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These ‘really confident’ Bruins know they have to re-capture road warrior mentality 06.21.13 at 9:09 pm ET
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Bruins fans will be few and far between in Chicago Saturday night for Game 5. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Perhaps the lasting legacy of the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Bruins was their ability to win in a hostile environment when they had no other choice.

Game 7 in Vancouver was the ultimate testament to that quality.

Now, these Bruins have a chance to repeat that accomplishment, and must, if they are to achieve their ultimate goal. Already, the Bruins have proven they can win in Chicago. But after losing Game 4 in overtime, they must find a way again.

“It’s tough, but we know we can do it,” captain Zdeno Chara said Friday. “We have a good enough team. We just have to be ready. It’s going to be a battle.”

“I guess it helps some kind of confidence there, but it’s still going to be a tough one,” Tuukka Rask said of winning Game 2 last Saturday.

Chara knows the value of the experience of Game 7 in 2011 – and Game 2 this year – in Boston’s quest.

“It’s huge,” Chara said. “You need to be able to win games on the road. It’s something that good teams go to do, and certainly we’ve done it once, so we’ve got to do our best to do it again.”

Added Tyler Seguin: “I think it helps a ton. We know what to expect a bit more and that being said Chicago’s been in this series just as much as we have. You know, it’s going to be a long series still and it’s one we’re enjoying.”

All eyes will be on Rask to see how he handles the “bounce back” game.

“Yeah, we’ve got to focus on [Game 5], hopefully get the win and have a chance to finish it at home,” Rask said. “[We're] really confident. I think that’s one of our good qualities as a team. We never let things bother us.”

Maybe Johnny Boychuk had the best take of all on the road factor.

“It doesn’t really matter at this point where we’re playing,” Boychuk said. “I think both teams are just trying to worry about what they’re doing and trying to just battle as hard as you can to win a Cup.”

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Merlot Line leads Bruins to 3-0 series lead 05.21.13 at 10:11 pm ET
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Daniel Paille scored the game-winning goal as the Bruins took a 3-0 series lead over the Rangers with a 2-1 victory. (AP)

NEW YORK — The Bruins’ fourth line stole the spotlight from Henrik Lundqvist Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden as the Bruins came back in the third period to beat the Rangers, 2-1, and take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

With the B’s trailing by a goal entering the third period, the Merlot Line produced goals in two if its first four third-period shifts, the latter of which yielded a funky go-ahead goal from Daniel Paille off a rebound that went off Lundqvist’s mask and stayed in the air for a good amount of time before landing on the door step. Johnny Boychuk produced Boston’s first goal (his fourth of the postseason) on a shot from the point that had to make its way through some traffic that was led by Shawn Thornton.

Tyler Pyatt redirected a shot past Tuukka Rask at 3:53 of the second period to give the Rangers the lead in the second period after the teams skated to a scoreless first. The goal came on a rather uncharacteristic shift for Patrice Bergeron on which he lost the faceoff and then was unable to get a clearing attempt out of the zone.

But that was the only harm done against Rask, who turned in his latest superb performance highlighted by a pair of big saves on Rick Nash in the third period.

The Bruins will have the opportunity to finish off the Rangers Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS Read the rest of this entry »

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Patrice Bergeron: ‘It’s not bad to win in regulation’ 05.19.13 at 1:43 pm ET
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Patrice Bergeron would like to look forward to a regulation win in Game 2. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

The Bruins are hoping to keep up their one-goal magic in Game 2 against the Rangers.

The Bruins can take a 2-0 lead against the Rangers with a win at TD Garden before the series shifts to New York for Games 3 and 4.

“The last two games were good,” Shawn Thornton said. “I don’t have a ton of confidence in overtime. I’m on the edge of my seat the whole time. But the experience we’ve had in the last few years, the core group here, helps in the extra frame. We’re not jumpy, we’re not edgy. We’re trying to control pucks and play our game. That’s helped. These are two teams pretty evenly matched. There are going to be a lot of close games. Let’s hope we can continue to feed off that experience.”

Thornton would like his fourth line to finally put one in the net after coming so close in the last two games.

“We’re pretty deep as far as the lines go,” Thornton said. “I’m still waiting for us to chip in. We’ve talked about it. Listen, we’ve been close. We’ve had a ton of chances. We’re not putting them in right now. It’d be nice if we could take the pressure off some of the big boys with a couple of goals from our line.

“With three different guys [scoring in overtime so far], it’s kind of been the thing for our team the last few years. When we’re successful, we have everyone chipping at different times. That needs to continue for us to have success.”

Daniel Paille, another member of the Merlot line with Thornton, was asked about what a 2-0 series lead would do for the Bruins.

“If the situation like that were to come today, we’d feel pretty good about ourselves but we try not to jump too far ahead,” Paille said. “New York was down 2-0 in [last series] and they fought back to win the series and won two games at home right away. Obviously, we want to put ourselves in that position but we have to do the little things first.”

“I think every second, every shift is important and it’s about making sure you’re ready for that one shift,” Patrice Bergeron said when asked about the overtime magic. “It goes with experience, also. We’ve been through it so many times, we know what to expect. We know that we have to keep putting pressure to keep going at to get some results. It’s not bad either to win in regulation, also. If you do have to go into overtime, you have to keep your poise but still keep attacking.”

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Pierre McGuire on M&M: Game 1 changed after Johnny Boychuk was injured on hit from behind 05.17.13 at 11:35 am ET
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Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire made an appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Friday morning to dissect the Bruins’ Game 1 win over the Rangers.

After an uneventful first period, the teams traded goals in the second and third periods before Brad Marchand scored the game-winner when he tipped in a pass from Patrice Bergeron 15:40 into overtime. McGuire said the intensity level starting picking up after a play early in the second period.

“I really felt the whole game and the intensity of the game changed after the [Taylor] Pyatt hit on Johnny Boychuk,” McGuire said. “That amped up the entire energy in the building and amped up the entire energy between the two teams. And it created some good opportunities for some phenomenal athleticism from both teams. … In overtime it was clearly the Bruins’ overtime and they dominated it. Obviously, they had the power-play opportunity, they felt comfortable. That’s one of the reasons why home ice matters, because you have such a raucous crowd there. And I think the crowd really helped energize the Boston Bruins, especially during that power-play sequence.”

Added McGuire: “I’m not surprised they had a bit of a slow start. But I really, again, I can’t stress this enough: I thought the whole game and the whole energy of the game changed after Taylor Pyatt hit Johnny Boychuk from behind. That really changed the entire chemistry of the game. That’s good for the series going forward.

“I asked Brad Marchand last night on my interview after the game what kind of series he was expecting. He says, ‘Nasty, physical, mean.’ I would agree.”

Jaromir Jagr didn’t register a point Thursday, but McGuire said he believes his presence will be felt eventually.

“I think he can help the power play. That’s where I think he’s going to be a huge benefit for the Bruins, because of his ability to dominate the puck and make good decisions with it,” McGuire said. “Fatigue was a very real issue for Jaromir last night. That’s why I made the comment that I made [about Jagr needing short shifts].

“I was part of the management team that drafted him, I coached him, I skated with him a ton earlier in his career. I know the body of work that he’s presented, and I know when he’s tired and when he’s not. And you could just see he was breaking down last night after about 25-30 seconds. That’s normal; he’s 40 years old. But I expect that he’s going to help their power play. And I think at some point they’re going to have to look to put Tyler Seguin back on that line in five-on-five situations, especially in the second and third period.”

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Claude Julien tweaks lines for morning skate, Johnny Boychuk’s status uncertain 03.27.13 at 12:05 pm ET
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Wednesday’s morning skate featured more tweaking of the Bruins’ line as they prepare to host the Canadiens in a contest for first place in the Northeast Division. Claude Julien has moved Milan Lucic back with David Krejci and Nathan Horton, while Brad Marchand skated on the third line with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron.

The lines were as follows:

Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton

Daniel Paille – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin

Brad Marchand – Rich Peverley  - Jordan Caron

Jay Pandolfo – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Johnny Boychuk, who has missed the last two games with an apparent foot injury, was back on the ice for the Bruins for the first time since leaving practice last Friday. Julien said following the morning skate that Boychuk’s status for Wednesday’s game is “uncertain” given that he has not been cleared to play. Boychuk will be re-evaluated Wednesday afternoon.

Matt Bartkowski said he is unsure whether he is in the lineup for Wednesday, but don’t count out Bartkowski playing even if Boychuk returns given Aaron Johnson‘s recent struggles.

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Johnny Boychuk out Monday vs. Maple Leafs 03.25.13 at 11:23 am ET
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Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk will miss his second straight game when the B’s host the Maple Leafs Monday night at TD Garden, Claude Julien said Monday morning.

Boychuk left Friday’s practice with an apparent foot injury. He did not practice Sunday after missing Saturday’s game in Toronto. In his place, Matt Bartkowski played 13:05, posting a minus-2 with one shot on goal. Bartkowski will play in his second consecutive game Monday

The Bruins did not hold a morning skate Monday, but Julien shuffled the team’s lines in Sunday’s practice. They were as follows:

Brad Marchand – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Daniel Paille – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic – Rich Peverley – Jordan Caron
Jay Pandolfo – Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton

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

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Johnny Boychuk out, Rich Peverley back in Bruins lineup vs. Maple Leafs 03.23.13 at 7:13 pm ET
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Johnny Boychuk will miss Saturday’s game against the Maple Leafs, with Matt Bartkowski making his season debut in Boychuk’s place. Boychuk suffered a leg injury in Friday’s practice, causing the B’s to recall Bartkowski from Providence.

Rich Peverley, who was a healthy scratch Thursday against the Senators, is back in the lineup. Claude Julien is keeping Ryan Spooner in the lineup, with Jordan Caron a healthy scratch against the Leafs. Spooner will center Peverley and Jay Pandolfo.

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

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