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Getting waived best thing for Daugavins

by Matt Kalman /

BOSTON -- In late March, Kaspars Daugavins barely could crack the Ottawa Senators' lineup and eventually was waived.

Now, the left wing not only is heading to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final as a member of the Boston Bruins, he seemingly is part of their top 12 forwards in the aftermath of Gregory Campbell's broken fibula sustained in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The 24-year-old said he feels blessed he was plucked off the waiver wire by Boston on March 27.

"Well, obviously I was lucky to get out of there [Ottawa] and come to a great organization, and I wasn't thinking this far," Daugavins said after the Bruins practiced at TD Garden on Monday. "Like at the time, I was just hoping to get some ice time and play and prove that I can be in this League. And we picked up in the playoffs, so it's awesome. It's like a big bonus right now."

With Campbell out for the remainder of the postseason, it's likely Daugavins will continue to fill Campbell's spot when the Cup Final begins Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

Ice time wasn't plentiful for Daugavins after he joined the Bruins. He skated in six regular-season games (he recorded one assist) after arriving in Boston, and after he played in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was scratched for every game until Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against Pittsburgh.

Playing his first game since May 1, Daugavins contributed to the Bruins' sweep-clinching win with 12 shifts in 6:46 of ice time, two shots on net and one chance that hit the post.

"Well, obviously I was a little nervous in the last game I played," Daugavins said. "I didn't play for a month. And it's a game where you can go to the [Stanley Cup Final]. So obviously you have to step up your game too. But, like I said, it's hockey. Like, what do you do? Since you're a little kid you want to win that Stanley Cup. Coming in and playing, it's awesome. I enjoyed it. And like I said, it's easier being on the ice than the watching it."

Daugavins skated mostly on a line with Rich Peverley at center and Tyler Seguin on right wing. Although Daugavins played with Peverley a little bit in the regular season, he hadn't skated much with Seguin. So the last couple days of practice since the Game 4 win against Pittsburgh have been beneficial to build up chemistry and communication.

Coach Claude Julien wouldn't commit to keeping that trio together for the long haul. However, he's likely to give them a chance at the start of the series against the Blackhawks.

"Again, it's one of those situations where you see how he conducts himself in the games. To me, the game that he played against Pittsburgh, like I said, he hit a goal post, he did a couple of real good things," Julien said. "I thought for a guy that hadn't played for over a month he had been pretty good. Again, sometimes lines are great in practice and they get to a game and not much happens. Or sometimes lines in practice can be the worst and they make things happen in the game. You try not to read too much into that sometimes."

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