Notes: Bruins to stay at Lake Placid on off-days

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Notes: Bruins to stay at Lake Placid on off-days

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON, Mass. There were indications the Bruins werent going to spend the two off days in Montreal between Games Three and Four against the Canadiens during the first round of the playoffs, and that became official on Tuesday.

Rather than travel all the way back to Boston for a couple of days of practice, however, the Bs are going to head to the setting of the 1980 Miracle on Ice for several days away from the Montreal circus.

Following Game Three on Monday, the Bruins will travel to Lake Placid - home of the United States' stunning Olympic victory over the Soviet Union in 1980 - where they will practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team will then head back to Montreal on Wednesday evening to get ready for Thursdays game at the Bell Centre.

The Bruins dont have many American players on the roster, but going to Lake Placid will be incredibly meaningful for goaltender Tim Thomas.

Thomas grew up a youngster in Flint, Michigan inspired by the 1980 Team USA goaltender, Jim Craig, and has always spoken glowingly about the Miracle on Ice squad. Now hell be able to practice on the same surface where they pulled off one of hockey's - and, in fact, one of sports' - greatest upsets.

It's an inspired move by Bs president Cam Neely and general manager Peter Chiarelli to get the team into a friendlier environment outside of Quebec.

Count Milan Lucic among the Bruin players looking forward to the hostility getting kicked up between the Bs and Canadiens once the first puck gets dropped in anger on Thursday night.

Lucic aptly described the mindsets of both fan bases while getting ready for the 33rd postseason matchup between the two squads.

Its definitely going to be there. Our fans are going to want to see us beat the hell out of them and their fans are going to want to see them beat the hell out of us, said Lucic. We know the energy is going to be high in both buildings, and thats what makes the rivalry so great. The fans are so pumped up about it.

Mark Recchi refused all questions about the Max Pacioretty statements he made the last time Montreal was coming to town - he said the Montreal medical staff publicly embellished Pacioretty's injuries in an attempt to force the NHL to punish Zdeno Chara - and said he didnt care about what reception was waiting for him when he get to the Bell Centre.

There was also a report that Recchi, a former Canadien, had never reached out to apologize to the Montreal medical staff, but he wasnt really willing to go there at all.

Im not talking about it, said Recchi. I dont care. I have a job to do. I dont really care. I said it was the last time I was speaking about it the last time. Ive got a job to do. I spent five wonderful years there, and thats about it.

Steve Kampfer was present at the Bs practice facility at Ristuccia Arena, but was rehabbing his knee injury rather than taking part on any of the practice drills on the ice.

Claude Julien was barking out orders at the beginning of practice as he put his players through the paces, but said the emotion wasnt anything out of the ordinary.

It was about clarifying the message of what we were trying to accomplish. My voice might have been raised, but I wasnt barking, said Julien.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1

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STANLEY CUP FINALS: Guentzel's goal lifts Penguins by Predators 5-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh rookie Jake Guentzel beat Nashville's Pekka Rinne with 3:17 left in regulation to put the Penguins ahead to stay in a 5-3 victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

Guentzel snapped an eight-game goalless drought to help the defending champions escape after blowing a three-goal lead.

Nick Bonino scored twice for the Penguins. Conor Sheary scored his first of the playoffs and Evgeni Malkin scored his eighth. The Penguins won despite putting just 12 shots on goal. Murray finished with 23 saves for the Penguins, who used the first coach's challenge in finals history to wipe out an early Nashville goal and held on despite going an astonishing 37:09 at one point without a shot.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Ryan Ellis, Colton Sissons and Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Predators. Rinne stopped just seven shots.

The Penguins had all of three days to get ready for the final following a draining slog through the Eastern Conference that included a pair of Game 7 victories, the second a double-overtime thriller against Ottawa last Thursday.

Pittsburgh downplayed the notion it was fatigued, figuring adrenaline and a shot at making history would make up for any lack of jump while playing their 108th game in the last calendar year.

Maybe, but the Penguins looked a step behind at the outset. The Predators, who crashed the NHL's biggest stage for the first time behind Rinne and a group of talented defenseman, were hardly intimidated by the stakes, the crowd or the defending champions.

