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Andrei Kostitsyn absent from Canadiens morning skate, game-time decision for Game 2

04.16.11 at 11:52 am ET
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Canadiens winger Andrei Kostitsyn was not on the ice for the Canadiens’ morning skate on Saturday. Kostitsyn was slow back to the bench on Thursday after blocking a Zdeno Chara slapshot in the first period, but would return to play the rest of the game.

After the skate, Montreal coach Jacques Martin deemed both Kostitsyn and Jeff Halpern, the latter of whom did not play Thursday due to a lower-body injury, game-time decisions for Game 2 on Saturday night.

The 26-year-old Kostitsyn played 12:08 in the Canadiens’ 2-0 win Thursday, skating on a line with Michael Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Andrei Kostitsyn, Jeff Halpern,

Zdeno Chara expected to play Saturday after being hospitalized with dehydration

04.16.11 at 11:10 am ET
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Bruins coach Claude Julien said Saturday that he expects captain Zdeno Chara to be in the lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after being hospitalized Friday night for dehydration.

“He got treated with a little bit of hydration, and that’s basically all there is to that,” Julien said. “Until our medical staff tells me he can’t go, he’s in tonight.”

Julien would not divulge whether Chara stayed overnight in the hospital, but did say that the medical staff, who will make the decision, “have yet to tell me that he can’t go.”

Chara led all Bruins skaters with 25:06 of ice time on Thursday, totalling five shots on goal in the team’s 2-0 loss to the Canadiens. His plus-33 rating in the regular season led all NHL skaters.

“He’s our leader. He’s our captain,” forward Shawn Thornton said of Chara. “He’s 6-foot-9, 260 pounds. He’s a big, big presence for us. He’s been our best player for the four years that I’ve been here, so he’s huge.”

In the unlikely event that Chara is not able to play Saturday, reserve defenseman Shane Hnidy, who played in three regular-season games with the team since signing on in late February, is ready to go.

“That’s why I’m here,” Hnidy said with a smile. “You’ve got to have that kind of mind set that every day, regardless of the situation, you’re coming in preparing to play. When told otherwise, you look after that.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Claude Julien, Shane Hnidy, Zdeno Chara

Claude Julien: Net-front presence is a ‘mind-set’

04.15.11 at 1:25 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien did not have trouble identifying one of the main reasons the Bruins lost Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The team struggled to establish a presence in front of Carey Price throughout the 2-0 loss, as the Habs’ defense tightened up and power forwards such as Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton failed to make an impact.

“We spent most of the night with the puck, but at the end of the night, we didn’t get the results. That’s probably the thing that sticks out the most. We just have to make some adjustments and understand that if we’re going to score goals, we’ve got to pay the price a little bit better around the net.

“We’ve got to be a little better down low, and stronger on the puck,” Julien said after Friday’s practice. “Part of it was that, but part of it was that we know we have to be a little bit more involved. Some of the net-front presence is not necessarily something you have to practice more than it is a mind-set. If we commit ourselves to going there, we’ll get there. Sometimes you have to work through it because they’re doing a pretty good job of boxing us out.”

The B’s did not appear to be down on themselves on Friday despite the loss. Many players pointed to positives of Thursday’s game both after the contest and after Friday’s practice. Julien sees the reasons for optimism, but he expects more from all of his skaters.

“I think we all know that although we played a decent game, we can all be a little better. As a team, we feel that we can be a little better. That’s basically it, and that’s to a man.”

Price made 31 saves in the shutout victory, while the Habs blocked 20 shots.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Carey Price, Claude Julien, Milan Lucic

Mark Recchi on M&M: Tyler Seguin ‘will get a shot, and he’ll be ready’

04.15.11 at 1:18 pm ET
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In an interview on the Mut & Merloni Show, Bruins winger Mark Recchi suggested that it was premature to panic about his team’s Game 1 loss to the Canadiens in the best-of-seven playoff series. The 43-year-old cited his experience in a run with the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup in 2006, when Carolina fell behind Montreal by losing the first two games of the first round before roaring back to win the title.

“The bottom line is, we bounced back all year from stuff like this, and we will again,” said Recchi. “We’ve rebouded from some hard losses, tough losses, bad losses. It’s the character of our team.”

