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David Krejci expected to play in Game 2

04.13.12 at 2:19 pm ET
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Bruins center David Krejci did not practice Friday, a day after he was hit in the back with a pane of glass following Chris Kelly‘s game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Krejci said he was not tested for a concussion, and that he will play in Game 2 Saturday despite some neck pain.

“I’ve got a little sore neck, but other than that I’m good and I’ll play tomorrow,” he said.

Krejci, who led all players with 12 goals and 23 points last postseason, was celebrating with his teammates in the Washington zone when the glass fell on him.

“I guess fans got kind of carried away from the Kels goal, and it just happened,” he said. “Glass fell.”

Added Krejci: “I looked, like ‘What happened?’ because I didn’t expect that, so I looked at what happened. Then I got up, skated away, and that’s about it.”

Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the practice that though Krejci was supposed to practice Friday until the pain kept him out, the center is “scheduled to play” Saturday.

Krejci also had stitches on his philtrum as a result from a high stick from Capitals forward Jay Beagle in the first period.

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, David Krejci,

Adam McQuaid misses practice again

04.13.12 at 2:19 pm ET
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Aside from David Krejci (stiff neck), defenseman Adam McQuaid was the only player missing from Friday’s Bruins practice. He hasn’t skated all week, so it would appear his status for Saturday’s Game 2 against the Capitals would be unlikely.

McQuaid is still dealing with an upper-body injury. He has not played since April 5.

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Adam McQuaid,

Barry Pederson on M&M: Capitals play into Bruins’ hands by focusing on physicality

04.13.12 at 1:29 pm ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Barry Pederson joined Mut & Merloni Friday to discuss Thursday night’s 1-0 overtime victory over the Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Pederson credits defenseman Dennis Seidenberg for coming up big with his physical play against Capitals star Alex Ovechkin.

“If we had any doubt that Seidenberg was going to take his game to the same level it was at last year in the playoffs, man, did he ever show that,” Pederson said. “He and [Zdeno] Chara I thought did a tremendous job on the Ovechkin line. Of course, they had the advantage of having [Patrice] Bergeron‘s line out there as well. And then [David] Krejci‘s line did a great job against [Nicklas] Backstrom and [Alexander] Semin.

“The Bruins were very solid physically. Defensively I thought they were tremendous. The game I didn’t think should have been as close as it was. I thought in the second period in particular, the Bruins on the power play, they had 4 1/2 minutes to start the second period, the power play, and then they had that 4-on-3 a full two minutes. To me, that’s where the game should have been put out of reach for Washington. They only had seven shots against after two periods. The Bruins let them hang around, then they needed Tim Thomas to kind of hold the fort for them in that third period.”

Added Pederson: “The Bruins’ strength, as we all know, is their defensive game led by Thomas and Chara and Seidenberg and the physicality that they bring. If Washington wants to play that way, that to me is playing right into the Bruins’ hands. When you see a player like Ovechkin trying to take a run at Seidenberg and Chara, you could just see that pairing just licking their chops, saying, ‘Come on, bring it on. If we can get you off that offensive game and get you thinking about playing physical, that’s an advantage to us.’ ”

The Bruins struggled Thursday on the power play, a reminder of the team’s problems in last year’s playoffs.

“They were just way too stationary,” Pederson said. “When you watch the replays of it, you can just see they’re all standing — if you envision a box, they’re at each corner of the box, with the three Washington defenders allowed to collapse, and nobody was in a scoring position. So, Washington is just saying, ‘Hey, keep the puck on the outside, that’s fine, our goaltender can see it, there’s no traffic in front, there’s nobody who’s a direct threat to us.’ I just thought they got way too stationary.

“When the Bruins power play looked a little bit better that latter part of the season into the final month, they were moving around. I especially remember [Rich] Peverly on the point on the power play was very active. They were dropping down. Seidenberg would be dropping down and getting involved and not just staying stationary, moving the puck to the point. Because one of the things I was very impressed with with Washington, especially in the first two periods, they were blocking a lot of shots. So, for the Bruins to be successful, they’re going to have to get those shots through. They’re going to have to get their defense involved a little bit more by pinching and by being active in the offensive zone.”

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Read More: Alex Ovechkin, Barry Pederson, David Krejci, Dennis Seidenberg

Andrew Ference on D&C: Alex Ovechkin ‘a superstar that’s willing to get his nose dirty’

04.13.12 at 10:37 am ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, following Thursday night’s 1-0 overtime victory over the Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

“I was happy the way we came out at the start of the game,” Ference said. “The demeanor in the room was really good. The last few days of practices kind of led into that. ‘€¦ Overall it was a good first game. It was a lot better than last year’s first game.”

Alex Ovechkin was kept in check Thursday night, but Ference knows how explosive the Caps forward can be if left unchecked.

“With him, it’s always just about how dangerous he can be,” Ference said. “In a heartbeat he can lay you out with one of the harder hits in the league, or he can [beat] you for a pretty goal. He’s got a great shot. It’s not like he doesn’t have all the tools to be an extremely dangerous player. He just gets so much more attention from everybody’s best defensive forward, best D-man. Nobody really gives him an inch out there.”

Ovechkin took a huge hit from Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg but bounced right up after the collision.

“He’s not one to shy away from anything physical,” Ference said. “But a hit’s a hit. Those hard hits add up. But he’s not going to be one to shy away, that’s for sure. I think he enjoys playing real hockey. Having that physical side of the game is great. That’s what makes the sport really nice.

