Game 81: Boston Bruins @ Ottawa Senators

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It's the penultimate game of the regular season (you are welcome Mark)(TOO LATE, ADNAN!) and the last one at home when the Ottawa Senators host the Providence Boston Bruins tonight. The Bruins are locked into the second seed while the Senators will finish in seventh unless they lose their last two games in regulation and the Capitals win their final two games.

The Bruins will be without Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas. The Senators will ice a full lineup though with Sergei Gonchar returning. Rob Klinkhammer will also return in the place of Kaspars Daugavins. Ben Bishop will get the start so Alex Auld can concentrate on the puzzles from the press box.

Here are the lines from TSN.

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Zack Smith - Jim O'Brien - Chris Neil
Rob Klinkhammer - Jesse Winchester - Erik Condra

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Matt Carkner
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar

Ben Bishop (starter)
Craig Anderson (glaring at Brennan)

More after the jump.

Here are some things to discuss for tonight:

  • Avoid injuries: Forget sending any statements, messages, etc. The main goal for tonight should be to not see anyone injured when Boston sends out the hounds.
  • Match-up can be official: Should Ottawa gain a point or Washington lose against Florida, Ottawa will officially face Boston in the first round.
  • Bishop returns: If all goes to plan, Craig Anderson will play every minute in the playoffs. But it is good to know that we have a capable backup ready to go if needed.
  • Karlsson running out of time: Erik Karlsson is going to need a big two games to tie Nicklas Lidstrom's best season in terms of points, sitting 3 points back. He still needs a single goal to hit 20 and own the club record for goals by a defenceman by himself.
  • Intensity level: Neither club has much to play for, but they also know they will almost certainly play again next week. What kind of a game will we see? Will the Bruins be their regular dirty selves?
  • Crowd chants: Will the Alfie countdown return? Will the "Yes we can!" happen even though Thomas isn't playing tonight?
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