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Nathan Horton done for the season 04.11.12 at 10:43 am ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins announced Wednesday that right wing Nathan Horton will miss the 2012 postseason. The news comes as no major shock, as Horton has been out since late January with his latest concussion.

Horton suffered a concussion on Jan. 22 against the Flyers on a hit from Tom Sestito, his second concussion in less than seven months. He had previously been knocked out of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals after a hit from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome left him concussed in Game 3.

In 46 games this season, Horton had 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points. He had tried to resume skating in early February, but suffered a setback before eventually returning to the ice last week. Despite the fact that he was skating, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Sunday that Horton was a “long shot” to return during the postseason given the two weeks he would need to return after eventually being medically cleared.

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Bruins sign Boston College captain Tommy Cross 04.10.12 at 7:49 pm ET
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The Bruins signed former second-round pick and Boston College captain Tommy Cross to an entry-level deal Tuesday. He is expected to report to Providence and make his AHL debut Friday.

Cross had five goals and 19 assists for 24 points this season as a senior. The defenseman won national titles in 2010 and 2012, as the Eagles defeated Ferris St. for the National Championship this past Saturday. In his career at BC, Cross had 17 goals and 33 assists for 50 points in 134 points.

The Bruins traded up in the second round in 2007 to select Cross, a left-shot blue liner and native of Simsbury, CT, with the 35th overall pick. Since then, one big concern has been his health, as he has had three major surgeries on right knee.

Cross isn’t the only Eagle to sign a deal Tuesday. Junior forward Chris Kreider signed with the Rangers and will report to the big club, thus burning the first year of his deal.

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Looking to avoid another postseason power outage, Bruins work on man advantage 04.10.12 at 5:23 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — What is the key to Claude Julien‘s power play finding success this postseason?

“Not waiting till the finals, that would be one key,” Julien said Tuesday.

Julien was, of course, referring to last season’s power-play struggles. The 2010-11 Bruins were many things, including the team that got to the Stanley Cup finals without a functioning power play.

They didn’t score a single power-play goal in the first round (0-for-21 over seven games), and the B’s went 5-for-61 on the man advantage in the playoffs before waking up with a 5-for-27 showing against the Canucks.

This season, the Bruins finished the regular 15th in the league on the man advantage, converting 17.1 percent of the time. However, the man advantage crawled to the finish line, going converting on just two of 21 power plays in the last 10 regular-season games.

On Tuesday, the Bruins worked on their power play, with the first unit consisting of Zdeno Chara, Joe Corvo, David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Brian Rolston, while the second unit featured Dennis Seidenberg, Rich Peverley, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.

“This is a little bit of I guess touchy subject for everybody for quite a while now,” Julien said. “I think we finished 15th so we finished in the middle of the pack this year, but again, when you look at our team and you say well we’€™ve got one guy with 29, 27 goals our scoring is spread we don’€™t have those [Steven] Stamkoses. We don’€™t have those kind of guys.”

Regardless of where the Bruins’ man advantage finished in the regular season, the B’s know that it’s all about the playoffs now. Just as the Canucks, who finished the 2010-11 regular season with the best power play in the league (24.3 percent) but went 2-for-33 in the Stanley Cup finals against the Bruins.

“Back in the finals, we played a team that had the number one power play but then they ran into a gritty group of penalty killers and at the end of the day we were able to win that match up,” Julien said. “It goes hand and hand, and we keep working on it everyday because we know that’€™s an area becomes a challenge for us.”

The Bruins could exceed last season’s first-round power-play performance with a tally on the man advantage Thursday.

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Benoit Pouliot saw Canadiens collapse coming, sees promising postseason with Bruins 04.10.12 at 2:03 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Benoit Pouliot‘s last postseason was a disaster. Bruins fans know that.

Though he set what was, at the time, a career-high 30 points for the Canadiens, Pouliot saw his minutes dwindle in the final games of the season before opening the playoffs as a fourth-liner. He didn’t do much in the three games he played in the first round against the Bruins — zero shots on goal and less than eight minutes a night — and the only notable thing he did was run Johnny Boychuk in the corner in Game 3, resulting in Andrew Ference, to quote Jack Edwards, attempting to “rip his head off.”

And that, to put it plainly, is where things ended for Benoit Pouliot and the Montreal Canadiens.

“After that hit, when I fought Andrew there, I knew,” Pouliot said in a chat with Tuesday. “Well, I didn’t know, but I didn’t play the rest of the game, and then after that he just didn’t put me back in. We were losing, 2-0, and I was trying to mix something up, but I guess he didn’t like it and I went and sat on the bench.”

The “he” to whom Pouliot referring is former Habs coach Jacques Martin. Pouliot has often spoken about the lack of confidence he felt Martin had in him, but the winger feels he’s in the right situation now.

“All year long, I didn’t have [many] breaks,” Pouliot said of his final season with the Habs. “I felt like they didn’t have confidence in me and didn’t put me in situations that I was good at. It was just kind of all negative stuff, and it kind of sucked actually.

“But now, this year the coach gave me some chances and I tried not to mess it up too much. If I did, well, I didn’t do it twice. You have some bad months, you have some good ones, but I think this year all things were good.”

Pouliot still seems to have a bad taste in his mouth when it comes to Montreal. He was traded to the Habs in the 2009-10 season, and though he had 15 goals in 39 games with Montreal, he never felt the fit was quite right. Read the rest of this entry »

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Proactive Claude Julien says ‘nothing’s changed’ with Adam McQuaid 04.10.12 at 1:05 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid was once again absent from Bruins practice on Tuesday as he continues to deal with what the team is calling an upper-body injury.

Things got testy between coach Claude Julien and the media Monday regarding the defenseman’s status and what the identity of the injury, and on Tuesday Julien addressed injuries prior to taking questions.

“Guys, before we get going,” Julien said, “Injury update: It’s the same as yesterday. Nothing’s changed, and that’s where we are.”

McQuaid was initially hurt when he went into the end boards head-first in the Bruins’€™ March 29 game against the Capitals on a hit from Capitals winger Jason Chimera. The defenseman cut his eye on the play, which led to swelling. He tried to return last Thursday against the Senators while wearing a visor, but left the game in the second period. The team considers him to be day-to-day.

Johnny Boychuk (knee) and Tuukka Rask (abdomen/groin) both practiced Tuesday for the second consecutive day.

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Adam McQuaid, Johnny Boychuk, Tuukka Rask
Adam McQuaid absent again, Bruins work on power play 04.10.12 at 11:28 am ET
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WILMINGTON – Adam McQuaid was once again absent from Bruins’ practice Tuesday, as the defenseman is still out with what the team is now calling an upper-body injury.

The lines and defensive pairings were the same as Monday, and both Tuukka Rask and Johnny Boychuk were on the ice with full participation. Mike Mottau served as the seventh defenseman.

Here are the lines and defensive pairings:

Milan LucicDavid KrejciRich Peverley
Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronTyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot – Chris KellyBrian Rolston
Daniel Paille/Jordan Caron – Gregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Zdeno CharaDennis Seidenberg
Andrew FerenceJohnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon – Joe Corvo

The B’s got a good amount of power play work in as well. The units are as follows.

PP1: Chara, Corvo, Krejci, Lucic, Rolston
PP2: Seidenberg, Peverley, Bergeron, Marchand, Seguin

According to the Washington Post, here are the lines from Tuesday’s practice. Note that Marcus Johansson is not on the first line with Alexander Ovechkin and Brooks Laich. Instead, Troy Brouwer is skating on the right wing on Washington’s top line.

Knuble, Halpern and Eakin working as extras


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Johnny Boychuk does everything as he returns to practice 04.09.12 at 1:37 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Johnny Boychuk‘s sprained knee is feeling better, and that could mean a return to the lineup in time for the playoffs.

The veteran defenseman returned to practice with his teammates Monday, and in addition to feeling good physically said his conditioning has not fallen off since suffering his injury last week against the Penguins.

“I felt good out there,” he said. “Just wanted to get back practicing and see how it feels. It felt pretty good, so I’ll take it day-by-day.”

Boychuk wasn’t held back at all during the practice, as he took regular turns in line rushes and participated in the team’s physical 3-on-3 drills.

“There wasn’t really any limitations,” he said. “I went on the ice a little bit yesterday and it was a little sore, so I tried it out today with some tape and a nice knee brace and it felt better.”

Claude Julien says that Boychuk is still day-to-day, and with three days until the Eastern Conference quarterfinals begin against the Capitals, No. 55 aims to be in the lineup.

“I hope so,” he said. “We’ll see how it feels every day. The main thing is just to come back 100 percent and be at your best.”

The 28-year-old defenseman, who this season was signed to a three-year, $10.08 million extension, admitted that he thought his injury was worse at the time. Boychuk remained down on the ice after trying to hit Penguins forward Aaron Asham and was eventually helped off by teammates.

Said Boychuk: “When you’re on the ice and you’ve never felt that feeling before, you don’t want really want to get up and then ‘what if it was bad and I made it worse by getting up?’ That was the first reaction when I was on the ice at least.”

Read More: 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, Johnny Boychuk,
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