Ryan McDonagh, Patrice Bergeron

WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers stream link

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A Sunday full of hockey on NBC and NBCSN wraps up with a tilt between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. You can watch the game on NBCSN and also via this handy link:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

The Rangers have lost ground to the Philadelphia Flyers lately. Philly beat them 4-2 on Saturday and managed a come-from-behind victory against the Washington Capitals today, catapulting them above the Rangers for the sixth spot in the East. That’s only a one-point lead, however, so the Rangers can regain their perch with at least a point (they have 33 wins to Philly’s 32).

The Bruins’ situation is roomier, as they sit atop the Atlantic Division with 79 points. Still, they’ve lost two games in a row since the post-Olympic break, so Boston wants to right the ship tonight.

Neely defends Bruins’ big ticket price hike

TD Garden
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The Boston Bruins have given their fanbase a lot to cheer about in recent years, but that success has come at a price.

In 2010-11, the season the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, balcony tickets at TD Garden ranged from $18 to $65 while loge seats would run you between $59 to $101. Those prices have risen sharply since, to the point where the cheapest balcony seat will cost you $45 in 2014-15 and it will range from $88 to $145 for loge, according to the Boston Globe.

In 2013-14, the balcony seats are at $32 to $91 and loge tickets range from $70 to $132.

Bruins president Cam Neely was upfront about the change, acknowledging that it is a “big increase,” but he also feels it’s a justified one.

“We feel like we’ve put a competitive team on the ice, we’ve won a Cup, we’ve gone to the Finals,” Neely told CBS Boston. “The cap is going up next year by close to $7 million, and we’re going to be able to spend to the cap.”

He went on to say that the increase is needed for the team to stay competitive.

Obviously, the fact that Bruins tickets are in demand plays a role in the price hike as well. The waiting list for Bruins’ season tickets is over 5,000. They also have a 100% attendance record so far this season, per ESPN.com.

Boston currently leads the Atlantic Division and is in a good spot to enjoy another lengthy playoff run.

Video: Bruins’ Soderberg behind-the-back pass sets up Kelly’s goal

carl
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The Boston Bruins looked a little rusty for a chunk of the first period against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, but Carl Soderberg appeared more-than-alert with this beauty of a pass to set up Chris Kelly’s fifth goal of the season:

The two teams entered the first intermission tied 1-1.

You can stream the game live here.

WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres stream link

Milan Lucic

The Atlantic Division’s top team takes on its cellar dweller on Wednesday, as the Boston Bruins visit the Buffalo Sabres. Coverage kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET, with a live stream link available below (it also airs on NBCSN):

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

LIVE EXTRA SCHEDULE

The Sabres beat the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday to resume NHL action. Ryan Miller was stellar in net in that win, so he receives dual rewards of a) subtly increasing his trade value and b) avoiding Milan Lucic & Co. tonight, as Jhonas Enroth is expected to play instead. Enroth might feel a bit jet-lagged from Sochi, yet he also may be a little rusty as he naturally didn’t see any Olympic time in net behind Henrik Lundqvist for Sweden.

Speaking of Olympic netminders, Tuukka Rask gets a breather in Boston’s first post-Sochi performance, as Chad Johnson has been named the starter tonight. The Bruins’ next game is Saturday, so they can give Rask a nice amount of rest (and have the luxury of doing so with their playoff spot relatively safe as of this moment).

MORE: Get your Bruins – Sabres game notes

Get your game notes: Bruins at Sabres

BruinsSabres

This evening on NBCSN, it’s the Buffalo Sabres hosting the Boston Bruins starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

— Boston, 1st in the Atlantic Division, visits Buffalo, last in the Atlantic Division, in the fourth of five meetings this season – Bruins have won two of the three meetings including the most recent matchup, 4-1 in Boston on Dec. 21, but lost the last meeting in Buffalo, 4-2 on Dec. 19.

— Buffalo is coming off a 3-2 win at home last night over Carolina, the first game on the NHL calendar post-Olympics. The win snapped an eight-game home losing streak for the Sabres dating back to Jan. 4 & improved their home record to 10-17-5; only the N.Y. Islanders (8-14-8 at home) have fewer home wins this season. Buffalo’s 17 regulation home losses are the most in the NHL.

— Four Sabres returned from competing in Sochi: Henrik Tallinder (SWE), Ryan Miller (USA), Zemgus Girgensons (LAT) & Jhonas Enroth (SWE), while five Bruins also participated in the Olympics: Patrice Bergeron (CAN), Zdeno Chara (SVK), Loui Eriksson (SWE), David Krejci (CZE) & Tuukka Rask (FIN).

  • Tallinder, playing in his second Olympics (2010) won his first medal (silver) playing alongside teammate & first-time Olympian Enroth.
  • Bergeron, playing in his second Olympics (2010), now has two gold medals – he played in each of Canada’s 6 games in Sochi & registered 2 assists. Eriksson (2G-A), also in his second Olympics (2010), won his first medal (silver) while Rask (3-1, 1 SO) picked up a bronze in his Olympic debut as Finland came in third for the second straight Games.
  • Sabres coach Ted Nolan led Latvia to the nation’s first-ever quarterfinal Olympic game, a 2-1 loss to Canada. Their 8th-place finish was the best in the country’s five Olympic appearances.
  • 63 NHLers – representing 25 of the league’s 30 clubs – won a medal
  • ANA, BOS & PHX were the only teams to have players win the gold, silver and bronze.

— Boston last played on Feb. 8, a 7-2 home win over OTT, & last played on the road on Feb. 6, a 3-2 OT loss at St. Louis. The Bruins won their previous road game, 6-3, at NYI on Jan. 27. Boston went into the Olympic break having earned at least one point in 10 of their last 11 games (8-1-2). Buffalo, before winning last night, had lost 4 straight in regulation & went 2-8-3 in their last 13 before the break.

— Tuukka Rask (BOS) did not travel with the team as he was given the game off to rest post-Olympics. Rask was under the weather in Sochi & did not play in Finland’s semifinal game against Sweden but returned to pitch a 27-save shutout against the U.S. in a 5-0 bronze-medal-game win. Chad Johnson (11-3-0 this season) will start in net tonight for the Bruins; he last was in goal on Feb. 8 (7-2 win over OTT). Johnson started in two of the three meetings against Buffalo this season (his only career games vs. the Sabres), winning on the road on Oct. 23, 5-2, and then losing at Buffalo on Dec. 19, 4-2.

— Jhonas Enroth (1-12-5 on the season) is expected to be in net for the Sabres in place of Ryan Miller, who backed up Jonathan Quick on team USA in Sochi & stopped 36 of 38 shots last night (& added 2 assists). In his career, Enroth is 0-4-2 against Boston & lost 4-1 on Dec. 21 in his only meeting against them this season. He dressed in five of six games in Sochi but Ranger Henrik Lundqvist was in net the entire tournament for Sweden. Enroth last played on Feb. 6 at OTT in a 3-2 loss.

— Buffalo is last in the league in scoring, 1.84 goals/game (L.A. is next at 2.25) & have the worst goal differential at -1.09 (FLA is next at -0.79). Boston averages 3.07 goals/game (5th-best) with a 0.93 goal differential (2nd-best). The Bruins have the second best goals allowed per game mark at 2.14 this season and the best team save percentage, .927.