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Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Bruins-Maple Leafs series blog

Bruins vow to not lean on past road success

BOSTON -- At the conclusion of the regular season, the Boston Bruins had the second-best home record in the Eastern Conference, and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Bruins were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in road record.

So it's not a surprise that home-ice advantage has meant little to the teams in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals through five games. The Bruins, who lead the series 3-2 heading into Game 6 Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS), won the two games played in Toronto. The Maple Leafs are 2-1 on Boston's home ice.

"I guess you often think that it [home ice] should work to your advantage, but somehow it hasn't in this series and it's really hard to explain why," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after his team's optional practice Saturday. "I think both teams are playing hard, and besides talking about [Game 5] game again, we've played extremely well in Toronto and they've played pretty well in our building, as well. I don't know what it is as a coach, not the players, but we hope that trend continues [Sunday]."

Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 1:39 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Bruins-Maple Leafs series blog

Bruins defenseman Redden optimistic for Game 6

BOSTON -- Wade Redden waited four years to get back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so only something serious could force him to miss a game.

"Yeah, it was pretty much an obvious thing," the Boston Bruins defenseman said Saturday after he took part in an optional practice at TD Garden. "But like I said, it's turned the corner. So, you know, obviously games are coming quick, so that's a good sign."

Redden missed the Bruins' Game 5 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Friday. His status for Game 6 Sunday in Toronto (7:30 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS), where the Bruins will try for a second time to end the series, will be determined on the day of the game; Bruins coach Claude Julien classified Redden as day-to-day. Redden said he felt pretty good after skating Saturday.

Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 1:22 PM

By John Kreiser - Columnist / - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Islanders expect another boost from home crowd

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders' return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs has brought the noise back to Nassau Coliseum. They hope the roars that raised the roof of the old barn on Hempstead Turnpike in Games 3 and 4 will help them win Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The Coliseum is the oldest non-renovated facility in the NHL. It's small (16,170 capacity) and lacks the amenities of newer buildings. But its low roof means that the noise generated by a packed house has nowhere to go but back toward the ice. The result is the kind of noise you rarely hear in a newer, larger building.

"Playing at home for us has been great," Islanders captain Mark Streit said after the morning skate Saturday. "The fans have been unbelievable. It's been so loud and energizing in here. It's a big advantage for us."

Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 12:38 AM

By Eric Gilmore - Correspondent / - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Sharks trying to stay physical during down time

SAN JOSE -- After two days off, the San Jose Sharks got back to work Friday, and coach Todd McLellan put them through the gauntlet.

Actually, "the old gauntlet" drill," as Sharks forward TJ Galiardi called it.

One by one, each player fought his way past every other teammate, who was lined up along the boards.

"It's a fun drill," McLellan said. "Most of them enjoy doing it, have a lot of fun with it. We haven't practiced for so long, and the physicality part of the game right now is something you can't lose. After taking a couple days off we wanted to bump and grind."

Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 11:51 PM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

STL @ LA - 19:59 of the Second Period

At 19:59 of the second period in the Blues/Kings game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Dustin Penner's shot crossed the goal line with 0.2 seconds left on the clock. Good Goal Los Angeles.

Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 7:44 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Staal not in lineup for Rangers in Game 5

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal returned to practice Friday morning in advance of Game 5 against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2) but is not playing for the second straight game.

Staal also missed Game 4 on Wednesday after returning to action in Game 3 following an absence of 29 games. Staal didn't want to go into details about what is holding him back and instead said he simply isn't fit to play right now because of his right eye injury, which occurred March 5 in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I'll wake up [Saturday] and go at it again," Staal said. "With this thing, the way I've been dealing with it is I wake up in the morning and take it from there. I couldn't speculate one way or the other."

Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 7:44 PM

By Ben Raby - Correspondent / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Wilson replacing Erat in Capitals' lineup

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Prospect Tom Wilson is making his NHL debut for the Washington Capitals Friday in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers (NBCSN, TSN, RDS2).

The Capitals' first-round pick (No. 16) in the 2012 NHL Draft was recalled Thursday from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League and is skating on Washington's fourth line alongside Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle in Game 5.

Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 7:39 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Bruins-Maple Leafs series blog

Redden out, Bartkowski in for Bruins

BOSTON -- For the second time in the Boston Bruins' Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins juggled their defensive alignment because of a lineup change.

Coach Claude Julien on Friday morning said defenseman Wade Redden was injured and he is not playing Game 5 of the team's Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday (CBC, RDS, NHLN-US). The Bruins lead the series 3-1 and are trying to advance to the next round with a victory.

Redden had a goal and an assist in Game 1, and is a plus-2 with two shots on goal in four games.

Matt Bartkowski was recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League on Thursday and took Redden's place next to Adam McQuaid.

Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 7:12 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Oates wants Capitals to get off to fast start

WASHINGTON -- Washington Capitals Adam Oates admitted prior to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Friday night that he's "worried" about how his team will be at the start of the game.

He pointed to the starts each team had as being a difference between the Capitals winning Games 1 and 2 at Verizon Center and losing to the New York Rangers in Games 3 and 4 at Madison Square Garden.

Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 6:50 PM

By John Kreiser - Columnist / - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Crosby honored to be Hart Trophy finalist

Not even missing the Pittsburgh Penguins' last 12 regular-season games was enough to keep captain Sidney Crosby from being named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, given to the NHL's regular-season MVP.

Despite missing the last quarter of the season, Crosby joined Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and John Tavares of the New York Islanders as the three finalists.

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