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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 3:02 PM

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

Rask's Game 1 performance no concern for Bruins

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- After the Boston Bruins lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask used an expletive to describe his play in net.

Rask made 29 saves on 33 shots in the 4-3 double-overtime loss. The Vezina Trophy finalist, who leads all goaltenders in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 1.52 goals-against average and .946 save percentage, has always been blunt after his rare subpar games in the NHL.

That's why the Bruins love Rask as a person as much as they do as a goaltender. He's a teammate on equal footing with everyone in the dressing room. He hangs out with the guys off the ice and doesn’t request special treatment.

With Game 2 of the best-of-7 series at TD Garden on Saturday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), Rask's teammates voiced their support of their goaltender Friday after an optional practice at Ristuccia Arena.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:15 PM

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

Bruins' Paille cleared, while Marchand misses practice

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have a couple question marks at left wing heading into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Daniel Paille took the morning skate and has been cleared to play. He's been out since the next-to-last game of the regular season, including missing the five-game first-round series win against the Detroit Red Wings.

But Paille didn't take line rushes with his usual linemates, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. Instead, he skated with Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith at TD Garden because Brad Marchand was missing.

"He took his option," Bruins coach Claude Julien said about Marchand.

Marchand practiced with the Bruins on Wednesday, but he missed practice on Tuesday.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 1:24 PM

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

Bruins' Paille could return against Canadiens

BOSTON – The Boston Bruins might add some speed and experience to their lineup in time for the start of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens.

The series is scheduled to start later this week.

Forward Daniel Paille, who hasn't played since sustaining a concussion on April 12, took contact during practice at TD Garden on Tuesday.

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 2:25 PM

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

Chiarelli feels Bruins have speed to match Canadiens

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins were able to finish off their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 on Saturday.

So now, regardless of when the Bruins' Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens starts later this week, Boston will be rested, even if Montreal will have an edge on that front. The Canadiens won their first-round series in four games with a victory last Tuesday.

Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli is grateful for his team's respite.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 7:24 PM

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

After 'challenging year,' Alfredsson unsure of future

BOSTON -- Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson was non-committal about his future Saturday after losing Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round to the Boston Bruins, 4-2, at TD Garden.

The Bruins won the best-of-7 series, 4-1.

The 41-year-old forward returned to the Red Wings lineup for Game 5 after missing two games because of a back injury. He did not have a point in the Stanley Cup Playoff series.

"You take some time off here and just decompose everything, take everything in,” Alfredsson said after he was asked about next season. "There’s been a lot of new impressions obviously for me and my family, but overall we've had a fun, challenging year. We've all learned a lot, so I'll take some time and settle down, and start the process from there."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 2:58 PM

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

Alfredsson's return among Detroit's Game 5 moves

BOSTON -- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock confirmed Saturday that forward Daniel Alfredsson is scheduled to play against the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round on at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN).

Alfredsson replaces Todd Bertuzzi.

Babcock also said goaltender Jimmy Howard will return to the lineup to back up starter Jonas Gustavsson and defenseman Xavier Ouellet will replace Jakub Kindl.

The Red Wings will try to avoid elimination, down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series.

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 4:52 PM

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

Bruins up 3-1 again, look to apply lessons from 2013

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins won Game 4 in overtime and hold a 3-1 series lead.

No, this isn't the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it's 2014. But the scenario seems awfully familiar.

It was just last year that Boston took a 3-1 lead in the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals only to let the Toronto Maple Leafs extend the series to seven games. The Bruins will try to avoid the same fate when they host the Detroit Red Wings for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round at TD Garden on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN).

"You get these opportunities, and sometimes it's more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge," said Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, who Friday was named one of the three Vezina Trophy finalists. "You kind of start thinking about the end score of the game before the game even starts, and you kind of feel and hope that you get to do that. But I think we've learned over the years that it doesn't help us. We just have to focus on our job and the game itself, and then the results will take care of themselves. I hope we learned from the past years and are ready for tomorrow."

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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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We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff