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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Tuesday, 10.18.2011 / 1:12 PM

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

Krejci could be back soon

BOSTON -- While Tyler Seguin has filled in well as the Bruins’ first-line center between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, David Krejci’s return from a core injury would be a big help.

Krejci, who suffered the injury last week in a practice, skated with his teammates Monday and took the morning skate today. He did not go through line drills, as Seguin continued to fill Krejci’s spot. Krejci declined to speak with the media about his condition after the skate. Tonight will be his third game missed with the injury.

“Krejci’s not ready to go yet,” coach Claude Julien said about last year’s team co-leader in points. “He’s obviously starting to skate with us, so he’s inching closer to returning, but not tonight.”

Seguin leads the team in scoring with 5 points (1 goal). Prior to his injury, Krejci had scored just 1 goal in three games.
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POSTED ON Monday, 10.10.2011 / 12:37 PM

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

Rask to get first start

BOSTON -- After earning their first win of the season in their second game played Saturday, the Bruins are heading into today's home matinee against Colorado with the same lineup, minus one change: Tuukka Rask will get his first start of the season in goal.

Rask last played in a game that counts April 10, the regular-season finale in New Jersey, before Thomas the Bruins started their run to the Stanley Cup. Thomas played every minute in the Bruins' net en route to helping the franchise win its first Cup in 39 years.

"He's played well in preseason," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Rask. "We've always liked him, obviously. It's just a matter of making sure that he's not on the sideline for too long. We've got a busy week again this week. So we're giving both those guys an opportunity to play here and do their share."

In 29 games last season, Rask was 11-14-2 with a 2.67 goals-against average and .918 save percentage; in 2009-10, he led the league in GAA and save percentage.
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POSTED ON Monday, 10.10.2011 / 11:35 AM

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

Lineups for Bruins, Avalanche

Due to their 1 p.m. start today in Boston, neither the Bruins nor the Avalanche skated today. So here's the best approximation of what their lineups could look like when they hit the ice today.

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

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

Tuukka Rask will make his season debut in goal, with Tim Thomas serving as the backup.

AVALANCHE
Peter Mueller - Matt Duchene - Milan Hejduk
David Jones - Paul Stastny - Chuck Kobasew
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Daniel Winnik
Cody McLeod - Jay McClement - T.J. Galiardi

Shane O'Brien - Kyle Quincey
Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Ryan Wilson - Ryan O'Byrne

Semyon Varlamov likely will start in goal, with Jean-Sebastien Giguere the backup.
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POSTED ON Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 1:36 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Expected lineups for Bruins, Lightning

The Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning are set to face off Saturday in a rematch of last spring's Eastern Conference Finals. Based on this morning's practices, here are the expected forward lines and defense pairings for each team:

BRUINS

Lucic-Krejci-Horton
Marchand-Bergeron-Peverley
Pouliot-Kelly-Seguin
Paille-Campbell-Thornton

Chara-Boychuk
Seidenberg-Corvo
Ference-McQuaid

Tim Thomas is expected to start in goal with Tuukka Rask backing him up.

LIGHTNING
Malone-Lecavalier-Purcell
St. Louis-Stamkos-Downie
Connolly-Moore-Shannon
Jones-Thompson-Hall

Hedman-Brewer
Clark-Gilroy
Bergeron-Kubina

Mathieu Garon looks like he may see the start in goal with Dwayne Roloson backing him up.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:41 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Clark made a strong impression

BOSTON -- Although veteran forward Chris Clark didn't make the opening-night roster, he left an impression on Bruins coach Claude Julien.

Clark was in Bruins camp under a tryout agreement, which he was released from Wednesday afternoon.

"A tough decision was made and not so much for the present, but maybe for the future, what we feel we have as depth, what we feel we can maybe do at some point, and it was a real tough call," Julien said of cutting Clark. "Anybody who can ask me the question right now, I'll answer without hesitation that Chris Clark can still play in the NHL. That's not a question. We just had too much depth and what he was going to bring and what we're capable of offering him, I think it would have been tough for him to fit in our top 12. … So it was tough. There's a lot of things that went into our thoughts and the one thing I do hope is that he hooks up with some NHL team because he's still an NHL-caliber player."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:37 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Kelly, Ference to wear an 'A'

BOSTON -- It was a mystery all summer and through training camp that everyone tried to solve.

After the retirement of Mark Recchi, the Bruins had an opening for an assistant captain in addition to Patrice Bergeron, the other permanent assistant under captain Zdeno Chara.

