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Game Five on Friday

by Samantha Wood / Boston Bruins
Wilmington, MA – After a long night at the TD Garden that finally wrapped up with a double overtime win over the Sabres, the Bruins were back to work this morning at Ristuccia Arena.

Now leading the series 3-1, the B's went through their off-ice workouts to prepare for tomorrow's game six. The Bruins who didn't play last night had a relaxed on-ice practice, including the recovering Marc Savard.

Though the mood was light in the locker room, everyone was careful not to downplay how dangerous the Sabres can be, especially now that they'll be back on home ice in HSBC Arena. 

"For sure it was a big win for us, but nothing is done yet," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who logged a team-high of almost 38 minutes of ice time last night. "We put ourselves in a good position, but still, we need to win four games to win the series.

"We all know that it's going to be really tough. For sure they're going to come out hard—we just have to be ready."

One more win would earn the Bruins a ticket to the second round. Statistically, when teams drop to 3-1 in the NHL playoffs, they only win nine percent of Stanley Cup Playoff series.

Though their fate is not yet sealed, the Bruins are encouraged by their recent momentum and clutch performances. One Bruin who's looking to make a comeback is Savard, who is seeking medical clearance to play after suffering a grade two concussion last month.

Savard worked out today with many of the "black aces," the recent Providence Bruin call-ups.

"I'm clear everyday so far, so that's a good sign and hopefully the progress continues," the centerman said of his progress.

"Just getting my wind back is the biggest thing you can do. You can bike or whatever you want, but nothing's like being on the ice. You just keep taking it a day at a time and get stronger that way."

Savard traveled with the team to Buffalo this afternoon, to continue skating and getting back into game shape. As is the case with most head injuries however, recovery time varies so his official return to the lineup has not been established.

With only 60 minutes separating his Bruins and the Eastern Conference semis, head coach Claude Julien remains cautious.

"Just because you're up 3-1, we're far. We understand that we're far from being done here," he said. "We're going to see probably the toughest game coming up tomorrow. They're a team that accomplished a lot this year and they're certainly not going to roll over and die.

"They're going to play even more desperate and probably even harder than we saw them play last night. So we got to make sure that we're ready to be at our best tomorrow."

2010 Playoff Capsules, Thursday, April 22, 2010
NOTES: Heading into Thursday night’s match-ups, four teams have 3-1 series leads over their opponents, with Philadelphia able to clinch its series against New Jersey and Pittsburgh able to clinch its series against Ottawa. Boston has a chance to close out Buffalo on Friday and Washington can close out their series against Montreal on Friday. One team has a 2-1 series lead (Nashville over Chicago), while three series are tied at 2-2 (San Jose-Colorado, Detroit-Phoenix, Vancouver-Los Angeles).
TIES AND OT: After the first two games of every series had been played, all eight first-round series were tied 1-1, the first time that's happened since the best-of-seven format was adopted for the opening round in 1987. A total of eight overtime games have been played. Both the Washington-Montreal and Vancouver-Los Angeles series had yet to see a game end in regulation until Monday night, when the Capitals defeated the Canadiens 5-1 and the Kings defeated the Canucks 5-3.
Washington (1) vs. Montreal (8) – Capitals lead 3-1
GAME 1: Montreal 3, Washington 2 (OT)
-NOTES: Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak turned away 45 shots from the top scoring team in the league during the regular season to help the Canadiens’ get the overtime victory in Washington. Tomas Plekanec scored the game-winning goal at 13:19 in the first overtime to give the Canadiens the advantage in the series and take the home ice advantage away from the Capitals. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin was held to zero shots for the game, despite leading the NHL during the regular season with 368 shots.

