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Bruins lines unchanged as Rich Peverley, Dougie Hamilton appear to be healthy scratches 05.01.13 at 12:26 pm ET
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Claude Julien (AP)

Claude Julien insisted on Tuesday that his lineup for Game 1 wasn’t set, and after showing the same one in Wednesday’s morning skate said the same thing. Until different lines and defensive pairings take the ice, assume he’s fibbing.

The lineup Wednesday morning was as follows:

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Kaspars Daugavins – Chris Kelly – Jaromir Jagr
Daniel Paille – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara – Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference – Johnny Boychuk
Wade Redden – Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

Julien said that Horton is a game-time decision after missing the last five games with an upper-body injury, but Horton said Tuesday that he expects to play and has practiced the last two days. The coach did admit that Dougie Hamilton will “probably” be a healthy scratch in favor of Redden.

It’s really unlikely that a coach whose lineup has been in flux would really change his lines last-minute before the playoffs start, so expect to see that lineup for Game 1. The one area where there could be a late change would be the left wing spot on the third line, where Rich Peverley could enter the lineup in favor of Daugavins. Peverley appears to be in Julien’s doghouse, but he’s versatile and just so happened to lead the Bruins with three goals and five points in their seven playoff games last season.

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

Read More: Claude Julien, Dougie Hamilton, Rich Peverley,
Dougie Hamilton wins Bruins’ Seventh Player Award 04.25.13 at 7:45 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton (27) celebrates a goal against the Capitals earlier this season.

In what could be the first of many individual honors, Dougie Hamilton received his first Thursday night.

The Bruins announced that the 19-year-old defenseman is the winner of the NESN Seventh Player Award. Voted on by Bruins fans, the Seventh Player Award is an annual award presented to the Bruin who went above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded the expectations of Bruins fans during the season.

Ironically, Hamilton was a healthy scratch Thursday night against the Lightning as the team gives him a rest before the start of the playoffs next week.

In his first season with the Bruins, Hamilton has notched five goals and 11 assists in 42 games with a plus-6 rating. The rookie ranks second among Bruins defensemen in points (16) and goals (5).

Hamilton is tied for third in the NHL among rookie blueliners in points (16), third in assists (11) and tied for third in goals (5).

Hamilton started the season with the Niagra IceDogs (Ontario Hockey League), skating in 32 games, notching eight goals and 33 assists for 41 points. Last year, he was named the Canadian Major Junior Defenseman of the Year.

The 6-foot-5, 199-pound native of Toronto was drafted by the Bruins in the first round (9th overall) of the 2011 NHL draft.

In addition to the Seventh Player Award trophy, Hamilton will receive $5,000 to donate to the charity of his choice.

Recent recipients include Tyler Seguin (2012), Brad Marchand (2011), Tuukka Rask (2010), David Krejci (2009) and Milan Lucic (2008).

The Seventh Player Award sweepstakes winner was Scott Martioski of Orange, Mass. Martioski wins a three-year lease on a 2014 Kia Sorento courtesy of Central Auto Team of Norwood and Raynham.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Dougie Hamilton
Milan Lucic a healthy scratch as Carl Soderberg makes NHL debut 04.20.13 at 12:18 pm ET
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Milan Lucic was made a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game against the Penguins and did not take warmups. The scratch comes two days after Lucic skated with the Bruins’ extra forwards in Thursday’s practice.

After scoring 30 goals two seasons ago and scoring 26 last season, Lucic has just six goals in 41 games this season. He has two goals over his last 27 games.

Prior to the lockout, the 24-year-old Lucic signed a three-year contract worth $18 million that will make him the Bruins’ highest-paid forward beginning next season.

With Lucic out, Carl Soderberg was in the lineup for his NHL debut. Dougie Hamilton was also absent from warmups, making he, Aaron Johnson and Wade Redden the healthy scratches on defense. The lines and pairings appeared as follows in warmups:

Daniel Paille – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Carl Soderberg – Chris Kelly – Jaromir Jagr
Gregory Campbell – Rich Peverley – Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara – Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference – Johnny Boychuk
Matt Bartkowski – Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask

The Bruins took the ice for warmups wearing hats for the police departments of Massachusetts, Watertown and Boston.

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

Read More: Carl Soderberg, Dougie Hamilton, Milan Lucic,
Andrew Ference will be healthy scratch Monday vs. Senators as Dougie Hamilton returns 04.15.13 at 12:49 pm ET
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Andrew Ference

As the Bruins take turns resting their players leading up to the postseason, Andrew Ference will be a healthy scratch Monday.

“We’re going to rotate some players in and out here from here on in,” Claude Julien said. “We decide to make that decision no matter what, so Ference will be the one sitting out tonight.”

With Ference out, Dougie Hamilton will make his return to the lineup after sitting out the last two games. In addition to playing the entire NHL season leading up to Thursday’s loss to the Islanders, Hamilton had played in the Canada-Russia Junior Challenge series in August before playing in the OHL throughout the lockout.

“I give him a lot of credit for for how well he’s played through all of that. For a young player, to handle all of those minutes and games [is] unbelievable.”

Hamilton, 19, has four goals and 11 assists for 15 point in NHL games this season. Though he’s had some ups and downs, his rookie campaign has been largely impressive as he has been a top-four blueliner for the B’s from the get-go.

Hamilton had told Julien earlier in the season that if he wasn’t playing well enough and Julien wanted to scratch him, he’d understand. He said Monday that while he’d rather be playing, he thinks the rest could be good for him.

“Just playing so much, it feels like the end of the year, which it is, but I think just to get a rest I guess, mentally, and most of all just to get away from playing and to be able to come back, it kind of feels like junior a little bit when you get the week off and then you go back to playing the weekend,” he said. “Hopefully I didn’t get too rusty over that couple days, but I think I feel good.”

Added Hamilton: “Obviously it’s a lot more fun playing and being in the room and I guess being part of the team, but I thought it was good.”

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

Read More: Andrew Ference, Dougie Hamilton,
Opinion: Claude Julien needs to schedule rest time for weary Bruins 04.12.13 at 1:34 pm ET
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I’m sick of hearing that the Bruins are tired.

“We ran out of gas,” Claude Julien claimed after Thursday night’s loss to Islanders. “The effort and will was there. They were obviously a little fresher than we were.”

If Tyler Seguin and the Bruins have tired legs, it's up to coach Claude Julien to give them time to get back to full strength before the playoffs. (AP)

Maybe.

That quote came just two days after he said, “The schedule has been as tough as it could ever be on an athlete. We’ve got to be careful of how hard we push those guys, because they are tired.”

I don’t disagree.

The schedule obviously has been brutal. Yes, the Bruins face the same difficulties as every other team in the league, but they currently are in the worst of the gauntlet. Whereas they started the season with more days off than most other teams, they are paying the price for that now.

So I’m happy to concede that exhaustion is playing a role in their recent string of uninspired performances.

Normally, this is the time where I would remind athletes and coaches that if they avoid making an excuse out loud, someone will make it for them. We all know the schedule is tough; let us remind people and it will sound more like an explanation and less like an excuse.

And for Tyler Seguin, who said Thursday night that while he wasn’t making excuses, “we ran out of gas after three games in four nights,” I would repeat that message.

But to Julien, I would offer some additional advice.

If your team is so tired, do something about it!

Look, we all know the Bruins are going to make the playoffs and it’s a virtual certainty that they will fill either the second or fourth seed. So, what would be the harm in resting a few exhausted players for a game or two? If they are so desperate for some fresh legs, why not create them?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Claude Julien, Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara
Shooting gallery: B’s fire 50 shots, beat Sens in key division battle 04.02.13 at 9:36 pm ET
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Tyler Seguin scores in the first period to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. (AP)

The Bruins found the perfect way to celebrate the acquisition of superstar Jaromir Jagr.

Nathan Horton scored with just under 10 minutes left in regulation and the Bruins managed 50 shots on goal in a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at TD Garden. For Horton, who could be facing demotion to the team’s third line with the Jagr addition, scored in his fourth straight game. Back-up goalie Anton Khoudobin made his second straight start and stopped 45 of 47 shots he faced to earn the win, his eighth of the season against three losses. The two teams combined for 97 shots on goal.

The win was big for the Bruins, who improved to 23-8-4 and reached 50 points on the season. They are just one point behind Montreal for the division lead and now six points up on third-place Ottawa in the division.

The only concern from the game came early in the second period when Patrice Bergeron collided with Colin Greening and did not return.

In an up-tempo first period, the two teams combined for 40 shots, 21 by the Bruins, including five by Tyler Seguin. It was Seguin who gave the Bruins the lead, snapping a 1-1 tie when he took a perfect feed from Brad Marchand and fired a shot into the net vacated by goalie Robin Lehner.

The game didn’t start off well for Boston as a Dennis Seidenberg turnover left the puck all alone for Colin Greening in front of Khudobin. Greening’s backhander beat the Boston goalie far side just 2:48 into the game for a 1-0 Ottawa lead. The Bruins countered just 50 seconds later when David Krejci redirected a Zdeno Chara slap shot from the high slot past Lehner. The Bruins got the go-ahead tally from Seguin just 61 seconds later.

The two teams continued their fast play in the second period but couldn’t put the puck in the net.

A bizarre turn of events and instant replay led to a tie game just two minutes into the third. Khudobin appeared to make a spectacular sprawling save on Andre Benoit‘s shot from the slot. The puck appeared to bounce off the crossbar and back into play. But after a stoppage, the officials were called over to review the play and replays showed that the puck disappeared under the crossbar and hit the top of the net, resulting in a game-tying goal.

With 13 minutes left in regulation, Seguin grabbed a loose puck and skated in alone on Lehner but lost an edge after not being able to get a clean shot on the Senators goalie. Three minutes later, Lehner turned aside Rich Peverley on a 2-on-1 break. But the Bruins kept working and got their break when Dougie Hamilton crushed Erik Condra with a big, clean hit in the Bruins zone. That led moments later to a scrum in front of Lehner and a goal from Horton at 10:21, putting Boston on top, 3-2.

The Bruins had to hold on for final 32.3 seconds as Johnny Boychuk was called for interference in front of Khudobin. With their net empty, the Senators had a 6-on-4 for the final half-minute but could not score.

The Bruins are off on Wednesday – trade deadline day in the NHL – and will get the services of newly acquired Jaromir Jagr on Thursday for their next game, a home date with the Devils.

For more from DJ Bean and Mike Petraglia from the Garden, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Anton Khodobin, Boston Bruins, Dougie Hamilton, Nathan Horton
What went right and wrong as Patrice Bergeron is hurt in Bruins’ win over Senators at 9:36 pm ET
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The Bruins got both Jaromir Jagr and a win over Ottawa on Tuesday, but it still might end up being a shaky day for them as Patrice Bergeron was knocked out of the game in the second period against the Senators.

The B’s got goals from David Krejci, Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton in a 3-2 victory that put them one point behind the Canadiens in the Northeast Division. The Habs have 51 points to the Bruins’ 50 through 35 games.

Here’s what went right and wrong for the B’s:

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- Horton is producing like a man who has no interest in losing his spot on the top line to Jagr. He broke a third-period 2-2 tie by scoring his fourth goal in as many games after scoring just once in the previous 14 contests. The veteran right wing has been inconsistent this season, but he’s really making that top line a tough one to break up.

- Give Matt Bartkowski credit for staying focused and turning in some solid play despite knowing that the Bruins tried to trade him for Jarome Iginla. Bartkowski saved a goal in the second period, when Khudobin made a kicksave on Mika Zibanejad and kicked the rebound out to the bottom for the right circle. A Senators player was inches from knocking it in with plenty of open net, but Bartkowski got a stick on it just in time to break it up.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- Bergeron was knocked out of the game on his third shift of the second period with what appeared to at the very least be some sort of upper-body injury. Bergeron lunged at Colin Greening while the Washington center was trying to shoot, and Bergeron’s head awkwardly hit Greening’s elbow/forearm. Bergeron left the game and did not return.

Though the Bruins offered no details on the injury, the play was obviously concerning given his history with concussions. He has had three in his NHL career, the most recent of which came in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Flyers in 2011.

Bergeron leads the Bruins with 31 points (10 goals and a team-high 21 assists) this season.

- The Bergeron injury wasn’t the only one for the Bruins. Dougie Hamilton threw a hit on Erik Condra in the Bruins’ zone, and though the play got a massive cheer as both players went down, Hamilton couldn’t finish his shift. Upon getting up, he slowly tried to get in position before calling for a line change. He went straight down the tunnel and left the ice for about 10 minutes real time before returning to the Bruins’ bench with five and a half minutes to play.

- The Bruins appeared to get the save of the year from Anton Khudobin when he lost his stick diving across the net to stop a bid from Andre Benoit after being out of position. The play was reviewed, however, and the replay showed that Benoit’s slapshot had indeed gone in and bounced back out.

- Benoit’s goal tied the game at two, making for the Bruins’ latest blown lead in the third period this season. Boston has now blown leads in seven games this season and are 4-3-2 when leading after two periods.

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron,
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