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Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:07 PM

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

Bruins' Ference skating, working his way back

BOSTON -- While most of the Boston Bruins players were kept off the ice Monday, two days after their series-clinching win against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, injured defenseman Andrew Ference skated with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides at TD Garden.

Ference has not played since Game 5 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bruins coach Claude Julien said Ference has been skating for a few days.

"He's obviously on the mend, but not ready to say he's ready to go yet," Julien said during a press conference Monday.

Posted On Monday, 05.27.2013 / 12:09 AM

By Ian McCoshen -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ian McCoshen Draft blog

McCoshen prepares for Scouting Combine

Ian McCoshen, No. 24 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, completed his third season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League. The 6-foot-2.5, 207-pound defenseman had 11 goals, 44 points and a plus-35 rating in 53 games this season. The Boston College-bound McCoshen has agreed to submit his thoughts during the 2013 Scouting Combine in Toronto this week.

Hello everyone!

I'm excited to be invited to the NHL Scouting Combine and really looking forward to the week.

The daily routine I went through leading up to the Combine was pretty basic. For the opening two weeks in May, I had school in the morning and workout in the afternoon. This past few weeks, my schedule was different since school was completed.

I ate a light breakfast and then headed to the gym. I worked out with my roommate and [Central Scouting's No. 4-ranked] goaltender Cal Petersen. We went through all of the exercises on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We worked on the bike testing on Tuesday and Thursday.

Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:29 PM

NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: East will be a battle, Hawks are rallying

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins have been two of the best teams in the NHL for the last few years, but we haven't seen them meet in the postseason since 1992. These are two great teams that don't really know each other, and it's going to make for some great hockey.

I love this matchup for the fact that they're completely different. The only thing they have in common is that they both wear black jerseys.

Boston is a team that's built on defense. The Bruins have the best defensive defenseman in the world in Zdeno Chara. He'll be playing against the best offensive forward in the world in Sidney Crosby. A top-notch penalty killing teams in Boston will be facing the best power play unit in the playoffs in Pittsburgh. One team's philosophy is built on puck control and defense, the other is the best quick-strike offense in the League. It's just a great matchup of opposites.

Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:15 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Blackhawks' Keith on octopus: 'That thing's gross'

CHICAGO – Prior to a game at Joe Louis Arena last week, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith skated over to chat with Detroit Red Wings Zamboni driver Al Sobotka following the national anthem.

Sobotka, who’s taken care of the ice at ‘The Joe’ for 30 years, has become famous for scooping up octopuses thrown on the playing surface for luck and swinging them over his head to fire up the crowd as he removes them.

The one hurled near the end of the anthem prior to Game 4 of a Western Conference Semifinals series between the Original Six rivals caught Keith’s attention.

“Oh I just wanted to look at that thing,” Keith said on Sunday, prior to flying back to Detroit for Game 6 on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN,CBC, RDS). “I’d never seen something like that, that big.”


Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 6:03 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Lineup changes sparked Blackhawks in Game 5

CHICAGO – The lineup changes that Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made before Saturday night’s game at United Center appear to have worked.

Quenneville put three of his top four star forwards on the top line – Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane – while also switching around the other three combinations. He also changed his defense pairings back to the way they were to start the season, after splitting all three up on March 31 in Detroit and keeping then that way.

The result was a 45-shot, 4-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of this Western Conference Semifinal series. The win forced a Game 6, which will be played Monday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Red Wings are up 3-2 in the best-of-7 series, but Chicago’s stretch passes and ability to chase down pucks dumped into the Detroit zone behind defenders loosened up the Detroit defense.


Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 5:44 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

'Kid line' needs to be better for Red Wings in Game 6

DETROIT -- The breakout stars for the Detroit Red Wings in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs hit a bump in the road Saturday night.

Detroit’s “kid line” -- Joakim Andersson, Gustav Nyquist and Damien Brunner -- had given the Red Wings a definitive spark late in a first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks and were a huge reason why they won three of four to start the Western Conference Semifinals against the rival Chicago Blackhawks.

Their work in Game 5 did not measure up to the first four contests.

“They weren't very good last night and they've been pretty good through the playoffs,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Sunday. “Is that part of it? Hindsight is a real good thing. Did we all want the puck all the time? No.”

Brunner has four goals, which ties him for the team lead with Daniel Cleary and Johan Franzen, and eight points, which ties him for second with Cleary and Pavel Datsyuk. Nyquist and Andersson both have four points each, and Nyquist has a pair of big goals. He and Brunner have two of the team’s three overtime tallies.


Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 3:56 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Burish to return for Sharks in Game 6

SAN JOSE - One day after returning to his regular spot at right wing on the fourth line for practice, Adam Burish received the news Sunday from San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan he was hoping to hear. Burish is back in the lineup.

Burish hasn't played since breaking his right hand in Game 4 of the Sharks sweep of the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

But he'll be in the lineup Sunday night for Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the Los Angeles Kings at HP Pavilion. The Sharks trail 3-2 in the series and face an elimination game for the first time in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The plan is I'm going to play," Burish said. "Unless something changes. Unless I eat some bad chicken."

Burish will skate on a line with center Andrew Desjardins and left wing Bracken Kearns. He'll also spend time on the penalty kill.

Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 1:41 PM

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

Rask's play positions him for big new contract

BOSTON – For the first time in Tuukka Rask's NHL career, the goaltender has taken the Boston Bruins past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Of course, this is the second season in which Rask has served as the Bruins' No. 1 goalie.

Rask, 26, seems to be getting better as the playoffs roll along, opposed to the way he struggled deeper into the postseason back in 2010. In the five-game series victory against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Rask compiled a .936 save percentage and 1.86 goals-against average.

The Finnish goaltender seemed to place a smart bet on himself last summer when he signed a one-year contract with Boston. He’ll be a restricted free agent again this summer, seemingly raising his value every night this postseason.

General manager Peter Chiarelli, whose team will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, said he has no regrets about letting Rask play on a one-year deal.

"I'm happy for him that he's playing well and he's helping the team," Chiarelli said during a press conference Sunday at TD Garden. "It’s always easier to sign these guys after success. He's showing some resiliency, which I like, and some durability, which I like."

Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 1:26 PM

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

Chiarelli encouraged by Bruins' improving health

BOSTON – The return from injury of defenseman Dennis Seidenberg for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Saturday left the Boston Bruins with Andrew Ference and Wade Redden among their injured players heading into the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

General manager Peter Chiarelli described his team's overall health as "pretty good" during a press conference Sunday at TD Garden. And by the time the Bruins start the series, they might be even healthier.

"We’ve got Andrew out, he's making progress. Wade is close, if not ready," Chiarelli said. "Just the bumps and bruises are minor. We got Dennis back. We're in pretty good shape right now, knock on wood."

Posted On Sunday, 05.26.2013 / 12:18 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2013 NHL Combine

Top prospects set for NHL Scouting Combine

TORONTO -- After the Memorial Cup final is staged at Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon on Sunday (May 26), it's off to Toronto for the start of the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine.

Numerous interviews and those infamous bike tests await those future NHL stars of tomorrow.

The first day of the Combine should be a relatively slow one while players are interviewed by NHL teams within their stationed headquarters. NHL.com will be here all week, logging exclusive daily stories and video. This event is a great opening prelude to the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on June 30.

The NHL Scouting Combine will give NHL clubs a chance to evaluate 101 of the top North American and European hockey prospects in the world. The interviewing phase and new element being added to the Combine this year -- the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) -- will be Monday through Thursday. The fitness portion of the testing at the Toronto Convention Centre will be Friday and Saturday.

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Quote of the Day

After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016