GAME 2: Washington 6, Montreal 5 (OT)
-NOTES: Trailing 1-0 in the series and 4-1 in the game, the Capitals staged a furious comeback to win the game in overtime and even the series at one game apiece, with the series shifting to Montreal on Monday. Montreal jumped out to a 4-1 second period lead, largely in part to Andrei Kostitsyn’s hat trick (3 consecutive goals), and a 5-4 lead late in the third period, but Washington was able to equal the score on both occasions. Stealing the show in the second half of the game was Washington forward Nicklas Backstrom and his hat trick, including the game-winner just 31 seconds into overtime. Down by a goal late in the third period, Washington’s rookie defenseman John Carlson tied the game with 1:31 remaining in regulation, essentially sending the game into overtime. Washington goaltender Semyon Varlamov came into the game in relief of starting goaltender Jose Theodore to make 19 saves in the victory. Alexander Ovechkin re-emerged from no shots or points in Game 1 to register one goal and three assists in Washington’s victory.

GAME 3: Washington 5, Montreal 1
-NOTES: Washington scored four second period goals from Boyd Gordon, Brooks Laich, Eric Fehr and Alex Ovechkin to take a 4-0 lead heading into the third. The first tally came 1:06 into the second stanza on a shorthanded goal from Gordon. The Capitals had eleven different point-getters in the victory with Fehr having the only multiple-point night with a goal and an assist. Captials’ head coach Bruce Boudreau started Semyon Varlamov after Jose Theodore had started Games 1 and 2. Varlamov made 26 saves for the Caps. Montreal’s Jaroslav Halak let in three Washington goals on six shots in the first 8:33 of the second before being replaced by Carey Price (21 saves). Just under five minutes after Price entered the game, Ovechkin made it 4-0 on a shot from his knees. Tomas Plekenac scored the Canadiens’ lone goal on the power play 2:25 into the third, giving him three goals in the series. Mike Cammalleri assisted on the score, giving him four assists in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.
GAME 4: Washington 6, Montreal 3
-NOTES: Washington got four third period goals in game 4 in Montreal to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Washington and Montreal entered the third period knotted at 2, but goals from forwards Alexander Ovechkin and Jason Chimera, just 52 seconds apart, gave the Capitals the breathing room they needed to get the victory. Washington bombarded Montreal’s goaltender Carey Price, starting in place of Jaroslav Halak, with 20 third period shots to tilt the game in their favor. Washington goaltender Semyon Varlamov turned away 36 shots, earning him first star of the game. Washington can close out the series Friday at home.

Friday, April 23    Montreal at Washington  7:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS
*Monday, April 26   Washington at Montreal  7:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS
New Jersey (2) vs. Philadelphia (7) – Flyers lead series 3-1

GAME 1: Philadelphia 2, New Jersey 1
-NOTES: Brian Boucher turned away 23 shots in the victory. The Flyers scored two goals off of 14 shots, with the game-winning tally coming from Chris Pronger, who banked a backhander off the skate of former Bruin Brian Rolston and into the goal behind Martin Brodeur. Philadelphia went the entire game without a penalty called on one of its forwards... the first time that has happened for Philly since May 20, 2000.

GAME 2: New Jersey 5, Philadelphia 3
-NOTES: Zach Parise topped off a two-point night with an assist on Dainius Zubrus’ game-winning goal as 4:04 remained in the third. Both whacked away at a rebound in front of Brian Boucher (28 saves), with Zubrus getting credit for preventing the overtime. New Jersey’s Parise-Zubrus-Patrik Elias line combined for two goals and six points. Elias notched three assists and Parise notched the first goal 2:45 into the first on a shorthanded backhander, in addition to his dish on the GWG. Ilya Kovalchuk tallied three points (empy-netter, 2 a) and Martin Brodeur turned away 26 shots in the win. It was only the Devils’ second win against the Flyers in eight contests this season.

GAME 3: Philadelphia 3, New Jersey 2 (OT)
-NOTES: Flyers forward Daniel Carcillo scored the game-winner just 3:35 into the first overtime period to lift Philadelphia past the Devils by a final of 3-2 and give them a 2-1 series lead, setting up a pivotal Game 4 on Tuesday. The Flyers yielded just 19 shots total and only four in the third period and overtime combined. Flyers forward Mike Richards added a goal and had the primary assist on Carcillo’s game-winner. Devils forward Brian Rolston netted his second power-play goal of the game at 16:38 of the third period to tie the game at two. Martin Brodeur stopped 31 Philadelphia shots, including 12 in the third period, before Carcillo’s overtime winner.

