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Posted On Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 2:53 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Kampfer returns to practice for Bruins

There was a new face at Boston's light practice Thursday at TD Garden, defenseman Steve Kampfer.

The rookie was skating with the Bruins for the first time since injuring his knee on April 9, while playing for the American Hockey League's Providence Bruins.

"It's good to get back out there. It's been a long couple of weeks sitting by and watching, but it's good to get back out there skating, and skating with the guys especially," Kampfer said after practice. "It's definitely a perk. It's moving ahead, but it's always slow at this time."

And while Boston might still be in the market for a sixth defenseman after the injury to Adam McQuaid in Game 2 -- replacement Shane Hnidy played less than three minutes in Game 3 -- don’t expect to see Kampfer in the lineup.

"We had no contact in our drills, so [Thursday] was a very good skate for him. We're moving forward as we're being told by our medical staff," coach Claude Julien said Thursday. "He's looking better every day, so we just have to stay with it, but he's not ready."

Speaking of McQuaid, the defenseman did not skate for the third-straight day after injuring his neck in Game 2. But Julien said McQuaid is making significant progress.

"He is definitely getting better," Julien said. "I know we are still saying day-to-day, but there is improvement in him. We are getting very optimistic things are going to happen quicker. Right now, we are just keeping our fingers crossed. He seems to be doing well and, hopefully, we will have better news here in the next few days."

Even with the newfound optimism, there is no expectation McQuaid will recover sufficiently to play in Game 4, especially with Boston holding a 3-0 lead in the series. That means Hnidy will once again be in the lineup.

Despite using Hnidy for less than three minutes in Game 3, Julien said Thursday that he has full confidence in the veteran, who has just four games of experience this season.

"We definitely have confidence in him," Julien said. "We also understand he hasn't played much this year. Right now, the guys we had in our lineup last night were able to share our ice time last night. But having him as a sixth defenseman is something we are certainly comfortable with."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 3:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Birthday boy JVR hoping for encore effort in Game 3

What could James van Riemsdyk possibly do for an encore in a Game 3 that falls on his birthday that he didn't do in a Game 2 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinal round?

Perhaps provide a similar effort in a victory this time around?
James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 2, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Van Riemsdyk was named the second star of the game on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia after scoring a pair of goals and posting eight shots on goal to extend his League-leading total to 59 this spring.

It marked the fifth game this playoff season of eight shots or more for van Riemsdyk, who had never posted more than seven shots in a game in his two-year career.

Van Riemsdyk, who turns 22 today, knows a victory in Game 3 will go a long way in helping the Flyers back into the series.

"We are just worrying about one game at a time and that's all it takes to win," he said. "We are down 2-0 now but if we take it one day at a time, one game at a time, I think we will be in good shape.

"Obviously, I had quite a few chances and some breakaways (in Game 2) that I maybe would like to have back and try something different," he added. That's the way the game goes sometimes. Hopefully, next time I can bury those chances."

The Flyers were very successful on the road this year and won two of three in Buffalo in their opening-round triumph against the Sabres. Van Riemsdyk is hoping that trend continues.

"I think we just have guys that step up and raise their game when our backs have been against the wall," he said. "Usually when you go on the road it's a little more of a hostile environment and you really need to step up a little more. We have been able to do that."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.03.2011 / 11:37 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Jeff Carter on the ice

Flyers forward Jeff Carter was on the ice early Tuesday morning, skating on his own for about 10 minutes.

It was Carter's first time on the ice since he was injured April 20, during Game 4 of the Flyers' first-round series against the Buffalo Sabres. The Flyers have classified Carter's malady as a lower-body injury, but CSNPhilly.com has reported the injury is a sprained ligament in his right knee.

In four games before getting hurt, Carter had a goal and an assist. He was seventh in the League during the regular season with 36 goals.

As a team, the Flyers will not practice Tuesday, instead working out off the ice prior to departing for Boston this afternoon.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.03.2011 / 11:25 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Boston's McQuaid travels home with team

Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid, knocked out of Game 2 after a scary collision with the end boards in the first period of Game 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center, was released from the hospital and made the trip back to Boston with the team, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

"He's coming back with us," Bruins coach Claude Julien told the Globe. "So that's a good sign in itself."

McQuaid was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia after the incident, at the 17:38 mark of the first period, and he remained there several hours for observation. On the play that led to the injury, McQuaid tried to throw a big check on Flyers captain Mike Richards near the Boston goal and missed, launching himself awkwardly into the end boards, where he struck head first before crumpling onto the ice.

He remained on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the playing surface by teammates Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic.

Boston was forced to play the rest of the game with just five defensemen. Because of overtime, the workloads became significant.

