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Posted On Tuesday, 02.28.2012 / 1:00 PM

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

Bruins will have Rolston, Mottau in the lineup

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins' three deadline-day acquisitions were all in town this morning.

Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau, who were picked up from the New York Islanders, took the morning skate at the TD Garden in preparation for tonight's game against Ottawa. Both are scheduled to play against the Senators.

Greg Zanon, who was acquired from Minnesota, arrived late in the morning. Bruins coach Claude Julien said he wants Zanon to get in a practice with the team Wednesday before playing the veteran blueliner in a game.

With Nathan Horton (concussion), Rich Peverley (knee) and Johnny Boychuk (concussion) currently out of the lineup, Boston needed the reinforcements.

"We've run into some injuries lately," Julien said. "That's been a challenge in itself to keep our lineup going in the right direction. So now there's a little bit more breathing room, as far as putting some guys in that have been around for a while."

Shawn Thornton has been ill, but took the skate and should be ready to go at puck drop.

Here is the Bruins' projected lineup for tonight:

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

Zdeno Chara - Andrew Ference
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Mike Mottau - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 12:24 PM

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

AHL recalls eager to get into Bruins' lineup

BOSTON -- With an 11-day, six-game road trip looming after they host the New York Rangers tonight at TD Garden, the Bruins have stocked their roster with a couple spare parts for use in case of emergency.

Defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Joshua Hennessy were recalled from the Providence (AHL) farm club Monday and both took part in the morning skate today. Both project to be healthy scratches against the Rangers.

For Hennessy, who was born in Brockton, Mass., joining his hometown team is a dream come true. The former second-round pick of San Jose is also overjoyed to be back in the NHL after skating in just 20 games over a three-season span and then playing last year in Switzerland.

Now he's 27 and feels better prepared to handle playing at the sport's highest level if he gets into the lineup.

"I'm a little older than the last time I was up. ... I'd say there's a lot less nerves this time," said Hennessy, whose only NHL experience came with Ottawa. "Should I get the opportunity to play, it's just move my feet, use my skating and puck-handling ability, I guess, and work hard, be responsible defensively -- leave an impression in absolutely any way possible."

Bodnarchuk also hasn't played in the NHL since the 2009-10 season, when he skated in four games for the Bruins. Boston used a fifth-round pick on Bodnarchuk in 2006, but other prospects have passed him on the depth chart the last couple seasons. Boston's desire to get regular seventh defenseman Steven Kampfer some consistent playing time in the AHL opened up this opportunity for Bodnarchuk, who has played better this season than last with the P-Bruins.

"This year I'm really, really happy with how the year's going. I think as a fourth-year pro, I'm still a young guy, but I have almost four years under my belt and I think the biggest thing for me has been my consistency," Bodnarchuk said. "Personally, game in and game out, I haven't had a bad game and I think that's a big thing for me. I came out of juniors an offensive guy and I sort of bought into the role as a defensive, shutdown PK guy. The consistency of my game in this year is what's really helped me come on and turn some more heads."


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Posted On Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 11:40 AM

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

Julien doesn't want Bruins concerned with standings

BOSTON -- The last time the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins met, they were neck and neck in the race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Rangers left the TD Garden that afternoon with a win and sole possession of first place. Now they return to the scene of that dramatic overtime victory with a comfortable seven-point lead. Bruins coach Claude Julien, however, doesn't want his team worrying about the standings as much as what his players have to do on the ice tonight.

"I don't think we're necessarily looking at this game like we need to catch up with these guys more than we need to play well, and play well to give us a chance to win the game," Julien said after his team's optional morning skate. "It's as simple as that. Right now, our issues are a lot different than worrying about how far ahead they are or how much we need to catch up. We just have to go out there and play. And if we play well and do the job that we know we can, well hopefully we'll come up with a win and the rest will take care of itself."

The Bruins will leave for a six-game, 11-day road trip after facing the Rangers. So they've recalled defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Joshua Hennessy to provide depth while away from home. But for tonight, the lineup figures to feature the same players that beat Nashville on Saturday:

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

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

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Posted On Saturday, 02.11.2012 / 1:09 PM

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

Lineups for Bruins, Predators

BOSTON – Two Vezina Trophy finalists from a season ago will square off today at TD Garden.
               
Tim Thomas gets the start for the Boston Bruins, while Pekka Rinne will do the same for the Nashville Predators. Both teams are coming off stretches that featured three losses in their last four games.
               