GAME 4: Philadelphia 4, New Jersey 1
-NOTES: With the Flyers’ Game 4 victory on home ice, Philadelphia was able to push the Devils to the brink of elimination. Flyers forward Jeff Carter’s two goals paced Philadelphia, as they opened up a 3 to 1 lead in the series with Game 5 back in New Jersey on Thursday night. New Jersey forward Ilya Kovalchuk opened the scoring at 12:24 of the first period with his second goal of the series. The Flyers scored the next four goals to claim the victory, getting goals from Danny Briere and Daniel Carcillo to go along the Carter’s two. Philadelphia goaltender Brian Boucher stopped 30 of 31 shots to earn his 14th career postseason victory.

Thursday, April 22   Philadelphia at New Jersey  7:00 p.m. ET, TSN
*Sunday, April 25   New Jersey at Philadelphia  TBD, VERSUS

Pittsburgh (4) vs. Ottawa (5) – Penguins lead series 3-1
GAME 1: Ottawa 5, Pittsburgh 4
-NOTES: Craig Adams, the former Harvard forward, and Alan Goligoski, former U of Minnesota teammate of Blake Wheeler, both brought the Pens within one at two points in the third period, but Ottawa held on for the win with the help of three Sens in their NHL playoff debuts. First-timers Peter Regin and Erik Carlsson notched goals and Brian Elliott made 17 saves. Evgeni Malkin tallied two power-play goals for the Pens in their loss.

GAME 2: Pittsburgh 2, Ottawa 1
-NOTES: Kris Letang scored the game-winnner with 4:12 left in the third as the Pens evened the series, but Sidney Crosby led the way for Pittsburgh. He notched the tying goal 8:45 into the first after the Pens had fallen to an early deficit on Peter Regin’s goal that slipped past Marc-Andre Fleury 18 seconds into the game. Crosby threw five shots on net, went 68% in faceoff percentage, registered three hits, tallied two points and had a Patrice Bergeron-like save when the puck nearly crossed Fleury’s goal line in the third stanza. Along with the game-tying goal, Crosby assisted on Letang’s goal, which came as a result of a sprawling pass from his knees after he had showcased his stick-handling skills with a ten-second keep-away from Jason Spezza behind Brian Elliott’s net. Crosby leads all playoff goal scorers with five points (1 g, 4 a). Elliott made 29 saves, but Pittsburgh’s elevated physical play (52 total hits) after an Andy Sutton check knocked Jordan Leopold out of the game proved to be the difference-maker for the Pens.

GAME 3: Pittsburgh 4, Ottawa 2
-NOTES: Alexei Ponikarovsky, who notched his first postseason goal in six years, opened the scoring in Pittsburgh’s Game 3 win over the Senators to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead in the series. Marc-Andre Fleury turned in a solid performance, stopping 20 of 22 shots. Sidney Crosby was awarded the game’s first star award, assisting on Bill Guerin’s first period goal and adding a goal of his own in the second period, which proved to be the game-winner. The two forwards swapped places as Guerin tallied an assist on Crobsy’s GWG and both earned two-point outings. Ottawa forward Matt Cullen continued his strong postseason play by adding a goal and an assist to lead the way for the Senators.

GAME 4: Pittsburgh 7, Ottawa 4
-NOTES: Already up 2-1 in the series, the Penguins took a commanding 3-1 lead after Tuesday’s Game 4 in Ottawa. The Senators lost a 7-4 shootout to the Penguins, who were led by forward Sidney Crosby, who continued his strong postseason performance, and his game-high four points. Crosby is now tops among all postseason participants with 11 points. The game saw eight second period goals, with five from Pittsburgh and three from Ottawa. Matt Cullen led the Senators with a goal and two assists. Pittsburgh can close out the series at home on Thursday.

