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Blackhawks' Versteeg focused on returning to lineup

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:33 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks got back on the ice Wednesday after taking two days off between series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Forward Kris Versteeg skated on the fourth line at right wing during line rushes and looks to get back in the lineup for the start of the Western Conference Second Round.

Versteeg, who was reacquired during the first quarter of the regular season in a trade with the Florida Panthers, was a surprising scratch Sunday in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues. Instead, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville went with rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom, who made his postseason debut at right wing on the fourth line.

"You just have to get ready for the next one," Versteeg said. "Obviously you always want to play, but you have to understand what the coach feels and what's best for the team. It's something you want to fight through and come back and be a factor in helping the team."

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Bruins' hatred of Canadiens not openly returned

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:09 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The rivalry between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens appears to be rather one-sided.

Not necessarily in terms of wins and losses, even though the Canadiens have won six of their past seven games against the Bruins, but more in the sense of how emotional the rivalry is in each camp.

The Bruins are not shy to say they hate the Canadiens, with coach Claude Julien openly saying so Tuesday and forward Milan Lucic admitting as much Wednesday as the teams prepared for the start of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

“Yeah, I mean I do,” Lucic said Wednesday in Boston. “If you ask them the same question, I’m sure they’d give you the same answer about if they hate us. You know it’s just natural for me being here for seven years now, and just being a part of this organization."

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McCarthy: Home ice has its disadvantages for Bruins

Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 12:56 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, NHL.com enlisted the help of longtime NHL assistant/associate coach Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy played in more than 500 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins, then spent a decade as an assistant and associate coach with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he was a member of the staff that led them to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006. He joined the Flyers as an assistant during the 2009-10 season and stayed in Philadelphia until October 2013.

Teams play the regular season in order to not only earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but also to have home-ice advantage.

Except in the case of the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens, Kevin McCarthy thinks home ice might in fact be a disadvantage for the Bruins, at least to start the series.

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