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P.K. Subban the villain as Habs beat Bruins in double OT in Game 1 05.01.14 at 11:28 pm ET
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The Bruins came back from deficits of two goals and one goal in the third period, but the Canadiens got the last laugh in double overtime as Montreal took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 4-3 win at TD Garden.

P.K. Subban scored his second power play of the night to end it for Montreal, as Matt Bartkowski had taken a holding penalty seconds earlier. Prior to the game, the Habs were 2 for their last 36 on the power play.

Boston had its chances in overtime with Carl Soderberg getting a puck off the end boards in front and sending it across the crease behind Carey Price but not going in. Price later came up with a big stop on Brad Marchand and robbed David Krejci on a feed from Milan Lucic.

After the Bruins had come back from a two-goal deficit in the third period, Francis Bouillon beat Tuukka Rask to break at 12:09 of the third period. Boston had one more comeback in them, as Johnny Boychuk fired a slapshot from the top of the zone that flew past Carey Price with Loui Eriksson in front of the net to tie the game at three.

The Bruins carried the play throughout the first two periods, but Subban’s power play goal in the first and a Rene Bourque goal off a Torey Krug turnover gave Montreal the lead through two. Prior to Subban’s goal, Montreal’s power play was 2 for its last 36 opportunities.

Reilly Smith finally got the Bruins past Price 2:44 into the third period, taking a wrist shot from the half wall through the legs of Andrei Markov that went past Patrice Bergeron and Alexei Emelin before sailing past the Habs netminder. After the B’s wasted a power play off a Subban interference penalty, Torey Krug tied the game by taking a feed from Milan Lucic and blasting it past Carey Price for his second goal of the postseason.

Price stopped 33 of the 36 shots he saw in regulation, while Rask made 20 saves on 23 shots through the first three periods. Paille made his return to Boston’s lineup after missing the first round with a head injury.

Game 2 will be played at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Wasted opportunities were a theme throughout regulation for the B’s, and it cost them again in the third period. Lucic fanned on a feed in front from Krejci with the game tied, and when the puck went the other way, the Habs went on to have a long stay in Boston’s zone by Montreal’s third line eventually leading to Bouillon’s goal.

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Canadiens hope to ride success of third line 05.01.14 at 2:33 pm ET
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One of the most encouraging signs the Canadiens were able to take out of their first-round sweep of the Lightning was the play of Montreal’s third line. The trio of Lars Eller between Rene Bourque and Brian Gionta combined for six goals as the Habs cruised past Tampa.

The question now is what that line will do against stiffer competition and a starting goaltender. Ben Bishop missed the entire series for Tampa, which gave Montreal a bit of an easier path to scoring 16 goals.

Bourque in particular saw the biggest uptick in his game, contributing three goals after scoring just nine goals all regular season. The 32-year-old hasn’t produced at the pace he did in his Calgary days when he scored 27 goals in back-to-back seasons from 2009 to 2011, but he thinks he’s at a point now with the Habs where he’s contributing a deep offensive group that could give the Bruins problems.

“I think we match up great against them depth-wise,” Bourque said Thursday morning. “Obviously they’re a good team, but I think we can play with them.”

Should the third lines play against one another, Bourque will go up against a familiar opponent in Loui Eriksson. The two played against one another often in their days out West, as Bourque played for the Blackhawks and Flames while Eriksson played for the Stars.

Eriksson is one of Boston’s top two-way players, and he and fellow 200-foot skaters Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci were part of an offensive group that aided Boston’s defense tremendously in eliminating the speedy Red Wings in five games in the first round.

Bourque hopes that the Habs can use their speed to their advantage against the Bruins with better success. The aim is to chip pucks behind Boston’s defense and maximize on Montreal’s quickness down low, but Bourque knows it won’t be easy.

“I think every round’s going to get harder,” Bourque said. “Boston’s a big, physical team, especially in front of their net. It’s going to be tough for us to get in front there and get those second and third opportunities. I think we have to sacrifice our bodies and just get to the front of the net. We know they’re going to be physical on us, but that’s where we’re going to score our goals.”

It goes without saying that Montreal’s top line is its most dangerous. The trio of David Desharnais between Max Pacioretty and Thomas Vanek packs an offensive punch, but Bergeron’s line figures to match up against them in Boston. From there, Krejci’s line will likely get Tomas Plekanec‘s line with Brandon Prust and Brandon Gallagher.

Peter Chiarelli said before the first round that top-six forwards often cancel each other out in the playoffs. If that’s the case, it will be interesting to see how the two offensively deep teams fare in the battle for secondary production. After all, Eriksson’s line with center Carl Soderberg and Justin Florek had a superb series against the Red Wings.

“I think they probably are [better defensively than Tampa], but I think that’s what made our team successful the first round, is that every line chipped in with a goal here and there in every game,” Bourque said. “To be successful against Boston, that’s what we’re going to need again because they have a lot of depth up front, a lot of depth on the back end and a good goalie, so I think goals will be hard to be come by, but I think the same could be said for our team.”

Read More: Brian Gionta, Rene Bourque,
Michel Therrien: ‘The Boston Bruins are the best team in the league right now’ 05.01.14 at 12:44 pm ET
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The Canadiens are feeling plenty confident heading into their second round matchup with the Bruins, but Michel Therrien painted a pretty black-and-white picture of his team’s situation prior to Game 1.