Here are the projected lineups for both teams:

Bruins

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

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

Predators

Sergei Kostitsyn - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat
Gabriel Bourque - David Legwand - Patric Hornqvist
Brandon Yip - Craig Smith - Jordin Tootoo
Colin Wilson - Nick Spaling - Jerred Smithson

Ryan Suter - Shea Weber
Roman Josi - Kevin Klein
Francis Bouillon - Jack Hillen

Pekka Rinne
Anders Lindbac
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Posted On Saturday, 02.11.2012 / 11:36 AM

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

Bruins, Predators look for improved play

BOSTON – Two teams that have lost three of their last four games will meet this afternoon at TD Garden, as the Boston Bruins play host to the Nashville Predators.
               
Boston dropped its last outing, 6-0, at Buffalo on Wednesday. To a man, the Bruins know it’s not as bad, in general, as that score reflected. Now with just two home games left before a six-game road trip, the Bruins are looking forward to a better future.
               
“There’s some games like that,” said rookie forward Jordan Caron this morning. “There were a lot of little things that made it 6-0, and I think it’s going to happen during the season. We just have to bounce back.”
               
The Predators are 1-2-1 in their last four. In the three losses, they’ve allowed an uncharacteristic 11 goals. Nashville coach Barry Trotz, whose team ranks 12th with 2.58 goals allowed per game, knows that the Preds are only going to get better results once they improve their defensive play. They had won five in a row prior to their current slump.
               
“If we’re going to get back on track, we have to tighten things up [defensively],” said Trotz.
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Posted On Saturday, 02.04.2012 / 12:56 PM

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

Lineups for Penguins-Bruins matinee

BOSTON – Despite the announcement that they recalled forward Jordan Caron from their Providence (AHL) farm club this morning, the Boston Bruins are going with the same lineup today that dropped a 3-0 decision to Carolina on Thursday night.
               
Caron will go with the Bruins on their trip to Washington for a game Sunday afternoon after their TD Garden matinee with Pittsburgh. Tim Thomas starts in goal for Boston, while Marc-Andre Fleury starts for the Penguins a few nights after snapping his streak of 23 straight starts.
               
Here are the projected lineups for both the Bruins and Penguins:

Bruins

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Zach Hamill
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

Penguins

Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Dustin Jeffrey - Pascal Dupuis
Steve Sullivan - Cal O’Reilly - Tyler Kennedy
Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Richard Park

Brooks Orpik - Kris Letang
Paul Martin - Zbynek Michalek
Matt Niskanen - Deryk Engelland

Marc-Andre Fleury
Brent Johnson

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Posted On Saturday, 02.04.2012 / 11:34 AM

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

Expect a lot of Malkin vs. Chara at TD Garden

BOSTON – Evgeni Malkin’s line with Chris Kunitz and James Neal on the wings has been the hottest in the NHL.
               
In Pittsburgh’s last 22 games, that trio has combined for 34 goals and 72 points. For the first time since their recent hot stretch commenced, however, they’ll have to face one the best defenseman in the NHL – Zdeno Chara.
               
Malkin can expect to have to have Chara in his face most of the day today during Pittsburgh’s first game in Boston of the 2011-12 season. Back in December, the Bruins beat Pittsburgh, 3-1, and coach Dan Bylsma said that even then it was difficult to separate his best players from Boston’s best defenders.
               
“They did, in the first game, they always have a pretty concerted effort to get the matchup they want, especially on the back end. And even at home, in Game 1 against them, they were maybe the best team in the League so far at getting the changes they needed to try and get the matchups they wanted,” said Bylsma some two hours before puck-drop. “We’re on the road. I don’t think it’s going to be any easier for me. The one thing you can hope for and you really try to do, if you can extend shifts by the other lines, you can start to get matchups that are in your favor. If that’s the case, if we can get good shifts in the offensive zone, if we can extend shifts for players that are on the ice for Boston, then maybe the matchups are something you can try to get.”
               
Bylsma said newly acquire center Cal O’Reilly will make his Pittsburgh debut on a trio with Steve Sullivan and Tyler Kennedy.
               
While the Penguins have won eight of their last nine, the Bruins are just 4-4-1 over that same stretch of games. Boston emphasized playing as five-man units during its up-tempo practice Friday, so now the Bruins will try to carry that over into game action.
               