“Guys respect that. He’s a superstar that’s willing to get his nose dirty. And I think that’s why guys appreciate his game so much.”

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby shined in his playoff debut, making 29 saves before surrendering the game-winner to Chris Kelly in OT.

“He looked solid,” Ference said. “For a first playoff game, good for him.”

When it mattered most, Tim Thomas turned back the clock to 2011

04.13.12 at 8:25 am ET
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For two periods, rookie goalie Braden Holtby stole the show.

Then Tim Thomas reminded him, the Capitals and everyone else that he is still one of the best clutch goalies in the game.

For two periods, Tim Thomas saw a grand total of seven shots. The second period was especially dull. He didn’t face a shot on net for the first 10 minutes of the period as the Bruins outshot the Caps, 17-2, for the stanza.

But then the Capitals came out for the third. They were a different group, intent on showing they can actually get a shot on net.

“More often than not, when your team outshoots the other team heavily for a couple of periods, whether you score or not, there’€™s usually a time period in the game where the tables turn, and I knew they were going to get their bursts sooner or later. So I was mentally prepared for that going into the third period.”

Just four minutes in, Thomas had to be ready as the Capitals were on a power play and Alex Ovechkin was in the low left circle when he skated in and fired a wrister on Thomas.

“It was a toe save,” Thomas said of his left foot save. “I know he likes that spot, generally, over there, but he’€™s been changing it up and going to different spots. I didn’€™t even think about Ovechkin until the pass happened. I was focusing on who made the pass, the left-handed guy who made the pass. I was trying to get to my angle to make sure that he couldn’€™t score. But when I did see the pass released in that direction, I very quickly realized where it was going and who it was going to, so I’€™d better get over there very fast, and fortunately it hit my toe.”

“When a goaltender doesn’€™t get a ton of shots, it becomes a challenge for him to mentally stay in the game, and even physically,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “You know, you don’€™t want to stiffen up; you want to stay warmed up, and sometimes goaltenders thrive on the more shots they get, the more they’€™re into the game. So I thought Tim did a great job of staying focused and staying sharp, and when he had to make those big saves, he made them, and that was nice to see, and that’€™s Tim. With the experience he’€™s had over the course of his career now, those things are starting to really show, and I thought he did a great job. It wasn’€™t an easy task for him tonight, and the shutout, although he had 17 shots, was well deserved because he stayed focused through the whole game.”

Then came his biggest save. Naturally, it came in overtime where any little mistake means game over. Just about a minute in, Marcus Johansson came down the left wing with only defenseman Greg Zanon in position to defend. Zanon did his job, giving Thomas a chance to see Johansson and make the game-saving stop. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Boston Bruins, Chris Kelly, Tim Thomas

The new Jacket: Bruins hope Chain keeps them together

04.13.12 at 1:14 am ET
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Chris Kelly looked like rapper Lil Jon after he won Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals with his goal in overtime.

Kelly was the first to sport what will likely be referred to as The Chain, Andrew Ference‘s latest token of team spirit he’s given to the Bruins in the postseason.

Last year it was The Jacket. Ference had purchased on old Bruins windbreaker on eBay that players took turns wearing. The Jacket was given to that game’s best player, and it was fittingly given to Mark Recchi as a retirement gift.

This season, it’s a chain. Kelly was the easy choice to wear it first.

It’€™s something kind of like last year with The Jacket,” Kelly explained as he wore the gigantic chain with a lock and Bruins logo on it. “Andrew made something that symbolizes a team, a chain. Try not to be that weak link, and it’€™s one of those things that you pass out after a game. It’€™s one of those things that’€™s all in good fun.”

Tim Thomas chimed in, noting that Kelly “wasn’€™t the weak link tonight.”

The Jacket became a pretty big thing with the Bruins and in Boston last season. The Chain’s popularity will simply depend on how long the B’s are in the postseason to wear it.

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Chris Kelly, Lil Jon,

Braden Holtby shines in NHL playoffs debut

04.13.12 at 12:58 am ET
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After the Bruins’€™ morning skate on Thursday, forward Chris Kelly fielded a question about what he expected to see from the Capitals goaltender, 22-year-old Braden Holtby, considering Holtby was so inexperienced. Kelly responded by saying he did not think Holtby was too inexperienced, as he thought the young goalie had already played in about 100 NHL games.

But Thursday night marked Holtby’€™s 22nd NHL start, not his 101st. In his NHL playoffs debut, Holtby held the Bruins offense scoreless for 61:18 in a game in which his Capitals were heavily out-shot. He stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced and held the B’s to 0-for-4 on the power play. If others, like Kelly, did not know just how inexperienced Holtby had been, they too would have guessed he’d had been in the NHL for a while.

‘€œIt was a great game by him,’€ Capitals defenseman John Carlson said. ‘€œHe held us in it the whole way. We had our chances and we didn’€™t really cash in on a few good chances. He kept us in there the whole game, and you can’€™t ask a goalie to keep you in there for 80 minutes of hockey every game.’€

Holtby’€™s night got off to a fast start. The Bruins came out of the gate with energy, and while they were able to force Holtby out of his crease at times, they were never able to beat him.

In the beginning of the second period, the Bruins enjoyed nearly five consecutive minutes of power play time and peppered Holtby with shots from all angles, but Holtby came through for Washington. After the power plays came to an end, the Bruins maintained their pressure on the Washington net. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Braden Holtby,
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