Dennis Seidenberg played a game-high 36:26 and Chara played 31:35. Johnny Boychuk played almost 29 minutes and Andrew Ference was just short of 28 minutes. Tomas Kaberle played just under 20 minutes. McQuaid played just 4:04 before leaving the game.

McQuaid's status for Game 3 Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC) is unknown, although it should be updated Tuesday following the Bruins' practice.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.03.2011 / 9:48 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

A thank you to Claude Julien

I'm not a fan of making things personal in my work, but I feel I have to give some credit to Bruins coach Claude Julien for something he did last night following Boston's 3-2 overtime win. During the post-game press conference I asked him a question regarding his team being up 2-0 in a series after winning both games on the road, similar to what happened in the first round when Montreal won the first two games in Boston.

He misheard what I said and assumed I meant last year's series with the Flyers, and while I could tell he was agitated -- can't blame him, I'm sure he's pretty sick of hearing about losing to Philadelphia after being up 3-0 -- he gave the same thoughtful answer he always seems to give every question.

After he answered I clarified and said I meant the last series, not last year's series. He apologized, then gave another nice answer, which you can read in this story.

But after the Q&A session ended, he walked up to me, and very quickly and quietly apologized for mishearing my question, and shook my hand. I told him not to worry about it, that I wasn't in the least offended. But he apologized again and then was on his way back to the locker room.

The encounter lasted all of maybe 10 seconds, but it's just one more reason why I say hockey people -- be they players, coaches, managers or owners -- are some of the best people in sports.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 10:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

End of regulation: Flyers 2, Bruins 2

Brian Boucher was back in net for the Flyers to start the third. A bit of a surprise after Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all six shots he saw in the final 8:59 of the second.

However, he didn't have to do much in the third, as the Flyers out-shot the Bruins 22-7. The 22 shots are a Flyers record for shots on goal at home in a single period of a playoff game.

Boston's best chance came with 5:47 left when Nathan Horton got the puck on the right post, but Boucher slid over and stacked the pads to stop him.

The Flyers got a late power play after a Zdeno Chara roughing penalty with 2:39 left, but they managed just three shots.

They had another chance with 4.2 seconds left in regulation on an icing call on the Bruins. Mike Richards beat Chris Kelly on a faceoff, winning the puck to James van Riemsdyk. His shot bounced off Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and went right to Danny Briere. With Tim Thomas coming out to stop van Riemsdyk, Briere had an open net and about a second to shoot it, but fanned on the shot.

We're heading to overtime in Philadelphia.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 9:20 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Second period: Flyers 2, Bruins 2

Not as many fireworks in the second period, but we did get another in-game Philadelphia goalie change. This time, however, it appears to be due to injury. A Johnny Boychuk slap shot appeared to injure Brian Boucher somewhere. During a stoppage in play, he was checked by trainer Jim McCrossin, and left the game. He was replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky, who also replaced Boucher in Game 1. However, that came after Boucher allowed five goals on 23 shots.

Bobrovsky looked good, especially during about a 60-second span late in the period when the Bruins' top line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic turned the Flyers' zone into a shooting gallery.

He also got some help from the post, as Krejci dinged the left post late in the period after Bobrovsky had over-committed to his left.

The Flyers had their own chance to go ahead with 7:20 left in the period when James van Riemsdyk, falling down in the Boston end, centered a pass to Nikolay  Zherdev, but Tim Thomas made another outstanding save, going post to post to get his right pad on Zherdev's shot from in close.

The one thing that really stands out after two periods is how the Bruins' forecheck has really taken the measure of the Flyers and really pushed the play in the Philadelphia end. The Krejci-Lucic-Horton line has done an especially good job.

We'll have more after the game.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 8:39 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

First period: Flyers 2, Bruins 2

That was a first period that had a little bit of everything.

First, the pre-game rendition of "God Bless America" by Kate Smith and Lauren Hart was something that had to be witnessed; words just won't do it justice.

The Flyers kept the fans rolling, getting the game's first goal just 29 seconds in. Nikolay Zherdev chipped the puck past a Boston player at the Philadelphia blue line to Claude Giroux to start a 2-on-1 break with James van Riemsdyk. Giroux centered a pass under Bruins center Patrice Bergeron to van Riemsdyk, who tipped it under Bruins goalie Tim Thomas for his sixth of the postseason.

Van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 with his League-leading seventh of the postseason. With the Bruins' Gregory Campbell off for holding, Kimmo Timonen fired a shot from the middle of the blue line that Thomas stopped, but couldn't control the rebound. Danny Briere had a few whacks at it, but the puck rolled to van Riemsdyk, who scored at 9:31.

It's the fifth straight game van Riemsdyk has a goal, and ties him with Briere for the League lead. 

The Bruins tied the game with a pair of goals in a 1:25 span.