After finishing second in the Atlantic Division to the B’s in the regular season, Montreal swept a Tampa team that was missing its starting goaltender in the first round to set up a meeting with the Bruins. Asked Thursday morning whether he felt his team should be considered an underdog in the series, Therrien, whose team beat the Bruins in three of four regular-season meetings, said Boston deserves to be favored.

“We’re playing against the best team. Underdog or not, the Boston Bruins are the best team in the league right now,” Therrien said. “We understand that it’s a huge challenge not only for us, but all the teams that play the Bruins this year.

“They finished in first place and it was well-deserved. So yes. We’re confident, though. I liked the way we finished the [regular season]. The way that we finished the year gave us the confidence to approach the playoffs. We had a really good first round, and again, the way that we played in the first round gave us the confidence for the next step, and this is the next step.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Brad Marchand misses morning skate, Daniel Paille a game-time decision for Bruins vs. Canadiens 05.01.14 at 11:41 am ET
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For the second time in three days, Brad Marchand was not on the ice with his Bruins teammates as the team held its morning skate in anticipation of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Canadiens.

Marchand, who missed Tuesday’s practice but practiced Wednesday, was hoarse when he spoke to the media Wednesday, suggesting he was ill. Claude Julien — as is customary in the postseason — offered no update on Marchand’s health after Thursday’s morning skate, saying that “he took his option.” Based on that, the expectation should be that Marchand plays.

Daniel Paille, who missed the first round against the Red Wings due to a head injury, has been cleared to play for a number of days. Julien said that Paille is a game-time decision for Game 1. Assuming that Paille returns to the lineup, Jordan Caron would sit after filling in for Paille in the first round.

On the Canadiens’ end, Max Pacioretty was not on the ice for morning skate, but Michel Therrien said he too took his option. When asked if Pacioretty was OK, Therrien responded, “of course.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Max Pacioretty,
Brad Marchand returns to Bruins practice 04.30.14 at 1:22 pm ET
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Brad Marchand was back at practice Wednesday after not taking part in Tuesday’s practice. Though he did not say why he was absent Tuesday, his voice was hoarse on Wednesday, suggesting he was ill.

With Marchand back at practice, Daniel Paille returned to the Merlot line after skating in Marchand’s place Tuesday. Wednesday’s lines and pairings were as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Iginla
Marchand – Bergeron – Smith
Florek – Soderberg – Eriksson
Paille/Caron – Campbell – Thornton

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Boychuk
Krug – Miller

Dennis Seidenberg practiced again and did not take contact. Corey Potter remains absent after appearing to injure his shoulder last week in practice.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille,
Source: Bruins-Canadiens to begin Thursday at TD Garden 04.29.14 at 6:08 pm ET
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The Bruins and Canadiens will begin their Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night at at 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden, according to a league source. Game 2 is expected to be played Saturday, with the likelihood that it will be a matinee.

RDS reported the schedule for the series earlier Tuesday, which falls in line with all of that information. According to RDS, the schedule is:

Game 1: Thursday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 2: Saturday, May 3, 12:30 p.m. at TD Garden
Game 3: Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 4: Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 5: Saturday, May 10, TBD at TD Garden
Game 6: Monday, May 12, 7 p.m. at Bell Centre
Game 7: Wednesday, May 14, TBD at TD Garden

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Daniel Paille cleared to play, Bruins glad to have Dennis Seidenberg practicing 04.29.14 at 1:18 pm ET
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Bruins forward Daniel Paille said after Tuesday’s practice that he has been cleared to play after recovering from a suspected head injury.

Paille hit his head on the ice after a hit from Jake McCabe on April 12 and missed the entire first-round series against the Red Wings. Given that Paille had two concussions earlier in the season, he said Tuesday that the team was extra careful in bringing him back this time.

“Because it’s my third injury this year, there’s a lot more precautions to kind of rule out,” Paille said. “I believe I could have played midway through the series — I didn’t feel like I had too long of any symptoms/injuries — but there was a lot of precautions and I had to continue with that process.”

Paille began taking light contact last Thursday, but Tuesday’s practice saw him participate in battle drills. As for the notion that he could have been brought back sooner, Claude Julien said the Bruins simply followed protocol during the last round.

“I waited for the OK from our doctors. That’s basically what I waited for,” Julien said. “To say that he might have been ready, I needed to know that he was ready. I know he’s ready for the next round now.”

Paille practiced Tuesday on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in place of Brad Marchand, who did not practice. With Paille back, the assumption is that he will slide back into his old spot on the fourth line in place of Jordan Caron. Julien cautioned against assuming Paille is in the lineup just because he is cleared, but there is no doubt that Paille would be an asset against the speedy Habs.

“We’ll see where we are, guys,” Julien said. “The series hasn’t started yet and we haven’t made any decisions yet. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.”

Dennis Seidenberg also practiced Tuesday, but he did not take contact. Julien said that Seidenberg is skating with the team to prevent the “boredom” that comes from skating on his own each day. Seidenberg was initially ruled out for the season after tearing his ACL/MCL in late December, but he is well ahead of schedule in his recovery.

“It’s great to see. It gives you an emotional lift to see your teammate battling like he’s been battling just to be better,” Bergeron said. “Obviously he’s been doing that for a while. It’s nice to see him back out there, and obviously I don’t know what the timeline is there.”

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg,
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