Thursday, April 22  Ottawa at Pittsburgh  7:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS
*Saturday, April 24  Pittsburgh at Ottawa  7:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS

San Jose (1) vs. Colorado (8) – Series tied 2-2
GAME 1: Colorado 2, San Jose 1
-NOTES: Chris Stewart scored the game-winner with 49.3 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Avs over the top-seeded Sharks. The down-low goal went in off Rob Blake’s skate to prevent an extra session. Craig Anderson led Colorado in net with 25 saves in his first NHL playoff game, keeping San Jose’s top three regular season point-getters – former B Joe Thornton (89 points), Patrick Marleau (83) and Dany Heatley (82) off the board. Matt Duchene also made his NHL playoff debut and notched an assist on the Avs’ first goal.

GAME 2: San Jose 6, Colorado 5 (OT)
-NOTES: San Jose tied the series on a power play goal by Devin Setoguchi 5:22 into overtime – its first lead of the game. Despite the Sharks registering 52 shots on goal, the Avalanche led at four different points in the game. Six goals were scored in the second, with Colorado’s Chris Stewart starting off his two-goal night 24 seconds into the period. San Jose answered every Colorado lead, most notably when Joe Pavelski slipped the puck past Craig Anderson with 32 seconds left in regulation to force OT. Evgeni Nabokov let in five goals on 22 shots, finishing the game with a .865 save percentage.

GAME 3: Colorado 1, San Jose 0 (OT)
-NOTES: Colorado goaltender Craig Anderson stopped all 51 shots the Sharks threw at him in the Avs’ 1-0 overtime victory. Anderson’s 51 saves marked a home playoff record for saves in a game and gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead in the series. After turning away 21 third period shots, Anderson and the Avalanche were able to pull through just 51 seconds into the first overtime period on a goal that was credited to Colorado’s Ryan O’ Reilly. San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle was trying to backhand the puck behind his own net, but the puck ended up going behind San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, suddenly ending the game. The Sharks were without elite goal scorer Dany Heatley due to an undisclosed injury and failed to register a goal, after scoring six in Game 2.

GAME 4: San Jose 2, Colorado 1 (OT)
-NOTES: Facing a 2-1 deficit in the series to the eighth-seeded Avalanche, San Jose pulled even in the series with a 2-1 overtime win in Colorado, setting up a pivotal Game 5 on Thursday in San Jose. The Sharks got the game-winner at 10:24 of the first overtime period from forward Joe Pavelski to get the victory. Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov turned away 33 of 34 shots from the Avalanche in the winning effort. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle redeemed himself from his Game 3 miscue to register a goal for the top-seeded Sharks.

Thursday, April 22  Colorado at San Jose  10:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS (JIP)
*Saturday, April 24  San Jose at Colorado  TBD, CBC

Chicago (2) vs. Nashville (7) – Predators lead 2-1
GAME 1: Nashville 4, Chicago 1
-NOTES: Nashville rallied with a four-goal third period to overcome a 1-0 deficit in the first-ever playoff meeting between the two clubs. Pekka Rinne faced 26 shots, only letting in a Patrick Kane rebound goal 9:43 into the second. Ex-Blackhawk J.P. Dumont flipped a backhander on Antti Niemi 1:31 into the third that took a few bounces before finding the back of the net for the tying goal. He followed with another goal nine minutes and six seconds later for the go-ahead. Two empty-net goals (Jerred Smithson, Martin Erat) sealed the deal for the Predators’ Game 1 upset over the Hawks. Niemi allowed two goals on 24 shots as Nashville earned their first playoff road win in franchise history.

