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Bruins vs Capitals - 2012 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Bergeron's teammates see Selke nod as long overdue

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- The votes from the members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association have been collected and tabulated.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara doesn't have a vote, but if his wishes could affect what the ballots read -- and considering his imposing 6-foot-9 stature, there's not much Chara doesn't get when he demands it -- teammate Patrice Bergeron will take home the Selke Trophy in June.

On Monday, Bergeron was announced as one of three finalists for that award, which goes to the best defensive forward in the NHL. The Blues' David Backes and the Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk are the other finalists. Datsyuk has won the award three times and has been a finalist five straight seasons. Bergeron and Backes are first-time finalists.

Seguin breaks through in Game 6

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- He was the leading scorer on the defending champions, but Tyler Seguin was also a 20-year-old kid with 13 games of NHL postseason experience when the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs began.

Tyler Seguin
Center - BOS
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 2
SOG: 24 | +/-: 3
As this tight-checking, extremely close Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between Seguin's Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals matriculated, the pressure on the future star to be one in the present mounted.

"There is a lot that asked of him," Boston defenseman Andrew Ference said. "He's a young guy and we all understand that he is given a lot of opportunity but he also has a lot of expectations. We have to remind ourselves how old he is and how difficult it is play, especially this time of year."

For five games, Seguin did not have a point. He had a glorious chance in Game 5, but Washington goaltender Braden Holtby made the save of the series to deny him.

And then, Seguin arrived in this series in a blur as the Capitals had no answer for his combination of speed, skill and hockey sense.

Bergeron sees limited ice time after elbow from Semin

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON – Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was limited to just three third-period shifts in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at TD Garden.

Bergeron was inadvertently elbowed by Alexander Semin at 14:40 of the second period. The Bruins alternate captain left the game, but returned later in the period.

Holtby's wild ride carries him to playoff success

Ben Raby - Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The roller coaster painted on Braden Holtby's goalie mask is a tribute to one of the rides at the Hershey Park amusement park in central Pennsylvania.


Braden Holtby
Goalie - WSH
RECORD: 2-2-0
GAA: 1.60 | SVP: 0.953
It's just a Hershey thing," the Washington Capitals' rookie goalie explained. "When I had to get my mask painted [in the offseason], I knew I was going to be playing in Hershey [with the Caps' AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears] for the better part of the year, so I thought it was something creative to represent Hershey."

Eight months later, the roller coaster is a symbol of the wild and crazy ride this season has been for the 22-year-old, who has gone from training camp afterthought to one of the best goalies of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Holtby's career-high 44 saves in a 2-1 win Thursday night pulled the Capitals even with the Boston Bruins at two victories apiece in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. His 1.60 goals-against-average and .953 save percentage are tops among goalies with at least three starts in this year's playoffs.

Holtby joins list of unlikely playoff goaltending stars

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

Fresh off a 44-save performance against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in Washington's series-tying Game 4 win on Thursday, rookie goaltender Braden Holtby just might be the biggest name in a playoff series full of stars. After leading the Caps to a 2-1 win, Holtby enters Saturday's Game 5 (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) with a 6-1-0 career record when facing more than 30 shots -- and is bringing back memories of some of the unlikely goalies who've taken their teams to the Stanley Cup or on long playoff runs.

Antti Niemi
Antti Niemi - 2010 POSTSEASON
Goalie - CHI
RECORD: 16-6
GAA: 2.63 | SVP: 0.910
Antti Niemi, Chicago Blackhawks, 2010: With 42 NHL appearances to his credit and not a second of playoff action, Niemi wasn't the favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup. But the veteran of the Finnish league put up two shutouts in his first four playoff games, becoming the first Hawks goaltender since Tony Esposito in 1974 to record two shutouts in one series.

In leading the Hawks to their first Stanley Cup win in 49 years, Niemi enjoyed a seven-game postseason winning streak in which he allowed just 14 goals.

Chara standing tall against Ovechkin, Capitals

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- On an off day between games in Washington, D.C., last week, Zdeno Chara visited the National Geographic Museum's Titanic exhibit, which honors the 100th anniversary of that disaster at sea.

As the Boston Bruins' captain and No. 1 defenseman, Chara will now be largely responsible for preventing the defending Stanley Cup champions' title defense from sinking before the calendar even hits May.

The Bruins and Washington Capitals are tied 2-2 heading into Saturday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Statement on clock operation from BOS-WSH Game 4

TORONTO -- National Hockey League Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy released the following statement regarding the operation of the game clock in the final seconds of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal between the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins tonight at Verizon Center in Washington:

"With 9.5 seconds remaining in the third period, there was a stoppage and resulting face-off in the Washington zone. During the stoppage, the game clock operator and Series Manager determined that 0.9 seconds should have been added to the time remaining in the third period and attempted to contact the on-ice officials to delay the puck drop to accommodate making the necessary clock adjustment to 10.4 seconds remaining.

Beagle a fighter in every definition of the word

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Jay Beagle is a fighter.

Not in the literal sense of the word -- the beginning of his season and nearly his career were derailed because he chose to drop the gloves with someone who really is, in hockey parlance, a fighter.

Jay Beagle
Right Wing - WSH
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 0
SOG: 8 | +/-: -1
But Beagle's courage and determination -- whether it was taking on Arron Asham that emotionally-charged day in October, or working for hours and days and months and years to become a self-made NHL regular -- are part of what define him and make his story an incredible one.

"He grows on you," Capitals coach Dale Hunter said. "You see him at practice where he's the hardest worker in practice. Then you need him to take faceoffs, so he works hard in practice and watches video to become a better faceoff man, and right now he's very good on faceoffs. He works so hard that he's made himself into a good NHL player."

Third line has been key to Bruins' success

Ben Raby - Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The bad news for the Boston Bruins is that of their League-high six 20-goal scorers during the regular-season, only Chris Kelly has found the back of the net through three games of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Washington Capitals.

The good news for Boston is that despite Tyler Seguin (29 goals), Brad Marchand (28), Milan Lucic (26), David Krejci (23) and Patrice Bergeron (22) having combined for just one assist, the Bruins own a 2-1 series lead entering Game 4 Thursday at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

"I think everybody understands that your best lines have to play against their best defensive players and vice versa, especially when you don't get the last change," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.

Julien then pointed to the success of Boston's third line -- Kelly, Rich Peverley and Michael Ryder -- during their Stanley Cup run last spring.

"They [the opposition] were focusing on our first two lines -- they were doing the damage -- and when they focused on them the other lines stepped up, and that's what you need," Julien said. "You need depth. You need to make sure scoring goes around, and no matter who scores in the series, we've still scored one more goal than them."

Replacing Backstrom unenviable, yet familiar task

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- If Alex Ovechkin is the figurative beating heart of the Washington Capitals, then Nicklas Backstrom is the soul.

Ovechkin's game is measured by ferocity and high-speed collisions, while Backstrom's is more serene and tactical. That isn't to say there's not a fiery edge to the smooth-skating Swede, and for the first time in his career that emotion got the best of him.

With Backstrom forced from the lineup for Game 4 of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series by a one-game suspension, the Capitals will be in the unenviable, although familiar, position of needing to win an important contest without their best center and playmaker.

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