Bruins-Rangers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 31, 2012
With four games left, it's clear that New York Rangers coach John Tortorella and Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien can't wait for the postseason to start. The Rangers have won the first three 2011-12 matchups between these playoff-bound teams heading into Sunday night's contest at Madison Square Garden, where the Bruins could clinch the Northeast Division title if they haven't already by the time they take the ice. New York (50-21-7) leads Pittsburgh by five points in the race for the Atlantic Division title and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers, winners of four straight, are also in contention with St. Louis and Vancouver for the Presidents' Trophy, but that doesn't much matter to their coach. "It doesn't mean squat. I will tell you right now it means absolutely nothing,'' Tortorella said. "It's about how we're playing as we go through these next four games against tough opponents. It's about our game going into the playoffs. You get measured by the playoffs." Boston (46-28-4) enters MSG on a 6-1-1 surge after Saturday's 6-3 road win over the Islanders. The Bruins lead Ottawa by six points in the Northeast. The Senators will be eliminated from division title contention if they fail to get any points Sunday afternoon against the Islanders. Boston will clinch the division Sunday by matching or exceeding how many points Ottawa earns. Julien, though, is focusing on his team's recent strong play as opposed to the standings. "It's about picking up your game at the right time,'' Julien said. "We hope to peak when the playoffs are around. We're trying to play our best hockey heading into the playoffs.'' The Rangers have won nine of their last 11 against the Bruins, including all three meetings in 2011-12. Henrik Lundqvist has posted a 1.62 goals-against average while starting every game of the season series. Tim Thomas has started twice against Lundqvist this season, compiling a 3.53 GAA. Thomas is set to be between the pipes Sunday after Julien gave veteran Marty Turco the nod Saturday on Long Island. The Bruins are eager to measure themselves one final time against the team with the East's best record. "I wanna get ready for the playoffs and it's a great test for myself and it's a great test for my team," Boston top scorer Tyler Seguin said. "We haven't done the greatest against them this year. Hopefully we can show what we can bring in maybe a couple weeks in the playoffs as well." Seguin and second-leading scorer Patrice Bergeron have been limited to no goals and one assist against the Rangers this season. They combined for five points Saturday. The Bruins are 0 for 8 on the power play against the Rangers, who enter with their power-play unit on a roll. New York is 4 for 9 with the man advantage in its last two games. "With the skill we have, we're going to be able to score goals,'' said defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who has five points in the last two games. "You see just the way we're moving the puck, we're moving bodies." Marian Gaborik has a team-high three goals against Boston this season, with Del Zotto and Brad Richards each contributing team-bests of three assists.
The worst players to play pickup basketball with
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Roethlisberger resumes throwing at Steelers practice

Report: Broncos ‘growing frustrated’ with Thomas

Report: Red Sox might not fill open general manager spot

Jared Goff to get first-team reps during bye week

Arian Foster announces retirement from NFL


Brock Osweiler booed in return to Denver

Josh Rosen out indefinitely with nerve issue in shoulder

Report: Tom Herman to Texas is ‘all but official’

Metta World Peace survives Lakers cuts, makes team

Jared Sullinger out two to three months after foot surgery

Hue Jackson shoots down Joe Thomas trade rumors

10 signature NBA moves to watch for this season

Box Score 10/25: Lester, LeBron and Elton John

Josh Brown: 'I never struck my wife and never would'

10 questions on the NBA season you were afraid to ask

Three reasons why the Cubs will win (or lose) the World Series

Week 8 in college football as explained by Elton John

Three reasons why the Cleveland Indians could win (or lose) the World Series

Good, bad, and ugly from Week 7

NFL Week 8 stock report

Heisman Trophy winners and losers from Week 8

Carmelo wants athletes to do more beyond anthem protests

What's wrong with Man U?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 signature NBA moves to watch for this season

10 questions on the NBA season you were afraid to ask

Three reasons why the Cubs will win (or lose) the World Series

Week 8 in college football as explained by Elton John

Three reasons why the Indians could win (or lose) the World Series

Good, bad, and ugly from Week 7

Rock Band Rivals review: Score hunting

The NBA vets we're going to miss in 2016-2017 season

Who and what is hot and cold to start the NHL season?

With Game 6 looming, Kershaw is not defined by inaccurate image

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker