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Fun while it lasted: Niklas Svedberg solid in first NHL start before return to Providence 01.02.14 at 11:49 pm ET
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It’s been a roller-coaster ride over the last few weeks for Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg.

Niklas Svedberg

Niklas Svedberg

After posting a  50-13-5 record in 70 games for Providence over the last two seasons and capturing the 2012-13 Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s top goaltender, Svedberg was finally called up to the Bruins on Dec. 27 and was expected to start in net for the Black and Gold on Dec. 29 against the Senators.

However, Svedberg’s tenure with Boston was short lived, as the Bruins had to send the 24-year-old netminder back down to Providence on Dec. 28 after a knee injury to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg forced the team to recall defenseman Zach Trotman on an emergency basis.

“That’€™s how it works,”€ Svedberg said earlier Thursday. “You just move on and go back to Providence, play there and wait to get another chance.”

Svedberg would get his chance five days later, as the Bruins once again called him up on Thursday morning before announcing that he would get the start in net against the Predators later that night.

Playing in his first NHL game, Svedberg was impressive between the pipes, turning aside 33 of 35 shots on the way to a 3-2 overtime victory for the Bruins.

“I’m real happy with this win,” Svedberg said. “It’s just one game, but it’s real fun to get a win in a close game.”

Despite a solid first period that saw the Swedish goaltender hold Nashville scoreless over the first 20 minutes, the Predators finally were able to get on the board with 1:56 remaining in the second stanza, as Viktor Stalberg scored off a rebound shot from Mike Fisher to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.

Despite the fact that the Bruins trailed 1-0 at the end of the second period, it could have been much worse for Boston, as Nashville outshot the Bruins by a 16-3 margin in the period, with Svedberg staying steady in net despite the barrage of pucks.

“I didn’t see him [playing] much different from the first to the third, but I thought in the second, when they did throw a lot of pucks at him, he stood tall and made some good saves,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien after the game.

Despite giving up a goal to Predators captain Shea Weber at the 14:35 mark of the third period, knotting the game at 2-2, Svedberg would eventually earn the win, as Brad Marchand scored 56 seconds into overtime to give Boston the dramatic victory.

“He played great, real good,” said Bruins left wing Milan Lucic after the game. “We talked about it, we wanted to play hard for him and try to get him a big win on his first NHL game.

Svedberg was quick to deflect any talk of what his future is up in Boston going forward, instead focusing on continuing to improve his game.

“I haven’t even thought about it. All my focus was on the game right now,” Svedberg said. “Obviously, I want to play more here, but we’ll see what happens. I just got to keep working.”

Julien announced after the game that Svedberg is going to be sent back down to Providence Friday, but was quick to state that based on what he showed tonight, it won’t take long for the young goalie to once again make a return to the Garden ice.

“I liked his game tonight. I really thought he was good and he just showed us that he’s a guy that we need to look at and keep an eye on and consider,” Julien said. He’s going to head back to Providence tomorrow, but I think there’s a good chance you’re going to see him here again very soon.”

Read More: AHL, Boston Bruins, Dennis Seidenberg, Nashville Predators
Zdeno Chara: Dennis Seidenberg ‘such a big loss’ for Bruins 12.30.13 at 7:23 pm ET
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is working his way back from an undisclosed injury, but that isn’t the biggest concern on Boston’s blue line.

That would be the season-ending ACL/MCL tear to Dennis Seidenberg, who will have surgery on his knee and should be ready to go for the start of next season. In the meantime, the B’s are down their second-best defenseman and runner-up in time on ice.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Chara told WEEI.com. “I was on the bench when it happened, and we all saw what happened, and right there I kind of knew it was a very unlucky collision. He’s such a big loss for us. He’s a [guy] who’s playing in all situations, logging a lot of minutes. He’s a true warrior. To lose a guy like that always hurts, but it’s something that we’re going to have to play through. Obviously it’s going to be a chance for other guys to step up and fill that role.”

Seidenberg’s injury means that Chara will have a new postseason defense partner for the first time in a long time. Paired together from Game 3 of the 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinals and onward, Chara and Seidenberg have teamed to make up a formidable top pairing that has shut down the top lines of some of the most offensively loaded teams in the NHL on the way to two Stanley Cup finals appearances.

Likely candidates to replace Seidenberg as Chara’s postseason partner would appear to be Dougie Hamilton and Johnny Boychuk, both of whom have played plenty alongside Chara during the regular season. Yet Chara isn’t looking that far ahead. After all, Chara himself and Hamilton both need to get healthy before the Bruins’ back end can begin to look like its usual self.

“I mean, we’ll see,” Chara said. “We’re far from the playoffs this time of the year. Right now we’re just really trying to focus on getting guys back, which will hopefully be soon. When we get a full lineup, then we’re going to be feeling what the ice times and positions are going to be like. But we’re obviously trying to get through tougher times right now with the injuries we have.”

Chara practiced for part of Monday’s session, with Claude Julien telling reporters on hand that his status for Tuesday’s game against the Islanders has yet to be determined.

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

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Zdeno Chara misses Saturday’s game with injury 12.28.13 at 7:24 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara missed Saturday night’s game with an undisclosed injury and is day-to-day, according to the team.

With Chara out and Dennis Seidenberg now done for the season, the Bruins played both Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky Saturday against the Senators.

Saturday marked the first game Chara has missed this season, with Torey Krug now the only blueliner among the Bruins’ six opening night defensemen to not miss a game.

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

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Dennis Seidenberg out for season with torn ACL/MCL at 3:25 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is out for the season with a torn ACL/MCL suffered in the final minutes of Friday’s game, the team announced Saturday. The team also announced it has recalled Zach Trotman on an emergency basis and assigned goaltender Niklas Svedberg to Providence.

Seidenberg suffered the injury with about four minutes to play in Friday’s game when he got tangled up with Senators forward Cory Conacher. He left the ice in pain and did not return to the game.

Losing Seidenberg is obviously a massive blow for the Bruins this season, as he is regularly second on the team in time on ice and has been used the past three postseasons on a shutdown pairing with Zdeno Chara.

This season has seen the Bruins suffer a rash of injuries to the likes of Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton, Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid, Carl Soderberg and Daniel Paille, but Seidenberg’s injury is by far the most damaging to the team’s Stanley Cup chances.

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

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Dennis Seidenberg suffers injury late vs. Senators, won’t travel to Ottawa 12.27.13 at 10:22 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will not travel to Ottawa for Saturday’s game against the Senators due to what appeared to be a right knee injury.

Seidenberg got tangled up with Senators forward Cory Conacher with about four minutes to go in Friday’s game and held his knee in pain after Conacher fell on him awkwardly. Seidenberg was slow to leave the ice and did not return to the game. Following the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien said it was a lower-body injury and that Seidenberg was being evaluated by team doctors.

This is the second injury of the season for Seidenberg, who previously missed four games in November with a different lower-body injury.

With Seidenberg out for Saturday’s game, the Bruins will likely have to recall a defenseman from Providence on an emergency basis, as Dougie Hamilton (lower-body) is skating but has yet to practice with the team. David Warsofsky played three games for the B’s before being sent down Tuesday and would be a likely option if Seidenberg’s injury is only short term.

A longer-term injury might force the B’s to recall Kevan Miller, something they may be hesitant to do given that his next NHL game would mean the B’s would need to expose him to waivers the next time they tried sending him down.

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

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Dennis Seidenberg skates for Bruins 11.25.13 at 11:57 am ET
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Dennis Seidenberg skated Monday morning and joined his teammates for part of the Bruins’ morning skate. It marked the first time he has skated since suffering a lower-body injury last Tuesday against the Rangers.

Seidenberg is not yet ready to return to the lineup, and it appears Adam McQuaid might not be ready either. McQuaid took part in Monday’s morning skate and has been skating since last Monday, but he was paired with Seidenberg as part of the team’s extra pairing. Claude Julien said there’s a possibility that McQuaid could play Monday, but that doesn’t seem to be a change from his status the last couple games.

If McQuaid does not play Monday, Kevan Miller will play in his third game after being recalled last week.

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

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Matt Bartkowski: ‘Hopefully I play well enough so they can’t take me out’ 11.21.13 at 12:40 pm ET
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Matt Bartkowski

Matt Bartkowski

Matt Bartkowski had no intention of coming out of Tuesday’s game against the Rangers when, with Dennis Seidenberg already done for the game, he crashed into the boards and hurt his left leg. He also has no plans on coming out of the Bruins’ lineup.

After getting banged up, Bartkowski missed the remainder of the second period Monday, as he likened it to hitting one’s funny bone and said he “couldn’t really move.” He returned to play the third period and appeared hampered, though he said Thursday that he wasn’t dealing with anything more than a little tightness. He still managed to log over 21 minutes in the game.

“It would have had to be something that the trainers would have had to tell me I couldn’t play,” Bartkowski said Thursday. “There’s five D; you’ve got to play.”

Thursday’s game will be the sixth consecutive contest in which Bartkowski has played for the Bruins, which will double the three games in a row he got last month when Claude Julien did some shuffling on the back end to get him some ice time. With Seidenberg out at least a week, it doesn’t look like Bartkowski will be exiting the lineup in the immediate future.

Obviously, Bartkowski finds himself in a position where he should be extremely motivated. He’s been given games here and there this season, but he has been the team’s seventh defenseman, and this stretch of games provides him as good a chance as any to earn a full-time job on the B’s blue line.

“Of course,” Bartkowski said. “Whenever I do get into games, especially this longer stretch, hopefully I play well enough so they can’t take me out.”

Bartkowski has played the last five games on a pairing with Johnny Boychuk. He’s generally been fifth among defensemen in time on ice (Torey Krug has played less), with Tuesday’s 21:13 the most he’s played in an NHL regular-season game (he played more in overtime games last postseason against the Maple Leafs and Rangers).

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