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Bruins' Marchand, Red Wings' Smith escalating rivalry

Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 3:44 PM

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

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Bruins-Red Wings series blog
Bruins' Marchand, Red Wings' Smith escalating rivalry

DETROIT -- Brad Marchand vs. Brendan Smith has turned into a 1-on-1 matchup worth watching in the Eastern Conference First Round series between Marchand's Boston Bruins and Smith's Detroit Red Wings.

The Bruins hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series which resumes Thursday with Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Earlier in the series, Marchand revealed that teammate Reilly Smith, who is Brendan's younger brother, had given him the "inside scoop." Apparently the Red Wings defenseman doesn't like the Bruins forward very much.

"Whenever he can take a run at me he's taken a run at me," said Marchand, who has no points, six shots on goal and two penalties in the series. "And I want to do the same to him."

The budding Marchand-Smith rivalry escalated Tuesday in Game 3 when Smith sent Marchand somersaulting to the ice 5:10 into the second period of Boston's 3-0 victory at Joe Louis Arena.

Smith was called for tripping when his left knee collided with Marchand's left leg. While lying on his back grimacing in pain, Marchand grabbed his right leg and clutched it close to his body. When he was eventually helped up and off the ice, Marchand was still favoring his right leg.

Marchand said after the game that he twisted his right knee as he went down. Smith wasn't buying the claim.

"I'll let you guys be the judge of that," Smith said.

Smith laughed as he talked about seeing a picture of Marchand grabbing his right leg.

"He's very slippery so you have to make sure you get all body, and he slipped out of my check, which is a good play by him, but it was funny when he was putting all his weight on the leg that got hit," Smith said. "It's interesting when I saw that picture. But that's Marchand. He's going to try to create some stuff. That's the kind of player he is. He's lived off of it for a long time and that's why he's great.

"That's something he's going to do, but it's kind of funny when you get caught like that and you go down on your left leg and you've got your right leg up. But that's just how he is and that's how he plays. It's worked for him."

Smith called Marchand an "antagonizing pest kind of guy, but he's very good at it, one of the best in the League at that."

Smith denied Marchand's claim from earlier in the season that he doesn't like him.

"I don't know him, so I don't know," Smith said.

Smith admitted he doesn't like the way Marchand plays.

"I don't like some of the cheap shots here and there," he said. "I mean, nobody really does. Name somebody and I'll call you a liar, because nobody really likes cheap shots. In that sense I don't like how he plays in that way, but other than that I don't really know him so I can't comment on it."

Marchand said he believes that anything that goes on in the series isn't personal.

"It never is," he said. "It's just we're trying to help our team win and that's all it is."

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock's advice for Smith and any of his other players about Marchand is to "just ignore him, just play hard."

Bruins coach Claude Julien has no problem with how Marchand has played in this series.

"He's got to play his game, he's got to be respectful of the rules, and he's got to be respectful of what we expect from him as well," Julien said. "The times he's got in trouble is when he crosses the line. Right now he's being the Brad Marchand that we know. As long as he stays within the rules I have no issue."

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