WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins were in a cheery mood Tuesday during an optional skate at their practice facility, Ristuccia Arena. The Bruins are up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Philadelphia Flyers after Monday's 3-2 victory in Game 2.
After practice, the Bruins flew to Philadelphia for Game 3 Wednesday (7 p.m., VERSUS, TSN, RDS) of their best-of-seven series at the Wachovia Center
Among those taking the day off were goalie Tuukka Rask, captain Zdeno Chara, Mark Recchi, Johnny Boychuk, Patrice Bergeron, Dennis Wideman and Matt Hunwick.
Manning the nets were goalies Tim Thomas and Dany Sabourin. The lines for a day were Daniel Paille and Trent Whitfield centered by Matt Marchand; Vladimir Sobotka and Shawn Thornton centered by Steve Begin; Miroslav Satan and Milan Lucic centered by David Krejci; and Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder centered by Marc Savard.
The defense pairing of Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid remained intact, while Mark Stuart engaged in a full practice, paired with Providence Bruins defenseman Andy Wozniewski. AHL defensemen Andrew Bodnarchuk and Jeff Penner also practiced.
Later, coach Claude Julien said Stuart "definitely" will not play in Game 3, reiterating that he still has "a bone infection" and isn't fit enough to play. Julien said Stuart, who still is taking strong doses of antibiotics, needs medical clearance to return to play.
When Julien benched rugged right wing Shawn Thornton to insert Marc Savard into the lineup for Game 1, he was asked how he would counter the Flyers' toughness without Thornton. He said the Bruins are "team-tough" and that he wasn't worried.
The Bruins took two retaliation penalties Monday in Game 2. Steve Begin cross-checked Daniel Carcillo after a hard hit and Savard was called for slashing after some rough stuff with Kimmo Timonen. Julien was asked when retaliation penalties are undisciplined and irresponsible and when are they necessary to send a message.
"Those, most of the time, you end up killing," Julien said of Begin's response. "He took a pretty good run at him. It was deemed a clean hit. I don't necessarily disagree with that, either. It was, I think, borderline charging. It was basically just (Begin) saying, 'Listen, you crossed a line,' and he sent a message.
"Again, it's just part of the game. I don't see any issues from either team. If our players did that, threw a good, legal hit and they deemed it was borderline and they did something about, so be it. It's playoff hockey, guys."
"Sometimes that's going to happen, but you have to be disciplined," Begin said. "It just happened. We killed it. We have to make sure we're disciplined. They're going to try to draw us into penalties. That's what they're trying to do. We have to be smart."
Carcillo flattened Begin with a hit to Begin's left shoulder. A second later, Begin drove Carcillo to the ice with high cross-check and was penalized.
"Well, of course, I mean, I went right after him," Begin said. "I thought it was a little bit of dive too. But that's him."
"We're up 2-0 in the series. We won two big home games. We have to stay focused here and not be distracted by what is being said. It's pretty obvious yesterday when you watch replays. Everybody's seen how (Carcillo) embellishes." -- Claude Julien
Then there was the incident when the Flyers jumped Savard after his slash of goalie Brian Boucher and Carcillo came away claiming Savard bit him during the tussle along the end boards. Savard said Carcillo thrust his fingers into Savard's mouth and tried to pull his teeth out, adding "maybe he wants me to look like him."
"We're up 2-0 in the series. We won two big home games," Julien said. "We have to stay focused here and not be distracted by what is being said. It's pretty obvious yesterday when you watch replays. Everybody's seen how (Carcillo) embellishes. It's hard to believe a guy when you see stuff that he does. We really don't pay attention to that."
"We need everybody to be ready and on board tomorrow because it's going to be very tough," Begin promised.
Contact John McGourty at firstname.lastname@example.org