair of goals as the Sens destroyed
the Thrashers by a 7-3 score.
Antoine Vermette added a goal and two assists for the Senators and Martin
Gerber made 22 saves. Nick Foligno, Chris Kelly, Andrej Meszaros and Joe Corvo
also tallied in the victory.
Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson added an assist to push his points streak to eight
games -- the longest current run in the NHL this season. He has three goals
and 10 helpers during the tear.
The Senators are 10-2-2 as the visiting team this year and are beginning a
brief two-game road trip tonight. They will also visit Atlanta on Thursday.
The Bruins have also played well recently, winning four of their last five
contests. They were in action Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and
notched a 2-0 home victory, as Alex Auld stopped all 32 shots he faced to
record his second shutout of the season.
Auld, who came over in a trade with Phoenix earlier this season, is 4-1-0 with
a 1.40 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in five games with the
Auld has been the starter since the December 6 trade, but will have to make
way for Tim Thomas, who is expected to assume No. 1 goaltending duties when he
returns from a groin strain. Thomas has been activated from Injured Reserve
and could start tonight's game, but Boston head coach Claude Julien may want
to ride out the hot hand of Auld instead.
Jeremy Reich and Marco Sturm tallied for the Bruins in Saturday's win over
Tonight marks the third portion of a five-game homestand for the Bruins, who
are 8-4-1 in Beantown this year. They will close the residency with tests
against Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
The Senators are 2-0 against Boston this season and have won three straight
and six of the last seven meetings. Ottawa has also been victorious in its
previous three trips to Beantown.
12/18 10:37:26 ET