All the guys from the place dubbed "Smashville" have to show for it is their first deficit of the playoffs on a night a fan threw a catfish onto the ice to try and give the Predators a taste of home.

The Penguins, who led the league in scoring, stressed before Game 1 that the best way to keep the Predators at bay was by taking the puck and spending copious amounts of time around Rinne. It didn't happen, mostly because Nashville's forecheck pinned the Penguins in their own end. Clearing attempts were knocked down or outright swiped, tilting the ice heavily in front of Murray.

Yet Pittsburgh managed to build a quick 3-0 lead anyway thanks to a fortunate bounce and some quick thinking by Penguins video coordinator Andy Saucier. Part of his job title is to alert coach Mike Sullivan when to challenge a call. The moment came 12:47 into the first when P.K. Subban sent a slap shot by Murray that appeared to give the Predators the lead.

Sullivan used his coach's challenge, arguing Nashville forward Filip Forsberg was offside. A lengthy review indicated Forsberg's right skate was in the air as he brought the puck into a zone, a no-no.

It temporarily deflated Nashville and gave the Penguins all the wiggle room they needed to take charge.

Malkin scored on a 5-on-3 15:32 into the first, Sheary made it 2-0 just 65 seconds later and when Nick Bonino's innocent centering pass smacked off Nashville defenseman Mattias Ekholm's left knee and by Rinne just 17 seconds before the end of the period, Pittsburgh was in full command.

It looked like a repeat of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa, when the Penguins poured in four goals in the first period of a 7-0 rout.

Nashville, unlike the Senators, didn't bail. Instead they rallied.

Ellis scored the first goal by a Predator in a Stanley Cup Final 8:21 into the second. Though Nashville didn't get another one by Murray, they also kept Rinne downright bored at the other end. Pittsburgh didn't manage a shot on net in the second period, the first time it's happened in a playoff game in franchise history.

Nashville kept coming. Sissons beat Murray 10:06 into the third and Gaudreau tied it just after a fruitless Pittsburgh power play.

No matter. The Penguins have become chameleons under Sullivan. They can win with both firepower and precision.

Guentzel slipped one by Rinne with 3:17 to go in regulation and Bonino added an empty netter to give Pittsburgh early control of the series.

Morning Skate: No surprise cheap-shot artists are running wild

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Morning Skate: No surprise cheap-shot artists are running wild

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while hoping everybody on this Memorial Day takes some time to appreciate all of those that made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. We should also take a moment to say thanks to people like the three heroes in Oregon that stood up to a hateful bigot earlier this week, and in doing so reaffirmed what the majority of people living in the US believe we are all about while trying to live up to that ideal every day.
 
-- A number of NHL legends are shaking their heads at the dirty play that we’re seeing in these playoffs, particularly those plays targeting the superstars that people pay big money to see in the postseason. Why should anybody be shocked by this? The rooting out of enforcers, and fighting, has taken accountability out of the game for the cheap-shot artists and dirty players, and leaves little real deterrant for players looking to take out opponents with dangerous plays. I wrote about this a couple of years ago when the NHL threw the book at Shawn Thornton for going after Brooks Orpik, and in doing so chose to protect somebody trying to hurt opponents (Orpik) and punish somebody trying to protect his teammates (Thornton). It was a sea change for the league, and something players didn’t forget as more and more enforcers were quickly weeded out of the NHL. This is what the rule-makers and legislators wanted, and now it’s what they’re getting just a couple of years later with dangerous stick-work, cheap shots and a general lack of respect for fellow players.
 
-- Here's why the Tampa Bay Lightning would consider trading a player like Jonathan Drouin, and the major impact that could have on the offseason trade market.
 
-- Down Goes Brown has a Stanley Cup Final rooting guide for the other 28 other fan bases now that Nashville and Pittsburgh are in the final series.

-- So which goaltender has the edge in the Stanley Cup Final: Nashville's Pekka Rinne, or Pittsburgh's two-headed monster of Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury?
 
-- Scotty Bowman says winning back-to-back Stanley Cup titles has become monumentally difficult since the advent of the salary cap.
 
-- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are pushing each other to be betters, and showing exactly how a team should be led by its superstars in the salary-cap era for the league.
 
-- For something completely different: We can confirm through this report that a lot of hot dogs are eaten in the summertime. So glad we have people to research these kinds of things.