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Chris Kelly not expected to play final two games of regular season 04.12.14 at 11:36 am ET
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Bruins forward Chris Kelly will not play in the last two games of the regular season, Claude Julien said prior to Saturday’s game against the Sabres.

Kelly played one shift in the third period and did not play in overtime of the team’s shootout loss to the Wild Tuesday due to back spasms. He was kept out of Thursday’s game against the Jets and will is not expected to play Saturday against the Sabres or Sunday against the Devils.

Julien said that the team expects him to be ready for the playoffs, which are expected to begin Thursday at TD Garden. With Kelly not playing the last two games of the regular season, the Bruins’ usual third line of Carl Soderberg between Kelly and Loui Eriksson will not have played together in the final seven games of the regular season.

Aside from Kelly’s absence, the team is expected to go with a full lineup Saturday, with Tuukka Rask starting in goal for the B’s.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins sign Brian Ferlin to entry level contract, send Ryan Spooner to Providence 04.11.14 at 6:42 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Friday that they have signed forward Brian Ferlin to an entry-level contract.

Ferlin, 21, leaves Cornell after playing three seasons of college hockey. In 32 games this season, Ferlin had a team-leading 13 goals and 27 points. The Bruins drafted Ferlin, a Jacksonville native, in the fourth round of the 2011 draft.

The team also sent center Ryan Spooner to Providence Friday. Spooner played Thursday against the Jets in place of Patrice Bergeron, who missed the game as the Bruins rested three of their regulars in Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Chris Kelly.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Pierre McGuire on M&M: Bruins in position ‘where they can afford to experiment’ 04.11.14 at 12:30 pm ET
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NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss the Bruins’ road to the Presidents’€™ Trophy and the postseason. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

While Boston clinched a playoff berth back in March, the team is two points away from clinching the Presidents’€™ Trophy following Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Jets in Winnipeg.

“It’€™s not so much about winning and losing, you want to see some positive things in your game whether it’€™s coming from behind, whether it’€™s having a few good penalty kills, some good power-play situations, making sure your defensive players are obviously stepping up and doing what they want to do,” McGuire said.

“The most important thing, though, you want to be playing well situationally going in, especially when you’€™re in a situation like the Bruins are where you’€™re one of the top teams, if not the top team, in the league.”

Since clinching a spot in the postseason on March 21, the Bruins have gone 5-5 and have lost two straight.

“You’ve put yourself in a position where you can rest guys who you chose to rest, you can experiment with some different things offensively, defensively, matchup-wise,” McGuire said. “You don’€™t want to get players hurt, obviously. You want to make sure they’€™re high-octane going into the playoffs. … [It] is really important to remember the Bruins have put themselves in this position where they can afford to experiment and still maintain a lot of their organizational integrity just because of how well they’ve played all year long.”

The Bruins could have Dennis Seidenberg back in the lineup during the playoffs. Seidenberg,who tore his ACL/MCL in late-December, was seen skating on Tuesday with Adam McQuaid at Ristuccia Arena.

“They really think there’€™s potential,” McGuire said. “I wouldn’t say he definitely will, but there’€™s potential that he can come back because he’€™s been so impressive with his training. The Bruins do this about as well as any team in the league in terms of rehabbing players and getting them back.

“Dennis — he’€™s such a solid athlete and such a competitive person — it doesn’t surprise me that he did everything in his power to try to come back. … Will he help? Absolutely. But you do not want to rush this player back. You have to make sure that it’s signed off on by the doctors. If it’s not signed off, then you can’t put him in the lineup. But if it’s signed off on, boom, put him in.”

For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins blow another late lead, lose to Jets in shootout as Zdeno Chara rests 04.10.14 at 10:46 pm ET
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The Bruins rested their big guns, blew another third-period lead and took a 2-1 shootout loss to the Jets on Thursday in Winnipeg.

Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron both sat, with Ryan Spooner entering the lineup and centering Bergeron’s line. Andrej Meszaros played with Chara sitting. Jarome Iginla and Kevan Miller both returned to the lineup. Chris Kelly missed the game with an injury suffered in Tuesday’s game.

Brad Marchand scored the game’s first goal when, after Matt Bartkowski outmuscled his man in the corner of the defensive zone, David Krejci got the puck and sent it up to Reilly Smith, who sent the puck off the end boards to get it to bounce in front. Marchand got to the puck and backhanded it past Michael Hutchinson for his 24th goal of the season.

The game remained 1-0 until late in the third period, when former Bruin Blake Wheeler flew past Milan Lucic, Krejci and Iginla in the neutral zone and took the puck deep into Boston’s end before dishing to Evander Kane, who broke up Chad Johnson‘s shutout bid with 1:57 to go in regulation.

The Bruins have two games remaining in their schedule. They will host the Sabres Saturday before finishing the regular season Sunday in New Jersey.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– The Bruins have allowed a lot of goals late in periods and late in games of late, and Kane’s game-tying goal was the latest. It’s tough to read into that as a real issue given that the regular personnel has been in and out of the lineup, but it’s a bad habit nonetheless.

– Hutchinson, a former third-round pick of the B’s, was strong with 30 saves in regulation. His biggest save came when he stopped Iginla on a first-period breakaway.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

Jordan Caron played in his fifth consecutive game and had a decent scoring chance midway through the second period. The most notable thing there is that he’s getting in games, as he’ll almost certainly be needed at some point in the postseason given that he’s the team’s 13th forward.

– These final games can still be used as confidence-boosters, and Smith had a couple of really good shifts. He had the strategic dump-in off the end boards to set up Marchand’s goal in the first and nearly scored a goal of his own on a third-period one-timer off a feed from Marchand. On that same shift, Smith got back quickly to break up a Kane bid.

Smith got the puck in the slot in overtime and seemed to have an open look off a Johnny Boychuk steal, but Smith’s shot was blocked by Zach Redmond. Smith was also stopped by Hutchinson on his shootout attempt.

– In getting the secondary apple on Marchand’s goal, Krejci reached 50 assists for the second time in his career. The other such season was his 74-point campaign in 2008-09 in which he had 51 helpers.

Once a long-term project, North Dakota’s Zane Gothberg now looks like a valuable asset for Bruins 04.09.14 at 6:02 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — It might be easy for Bruins fans to forget about Zane Gothberg. The team drafted him in the sixth round four years ago, and he’€™s been playing way out in North Dakota while fellow goaltending prospects Malcolm Subban and Niklas Svedberg are just a short drive away in Providence.

On top of that, there wasn’€™t much hype around Gothberg when the B’€™s drafted him. Sure, he had been named the top senior goalie in Minnesota high school hockey, but that was high school, and it was the highest level he had played at when the Bruins decided to take a chance on him. What stood out most back then was that his name was Zane and he was from a town called Thief River Falls. He was considered a long-term project, and if he didn’€™t pan out, then no big deal — it was only a sixth-round pick.

Well, it’€™s now been four years, and it’€™s become apparent that Gothberg is panning out nicely. Two years ago, he was named a co-recipient of the United States Hockey League’€™s Goaltender of the Year Award while playing for the Fargo Force. This year, as a sophomore at North Dakota, he won the starting job by early December and has backstopped the team to the Frozen Four, where it will meet archrival Minnesota in Thursday’€™s national semifinals.

“Zane all year long has pushed to get better,” said North Dakota senior captain Dillon Simpson. “It’€™s been pretty amazing to have a goalie like that. He’€™s a passionate, competitive guy, and he pushes everyone around him to be better. I don’€™t think I’€™ve met a goalie that doesn’€™t like to get scored on as much as Zane. I think that’€™s just part of his attitude and dedication to hockey.” Read the rest of this entry »

Bruins recall Ryan Spooner; Chris Kelly day-to-day 04.09.14 at 5:36 pm ET
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The Bruins recalled center Ryan Spooner from Providence on Wednesday, marking his second recall this month.

Spooner was brought up last week for a pair of games but did not play. His chances of playing this time around are better, as Chris Kelly played only one shift in the final 25 minutes of Tuesday’s game and is considered day-to-day by the team.

Spooner filled in for Kelly earlier in the season when Kelly had a broken fibula. In 22 games for Boston this season, the 22-year-old has no goals and 11 assists for 11 points.

The 2010 second-round pick has 11 goals and 34 assists for 45 points in 45 games for Providence this season.

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

Read More: Chris Kelly, Ryan Spooner,
Offensive output, defensive improvement make Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald key member of BC’s Frozen Four team 04.09.14 at 4:56 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — With Boston College trailing 3-2 early in the third period of its regional final against UMass-Lowell, Ryan Fitzgerald took a pass in the neutral zone and split two Lowell defenders before finishing with a nice forehand-backhand move at the front of the net.

It’€™s a play that Fitzgerald, the Bruins’€™ fourth-round pick this past summer, has always been able to make. The difference now is that he knows when to go for it and when it might be better to be conservative and either dump the puck in or pull up and wait for help.

“He came in here as a really skilled 1-on-1 player, had great moves, great hands,” said linemate and BC captain Patrick Brown. “€œBut I think as the year has gone on, he’€™s developed his vision a lot. He’€™s learned that he can’€™t beat everyone 1-on-1. Sometimes he does, but sometimes he has to chip pucks in or make a read and decide whether it’€™s the right play to take that 1-on-1. He did a great job doing that against Lowell, had that great goal for us.”

Decision-making isn’€™t the only area in which Fitzgerald has improved during his freshman year at the Heights. It’€™s part of what has made him a better all-around player, but an even bigger part has been his defensive play. That’€™s a theme across college hockey, as most players come from leagues where defense isn’€™t emphasized as much or isn’€™t taught as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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