It seemed like everyone had an opinion about which player would best fill the void. Today, the Bruins' coaching staff, led by coach Claude Julien, announced that there will be two players wearing the second 'A' over the course of the season. Defenseman Andrew Ference will wear it for home games, while center Chris Kelly will wear it for road games. They will switch their home-road roles after the midway point of the season.

Should one of them be out of the lineup, someone else will get a chance to wear a letter.

"I think all the players and coaching staff kind of agreed that those guys have the personality that gives them that respect in the room," said Julien. "Also, they have that personality that shows leadership in the right way, on and off the ice, and they're highly respected in our dressing room, so our guys really felt strongly here. There didn't seem to be any questions on whether they were the right choices. It really was pretty unanimous overall. So it just became the obvious choices.

"I know Chris has come in late in the season (last season) and I thought when he first got here he was known as a great leader in Ottawa, but he kind of felt his way through before he started showing those qualities to the extreme. And in the playoffs it was pretty obvious what kind of a leader he was and our guys in the coaching staff recognized that.”

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:29 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

3 rookies to make regular-season debuts for Flyers

BOSTON -- The Philadelphia Flyers will welcome eight new faces (nine if you count rookie Zac Rinaldo, who only played for them in the playoffs last season) into their lineup when they battle the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins tonight at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, Versus).

Including Rinaldo, there will be three rookies in the lineup. Rinaldo, Sean Couturier, the eighth pick of the 2011 Entry Draft, and fellow forward Matt Read all will make their NHL regular-season debuts.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he isn't worried about his rookies not being ready for prime time.

"I think that we've got some young players here, but they proved themselves at camp that they're good hockey players," Laviolette said. "They've been put in certain roles where we're counting on them to play and we'll keep working with them and teaching them. But their camps were good and they deserve to be here."

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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:26 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Recchi, Hnidy take in morning skate

BOSTON -- Among those in attendance for today's Bruins morning skate were two key figures from last season's Stanley Cup championship roster who no longer are playing in the NHL.

Future Hall of Famer Mark Recchi and journeyman defenseman Shane Hnidy watched their former teammates prepare for tonight's season-opener against Philadelphia at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, Versus). Both will be part of the pregame banner-raising festivities.

Recchi was an integral part of the team on and off the ice from the time of his arrival in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2009 until he raised the Cup last June. While Hnidy played just three regular-season and three playoff games for the Bruins last season, his behind-the-scenes leadership was one of the least heralded, but still important, contributions to the Bruins' cause.
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:16 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Jagr from hero to bitter rival for Krejci

BOSTON -- Growing up, Czech center David Krejci hung posters of Jaromir Jagr on his walls.

"Tons of them," the Bruins center said. "But they're all gone now. He's my enemy now, you know."

For the first time in three seasons, Jagr will be an enemy of Krejci and all the Bruins. The future Hall of Fame forward will be in the Philadelphia Flyers' lineup tonight as he plays his first NHL game since leaving to play in Russia after the 2007-08 season.

Jagr said he's not any more or less excited for this game than any other. But he knows his team will have its hands full with Krejci.

"Of course, he's supposed to be our top from the Czech Republic," said Jagr, who was Krejci's Olympic teammate in 2010. "There's no question about it. And he proved it in the playoffs last year. They won the Stanley Cup and now it's going to be a huge challenge not only for me, but for the whole team."

Krejci joked that when he was a kid and Jagr already was in the NHL, he never thought he someday would be on the same ice with his idol, who's now 39. When he was an NHL rookie, Krejci got his first on-ice dose of Jagr and he's prepared for more of the same things from the star forward.

"He's a big body, right? Once he gets going, it's tough to stop him," said Krejci. "He proved it in Russia that he could still play hockey, and he also proved it in the preseason games. So we know he's here to play hockey, he's ready to go. He wants to prove so many people wrong. I'm sure he's ready to go. He's a great player, but he's going to have a tough night tonight."
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POSTED ON Thursday, 10.06.2011 / 2:08 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Lineup questions for Bruins

BOSTON -- The Bruins might not know until game time which of their new faces will be in the lineup when they open their defense of the Stanley Cup against Philadelphia tonight at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET, Versus).

Defenseman Adam McQuaid, a key part of the Bruins' top six last season, missed the last couple days of practice with flu-like symptoms. He skated this morning, but the Bruins plan to monitor his situation over the course of the day before determining if he can play.

If McQuaid can't go, Matt Bartkowski would be one of two newcomers on Boston's back end. Joe Corvo, who was acquired in a trade with Carolina over the summer, is scheduled to play.

Up front, free-agent signee Benoit Pouliot and rookie Jordan Caron alternated on left wing on a line with center Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin during the morning skate. Coach Claude Julien told everyone to come to the rink tonight prepared to play.
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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