Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Bolts, Bruins look for quick start

Categories: BOS vs. TAM, Boston Bruins, Conference Finals, Tampa Bay Lightning

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Boston Bruins players, from left, Steven Kampfer, Shane Hnidy, Milan Lucic and Adam McQuaid react as their squad scores during a drill at hockey practice at TD Garden in Boston on Thursday. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press) Boston Bruins players, from left, Steven Kampfer, Shane Hnidy, Milan Lucic and Adam McQuaid react as their squad scores during a drill at hockey practice at TD Garden in Boston on Thursday. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)
Because both the Lightning and the Bruins swept their second-round opponents (Washington and Philadelphia), neither team has played in over a week. Because of the long layoff, both coaches are emphasizing a good start to tonight's game.

"The first period is crucial for both teams," said Claude Julien. "Having that is one thing. Getting into it emotionally is going to be another thing. You certainly don't want to complicate the game in the first period when you've been out for that long."

The Lightning haven't played since last Wednesday. They held an optional morning skate today. The Bruins opted for a full skate.

"We don't want to fall into the trap of being over-emotional," Guy Boucher said. "I think it will be a shock for both teams going back to playoff intensity."

In 11 postseason games, both teams have scored 11 first-period goals and are both undefeated when scoring first.

Hnidy reflects on ex-teammate Boogaard's passing

Shane Hnidy spent 2009-10 in Minnesota alongside Derek Boogaard. So when Hnidy heard of Boogaard's passing yesterday, the ex-Wild defenceman was stunned to hear the news.

"Very shocking," Hnidy said. "You never want to hear something like that, especially a former teammate. It hits the whole hockey community. As much as we are competitors, it, overall, is kind of like a big family. We're all in the same situation. We live the same type of lifestyles. It's really tough. It hit me pretty hard last night when I first heard."

Hnidy and Boogaard became close last year when both were injured and rehabbing in Minnesota. While Boogaard was arguably the league's biggest and baddest tough guy, Hnidy noted that the forward was as nice as they come.

"Everybody just saw the big, tough exterior," Hnidy said. "But he was a great guy who really gave back. Especially in Minny, he was probably the most popular player there. He gave back. He was always there."

Bergeron takes solo skate

Patrice Bergeron skated on his own this morning at TD Garden. It was the first time Bergeron had skated since suffering a concussion last Friday.

"Just a light skate this morning," Julien said. "That's where he's at right now. Light skate on his own."

Bergeron will not play tonight. Given that Bergeron has yet to practice with his teammates, it is not likely that he'll be available for Game 2.

Chris Kelly will be in Bergeron's spot tonight between Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi.

"Kelly's been a real smart player throughout his career, so I don't see him having an issue adapting there," Claude Julien said.

Gagne good to go, Kubina stays home

Simon Gagne, limited to only one game in the second round because of a head injury, will be in tonight's line-up. Gagne will skate alongside Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell on the second line.

Gagne lit up the Bruins last year while playing for Philadelphia. Gagne scored the overtime winner in Game 4 in the second round. In Game 7, Gagne scored the winning goal on the power play.

"Simon has been terrific the last two months of the season," Boucher said. "If you look at our stats, he was one of our top, top guys. In the playoffs, he certainly made a big difference against Pittsburgh. It was too bad we missed him against Washington basically the entire series. He's a pressure guy. He was with Team Canada in the Olympics. He's been in pressure situations in the NHL for so many years. He's scored big goals. He's one of those guys who's a clutch player. He certainly has and will be playing a huge part on our team."

Pavel Kubina, however, will not play in Game 1. Kubina didn't travel with the team to Boston and is unlikely to play in Game 2.

Projected Lightning lineup

Ryan Malone-Steven Stamkos-Martin St. Louis
Simon Gagne-Vincent Lecavalier-Teddy Purcell
Sean Bergenheim-Dominic Moore-Steve Downie
Marc-Andre Bergeron-Nate Thompson-Adam Hall

Eric Brewer-Mattias Ohlund
Victor Hedman-Brett Clark
Mike Lundin-Randy Jones

Dwayne Roloson
Mike Smith

Projected Bruins lineup

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Chris Kelly-Mark Recchi
Michael Ryder-Rich Peverley-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask