BOSTON -- The New York Rangers will dress the same lineup for Saturday’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that they dressed for Game 4. They trail the Boston Bruins in the best-of-7 series, 3-1.
Darroll Powe was on the ice for pregame warmups at TD Garden, but he will not play. Powe hasn't played since Game 3 of the conference quarterfinals.
Several times early in the Rangers’ series-extending 4-3, Game 4 overtime win against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Thursday, New York’s energy players tried to coax some of Boston’s tougher players to fight, to no avail.
Bruins coach Claude Julien expects that to continue, at least until Boston is in need of a spark.
“I think it was pretty clear. I said it even on TV there between those timeouts: The guys on my fourth line, to me, aren’t worth the trade off with their fourth line right now,” Julien said after the Bruins prepared for Game 5 with a practice Friday at TD Garden. “Those guys are pretty valuable players for us. So whichever way they see their players, I certainly don’t want to see one of mine necessarily in the penalty box with one of theirs, because it plays to their advantage.”
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh played more than 29 minutes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, marking the fourth time in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs he's logged at least that much ice time in a game.
However, for the first time in the playoffs, McDonagh had a regular role on the power play. Rangers coach John Tortorella said McDonagh was good in that role, and Tortorella took the blame for not putting him on the power play sooner.
"I think he helped us [in Game 4] on the power play," Tortorella said. "It's me. I [messed] that up not using him early enough and I should have."
BOSTON -- Often a weakness the past several seasons, especially in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Boston Bruins' power play has become a driving force for the team that leads the Eastern Conference Semifinals with the New York Rangers, 3-1, heading into Game 5 on Saturday at TD Garden (5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
The Bruins are 3-for-9 with the man-advantage, led by rookie defenseman Torey Krug. The playoff call-up from Providence of the American Hockey League has scored two of those three goals.
"I think that we're just not passing up those good opportunities," Krug said after practice Friday at TD Garden. "You'd see sometimes in the past we'd be passing the puck and we'd want to make that extra pass. But this time, we're shooting pucks, we're getting pucks to the net, and guys are taking away Henrik's [Lundqvist] ice."
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg continued to progress toward a return from an undisclosed injury during practice Friday at TD Garden.
The Bruins were on the ice for about 30 minutes the afternoon after they lost to the New York Rangers 4-3 in overtime in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, failing to sweep.
"It went better again," said Seidenberg, who was injured in Game 7 of the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs. "But now it's still day to day. I have to talk to the doctors and trainers and consult with them and go from there."
Injured defenseman Wade Redden also skated with the team.
Bruins coach Claude Julien wouldn't reveal how close either blueliner was to getting back into the lineup for Game 5 Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS) or beyond.
"[They] skated today. I keep telling guys they're progressing every day. That's why you see them on the ice," Julien said.
Only defenseman Andrew Ference, who hasn't played since Game 5 of the first round, wasn't on the ice. The forward lines remained the same.
NEW YORK -- Facing elimination in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden, New York Rangers coach John Tortorella decided to sacrifice 165 games of Stanley Cup Playoff experience from his forward group for one.
NEW YORK -- In a regular season that saw the Boston Bruins demonstrate a variety of strengths, third-period scoring wasn't exactly one of them. Boston's 39 third-period goals during the season ranked them 19th in the League and they posted an even third-period goal differential. They also posted a 15-4-4 record when leading after two periods, good for a .652 win percentage that ranked 29th.
That alarming trend continued in their opening-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, where Boston was outscored 6-5 in the third period and overtime through the series' first six games. But that suddenly changed with the Bruins facing elimination in Game 7, as they scored three times in the third and again in overtime to win it. Since that memorable run, the team has since outscored its opposition 10-3 in the third and overtime.
"I think the biggest criticism for our team was we weren't getting a lot of goals in the third period late in the season," forward Daniel Paille said. "We really wanted to try to fix that. We've done a good job of that in this series, but every game is different."
NEW YORK -- After he scored the game-winning goal in Game 3 of the Boston Bruins' Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night, it's fair to say that Daniel Paille's friends and family were thrilled for the forward's big moment on the biggest of stages. But one of Paille's closest friends wasn't so thrilled about the game's final score.
That would be Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, whose team now faces a steep 3-0 series deficit heading into Thursday's Game 4 at Madison Square Garden. The pair grew up in Welland, Ontario and started playing hockey together as eight-year-olds. They were also junior hockey teammates with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League and even served as the best man at each other's weddings, along with friend and former Ranger Andre Deveaux.
With all that history, Paille doesn't see his recent success at Girardi's expense putting a strain on their relationship.
"I'll see after the series," Paille told NHL.com. "I'm sure when this series is done we'll have a good talk and see how things were during the series. For now we both know it's all about business."
NEW YORK --New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is still waiting for the day when he can just be another hockey player wearing a visor. It's not Thursday.
Staal skated again Thursday morning at Madison Square Garden, but he isn't expected to play in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins. He hasn't played since Game 3 against the Washington Capitals on May 6 -- and that was his first game since he suffered his right eye injury two months earlier against the Philadelphia Flyers.
"My belief is that in a certain amount of time I'll never have to answer another question about this again," Staal said.
NEW YORK -- Shortly after a brief morning practice heading into Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins were expecting a desperate effort from an opponent looking to avoid a series sweep.
NEW YORK --New York Rangers defenseman Roman Hamrlik has been practicing in the morning and watching games at night for the past seven-and-a-half weeks. Hamrlik better have been working hard and watching closely because he is expected be smack dab in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
Hamrlik likely will replace injured defenseman Anton Stralman in the Rangers lineup for their must-win Game 4 against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS). Stralman was injured late in the second period in Game 3 Tuesday, when Bruins forward Milan Lucic crunched him into the end boards in the defensive zone.
Boston leads the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal series 3-0.
"I've been watching the games from upstairs and that's a different view," Hamrlik said after the morning skate Thursday. "During the game you see lots of mistakes, but when you're on the ice or on the bench, it's much faster and quicker. Your brain has to [react] really quickly about what you're going to do. For me, I just have to read the play and use my stick, do what I do the best, make the first pass and play good defense."
Richards said Rangers coach John Tortorella called him Thursday morning to give him the news that he will be a healthy scratch for the elimination game. The Bruins lead the Rangers 3-0 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal series.
NEW YORK -- On a team known for its remarkable consistency, the Boston Bruins benefited in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the New York Rangers from a trio not known for filling the net.
In a 2-1 win Tuesday, Boston's fourth line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille accounted for both goals in an unexpected show of offensive flair. Thornton's two assists in the game doubled his career point total accumulated over 76 previous Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Even if offensive outbursts like the one they had in Game 3 aren't an every-game occurrence, the Bruins' fourth line has been known to set the tone for the rest of their team, thanks mostly to their contagious energy and physicality.
"When those guys come up large for us, it really ignites our dressing room. Guys are really happy for them," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "In a team sport, sometimes you have players that have more attention than others. These guys don't get the attention they probably deserve on a lot of occasions. So when they get that opportunity, everyone kind of rallies around them."
It's amazing when you consider the undrafted 5-foot-9, 180-pound lefty was just finishing up his final season at Michigan State University a season ago before signing an entry-level contract with the Bruins on March 25, 2012.
Now he's playing a key role for the team in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers. Despite the fact he didn't experience the thrill of hearing his name announced at the NHL Draft, he told NHL.com it was probably a blessing in disguise.
"Yes, it's your childhood dream to hear your name called [at the draft], but it's not the end of the world," Krug said. "If you're going to make it to the NHL, you're going to make it, there's nothing that will stop you. You have to have that mindset, and maybe use it for motivation and work harder. But if you're out there, they're going to find you and you have to have faith in yourself."
NEW YORK -- After contending with a depleted defensive unit for the entirety of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien could be getting some help in the near future.
Veteran defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden, neither of whom has dressed for the series against New York, participated in an optional skate Wednesday. Julien sounded encouraged by their performance in practice.
"Every day they're better. That's progress," said Julien, who gave no word on whether either player would be available for Game 4 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; CNBC. RDS, TSN). "That decision will be made [Thursday]. I like the direction both those guys are going in now, so we'll keep our fingers crossed."
NEW YORK -- There is no need to remind the players and coaching staff of the Boston Bruins that winning the fourth game of a best-of-7 series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is never easy.
The Bruins failed to secure that fourth win in 2010 after gaining a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, losing in seven games. This year's team almost blew a 3-1 series lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the conference quarterfinals but rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 7 on May 13 at TD Garden.
Boston now finds itself in familiar territory against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Bruins, who hold a 3-0 series lead over the Rangers, are hoping to seal the deal Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS).
"You learn from the past and live in the moment, but you don't live in the past," Bruins coach Claude Julien said following his team's optional practice Wednesday at MSG. "So right now, we're living in the moment and I like where our team is -- the attitude and approach.
"If we don't take the same attitude we did [Tuesday in a 2-1 victory], we shouldn't expect to win the hockey game."
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers appear to be bracing themselves for what will likely be an even further depleted blue line corps in a must-win Game 4 against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Anton Stralman did not participate in the optional practice Wednesday after sitting out the third period in Game 3 Tuesday. Stralman was crunched into the end boards in the Rangers' defensive zone by Bruins left wing Milan Lucic with 6:54 to play in the second period. He returned for one more shift roughly three minutes later but didn't play again.
The Rangers have already been playing without Marc Staal (eye), but he has been skating for the past several days with the scratches. Matt Gilroy and Roman Hamrlik are the other options for coach John Tortorella if Stralman is unable to play in Game 4.
"Losing Stralsy is a big blow to us," Tortorella said. "He puts himself in a situation there where he's playing in an area to try and make a play and gets hurt. And he's done that really through the playoffs here. To a defense that's lacking a little depth right now, it hurts us."
NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers power play certainly needs more work. Their penalty kill, however, hasn't had any of late at Madison Square Garden.
The Boston Bruins did not receive a power play in their 2-1 victory against the Rangers in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference Semifinal series Tuesday night. New York went 0-for-2 and has received the past 11 man-advantages awarded in its building.
That might be a frustrating statistic for most teams, but the Bruins managed to keep their focus in Game 3 and came away with a victory that has the Rangers on the brink of elimination heading into Thursday's Game 4.
NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers will attempt to stay perfect at home in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins. Neither team is making any lineup changes.
NEW YORK -- More than a decade has passed since Bob Essensa played in an NHL game. But on Tuesday morning, the 48-year-old was facing shots again.
The Boston Bruins goaltending coach took Tuukka Rask's spot on the ice at Madison Square Garden for the team's optional skate prior to Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the New York Rangers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
One of the lighter moments came when Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk ripped a slap shot Essensa didn't even try to stop. He wasn't about to make any quick movements that weren't going to agree with his body.
"Anything I had to reach for … yeah," he said to reporters. "Just like the good old days."
Now, down 2-0 to the Boston Bruins entering Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), the Rangers will need that hometown advantage if they hope to get back in this series.
Just don't ask them to explain their remarkable record at home.
"Really, I don't know. It confuses me why some pucks go in at home when they don't go in in certain situations on the road. Who knows why?" Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "I think today's game is a lot different from back in the '70s, when there was a real distinct advantage to playing at home. I don't think there is [an advantage today]. But there must be. The record shows it."
In 13 regular-season games with New York, he had five goals and 11 points. He then added nine points in the final five games of the Rangers' Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, helping them rally past the Washington Capitals.
With New York down 2-0 in their conference semifinal series with the Boston Bruins heading into Game 3 Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), Brassard may have his most difficult task yet: Bringing the Rangers' dormant power play back to life.
Brassard briefly played the point on the Rangers' first power-play unit in Game 2 and continued to practice his point play with New York's defensemen in an optional skate held Tuesday morning. It's not the first time he's quarterbacked his team's power play, but he admits the dynamic of playing the point with the man-advantage is a significant change from playing down low.
Seidenberg did take part in the team's optional morning skate but apparently is not ready to return to action. He has been out since sustaining a lower-body injury on the first shift of Game 7 of the Bruins' first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"Probably not Seidenberg; Redden, we'll see," Julien told reporters Tuesday morning when asked if either would participate in Tuesday's pregame warm-ups. "They're skating this morning, but I don't think [Seidenberg] will be in. If he is, it'll be a surprise to me as much as you guys."
NEW YORK -- Defenseman Marc Staal and forward Darroll Powe, neither of whom has played for the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Boston Bruins, were among 14 players who participated in an optional team skate Tuesday. However, it remains unlikely either will play in Game 3 Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
Staal played 17:17 in New York's 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series but has not played since. Following an optional skate that wasn't overly strenuous, Staal's locker stall remained mostly empty.
Powe hasn't played since a collision with Washington's Joel Ward in Game 3.
"I feel good," Powe said. "It's good to be back out on the ice skating with the guys. I'm just trying to do skating, work out and try to get back in the lineup. It's all part of the process, just getting back on the ice and playing hockey again. That's where I'm at right now."
The Bruins, who lead the series 2-0 heading into Game 3 on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), have killed all eight Rangers power plays. In the first round, Boston killed 16 of 21 Maple Leafs man-advantages, for a 76.2-percent success rate
Despite their 100-percent efficiency rate in the second round, the Bruins see room for improvement as they try to prevent the Rangers from emerging from their 2-for-36 slump.
"I think it's better. We've got to keep that going," center Patrice Bergeron said. "They're moving the puck well, so we have to make sure we keep having some good sticks and staying in the shooting lanes and being aggressive on them. If we give them time, they have the players to make the plays."
Injured defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden both joined the team for practice at TD Garden on Monday. Julien said both players will be game-day decisions for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
GREENBURGH, N.Y. --New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is on the ice for practice Monday at the team's training facility one day after saying he felt discomfort in his shoulder following a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Lundqvist appeared to hurt himself reaching to cover a loose puck in the slot with 4:52 remaining in the third period Sunday at TD Garden. He needed extra time to get up and once he did he was seen waving his left arm up and down as he skated back-and-forth through the crease.
All of the Rangers who dressed for Game 2 are on the ice for practice. They trail the Bruins 2-0 in the best-of-7 series. Game 3 is Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
BOSTON --New York Rangers coach John Tortorella isn't letting an overtime loss in Game 1 affect his lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins.
Like the Bruins, New York isn't making any changes to its lineup for Game 2. The forward lines and defense pairs the Rangers showed in pre-game warm-ups were exactly the same as they were in Game 1 as well as for the last two games of the conference quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals.
What may change is the Rangers' personnel on the power play. Although Tortorella repeated used the word "stinks" to describe Carl Hagelin on the power play on Saturday, he did offer the possibility that he would use the speedy left wing in that situation.
The Bruins lead the series 1-0, and won Game 1 without Redden, Seidenberg or Andrew Ference in the lineup. Julien said that Redden and Seidenberg skated on their own. Ference has not skated since he was injured in Game 5 of the Bruins' first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Redden practiced with the Bruins on Saturday, but was limited in what he could do. Seidenberg skated on his own Saturday.
BOSTON -- Even as they take a 1-0 series lead into Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers on Sunday (3 p.m., NBC, TSN, RDS), the Boston Bruins are still searching for secondary scoring.
And if it's up to Shawn Thornton, the Bruins' energy line will be supplementing the offense a bit more as this series unfolds.
"I'm still waiting for us to try and chip in," Thornton said prior to Game 2 at TD Garden. "We've talked about it. And we've been close; we've had a ton of chances we're not putting in right now. It would be nice to maybe take some of the pressure off some of the big boys with a couple of goals from our line."
BOSTON -- In addition to being entertaining during a press conference Saturday at TD Garden, New York Rangers coach John Tortorella was mysterious when it came to discussing potential adjustments heading into Game 2 in their Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins, to be played Sunday at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET, NBC, RDS, TSN).
Tortorella first described himself as not being a "big adjustment guy" before saying his team was looking at "some small things after Game 1."
However, the kicker of his statement was the most mysterious part, and one he did not want to elaborate on.
BOSTON -- The New York Rangers power play is a daily story for its continuous struggles, and Saturday the focus turned to Carl Hagelin, the speedy, skilled left wing who doesn't even play on the power play.
Now we know why, courtesy of coach John Tortorella.
"Because he stinks on the power play," Tortorella said during an entertaining press conference following practice Saturday at TD Garden. "He stinks. I don't know why. I wish I could put him on the power play, but every time I put him on, he stinks."
He also knows if he's not careful and gets back into the Boston Bruins lineup too soon, he could leave his team shorthanded at the most important time of the year.
"You've got to be honest with yourself, and it comes down to that," Redden said Saturday after practicing with the Bruins at TD Garden. "Everyone wants to be out there, but it's got to be the right way and you could go out there and you're not able to do what you need to do, you're only hurting the team. So you've got to be able to get it done. Obviously guys play through a lot of stuff. There's a line there."
Bruins coach Claude Julien said Redden, who sat out the past two games with an undisclosed injury, will be a game-time decision for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN, RDS). Redden missed Games 5 and 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs before sitting out Game 1 against the Rangers on Thursday.
Redden said he was limited during practice Saturday and wasn't able to do everything in the drills.
BOSTON – The Boston Bruins’ three injured veteran defensemen are at different stages of recovery from their undisclosed injuries on their way to returning to the lineup.
Wade Redden, who hasn’t played since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, practiced with the team Saturday, although he said he wasn’t able to do everything in drills. He said he doesn’t feel well enough to play in a game yet, but coach Claude Julien is hoping that might change by Sunday.
The Bruins play host to the New York Rangers on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBC, RDS, TSN) in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden.
