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Preview: Bruins (7-6-1) vs. Avalanche (5-9-1)

The Bruins kick off their homestand with a visit from CARL.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts:

When: 7 PM

Where: TD Garden

TV: NESN, Altitude

Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub, NHL Radio

Rival SBN site: Mile High Hockey

Game notes:

The Avalanche are in the middle of an up-and-down stretch: win 1, lose 2, win 1, lose...hopefully at least 1 more! The team is coming off of a 4-0 pasting of the Flyers in Philly on Tuesday night, a game in which Swedish hero Carl Soderberg had two assists. Carl.

Reto Berra started that game for the Avs and made 25 saves for a shutout. He's been the better goalie thus far, posting a GAA of 1.50 to Semyon Varlamov's 3.26 and a save percentage of .952 vs. .890. Expect Berra to get the start tonight.

On offense, the Avs have some firepower. Nathan Mackinnon leads the team with 6-10-16 totals, followed by ageless wonder Jarome Iginla ( 7-5-12), Gabriel Landeskog (5-7-12) and Francois Beauchemin (1-8-9). Carl Soderberg, everyone's favorite former Carl, has 1-7-8 totals, though he's also shooting a mere 3%.

The Bruins are coming off of an impressive all-around win on Long Island on Sunday. David Pastrnak is out indefinitely and Max Talbot is gone back to Providence, meaning Frank Vatrano is getting his shot to stick around. Torey Krug may or may not play tonight. Expect Rask between the pipes.

Patrice Bergeron is rapidly gaining on David Krejci in the Bruin points race, with 5-9-14 totals for Bergeron and 7-10-17 totals for Krejci.

Tonight is Military Appreciation Night at the Garden. According to the Bruins' website, Krejci, Jimmy Hayes, Brad Marchand, Torey Krug, Zach Trotman and Kevan Miller are leading the charge, combining to purchase $15,000 worth of tickets for local military and their families.

Stick salute!

Never forget:

Carl forever.