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First Things First...

Marchand is excited for the playoffs, but said the B's have to focus on Buffalo first

Friday, 04.6.2012 / 3:09 PM ET / Features
By Anthony Gulizia  - BostonBruins.com
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First Things First...
BOSTON, MA – The playoffs are nearly here and the Bruins are eager to meet their first round opponent – whether it is the Ottawa Senators or the Washington Capitals.

But before that takes place, Game 82 against the Buffalo Sabres will be played Saturday at TD Garden and Brad Marchand doesn’t plan on over-looking their Northeast Division rivals.

“We’re very excited to get underway, but we have a big game tomorrow that we can’t look past,” Marchand said. “It’s a big test for us – to make sure we’re prepared for playoffs and make sure we finish the season on a good note.”

Essentially, the Sabres are playing simply for the W, and pride, too. Buffalo (39-32-10) is out of playoff contention, and their season will conclude at the final horn Saturday.

Nonetheless, Marchand said he doesn’t think the Sabres will just throw in the proverbial towel.

“It’s definitely dangerous when you play a team like that,” the B’s gritty forward said. “They have nothing to lose, and basically they’re just trying to be a spoiler.

“They usually end up playing a very strong game, they want to finish on a good note and end the season well. We have to be prepared to counter that and come prepared to play.”

In the final regular season game, some concern has been raised about players getting injured after defenseman Johnny Boychuk was hurt in Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh.

But forward Brian Rolston did as little as bat an eye at the thought of someone getting injured.

“Well obviously, that’s always going to be a concern – it is what it is,” Rolston said. “If things happen, things happen. We have tremendous depth here, so you don’t foresee that and you hope it’s not going to happen.”

As for Marchand, who said he expects a physical game, the prospect of Buffalo targeting Bruins players was quickly dismissed.

“I think they’re going to play strong and physical – they always do,” Marchand said. “They always play pretty hard against us, but you know with regards to taking runs at guys and cheap shots, I don’t think they’ll play that kind of game.  It should be just a strong, physical game.”

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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
2 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
3 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
4 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
5 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
6 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
7 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
8 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 54 21 26 10 47
L. Eriksson 54 17 25 11 42
B. Marchand 49 26 14 14 40
D. Krejci 44 12 28 2 40
R. Spooner 54 11 27 -7 38
Z. Chara 52 7 22 11 29
M. Beleskey 52 8 18 9 26
J. Hayes 52 12 13 -7 25
T. Krug 53 3 21 2 24
B. Connolly 51 7 12 -3 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 20 16 5 .917 2.55
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .911 2.58
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