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Preview; Bruins begin home-and-home with Canes with matinee

January 17, 2011

The Bruins will look to redeem themselves from their 3-2 loss to the Penguins when they face the Carolina Hurricanes in a matinee day game. The Bruins went down 2-0 early but scored two goals in 13 seconds to make a game of it. Despite putting 20 shots on net in the third period, the Bruins couldn’t tie the game up. Now the Bruins will play their first of two games in two days against the Hurricanes in a home-and-home.

After falling off the map last season following a trip to the third round of the playoffs the year prior, the Canes are back on the playoff map, sitting in 9th place, which seems to be an early cutoff between contenders and pretenders. Carolina has been able to climb out of obscurity with a 7-1-2 surge in their last 10 games. A big part of that recent tear has been their power-play. The Canes have gone 12-38 during the last ten games which should give them a distinct advantage over the Bruins abysmal power-play.

The Bruins must stay out of the box and be more disciplined than usual while facing a hot power-play. The Bruins have survived for perhaps too long on the back of their stout penalty-kill. Sooner or later their penalty-kill will give way if they keep testing them so often.

As usual when playing the Canes the person you have to keep an eye out for is Eric Staal. Staal has six goals and six assists during the Canes 7-1-2 run. The Canes most surprising producer has been rookie Jeff Skinner who has 16 goals and 20 assists. Skinner, along with Sharks rookie Logan Couture, is an early favorite for the Calder.

Overall, the Bruins have been playing a lot better of late, fighting past a lackluster part of December. With Milan Lucic set to return and Mark Stuart being a game-time decision, the Bruins are appearing to get healthy as well.

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