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Seven questions for Bruins-Canadiens Game 7

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 5:38 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

This should come as no surprise.

When the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins each won in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to set up this classic Eastern Conference Second Round series, having it go the distance was practically a given.

When the two longtime rivals face off in Game 7 on Wednesday at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) it will be the ninth do-or-die game between the Canadiens and Bruins, the most of any two teams in the four major North American professional sports leagues.

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Bruins can rely on energy, but need scorers to step up

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 5:26 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are about to play their ninth Game 7 in the past seven seasons when they host the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Second Round at TD Garden on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Bruins and Canadiens have split their past eight do-or-die games.

In some of their more recent series finales, Boston has turned to the fourth line of Gregory Campbell centering wings Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton, which is known as the Merlot Line because of the color of their practice sweaters. They have made the most of limited ice time and used energy and physicality to turn the momentum in the Bruins' favor. They're expected to do the same against Montreal, but someone will have to pick up the scoring slack.

Through the past three games against the Canadiens, including a 4-0 loss in Game 6 on Monday, the reunited fourth line has failed to make that sort of impact. With a trip to the Eastern Conference Final on the line in Game 7, the Bruins' biggest source of energy hopes to provide the necessary juice for a victory.

"Hopefully we can get out there early, get a rhythm going and get on top of them. We have to get on the forecheck. That's when we're at our best. We know that," Thornton said Tuesday during an off day for most of Boston's regulars. "We have to get pucks into areas where we can get them back. Hopefully we can create some momentum for our team; that's the goal."

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Rinne leads Finland past Germany at Worlds

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 4:54 PM / News

NHL.com

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne made 20 saves to lead Finland to a 4-0 victory against Germany in preliminary-round play at the 2014 IIHF World Championship at Minsk Arena in Belarus on Tuesday.

The victory was the first for Finland (1-2, three points) in the Group B field. In the previous two games between these countries at the World Championship in 2011 and 2013, each game was won by Finland in overtime.

The extra period wasn't needed Tuesday, when Petri Kontiola had a goal and an assist and won 61 percent of his faceoffs.

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Capitals sign 2009 pick Mitchell to one-year contract

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 2:11 PM / News

The Washington Capitals on Tuesday signed forward Garrett Mitchell to a one-year, two-way contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mitchell, 22, had two assists and 44 penalty minutes in 17 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League this season, and has 47 points (21 goals, 26 assists) in 160 career AHL games. From 2006-11, he had 112 points (51 goals, 61 assists) in 264 games with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League while serving as captain in 2010-11.

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Bruins, Canadiens set for ninth Game 7 in rivalry

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 12:48 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- For the ninth time in their 34 lifetime Stanley Cup Playoff series, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will face off in a winner-take-all Game 7 Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston (7 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The winner will advance to the Eastern Conference Final against the winner of the Second Round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers, who contest Game 7 tonight in Pittsburgh.

No rivalry in major pro sports has featured as many Game 7 showdowns as Bruins-Canadiens. Other longtime "Original Six" rivals, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, have squared off six times in a Game 7, as have the NBA's Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

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Blues hire Kirk Muller as assistant coach

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 12:04 PM / News

NHL.com

The St. Louis Blues on Tuesday hired Kirk Muller as an assistant coach.

TSN's Darren Dreger reported Muller, who was fired last week as coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, will receive a two-year contract to join veteran Blues coach Ken Hitchcock.

"We are excited to add Kirk to our staff," general manager Doug Armstrong said. "He was a Stanley Cup-winning player, and as a coach has shown excellent communication skills and the ability to relate to both young and veteran players."

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Capitals' Orlov sustains broken arm at Worlds

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 11:08 AM / News

NHL.com

Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov will miss the remainder of the IIHF World Championship with a broken arm. The injury occurred during the second period of Russia's 6-1 win against the United States on Monday.

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Murphy: Rangers, Penguins seek fast starts in Game 7

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 10:48 AM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy to break down the action. Murphy will be checking in throughout the series.

Murphy enjoyed a 14-season career as an NHL defenseman before spending seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

Gord Murphy was around hockey long enough to know what is going through the minds of the players for the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers as they prepare for Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"The mindset of a player is excitement, anxious, focused on staying in the moment and not allowing yourself to think ahead of the what-ifs," Murphy said.

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More defensive miscues cost Kings in Game 5

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 3:05 AM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

ANAHEIM -- The answer was simple and succinct.

"I made a bad play."

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez didn't shy away from the mistake he made in Game 5 of this Western Conference Second Round series that led to a second goal by Anaheim Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly in 83 seconds, and Martinez conveyed his point in a concise manner.

The Ducks had just gone ahead in a game they would win 4-3. Honda Center was buzzing from Smith-Pelly's first goal, which was originally credited to Mathieu Perreault.

Martinez had the puck and was not being pressured. He tried to move it to Marian Gaborik along the left wall, but Ryan Getzlaf intercepted and released Smith-Pelly in alone on net with a perfect saucer pass.

It was a great play by Getzlaf to anticipate Martinez's move; it was a better pass from the Ducks captain. It was also a costly mistake in a game when a few such issues ended up damaging the Kings, who again controlled the puck for long stretches but failed to convert that into a victory. The Ducks lead the best-of-7 series 3-2, with Game 6 on Wednesday at Staples Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

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Five Questions: Lundqvist on success under pressure

Tuesday, 05.13.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's weekly Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist:

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Sure, he'd rather be up in a Stanley Cup Playoff series, playing with a lead, with confidence and with the knowledge that win or lose, there will be a tomorrow. But if that were the case, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist wouldn't be referred to as the NHL's best goalie when facing elimination.

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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness