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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Saturday, 03.17.2012 / 1:02 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Lineups for Flyers, Bruins

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins wore green warm-up jerseys Saturday at TD Garden prior to their game with the Philadelphia Flyers.
               
They might need a little luck of the Irish to snap their four-game losing streak. However, they have won two of their previous three meetings with the Flyers.
               
Tim Thomas will make the start in net for Boston – his 12th straight appearance in goal, including two relief appearances. The Flyers counter with Ilya Bryzgalov trying to extend his personal seven-game winning streak.
               
Here are the projected starting lineups for both clubs:

BRUINS

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jordan Caron
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Brian Rolston
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference - Johnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Marty Turco

FLYERS

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
Eric Wellwood - Daniel Briere - Jakub Voracek
Zac Rinaldo - Sean Couturier - Max Talbot
Matt Read - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds

Nicklas Grossmann - Braydon Coburn
Matt Carle - Kimmo Timonen
Andreas Lilja - Erik Gustafsson

Ilya Bryzgalov
Sergei Bobrovsky
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POSTED ON Saturday, 03.17.2012 / 11:36 AM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bruins hope standings slide is wakeup call

BOSTON – For the first time since Nov. 30, the Boston Bruins woke up this morning out of first place in the Northeast Division.
               
In fact, the nature of the Eastern Conference standings is such that after Ottawa’s win against Montreal last night, the Bruins not only fell into second place behind the Senators in the division, but they also dropped all the way to seventh in the East.
               
So if the motivation to snap the team’s first four-game losing streak in more than two years wasn’t enough for the Bruins today when they play host to Philadelphia at TD Garden, the unfavorable spot in the standings should provide added incentive.
               
“I think it’s definitely a wake-up call for us,” said forward Brad Marchand a few hours before the matinee’s puck drop. “We put ourselves in a position where it’s obviously not where we want to be. It just shows we really have to turn things around if we want to be in the playoffs this year.”
               
A better start would go a long way toward turning things around for the Bruins. They have allowed the first goal in seven straight games. But even if they don’t get on the scoreboard first, the Bruins need to respond accordingly.
               
“I think that right now it’s really important that we don’t put our head down as soon as we get scored on, even if it’s in the first or we trail by one going into the third,” forward Jordan Caron said. “I think we’ve got to keep pushing and keep our heads up. We’ve got a good team; everybody knows it. We just need to stay positive and keep pushing in the same direction.”
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POSTED ON Saturday, 03.10.2012 / 1:11 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Capitals, Bruins

BOSTON – Tim Thomas makes his fourth straight start in net for the Boston Bruins today against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden.

This is the first time last year’s Vezina Trophy winner has started more than three games in a row.

Tuukka Rask suffered a serious groin/abdominal injury one week ago today. Rask spoke for the first time since the injury today and reported little pain and a positive attitude about being able to return six weeks from the injury.

The Bruins’ lineup will be different from their last outing, as Benoit Pouliot will be scratched. The Bruins will dress seven defensemen.

Coach Claude Julien said before that game that injured defenseman Andrew Ference and forward Daniel Paille skated this morning and are “inching closer” to returning to the lineup.

With Mike Green suspended for three games, the Capitals will reinsert Roman Hamrlik into their lineup. The veteran blueliner has been a healthy scratch the past eight games. Forward Mike Knuble also gets back in after sitting out Washington’s last two games. Knuble will replace Jeff Halpern.
               
Here’s a look at both teams’ lineups after warm-ups:

BRUINS

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brian Rolston
Gregory-Campbell - Chris Kelly - Jordan Caron
Lane MacDermid - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Greg Zanon - Adam McQuaid
Mike Mottau

Tim Thomas
Marty Turco

CAPITALS

Alexander Ovechkin - Brooks Laich - Marcus Johansson
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin
Mike Knuble - Keith Aucoin - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Troy Brouwer
Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Roman Hamrlik - Dmitry Orlov
Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman

Tomas Vokoun
Michal Neuvirth



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POSTED ON Thursday, 03.08.2012 / 1:05 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Julien likes MacDermid's toughness, hockey sense

BOSTON -- When a rookie scores his first NHL goal, a teammate usually retrieves the puck and at some point it's presented by that scorer's organization as a memento.

So what does one get for his first NHL fight?

"Nothing. Keep the gloves, maybe, I don't know," Lane MacDermid said today after the Bruins' optional morning skate in preparation for an evening matchup with divisional rival Buffalo at the TD Garden.

MacDermid should make his NHL home debut against the Sabres after skating on Boston's fourth line in both games on the Bruins' recent road trip to New York and Toronto. At Madison Square Garden, MacDermid -- a 150-plus-PIM guy in his first two pro seasons with Providence of the AHL -- needed little time to show what he could bring to the Bruins. On his first shift, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound MacDermid met the challenge of 6-5, 243-pound Mike Rupp in a spirited bout.

"He's a pretty big guy, so I just tried to hold my own and do my best," MacDermid said.

An injury to usual Boston fourth-line left winger Daniel Paille opened up the opportunity for MacDermid to be recalled during the regular season for the first time. He's averaged just 7:03 of ice time during his two games and hasn't recorded a point, but he hasn't been on the ice for a goal against either.

"Well, I think what I like about those kinds of guys is that they're pretty tough individuals, but they can play. I think that's always important," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I think obviously he has some good genes [MacDermid's father, Paul, played in the NHL], and he obviously has some hockey sense. You watch him play -- he finishes his checks well, he plays a big, tough, grinding-type game. But he also plays a smart game. When it's time to back check or be the third man, he reads the play well. Certainly not a liability out there, and right now what I've appreciated of him as that he's come in and not played on his heels, he's just gone out there and plays hard and seems to have a lot of confidence."

MacDermid says that linemates Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton are so solid positionally that it makes it easy to play with them. He's also sticking to the basics in an effort to show the Bruins he belongs with the parent club.

"Down there [at Providence], I tried to maybe expand my game a little bit more and try to work on some things. But up here you don't want to make any mistakes, so you try to keep it simple and play your game," he said.




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POSTED ON Thursday, 03.08.2012 / 12:13 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Turco is backup to Thomas in Boston debut

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will have Marty Turco on the bench as their backup goaltender tonight when they play host to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden.
               
Turco, who signed a one-year deal with the Bruins on Monday, practiced with the team for the first time Wednesday. After practice, Michael Hutchinson, who had been Tim Thomas’ backup for Boston’s previous two games after the Tuukka Rask injury, was reassigned to the Providence (AHL) farm club.
     
Coach Claude Julien also said that forward Benoit Pouliot should be able to play. The speedy wing collected a lower-body injury during the second period of a win Tuesday in Toronto. Pouliot did not practice Wednesday, but he skated during an optional session this morning.
               
Daniel Paille (upper-body) and Andrew Ference (lower-body) also continued to skate. However, Julien ruled both out for a Thursday night return.
               
The Sabres, who arrived in Boston late Wednesday after an overtime home win over Carolina, did not hold a skate. Buffalo is 7-1-2 in its last 10 games. Coach Lindy Ruff has hinted that Ryan Miller, who has played in 20 straight games, might get a night off soon.

Here are the projected lineups for both Buffalo and Boston:

BRUINS
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Tyler Seguin
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brian Rolston
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Jordan Caron
Lane MacDermid - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Greg Zanon - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Marty Turco

SABRES
Thomas Vanek - Derek Roy - Jason Pominville
Tyler Ennis - Cody Hodgson - Drew Stafford
Nathan Gerbe - Ville Leino - Patrick Kaleta
Matt Ellis - Brad Boyes - Corey Tropp

Jordan Leopold - Tyler Myers
Mike Weber - Robyn Regehr
Christian Ehrhoff - Alexander Sulzer

Ryan Miller
Jhonas Enroth
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POSTED ON Saturday, 03.03.2012 / 3:05 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Boston's Rask injured in Saturday's game


BOSTON – Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was injured in the second period of Saturday afternoon's 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders at the TD Garden.

The Bruins did not provide an update after the game on the seriousness of the injury, but several reporters saw Rask leaving the arena on crutches. He will not travel to New York City for Sunday's NHL on NBC game against the New York rangers (12:30 p.m. ET).

The club called up minor-league goalie Michael Hutchinson under emergency conditions to back up Tim Thomas in Sunday's game.

Rask seemed to injure his left leg when attempting to make a save on a wide shot by Islanders forward Matt Martin. Rask fell onto his back to draw the whistle at 9:01 of the period and was replaced by Tim Thomas after the television timeout.

The game was tied at 1-1 at that point and Thomas let up two goals to absorb the loss.

"It's no fun whenever you see your partner get hurt," Thomas said after the game. "And you worry about him."

Milan Lucic, who scored the game's opening goal, said it was hard to see Rask helped off the ice after injuring his leg.

"It's obviously not great to see him not being able to get up after an effort to make a save," Lucic said. "He's been a big part of this team, as well, throughout the season. It (stinks) that he had to leave the game, but hopefully he's going to get better soon."


Rask had his left knee scoped this past summer, a procedure that didn't cause him to miss any time once training camp opened. He entered Saturday's game with a record of 11-8-3, a goals-against average of 2.05 and a .929 save percentage.

The Bruins likely had plans to use Rask regularly down the stretch to spell Thomas as the Bruins schedule is congested in the season's final month. Depending on the severity of the injury, that plan may have to be altered.

"You're hoping to be able to utilize your two goaltenders in this stretch because the next two weeks there's about four games per week," coach Claude Julien said "But we'll have to make do some way."









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POSTED ON Saturday, 03.03.2012 / 1:02 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bruins-Isles lineups

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins will be without defenseman Andrew Ference, while defenseman Johnny Boychuk makes his return after a two-absence with a concussion Saturday against the New York Islanders at the TD Garden.

Ference suffered a lower-body injury Thursday in the third period of an overtime win against New Jersey. He did not return to the game and missed Friday’s practice. He’s classified as day-to-day, according to coach Claude Julien.

The Islanders will similarly be missing forward Michael Grabner on Saturday. Islanders coach Jack Capuano said that Grabner’s flu-like symptoms were the main reason for the forward’s scratch.

Here are the lineups for the Bruins and Islanders:

BRUINS

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Brian Rolston

Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron

Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton


Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk

Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo

Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid


Tuukka Rask

Tim Thomas


ISLANDERS

Matt Moulson-John Tavares-PA Parenteau

Nino Niederreiter-Casey Cizikas-Kyle Okposo

David Ullstrom-Frans Nielsen-Josh Bailey

Jay Pandolfo-Marty Reasoner-Matt Martin


Mark Streit-Steve Staios

Andrew MacDonald-Travis Hamonic

Mark Eaton-Milan Jurcina


Evgeni Nabokov

Anders Nilsson
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POSTED ON Saturday, 03.03.2012 / 12:11 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Business as usual for Rolston against Isles

BOSTON – Brian Rolston has journeyed around the NHL enough now in his more than a decade in the League to not be overwhelmed by emotions when facing one of his former teams.

Rolston, who was acquired by Boston from the New York Islanders this past Monday, will square off with those Isles on Saturday afternoon at the TD Garden.

“When you get traded the first time I think it’s a little more nerve-wracking,” said Rolston. “But I’ve been traded a few times and switched teams a few times. I’ve got good friends, obviously, and I feel strongly about a lot of those guys, but when you get on the ice it’s the same old thing and you’re doing your job.”

After two games back with Boston, Rolston says he’s feeling comfortable. He was aided by a shift to right wing next to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand last game against New Jersey.

“It was great. It’s a real easy game to play,” he said. “They made it easy on me and their system is easy to play.”

Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said that he and the organization wished nothing but the best for Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau, who was also dealt to the Bruins. Rolston left his mark on the Isles, according to the coach.

“He was fitting in, it’s just for us Michael Grabner was playing on that second-line left wing there and Brian probably wasn’t getting the playing time he wanted,” said Capuano. “But forgetting statistically, he brought leadership to our room and he was a good guy to have around the young players. And it was a good for us to have him here, for sure.”
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POSTED ON Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 12:52 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Boychuk making progress toward return

BOSTON -- Although he's been ruled out of tonight's home game against New Jersey, Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk today continued to make progress toward a return to the lineup.

Boychuk, who suffered a concussion last Saturday in Ottawa, skated on his own before the Bruins' practice Wednesday. Today he took part in an optional morning skate with his teammates and increased his heart rate both during the skate and after it, as he stayed on longer than most of the other players.

"I'm feeling pretty good. Just got out there, got a skate in and we'll see how I feel. Just going day by day, I guess," Boychuk said.

It was Ottawa forward Chris Neil's big hit on the forecheck that knocked out Boychuk in Saturday's third period. Boychuk compared it to being "run over by a train," but he also stressed that it was a clean hit.

If Boychuk continues to feel well, he'll practice again with the team Friday and then could make his return to the lineup over the weekend. Given that teammate Nathan Horton hasn't skated for several weeks after his initial attempt to get back on the ice after a concussion, Boychuk knows these types of injuries can be tough to predict. However, he's not fretting over that.

"You can’t really be nervous," he said. "You go out there, you see how you feel. If you feel good, then you feel good. If you don't, then you get off."


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POSTED ON Thursday, 03.01.2012 / 12:36 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

New Jersey gets latest crack at defending champs

BOSTON -- The New Jersey Devils will try to snap a three-game losing streak, and also try to defeat the Boston Bruins for the first time in four tries this season, tonight at the TD Garden.

Although this is the Devils' final meeting with the Bruins in the regular season, they could run into the defending champs in the postseason. If the season ended today, second-seeded Boston and seventh-seeded New Jersey would meet.

Nonetheless, the Devils aren't looking at this game as any type of playoff preview. They're looking at it more like a chance to start playing better. They had won four in a row before their current slide.

"I think more so for ourselves, just to get back on track, try to get back in the winning column. We've been playing well, we've been playing some good hockey, we just need to do a better job of generating some more offense,"  captain Zach Parise said after the Devils' morning skate. "But I think this is definitely a team that's going to be there at the end of the year, so we definitely want to make sure we play a good game against them."

In an effort to jostle his team's offense, New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer has juggled his forward lines, including moving Dainius Zubrus from third-line center to second-line right wing with Petr Sykora and Patrik Elias.

Here’s how the Devils' lineup should look tonight against the Bruins:

Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Ryan Carter - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Adam Larsson
Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlicky

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg


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Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1