GAME 2: Chicago 2, Nashville 1
-NOTES: With a scoreless game after the first period, Chicago’s Dave Bolland found the back of the net on a power play 8:44 into the second. Early in the third period, a turnover at the Hawks’ blue line caused Patrick Sharp to pick up the loose puck and dish it to Patrick Kane, who put it past Pekka Rinne (31 saves) for the clincher and his second goal of the series. Kane had a two-point night as he assisted on Bolland’s goal. Antti Niemi stopped all 23 Nashville shots for his first career playoff shutout.

GAME 3: Nashville 4, Chicago 1
-NOTES: The Predators took a 1-0 lead 13:00 into the first, when Joel Ward sent a backhander past Antti Niemi (31 saves). Despite Tomas Kopecky’s power play goal that tied it up soon after, with 2:25 left in the first, the Predators scored three straight goals to take a 2-1 series lead over the Blackhawks. Steve Sullivan had a two-point night with two assists, including the assist on David Legwand’s game-winning goal 4:00 into the second. Legwand had three points on the night with a goal and two assists. Pekka Rinne stopped 26 of the 27 shots he faced in the victory. Patrick Kane did not register a shot until midway through the third. Martin Erat scored on a penalty shot with just over five minutes to go in regulation – the first playoff penalty-shot goal in Nashville history.

Thursday, April 22  Chicago at Nashville  8:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS (JIP)
*Saturday, April 24  Nashville at Chicago  3:00 p.m. ET, NBC

Vancouver (3) vs. Los Angeles (6) – Kings lead series 2-1
GAME 1: Vancouver 3, Los Angeles 2 (OT)
-NOTES: Vancouver’s Mikael Samuelsson, a former Stanley Cup Champion (2008 with Detroit), recorded his second goal of the game at 8:52 of the first overtime to give the Canucks a game one win on home ice. Samuelsson’s goal was set up by Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo’s save on Los Angeles defenseman Jack Johnson in the overtime period, when Johnson appeared to have an open net to shoot at. Making his first playoff start, Kings’ goaltender Jonathan Quick made 41 saves in the losing effort. Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin, the NHL’s leading point scorer during the regular season, recorded two assists in the game including a set up on Samuelsson’s game-winner in overtime.

GAME 2: Los Angeles 3, Vancouver 2 (OT)
-NOTES: The Kings rallied from a 2-0 first period deficit to win get the overtime victory in overtime and tie the series at one game apiece, with the series heading back to LA. Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick turned away 24 of 26 Vancouver shots in the win and Kings forward Anze Kopitar had two assists in the contest to go along with the game-winning overtime goal 7:28 into the extra frame. Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty logged 32:56 of ice time to lead all skaters and he also set up the game-winning overtime goal with his lone assists of the contest. Vancouver forward Mikael Samuelsson added his third goal of the playoffs and forward Ryan Kesler chipped in with two assists in the losing effort.

GAME 3: Los Angeles 5, Vancouver 3
-NOTES: Playing in their first home playoff game in nearly eight years, the Kings took control of the series with a 5-3 victory in Game 3 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. They went a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play in the contest, getting two power play goals from forward Michal Handzus and another from defenseman Drew Doughty to improve to 7-for-12 on the power play in the series. Doughty continued his strong postseason performance with a game-high four points to pace the Kings. After Kings forward Brad Richardson’s goal at 13:21 of the second period put Los Angeles up 4-1, Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault pulled his starting goaltender Roberto Luongo from the game, replacing him with former Boston Bruin Andrew Raycroft. The Canucks were able to pull within a goal in the third period after goals from forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Daniel Sedin, but couldn’t find the equalizer. Samuelsson’s second period goal was his fourth of the postseason in just three games.

GAME 4: Vancouver 6, Los Angeles 4
-NOTES: Facing a 2-1 series deficit, Vancouver came up with a huge third period to even the series at two games apiece. Down 3-2 heading into the third, the Canucks rallied for four goals and pulled away from Los Angeles for the 6-4 win. Vancouver forward Mikael Samuelsson netted his fifth goal of the postseason to get the scoring going in the third and forward Henrik Sedin scored the game-winner with just 2:52 remaining. Goaltender Roberto Luongo made 22 saves, including two key ones in the third period to help preserve the win. The Kings continued their power play success with two more goals in the contest, giving them nine in total for the series.

