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Game Day: Bruins @ Canadiens Game 4

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins

Boston    2 2 0 4
Montréal 1 0 0 1

BOS:  Ryder, M. (17:27 in 1st), Krejci, D. (19:25 in 1st), Kessel, P. (11:58 in 2nd), Ryder, M. (12:43 in 2nd)
MTL:  Kostitsyn, A. (00:39 in 1st) GOALIES
BOS: T. Thomas (W)  MTL: C. Price (L)

A little twist. A new and improved In-Game blog.
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6:38 p.m.
The Lines...

Bitz, Ference

6:29 p.m.
It's Tim Thomas vs. Carey Price in goal.

6:20 p.m.
It's a very different crowd coming in today -- very little yelling -- and even though there are as many as 1000 people in the Bell Centre, virtually the only sound is from the video screens and the scoreboard.

6:09 p.m.
Listening in...
The mood around the B's locker room was upbeat this morning, but not too overconfident.

"When I was on the other side, we were down 3-1 one year, too," said Michael Ryder. "And we came back to win the series.

"It's been done before, where teams come back, so we've got to make sure we don't give these guys any life.

"We have to come out hard tonight and try and take control of the game early," he said.

Ryder's sentiments about the B's keeping their eyes on the prize were echoed everywhere.

"All we are focused on is winning tonight," said Blake Wheeler. "That's all we can really put our chips [down] on right now.

"We need to do the things we've done to be successful so far.

"I think we like our chances...but you really can't get too far ahead of yourself," he said.

5:59 p.m.
First there was hard rock journey, now we have hip-hop Toto.

We're sitting in the pressbox and the song "Africa" doesn't have the same alure without the dulcet tones of David Paich, Bobby Kimball and Steve Lukather.

We'll be home, soon (sigh).

4:55 p.m.
Le Chien Chaud
The hot dogs at the Bell Centre are outstanding. And while I finish up my dinner, let's get reaquainted with the Habs.

The team did not do line rushes during the morning skate on Wednesday. Alex Tanguay did not skate but will be a gametime decision. Mathieu Schneider stayed on the ice for roughly five minutes before shutting it down to get treatment. He will not play tonight. Defense will be the same as Game 3, but either D'Agostini or Stewart will sit if Tanguay plays. Patrice Brisebois is also not ready to play in Game 4 because of a lower-body injury.'s Projected Lines vs. Bruins
A. Kostitsyn-Koivu-Kovalev

Brisebois, S. Kostitsyn

2:23 p.m.
Return of the Big Guy
Boston Bruins; Milan Lucic celebrates after scoring, as Montreal Canadiens' Alex Kovalev, of Russia, looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)
Having served his one game suspension, Claude Julien confirmed that Milan Lucic will return to the B's lineup this evening.

“I’m allowing myself today to really look at my lineup,” said B’s head coach Claude Julien. “Milan will be in the lineup, don’t get me wrong, here.

“But as far as where he is going to be put in, I am going to bounce a few things around this afternoon.

“That’s why the game starts at seven and I’ve got a few hours to do more thinking,” he said.

Yesterday, Lucic weighed in on his having to watch from the pressbox during Game 3. You can listen in to his thoughts by clicking the link to the right: Milan Lucic

1:57 p.m.
Julien Update
The highlights from Claude Julien's conference included...
  • Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien instructs his players during hockey practice in Wilmington, Mass., Wednesday, April 15, 2009. The Bruins face the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the NHL playoffs on Thursday.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
    A discussion of defenseman Steve Montador: "He's brought exactly what we wanted as far as depth and having a player that can play different roles," said Julien.
  • Thoughts on forward Blake Wheeler: "He's done a great job for us. We've moved him from the left side to the right side on different lines and he continues to do a great job with Krejci on the penalty kill -- that's where he continues to play his roll."
  • Coach Julien spoke about the atmosphere in the Bell Centre: "What better place to play on the road than Montreal?"
  • Julien was asked if his two comebacks, one with Montreal and one with Boston, have served as a cautionary tale for these Bruins: "There's no doubt that this is something that we all have in the back of our minds and we certainly don't want to allow that to happen."
  • Coach was asked about the importance of his Stanley Cup ring bearers (Recchi, Yelle, Thornton and Ward): "Those guys play big roles. They've been there, they've been around and they've seen different things happen."
Listen in to Coach Julien's pregame presser: Bruins head coach Claude Julien

1:08 p.m.
Gathering my thoughts...

