Daniel Paille, Tyler Ennis

Bruins’ Paille (upper body) is ready to return to action

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The Boston Bruins believe that forward Daniel Paille will be ready to play in the team’s next playoff game, CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty reports.

While the Bruins only deem it an upper-body injury, Haggerty points out that many think it’s a concussion. Paille himself acknowledged that it’s his third head injury of the season, although he indicates that his symptoms haven’t been severe (at least in this case).

“It definitely feels good to get a good, full contact practice going,” said Paille. “Because this was my third [head] injury this year, there were a lot more precautions to go through this time around. I believe I could have played midway through the last series.

“I didn’t feel like I had too many symptoms/injuries, but I had to continue with that process. I heard Claude say that I felt ‘great’ after the first day, and I did. There was no question about that.”

Here’s video of the hit that put him on the shelf on April 12:

He also suffered from concussion-like symptoms in March and December, so it’s easy to see why the Bruins are trying to be cautious with the 30-year-old.

Paille scored nine goals and 18 points with a +9 rating in 72 regular season games with the Bruins this season.

Bruins remind Babcock of Cup-winning Red Wings

Mike Babcock
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Earlier in Mike Babcock’s days as head coach of the Detroit Red Wings, they were one of the best teams in the league. The Red Wings reached the Western Conference Final in 2007 and made the Stanley Cup Final in each of the following two years, with them securing a championship in 2008.

A lot has changed since then for the Red Wings as some of the key players from that era like Nicklas Lidstrom have retired and the next generation is establishing itself. So it didn’t come as a shock that Detroit couldn’t match up against Boston in the first round, but it did give Babcock an opportunity to get a close look at the Bruins and he was very impressed with what he saw.

“This [Bruins] team that we played today is like we used to be in ’08, ’09, and ’07,” Babcock said, per CSN New England. “They’re a legit contender with a good depth and good experience. I think it’s just overall depth.”

Boston showed off its offensive depth in the five-game first round series against Detroit. Ten different Bruins found the back of the net and only three Boston players — Johnny Boychuk, Brad Marchand, and Gregory Campbell — played in all five contests without recording a point.

On top of that, goaltender Tuukka Rask played like, well, Tuukka Rask.

“Some teams have got a real good team, and their goalie gets you started, gets the opposition started,” Babcock said. “This [Rask] kid doesn’t get you started. Not only does he stop the puck, he plays the puck good, so it’s harder to get in on their D.”

With so many different factors working for the Bruins, they certainly look like they’re poised to have a long playoff run.

Moving on: Bruins eliminate Red Wings 4-2 in Game 5

Zdeno Chara, Reilly Smith
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The Boston Bruins finished off one Original Six team and now they’ll prepare to face another, more familiar one in the next round.

The Bruins finished off the Detroit Red Wings with a 4-2 victory in Game 5. Zdeno Chara’s power play goal with four seconds left in the second period put the Bruins ahead to stay. Milan Lucic’s third goal of the series 4:27 into the third period put the game on ice and helped the Bruins advance in five games.

Henrik Zetterberg’s first goal of the series made it 3-2 with 3:52 to play, but a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty 48 seconds later to Detroit helped seal the Red Wings’ fate. Jarome Iginla added an empty-net goal

Tuukka Rask ended the game with 31 saves and proved to frustrate the Red Wings even when Detroit was able to generate sustained offense. In the end, however, it was the lack of a penalty kill that ended the Red Wings.

The Bruins went 2-for-5 on the power play getting goals from Loui Eriksson in the first period and Chara in the second.

Detroit’s first goal came on the power play in the second period when Pavel Datsyuk put a rebound past Rask. Detroit’s best opportunities came with the man-advantage which says a lot about how well the Bruins played throughout the game.

From the get-go, Boston seemed to be in a different gear and a lot of the puck-luck that went against Eriksson in Game 4 was corrected in Game 5.

Boston moves on to the Atlantic Division Final where they’ll face their archrivals — the  Montreal Canadiens. It’ll be the 34th time the two have met in the playoffs.

WATCH LIVE: Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins (Game 5)

Detroit Red Wings v Boston Bruins - Game Two
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It could be elimination day for the Detroit Red Wings in Boston when they face the Bruins in Game 5.

