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Preview: Shorthanded Bruins head to Ottawa

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A playoff rematch that sees two teams headed in opposite directions.

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Just the facts

Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Kanata, ON

When: Tonight, 7:30 PM

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Silver Seven Sens

Know your enemy

Ottawa is 15-22-9, good for 39 points and 7th place in the Atlantic Division. Mark Stone leads the team in scoring, with an 18G-26A-44PTS line. Erik Karlsson sits in second with 4G-27A-31PTS totals, with Mike Hoffman right behind him at 12G-18A-30PTS.

Game notes

The two teams are trending in different directions when it comes to players in and out of the lineup. The Bruins have Charlie McAvoy on the shelf, Brad Marchand suspended, and both Patrice Bergeron and Noel Acciari questionable. The Senators may see Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mark Stone return to the lineup after each missed time in recent weeks.

The Senators are toast this season, playing essentially for pride. After last season’s surprising (and flukey, in my opinion) run to the Eastern Conference Final, the Sens are second-last in the division, sitting 20 points behind third-place Toronto.

The Bruins lineup is in a bit of a fluid situation right now. If Acciari can play, it seems likely that Anders Bjork takes Marchand’s spot. If the he can’t play, that would mean Frank Vatrano could have to slot back in too. Or, Cassidy could decide that Vatrano is better served on Bergeron’s left. If Bergeron can’t go, things would get nuts.

Tuukka Rask played well on Tuesday, so there’s no real reason to believe he won’t get the start tonight before All-Star weekend gets here.