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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 3:13 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bartkowski's return helps solidify Bruins on defense

DETROIT -- The return of defenseman Matt Bartkowski from illness for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Tuesday pretty much made the Boston Bruins defense whole.

Defensemen Dennis Seidenberg (ACL/MCL) and Adam McQuaid (quad) are skating, but there's little sign they'll be returning from their injuries anytime soon. With Bartkowski back, coach Claude Julien had the six defensemen he rode for most of the stretch run without Seidenberg and McQuaid.

Bartkowski was off skates for a week because of a virus and had a couple practices before he skated for 18:34 in the Bruins' 3-0 win that put them ahead 2-1 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings.

Game 4 is Thursday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Bartkowski took a regular shift and helped out on the penalty kill, which was 3-for-3 and is 9-for-9 in the series.

"I think we got what we needed to get from [Bartkowski on Tuesday] night," Julien said. "When you win the game, you take the win and you look at his game, and for a guy who hadn't skated for almost a week or even played, I thought he handled himself well. And there's no doubt he'll only get better here as he continues to play."

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 1:11 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Michigan homecoming for Bruins' Krug, Florek

DETROIT -- It seems like nearly everyone playing in the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings is either from Michigan or Sweden.

There won't be any games played in Gothenburg in the best-of-7 series, which is tied 1-1, but Game 3 Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, NESN, FS-D) marks a homecoming for two Bruins from the Great Lakes State.

Defenseman Torey Krug, a native of Livonia and Michigan State alum, has played at The Joe in regular season, but will make his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in the building. Forward Justin Florek, who hails from Marquette, hasn't played at The Joe since he was at Northern Michigan University.

"It's going to be exciting," Krug said after the morning skate. "You know you watch a lot of the playoff games growing up and see the octopus thrown on the ice, and as a kid you dream of playing in the playoffs in this building. I probably was thinking I was on the other side. But now I'm excited in the position I'm in, and we can come in and be the bad guys."

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.21.2014 / 2:30 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bruins' penalty kill turns tide against Red Wings

BOSTON -- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock compared his team's play on the power play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Boston Bruins to an "exercise in skating up and down the rink" Sunday.

The Bruins' ability to extinguish all four of Detroit's power plays was instrumental in Boston's 4-1 win that evened the series at 1-1 heading into Game 3 on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D) in Detroit.

"Yeah, we definitely got to keep that going," Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said after an optional practice at TD Garden on Monday. "I think we've made some good adjustments. [Assistant coach Doug Jarvis has] been pretty good to tell us I guess what to do. And right now it's about getting used to the new guys that are killing. But it's been going well."

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:54 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bartkowski, Paille skate at Bruins optional practice

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins had defenseman Kevan Miller back from illness for their 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Sunday.

They might be a little healthier in time for Game 3 on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in Detroit. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski, who hasn't played in a game since April 13, skated during an optional practice Monday at TD Garden. He would appear to be the closest to returning of Boston's missing regulars.

Forward Daniel Paille, who hasn't played since he was injured April 12, skated as well. He's been on the ice several times in the past week as he tries to return from what's believed to be a head injury. The Bruins are being patient with all their returnees.

"There's again a certain route you have to take," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And it's no different than Matt Bartkowski being out for that long and being sick. We have to allow him to skate a little bit and get himself back into the groove of things before you're allowed to throw him into a game. So I don't think those guys [Paille and forward Chris Kelly] being much, much different. So again, it's a day-to-day process, and I'm just waiting to hear."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 3:09 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bruins' Bartkowski out again, Miller returns

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski will not play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Bartkowski, who is believed to be recovering from the flu, has not played since last Sunday in the Bruins' regular-season finale against the New Jersey Devils. He returned to practice Saturday.

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller, who also missed Game 1, is set to return to the lineup.

Boston forwards Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly did not participate in the warmup and will sit for the second straight game.

The Red Wings did not make any changes to their lineup from Game 1, a 1-0 Detroit victory.

Here are the projected lineups:


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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 3:00 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bartkowski back on ice for undaunted Bruins

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins aren't discouraged that they're down 1-0 in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Detroit Red Wings.

In fact, discouraged isn't even a word in their vocabulary.

"I don't know what that means, but I don't think so," said Bruins center Carl Soderberg, a native of Sweden.

The point is that even though the Bruins lost Game 1 of the series 1-0 Friday, they'll be at home for Game 2 on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC) with no need to panic. In several series, their core had to come back from as many as 2-0 down to win or at least extend it.

Forward Jarome Iginla is in his first playoffs with the Bruins, but he said he sees the resolve that's made the Bruins a resilient team for several seasons.

"I think this group in here, we're prepared to work hard and we take a lot of pride in that and competing," Iginla said after practice at TD Garden. "Things don't always go perfectly and they haven't even during the year. It's part of it. And we also, you know, we believe in ourselves and each other. One game isn't going to change that."

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.18.2014 / 7:38 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bruins' Bartkowski, Miller scratched for Game 1

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins went into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday minus two of their expected top six defensemen.

Matt Bartkowski, who didn't practice all week, and Kevan Miller, who only made an appearance at one practice, were scratched for the series opener. It's unknown whether each is injured or a victim of the flu bug that Bruins coach Claude Julien said hit the team. Miller missed two games in early April but played the final three games of the regular season.


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POSTED ON Friday, 04.18.2014 / 12:55 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Caron could play key role as Bruins battle injuries

BOSTON -- Jordan Caron was the 13th forward for the Boston Bruins almost all season.

Now, the first-round pick (No. 25) in the 2009 NHL Draft is probably going to play a big role at the biggest time of the year.

Caron, who skated in 35 games and had one goal and two assists, could be in the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Friday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN).

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 2:19 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Extra rest before opener helping Bruins get healthy

BOSTON -- Although it has been a long wait for the Boston Bruins to begin the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings, the extra time off until Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Friday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN) has allowed the Bruins to get healthier.

Injuries and a flu bug had ravaged the Bruins' roster earlier in the week. Boston got healthier on Thursday with the return of rookie defenseman Kevan Miller for practice at the Garden. However, defenseman Matt Bartkowski (undisclosed), and forwards Chris Kelly (back) and Daniel Paille (head), remained off the ice.

Bruins coach Claude Julien revealed little about the missing players' status or availability for Game 1.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 4:05 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Bruins understand perils first round can carry

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- For all of the Boston Bruins' success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past three years, they have struggled in the first round.

The Bruins, who open the Eastern Conference First Round against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN), have gone the full seven games three years in a row, and all of those series finales have gone to overtime.

As the third seed in 2011, the Bruins fell behind two games to none before beating the sixth-seeded Montreal Canadiens. Boston was the second seed when it lost to the seventh-seeded Washington Capitals in 2012 after forcing Game 7 with a Game 6 win on the road. Last season, the fourth-seeded Bruins made their miracle comeback from three goals down in the third period to beat the fifth-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs in the do-or-die game.

Bruins forward Milan Lucic said he has an idea why the Bruins, who won the Presidents' Trophy this season and are the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, have made it so hard on themselves and how they can rectify the situation against the Red Wings, who are the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

"We've got to be prepared to bring our best, because you talk about the last three years, you know the other team hasn't taken us lightly at all and they've given us their best," Lucic said after practice at Ristuccia Arena. "And maybe we kind of overlooked, I guess, the other team a little too much where we kind of got ourselves into holes and got into a Game 7 overtime situation the last three years. So hopefully our mindset is where it needs to be in order for us to bring our best."

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I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game