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Preview: Bruins host Rangers in matinee showdown

It’s the final countdown with five games left of the regular season!

Boston Bruins v New York Rangers Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Today, 3:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: ABC, ESPN+, SN360, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Blueshirt Banter

Know your enemy

  • 51-21-6, 108PTS, tied for 1st in Metropolitan Division
  • Artemi Panarin: 73GP, 22G, 74A, 96PTS; Mika Zibanejad: 78GP, 28G, 51A, 79PTS; Chris Kreider: 78GP, 51G, 23A, 74PTS
  • Igor Shesterkin: 36-11-4, 2.01 GAA, .936 save percentage; Alexandar Georgiev: 14-9-2, 2.91 GAA, .898 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins kick off back-to-back games this weekend with the New York Rangers up first at the TD Garden. Tomorrow they will travel to Montreal to see the Canadiens.
  • This afternoon will be the final meeting between the two this season. The Rangers took both previous games, handing the B’s a 5-2 loss on November 26, 2021 and a 2-1 shootout loss on February 15.
  • In those two games, Dryden Hunt and Panarin have three points each against the Bruins. Patrice Bergeron, Craig Smith and Charlie Coyle scored the three cumulative Bruins’ goals.
  • It’s been a rough go-at-it for the Bruins, as they are coming off a 4-0 blanking by Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. The B’s are now 2-3-0 in their last five games and 5-5-0 in April. In the last five games, they’ve been outscored 16-9.
  • Staying as healthy as possible will be the biggest goal for these last five regular season games. The Bruins have been without some key players throughout this month with guys in and out of the lineup due to injury. But there might be some good news on the horizon, as supposedly David Pastrnak, Hampus Lindholm and Linus Ullmark are nearing their returns. Pastrnak and Lindholm have been out the longest, but Bruce Cassidy said Ullmark will likely be the first of the three to return and likely start one of this weekend’s game. Pastrnak and Lindholm could be ready by tomorrow, but if not, hopefully Tuesday.
  • These last few games will also determine playoff seating, with only a few points separating teams. The Bruins currently hold the first wild card spot with two points over the Washington Capitals. The B’s are three points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for third in the Atlantic Division.
  • The Rangers enter this afternoon’s game on a four-game win streak - with three shutouts. In the four games, they’ve outscored their opponents 17-3.
  • New York last played on Thursday, defeating the New York Islanders, 6-3. Andrew Copp netted a natural hat trick in the first period while Kreider, Ryan Strome and Ryan Reaves added the other tallies. Georgiev made 26 saves in the win.
  • The Rangers have scored on the power play in their last three games. Meanwhile the Bruins are STILL looking to pick up a power-play goal, as they haven’t scored one since April 2.
  • For the Rangers, Panarin is on a four-game point streak with one goal and seven assists. He has four goals and 12 assists in his last nine games. Copp has registered points in eight of his last nine games with six goals and five assists. He’s on a two-game points streak with three goals and two assists.

See ya this afternoon!