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Bruins Vs. Stars: B's Count Their Stars Heading Into Tonight's Game

After taking a 2-1 OT victory over in Phoenix, the Bruins head over to Dallas to faceoff against former teammate Michael Ryder as they try for their eighth straight win in their last game of 2011--the year of the Stanley Cup.

In years past, heading into the new year has always been a relief for the Bruins. They were able to put the first part behind them and start fresh.

But who wants to put what the Bruins have done behind them?

Heading into tonight's game against the Dallas Stars, the Bruins are boasting a 21-2-1 record since the beginning of November--only two regulation losses in almost two months worth of games. Prior to that in October, they had a 3-7-0 record, but that seems like ages ago as Boston now holds a one point lead in the Eastern Conference over the New York Rangers. They also sit just one point behind the league leaders--the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks.

The last time the Bruins and the Stars met was one of the most memorable games of last season. The game started with three fights in four seconds, and then two goals within the first 1:20 of the first period. The Bruins went on to win that game in Boston 6-3.

One of the main differences between then and now is the one player that switched allegiances and now sits on the Dallas bench, facing off against the team he was celebrating with just six months ago, Michael Ryder.

The 31-year-old Newfoundland native is considered one of the veterans on the Stars bench, and while he said there are going to be some emotions, it's still just a game that he wants to win.

"I still know guys on the team and what we went through last year was a big thing," Ryder said. "It’s almost January now and I’m part of this team here. It’s just another hockey game and there’s definitely going to be a little bit of emotion involved there. We’re definitely going to want to beat those guys, especially me. But I think they’re going to feel the same way about trying to beat us. That’s just the way it is but you still play hard and have fun while you’re doing it."

Dallas sits ninth in the Western Conference with a 20-15-1 record.

The game will be broadcast live on NESN, and aired on 98.5 The Sports Hub. The puck drops at 8 p.m. EST.