The Bruins took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series with their overtime win in Game 4. The Red Wings are countering the Bruins with the return of Daniel Alfredsson to the lineup as well as swapping out Jakub Kindl for Xavier Ouellet.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

The Bruins were in this position last year against the Toronto Maple Leafs being up 3-1 and back at home looking to close things out. As Milan Lucic said earlier, they’d like to avoid reliving last season’s fate.

Jonas Gustavsson will have to try and out-duel Tuukka Rask in goal and considering how well Rask has played all season, it would appear the Red Wings are really up against it.

Check out our preview of all of today’s games here.

PHT Morning Skate: Bruins, Sharks seek series wins

Matt Bartkowski, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron
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If your idea of a perfect Saturday is to spend all day watching playoff hockey, you’re in luck. Four games, including two possible elimination games, get started at 3:00 p.m. ET and carry you deep into the night.

Today’s action is bookended by possible elimination games when the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 in Boston and the San Jose Sharks hosting the Los Angeles Kings. The home teams there have 3-1 series leads and would love to get done now to rest up. In the Bruins’ case, they’d like to not give the Montreal Canadiens more time to rest up.

Game 5: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings [Boston leads series 3-1] (3:00 p.m. ET — NBC)

The Bruins would love to not copy what they did last season when they were up 3-1 in a series in the first round. In other words, they want to close the door on the Red Wings and not allow a team with their experience any room for hope.

Henrik Zetterberg’s return in Game 4 provided a lift for Detroit and it nearly carried them to victory. But close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades and the Bruins took the game in overtime. The Bruins get another crack at Jonas Gustavsson who gets the start once again for Detroit as Jimmy Howard is out with the flu. Either he’s got a really nasty bug or he’s dealing with something a bit more serious than the flu to be ruled out a day in advance.

The Bruins’ top line of David Krejci-Milan Lucic-Jarome Iginla was a force in Game 4. Look for more of the same with the Bruins getting last change at home.

Game 5: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets [Series tied 2-2] (7:00 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

What to say about the Penguins? They played a brilliant Game 4 in Columbus and looked poised to head home up 3-1… And then the final minutes of the game happened and it all went to heck for the Pens and Marc-Andre Fleury. His misplay that led to the game-tying goal and Nick Foligno’s knuckling shot from 50-feet out helped all the ill feelings about the Pens netminder come roaring back.

Now with the game back in Pittsburgh, the Pens and Fleury could stand to have a lights-out game if for no other reason than to keep the fans from revolting.

One upside for the Blue Jackets is they may get defenseman Fedor Tyutin back in the lineup and that will go a ways to helping out Sergei Bobrovsky in goal. Bob could stand to have some more help defensively and he’s yet to really steal a game in this series. Having that as well as Sidney Crosby’s goal drought hanging over things helps make this Game 5 fascinating.

Game 5: Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild [Series tied 2-2] (9:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN)

Is it possible the Avs losing Tyson Barrie was the injury that broke the Avs’ back? Colorado hasn’t been the same team since he’s gone out and Game 4 summed things up pretty clearly that they need help getting outshot 32-12.

Even in spite of that, the Avs aren’t getting blown out by the Wild, but that’s mostly thanks to Vezina Trophy finalist Semyon Varlamov. If there was any doubt that Varlamov was the team MVP during the regular season, he’s answered that in the playoffs as he’s needed to be brilliant to keep the Wild at bay.

Minnesota is hoping the success they have had to this point will help them steal a game in Denver. The home team has won each game in the series. Zach Parise leads the Wild in points with five but has yet to score a goal. Get the feeling he’s due?

Game 5: San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings [San Jose leads series 3-1] (10:00 p.m. ET — CNBC)

The fact the Sharks earned a split in Los Angeles is big news and now that they’re back home with a chance to wrap up the series, you have to like their chances.

San Jose looked like world beaters in taking out Jonathan Quick and the Kings in Games 1 and 2. With the way Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski have piled up points with ease, you’d never know the Kings were also one of the better teams in the league this season. The fact the Sharks are also doing it with their depth players is also impressive. Matt Nieto is third in points and Tomas Hertl’s return to action has spurred them on.

That said, the Kings’ effort in Game 4 was impressive enough to make more than a few pundits wonder if maybe this series has more juice in it. Justin Williams’ strong play was reminiscent of his effort during the Kings’ Stanley Cup run and you know Quick is capable of stealing games. The Sharks would very much enjoy putting that talk to bed tonight.