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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 1:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bruins bracing for Zetterberg's return

DETROIT -- Acknowledge him, be aware of him, respect him, but don't change because of him.

That's how the Boston Bruins plan to approach the potential return of Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series Thursday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Zetterberg, who hasn't played since Feb. 8 because of back surgery, will be a game-time decision for the Red Wings. He skated Thursday morning on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader, then left the arena to visit with the team doctors.

The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

"In my mind he's going to be there [Thursday]. We expected that, so that's not a concern," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "The biggest thing here is they've got a real good player on their team. Where he is in his conditioning, I don't know. But at the same time, every playoff game has to be about your team; it can't be about the other team. We make adjustments to play against the other team, not the other individual, so that's not going to change for us."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 3:44 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bruins' Marchand, Red Wings' Smith escalating rivalry

DETROIT -- Brad Marchand vs. Brendan Smith has turned into a 1-on-1 matchup worth watching in the Eastern Conference First Round series between Marchand's Boston Bruins and Smith's Detroit Red Wings.

The Bruins hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series which resumes Thursday with Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Earlier in the series, Marchand revealed that teammate Reilly Smith, who is Brendan's younger brother, had given him the "inside scoop." Apparently the Red Wings defenseman doesn't like Marchand very much.

"Whenever he can take a run at me he's taken a run at me," said Marchand, who has no points, six shots on goal and two penalties in the series. "And I want to do the same to him."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 3:01 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings without several regulars at practice

DETROIT -- Two of the three star players missing from the Detroit Red Wings practice Wednesday are expected to play in Game 4 on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D). The other is in question.

The Red Wings trail the Boston Bruins in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series 2-1 after a 3-0 loss Tuesday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 2:45 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Zetterberg practices with Red Wings, return uncertain

DETROIT -- After participating in a full practice and taking line rushes Wednesday, injured Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg neither confirmed nor denied his availability for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series on Thursday against the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Zetterberg said he has to be cleared by team doctors and as of Wednesday afternoon he wasn't planning to visit with them before Game 4. He said he's still eyeing the second round for his potential return and that the late start to the Red Wings-Bruins series helped.

Detroit and Boston were the last teams to play Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

"I have to feel ready to play. Today was a good step in practicing," Zetterberg said. "We're still saying round two, but we all know we gained a couple of days. I can't really say anything now. I'm just happy I had my first real skate and now we'll see how I feel in the morning."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 7:29 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bartkowski in, Meszaros out for Bruins for Game 3

DETROIT -- Defenseman Matt Bartkowski is in the Boston Bruins lineup Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena after missing the first two games of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings because of the flu.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

Bartkowski took the place of Andrej Meszaros, who played the first two games and averaged 18:11 of ice time with no points, four shots on goal and a plus-1 rating.


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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 1:06 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Babcock: Win faceoffs to spark Red Wings' power play

DETROIT -- Mike Babcock has the solution for the Detroit Red Wings' power-play problems against the Boston Bruins.

"Why not win a faceoff and get going," Babcock said.

Detroit has lost the faceoff to start five of its six power plays through two games in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series. It's not surprising then that the Red Wings are 0-for-6 on the power play with only two shots on goal entering Game 3 on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 12:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings' Alfredsson to miss Game 3; Andersson in

DETROIT -- Still bothered by an upper-body injury, Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson will not play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, NESN, FS-D).

The best-of-7 series is tied, 1-1.

Alfredsson did not practice Monday after playing 17:03 in Game 2 on Sunday. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he needed another day of rest.

Left wing Joakim Andersson will replace Alfredsson in the lineup and will start the game on a line with center Darren Helm and right wing Tomas Jurco.

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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks' Crawford takes blame for uneven play

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was hard on himself after Game 2 against the St. Louis Blues, saying the defending Stanley Cup champions have no chance to get out of the Western Conference First Round if he doesn't improve.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville agreed, in a very matter-of-fact way.

"He said he needs to be better," Quenneville said. "He needs to be better."

Crawford has allowed eight goals on 83 shots (.904 save percentage) in 166 minutes in the series. He's made some spectacular saves, such as when he robbed Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko with a diving right arm stop in the second period of Game 1.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 3:08 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blues' Oshie back in lineup for Game 2

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie is back in the lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series Saturday at Scottrade Center.

The Blues lead 1-0 in the best-of-7 series against the Chicago Blackhawks,

Oshie missed Game 1 on Thursday and the last two games of the regular season after getting hit in the head by Minnesota Wild forward Mike Rupp on April 10. Rupp was suspended four games for an illegal check to the head.

Oshie started the game on the Blues first line with David Backes and Alexander Steen. Steve Ott played in that spot in Game 1 and assisted on Steen's triple-overtime winning goal, but he was moved to the third line with Derek Roy and Ryan Reaves.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 2:18 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks' Kane getting accustomed to knee brace

ST. LOUIS -- The brace around Patrick Kane's left knee is hidden by his red socks, but there's no hiding the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks star right wing has to learn to deal with the new, cumbersome piece of equipment if he's going to be as valuable in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as he was last year, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Kane will wear the knee brace for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round series Thursday at Scottrade Center against the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, CSN-CH, FS-MW). It'll be his first game since injuring his knee on March 19. He missed the final 12 regular season games.

Kane anticipates having to wear the knee brace for the foreseeable future, but insists it doesn't affect the way he skates or his range of motion. He said he's comfortable, doesn't feel limited, and isn't thinking about the brace when he's playing.

"I feel like the same player," said Kane, who had 29 goals and 69 points in 69 regular season games. "Once you kind of get into skating with the puck or other game situations like we've done in some practices, it's the last thing on my mind. When you're out there playing and skating around, it's not like I'm thinking, 'How does my brace feel?' I'm thinking about making a play and making the right one. It's something I have to deal with, but I'm not really worried about it."

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Quote of the Day

It's a date that's been circled on my calendar, so it's kind of nice to have it here and get it over with (Thursday). This is a little bit of the closing of the book on the move. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.

— Stars forward Jason Spezza on returning to Ottawa for the first time to face the Senators