BOSTON -- The Bruins will welcome the Anaheim Ducks tonight at TD Garden in their lone game this season against the Western Conference foe. The Ducks and Bruins come into tonight's game both sitting eighth in their conference with 38 points apiece. With a win tonight, the Bruins can tie the Canadiens for third in the conference and first in the Northeast Division.
The Bruins enter the game on the heels of a 3-2 win over Washington on Saturday that snapped a three-game losing streak while the Ducks are trying to prevent a three-game skid after losing to Carolina and the Islanders in their last two games. But despite that scenario, the Bruins realize they have their own areas to correct and that the Ducks are a talented, pesky, physical squad that will be hungry to break their slide.
"They've got obviously some great players, you know, [Ryan] Getzlaf, [Teemu] Selanne, [Saku] Koivu and [Corey] Perry, just to name a few," head coach Claude Julien said Monday morning. "Even Bobby Ryan is a good, young, up-and-coming player. Obviously, they get a lot of ice time and they play them quite a bit, but they're a big, strong team. ... They're obviously coming in here very hungry with what's happened and hopefully our desperation is as good, if not better."
The desperation level from the Bruins will have to be a lot better than what it was in the third period of their 3-2 win Saturday when the Caps out-shot the Bruins 26-2 and the Bruins narrowly escaped defeat thanks to another stellar performance from Tim Thomas. While Julien has said he doesn't mind high shot totals against when they're not quality scoring chances, he certainly minded the amount of pressure and scoring chances Washington had in that third-period onslaught Saturday and hopes his team can avoid that going forward.
"Well, if we talk about last game, I'd certainly be concerned," Julien acknowledged. "There's no doubt this was not a very good period for us [third period vs. Washington].
"We weren't proactive. We made some bad line changes on them attacking. They were just going back up the ice and then we were changing and leaving our D's stranded, so we lost really some of our focus in that third period, which resulted in that collapse that you saw. And we're fortunate enough to come out with the win and Timmy [Thomas] playing well for us, but that's something that we've got to make sure we don't get into the habit of doing because it will come back to haunt us more than it will bail us out like Tim did last game."
The Bruins will be without the services Monday of forward Brad Marchand, who Julien said was still day-to-day after taking a hard hit against the Capitals on Saturday night. In his place will be Daniel Paille, who Julien credited for being a team-first guy who has been patient while sitting in the press box as a healthy scratch for most of this season.
"You know he wants to play but he also understands his situation and he is certainly not going to disrupt the dressing room because he wants to be a part of this team, and his teammates respect him a lot for that," Julien said.
Here's what the lineup should look like for the Bruins when they take the ice for their 7:30 tilt with the Ducks Monday night:
Dennis Seidenberg-Steven Kampfer