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Andrew Ference suspended three games for hit on Ryan McDonagh 01.22.12 at 1:55 pm ET
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The NHL announced Sunday that Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has been suspended three games for his hit on Ryan McDonagh Saturday.

Ference and McDonagh were both chasing a puck Ference had chipped behind Henrik Lundqvist’s net in overtime when Ference shoved the Rangers blueliner into the endboards.

The B’s defenseman, who had tied a career high with his fourth goal of the season earlier in the game, was given a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct. The Bruins remained on the penalty kill until Marian Gaborik scored with 3.6 remaining to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory.

With Ference out, Steven Kampfer will be in the Bruins’ lineup Sunday in Philadelphia.

Ference’s suspension is the Bruins’ third of the season, which ties the Flames for most suspensions for a team this season. Milan Lucic (one game in December) and Brad Marchand (five games earlier this month) are the other two Bruins to b suspended this season.

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Andrew Ference hopes to avoid suspension after hit on Ryan McDonagh 01.21.12 at 4:46 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference put the Bruins in a tight spot Saturday when his dangerous hit on Ryan McDonagh in overtime put the Rangers on the power play until Marian Gaborik won the game with 3.6 seconds remaining.

The play, which resulted in a five-minute charging major and a game misconduct, came when Callahan and Ference were racing for a puck behind the Rangers’ net.

“I’m obviously going as fast as I can to get to the puck, and when I realized I wasn’t going to get there first, he boxed me out,” Ference said. “I tried to lean back, but I was going too fast. Obviously it was a dangerous position. I tried to let up and didn’t let up fast enough.”

Ference might receive a call from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan over the hit, and could become the third Bruin this season to be suspended after Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.

“I honestly haven’t seen the replay, so I don’t know how it looks,” Ference said. “I just know the intent — I feel like I’m leaning back, but obviously didn’t slow up fast enough. It’s really their call.”

Coach Claude Julien defended Ference, but spoke as though he expected the defenseman to hear from the league.

“Andrew Ference is not a dirty player,” Julien said. “He’s one of those guys that certainly supports what the league is trying to do as far as minimizing those injuries. It was a player chasing the puck, and when he did get hit, his legs were pretty far apart. There wasn’t a very good balance from the player, and it certainly resulted in an unfortunate thing. We’ll let the league look at it. They dissect things their own way, and we’re just waiting to hear from them.”

The Bruins recalled defenseman Steven Kampfer from Providence after the game. He will travel with the team to Philadelphia and play in the event that Ference is suspended prior to Sunday’s game.

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Andrew Ference on D&C: Patrice Bergeron ‘got everybody fired up’ for comeback vs. Devils 01.20.12 at 12:28 pm ET
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Andrew Ference

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss Thursday night’s victory over the Devils. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Bruins scored all four goals in the final period of the 4-1 victory, including two in the final 35 seconds.

“I think we snapped out of some frustration last night,” Ference said. The first two periods were kind of same old story. Guys almost trying too hard, trying to do too much and getting frustrated, throwing stuff around. Third period, [Patrice] Bergeron had some good words just to calm everybody down and get everybody back on track. Obviously, it helps to get an early goal and their team really deflated but we definitely picked up our game.”

Added Ference: “Bergy got everybody fired up. We’re mature enough and have an experienced enough team to know to do better than what we were doing, to let the frustration kind of use up all our energy. So, it was just a matter of instead of complaining about the reffing or complaining about this or that, just going out and doing our jobs and doing them well and taking pride in it. Nothing too complicated. But you have to kind of hit reset every once in a while and get everybody on the same page.”

The Bruins have a highly anticipated game against the Rangers this Saturday. The Rangers are leading the Eastern Conference with 62 points, with the Bruins in second with 61.

“They’re a really good team,” Ference said. “I think that they’re one of those teams that you have to respect the way they play and the way they approach the game. Obviously, they’re doing a great job this year.”

Ference also gave his prediction for Sunday’s AFC championship game between the Patriots and Ravens:  “28-14, Patriots.” As for the NFC game between the 49ers and Giants: “I’m hoping for the 49ers,” he said, explaining: “I just don’t want a New York team in there.”

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Gregory Campbell’s Gordie Howe hat trick leads Bruins past Devils 01.19.12 at 9:31 pm ET
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Gregory Campbell led the way with a Gordie Howe hat trick as the Bruins got back to winning Thursday night, defeating the Devils, 4-1, in Newark, N.J.

Danius Zubrus set up Petr Sykora‘s 12th goal of the season late in the first period to give New Jersey the lead. The two teams played a scoreless second period before Andrew Ference tied the game with a shot from the top of the circle in the third period. Nathan Horton gave the B’s their first lead of the night on the power play, scoring his third goal in the last two games.

Thirty-five seconds later, Campbell buried a rebound off a Shawn Thornton shot, giving the Bruins a two-goal lead with more than half a period left to play. Chris Kelly added an empty-netter.

Campbell’s goal sealed the Gordie Howe hat trick for him, as he fought Brad Mills in the first period and assisted Ference’s goal.

The Bruins will next play Saturday when they host the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers at TD Garden.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– One of the things that has made the Bruins such a good team this year has been their play in the third period — a time that they have used the period to either get leads or add to them. Thursday was no different. The B’s four unanswered goals improved their third-period differential to a whopping plus-37.

– Ference’s goal was his first in 25 games, but he’s still been having a very good season from a statistical standpoint. Ference isn’t relied upon for his scoring. His third goal of the season tied his personal best with the Bruins (he had three last season; four is his career high). Ference now has 18 points, which is the most he’s had in a single season since he had 31 with the Flames in the 2005-06 season.

– The Bruins are no strangers to scoring two goals in a minute, and they did it for the 14th time this season when Campbell followed Horton’s goal with a tally of his own. The shift that follows a goal is always a crucial one, and Claude Julien has often trusted the fourth line to take those important shifts. It paid off again Thursday.

– Thomas had allowed seven goals over his previous two starts entering Thursday night, but he was able to bounce back and bring his ‘A’ game to New Jersey, robbing David Clarkson on a rebound in the second period as one of 28 saves the reigning Vezina winner made on the night.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

David Krejci‘s line continued to allow goals, something Julien called the trio out for Tuesday night. Krejci won the faceoff in the Bruins’ zone prior to the Devils’ first goal, but Zubrus got to the puck behind the net and fed Sykora. Because Horton’s goal came on the power play, he has been a minus-4 over the last three games.

– The B’s had just six shots on goal in the first period for the third consecutive game. The B’s have been plagued by slow starts in recent games, and though the B’s came out looking less sloppy than they did Tuesday, they still need stronger starts to these contests. They have one first-period goal in the last four games.

– The Joe Corvo-Dennis Seidenberg pairing has become dangerous for the Bruins. Corvo has struggled mightily in his own zone of late, and Seidenberg has been catching some really bad bounces. The B’s saw a couple of those in the second period, including one puck that bounced off Seidenberg and right to a flying Ilya Kovalchuk in the neutral zone, but neither cost the B’s.

Brad Marchand, who was playing in his first contest since being suspended five games for his hit on Sami Salo, had a rather quiet return to the lineup. The second-line winger had no shots on goal Thursday night.

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Andrew Ference on D&C: Bruins ‘ready to respond’ to Canucks 01.06.12 at 12:05 pm ET
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Andrew Ference (AP)

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning and talked about Saturday’s Stanley Cup finals rematch against the Canucks, coach Claude Julien‘s coaching style, and Thursday’s 9-0 beatdown of the Flames.

Thursday’s rout of the Flames was the Bruins’ ninth win in 10 games and their second straight home rout of eight goals or more. For Ference, though, it wasn’t the type of game he likes to play in.

“The tight games are more fun than that,” he said. “The nail-biters when you come out on the right side are a little more enjoyable than that. That was a defeated team out there last night. I don’t know if you want to call it sympathy, but we don’t have any sympathy for guys you play against. But that sucks to be on the other side of that.”

Ference said he didn’t feel bad for Calgary and that it was important the Bruins didn’t stop playing hard.

“You don’t want to gloat about it,” Ference said. “You want to keep playing your game. Obviously, we have bigger things to worry about than feeling bad for Calgary. But you don’t want to throw it in their face. We stopped celebrating and coming by the bench when we scored goals. We don’t stop playing, you keep playing your game, but we’re not celebrating after the goals. You try to be a little bit more muted about stuff like that. But you can’t stop playing, you can’t let your guard down. That’s when guys get hurt, is when you let your guard down, when you let up or start playing a little easier. You can’t do it.”

Ference said that the Bruins are much further ahead of where anyone expected them to be at this point in the season, something that he attributes to the a strong core group of players with a winner’s mentality.

“I think after that first month where we kind of just, I don’t know, I don’t know what we were doing but I think we kind of just picked up back at the hockey that we were playing during the spring,” Ference said. “That playoff kind of hockey is one where its great consistency, every line is playing the same style, not really taking any shifts off, and that’s something that a lot of teams build up toward during the spring. And I think as the season goes, the games get closer and closer and closer because teams are tightening up their defense, and I think we kind of just skipped a couple of steps this year. We’re kind of just playing that good spring hockey but at a different time of the year, so that’s obviously what we’re trying to work up and get better and stay sharp and do all those things as well. And that’s probably the biggest thing we have to remember, we can’t just get comfortable and be satisfied because the teams around us are going to get better.”

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Andrew Ference on D&C: After Cup title, ‘you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is’ 12.22.11 at 1:20 pm ET
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Andrew Ference

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference checked in with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Bob Ryan Thursday for his weekly chat. With the Bruins sitting atop the Eastern Conference, Ference talked about the HBO 24/7 special, the Bruins’ road success, and how Zdeno Chara became as good as he is.

The Bruins are on an impressive streak, but Ference said the excitement of the regular season just doesn’t compare to the playoffs.

“Obviously, the playoffs were more fun than it is right now,” Ference said. “I think that everybody’s got a pretty good head on their shoulders this year, and I think it’s due to the fact that we did win last year. If we wouldn’t have won last year and we were going on a run like this, I think guys would be a lot more giddy and patting ourselves on the back. But I think when you go through a championship run, you really realize how meaningless the stuff in the regular season is. All this is is prep work. And this is this trying to reach our first goal of just making the playoffs.”

Added Ference of the regular season: “It’s great. It’s entertaining. But for players it’s prep. It’s getting ready and trying to prime ourselves and make sure that we’re going in the right direction. And we’re learning all our lessons, but the first goal is just to try to make the playoffs. We’re building toward that. And I think everybody’s keeping a good head about it.”

Asked if this edition of the Bruins is better than last season’s Cup champions, Ference said: “It’s hard to compare, but I think the one advantage we do have is mentally. Just, like I said, learning what it takes, and not having the Stanley Cup be like a fairy tale. It’s a reality to all of us now. That’s a huge advantage. It’s one thing to imagine what it takes to win. But it’s another thing to know and to be there and go through it and have a lot of the same guys in the locker room with you again to go after it again. So, I think that’s the one huge advantage that we have over last year.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, including Ference talking about the his holiday plans, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

On the Bruins’ toughness: “I think the one thing that’s been done here is, obviously Peter [Chiarelli] has done a good job of getting the right personalities in the room. Because you can’t have five guys on the team that are willing to do everything they can for the team and then have 15 that aren’t, or 10 and 10, or whatever the split is. You need every single guy to buy in or it just doesn’t work.

“It really only takes two or three guys to drag down an entire team, it really does, it’s amazing how quickly, especially in tough times, a bad apple can just attract guys and just bring the whole room down. It happens quickly and it’s just like a poison, so one thing they’ve done good here is get rid of some of the guys that had that and bring in guys that that weren’t like that. That’s essential, especially over the long term. For as many years as a lot of us have been here it’s been a really great locker room. The season’s too long to have bad apples and guys that don’t stick up for your guys that you can’t look across at in the room and know that they’re going to work their butt off every night for you.”

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Andrew Ference sick, Rich Peverley won’t practice Thursday 12.21.11 at 12:45 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Both Andrew Ference and Rich Peverley were held out of Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena. Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the practice that Ference is under the weather, while Peverley is still dealing with an ailment that is healed with rest.

The Bruins had Tuesday off, and Julien said that Peverley will not practice at all this week. The team has yet to decide whether he will play Friday against the Panthers.

“Ference is battling the famous flu bug,” Julien said. “Peverley is maintenance. Again, same thing. We’re having a good look here at our schedule and what it may do for him. We’re going to keep him off here for the next couple of days, and tomorrow is certainly another one of those days. We’ll decide whether he’s in on Friday, and if not, that will give him at least a good week. We’re going to be making a decision on him regarding his situation.”

Peverley missed two games last month, sitting out the team’s Nov. 7 and Nov. 10 victories with an undisclosed injury.

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