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Bear Essentials: Game Five

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
Wednesday Update

Boston Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward, center, sends Montreal Canadiens center Maxim Lapierre (40) into the boards during the first period in Game 3 of the NHL hockey playoffs Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
Wednesday morning in Wilmington, the B's practiced at 11 o'clock before hopping a plane to Montreal at 2 p.m.

The club was led out of the locker room by Patrice Bergeron, who practiced by himself for a little bit before being joined by Manny Fernandez, Alex Auld, Andrew Alberts and, eventually, (most of) the rest of the team.

Defenseman Dennis Wideman and Aaron Ward, and forward Peter Schaefer were missing from practice.

Ward's absence had a serious cause.

"He [missed] practice today because he is obviously being checked," said Julien. "He's a question mark for tomorrow.

"It was a knee right in front of the penalty box with Plekanec."

Meanwhile, Julien was asked about Wideman and Schaefer.

"[Wideman will] be fine," he answered. "We're making sure we rest our guys properly and make sure they are as healthy as can be.

"Shaef -- the same thing."

When asked if the situation remained the same with Bergeron (practice, not games), Coach Julien said, "Yes...It's up to the doctors right now.

"For me, I've accepted the fact that, until I am told he is [ready], I gotta go without him."

Thursday, 9:29 a.m.
John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room.
Ok folks, we are rolling here and I am heading out for a bite to eat before hitting the Bell Center.

The Habs will be on the ice at 10:30 and the B's follow at 11:30.

Just a quick reminder that the game is on NESN+, tonight. Click here for details.

10:26 a.m.
Everyone is here early. I have walked by The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, WBZ, TSN -- all of whom are getting ready to cover tonight's game.

Outside, and it is a gorgeous spring day here in Montreal, scalpers are already trying to sell their tickets and Montreal fans of all shapes and sizes are wearing their jerseys.

I even think some are wearing them to work!

The Canadiens are about to practice and a buzz just went around saying that Saku Koivu might be skating with the Habs this morning. Uh oh.

12:25 p.m.
Coach Julien was asked about possible lineup changes for this evening -- several times -- and responded the same way each time.

"Game time decision."

So, other than to say that Aaron Ward did skate this morning alongside a good number of his teammates (and appeared to have no issues), I can't tell you if he, Andrew Alberts or Phil Kessel will be on the game roster this evening.

"I can't even give you my lineup right now," added Julien. "It's really depending on a lot of things."

I can tell you that Coach Julien's demeanor has not changed one iota. For instance, Julien was asked about having the team's back to a wall and what, if anything, he would change for tonight..

He said they would be fine if "we bring a lot of the same [things] that we've brought, so far, which allowed us to be in the games...but [we have to] find a way to score some goals."

"[Scoring] is the solution," said Julien. "Right now it's the only thing that has held us back."

2:16 p.m.
Hamrlik and Nokelainen.
Defenceman Mark Streit is day-to-day with a hip injury that he suffered in the second period of Game 4. Sergei Kostitsyn or Patrice Brisebois will take Streit's place on the right point of first PP unit. Both have played that role on the second unit. Saku Koivu skated by himself before yesterday's practice and today's morning skate, but coach Guy Carbonneau said Koivu will not play tonight, adding his recovery remains on course.

A. Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Kovalev
S. Kostitsyn - Higgins - Dandenault
Begin - Smolinski - Kostopoulos
Latendresse - Lapierre - Ryder
Markov - Komisarek
Hamrlik - Brisebois
Gorges - O'Byrne
Scratches: Stewart, Grabovski

6:30 p.m.
The Bruins have taken the ice and look sort of like the same team we saw on Tuesday, with the exception of Aaron Ward -- he is replaced by Andrew Alberts.

Phil Kessel is on the ice, however, which may connote movement among the forwards.


6:55 p.m.

And I had the lines all messed up. The above should be correct. Insert Kessel and Alberts. Minus Reich. Thomas is in goal.

Coach's decision for Reich. Ward is out with a knee injury.

First period
0:00 The B's MUST score first.

0:53 Thomas with a save -- Stuart cleans out the crease.

5:00 Virtually nonstop action. Unfortunately it seems to be on the B's side of the ice.

9:06 Nice stop by Price. However, I like the matching penalties to Kostitsyn and Sturm -- love the diving call on.

9:47 Shades of Guy Lafleur -- Kovalev lost his helmet and, blond locks floating in the wind, weaved through the Boston zone for Montreal's first goal. 1-0, Montreal.

11:53 Big save by Thomas. The puck came off the back wall and out front.

13:15 Dangerous cross check on David Krejci. Boston on PP.

15:27 Close but no goals for Boston. Tim had to make a big save to keep it 1-0 at the end of the man-advantage.

16:32 Habs on the PP.

19:25 Another stop for Tim. Shots are 12-5, Montreal.

20:00 The B's came very close to scoring in the last two seconds. Krejci had a partial break away and just missed, as did a rebound try.

Second Period
0:00 40 minutes. The B's need a goal.

1:45 Tim with another save. Boston has had a couple of scoring opportunities, as well.

4:30 Zee is pretty lucky to have not gotten more hurt. Plekanec's stick looks to have caught him in the ear.

6:37 Patrice Brisebois just left the Habs bench -- limping badly and favoring the right side. But he must have walked it off. He's back.

7:45 With the B's on the PP, Phil Kessel puts one away to make the score 1-1. Lots of hard work on that one.

9:27 Another set of matching penalites. Four-on-four.

11:57 Shots are 15-10, Montreal.

15:41 Lots of pressure from the Bruins, who very nearly took the lead in the last two minutes.

17:41 Outstanding work by Shawn thornton leads to a power play for Boston.

18:40 Pile up in front of Price's cage. Nothing comes of it.

19:33 Montreal will go on a PP after a Boston cross check.

20:00 Tim makes a save at the whistle.

Third Period
1:40 Kovalev in the Box gives Boston a short PP.

2:59 If you are just reading and were able to see the last two games -- well, you know what tonight looks like. Two teams just working very hard and playing their best hockey.

3:31 Metro scoooooooooooooooores. Or did he. Play under review.

It's a goal. 2-1, Boston. It had been thirty games without a goal for Metropolit.

4:26 Boston on the PP thanks to a hooking call against Sergei Kostitsyn.

5:49 HOLY COW!  Boston takes 3-1 lead on a Chara slap shot.

8:00 Sobotka just cleaned out one of the Kostitsyn's.

9:56 This is a big kill. Boston on the PK.

14:01 Another Boston penalty. Another big kill.

15:13 OH WOW. Nice shot Sturmie! 4-1, Boston. That was his seventh career playoff goal.

BTW: Not saying a word.


I gotta get to the locker room, ladies and gents! See you on Saturday!
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