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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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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:54 PM

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

Bartkowski, Paille skate at Bruins optional practice

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins had defenseman Kevan Miller back from illness for their 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Sunday.

They might be a little healthier in time for Game 3 on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in Detroit. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski, who hasn't played in a game since April 13, skated during an optional practice Monday at TD Garden. He would appear to be the closest to returning of Boston's missing regulars.

Forward Daniel Paille, who hasn't played since he was injured April 12, skated as well. He's been on the ice several times in the past week as he tries to return from what's believed to be a head injury. The Bruins are being patient with all their returnees.

"There's again a certain route you have to take," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And it's no different than Matt Bartkowski being out for that long and being sick. We have to allow him to skate a little bit and get himself back into the groove of things before you're allowed to throw him into a game. So I don't think those guys [Paille and forward Chris Kelly] being much, much different. So again, it's a day-to-day process, and I'm just waiting to hear."

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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 3:09 PM

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

Bruins' Bartkowski out again, Miller returns

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski will not play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Bartkowski, who is believed to be recovering from the flu, has not played since last Sunday in the Bruins' regular-season finale against the New Jersey Devils. He returned to practice Saturday.

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller, who also missed Game 1, is set to return to the lineup.

Boston forwards Daniel Paille and Chris Kelly did not participate in the warmup and will sit for the second straight game.

The Red Wings did not make any changes to their lineup from Game 1, a 1-0 Detroit victory.

Here are the projected lineups:


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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 3:00 PM

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

Bartkowski back on ice for undaunted Bruins

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins aren't discouraged that they're down 1-0 in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Detroit Red Wings.

In fact, discouraged isn't even a word in their vocabulary.

"I don't know what that means, but I don't think so," said Bruins center Carl Soderberg, a native of Sweden.

The point is that even though the Bruins lost Game 1 of the series 1-0 Friday, they'll be at home for Game 2 on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC) with no need to panic. In several series, their core had to come back from as many as 2-0 down to win or at least extend it.

Forward Jarome Iginla is in his first playoffs with the Bruins, but he said he sees the resolve that's made the Bruins a resilient team for several seasons.

"I think this group in here, we're prepared to work hard and we take a lot of pride in that and competing," Iginla said after practice at TD Garden. "Things don't always go perfectly and they haven't even during the year. It's part of it. And we also, you know, we believe in ourselves and each other. One game isn't going to change that."

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Posted On Friday, 04.18.2014 / 7:38 PM

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

Bruins' Bartkowski, Miller scratched for Game 1

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins went into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday minus two of their expected top six defensemen.

Matt Bartkowski, who didn't practice all week, and Kevan Miller, who only made an appearance at one practice, were scratched for the series opener. It's unknown whether each is injured or a victim of the flu bug that Bruins coach Claude Julien said hit the team. Miller missed two games in early April but played the final three games of the regular season.


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Quote of the Day

I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive. I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever.

— New Jersey Devils center Scott Gomez on former teammate Martin Brodeur, who will announce his retirement Thursday