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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

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.”
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

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

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."


Posted On Tuesday, 01.31.2012 / 12:56 PM

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

Horton not yet ready to rejoin Bruins' lineup

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will open the post-break portion of the schedule tonight at TD Garden with their lineup still missing a key component.

Nathan Horton, who suffered a concussion Jan. 22 in Philadelphia and missed Boston's last game before the All-Star break, will continue to sit out when the Bruins host the Ottawa Senators. Horton has been visiting the Garden for medical treatments, according to coach Claude Julien, and he'll be held off the ice another few days.

Horton's latest concussion comes eight months after the one he suffered in the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins are expected to start Rich Peverley in Horton's spot on the right wing of a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

"Well for now, that's the situation. You know, Richard Peverley did a great job, I think, in stepping in last year when Horts got hurt. I think what he brings is that speed ... he’s got good hands, good speed," Julien said after the morning skate at the Garden. "And even his game, I think he wants to be a little bit better than he has been lately. So, he'd like to elevate his game a little bit. If he does that I think he'll be a great guy to be in that position for now. But that's the decision that we think is the best one so far, and we'll certainly hope that it works. But if not, then we'll look at moving some other guys around."

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said he doesn't expect any lineup changes from the group he used heading into the break. Defenseman Brian Lee continues to recover from a lower-body injury and could be back by the end of the week.

Craig Anderson is scheduled to start in net for Ottawa. He'll have started every Sens game in January. It's unknown whether the Bruins will turn to Tim Thomas or Tuukka Rask.

Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game:

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
Adam McQuaid - Steven Kampfer

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

SENATORS
Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler
Nick Foligno - Kyle Turris - Daniel Alfredsson
Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Kaspars Daugavins - Zenon Konopka - Erik Condra

Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - Matt Carkner

Craig Anderson
Alex Auld

 
Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 5:52 PM

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

Cunneyworth: Cammalleri has to earn ice time

BOSTON -- In his first comments to the media since Michael Cammalleri made some critical comments about his ice time and the Montreal Canadiens' attitude, Habs coach Randy Cunneyworth said he expects the forward to earn more time on the ice.

"It's his opinion, and I think our bottom line is we need a lot of action from a lot of guys. I think we have to play at both ends," Cunneyworth said two hours before puck drop between the Canadiens and Boston Bruins at TD Garden. "Our top guys have to be our top guys, and that's the bottom line. I think they know who they are. And we have a lot of work ahead of us against a very good team tonight."

While Cammalleri alluded to a possible "loser's attitude" among the Habs, Cunneyworth sounded more concerned about how his team's playing rather than its attitude.

"You know what? If you don't battle, if you don't play hard, if you don't play desperate, it doesn't matter what you do out there," he said. "I think you have to go out there and play that way in order to play the way we want to. Our team game is based around that, and you can't take a shift off. And I think if we can perform to our expectations, then certainly we're a good team and we can compete with anyone in the league."

Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 1:22 PM

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

Cammalleri clarifies Wednesday comments on Habs

BOSTON -- The day after Michael Cammalleri made some disparaging remarks about his team's attitude, the Montreal forward went into damage-control mode today after his team's morning skate at the TD Garden in preparation for tonight's game with the Boston Bruins.

After the Habs practiced Wednesday, Cammalleri told NHL.com and a reporter from Montreal newspaper La Presse that he was unhappy with his ice time before making a comparison between teams with a "winning mentality" and those with a "losing mentality," suggesting the Canadiens were currently a part of the latter group.

In the Garden dressing room, he expressed confusion over why a statement like that would cause a controversy.

"Yesterday was a little bit crazy. I'm obviously not happy," said Cammalleri. "It's an emotional game, we're sitting in 12th spot, so it's not fun to lose and you want to win. So you always want to do more. That's all. I made some comments after my interview yesterday that I thought were pretty PC comments with regards to the competitive advantage a winning team has and their mentality, and the lack thereof of a losing team. I didn't think it was ground-breaking news.

"We're in 12th spot, we're not in a winning position right now. So it was some pretty impressive journalism to make all that out of that. But that's what it was for me. This group in here knows that we've got to be better. It's no secret, like I said, [we're in] 12th spot."

Cammalleri, who has only produced nine goals and 22 points for the 16-19-7 Canadiens, would not confirm whether he addressed the comments with his teammates, head coach Randy Cunneyworth or general manager Pierre Gauthier. But several players said that Cammalleri did clarify what he said with them.

Cammalleri also responded to those translating his statements about the team's attitude, and additional ones about his diminished ice time, as a message saying he wanted out of Montreal.
Posted On Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 12:28 PM

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

Julien hopes Horton keeps burying opportunities

BOSTON -- As they attempt to close out their four-game, Canadian-opponent homestand tonight at the TD Garden with a win over Montreal, the Bruins are hoping winger Nathan Horton is finally out of the woods in terms of a scoring slump.

In his last four games, Horton has posted 5-1-6 totals, including two goals in Tuesday night's win over Winnipeg. Previously, Horton had scored just once over a seven-game span. His 14 goals now tie him with Milan Lucic for third on the team, and he's well on pace to at least match last season's total of 26 goals.

Bruins coach Claude Julien has witnessed a resurgence in Horton's game.

"I'd have to say it's picked up. I mean, in the last week or so you've seen him, again, I always say when he's emotionally involved in a game, he brings a lot," Julien said after an optional morning skate at TD Garden. "He can be a physical player, he can be a strong player, he's in the right spots, he buries his opportunities, and to me, he started doing that. I'm seeing a guy turning a corner, and I hope he keeps building on what he's done in the last week because it makes a big difference to our hockey club."

The Bruins' lineup isn't expected to change tonight from Tuesday, although Julien now has an extra option among forwards with the recall of Jordan Caron from the Bruins' Providence (AHL) farm club.

Here are tonight's projected lineups:

CANADIENS
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Andrei Kostitsyn - Lars Eller - Travis Moen
Michael Cammalleri - Tomas Plekanec - Mike Blunden
Mathieu Darche - Petteri Nokelainen - Yannick Weber

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Hal Gill
Tomas Kaberle - Raphael Diaz

Carey Price
Peter Budaj

BRUINS
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Benoit Pouliot - Patrice Bergeron - Tyler Seguin
Chris Kelly - Zach Hamill - Rich Peverley
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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Quote of the Day

After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016