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Posted On Friday, 12.27.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Senators start Lehner to open pair against Bruins

BOSTON -- Craig Anderson made 27 saves in his second shutout of the season Monday in the Ottawa Senators' final game before the Christmas break.

That performance in a 5-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, however, didn't alter Senators coach Paul MacLean's plans for his team's first half of a home-and-home series against the Boston Bruins that starts Friday.

Robin Lehner will get the start in net at TD Garden.

"The plan was in place and we're sticking to it," MacLean said after the Senators' morning skate.

Tuukka Rask is expected to be the Bruins' starting goaltender, but he's scheduled to have a new backup. Niklas Svedberg, 24, was recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League to join Rask and Chad Johnson on the NHL roster. Bruins coach Claude Julien said he plans to give Svedberg a start in the near future.

Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 12:40 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins' Iginla declares himself fit to face Flames

BOSTON -- Officially, Jarome Iginla's streak of consecutive regular-season games played ended last season at 441 when the Calgary Flames had to scratch the forward to keep him injury-free before trading him to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Iginla hadn't missed a game since April 8, 2007, when the Flames rested him.

Unofficially, his iron-man streak is approaching 500 games because that's how many he's played without missing any because of injury. A dislocated finger that forced him out of the first period of theBoston Bruins' loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday should also fail to keep Iginla from playing in a game.

Iginla took part in the morning skate Tuesday at TD Garden and declared he was ready to face the visiting Flames.

Posted On Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 1:13 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins lose Boychuk with back sprain

BOSTON -– The Boston Bruins will be without defenseman Johnny Boychuk for three to seven days, including their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday at TD Garden, general manager Peter Chiarelli said.

Boychuk suffered a back sprain against the Montreal Canadiens after he was hit into the end wall by Max Pacioretty. Boychuk left that game on a stretcher and was taken to a hospital, but he returned to Boston with the team after the game.

"Johnny's doing better," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the morning skate. "I think we dodged a pretty good bullet there, personally. You know those kind of injuries could have serious consequences. We feared the worst, and I think we got as good news as we could get. When he was down, he couldn't breathe. I guess he couldn't move either. So obviously on the medical side of it, our trainers, the Montreal doctors, did the right thing. They took him off in a stretcher, took him to the hospital and they got him checked out.

"And after the MRI [exam on Thursday], they found no fractures. So a lot of it has been based on him locking up from going into the board, muscle spasm and everything else. So we hope that it'll be a quicker recovery."

Posted On Saturday, 11.30.2013 / 11:42 AM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins' Iginla not worried about dip in production

BOSTON – Had Boston Bruins forward Jarome Iginla managed to score on his wide-open chance in the second period Friday, the Bruins' comeback would've kicked in gear sooner and their 3-2 win against the New York Rangers might've been less of a nail-biter.

Instead, Iginla's bullet from the high slot went wide and made a bigger noise on the glass than on the score sheet.

"I was pretty excited to get a one-timer in that position and it's what you're hoping for," Iginla said after the Bruins' optional morning skate Saturday. "I got a great pass from [Chris Kelly]. And I hit it hard, I just missed the net. I was probably a little too eager. But I try to get open for those and I'll try to get a few more of those."

Posted On Monday, 11.25.2013 / 1:26 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Penguins make first trip to Boston since East final

BOSTON -- It's been six months since the Eastern Conference Final and the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins are more than a quarter into the 2013-14 regular season.

So the Penguins' first visit back to Boston since getting swept with a trip to the Stanley Cup Final on the line, Monday night at TD Garden, isn't dredging up old memories, except for the lessons the Penguins hope to put into practice to avoid a similar fate this season.

"Unfortunately it was pretty short. It was four games, we only played two here. And it wasn't our best," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said after his team's morning skate. "I thought our best two games in the series were actually here. I think we've all turned the page. It's something that we'll hopefully learn from. But I think we're all moving on and making sure that we learn from it."

