Swedish Carl Soderberg attacks Russian g

Report: Swedish Federation blocks Soderberg from joining Bruins

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Earlier this week, it appeared all but certain the Boston Bruins would have Swedish forward Carl Soderberg for the playoffs. Unfortunately for the B’s, the Swedish Federation has reportedly refused to release the big 27-year-old that scored 31 times for Linkoping this season.

It appears the Swedish Federation wants Soderberg to represent the country during the upcoming IIHF World Championship, which runs May 3-19 in Stockholm and Helsinki.

The NHL playoffs start April 30.

Bruins take Northeast Division lead, hand Devils eighth loss in a row

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens
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The Boston Bruins have been steamrolling slumping teams to improve their standing in the Northeast Division – and probably boost their scoring confidence – lately.

They handed the lowly Carolina Hurricanes their sixth loss in a row on Monday and then beat the New Jersey Devils by a 5-4 score that was deceptively close on Wednesday.

The game could prove costly for both sides injury-wise. Brad Marchand left the game and didn’t return after an elbow by Anton Volchenkov, who might face a suspension for that hit. Bryce Salvador hurt himself blocking a Zdeno Chara shot while Martin Brodeur was a little banged up after a collision with Chris Kelly. (He played the rest of the game, though.)

Of course, an eighth consecutive loss probably hurts the Devils the most.

With this win, the Bruins take a slim lead in the Northeast:

Boston: 26-9-4 for 56 points, nine games left
Montreal: 25-9-5 for 55 points, nine games left

Neither team plays against each other again in the regular season. The Bruins play six of their last nine games at home. They likely hope to build a nice cushion for themselves by playing five of their next six contests in Boston.

The Habs face nearly the opposite situation, as only three of their last nine games are in Montreal.

If you don’t have a horse in the race, the most entertaining scenario could be if the Bruins take the Northeast crown; that would likely set up a delicious Canadian showdown between the Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.

Still, a lot can change in the next nine games.

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Bruins’ Bergeron (concussion) on ‘road to recovery’

Patrice Bergeron
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Some good news for the Bruins on Wednesday, courtesy general manager Peter Chiarelli — concussed center Patrice Bergeron has resumed workouts and is rehabbing his injury.

“I’ve met with Patrice. He’s been working out,” Chiarelli told 98.5 The Sports Hub (by way of CSNNE.com). “He’s on his road to recovery, so it looks good.”

Bergeron, 27, was injured last week after absorbing a Colin Greening hit during a 3-2 win over Ottawa.

He’s since missed three games (against the Devils, Habs and ‘Canes) and won’t be available this evening when the Bruins travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

The concern level for Bergeron within the Bruins organization is high, given his concussion history.

The reigning Selke winner missed nearly the entire 2007-08 season after suffering a concussion on a hit from then-Flyers defenseman Randy Jones.

Bergeron also suffered a concussion during the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals, which forced him to miss a pair of playoff games — though, as pointed out by CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Bergeron only missed 12 days all told with the ailment.

Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Bruins look to continue dominance over Devils

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 4: Tyler Seguin #19 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck against Peter Harrold #10 of the New Jersey Devils at the TD Garden on April 4, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
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Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Boston Bruins will head to the Prudential Center for a match against the New Jersey Devils at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Devils got off to a 8-1-3 start this season and haven’t been able to find their groove since. Now they’re on a seven-game losing streak, their worst in 27 years.

New Jersey has fallen to 10th place in the Eastern Conference and are two points out of a playoff spot. The chance to win the Atlantic Division has officially slipped away. Now the Devils’ only hope is that they rebound enough to make the playoffs at all so that they can try to pull off another low-seed run.

First they must accomplish something they haven’t done in quite a while: Beat the Boston Bruins.

This is the third match of 2013 between these two squads and the Bruins took the first two. In fact, the Boston Bruins also swept their four-game series against the Devils last season.

When the Devils play against the Bruins tonight, it will be on New Jersey’s second anniversary of its last win against the club — and that was the Devils’ only win against the Bruins in 2010-11.

While the Bruins don’t need this win as badly as the Devils, it’s still important to them. They’re in a battle with Montreal for the Northeast Division title with the second or possibly even first seed on the line. The Canadiens lost to Washington on Tuesday, giving the Bruins a golden opportunity to gain a narrow edge over them.

With New Jersey slumping, the Bruins’ recent history against the squad, and the fact that Devils star forward Ilya Kovalchuk is sidelined, the odds seem heavily stacked in Boston’s favor. However, the Devils are desperate and that type of team can never be ruled out.

Probable goaltenders: NJD – Martin Brodeur (10-5-7, 2.18 GAA, .908 SV%) | BOS – Anton Khudobin (8-3-0, 2.07 GAA, .929 SV%)

Top scorers: NJD – Patrik Elias (10-20-30, 39 GP) | BOS – Brad Marchand (16-16-32, 37 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Boston – Forwards: Patrice Bergeron (concussion), Marc Savard (concussion) Defensemen: Adam McQuaid (shoulder)
New Jersey- Forwards: Kovalchuk (shoulder)

Jagr, Marchand click as Bruins blow out Canes

jagrandmarchandclickgetty
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The Boston Bruins might not totally know what to do with Tyler Seguin right now, but it seems like they’ve stumbled upon an unlikely scoring duo in Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand.

Jagr set up two Marchand goals on Monday as the Boston Bruins poured even more salt in the wounds of the slumping Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 6-2.

Marchand described the advantages of playing with a future Hall of Famer who could very well have something left in the tank.

“He knows the right plays to make,” Marchand said. “He makes it easy to adapt and play with him.”

The blowout probably obscures the fact that Tuukka Rask had another excellent night, stopping 42 out of 44 shots. Another guy who might slip under the radar is Dennis Seidenberg; “The Pain Sponge” managed three assists tonight.

The Bruins are now just a point behind the Montreal Canadiens for the Northeast Division lead and the East’s second seed while the Hurricanes drop to 1-9-1 in their last 11 games (and have lost four in a row).