Wednesday, April 21  Vancouver at Los Angeles  10:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS
Friday, April 23    Los Angeles at Vancouver  10:00 p.m. ET, CBC
*Sunday April 25   Vancouver at Los Angeles  TBD, VERSUS (if necessary)
Phoenix (4) vs. Detroit (5) – Series tied 2-2

GAME 1: Phoenix 3, Detroit 2
-NOTES: Ex-Bruin Derek Morris had 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) including the game winner as the Coyotes rallied to defeat the Wings. The GWG came on the power play 2:19 into the third period and led to Morris’ first three-point game in more than three years. All three of Phoenix’s goals came on the power play, as they overcame a usually weak power play to strike the back of the net on three out of four total chances. The Coyotes finished the regular season ranked 28th on the PP overall (14.6%) and 30th at home (13.6%). Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard, a former University of Maine standout, appeared in his first NHL playoff game.

GAME 2: Detroit 7, Phoenix 4
-NOTES: Henrik Zetterberg scored his first playoff hat trick in the third period, including the game-winner with 6:06 left, to lift the Wings over the Coyotes and tie the series at one game apiece before heading to Detroit. Phoenix initially took the lead with Keith Yandle’s goal at 10:23 of the first period. Although the Coyotes finished the regular season 36-3-3 when leading after the first, the Wings fought back from a one-goal deficit to even the score heading into the final stanza. Five goals were scored 3:58 apart in the third, mostly off odd-man rushes. First, Justin Abdelkader tallied an early goal to put Detroit up for the first time. Phoenix answered with Shane Doan’s tally, but Ilya Bryzgalov could not contain Detroit’s offense, as they rallied to score three unanswered goal (one an EN). Valterri Filppula had two goals and an assist and Pavel Datysuk finished with one goal and six hits in the win. Jimmy Howard had 27 saves and held all three Phoenix power plays off the scoreboard.

GAME 3: Phoenix 4, Detroit 2
-NOTES: Tied 1-1 after the first period, Phoenix’s Wojtek Wolski flipped a backhander past Jimmy Howard with 32 seconds left in the second period for what proved to be the game-winner. Coyotes Petr Prucha and Radim Vrbata each had a goal and an assist, while Martin Hanzel and Matt Lombardi each registered two assists in the victory. The Red Wings rallied in the third period to bring the score to within one (3-2), but Vrbata’s goal with 11:38 left in regulation sealed the Coyotes’ win, giving them a 2-1 lead in the series. Howard and Ilya Bryzgalov each turned away 29 shots, but Phoenix was able to put two more past Howard. Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen scored for the Wings and Henrik Zetterberg notched two assists. Phoenix’s Shane Doan -- who topped all Phoenix scorers with 55 points this season -- suffered an upper-body injury early in the second period and did not return. His status for Game 4 is unknown.

GAME 4: Detroit 3, Phoenix 0
-NOTES: Henrik Zetterberg scored twice to lead to the Red Wings to a victory over the Coyotes and even the series 2-2. Zetterberg has notched five goals in Detroit’s two victories over Phoenix. After a scoreless first period, Phoenix saw former Boston Bruin Petteri Nokelainen sent off for interference 15:33 into the second period. Detroit converted on the power play when Zetterberg tipped in a blast from the point by Niklas Kronwall. Along with the game-winner, Zetterberg tallied the insurance goal for the Wings with under five minutes to go in regulation. Jimmy Howard made 29 saves for his first career playoff shutout. Ilya Bryzgalov finished the night with 32 saves. Pavel Datsyuk notched his second goal and third point of the playoffs with a slap shot that found its way past Brygalov in the third period, just 25 seconds before Zetterberg’s clincher. 

Friday, April 23   Detroit at Phoenix  10:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS
*Sunday, April 25   Phoenix at Detroit  2: p.m. ET, NBC
*If necessary
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