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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:07 PM

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

Bruins' Ference skating, working his way back

BOSTON -- While most of the Boston Bruins players were kept off the ice Monday, two days after their series-clinching win against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, injured defenseman Andrew Ference skated with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides at TD Garden.

Ference has not played since Game 5 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bruins coach Claude Julien said Ference has been skating for a few days.

"He's obviously on the mend, but not ready to say he's ready to go yet," Julien said during a press conference Monday.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 1:41 PM

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

Rask's play positions him for big new contract

BOSTON – For the first time in Tuukka Rask's NHL career, the goaltender has taken the Boston Bruins past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Of course, this is the second season in which Rask has served as the Bruins' No. 1 goalie.

Rask, 26, seems to be getting better as the playoffs roll along, opposed to the way he struggled deeper into the postseason back in 2010. In the five-game series victory against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Rask compiled a .936 save percentage and 1.86 goals-against average.

The Finnish goaltender seemed to place a smart bet on himself last summer when he signed a one-year contract with Boston. He’ll be a restricted free agent again this summer, seemingly raising his value every night this postseason.

General manager Peter Chiarelli, whose team will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, said he has no regrets about letting Rask play on a one-year deal.

"I'm happy for him that he's playing well and he's helping the team," Chiarelli said during a press conference Sunday at TD Garden. "It’s always easier to sign these guys after success. He's showing some resiliency, which I like, and some durability, which I like."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 1:26 PM

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

Chiarelli encouraged by Bruins' improving health

BOSTON – The return from injury of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Saturday left the Boston Bruins with Andrew Ference and Wade Redden among their injured players heading into the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

General manager Peter Chiarelli described his team's overall health as "pretty good" during a press conference Sunday at TD Garden. And by the time the Bruins start the series, they might be even healthier.

"We’ve got Andrew out, he's making progress. Wade is close, if not ready," Chiarelli said. "Just the bumps and bruises are minor. We got Dennis back. We're in pretty good shape right now, knock on wood."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 5:30 PM

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

Bruins get Seidenberg back

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg returned to the lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers Saturday at TD Garden.

The Bruins took a 3-1 series lead into the potential closeout game.

Seidenberg was injured on his first shift of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 13. He was unable to continue after he tried to take a second shift.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 3:48 PM

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

Bruins' fourth line will pick spots with extracurriculars

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien surprisingly admitted Thursday that he'd discourage his fourth line of Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton from engaging in any extracurricular activity that would take them off the ice if the New York Rangers' fourth line attempted to coax the Bruins' energy players.

Even Thornton was surprised by his coach's comment when he heard about it through a question from the media.

"He said that?" asked Thornton, the Bruins' leader in fighting majors, a few hours before taking the ice for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals Saturday at TD Garden.


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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 8:46 PM

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

Bruins' fourth line putting up their fight on ice

BOSTON -- If the New York Rangers want to get a spark from their new fourth line of Kris Newbury, Micheal Haley and Derek Dorsett by them engaging in extracurricular activities, they’re going to have a hard time finding dance partners.

Several times early in the Rangers’ series-extending 4-3, Game 4 overtime win against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Thursday, New York’s energy players tried to coax some of Boston’s tougher players to fight, to no avail.

Bruins coach Claude Julien expects that to continue, at least until Boston is in need of a spark.

“I think it was pretty clear. I said it even on TV there between those timeouts: The guys on my fourth line, to me, aren’t worth the trade off with their fourth line right now,” Julien said after the Bruins prepared for Game 5 with a practice Friday at TD Garden. “Those guys are pretty valuable players for us. So whichever way they see their players, I certainly don’t want to see one of mine necessarily in the penalty box with one of theirs, because it plays to their advantage.”

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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 3:39 PM

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

Bruins' power play suddenly an area of strength

BOSTON -- Often a weakness the past several seasons, especially in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Boston Bruins' power play has become a driving force for the team that leads the Eastern Conference Semifinals with the New York Rangers, 3-1, heading into Game 5 on Saturday at TD Garden (5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The Bruins are 3-for-9 with the man-advantage, led by rookie defenseman Torey Krug. The playoff call-up from Providence of the American Hockey League has scored two of those three goals.

"I think that we're just not passing up those good opportunities," Krug said after practice Friday at TD Garden. "You'd see sometimes in the past we'd be passing the puck and we'd want to make that extra pass. But this time, we're shooting pucks, we're getting pucks to the net, and guys are taking away Henrik's [Lundqvist] ice."

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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 3:30 PM

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

Bruins' Seidenberg, Redden working way back

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg continued to progress toward a return from an undisclosed injury during practice Friday at TD Garden.

The Bruins were on the ice for about 30 minutes the afternoon after they lost to the New York Rangers 4-3 in overtime in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, failing to sweep.

"It went better again," said Seidenberg, who was injured in Game 7 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. "But now it's still day to day. I have to talk to the doctors and trainers and consult with them and go from there."

Injured defenseman Wade Redden also skated with the team.

Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn't reveal how close either blueliner was to getting back into the lineup for Game 5 Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS) or beyond.

"[They] skated today. I keep telling guys they're progressing every day. That's why you see them on the ice," Julien said.

Only defenseman Andrew Ference, who hasn't played since Game 5 of the first round, wasn't on the ice. The forward lines remained the same.

Here was the Bruins' lineup for practice:

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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 12:57 PM

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

Bruins still see room for improvement on penalty kill

BOSTON -- After a mediocre performance in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins' penalty kill has been flawless against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Bruins, who lead the series 2-0 heading into Game 3 on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), have killed all eight Rangers power plays. In the first round, Boston killed 16 of 21 Maple Leafs man-advantages, for a 76.2-percent success rate

Despite their 100-percent efficiency rate in the second round, the Bruins see room for improvement as they try to prevent the Rangers from emerging from their 2-for-36 slump.

"I think it's better. We've got to keep that going," center Patrice Bergeron said. "They're moving the puck well, so we have to make sure we keep having some good sticks and staying in the shooting lanes and being aggressive on them. If we give them time, they have the players to make the plays."


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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 12:12 PM

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

Seidenberg, Redden practice with Bruins

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien might be one step closer to having a couple difficult lineup decisions on his hands.

Injured defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden both joined the team for practice at TD Garden on Monday. Julien said both players will be game-day decisions for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Neither player, in addition to Andrew Ference, has played yet in this series. In their place, rookies Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton have proven to be more-than-capable replacements.

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Quote of the Day

I definitely think going back down helped me, I had a lot of confidence down there, I played a lot of minutes and I think that helped me a lot. With the 37 games up here, that gave me experience as well. I know what it takes to play in the NHL and now it's time for me to show that I'm capable of being a full-time NHL player.

— Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on finishing the 2014-15 season in juniors after playing 37 games with Edmonton to begin the season