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Redden won't rush return just to face Rangers

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- At 35 years old, Wade Redden knows his body.

He also knows if he's not careful and gets back into the Boston Bruins lineup too soon, he could leave his team shorthanded at the most important time of the year.

"You've got to be honest with yourself, and it comes down to that," Redden said Saturday after practicing with the Bruins at TD Garden. "Everyone wants to be out there, but it's got to be the right way and you could go out there and you're not able to do what you need to do, you're only hurting the team. So you've got to be able to get it done. Obviously guys play through a lot of stuff. There's a line there."

Bruins coach Claude Julien said Redden, who sat out the past two games with an undisclosed injury, will be a game-time decision for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN, RDS). Redden missed Games 5 and 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs before sitting out Game 1 against the Rangers on Thursday.

Redden said he was limited during practice Saturday and wasn't able to do everything in the drills.

Considering how his recent career arc has gone, Redden might have a little extra incentive to get on the ice against New York. Because the Rangers didn't deem him capable of cracking their defense corps, they sent Redden and his $6.5 million NHL salary-cap hit to their American Hockey League affiliate in Connecticut for the entire 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons to save room against the cap.

Only a compliance buyout at the start of the 2012-13 season freed Redden from the Rangers' grasp. He said Saturday he has no hard feelings toward his old club.

"It does and it doesn't [bother me]. I think it's been over with," Redden said. "I mean, I've dealt with it kind of all year. I was answering questions when I came back after two years away. So it's going to be nice to hopefully get a chance to get out there and be part of it. But I've kind of turned the page on all of that stuff that's gone on."

With Redden, Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference unavailable to the Bruins in Game 1 against the Rangers, rookies Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug filled in. And with Zdeno Chara playing nearly half the game, the defense as a whole in the 3-2 overtime victory impressed Redden.

"The young guys stepped in and played strong," Redden said. "Obviously [Chara] led the way. He's been carrying the weight, a lot of it. So I think it's just a group going out and getting it done no matter who's dressed. You've got to have that same attitude."

Redden was a solid addition to the Bruins at the NHL Trade Deadline. He signed with the St. Louis Blues after the compliance buyout but became expendable because of other deals the Blues made. In six games with Boston in the regular season, he had a goal and an assist. He scored a crucial goal in Game 1 of the first round against the Maple Leafs.

Now they'll wait and see if they can get him back to help the rest of the playoff run.

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