BOSTON -- With two days off between the Game 1 win against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Game 2 on Sunday, the Boston Bruins are hopeful at least one of their injured veteran defensemen will be able to heal up in time to get back in the lineup.
"A little early to say," Bruins coach Claude Julien said Friday. "Again, it is two days, and two days in the playoffs makes a big difference as far as getting guys back. There's a possibility, that much I can say. Whether they will or not is too early to say right now."
"I don't know if I'd call it nostalgia, but I spent a lot of time in New York. It was eight years of my life and my family was there, my sisters graduated high school there, and it was an area that we called home," Campbell said Friday, less than 24 hours removed from the Bruins' 3-2, Game 1 overtime win.
"I've moved around a lot in my life, and New York is a good place to grow up, and I got to see the Rangers win the Stanley Cup in '94. So amazingly enough there are still some people there that were there when my dad was there. So, of course, there will always be a soft spot for me for that team and that city. It's a city much like Boston, they're very passionate as you know, and it's a good place to play hockey."
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton has a theory about how Zdeno Chara is able to play 38 minutes in an overtime game, the way he did Thursday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
"He maybe plugs himself in at night," Hamilton said. "It's pretty incredible."
The plug-himself-in theory goes along with Hamilton's nickname for his defense partner.
"I keep calling him a machine because of how good he is on the ice for the minutes he plays," Hamilton said.
Chara played 38:02 in Game 1 against the New York Rangers, including more than half of the overtime session, which lasted 15:40 until Brad Marchand scored the winner to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory.
BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien was right to be pessimistic Thursday morning about having any of his injured defenseman in the lineup for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers (NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
"They weren't on the ice this morning. Doesn't look good," Julien said after his team's morning skate at TD Garden.
BOSTON -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella sort of hemmed and hawed after getting a question about his team's struggling power play Thursday morning.
He appeared intrigued about the potential of it getting close to coming through, considering the Rangers were able to get the puck into the zone and keep it there against the Washington Capitals, but he wasn't about to argue against the reality that two goals on 28 chances simply isn't good enough.
"Still wasn't good," Tortorella said. "We need to be better right on through it."
BOSTON -- The sight of forward Brad Marchand leaving the ice early Thursday during the Boston Bruins' morning skate was the last thing the organization needed to see.
Marchand pulled up lame during a 2-on-1 drill with center Patrice Bergeron and went to the dressing room with the trainer while the rest of the team continued to prepare for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
After the skate, coach Claude Julien wasn't worried about Marchand’s availability.
"He'll be fine. He'll be there tonight," Julien said.
Nash didn't score a goal in three regular-season games against the Washington Capitals and similarly couldn't break through in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. Nash didn't score a goal in three regular-season games against the Bruins, the Rangers' opponent in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
However, Rangers coach John Tortorella said he thinks Nash, the team's leading scorer with 21 goals in the regular season, is enough of a professional to forget his lack of success in the conference quarterfinals and start fresh against the Bruins on Thursday.
"He played really well in Game 7 and really didn't have many bad games in the seven-game series in Washington," Tortorella said Wednesday. "He didn't finish. He certainly wasn't totally on. But he's very close, and I thought he played really well in Game 7. So, yeah, he's playing, and I think he's going to be a really big part of this as we enter into Boston."
BOSTON -- If earning status as a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward wasn't enough of a compliment for Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, teammate Jaromir Jagr paid Bergeron another one after practice at TD Garden on Wednesday.
"I think Ronnie Francis was the same way," Jagr said of Bergeron. "He wasn't very flashy. He scored a lot of goals but not the highlights goals. And he did everything perfect, especially defensively. The GMs and the coaches, they know. And it doesn't mean the media doesn't talk about him much. People who are close to hockey and understand hockey, they know how special he is. So it's all right."
BOSTON -- With a little more than 24 hours before the start of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the New York Rangers on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), the Boston Bruins practiced without three of their regular defensemen Wednesday at TD Garden.
None of the three injured Rangers participated in practice Wednesday.
Powe was hurt early in Game 3 against the Washington Capitals after a collision with Joel Ward along the boards. Powe didn't return to the series.
Clowe left in the first period of Game 5 after he was boarded by Jason Chimera and his head slammed off the glass. Clowe also did not return to the series.
Staal has been dealing with issues related to his right eye injury sustained March 5. He played 17:17 in Game 3 against Washington but sat out the rest of the series. He had been practicing with the team.
The Rangers' forward lines and defense pairs from Game 7 against Washington stayed intact for practice Wednesday: