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Playoff Positions at Stake Tonight

Caps vs. B's has far-reaching implications

Thursday, 03.29.2012 / 12:04 PM / Features
By Anthony Gulizia  - BostonBruins.com
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Playoff Positions at Stake Tonight
BOSTON, MA – When the Boston Bruins take the ice tonight against the Washington Capitals, there’s no doubt that special, playoff-type atmosphere will be present inside the TD Garden.

A lot is at stake for both teams, as the Bruins (45-28-3, 93 points) can clinch a playoff spot with a win (regulation or overtime), while the Capitals (38-31-8, 84 points) are looking to break into the eighth-place playoff spot.

The Buffalo Sabres (38-29-10) beat the Capitals 5-1 on Tuesday to overtake the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, leaving Washington two points out of the playoff race going into tonight.

“Every game right now, the points are up for grabs for a lot of teams, especially with Washington being two points out,” Bruins forward Rich Peverley said. “But, we’re in a dog fight ourselves – we got teams chasing us down so I think it’s preparing us for the playoffs and it will be good definitely going towards the end of the season.”

After losing four straight games two weeks ago, the Bruins have won five of their last six contests and are starting to look more like the playoff-caliber team they expect themselves to be.

However, with just six games left in the regular season, now is not the time to get comfortable.

“As a team, [we] thought the game is coming along the last five games – we’ve been playing the way we want to,” Bruins forward David Krejci said. “But we can’t sit back and take any game lightly, we want to build our momentum and confidence going into the playoffs. We still got [six] games left, so we can do it and feel good about ourselves going into the playoffs.

“We definitely have to be ready [tonight]. We know [Washington] has some skill up front – [Alexander] Ovechkin and all those guys. So, we just have to play smart, pay attention to all the little details and we’ll go from there.”

Peverley said he expects a fast-paced game from the Capitals, but he doesn’t expect it to alter the Bruins strategy.

“Well, you know they’re always going to play at a high energy – they have such dynamic players – you always have to be aware of them on the ice,” Peverley said. “But it doesn’t really change our game plan – we try to go out and work as hard as we can to try and dominate.”

Like Krejci, Peverley also acknowledged that the Bruins are somewhat close to playoff form, and the intensity of tonight’s game will add to that.

Even though the Bruins have hit their stride just recently, Peverley said that it’s better than not happening at all.

“Well I think a lot of teams have been playing playoff hockey for a week or two, maybe even more,” Peverley said. “And we’re starting to see the games come down to who’s going to be in the spots, and there’s still some standings up for grabs and I think we want to hold our position to get into our playoff mode right now.

“You can’t just turn it on at playoff time, and going forward here we need to start building towards where we want to be.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 64 41 18 5 172 142 87
2 TBL 65 39 20 6 213 171 84
3 DET 62 36 15 11 182 160 83
4 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
5 FLA 64 28 23 13 156 181 69
6 OTT 62 28 23 11 176 167 67
7 TOR 64 26 33 5 173 195 57
8 BUF 64 19 40 5 123 215 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 61 18 26 4 44
L. Eriksson 61 14 21 2 35
R. Smith 62 12 23 11 35
B. Marchand 57 18 16 8 34
M. Lucic 61 13 21 11 34
D. Hamilton 62 10 24 0 34
C. Soderberg 62 10 24 6 34
T. Krug 58 11 20 6 31
D. Krejci 38 7 19 7 26
C. Kelly 60 7 19 8 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 25 16 9 .920 2.34
N. Svedberg 6 5 0 .917 2.39
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