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How much has first goal mattered in Bruins-Canadiens series? 05.14.14 at 1:40 pm ET
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Daniel Paille scored the first goal in Game 2, but the Bruins blew the lead. (AP)

Daniel Paille scored the first goal in Game 2, but the Bruins blew the lead. (AP)

The team that scores the first goal Wednesday night will win Game 7 and advance to the Eastern Conference finals, provided it is a 1-0 game.

Aside from that, the first goal, for all the hype that comes with it, has by no means been a ticket to victory. Though the team that’s scored the first goal has won each of the first six games this series, two of those games involved the winning team relinquishing their lead before winning the game later.

The Canadiens scored first in Game 1 and took a 2-0 lead before the B’s came back in the third to tie the game. The Habs eventually won in overtime. In Game 2, Boston scored first but allowed three straight goals before coming back with four in a row in the third.

Playing with a lead is extremely important, but it isn’t until a team has a two or three goal lead — especially if its early — that they can smother the opponent by sitting back and relying on the counterattack.

“I don’t think you can really pack it in at any point of the game,” Mike Weaver said Wednesday morning. “Boston’s notorious for coming back, even with six minutes left. They’re a team that keeps on coming at you, and you can’t let your foot off the pedal at any point in the game.”

Another good example of this is Game 6. The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead in the opening minute of the game on a Lars Eller goal, yet it wasn’t until they got a pair of goals late in the second period that they were able to put the B’s away. Much of the first two periods — especially early in the second — saw the Bruins match or outplay the Habs and generate plenty of chances.

“The scoring chances were there,” Daniel Paille said of how the B’s played down a goal. “It’s more about bearing down and not getting frustrated. We know that goals can come and some nights they don’t go in, but for us, it is key to maintain composure and not stay too frustrated.”

There was no comeback for the Bruins in that game. There were comebacks in the first two games of the series, and though Weaver said there was no lesson to be learned in those games, it did serve as a reminder that playing with the lead isn’t always a run-out-the-clock situation.

“I think we got away from our game,” Weaver said of the Bruins’ comebacks. “It’s something that, you’ve got to play a full 60. Especially with what has happened in the playoffs. You guys remind of stats that kind of happen through all the playoffs, not just this series. You have that in the back of your mind that you have to keep on going, keep on pushing.”

Matt Fraser provided the most memorable “first goal” of the series with the overtime winner in Game 4, with Nathan Horton‘s goal in Game 7 of the 2011 conference finals standing as perhaps the most memorable in recent history. That game was played 5-on-5 the whole way, with no penalties taken on either side.

The first goal can obviously be a difference-maker, and the later it is, the better. This series has shown that it’s that second goal that matters more.

Read More: Daniel Paille, Mike Weaver,
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,
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.

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Dennis Seidenberg, Daniel Paille practice with Bruins at 11:22 am ET
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The Bruins returned to practice Tuesday at TD Garden, with Daniel Paille and Dennis Seidenberg both participating. Chris Kelly, Corey Potter and Brad Marchand were all absent.

Paille, who has been cleared for contact since last Thursday, participated in battle drills and skated on Patrice Bergeron‘s line in place of Marchand. Seidenberg did not take contact.

Seidenberg skated on an extra pairing with Andrej Meszaros, with the rest of the lineup looking like this:

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

Chara – Hamilton
Bartkowski – Boychuk
Krug – Miller

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

Read More: Daniel Paille, Dennis Seidenberg,
Daniel Paille remains out for Game 5; no update on Corey Potter 04.26.14 at 2:01 pm ET
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Bruins forwad Daniel Paille skated again Saturday morning and will remain out of the lineup for Saturday’s Game 5 against the Red Wings.

Paille, who is recovering from what is believed to be a head injury, has not played since leaving the second-to-last game of the season two weeks ago. Claude Julien said that Paille, who has been taking contact in recent days, is getting to closer to a return, but is not yet ready.

Julien had no update on defenseman Corey Potter, who suffered a shoulder injury in Friday’s practice.

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

Read More: Corey Potter, Daniel Paille,
Henrik Zetterberg game-time decision for Red Wings in Game 4 vs. Bruins; Daniel Paille out again 04.24.14 at 11:36 am ET
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DETROIT — Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will be a game-time decision for Game 4 of the first round against the Bruins Thursday night.

Zetterberg, who had back surgery in February, skated on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader and took turns with the power play in Detroit’s morning skate Thursday.

Todd Bertuzzi will play for the Red Wings, with Mike Babcock choosing to scratch Tomas Jurco to allow the veteran in the lineup. Assuming Zetterberg plays, Joakim Andersson will sit. Daniel Alfredsson remains out but could play Game 5.

The lines in morning skate were:

Zetterberg – Datsyuk – Abdelkader
Franzen – Helm – Nyquist
Bertuzzi – Sheahan – Tatar
Miller – Glendening – Legwand

The Bruins’ morning skate featured the same lineup as in Tuesday’s Game 3 win. Daniel Paille was on the ice, but he did not skate with a line and Claude Julien said afterwards that Paille would not play in Game 4. Julien did say, however, that Paille has been cleared for “a little bit of contact.”

With Paille out, Jordan Caron will play on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton again.

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

Read More: Daniel Paille, Henrik Zetterberg,
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