BOSTON, MA - Loui Eriksson was back on the ice Thursday morning at TD Garden for pregame skate before the Bruins face the Washington Capitals.
The winger had been kept off the ice for the past two days and missed Tuesday's game against Florida due to a heel infection, but he is expected back in the lineup against the Caps.
"It's good, felt good this morning," Eriksson said following the skate. "It's just been nice to rest it a little bit and I think I'm ready for tonight."
The Bruin originally cut his heel going up the steps to a cold tub when he was over in Sochi, Russia playing for Sweden in the Winter Olympics.
"I got a cut on my heel so it started to get infected that last couple of days, so I'm on antibiotics right now, so I think it will be healing pretty good here," he said.
The team kept him off the ice and out of his skate to get him back to 100 percent.
"The Rangers game there was kind of painful, but it went away after 10 minutes, after you've been skating around, but I like I said, it's been feeling much better now."
Eriksson has formed a consistent line with Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg since coming back into the lineup in January following his second concussion. It's good news that the issue keeping him out was very minor, and now he'll be able to quickly get back into the groove with his linemates.
"We've been producing a lot of chances out there and I think we've been playing good together, and we have a good forecheck," said Eriksson. "We just need to keep doing that and if we can just keep going, I think our line is doing a lot of good stuff, so we just have to go forward."
"They are producing and every game they are getting good scoring chances," said Julien. "They have been a good line for us so we’re going to keep them like that as long as we can."
The Bruins shored up their defensive depth before the NHL Trade Deadline passed on Wednesday, by claiming Corey Potter off waivers from Edmonton and acquiring Andrej Meszaros from Philadelphia in exchange for a 2014 third round pick.
Meszaros joined the team for pregame skate on Thursday morning (wearing No. 41), though he'll remain out of the lineup against the Caps as he takes time to acclimate himself to the team and Claude Julien's system.
"It's up to the coaches what they're going to do with me and how they're going to use me," said Meszaros, while meeting with Boston media in front of his new locker room stall for the first time. "And, you know, I'm just here to help and play good, and hopefully go all the way."
The blueliner will be coming from playing man-on-man in Philly to Boston's zone defense.
"I think we’ll have to wait and see. We have some practice times and stuff like that; I don’t think it will take him that long," said Julien, of the adjustment. "They just play a different type of game and every once in a while when players come in they have to adjust a little bit…I think he’ll catch on fairly quickly."
"He’s an experienced player, I think he’s proved over the years. He’s a big body as well, offensively he supports the attack well, he’s been known to be a pretty good offensive type defenseman. So with that big body and the way we play I’m sure he will defend well also. Again, I think it will be a matter of time to see how well he fits with us."
"At one point you're going to see him in our lineup and a lot of it will depend on players' play. All of them."
Meszaros is expecting the same; to come in, get to know the group and help provide competition on the back end.
"I don't think it's going to be easy. It's always tough to crack the lineup and like I said, it's up to the coaches," he said. "And obviously up to me, how I'm going to respond if they give me a chance, and go from there."
Potter was not yet with the team at pregame skate, as was flying from Edmonton on Thursday morning and expected to arrive to Boston in the afternoon.
Matchup: Bruins (39-17-5) Host Caps (29-24-10)
When the Bruins hosted the Capitals last Saturday (March 1), it was their second game coming out of the break and their defensive game was not quite where it needed to be.
They took six penalties and allowed two power-play goals from Alex Ovechkin, in addition to two breakaway goals, in the 4-2 loss.
This time around, the Bruins are looking to build off of their two straight wins over New York and Florida, and continue their responsible effort away from the puck.
"It’s certainly an opportunity for us to make the adjustments that ended up costing us. And some of it - I didn’t think, we were very disciplined last time we played them," said Julien.
"For a team that has a really good power play, we took too many penalties. Obviously on our penalty kill we had some assignments there that were missed and created some scoring opportunities for them and some goals. Number one, we need to be disciplined. Number two, we have to make sure that we are better in our penalty kill tonight if that is going to be the case."
"But we didn’t play a great game defensively, we gave them a lot of scoring chances by the end of the night and we have to tighten up. I think slowly but surely our team is finding that part of the game that was missing."
Boston Projected Lineup vs. Caps
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