“Just doing those simple things, working on our breakouts, regroups, everything,” defenseman Johnny Boychuk said about his team’s main focuses. “When we do it together we’re an unbelievable team and when we don’t, things fall apart. That’s what usually happens.”
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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 1:02 PM

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

Hurricanes focus on improving road record

BOSTON -- While the Carolina Hurricanes have enjoyed their matchups with the Boston Bruins this season to the tune of a 3-0-0 record against the defending Stanley Cup champions, they've struggled on the road regardless of the opponent.

Entering tonight's game at the TD Garden, the Hurricanes are 28th in the NHL in the road standings with a 5-13-6 record. Coach Kirk Muller, however, is quick to point out that over their last 10 games, the Hurricanes have played four contests away from Raleigh and compiled a 1-1-2 record.

"We're kind of looking at it more, not so much over the year, like game to game and we've taken it in 10-game segments," Muller said after his team's morning skate. "And with that we're really pleased with our effort on the road, and that's what we've got to keep building on."

Chad LaRose did not make the trip to Boston due to flu-like symptoms. Drayson Bowman was recalled from Charlotte of the AHL to fill LaRose's spot.

Defenseman Jaroslav Spacek, who missed the last seven Hurricanes games with an upper-body injury, is expected to return to the lineup. Here's a look at the projected full roster that will take the ice against the Bruins:

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Jeff Skinner - Jussi Jokinen - Riley Nash
Andreas Nodl - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Anthony Stewart - Tim Brent - Drayson Bowman

Jay Harrison - Justin Faulk
Bryan Allen - Tim Gleason
Jaroslav Spacek - Jamie McBain

Cam Ward
Justin Peters

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Posted On Thursday, 02.02.2012 / 12:40 PM

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

Bruins' blue line fortified with Ference's return

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins should be whole again on their back end tonight for the first time in more than a week, as defenseman Andrew Ference will return from his three-game suspension.        

Ference earned the ban against the New York Rangers Jan. 21, when he awkwardly pushed defenseman Ryan McDonagh into the end wall. Combined with Adam McQuaid's apparent return to health after catching a rut in the ice in the third period Tuesday and missing practice Wednesday, Ference's return will provide the Bruins with their usual sextet of blueliners against Carolina at the TD Garden.

"Well, I think he's been a pretty stable force for us back there," Bruins coach Claude Julien said about Ference, who has provided the team with 4 goals and 20 points so far this season. "I've liked his game this year. He's been a real healthy player. And I think that's what's held him back in the past, as far as people appreciating him for what he really is."

While Ference and McQuaid are scheduled to rejoin the lineup, Nathan Horton (concussion) has still not done any physical activity. Julien said the forward is improving and could exert himself later in the week.

Here is the Bruins' projected lineup:

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot - Chris Kelly - Zach Hamill
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.31.2012 / 2:14 PM

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

Birthday boy Seguin back from whirlwind All-Star trip

BOSTON -- There wasn't much time for Tyler Seguin, the Boston Bruins' leading scorer with 19 goals and 43 points, to catch his breath over the weekend.

Seguin competed in the Skills Competition and the All-Star Game in Ottawa, and also made time to visit with some family and friends while back in his native province. The Bruins granted him -- and his All-Star teammates Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara -- a day off from practice Monday, but today he was right back on the ice for the team's morning skate at the TD Garden in preparation for tonight’s game with Ottawa.

Seguin could be forgiven if his energy level was a little down after the whirlwind last three or four days coming on the heels of playing in 46 of Boston's 47 games leading up to the All-Star break.

"I'd like to say it is," said Seguin about energy being an issue. "But obviously I have to be ready, I have to have energy because I'm young. I'm 20 now, so I'm not that young anymore. I'm not 18 anymore. Maybe I do get fatigued now."

With the arrival of his 20th birthday today, Seguin has his mom and sister in town to celebrate and watch him play. And although there wasn't much rest for the weary in Ottawa, Seguin wouldn't have traded the experience for anything.

"I don't know if it felt like a break. It was a pretty long weekend," he said. "But it was one of the best weekends of my life. It was great, just hanging out with those guys and seeing some family and friends from back home. It was definitely a great break for me."


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Quote of the Day

It's always a little bit weird, but it moves on. They've got a good team, and they played well tonight. I think that's just part of it.

— Peter Laviolette on facing his former team (Flyers) for the first time since his departure