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2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Canadiens vs. Bruins

Khokhlachev back with Bruins to play in Classic

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Boston Bruins forward Alexander Khokhlachev will get another chance to prove his worth in the NHL, this time on a very big stage.

Opportunity has presented itself more than once for the 22-year-old who was the Bruins' second-round pick (No. 40) in the 2011 NHL Draft. Khokhlachev does not have a goal in his eight NHL games, and Game 9 won't be an ordinary regular-season contest.

Khokhlachev was recalled by the Bruins to play in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday at Gillette Stadium (1 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN). He's one of a few young players who will be asked to step up in the absence of injured forward David Krejci (upper body), and forward Brad Marchand, who was suspended for three games by the NHL Department of Player Safety for clipping Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki in the first period of Boston's 7-3 win Tuesday.

"I think every call-up is an opportunity," Khokhlachev said Thursday. "Every game I play right now I get better and better and feel better and better. I just try to do my best every time I'm here. It doesn't matter who's hurt. If you got called up you will be in the lineup. It's an opportunity for you every time. I'm not looking for somebody to get injured. I just want to play and show what I can do."

Canadiens' Scrivens looks to savor second chance

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On Monday, Ben Scrivens was in in the American Hockey League with the Edmonton Oilers' affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif., hoping for another chance in the NHL.

On Thursday, he was on the ice at Gillette Stadium, one day before the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS) against the Boston Bruins, preparing to perhaps play in his second outdoor hockey game of the season.

Scrivens, who was acquired by the Montreal Canadiens from the Edmonton Oilers for forward Zack Kassian on Monday, had been in the AHL all season and played outdoors with Bakersfield at Raley Field in Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 19 in front of a crowd of 9,357 people. He made 35 saves in a 3-2 loss to Stockton.

Classic a first-place showdown for Bruins, Canadiens

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Claude Julien and Bill Belichick laced 'em up and took to the ice Thursday morning, a hockey coach in his element and a football coach in his stadium, two adopted New Englanders turned champions.

Julien, the coach of the Boston Bruins, has developed a friendship, a special kinship, with Belichick, the coach of the New England Patriots. Belichick had Julien out to Patriots practice on Wednesday, so Julien returned the favor the day before the Bruins were scheduled to play the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium on New Year's (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports).

"I asked him if he wanted to skate, and he said he'd love to," Julien said. "Not just an enjoyable skate, but an enjoyable moment with him. In my book, it's unique and a lot of fun."

However, by the time Belichick presumably had his skates off and was heading to Miami to put final preparations in for his next game, Julien was putting his team through a workout on the very same ice.

Ferraro: Classic's grand stage requires control, focus

Landon Ferraro - Special to NHL.com

Boston Bruins forward Landon Ferraro gives his perspective on playing in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

The Winter Classic is something you're excited to do. Personally, for me, I'm going to treat it like my first Stanley Cup Playoff game against the Tampa Bay Lightning last season where you have that much more excitement just because of everything going on.

You have to make sure you channel it the right way, and that you're not running around trying to hit everything or trying to do too much because you're so excited. Just keep it simple. I'm a guy who keeps it pretty simple throughout every game. I don't need to come here and start trying to toe drag. That's not really in my skill set.

I've played outdoors before. The year that the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs played at the Big House at the University of Michigan, our minor-league teams played at Comerica Park. I kind of have a feeling what's coming, but there's going to be 50,000 more people at this one so it's going to be exciting for sure.

Massachusetts native Condon gets start for Canadiens

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The last time Mike Condon was at Gillette Stadium, he was sitting in the 300 level watching his favorite football team, the New England Patriots.

On Friday, the Massachusetts native will be a lot closer to the field when he is in net for the Montreal Canadiens against the Boston Bruins in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).

"Usually when I'm at Gillette Stadium, in in the last row of the nosebleeds, but it's kind of nice to be back on the main level," Condon said after the Canadiens practiced Thursday. "You're up there and now you're down here, so it puts things in perspective."

Bruins plan on revamped lineup for Winter Classic

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – During the past five seasons the Boston Bruins have won some crucial games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs without key players available.

Those experiences should benefit the Bruins when they play in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium on Friday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS) without injured center David Krejci and suspended forward Brad Marchand.

In 2011, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup despite losing forward Nathan Horton in Game 3 of the Final. In 2013, they reached the Final despite playing without half of their starting defense corps for much of the run.

Rask pays tribute to Patriots legacy on WC mask

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVERBoston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made sure the New England Patriots weren't forgotten when their home at Gillette Stadium becomes the center of the hockey universe for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 (1 p.m ET.; NBC, SN, TVAS).

Rask unveiled a beautiful new mask Thursday featuring superstar Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prominently on the left side and tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receiver Julian Edelman and kicker Stephen Gostkowski on the other. Gostkowski is a big supporter of the Bruins and has attended numerous games at TD Garden.

"We wanted to pay tribute to their success and some of their players," Rask told the Bruins website.

Marchand sorry for putting Bruins at 'disadvantage'

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand apologized Thursday, one day after he was suspended for three games by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Marchand was punished for clipping Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki in the first period of the Bruins' 7-3 win at TD Garden on Tuesday. The suspension includes the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium on Friday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

"I just wanted to acknowledge the situation that I've put my team in for being undisciplined, affecting the game for them, taking away from the excitement for the fans of being part of this rivalry, and taking that away from them," Marchand said during a joint press conference with general manager Don Sweeney. "And then also for affecting this game for myself and putting myself in a situation to not be part of this. So I want to apologize and I truly am sorry to everyone about the situation. It was not my intent to make a hit or try and injure anyone on that play."

Patriots coach Belichick hits Winter Classic ice

Bill Price - Editor in Chief

FOXBOROUGH -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick wore his traditional hoodie Thursday morning at Gillette Stadium, but added a new wrinkle to his wardrobe: hockey skates.

Belichick was skating on the ice along with Boston coach Claude Julien an hour before the Bruins practiced ahead of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic vs. the Montreal Canadiens (1 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA Sports, SN).

The sessions lasted for approximately 20 minutes and the Patriots coach acquitted himself well as he skated with Julien while Bruins legend and current Bruins president Cam Neely watched from the bench.

Holiday happenings on 'Road to the Winter Classic'

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Hockey players are no different from fans. They watch NHL Network. They want to know who won, who lost, who scored, who got robbed. The good thing about it is, sometimes they get to see themselves doing great things. But sometimes it also means reliving a nightmare.

That's where the third episode of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" begins.

It's breakfast time on an off day in Nashville for the Montreal Canadiens. Defenseman P.K. Subban comes in wearing a suit, telling forward Dale Weise his suitcase wasn't big enough to pack street clothes. It was funny.

But playing in the background was NHL Network, with host Jamie Hersch introducing the highlights of Montreal's most recent game, a 6-2 loss at the Dallas Stars.

"Can we watch something else here?" Weise asks, looking around to no one in particular.

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