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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 5:03 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Bruins' fourth line can provide more than just energy

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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 4:22 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Krug fast tracks from college to Stanley Cup Playoffs

NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Torey Krug is certainly living the good life.

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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 4:14 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Julien encouraged by progress of Seidenberg, Redden

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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 3:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Bruins understand fourth win will be the hardest

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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 2:51 PM

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

Season might not be over for Red Wings' DeKeyser

DETROIT -- When Danny DeKeyser learned he had a broken thumb after Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said the rookie defenseman was done for the remainder of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Well, that might not end up being accurate.

DeKeyser's thumb is healing faster than expected, and the surprising Red Wings keep winning. DeKeyser was set to meet with a team doctor Wednesday after practice at Joe Louis Arena, and his expectation was the hard cast that was protecting his thumb, hand, wrist and part of his forearm was coming off.

"I'm pretty sure," DeKeyser said. "The doc said last week that it looked good and when I saw him [Wednesday] he was going to make a decision on whether it was going to come off but he was pretty sure it was going to be."

The Red Wings will face the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). It will be three weeks to the day of DeKeyser's injury.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 2:19 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins likely to go to Jokinen for faceoff, PP ability

OTTAWA -- It would appear Jussi Jokinen will be back in the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma does not confirm his lineup decisions, but he did at least speak in hypothetical terms Wednesday morning about what Jokinen would bring to his lineup if he dressed.

"Jussi is a guy who's been out of our lineup and you're sitting on a guy who can make plays, score big goals, he's a faceoff guy," Bylsma said. "He's also a guy who would see time on our second power-play unit as well."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 2:08 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Stralman doesn't practice, could miss Game 4

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."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 1:30 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Senators' Gryba skates, but not ready to return

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators defenseman Eric Gryba skated with his teammates Wednesday for the first time since taking a big hit from Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

Gryba will not play in Game 4 Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS), but he was happy to take this first step toward an eventual return to the lineup.

"It was a relief to get back out there and not be stuck in the gym," Gryba said.

Gryba has had an eventful Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Senators, first getting suspended for two games for his hit on Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller in the first round, then being hurt on the big collision with Orpik near the Penguins' blue line in Game 1.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 12:24 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Stone replacing Conacher in Senators lineup

OTTAWA -- The youth movement for the Ottawa Senators continues; 21-year-old forward Mark Stone will enter the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Ottawa is down 2-1 in the best-of-7 series, and Senators coach Paul MacLean wanted a bigger body around the opposing net, something the 6-foot-2, 188-pound wing can provide.

"We factored in how well [Stone] has played in the American Hockey League [with Binghamton] this year," MacLean said of Stone, who tied for the AHL team lead with 38 points. "He's really had a good season there. He's really good with the puck and without it. He's a big man down around the net."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 12:17 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Nichushkin preparing for move to North America

Valeri Nichushkin, NHL Central Scouting's second-rated European skater in its final rankings of prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft, told a Russian newspaper that he plans on playing hockey in North America next season.

"I have already decided I will go to the NHL," Nichushkin told R-Sport news agency in Russia. "Dynamo [Moscow] has accepted this calmly and I was told that I can leave if I want to. There are no legal problems. My deal with Dynamo is terminated and I am leaving a free agent."

Nichushkin had four goals and two assists in 18 regular-season games with Traktor Chelyabinsk in the Kontinental Hockey League. He raised his play in the postseason, scoring six goals in 25 games to help Traktor reach the KHL finals. He won the KHL's Alexei Cherepanov Award, given to the league's top rookie.

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Quote of the Day

It's a great feeling. I can't be more excited to be a part of a team that I absolutely love.

— Center Derek Stepan after agreeing to terms on a six-year contract with the New York Rangers