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Thursday night: Playoff points to watch

4/14/2011

No. 6 Montreal Canadiens at No. 3 Boston Bruins, 7 p.m. ET

  • This is the 33rd postseason series between the Bruins and the Habs, the most common playoff matchup in NHL history. Montreal lead the series 24-8.

  • The teams combined for 21 major penalties and 355 penalty minutes in six games during the regular season.

  • Tim Thomas set an NHL single-season record for save percentage (.938) and led the NHL in goals-against average (2.00) this season. It was the third straight year a Bruins goaltender led the league in save percentage and goals-against average (Tuukka Rask in 2009-10, Thomas in 2008-09).

  • Max Pacioretty had six points against the Bruins this season but is still recovering from a neck injury and concussion he suffered when hit into the stanchion by Boston's Zdeno Chara on March 8.

No. 7 Buffalo Sabres at No. 2 Philadelphia Flyers, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • The Flyers are trying to return to the Stanley Cup finals after losing to the Blackhawks in Game 6. The last team to lose consecutive Stanley Cup finals appearances was the 1977 and 1978 Bruins.

  • The Sabres and Flyers will face off in the playoffs for the ninth time, with Philadelphia leading the series 5-3.

  • Buffalo has not won a playoff series since the 2007 Eastern Conference semifinals.

  • Danny Briere led the Flyers last postseason with 30 points.

  • The Sabres went 9-1-2 in their last 12 games to clinch a playoff berth.

  • Sergei Bobrovsky will be the fourth goalie to start for the Flyers' postseason opener in the past five appearances.

No. 7 Los Angeles Kings at No. 2 San Jose Sharks, 10 p.m. ET

  • The Sharks are making their seventh straight postseason appearance, the second-longest active streak in the NHL behind the Red Wings.

  • Antti Niemi will be in goal for San Jose after he won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, with a 16-6 record and 2.63 goals-against average.

  • The Kings have lost four of their last five first-round playoff matchups.

  • Anze Kopitar, who led the Kings with 73 points, is out with a fractured right ankle.

  • San Jose has won four straight Pacific Division titles but has only advanced to the Western Conference finals once in the past three seasons.