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Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 2:07 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Bruins still without three veteran defensemen

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed Sunday morning that defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden would not be available for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers at TD Garden.

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.

Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 1:24 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Thornton wants to see energy line chip in offensively

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."

Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 1:19 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst / - Weekes on the Web

Weekes coaches floorball game at Maple Leaf Gardens

Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 12:51 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins without Vitale in Game 3

OTTAWA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without left wing Joe Vitale when they face the Ottawa Senators in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday night (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Vitale did not play in the first four games of Pittsburgh’s first-round victory against the New York Islanders, but coach Dan Bylsma said he has become an important member of his team who will be missed.

"His speed was really evident," Bylsma said. "In those third- and fourth-line situations he brought that speed, he brought that tenacity. He was a difference-maker."

Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 12:45 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - Penguins-Senators series blog

Senators hope Spezza's return gets Michalek going

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators are hoping the return of Jason Spezza for Game 3 on Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins may also mean the re-emergence of his linemate, Milan Michalek.

The struggles of Michalek during the Stanley Cup Playoffs have been difficult to ignore. The 28-year-old missed 24 regular-season games with a right knee injury, eventually requiring arthroscopic surgery in March to clean out debris around the joint. In 23 games, Michalek scored four goals and 10 assists. Since his return on April 12, Michalek has rarely participated in practices, electing instead to rest and recuperate.

Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 11:51 AM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - Penguins-Senators series blog

Senators announce Spezza part of Game 3 lineup

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators find themselves down 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series with the Pittsburgh Penguins heading into Game 3 Sunday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). But the Senators are hoping the return of Jason Spezza to their lineup provides the spark they desperately need.

Spezza has been out of the lineup since Jan. 27, and a herniated disc in his back forced the 29-year-old to undergo surgery.

"[Spezza] gives us more depth," coach Paul MacLean said. "He's a legitimate No. 1 center."

Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 11:15 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst / - Weekes on the Web

Weekes: Playing safe could end up costing Rangers

The Marian Gaborik trade has really helped the New York Rangers. Gaborik is a premier player and a huge goal scorer, but right now based on the way the Rangers play -- and I'm going to get into that more in a little bit -- the trade has really helped them.

They were short on depth. They have some star players, but the Rangers had lost a lot of their depth up front. Those guys [they got for Gaborik] have come in and played exceptionally well, particularly Derick Brassard. He has been really good for the Rangers, and has helped slot guys in and given them some of the depth they lost when they made the Rick Nash trade.

They did that trade at the expense of their depth, and then Brandon Prust didn't re-sign, Ruslan Fedotenko, who was a good player for them, left, they traded Mike Rupp -- they had some depth on the third and fourth lines last year that they didn't have this year.

Posted On Saturday, 05.18.2013 / 9:20 PM

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

Havlat in Sharks lineup for Game 3

SAN JOSE -- Just minutes after the San Jose Sharks' morning skate ended Saturday, coach Todd McLellan got the news he had been waiting for regarding injured forward Martin Havlat.

"He came to see me and said he's ready to go," McLellan said. "So we'll find a spot for him."

The Sharks trailed the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in their Western Conference Semifinal series heading into Game 3 Saturday (NBCSN, TSN, RDS). With Havlat back in the lineup, the Sharks' lines have a new look at HP Pavilion.

Havlat had been out with a lower-body injury since midway through the first period of Game 1 of the Sharks' Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks.

Posted On Saturday, 05.18.2013 / 8:42 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins want to clean up parts of their game

OTTAWA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins may be comfortably ahead 2-0 in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Ottawa Senators, but they are fully cognizant of the fact there are some improvements that can still be made for Game 3 on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

“We’re confident, but we’re not confident we’ll win the series,” Penguins defenseman Kris Letang said Saturday. “That’s a team with a lot of character and we expect they will play their best game.”

After winning Game 1 rather handily by a 4-1 score, the Penguins had a 3-1 lead early in the second period of Game 2 on Friday but allowed the Senators to make it a one-goal game before holding on for a 4-3 win.

“I don’t think we’re necessarily disappointed with anything,” Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. “I think last game we’d like to correct a few big mistakes we made to give them some pretty good opportunities, but other than that I thought we did a pretty good job of having the momentum for most of the game.

“They’re going to be desperate, so we know that this is going to be the toughest game yet.”

Posted On Saturday, 05.18.2013 / 8:17 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins aware of Spezza's impact on Senators

OTTAWA -- No team understands the emotional lift the long-awaited return of a star player can provide better than the Pittsburgh Penguins do.

So they are very well prepared for the impact the likely return of Jason Spezza to the Ottawa Senators lineup will have on the complexion of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

With captain Sidney Crosby having made a similar return on several occasions, and Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang doing the same, the Penguins are ready to face a very different Senators team.

"I expect them to be really energized and desperate," Crosby said Saturday. "Adding a player like Jason, he's a big part of their team. He's been around for a long time and he's definitely going to give them a boost."

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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