Chris Kelly #23 and Brad Marchand #63 and Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins looks shake hands with the Chicago Blackhawks after being defeated in Game Six of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 24, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(June 23, 2013 - Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America)

Bruins emphasize mutual respect as Blackhawks rematch approaches

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The Boston Bruins would be lying if they denied that the 2013 Stanley Cup Final still stings, yet they also insist that there’s a lot of mutual respect between themselves and the Chicago Blackhawks. The two teams will face off for the first time this season on NBC Sunday, so those memories are bubbling back up.

… Which means those famous 17 seconds in which the Blackhawks locked up the series-clinching Game 6 will be hard to forget.

“I’ve replayed it in my mind 100 times since that moment,” Milan Lucic admitted to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.

Even so, both Lucic and head coach Claude Julien spoke about the general lack of animosity for two teams that were in a well-played, high-profile playoff series. Patrick Kane relayed a similar story to Lazerus.

“A lot of them are respectful and come up and just say hi to you,” Kane said.

Despite those warm and fuzzy feelings, the Bruins probably want to win badly, even if it won’t erase the memory of that championship round defeat.

“It hurts still,” Patrice Bergeron said. “It hurts just to see that 2013 on the wall right there.”

Bruins’ Johnson stays in game despite ‘startling’ Chara high stick

Boston Bruins v Anaheim Ducks
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Vision. It’s a rather important element to a goalie’s game.

Interesting, because Boston Bruins’ goalie Chad Johnson had a contact lens knocked out of his left eye – he also suffered a cut below the eye – when a Zdeno Chara high stick made its way through the puck stopper’s mask during the second period of Thursday’s game with the Dallas Stars.

That’s according to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, who reported that Johnson played the duration of the second period despite having his contact lens knocked out.

Johnson went on to make 32 saves and the Bruins came away with a 4-2 victory over the Stars following a wild third period that saw the two teams combine for five goals.

“I could feel the [stick] blade hit my cheek & then come up and clip my eyelid. My contact fell out. It kind of startles you,” said Johnson after the game.

(And for those keeping track on former Bruins forward Tyler Seguin and his much improved defensive play of late, he recorded two assists for the Stars in a losing cause.)

Horcoff: Bruins to blame for ‘not helping squash’ Seguin drama

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Dallas alternate captain Shawn Horcoff shared some pretty pointed comments about how rumors of Tyler Seguin’s off-ice activities were handled by the Bruins organization.

From the Edmonton Sun:

As for charges that he’s not as serious about hockey as he is about hockey-related nightlife, teammate and consummate professional Shawn Horcoff has seen absolutely nothing to support them.

“He goes out about half as much as I’ve expected a kid his age to,” said the former Oilers captain. “He picks his spots at the right times. When he does go out, he’s under control.

“I haven’t seen a single thing that warrants any of the stuff that was written about him when he was in Boston. I don’t know, maybe he did want to come here and want to change a little bit, but the kid was 20 years old, he had a Stanley Cup, he signed a big deal…

“In a lot of ways I blame the organization for not helping squash that. But that’s in the past for him, he’s become outstanding.”

Seguin, who leads the Stars in scoring this year with 42 points through 44 games, has combined to create a dynamic scoring duo with Jamie Benn and appears to be enjoying his time in Dallas.

“I liked where I was in Boston and I like this as well,” he explained. “I’m feeling a little bit more a part of something just because in Boston I’m an added on piece where here I’m more of a front-line player.”

Related: Stars snap six-game skid by topping Oilers

Bruins’ Hamilton has a concussion

Dougie Hamilton #27 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on April 10, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Bruins defeated the Devils 5-4.
(April 9, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)
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Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton has a concussion and will be “out for a little bit,” according to Boston head coach Claude Julien.

While Julien doesn’t expect the 20-year-old to be out “too, too long,” the injury does add even more pressure to a Bruins blue line that’s still coming to terms with the loss of Dennis Seidenberg for the season.

The B’s host the Maple Leafs tonight before visiting Dallas on Thursday and Chicago on Sunday (on NBC).

The good news is that d-man Johnny Boychuk will be back in the lineup after missing Saturday’s 1-0 victory in San Jose to be with his wife for the birth of healthy twin daughters.

Kelly (broken ankle) skates prior to Bruins practice, but ‘not close to returning’

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On Monday, Chris Kelly skated prior to practice for the first time since suffering a broken ankle in early December — but B’s head coach Claude Julien said not to read too much into it.

“He started skating a few days ago last week,” Julien said, per CSNNE.com. “He just started skating on his own. He’s not close to returning here. We’re not talking days here. There is still lots of time for him to heal. It’s more about getting him to stay positive.

“It’s a frustrating injury that’s going to take a while.”

Kelly suffered the broken ankle on a Pascal Dupuis slash on Dec. 7. He was given a 4-6 week window for a return to action and, having already missed 16 games, appears to be inching closer and closer to a return. According to CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, it’s possible Kelly could get back into the lineup by the end of next week, though he still requires medical clearance and at least a few practices with the B’s.

The 33-year-old Kelly had three goals and seven points through 29 games this year, and was one of Boston’s top penalty-killing forwards prior to getting hurt.