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Posted On Tuesday, 12.13.2011 / 7:04 PM

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

Paille returns to Bruins' lineup

BOSTON – Forward Daniel Paille will make his return to the Boston Bruins lineup tonight against Los Angeles at the TD Garden.

Paille missed one game after he suffered a mild concussion in the first period of last Thursday's game against Florida. He did not return to that game and missed Boston's win at Columbus two nights later.

He started skating for the first time Monday during a non-contact practice and took the morning skate with the Bruins today. Paille said he's been symptom-free since the hit but was held out of the game and activity for precautionary reasons.

Jordan Caron is a healthy scratch due to Paille's return.


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Posted On Tuesday, 12.13.2011 / 3:26 PM

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

Kampfer getting a chance with Chara out

BOSTON – It’s been almost a month since Steven Kampfer played in an NHL game.

The second-year defenseman will get back into action tonight for the Boston Bruins when they play host to the Los Angeles Kings at TD Garden without captain Zdeno Chara. Other than two conditioning games with Providence in the American Hockey League earlier this month, Kampfer has spent a lot of time practicing.
           
He’s only played in five games all season after he skated in 38 games for Boston and 22 for Providence last season as a first-year pro.
           
“That you’ve just got to take every day and get better,” said Kampfer about the biggest lesson this season has taught him when asked after Boston’s morning skate. “It’s a learning process when you come in as a seventh [defenseman]. They want you to learn things. So I think that’s been the main aspect of the year so far.”
               
So what has Kampfer learned from Day One of training camp until now?
               
“[I’m] moving my feet more, more confidence,” he said. “Definitely the skating aspect of the game has definitely helped. So I think using that confidence will help out.”
              
Coach Claude Julien wants Kampfer’s confidence level to be pretty high in order to produce the way he can, regardless of how many minutes he winds up playing. He has one assist in the five games he’s played, and has averaged a little less than 12 minutes of ice time before contest.
               
“A player like that just has to go out and he can’t be afraid of making mistakes, and you’ve heard every coach say that,” Julien said. “You just go out there and play, play with confidence and if you’re afraid of making a mistake, you’re going to make a mistake. … He’s worked really hard, we’ve done some extra with him in practice, kept him in the best shape possible and he’s had a couple of games in Providence, where they felt he played really well. So he just needs to bring that with him tonight … he’s a player that skates really well and he can move the puck when he feels good and he’s confident about his game, that’s what he brings to us.”
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.13.2011 / 1:56 PM

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

'Somber' Kings trying to move forward vs. Bruins

BOSTON -- There's an emotional hurdle John Stevens knows he and his players have to overcome tonight when the Los Angeles Kings take the ice against the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden.

Stevens, an assistant coach under Terry Murray, was named interim coach after Murray was fired Monday.

"It was a pretty somber mood here today," Stevens said after running the morning skate. "I think Terry has an enormous amount of respect from every guy in that locker room and certainly everybody affiliated with the team. So it's not surprising that there's a very somber mood over the team. That's why we felt it was very important to skate as a group today and just kind of work through it. But it's a process you have to go through. There's no quick fix for it, there's no lightning in a bottle. We talk about the process all the time, but it's very important that we work through the process because of what just transpired."

Stevens, who had been running the Kings' defense during games, will slide down the bench and run the forwards, with assistant coach Jamie Kompon running the defense. While the coaching roles change, the goal for everyone with the 13-12-4 Kings continues to be to live up to the expectations that had many picking the Kings to be near the top of the Western Conference.

"It was a difficult day yesterday for everybody," said Stevens. "I mean, (we were) taken by surprise and then a quick turnaround to try to get ready for Boston here. So I'm not going to lie to you, it's not an easy thing to go through. Certainly not for us. I think we all have to take some responsibility here for the situation we're in, and that goes for Jamie and I, as well.

"There’s big expectations on this team, and the ironic thing is that it's because of the great job that Terry did here. That's why we're considered a team that can do damage in the West, is because of the respect that he's brought here during his time here. So what better challenge than the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Boston Bruins?"

Here's the lineup Stevens and the Kings likely will go with, and here's what the Bruins likely will counter with.
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Posted On Tuesday, 12.13.2011 / 12:50 PM

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

Bruins will play without Chara, Campbell

BOSTON -- The Bruins will definitely have lineup changes when they face the Kings tonight, with Zdeno Chara (leg) and Gregory Campbell (foot) definitely out. Steven Kampfer will move in as the sixth defenseman.

Daniel Paille was awaiting the result of his final medical test so he could be cleared for game action after suffering a minor concussion last week. Zach Hamill is up on emergency recall, and head coach Claude Julien said the former first-round pick would most likely fill in for Campbell because of his experience as a center.

Assuming Paille's cleared, expect Jordan Caron to be a healthy scratch and the lines to look something like this:

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

Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid
Johnny Boychuk - Steven Kampfer

Tuukka Rask
Tim Thomas




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Posted On Tuesday, 12.13.2011 / 12:46 PM

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

Brown: Kings must get back to being hungry team

BOSTON -- It's been less than 24 hours since the Los Angeles Kings decided to make a coaching change by firing Terry Murray and replacing him on an interim basis with assistant John Stevens.

There hasn't been much of an opportunity for the slumping Kings, who are the League's lowest-scoring team and have lost four in a row, to make major changes to their approach to the game. So captain Dustin Brown says it's more about him and his teammates having a better mental outlook when they take the ice against the Boston Bruins tonight and going forward.

"In regards to how we play the game, I think it's more about our attitude. Honestly," Brown said after his team's morning skate at the TD Garden. "The difference, the parity in the NHL now, especially in the West. Teams are so close. It's more about the type of attitude we bring to the game and we have to have a better, more hungry attitude. We weren't a hungry team and we've got to get back to getting on the puck and having that attitude, that swagger. You look around at the top teams in the League, they all have an attitude.

"Minnesota's probably a good example of that. I don't think if you look on paper you'd think they're the best team in the League. But right now they're playing with attitude and we as a team, as a group of players, have to find that attitude."

Stevena said not to expect "wholesale changes" to the Kings' lineup tonight, so they'll probably go with the lineup they practiced with yesterday:

KINGS
Simon Gagne - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Penner
Dustin Brown - Jarret Stoll - Justin Williams
Brad Richardson - Andrei Loktionov - Trent Hunter
Kyle Clifford - Colin Fraser - Trevor Lewis/Kevin Westgarth

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell  - Slava Voynov
Jack Johnson - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

The extras on defense are Alec Martinez and Davis Drewiske.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.08.2011 / 3:34 PM

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

Sturm makes return to TD Garden to face Bruins

BOSTON -- For the first time since he was traded to Los Angeles last December, Marco Sturm returned to the TD Garden today.

The Panthers winger has played for four teams (including Florida) since he was dealt out of Boston in a salary-cap crunch. In more than 300 regular-season games with the Bruins, Sturm scored 106 goals, including the famous game-winning goal in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park.

Maybe his biggest goal as a Bruin came in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Montreal in 2008. The Bruins were in the playoffs for the first time since the lockout and Sturm's goal capped a wild victory that allowed the eighth-seeded Bruins to push top-seeded Montreal to a seventh game.

"It's fun and it's a little bit weird too," said Sturm about his return to Boston after the morning skate in preparation for tonight's game against the Bruins. "It's been a fun time here. I had a lot of good years here, I really liked it here, and now I'm on the other side."

Sturm admits that at first last spring, he wasn't all that interested in what the Bruins were doing. As they moved closer to their Stanley Cup championship, however, Boston earned Sturm's rooting interest.

"After they kept winning and winning, I knew they had a pretty good chance," he said. "I don't know, the happiness took over because I knew this group of guys and they deserve it."

While Sturm wasn't around for Boston's capturing of the ultimate goal, he was a key component in the change of culture for the Bruins. Winger Shawn Thornton lauded Sturm's ability to life everyone's spirits today, and coach Claude Julien was grateful for what Sturm brought his clubs on and off the ice.

"Well, Marco was one of those guys that, his last few years he had some pretty bad injuries and going back to those days, I know that he ... really wanted to feel part of the team and he was doing things from the outside, getting guys ready, bringing in some stuff before playoffs and kind of giving them little things that would kind of make us or solidify what we were as a team," Julien said. "As a player … at that time, we didn't have a ton of speed up front and he certainly brought that and that's what we liked about Marco was his speed and he could come off of the wing and then take that shot."



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Posted On Thursday, 12.08.2011 / 1:29 PM

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

Panthers coach Dineen returns to New England

BOSTON – Florida head coach Kevin Dineen is enjoying something of a homecoming today with his Panthers visiting TD Garden for a showdown with the Boston Bruins.
   
After years of battling the Bruins with the Hartford Whalers in his playing days, Dineen has maintained ties to the region.
   
“It’s always good. I guess we’d consider ourselves New Englanders,” he said after the morning skate. “I married a Hartford girl, and we’ve spent a lot time here, specifically in Portland the last six years. So it’s just fabulous to be back in the area.”
   