Posted On Thursday, 11.21.2013 / 1:07 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Banged-up Bruins ready to debut Miller on defense

BOSTON -- Much like in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Boston Bruins' depth on defense is about to be tested.

Already Adam McQuaid has missed five games with a lower-body injury and he's expected to miss a sixth against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Now Dennis Seidenberg has joined McQuaid among the injured. Seidenberg skated one shift against the New York Rangers on Tuesday and did not return because of a lower-body injury.

Matt Bartkowski had been filling in for McQuaid. Now 26-year-old Kevan Miller is scheduled to make his NHL debut against the Blues. Miller made a strong push for an NHL job during training camp, and since then the Bruins have been grooming him for this type of opportunity with Providence of the American Hockey League.

"It's my third year [of pro hockey] and you've just got to believe in the process," Miller said after the morning skate. "A lot of guys have been in the same situation. So it's a good feeling."

Posted On Thursday, 11.14.2013 / 1:14 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins' Johnson to get rare start in goal

BOSTON -- Those hoping the goaltending matchup Thursday at TD Garden would pit last season's Vezina Trophy winner against one of the prime candidates for that award this season will be half-pleased when the Boston Bruins host the Columbus Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Blue Jackets star goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who was voted the best goaltender in the NHL last season, will start for his team. But Tuukka Rask, who woke up Thursday leading the League in save percentage (.948), will get a rare night off and let Chad Johnson make a start.

Johnson hasn't played since Nov. 2, a 3-1 road loss to the New York Islanders. That night the Bruins were outshot 34-27 and it was one of the most-criticized performances of the season by coach Claude Julien. So this time around the Bruins will try to support Johnson better.

Posted On Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 12:22 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Bruins brace for strong Maple Leafs power play

BOSTON – Based on the statistics, the battle between the fifth-ranked power play of Toronto Maple Leafs could be a mismatch for the 16th-rated penalty kill of the Boston Bruins in their Atlantic Division game Saturday night at TD Garden.

However, take out the Bruins' 3-for-7 showing against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 26, the Bruins' penalty kill would be 36-for-40 (90 percent) this season. So Bruins coach Claude Julien has full confidence in his penalty killers' ability to slow down the first-place Maple Leafs, who are tied atop the division with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Well our PK has been good this year," Julien said after his team's optional morning skate. "The only reason we're down there in our PK is because of that one game against Jersey. Other than that we'd be in the top two or three in the League. ... Other than that it's been good."

Posted On Thursday, 11.07.2013 / 1:12 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Panthers' Thomas not playing in return to Boston

BOSTON -- There will be no homecoming for Tim Thomas on Thursday in Boston.

Although the goaltender traveled with the Florida Panthers for the game against his old team, the Boston Bruins, Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said the two-time Vezina Trophy winner remains on injured reserve and will not play. Thomas, who faced the Bruins in a 3-2 loss Oct. 17 in Florida, has not played at TD Garden since leaving the Bruins for a one-season sabbatical following the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Scott Clemmensen, a Boston College alum, will get the start for the Panthers, who are 0-2-4 in their past six games. In six career NHL games at the Garden, Clemmensen is 3-2-0 with a 3.14 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.

"That gives us a good option," Dineen said of Clemmensen playing in Boston. "It's like a lot of things. We have depth at every position and we've certainly taken advantage of it early."

Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 1:12 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars looking forward to seeing Bruins' Eriksson

BOSTON -- There's understandable hype around Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley returning to face the Boston Bruins as members of the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Seguin and Peverley were integral parts of the Bruins' teams the past three seasons, including the Stanley Cup championship season of 2010-11.

But the game also will be the first opportunity for the Stars to face their former teammate Loui Eriksson, who was the centerpiece of the package Dallas sent to Boston for Seguin and Peverley. Eriksson will be in the lineup after missing five games with a concussion.

"For me, four years with him was great," Stars captain Jamie Benn said of Eriksson. "We know Loui's such a great player. He brought a lot to this team and it was tough to see him go."

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It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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