Recchi drew upon his experience with Carolina in response to another question, chiefly whether rookie Tyler Seguin (a healthy scratch in Game 1) could make an impact in this series, or whether the idea of competing at this level and in this environment — a playoff series in Montreal — would be too much for the 19-year-old to handle.

“It all depends. Obviously, that’€™s a coach’€™s decision. Right now, he’€™s not playing, but I’€™m sure if he gets that opportunity, he’€™ll be ready,” said Recchi. “Obviously, getting the first taste of it in a place like Montreal would be tough. At the same time, he’€™s a good young kid and he gets it. He’€™s a good hockey player.

“I played in Carolina when Cam Ward was a rookie there. He came in and Game 3 was his first [start]. In the Carolina series, when we beat Montreal and went on to win the Stanley Cup, [Ward] embraced it, grabbed it and went for a run. You never know with situations like that in the playoffs. Right now, we have a good lineup. I’€™m sure at some point, [Seguin] will got a shot in there, and he’€™ll be ready.”

Ward was the backup to Martin Gerber in Carolina, but was given the start for Game 3 against the Habs, with the Hurricanes sweeping the next four games. Ward, then 22, would remain in net for the remainder of the playoffs, going 15-7 and helping to lead his team to the Stanley Cup. Seguin played in 74 games this year, scoring 11 goals and delivering 11 assists.

Other highlights are below. To listen to the complete interview, visit the Mut & Merloni Audio on Demand page.

–Recchi was asked about the comments by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, suggesting that the B’s played a good game in their 2-0 loss on Thursday.

“He’s our captain. We have to look at the big picture. We understand fans are going to be very emotional throughout this, but it’s a seven-game series. We can’t get too high, we can’t get too low. We’ve got to stay on an even keel,” said Recchi. “There were some good things we did last night, but the bottom line is we didn’€™t win. He might say that, but we all know it’€™s not acceptable. We want to win more than anybody in this city. As players, we have the desire to win. We’€™re not happy about it.

“But at the same time, we know it’s seven games. That’s the thing we’ve learned. One game doesn’€™t win a series, and one game doesn’€™t lose a series. We have a long way to go, a lot of hockey. … If we come out on top, they’€™re going to forget about Game 1.”

–Based on his experience with Carolina, Recchi dismissed the idea that Saturday’s Game 2 represented a must-win. “I think it’s an important game,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world, either.”

–Recchi noted that more careful puck management will prove pivotal in the series, as it did in Game 1.

“They really drive on turnovers. We’€™ve just got to be smart. We saw the two goals they scored were on turnovers,” said Recchi. “If we dictate that, keep the puck in their zone for an extended period of time, it’€™s going to wear them out.”

–Recchi disputed the characterization that the Bruins are a big, powerful team in contrast to the speedy Canadiens.

“We’€™re just as fast as they are and we’€™re big,” said Recchi. “If we use those to our advantage, then we’€™re going to do good things and come out on top.”

Bruins still not feeling intended effect following frustrating Game 1 loss to Canadiens

04.15.11 at 12:59 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — After failing to score (or get many quality chances) on Canadiens goaltender Carey Price in a 2-0 loss in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, there was very little, if any, frustration expressed by the Bruins at Ristuccia Arena Friday.

The B’s hit the ice for practice, while the Habs regulars were given the day off. Still, optimism filled the Bruins’ room. Never mind talk of how ineffective the top line was, or how they couldn’t get second or third chances on Price. The way the players see it, thinking about Game 2 is more important than thinking about Game 1.

“It’s one game, and we’re not going to dwell on it,” Brad Marchand said. “It’s tough when you run into a hot goalie, but that stuff happens. You’ve got to find a way around it. ‘€¦ No one wins the Stanley Cup in the first game of the first series. We’re not frustrated at all. It’s one game, and we’ve got to put it behind us.”

Forward Shawn Thornton, who was given just 5:10 of ice time in the game, shared the same logic.

“It’s fine. We’re good. It’s one game,” Thornton said. “We’re aware that it’s a long series, and we know we can be better, so we’re going to be better tomorrow.”

