Bruins vs. Senators Preview: A Terrier and a Black Bear return

NYARRRR I'M JARKKO RUUTU - Elsa

Eric Gryba and Ben Bishop return to Garden ice for the first time since their college careers ended! Too bad Stephane Da Costa sucks and is in Binghamton and can't do the same.

Just the Facts:

Game Time: 7:00 PM, TD Garden, Boston, MA. TV Broadcast: New England Sports Network (NESN). Radio Broadcast: 98.5 The Sports Hub.

The Other Side's SB Nation Site: Silver Seven

Records: Bruins (12-2-2, 4th in the East) vs. Senators (12-6-2, 5th in the East)

Get Tickets Here: Boston Bruins Tickets

Projected Senators lines:

Silfverberg - Turris - Alfredsson
Greening - Zibanejad - Condra
Dziurzynski - Smith - Neil
O'Brian - Regin - Daugavins

Wiercioch - Gonchar
Philips - Benoit
Methot - Gryba

Projected Bruins lines:

Lucic - Krejci - Horton
Marchand - Bergeron - Seguin
Bourque - Kelly - Peverley
Paille - Campbell - Thornton

Chara - Boychuk
Seidenberg - Hamilton
Ference - McQuaid

Preview:

Lots of weird little storylines for tonight's game at the TD Garden. For starters, it's former UMaine goalie Ben Bishop's first game back in Boston since his college career ended; same for defenseman Eric Gryba, a former BU player and NCAA champion. Here's a fun photo gallery featuring both of them, if you feel like taking a trip down memory lane like I did earlier today.

You might have noticed that some of the Sens players listed in their lineup above are highlighted - eight names, to be exact. In 2011, the AHL's Binghamton Senators won the Calder Cup; those highlighted names are that year's Calder Cup champions currently on the team's NHL roster. Pretty cool how AHL success can translate to time in the big show.

Tonight will be the first time a Bruins goalie not named Tim Thomas will start against the Senators on Garden ice since 2009, when Manny Fernandez got a crack at Ottawa. Thomas' record against Ottawa was ridiculous. Of all the teams he faced in his career, he played the most minutes against Ottawa, and had a 23-9-2 record against them in 34 games played, with six shutouts, the most against any team he's played. Luckily, Tuukka Rask seems to be on a similar roll against the Senators - he has 0 losses, in regulation or overtime, against Ottawa, and has shut them out once.

This is the first of five meetings against the Senators this year for the Bruins; they play twice more at home, and twice on the road after this. Both road games are in March; both home games are in April. This is also the first game of a three-games-in-four-nights marathon for the Bruins - three games that are all must-wins. Ottawa may have four games in hand on Boston, but they've got the same number of points - it'd be great to kick them back and get them further in the rearview mirror while at the same time working to overtake Montreal for the division lead again.

No changes in lines for the Bruins, not that it needs to be said - although we saw Julien pair Chara with Seidenberg to shut down the Tavares line against the Islanders on Tuesday, and we may see more of that tonight as Julien continues to shelter Hamilton's minutes.

Never forget:

1: GOALIE FIGHT
2: Chris Neil has been a Senator for literally ever
3: Shane Hnidy!!


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