Ducks Welcome Defending Stanley Cup Champions to Anaheim
Saturday, 03.24.2012 / 11:04 PM
NHL.comBRUINS (43-28-3) at DUCKS (32-32-11)
: NESN (HD), PRIME (HD)
: Boston 5-5-0; Anaheim 4-5-1.
: This is the lone meeting between the teams in 2011-12.
: After a four-day break from action, the Ducks return to the ice tonight looking for their third straight victory. Boston may be in second place in the Eastern Conference heading into Sunday's action, but it's not exactly a comfortable feeling. The Bruins are just three points ahead of the Ottawa Senators, who are currently the No. 7 seed.
: Boston certainly wasn't intimidated by the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night, as it snapped the latter's six-game winning streak with a 4-2 victory at the Staples Center. Tim Thomas made 40 saves for the Bruins, while Milan Lucic and Chris Kelly scored less than 90 seconds apart early in the third period to break open a tie game. Boston also snapped its four-game skid on the road.
"We've matured as a team and we've been able to gain that killer instinct that's so key to success -- especially in the third period," Lucic said. "We look forward to the challenge of playing in the third period, and that's why we've had success. Timmy was huge. He made big saves at key times and kept it close for us. That's why he's an elite goaltender. We have a lot of trust and faith in him to step up."
: The Ducks are coming off an impressive 4-3 victory against the top-seeded St. Louis Blues last Wednesday night at the Honda Center. It was the first of a three-game homestand for Anaheim, which is 11 points out of a playoff spot with just seven games remaining.
"I don't think at any point we've just thrown in the towel," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's the same as the season. We were dead and buried in December and January. We're still not eliminated yet. We are just going to keep playing as hard as we can and hopefully win the last seven games."
: Kelly has four goals in his last three games. … Ducks forward Bobby Ryan
has four goals and seven assists in his last 11 games, while Ryan Getzlaf
has seven assists in his last five.
: Boston is without Rich Peverley (torn MCL), Tuukka Rask (abdomen), Nathan Horton (concussion) and Marc Savard (concussion). … Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman
is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Dan Ellis
(sports hernia) is out.
: Bruins captain Zdeno Chara appeared in his 1,000th NHL game Saturday night. … Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller
made his 68th start (and appearance) of 2011-12, matching Guy Hebert's record for most starts in a season (1999-00). Hiller leads the NHL in both appearances and starts in 2011-12.