Both of the Canadiens’ goals were scored by Brian Gionta following Bruins turnovers. Gionta’s first-period tally was set up by Scott Gomez after Tomas Kaberle put too much on a reverse, while Gionta’s third-period goal came following a Milan Lucic turnover in the Bruins’ zone.

“The game’s not perfect. There’s going to be turnovers every now and again,” Thornton said. “You try and limit them as much as possible, but when they happen, you hope that you can get back and bail each other out. That being said, you try and make the right plays at the right time.

“Give them credit, too. They’re a pretty good team. Defensively, they did a really good job of clogging up the neutral zone and clogging up the front of the not and blocking people out. You have to give them credit. They’re a pretty good team over there.”

The B’s will host the Habs for Game 2 at TD Garden on Saturday.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Brad Marchand, Shawn Thornton,

Everything looks the same as Bruins prepare for Game 2

04.15.11 at 11:19 am ET
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WILMINGTON — The Canadiens’ regulars aren’t practicing after taking a 2-0 victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, but Claude Julien had all of his Bruins on the ice at Ristuccia Arena Friday morning. The B’s will bost the Habs Saturday with hopes of avoiding a two-game deficit in the series.

There were no changes to which players were on the ice or their color-coded lines. The lines are as follows:

Milan Lucic ‘€“ David Krecji ‘€“ Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand ‘€“ Patrice Bergeron ‘€“ Mark Recchi

Rich Peverley ‘€“ Chris Kelly ‘€“ Michael Ryder/Tyler Seguin

Daniel Paille ‘€“ Gregory Campbell ‘€“ Shawn Thornton

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs,

Brad Marchand: ‘I don’t think anyone expected us to sweep the series’

04.15.11 at 11:16 am ET
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For someone making his Stanley Cup playoff debut, Brad Marchand showed a lot of patience and poise after the Bruins’ 2-0 loss to the Canadiens in Game 1 of the Eastern quarterfinals Thursday night.

“It’€™s always frustrating when you lose the first game,” Marchand said. “But it happens. I don’€™t think anyone expected us to sweep the series. They’€™re coming very hard, they’€™re ready for they series and they were coming hard [Thursday].”

Marchand had a couple of point-blank chances early on Carey Price, including a backhander that he couldn’t cleanly handle and a first-period breakaway. He also had a semi-breakaway in the second. Still, no dice.

“You try to forget about it right way but it’€™s in the back of your mind, in case it happens again you want to do it a little differently,” Marchand said of the missed breakaway chance. “But it does definitely frustrate you a bit.

“You feel like you kind of let the team down. You had opportunities like that and you didn’€™t bury. You can say what if, but at the end of the day there is tomorrow and we have to be ready for that, focus on that and then be ready for the next game. We can’€™t hang our heads here, and can’€™t hold onto this. We have to let it go and be ready for the next game.”

Price stopped all 31 shots, including all six by Marchand, who led the Bruins in that category.

“We were frustrated that we didn’€™t get on the board there but I don’€™t think it’€™s going to change our confidence at all. Games go this way, sometimes a goalie makes a lot of big saves, sometimes they all find the back of the net. We just have to regroup in playoffs every game is a different story we have to make sure tomorrow we get more bodies in front and hopefully pucks go in.”

What was to blame for Marchand? Maybe it was simply a matter of speed.

“It was faster, a little more intense,” Marchand said of his first playoff game. “I don’€™t think the game changed a whole lot. Guys just seemed to keep it a little more simple and tried to stay away from turnovers. I think that was the biggest difference. In that way you can use more speed getting in the zone.

Marchand, who boldly predicted – and correctly so – he’d reach 20 goals and 20 assists in his first full season, isn’t lacking for confidence in himself or the team. So while everyone was suggesting different approaches and line changes for Game 2 Saturday, Marchand believes if the Bruins bring the same energy they showed in the second and third periods, they’ll come out on top.

“We have to play the exact same way we did,” Marchand said. “If we improved one more thing it would be get more bodies in front of the net, in front of Price to take his eyes away, but other than that I think we had a good game.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Montreal Canadiens
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