Dinner coached the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League the last six seasons.
   
The Panthers are schedule to have two new players in their lineup. Krys Barch was just acquired in a trade with Dallas, while Mikael Samuelsson should return after a 20-game absence with a lower-body injury.
   
“We’ve waited a long time for Sammy,” said Dineen. “We’re going to slowly matriculate him into our lineup here and I think it’s going to be well worth the wait. He’s a quality player and a great individual and he’s going to add a lot to our mix right now.”
   
Jose Theodore missed the Panthers’ last game with the flu. He practiced yesterday and took the morning skate, so Dineen said starting the veteran is an option for tonight.
   
Here are the Panthers’ probable lines and D pairs:

Tomas Fleischmann - Stephen Weiss - Kris Versteeg
Tomas Kopecky - Shawn Matthias - Jack Skille
Marco Sturm - Mike Santorelli - Sean Bergenheim
Mikael Samuelsson - Tim Kennedy - Krys Barch

Dmitry Kulikov - Mike Weaver
Erik Gudbranson - Ed Jovanovski
Brian Campbell - Jason Garrison

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Posted On Thursday, 12.08.2011 / 12:54 PM

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

Seguin back in lineup after one-game benching

BOSTON -- One game as a healthy scratch was obviously enough to convince the Boston Bruins that Tyler Seguin learned his lesson for missing a team breakfast and meeting.

Seguin was absent Tuesday morning from a team gathering in Winnipeg, and was subsequently scratched from that night's 2-1 loss to the Jets.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said Seguin is scheduled to be back in the lineup tonight, when the Bruins host the Florida Panthers at the TD Garden.

"I talked about it the other day. I already kind of moved on and I'm ready for the next game," Seguin said after the morning skate.

The second-year forward, who leads the Bruins in scoring, was forbidden from speaking further on the matter. Julien had no intention of addressing the subject more either.

"All I know -- this is old news. This is two days old and for us, we've really turned the page on that," Julien said. "It's not even an issue today, and old news is old news. We've moved on, so I don't even know that I want to go back to that. He's fine and I'm fine. He's in the lineup tonight, he's going to be playing and I think unfortunately, you guys are trying to make a bigger story out of this than it is. He's missed a game, he's paid his dues. It's a 19-year-old that is fine with us, he's a good professional, and that's it. Page turned and we move on."

Here is the probable lineup for tonight's game:

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

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

Tim Thomas, who was won his last 10 starts, is scheduled to start in net, as the Bruins try to begin a new streak after their 15-game point streak was snapped by Winnipeg.
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Posted On Saturday, 12.03.2011 / 6:58 PM

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

Rask to start vs. Reimer

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins will start Tuukka Rask in net tonight against Toronto at the TD Garden. Toronto counters with James Reimer.

Rask brings a 3-3-1 record with a 2.25 goals-against average and .921 save percentage into the game against the team that originally drafted him. He last played on Nov. 25 in a shootout loss to Detroit, the only loss by the Bruins in more than a month.

Tim Thomas, the Bruins' usual goaltender has a nine-game winning streak that will apparently stay at that number for one more night. Thomas was in goal Wednesday when the Bruins won 6-3 at Toronto, their third victory against the Leafs in as many meetings this season.

Reimer will be playing for the first time since Oct. 22, when he was hit by Montreal's Brian Gionta. He's been out with what the Leafs labeled "concussion-like symptoms."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.03.2011 / 1:49 PM

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

Leafs' Reimer returns, hopes to end skid against B's

BOSTON – Toronto coach Ron Wilson told goaltender James Reimer during practice Friday that he would get the start Saturday night against the Boston Bruins.

Because of that the Maple Leafs' pregame skate at TD Garden had a little different feel this morning for Reimer, who has been out since he was hit in the head by Montreal's Brian Gionta on Oct. 22 and started suffering from concussion-like symptoms.

"It's more exciting, that's for sure. The last week, week and a half, I've been taking morning skates, but in the other net and staying out there until 1 or longer and working as hard as I can," said Reimer after he was the first goaltender off the ice, which was the first public acknowledgement that he would start. "So today it was a lot more fun to get in there, feel the puck, get a little sweat on and come off when you feel you've had enough shots."
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Quote of the Day

For us it's a little bit different. I've never been in front of this much media. This is more than we've ever had to deal with in Tampa. I guess we're on a little bit bigger stage now. It's nice, you have to enjoy it. This doesn't happen too often.

— Lightning forward J.T. Brown after his first Media Day experience on Tuesday in preparation of Game 1 on Wednesday