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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires after seven seasons in NFL

Report: Yankees, Cubs in 'final stages' of Chapman trade

Repot: NFL to investigate Aldon Smith over Periscope video

Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets


A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

Twitter signs deal with to stream live MLB and NHL games

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

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

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker