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Preview; Bruins look to win home-and-home against Carolina

January 18, 2011

After trouncing the Hurricanes 7-0 on home ice yesterday, the Bruins will travel to Carolina to finish off a home-and-home series with the season series being 1-1. Zdeno Chara‘s hat trick and Tim Thomas‘ 31-save shutout was more than enough to power the Bruins past the Canes yesterday. Tensions boiled over late in the game and should carry over tonight.

You can expect the Hurricanes to come out hard and fast tonight after being embarrassed a day ago. Expect to see Cam Ward, who was pulled in the first period after giving up two goals on five shots, to start tonight. Ward virtually had the day off (he certainly played like it) and should be itching to redeem himself. Meanwhile, I expect Tim Thomas to make the start tonight. I don’t remember a time this year when Claude Julien has sat a goalie after a shutout, even in back-to-back games.

One thing to watch out for is the Hurricanes power-play. Despite going 0-5 a day ago the power-play has been hot lately and it killed the Bruins in the first meeting of the season. In a 3-0 win against the Bruins the Carolina power-play went 3-3.

The Bruins offense has been on a roll in the last five games, scoring 4+ goals in four of those five games, all of which were wins. The recent explosion has been nice to see because of the variety of ways the Bruins have scored goals and won games. They have come from behind against the Penguins, won a wacky one against the Flyers, and dominated against Ottawa and Carolina. They have also shook off the first period woes and slow starts, scoring six goals in the opening stanza in the wins and zero in the losses. Tonight, the first period could be another indication of the outcome.

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