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Preview: Bruins (36-25-13) vs. Rangers (47-19-7)

The East's best team skates into the Garden this afternoon, fresh off of clinching a playoff spot Thursday night in Ottawa (thanks for that, by the way).

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Just the facts:

When: 1 PM (boooo afternoon games!)

Where: TD Garden

Watch/listen: NESN/NHL Network, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival site: Blueshirt Banter

Need to know:

The Rangers are the leaders of the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Montreal Canadiens. The Rangers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot when they beat Ottawa (soundly) on Thursday night, allowing the B's to tie Ottawa in points by virtue of that OT loss to the Ducks.

All signs point to Henrik Lundqvist playing in his first game since the beginning of February. The Rangers have done just fine in his absence, but getting an elite goalie back never hurts. Rick Nash continues to be near the top of the league in goals, currently sitting third with 39.

Hopefully the Rangers are resting on their laurels a bit. They just clinched, it's an afternoon game...take a little nap, Rangers. It's OK!

As far as the Bruins go, things shouldn't be much different from Thursday night. It seems unlikely that Niklas Svedberg gets the start. Paille and Ferlin will probably be the healthy scratches again. Claude will continue to play the fourth line forever and ever while The Lucic-Spooner-Pastrnak line rots on the bench.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

Projected lines:


Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash

JT Miller - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Carl Hagelin - Kevin Hayes - Jesper Fast

Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - James Sheppard

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Dan Boyle

Keith Yandle - Matt Hunwick

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot


Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Krejci

Milan Lucic - Ryan Spooner - David Pastrnak

Loui Eriksson - Carl Soderberg - Reilly Smith

Maxime Talbot - Gregory Campbell - Chris Kelly

Zdeno Chara - Adam McQuaid

Dennis Seidenberg - Matt Bartkowski

Zach Trotman - Torey Krug

Tuukka Rask

Niklas Svedberg

Never forget

Brad Marchand forever and ever.

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