Chris Kelly got the Bruins on the board with his fourth of the playoffs. Rich Peverley curled around the top of the Philadelphia zone and dropped a pass for Tomas Kaberle. Brian Boucher stopped Kaberle's shot, and Michael Ryder's attempt on the rebound from the crease, but Kelly crashed in to bang in the rebound at 12:50.

Moments later, Brad Marchand made great plays at both ends and was rewarded with the game-tying goal. First, he stepped in front of a Flyers player in front of the Boston net to break up a scoring chance. As the play went up the ice, Marchand followed and was in the perfect spot, above the right circle, to take a Patrice Bergeron shot and fire a shot that beat Boucher past his glove at 14:15 to tie the game.

Boucher kept the score tied with a save on a Daniel Paille breakaway attempt with three minutes left in the period.

The second period is about to start, so we'll be back with more in a bit.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 6:03 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Flyers ready for Chapter 2

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette says to him, every playoff series is a book. And after Saturday's 7-3 loss in Game 1, he's more than ready to turn the page.

"You look at a series as a book, and that was Chapter 1," the coach said two hours before Game 2. "Here's Chapter 2 tonight. We're excited to get going and try and write a different ending to a chapter."

Whether this chapter includes defenseman Chris Pronger, however, remains to be seen. Pronger didn't play the final five minutes of Game 1, but did practice with the team on Sunday. He was not on the ice during Monday's morning skate, and Monday afternoon TSN's highly respected Bob McKenzie tweeted that he was hearing Pronger would not be available for Game 2.

The Flyers refused to comment on anything regarding Pronger, referring to this morning's injury update, which listed Pronger as "OK."

Regardless of whether the big blueliner plays or not, Laviolette said his team needs to be better in all areas of its game to avoid heading to Boston down 0-2 in the series.

"It's really hard to get an assessment on Game 1," said Laviolette. "We watched it and it was worse than in real life. I don't think we played like that at all in the Buffalo series, even in the losses we had. I don't know how good they were or how bad we were. It's hard to get the right mix. The second part of it, we can be a lot better at what we do. We played some pretty good hockey this year. It didn't translate in Game 1 for us, in any aspect of our game."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 4:28 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Carle, JVR exhibit American pride

When the towers fell, Matt Carle was a sophomore in high school and James van Riemsdyk was a sixth grader. Now teammates with the Philadelphia Flyers, both players were glad to see that justice finally prevailed on Sunday night when President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan.

"I think it's a time for everyone to rally and kind of unite again," said Carle, a native of Anchorage, Alaska. "I was 16-years-old when 9/11 rolled around and it was a huge turning point. It's one of those things where I don't think you'll ever forget where you were when the news broke on Sunday and that's going to be the case (Monday) night as well."
Lauren Hart Philadelphia Flyers anthem singer

It's probably fitting that Game 2 between the Flyers and Bruins is the only game on the docket and being staged in the City of Brotherly Love this evening. Fans will get an opportunity to witness anthem singer Lauren Hart perform her duet with Kate Smith prior to puck drop at 7:30 p.m. ET. It should be an extremely moving and emotional tribute.

"Everybody will kind of remember how they found out how Osama bin Laden was killed and it's one of those things in history that you'll never forget," Carle said. "All the thanks goes out to our troops and the guys who were there getting that done."

Van Riemsdyk, a native of Middletown, N.J., was certainly proud to be an American as he spoke to reporters, sitting at his stall after practice at Wells Fargo Center Monday afternoon.

"It's something that has been going on for the last 10 years … it's been a manhunt for this guy and he's done a lot of terrible things and to see him brought to justice, it definitely makes you proud to be an American," van Riemsdyk said. "He's affected not only the people in the U.S., but other countries too."

NHL.com certainly has all your pre-game reaction to the dramatic world-wide news regarding bin Laden covered. Hart is looking forward to offering up her rendition of 'God Bless America' for the capacity crowd on hand at Wells Fargo this evening.

Adam Kimelman also produced a story regarding former Flyers prospect Ben Stafford, who is currently serving in the Marines. There is also video with reaction from Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins so check it out.

"I was watching a movie (Sunday) night and happened to check my twitter account and saw some rumblings of (bin Laden's death) so I turned the movie off and turned on the news and watched the President's speech," Carle recalled. "I think it was a pretty historic moment. I know a lot of people have given their lives and sacrificed a lot to be able to put him to rest, I guess. You wish it would have never have come to that, but this speaks volumes about our military and how relentless they were in never giving up. There's still a lot of work to be done, I think, but it's a step in the right direction."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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Quote of the Day

It's time we got a break. People that have watched us, I'm sure they said, 'Finally, some things are going our way.' We'll take the breaks when they go our way.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien after a 3-2 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday to snap a three-game losing streak
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