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Avalanche Vs. Bruins: Division Leading Boston Visits Pepsi Center

The Boston Bruins make their first and only appearance to Pepsi Center today and will face the Colorado Avalanche in a rare afternoon game. Boston has been playing their best hockey of the season the past two weeks, amassing a 5-2 record and taking over first place in the Northeast Division from the Montreal Canadiens.

Goalie Tim Thomas continues his amazing career with perhaps his best season to date. Thomas is 22-4-6 this season, with a sparkling 1.83 GAA and .945 SV%, both lead the NHL for a starter by a healthy margin. The past ten games, Thomas is 4-0-1 with a .946 SV%, all at the age of 36.

Offensively, the Bruins are led by Patrice Bergeron who has 36 points on the season (he's scored 12 points in the last 10 games). The Bruins are known for their suffocating defense, and this year is no exception. They rank in the top 6 for essentially every major defensive statistic.

This is a poor matchup for a Colorado offense that has struggled to score goals over the past month. While Colorado has won two of the three games since Chris Stewart returned to the lineup, Stewart only has one assist in that time. The loss of Tomas Fleischmann for the season weakens the top depth for an already beleagured forward corps, and has forced Coach Joe Sacco to piece together lines on the fly, hoping something clicks. Newly called up forwards Ryan Stoa and T.J. Galiardi will likely see plenty of playing time simply because there are few other options.

Defenseman Matt Hunwick will be playing his former team for the first time since being traded from Boston on November 29 in exchange for defensive prospect Colby Cohen.

Craig Anderson and Tim Thomas will get the starts in net.

Puck drops at 1:00 p.m. MST.