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Tuesday Tune Up

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
5:46 p.m.

Savard Update
The Bruins have released the following update on Marc Savard:
"On Tuesday afternoon, Marc Savard passed his neuropsychological testing. He will continue to work towards regaining his game shape, and will have a final meeting with Dr. Kelly McInnis at MassGeneral Hospital before being cleared to play in games. There is no date or time line scheduled for this meeting."

5:20 p.m.'s Samantha Wood was on hand for Tuesday's tune up and filed the following report:
As the B’s began practice only about 11 hours after they gained the lead in the playoff series against Buffalo, things were relaxed at Ristuccia Arena.
Boston, the number six seed had proven with a decisive 2-1 win that they could compete and win against anybody, especially the number three-seeded Sabres -- the Northeast Division champs.
That confidence was evident both on the ice and in the locker room after practice.

11:27 a.m.
Savard speaks to the media following his skate at Ristuccia Memorial Arena on Tuesday. (photo: Boston Bruins)
After his skate prior to the main practice session at Ristuccia Arena this morning, Marc Savard said everthing was progressing.

"Yeah, I’m getting my wind back still, but head-wise, everything’s clear," said Savard. "So like I said today I’ve got that neuropsych test and that’s the next step I guess."

The B's center said that he had upped the intensity of his workout.

"Oh yeah, for sure," he said. "I went 40 minutes today and I didn’t do any stops and starts yesterday. I did some stops and starts today and felt pretty good."

Savard was asked if he would be back for this first round series against the Sabres.

"I mean that’s always the hope you keep," said Savard. "Like I said, and I’ve said it before, I’ve got to be realistic here. When I’m 100 percent, condition-wise and mentally positive that I can do this, I’ll be ready to go."

Savard talked about the neuropsych test and what it involves.

"It’s just basically...colors and, you know, it’s on a computer," he said. "And it’s relative to how you did in the past, so they’ll know in comparison."

Unfortunately (or fortunately) Savard said he can't fool the doctors like he often fools NHL goalies.

"No, you can’t cheat," he said. "Unfortunately you can’t cheat"

10:18 a.m.
Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates with goalie Tuukka Rask (40) after the Bruins' 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 3 of an NHL hockey playoff series in Boston on Monday, April 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Most people in New England now believe that in Finnish "Tuukka Rask" means "calm young goalie," but it was the Bruins rookie goalie himself who led the racous on-ice celebration after the Boston Bruins outlasted the Northeast Division champion Buffalo Sabres on Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Rask, who made 32 saves and allowed only one goal to Buffalo's Mike Grier, pumped his fist as the final second ticked off the clock in his first playoff win on TD Garden ice.

"Yeah it was great," said Rask of the atmosphere in the building. "It was really loud and I think we feed off of that crowd.

"We had a lot of energy throughout the game and it showed on the scoreboard."

The atmosphere certainly helped the Bruins come out of their locker room ready to play.

"Well that's something we definitely wanted to do at home, because the last two games on the road have kind of struggled for us in the first period," said Rask. "But today we had a lot of legs and we got it going right away."

Although he is just a rookie in the NHL, somehow it is not surprising to hear that Rask does not get nervous, even when he is about to start a playoff game.

"You can't," said Rask. "If you get nervous, it's going to end up going in the net.

"It doesn't matter what's going on, you just try to stay calm.

"Sometimes obviously, emotions take lead and you get kind of frustrated or something, but you have to stay calm," he said.

Rask remained calm throughout the game, even when the Sabres crashed his net and scrambled for a would-be game-tying goal.

"That's something you expect obviously, but guys did a good job to keep it out of the net," said Rask, a-matter-of-factly.

But being calm doesn't mean that Rask doesn't up his intensity.

"Yeah, that's a good thing," he said. "It's a home game and that's something you got to do at home, especially in the playoffs.

"Today we did that and it's a great thing."

So, maybe, just maybe, Rask let himself enjoy the final few moments of the game too. After all, the fans certainly let Rask know that they thought he deserved the victory.

"Sometimes when you deserve it, when they do that, it's great," said Rask.

10:12 a.m.
Playoff Capsules, Tuesday, April 20, 2010, courtesy Boston Bruins Media Relations

NOTES: Seven teams have a 2-1 lead over their opponents, with the Chicago-Nashville series being the lone exception, as they have only played two games. 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 seven overtime games have been played. Both the Washington-Montreal and Vancouver-Los Angeles had yet to see a game end in regulation until last night, when the Capitals defeated the Canadiens 5-1 and the Kings defeated the Canucks 5-3.