Bob Gainey.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
...but until then know that HabsInsideOut's Dave Stubbs is reporting: Canadiens defenseman Mathieu Schneider took part in today's morning skate, but coach Bob Gainey says he's not ready to return to action. Forward Alex Tanguay did not skate, but Gainey said his participation tonight is a game-time decision. Carey Price is in goal.

Gainey said he'll have no "win one for the Gipper" speech à la Knute Rockne tonight, but the job at hand is simple: win or the Canadiens are out.

Listen in to Coach Gainey's pregame presser. Canadiens head coach Bob Gainey

HabsInsideOut also has some great sound from inside the Montreal locker room. JB

12:14 p.m.
Also from the Habs:
Brisebois remains out with a lower body injury.

11:47 a.m.
Per Gainey, Carey Price will be in goal for Montreal.

11:44 a.m.
While we wait...
Head coach Claude Julien spoke to the media yesterday after practice, singing the praises of his locker room’s attitude and sportsmanship.

He said that, in cases where a big-name player is missing from the lineup (such as Patrice Bergeron for parts of last year and this year), the B’s squad has been able to fill in any gaps.

“Everybody kind of pulled together, we had a lot of unsung heroes last year and we saw what we could do as a group,” he said. “It probably showed us that you might miss an individual, but as a group you can compensate by playing well together as a team.

“We’ve gone through that this year, too.”

The teamwork for and go-get-‘em attitude is what coach likes about this particular group of hockey players.

“I’ll tell you what, if I name a few [notable players] I’m going to forget a few, because there’s a lot of them,” he said. “[It's] one of the teams that I’ve enjoyed coaching the most, because I just enjoy the way the players handle themselves without me having to say much.”

11:42 a.m.
Still waiting on Mr. Gainey, so let's report:
Matt Dalton (photo:
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed Bemidji State University goaltender Matt Dalton to an entry level contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

This past season, Dalton helped the 16th seed Bemidji State Beavers earn their first Frozen Four berth in school history and became the lowest seeded team to reach a Frozen Four in NCAA tournament history. In 31 games during the regular season, Dalton compiled a 19-11-1 record with a College Hockey America Conference best 2.19 Goals Against Average and a .921 Save Percentage.

The 22-year-old sophomore from Clinton, Ontario spent the 2005-2006 season with the Bozeman IceDogs of the North American Hockey League and the 2006-2007 season with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League before joining Bemidji State in for the 2007-2008 campaign.

11:27 a.m.
The B's opened their room, but did not hold a skate. However, defenseman Andrew Ference did take the ice with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides. More on the B's in a few.

Montreal GM/coach Bob Gainey's presser is at 11:30.

Carey Price was the first goalie off for Montreal, which should indicate that he is the starter in goal. Tanguay, Lang and Markov did not skate during the regular session. However, word around the press room is that Schneider did skate for a short while, but left the ice.

11:04 a.m.
Habs holding firm

Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, right, and Josh Gorges skate off the ice following their loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of an NHL quarterfinals playoff hockey game Monday, April 20, 2009 in Montreal. The Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-2 to take a 3-0 lead in the four out of seven series. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson)
The Montreal Canadiens dressing room was far from raucous, but it was by no means a wake, either. Several of Montreal's players reiterated their determination pertaining to Game 4.

"We can't change, and we can't try and reinvent the wheel now," said Josh Gorges after morning skate. "We have to keep doing what has made us successful and not get away from it -- no matter what the situation is.

"If it does come out where we play that hard and that well in the first period and we come out tied or even down a goal, we just have to keep going.

"You can't let it frustrate and get to you, we've just got to keep persevering."

10:12 a.m.
In the Bell Centre
Habs defenseman Andrei Markov and forward Robert Lang were on the ice prior to the Montreal Canadiens portion of morning skate. Markov has not played for the Habs since April 4th and Lang last skated during a game (against the Bruins) on Feb. 1st.
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