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Bruins prepare for emotional return to action 04.17.13 at 12:41 pm ET
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The Bruins will wear a "Boston Strong" decal on their helmets. (Boston Bruins photo)

Wednesday will be an emotional night at TD Garden, as the Bruins’ contest against the Sabres marks the first professional sporting event in Boston since Monday’s bombings at the Marathon.

“We don’t only need to be ready, but we need to show that we want to support everyone in the city,” Daniel Paille said after Wednesday’s morning skate.

The security was ramped up at TD Garden Wednesday, with all entrants being tested with a security wand and having their bags checked thoroughly. Additionally, the Bruins’ helmets now have “Boston Strong” decals on the back.

It isn’t the game-day experience everyone’s used to in which you go to the morning skate, go home and come back to play a game with the rest of one’s everyday life sprinkled in. It’s amplified and it’s more emotional because the seconds spent off the ice are occupied by dealing with Monday’s events. The important thing, Claude Julien said, is that the Bruins use their emotions for good Wednesday night.

“It’s a natural thing to still be emotional, but yesterday’s practice had a lot of energy. Today’s skate, we seemed to be showing a lot of energy,” Julien said. “The only thing left is to bring it to the game and really put it in the right place where we can do what we want to accomplish.”

What the Bruins hope to accomplish is obvious. They want to give Boston not only a distraction from its grieving, but, to quote Brad Marchand from Tuesday, “something to believe in.” They can’t make everything better, but they can help.

“The one thing I sense from our team is we have the ability to maybe help people heal and find some reason to smile again by representing our city properly,” Julien said. “To me, this is a time when you’re proud to be associated with a professional team. Even the NHL and all professional sports. When you look at the support this city’s had from rivals and everything else that are giving us support at this time, it’s amazing. We have an opportunity to make our city proud, and I think we’re all in for it. Hopefully we can do that for the city right now.”

Folks get into the National Anthem every game, but it figures to be an impassioned scene prior to Wednesday’s game. The players have felt the weight of Monday’s events like the rest of the city, so they’ll have to deal with the challenge of keeping it together once they hit the ice.

“Obviously it’s going to be emotional in the beginning, we’re going to show respect, but after that, for the next two and a half hours, we just have to play the game,” David Krejci said. “It’s all we can do to give something to Boston to be happy about.”

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Shawn Thornton, Daniel Paille out, Brad Marchand could play vs. Canadiens 02.05.13 at 10:06 am ET
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Shawn Thornton

Both Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille will stay in Boston as the Bruins travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens on Wednesday, Claude Julien said Tuesday morning at TD Garden. Thornton remains out as he recovers from a concussion while Paille is dealing with an upper-body injury. Both injuries were suffered last Thursday against the Sabres.

Brad Marchand will travel with the team and will practice with the B’s on Wednesday. Marchand appeared to injure his shoulder after crashing into the end boards Saturday against the Maple Leafs in the second period. He did not play another shift the rest of the game and missed Monday’s practice.

Julien said that the Bruins are “very optimistic” that Thornton and Paille will “be OK moving forward,” and that Marchand could be a game-time decision vs. the Habs.

“He might be [a game-time decision],” Julien said of Marchand. “He’s going to practice with us today and then we’ll make a decision probably tomorrow on his situation.”

Should Marchand be unable to go, Ryan Spooner will make his NHL debut against the Canadiens.

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

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Shawn Thornton skates, Brad Marchand, David Krejci missing from practice 02.04.13 at 10:53 am ET
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Brad Marchand

WILMINGTON — Bruins forward Shawn Thornton took the ice Monday for the first time since suffering a concussion last Thursday against the Sabres. Thornton did not participate in the team’s practice, but skated prior to his teammates hitting the ice.

Daniel Paille was present at practice after missing Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury, while Brad Marchand and David Krejci both missed the skate. Following the practice, Claude Julien gave an update on all players.

“[Paille]‘s doing fine. Again, the doctors haven’t cleared him yet but you saw him skating today,” Julien said. “Shawn Thornton skated earlier this morning, so he’s doing really well also. No issues there.

“David Krejci is maintenance and he should be on the ice tomorrow. Brad Marchand is also progressing very well. Right now, there’s nobody that’s a definite no moving forward here for the next game, but obviously we’ll make those decisions tomorrow. Before we leave we should know who can and who can’t play on Wednesday.”

Asked to clarify whether Thornton was part of the group of players potentially eligible to play Wednesday, Julien indicated that Thornton will in all likelihood be held out.

“Probably very doubtful for him, but he’s feeling very good,” Julien said. “He’s been great. He’s symptom-free for a few days now. He biked yesterday, he skated today, so things are going well but obviously there’s a protocol to follow. We’re certainly going to follow that to the letter.”

Marchand missed the second half of Saturday’s win over the Maple Leafs after crashing into the end boards in the second period and appearing to injure his shoulder. Monday marks Krejci’s second missed practice in four days, as he did not practice Friday and played Saturday. The Bruins were off on Sunday.

Paille suffered his injury in the third period of Thursday’s loss to the Sabres. With Krejci not practicing, Jay Pandolfo took his place on the top line, while Gregory Campbell replaced Marchand.

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

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Daniel Paille out vs. Maple Leafs 02.01.13 at 2:26 pm ET
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Daniel Paille won’t play Saturday against the Maple Leafs after leaving Thursday’s contest with an upper-body injury suffered on a third-period high stick. Claude Julien said that Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, who were also held out of Friday’s practice, are good to go.

Paille skated on Chris Kelly‘s line Thursday in place of Chris Bourque, but the injury forces him out of the lineup and Jamie Tardif into the lineup.

“He’s not going to make the trip,” Julien said of Paille. “We’re going to deem it an upper-body injury only for the reason that right now, we don’t have all the details. We know he got the high stick, so once we get more clarification on his injury, we’ll let you know. For now, just an upper-body until we get more news on him.”

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

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Bruins recall Jamie Tardif on emergency basis at 9:54 am ET
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The Bruins recalled forward Jamie Tardif on an emergency basis Friday. He will be available to practice with the team on Friday and travel with the B’s to Toronto for Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs.

The move comes a day after a rough Thursday night for the B’s in which both Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille left the game due to various injuries. Updates on both players are expected on Friday.

In 39 games for Providence this season, Tardif leads the team with 21 goals, which is second in the AHL. He also has nine assists for a total of 30 points. The 28 year-old has never played an NHL game.

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

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Merlot Line a difference-maker in win over Islanders 01.25.13 at 11:49 pm ET
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The Merlot Line produced two goals Friday night. (AP)

Through four games, the Bruins have one point-per-game player and his name is Gregory Campbell.

The Bruins’ fourth-line center scored and had an assist in Friday’s 4-2 win over the Islanders at TD Garden on a night that saw the members of the Merlot Line produce a pair of goals (Shawn Thornton scored the Bruins’ first-goal of the game).

The line of Campbell, Thornton and Daniel Paille had its ups and downs last season, but their performance was massive in what was on the whole a relatively sloppy night for the B’s. There was the typical show of solidarity from Thornton, who came to Paille’s defense in the first period when Matt Martin wanted to drop the gloves following a clean hit in the corner, but the line also brought offense, defense and energy.

“Tonight they were the ones that were doing the right things,” Claude Julien said. “Both goals that they scored, they had somebody in front of the net, Thorty on the first one, and Soupy on the second goal, things that our others lines weren’t doing for two periods. Once we got ourselves going we were a lot better. They set the example I guess for the rest of the team for the third period.”

Said Campbell: “We’ve been playing together for the last two years, which is a rare thing in hockey,” he said. “We get along off the ice, which is good because it transfers on the ice. We accept our role and know our role. Sometimes it is not an easy job but we are willing to help the team. It’s a role that we take pride in.”

Campbell, who had 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) all of last season, has a goal and three-assists thus far in the shortened campaign.

“I mean, it is what it is,” Campbell said of leading the B’s in points. “I’m just trying to contribute. I felt like I worked hard in the lockout in the last four months and I feel good right now. As I said, I am just trying to contribute, whether it’s goals or assists, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just helping the team win.”

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Late charge: Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron lift Bruins to win over Islanders at 9:35 pm ET
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Daniel Paille decks Islanders defenseman Brian Strait as the Bruins and Islanders battled at the Garden. (AP)

Zdeno Chara fired a wrist shot past Rick DiPietro with just under 13 minutes left in the third period to break a 2-2 tie, as the Bruins bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 4-2 win over the Islanders Friday night at TD Garden. Rookie sensation Dougie Hamilton added two assists and set up Boston’s fourth goal with a pretty outlet pass as the Garden crowd began to chant his name.

The Bruins overcame a two-goal night from Waltham and Chelmsford, Mass. native Keith Aucoin to improve to 3-0-1 in the young season. With seven points on the season, they also have gained a point in all four games.

Tuukka Rask has started all four games and stopped 24 of 26 shots on the night to record his third win.

The Bruins jumped on top just under five minutes into the game when Shawn Thornton collected a loose puck and put it past DiPietro. Hamilton set up the goal when he took a shot from the right point that deflected off the stick of Daniel Paille. DiPietro couldn’t control the shot and Thornton was in the right spot on the doorstep for his first goal of the season and Hamilton’s second NHL point.

The Islanders tied it six minutes later when the red-hot Aucoin took a pass from Colin McDonald from the side of the net and put it past Rask.

The first period featured a fight between Milan Lucic in which the Bruins leveled Matt Carkner with a right cross, getting the Friday night Garden crowd into the game.

The Islanders opened the second period on the power play. While they couldn’t score, they used the advantage to gain momentum of the game. That proved productive when Rask and the Bruins allowed a loose puck to bounce uncontrolled to the high slot. Aucoin was in the right spot at the right time again and blasted a slap shot past Rask at 9:50 of the period for an unassisted goal, his second of the game and third in two nights.

The Bruins used good fortune to gain the equalizer four minutes later when David Krejci threw a puck on net from the far boards. The puck glanced off the skate of Islanders defenseman Joe Finley and onto the stick of Gregory Campell, who put it past DiPietro to make it 2-2 after 40 minutes.

With just under 13 minutes left, the Bruins regained the lead when Lucic took a pass from Nathan Horton and fired a pass from the right circle to the tape of Chara. The Bruins captain snapped a wrist shot from the slot past DiPietro to give the Bruins the lead with 12:53 remaining. It was his first goal of the season and he pumped both hands in the air in relief after the goal. Read the rest of this entry »

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