Washington (1) vs. Montreal (8) – Capitals lead 2-1
GAME 1: Montreal 3, Washington 2 (OT)

Montreal Canadiens' Hal Gill, Roman Hamrlik, Travis Moen, goaltender Carey Price and Tom Pyatt skate off the ice following their loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 3 NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey action Monday, April 19, 2010 in Montreal. The Capitals beat the Canadiens 5-1 to lead the best of seven series 2-1. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Paul Chiasson)
-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.

Wednesday, April 21  Washington at Montreal  7:00 p.m. ET, TSN
Friday, April 23   Montreal at Washington  7:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS

New Jersey (2) vs. Philadelphia (7) – Flyers lead series 2-1
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.

Tuesday, April 20  New Jersey at Philadelphia  7:30 p.m. ET, TSN2
Thursday, April 22  Philadelphia at New Jersey  7:00 p.m. ET, TSN

Pittsburgh (4) vs. Ottawa (5) – Penguins lead series 2-1
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.

Tuesday, April 20  Pittsburgh at Ottawa  7:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS
Thursday, April 22  Ottawa at Pittsburgh  7:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS
San Jose (1) vs. Colorado (8) – Colorado leads series 2-1
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.

Tuesday, April 20  San Jose at Colorado  10:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS (JIP)
Thursday, April 22  Colorado at San Jose  10:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS (JIP)

Chicago (2) vs. Nashville (7) – Series tied 1-1
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.

Tuesday, April 20  Chicago at Nashville  9:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS (JIP)
Thursday, April 22  Chicago at Nashville  8:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS (JIP)
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.

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

Phoenix (4) vs. Detroit (5) – Coyotes lead series 2-1
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.

Tuesday, April 20  Phoenix at Detroit  6:30 p.m. ET, TSN
Friday, April 23   Detroit at Phoenix  10:00 p.m. ET, VERSUS
*JIP – Joined In Progress

9:42 a.m.
When Patrice Bergeron scored the eventual game-winner in Game 3, he turned to the stands and with his arms outstretched, smiled -- widely.

It was if the B's assistant captain was saying to the fans of the Hub of Hockey, who watched the B's struggle through their home schedule during the regular season, "Thank you" while simulataniously trying to give the gathered Black & Gold faithful a hug.

"I knew Rex (Mark Recchi) was going to win his battle, that’s for sure," said Bergeron of the play that led to his goal. "I was kind of ready to go help him if he needed me, but at the same he won it so clean that it opened me up in the slot.

"As soon as I saw him win it, I stayed in the slot and I stopped and I got open for a one-timer."

That one-timer found it's mark and put the B's in command of the series, up 2-1 going into Wednesday's Game 4 in the TD Garden. But Bergeron gave much of the credit to Recchi.

"Without a doubt, that was...a huge play at that time in the game too," said Bergeron. "He out-muscled his way in there and made that great pass Bergeron.

"I thought that our team overall played hard tonight and it was only fitting that something like that would happen."

It was perhaps most fitting that Bergeron was the player who finally got rewarded for his hard work.

"We’ve said so much about Patrice so far this year because he’s been probably our most consistent and best forward," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "I think he had about five shots on net tonight and it just goes to show you that he’s a determined individual.

"Not only does he want to defend and wants to play against the best lines every night, he also wants to prove [it to] us at the other end.

For his part, Recchi was just trying to get to the puck first.

"I am just thinking about beating that guy," said Recchi. "I knew it was going to be a battle. We were kind of even going in and I was just trying to get position and I was fortunate that I caught him proper and was able to win the battle.

"As soon as I turned, I knew Bergy was in the slot so he is great at finding that little area. I knew he was going to be there and it was a heck of a shot."

Bergeron wasn't surprised that he he was so wide open on the play.

"It was kind of a broken play kind of because they almost stopped me at the redline before I dumped it," said Bergeron. "So we got lucky on that and Rex, like I said, won his battle and I think he surprised the other team by winning it so clean like that and it made me open.

Bergeron didn't take much time to think about where that puck was going, either.

"It didn’t stay on my stick for too long," he said. "It was just to put it on net.

"[Miller's] an awesome goalie and I just tried to one time it…to try to take the time away and surprise him."

And that was a nice surprise for the Hub of Hockey.
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